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Cyclist has “life-threatening” injuries after Marine Drive collision

Posted by on October 18th, 2007 at 8:23 pm

*[Updated: 10/19, 8:16am, 9:14am, 10:41pm ]

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team responded to a serious injury collision involving a bicyclist at around 5:00pm tonight out on NE Marine Drive near the Portland Airport.

View of motorist, driving west on Marine Drive.
View Google Street View

Here’s more from a statement released by the PPB Public Information Officer,

“Based on information from the scene and two independent witnesses, investigators believe that 30-year-old Margery Heffernan was driving westbound on the 4300 block of Northeast Marine Drive when she collided with a 68-year-old bicyclist who was traveling southbound across Northeast Marine Drive. The bicyclist was in a marked crosswalk but failed to stop for a stop sign prior to crossing the street. Prior to the collision, the bicyclist was also westbound next to Northeast Marine Drive on the bike path.

The two witnesses stated that the bicyclist was traveling very quickly and did not appear to slow or hesitate at the stop sign. Because of the incline at the crosswalk, investigators believe the motorist may not have seen the bicyclist until he was directly in front of her. The bicyclist was immediately taken into surgery at Emanuel Hospital with a life-threatening head injury.

The report also says that speed and impairment do not appear to be factors in the collision.

*The victim’s name is being held pending notification of the family is Robert Verrinder. According to the Columbian, the Vancouver, WA resident is in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel hospital.

*Here’s a photo (from KATU-TV) of the bicycle involved in the collision:

(Photo: KATU-TV)

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Comments
  • Matt Picio October 18, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Ouch – I hope he recovers!

    This won\’t be good for him – if he actually *was* moving \”very quickly\”, the insurance companies can refuse to pay his medical bills, since Oregon law requires cyclists to travel at the speed of an average walk.

    (a_O, Mark G., correct me on that if I\’m wrong)

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  • Matt Picio October 18, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    addendum – Oregon law requires it when a cyclist is in a crosswalk (not when travelling on a road in the direction of traffic).

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  • Chad October 18, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Very, very sad to hear about this as I often ride my bike on Marine Drive trail and drive delivery truck daily on Marine Drive.

    Just two or three weeks ago I almost hit someone who flew through that crosswalk without stopping or even slowing for Marine Drive. Luckily I was in a vehicle that sits higher than a car and was able to see the bike coming…obviously the same cannot be said for the driver of the car in this situation.

    PDOT goes through the trouble of putting up a motion detecting crosswalk for bikes and pedestrians and still people can\’t wait the five seconds for it to activate…incidents like this only help foster the belief in some people that we are impatient and feel we are above the law.

    That being said I truly hope that all involved recover from this tragic lapse of judgement.

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  • BURR October 18, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    that\’s a crossing of a bike path and a busy arterial. this is the reason why separated paths for cyclists are unsafe. the crossing should have been grade-separated, but wasn\’t.

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  • Spanky October 19, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Seems some folks always have some complaint that is aimed at \”the man\” for failing to treat bicyclists as they should be in terms of traffic laws and infrastructure. This looks to hav ebeen an accident entirely the fault of the cyclist (but who knows, as we certainly do not have all the facts).

    Why not, for now anyway, accept it as an accident that had nothing to do with the facilities there but rather, the error of one (or perhaps both) of the parties involved.

    Would separate facilities have prevented this? yeah. Are separate facilities likely? No.

    Marine drive is a heavily used route. The same reasoning used to justify a separate bikeway (at huge expense, on all our tax bills), can be used to justify exercising common sense and caution, among all users. Ultimately, that is the cheapest and most easily applied preventative measure.

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  • Patrick October 19, 2007 at 7:33 am

    I\’ve seen enough \”almosts\” at that particular crossing, so I always dismount, look, listen and then cross. Was that man wearing a helmet?

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  • Spencer October 19, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Yeah,

    I have to go with Spanky. It is hard to design anything effective when people don\’t use their common sense and are impatient.

    That crossing and the one just south of the airports are a no brainer. You stop and look both ways. Even if you put in a sky bridge, people would not use it and still cross the road.

    I hope he recovers.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 19, 2007 at 8:20 am

    In case you\’re following this story via these comments, I just updated the post with a photo of the bike from KATU-TV.

    It looks to have been a late-model, yellow, Cannondale road bike.

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  • Schrauf October 19, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Unfortunate incident. Cars drive fast out there (legally), and at night, in the rain with reflections everywhere, it would be easy for a biker to misjudge the distance or even the actual existence of an approaching vehicle. I have run that stop sign before, but only when visibility is good and I have slowed way down to a speed where it is easy to clearly look both ways. Even then, it is probably a dumb move on my part.

