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Kill This Bicyclist! The Blog and the Fallout. Carolyn Young TriMet Executive Director, Communications & Technology Portland, Oregon. The Blogger. Dan Christensen TriMet Operator with good record Former history teacher Active Blogger “Portland Confidential”. The Blogger.

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Kill This Bicyclist!The Blog and the Fallout

Carolyn Young


Executive Director,

Communications & Technology

Portland, Oregon


The Blogger

  • Dan Christensen
  • TriMet Operator with good record
  • Former history teacher
  • Active Blogger
  • “Portland Confidential”

The Blogger

Best Bet Against Sam Adams in a Municipal Twitter Smackdown

18,000 followers on Twitter


The Blog

Attention Fool: When you interacted with my bus you put your life in my hands… I took extreme measures to avoid crushing you…. Thank you for putting your faith and trust in my skill, perception and reaction time however I think I’m going to now exercise your life in my hands options and have you killed.

July 22, 2010 a.m.


The Fallout

  • The blog post is picked up immediately
  • Twitter
  • The Oregonian blog
  • Bike Portland blog
  • Other blogs
  • Associated Press

TriMet Response

  • Within two hours of the post he was:
    • Pulled from his bus
    • Placed on administrative leave
    • District Attorney and Portland Police notified

Exclusive: TriMet bus operator placed on administrative leave following blog post

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

July 22nd, 2010 at 3:12 pm


Portland's 'most beloved bus driver' parked by TriMet over blog post about bicyclist

Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 8:16 PM

Joseph Rose, The OregonianHundreds of riders check in daily to his humorousTriMet Confidentialblog. He has more than 18,000 Twitter followers. Willamette Week named him one of the city's "Best People."On Thursday, he posted a commentary on his blog with a picture of a man riding a bike and this headline: "Portland! Kill this bicyclist." 


TriMet driver offers mea culpa, explains 'Kill This Bicyclist' post

  • Published: Friday, July 23, 2010, 7:48 AM

“Let me tell you what I would do if I met this guy right now. I would have mixed emotions but I would hug him harder then he has ever been hugged….“I would tell him 'You are as precious to someone, as my girls are to me… I would never willingly harm you but brother it’s so unfair for you to use me to harm you. If I had been one moment slower on the breaks, I would have never been able to drive a bus again. I could not have lived with myself. Even if you care for no one else on the road care for yourself.


Suspended TriMet driver plans to end popular blog after 'kill this bicyclist' post

Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 2:27 PM

Joseph Rose, The Oregonian

Dan Christensen, the TriMet bus driver who was suspended last weekfor his “kill this bicyclist” blog post, said he expects to be back on the job by the end of the week.However, after meeting with his supervisor at the Powell Garage on Monday, Christensen said he now thinks that his personal TriMet Confidential blog has run out of gas and it's time to just abandon it.


 The Oregonian Follow up

  • Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 6:20 PM

TriMet allows 'kill this bicyclist' bus driver to return to work, but says he still faces discipline


The Cyclist

Q & A with rider who inspired "Kill this Bicyclist!" post

Jonathan Maus, August 18th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  • Paul Higgins, as seen fromthe window of a TriMet bus.(Photos: Screen grabs of DanChristensen's blog)

“I was going significantly faster and decided I could pass the bus without impeding traffic. I increased speed and moved onto the striped white line dividing the two eastbound lanes, passing both the bus and another car in the left lane…I don’t recall pulling any other stunts, though I may have blown through a light. “

"I don't want to be responsible for making people feel the way I made Christensen feel...I'm much more mindful of the way I ride now.“


The Mother

Bloody Merries

Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations

This jackass, by the name of Dan Christensen, was taken off his route for one week, and is now back on the job taking unsuspecting citizens to work and school.

It’s relatively easy to find out if you live down the street from a sex offender, but you may never know if your friendly bus driver is the instigator of a hate crime.

August 22, 2010


TriMet’s Other Bloggers


In June, the agency prohibited operators from recording videos while on the job after receiving complaints about Al Margulies, who runs the Rantings of a TriMet Driver blog. Last year, a post led the agency to restrict employees from recording other employees and riders without consent. TriMet allows employees to run blogs, as long as they don't try to represent themselves as an agency spokesperson or divulge proprietary information. 


 The Oregonian Follow up

As I noted in this morning’s story, the digital age and new media have a lot of road bumps.

Sometimes we post something that we mean, but do it in a way that we regret later. And often, good intentions veer wildly out of control, mutating into something that hardly reflects the truth.


TriMet Policy

Social Media creates new opportunities for communication and collaboration, it also creates new responsibilities.

TriMet believes in employees’ right to freedom of expression, online and elsewhere, and TriMet supports open dialogue and the exchange of ideas. At the same time, employees should exercise that freedom in a manner consistent with TriMet’s philosophy of transparency, integrity, and mutual respect.


TriMet Policy

TriMet employees are personally responsible for the content they publish on the Internet. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time and can be used by others, so protect your privacy.  


Final Observations

  • Social Media encourages instant communications not thoughtful communications
  • Privacy is being redefined
  • Civil discourse is threatened
  • Develop a social media policy
  • Expect the policy to change
  • Be prepared to respond to social media