From Portland Afoot
Dan Christensen is a TriMet bus driver, writer, audio performer and comedian.
 Suspended after apparent death threat
On July 22, 2010, Christensen posted, then removed, a blog post entitled "Portland, kill this bicyclist." After posting two blurry but potentially identifiable photos of an anonymous bicyclist and describing his physical anger at the bicyclist's alleged behavior weeks earlier, Christensen wrote:
"Attention Fool: When you interacted with my bus you put your life in my hands. At that time I took extreme measures to avoid crushing you despite your best effort to get under my tires. ... I think now after long hours of contemplation I shall exercise the death option."
On his Twitter account, Christensen described the post as "a TriMet bus driver takes on evil."
In response, TriMet placed Christensen on administrative leave.
In a post of his own reporting the situation, BikePortland editor Jonathan Maus wrote: "It was clear to me that Christensen's blog post was more an emotional and literary exercise than a sincere proclamation of anger -- but that's due in part because I know him. ... Not everyone is aware of that context and as we've explored countless times on this site, people are understandably very sensitive about the emotions that can lead to road rage and they need to be taken very seriously."
The next day, Christensen accepted blame on his blog, writing: "I stepped over the line. ... I would have to be the worlds greatest idiot to actually intend to kill someone and post it on a blog."
The day before the incident, Willamette Week had named Christensen one of Portland's "best people." In an article reporting on the incident, The Oregonian said Christensen "might be Portland's most beloved bus driver."
 Professional history
Christensen told Portland Afoot in a May 2010 interview that he had worked for a Seattle video distributor, sold wood stoves and worked telephones as a Wells Fargo customer service worker. ("Worst job ever," he said of the last.)
He then wrote for a children's comedy television show in Australia. "I wasn't as good a writer as the other guys, but I was quick," he said.
Finally, Christensen returned to Portland and at his brother's advice "fell into" his TriMet job. "Very happy," Christensen said in June 2010. "I wish I had done that sooner."
 Favorite bus routes
Christensen said that unlike many drivers, he prefers bus routes that are busy with riders.
"They're just more of a challenge," he went on. "When I get through and nothing happens, I'm like, heheh, I got it."
Christensen described the 85-Swan Island as his "all-time favorite," because of the familiarity of the riders and the chance to see people getting jobs in the industrial park there.
 Online projects
Christensen began his blog TriMet Confidential in winter 2008-2009 to share TriMet employees' perspective on the snow that nearly shut down traffic in Portland.
His philosophy with new media, he said, is to build communities among groups of readers and listeners.
"I keep telling people, if you're not building community, it ain't gonna work. Because you're too small," Christensen said. "There's a few things that bind people. ... One is danger. ... The other thing is discovery. If we walk out of here and discover a box of gold, we're probably going to know each other a long time. You know what I mean? It's mutual discovery and mutual creation. Working together to create something, working together to clean up a trail. Those things create community."
 Comments on April 2010 crash
In May 2010, Christensen posted a Web video explaining his theory for why a driver, especially a physically small one, would have restricted vision on a left-hand turn such as the April 24, 2010 TriMet collision that killed two pedestrians in Old Town.
After he posted the video, Christensen said, driver Sandra Day "came into Powell Garage, and she came up to me, gave me a hug, and she said that I saved her family. Because her daughters couldn't understand how it happened, and she couldn't really explain it. When they saw the video, they knew.
"It's not that what she did was right, but you don't need demons to have accidents," Christensen said. "If somebody's less of a villain, it doesn't mean it's not a tragedy. It's not that simple. And that's what I wanted to get to."
- TriMet Confidential, Christensen's "bus driver blog"
- Christensen's creativity blog
- Christensen's epic fantasy podcast, Fire Sky
- Twitter feed
- Facebook page
- BikePortland account of suspension
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