    With the facts as reported, the biker clearly appears at fault. It\’s been said several times, but I am trying to balance out the \”biker is alway right\” posts I know are coming. That, or the \”our infrastructure sucks\” posts. That may be true in general, but in this case there is a nicely separated MUP, with a clearly marked crosswalk and a necessary stop sign for that crosswalk, because cars traveling at highway speeds cannot be expected to safely stop for high speed bikers and skaters that may not even be visible until the car is too close to stop. The necessary safety feature is there – the stop sign. It just needs to be used. Little reason to spend $1 million or so on a tunnel or overpass, at least for an isolated crossing like this.

    Having said that, we all make mistakes and I hope the biker recovers quickly.

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  • Schrauf October 19, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Nevermind my comments about crossing at this location at night with reflections in the rain. I just realized this happened earlier, around 5 pm.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 19, 2007 at 8:42 am

    \”Little reason to spend $1 million or so on a tunnel or overpass, at least for an isolated crossing like this.\”

    I would just say that in the future we should figure out how to fund and build more tunnels and overpasses for absolutely safe and separated bike crossings of major roads and highways.

    Davis, California has many such tunnels…and they also have the highest mode share of any city in the U.S. as a result.

    Think of how many people will never consider riding Marine Drive because of one dangerous crossing (especially after this incident).

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  • Dennis October 19, 2007 at 9:06 am

    I am a friend the cyclist involved and have ridden with him frequently. I am hoping for his recovery. In my experience he always wears a helmet and is safety conscious. It would be out of character for him to ride through the stop sign and onto that crosswalk without slowing. That said, I know I have done things while biking that I later realized were crazy and stupid. Whoever is at fault, cyclists always lose in a car-bike collision.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 19, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I just updated the post with a more accurate diagram/recreation of the scene.

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  • Spencer October 19, 2007 at 9:20 am

    I guess it comes down to a cost benefit ratio.

    Put in one million dollar tunnel or put in 30 miles of bike lane striping, signage, etc. Bedised the Army Corp get real nervous about putting tunnels into major levees.

    We only have a limited amount of resources for improvements, well unless we call it public art, so lets be judicious in what we ask for.

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  • Josh October 19, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Most of Marine Drive is part of my regular weekend route. While a tunnel or overpass would be awesome it would also be a luxury.

    Of course it is terrible that someone had to learn this lesson the hard way. I will continue riding on Marine Drive and I will also continue to stop and look both ways before I cross the street. That\’s how my momma raised me.

    Sadly I see people on bikes run stop signs and lights every day. Every once in awhile one of them is going to push their luck too far and end up in the hospital, on the news, and being discussed on bikeportland. I just take it as encouragement that when I stop and look both ways it doesn\’t matter that it lengthens my commute or weekend ride a few minutes or that I appear \’uncool\’ or whatever in the eyes of those who speed past me. It preserves my life and allows me to happily ride another day.

    Let\’s remember who messed up here. Based on what we know, because this cyclist was so impatient they were willing to risk their life zipping across a busy road some poor person who happened to be driving a car (and who could possibly be a cyclist themselves) has to deal with the anguish of nearly killing someone. They are likely to blame themselves, at least for a while. They will replay the incident in their head repeatedly, always wondering what they could have done differently, how they could have stopped it from happening even if it wasn\’t their fault.

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  • Schrauf October 19, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Jonathan, I agree in many cases funds used for transportation could be better used to encourage biking as an alternative mode.

    If this crossing becomes busy enough (or is busy enough now – I don\’t have the stats), than maybe an expensive overpass is worth it.

    I have difficulty calling this a dangerous intersection, because it is only dangerous if the stop sign is disregarded.

    I guess you could argue the intersection Tracey Sparling died at is also relatively safe if cars and cyclists obey the law and signage, but I think that intersection is different because even when everyone is being legal and careful, accidents could still easily occur. So my point is that I would rather see money spent to revamp an intersection like 14th and Burnside, than the Marine Drive crossing where it takes a simple stop (or even a slowdown) to keep it safe. Assuming of course there is a limit to bike transportation funding, which there is.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 19, 2007 at 10:20 am

    \”I have difficulty calling this a dangerous intersection, because it is only dangerous if the stop sign is disregarded.\”

    I never said this was a dangerous intersection.

    I am simply saying that more, separated and protected crossings would do wonders for getting more people on bikes.

    The key thing with protected crossings is that they add a major level of connectivity to a system… and connectivity plays a major role in getting people on bikes. Just look at the Esplanade/Waterfront loop.

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  • Brian Brogan October 19, 2007 at 10:29 am

    I\’m an avid cycle commuter. I ride that route often and I have to say, I\’m always on guard when approaching Marine Drive. Maybe the biker didn\’t notice that he was approaching the crossing. I\’ve done that before . . . and felt lucky no one was coming. A couple thoughts came to mind about how to lesson severe accidents. Maybe puting in a speed bump 5-10 feet before the crossing. That slow people enough to think about the crossing. It would also be nice if they could make that portion of Marine Drive a safety corridore and reduce the speed to 25-30 through the portion of Marine drive that both cyclists and cars share. Just some thoughts. The closest calls I have are usually at the 4 way uncontrolled intersections around my house. You have to always watch your back as a cyclist.
    Brian Brogan, NE 81st AVE.

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  • cyclist October 19, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I can\’t believe I came here and I see someone blaming the victim here! The problem is the way the intersection is designed, it\’s almost like a trap for bicyclists. Car drivers can\’t see the guy on the bike, and the guy on the bike won\’t see the car coming unless he stops at the stop sign. That\’s a recipe for disaster! We need to redesign the intersection so that bikers don\’t have to stop at the stop sign in order to be safe! I\’m praying for this guy, you all should be too!

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  • Jeremy October 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I can\’t believe the \”cyclist\” above thinks it\’s OK to blow through a stop sign. We are required by law to stop at stop signs just as motor vehicles are. I ride everyday and I am always amazed how many cyclists don\’t think they have to stop at stop signs. We don\’t need to redesign intersections so bikes can break the law.

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  • Thom October 19, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    #19:

    Bada-bing! There\’s nothing funnier than sarcasm about people nearly getting killed! You TOTALLY nailed that one. NICE! You THE MAN!

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  • Ummm.... October 19, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Cyclist,

    I assume this is sarcasm. It\’s so hard to tell on this forum.

    \”We need to redesign the intersection so that bikers don\’t have to stop at the stop sign in order to be safe!\”

    Let\’s revoke the laws of physics as well.

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  • Lisa October 19, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Expecting cyclists to stop at stop signs is a \”recipe for disaster\”? We need to redesign the intersection so that bikers don\’t have to actually (gasp!) stop at the stop sign in order to be safe? You must be kidding. I hope.

    I\’m completely baffled by cyclists who seem to think that red lights and stop signs for some reason don\’t apply to them.

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  • Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile) October 19, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    cyclist (#19)

    Gasp! Forbid that ANY cyclist actually stop at a stop sign. Those damned signs are a nuisance, a blight on the landscape, and everyone knows the traffic engineers were only joking when they put them up. But wait, maybe the traffic engineers really meant for cyclists to stop there. Wow! What a novel idea.

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  • Josh October 19, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Wow. #19, what part of \”STOP\” implies it is safe to not stop? There is a reason why the sign says STOP and not YIELD.

    Please stop endangering the rest of us by refusing to obey the completely rational laws designed to keep us all from smashing into each other at every single intersection.

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  • BillD October 19, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Brian B., #18,
    That section of Marine Drive was designated as a Safety Corridor several years ago. As far as I know, it has not been decommissioned. I agree that the speed limit in that area needs to be lower because of the crosswalk and the slow turning traffic at the boat ramp. The 35 mph zone that starts at 33rd Av could be moved east to just past the crosswalk.

    More info on Safety Corridors:
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/docs/Roadway/2006Safety_Corridor_Guidelines.pdf

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  • DK October 19, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Cyclists need to be extra cautious, especially on Marine Dr.; and drivers need to be extra weary of non-cautious riders at these crossings. It\’s right up there with blood alley in its\’ history of traffic (vehicle vs. vehicle)fatalities. That\’s why it\’s labeled a safety corridor! Sorry to the guy, but know your surroundings and stay focused.

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  • Tweety October 19, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    In a residential area of Beaverton there is a neighborhood bike path that makes a short, very steep descent right into a busy residential road that a lot of people use as a Hall Boulevard short-cut over to Murray. Lots of kids use this path since it is part of a network that connects to several schools. The city put a wooden fence up at the bottom of the path, just before it empties across the sidewalk into the street. There\’s a stop sign for the cyclist at the top of the incline which (if they obey it) causes them to slow down enough to see that they will crash into a fence at the bottom of the descent, if they don\’t slow down. The fence has NARROW openings on both sides, forcing the cyclist to practically have to stop and walk the bike through the opening, thus arriving at the junction with the street either walking or going super slow. The fence is also painted stark white with lots of wide red reflective stripes on it, both sides for great visibility, day or night.

    I think the installation of that fence is an excellent and inexpensive solution to a cycling tragedy that was waiting to happen (or maybe one did and that\’s why it\’s there). Such a fence might be a consideration in an area like this crosswalk on Marine Drive.

    Sadly, people will still run stop signs (cars and bikes), no matter what methods are used to discourage it. Besides jeopardizing their own lives (referring to cyclists), they keep giving the rest of us a bad image with those who would not allow us to \”share the road\”.

    Common sense? That is an oxymoron. Sense, in ANY form, is not common.

    My heart goes out to the crash victim and to the driver of the car, who is also a victim.

    Tweety

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  • 2ndaveflyer October 19, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    This has been an interesting discussion. I\’ve been observing the change in cycling and bike use downtown the past several years. You could call this a \’takeover\’, or an increase in sharing, depending on your perspective. I think for the most part bikes can mix pretty well downtown because of the speeds involved for both bikes and cars are similar.

    I see cyclists increasingly trying to apply these riding techniques to areas outside the downtown with disasterous consequences. Four lane roads where cars go 45 mph is not the place to sit in the lane waiting to make a turn, in my estimation. It is increasing the odds you will be flattened in a serious accident.

    The Marine Drive intersection is deadly. It also requires no more skill to cross safely than a child uses to get to the other side of the street and the elementary school. It doesn\’t need another law or additional funding. It needs people crossing the road to look both ways and only cross when safe to do so. Some people are only comfortable walking their bikes across this intersection and others ride through safely at 5-10 mph after looking both ways and being prepared to stop. The details of how you cross arn\’t important if you are able to do so safely without requiring others to take action to save your butt.

    I have crossed this intersection perhaps 50 times. About 20% of the time there are no cars coming. About 20% of the time cars actually stop to help make the crossing safer for you. About 20% of the time the cars/trucks fly past at 15mph over the speed limit; something they will simply add on to any posted limits. About 40% of the time there is some normal traffic that takes about a minute to clear before you can safely cross. I don\’t find any of these observations to be a cause for alarm.

    Be careful out there my friends. We\’re vulnerable enough on the road to require our full time and attention and a little humility, if not fear.

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  • Dave Thomson October 19, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    The intersection isn\’t dangerous if you stop and yield to cross traffic as the law requires.

    I agree with Tweety, the innocent victim here is the driver of the car. My heart goes out to them, and to the family of the cyclist.

    As far as Beaverton\’s building fences across their bike paths to keep kids from riding out into traffic, that just makes the paths less useful to everyone else. Over the past 10 years or so Beaverton has turned over the design of their bike paths from their transportation planner to their lawyer, who clearly has no idea how to ride a bike.

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  • JT October 19, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    hey Cyclist-
    you\’re wrong..sorry. this guy broke well known and established (the stop sign is NOT a new thing in this country) traffic signal. he knowingly blew through it without even thinking of the consequence…sorry, he\’s fortunate he\’s not dead…and if he were, I\’d have just about as much sympathy. Nothing needs to be changed here other than the attitude of PDX riders that stop signs are not meant for them.

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  • Cecil October 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Post #18:

    \”Maybe the biker didn\’t notice that he was approaching the crossing. I\’ve done that before . . . and felt lucky no one was coming.\”

    How could that be? I ride that path on a regular basis – the approach to that crossing involves a left turn – it\’s a slight turn but nonetheless it is enough of a directional change to \”notice\” even if you are riding 25+ mph in full aero-bar mode.

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  • sam October 19, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    This is sad news. I hope this guy is ok.
    As for the fence with a narrow entrance to slow bike traffic. Sounds like a good idea to me. I would rather be inconvenienced than dead.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 19, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I\’ve updated the post with the victim\’s name. He is 68 year-old Vancouver, WA resident Robert Verrinder and the Columbian newspaper said he was in critical condition as of earlier today (10/19).

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  • Dennis October 20, 2007 at 7:09 am

    Bob is a close friend and we sincerely hope he recovers soon. All our love goes out to him and his family.

    I would like to say that the police reported, via information from family members, that the yellow lights were flashing when Bob entered the cross walk and a truck was stopped prior to this while a pedestrian was crossing in the same direction. The truck was heading eastbound at the time.

    It is too bad that this information had not been published and all the stories make Bob out as the person in the wrong.

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  • wsbob October 20, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Dennis, could you clarify what you\’re saying in reference to the lights at this intersection? You said that Marine Drive traffic had a flashing yellow light at the time Bob, the cyclist (had a stop sign on the bike path he was traveling) entered the intersection. Some intersections don\’t have a yellow flashing light that turns to red. Is this one of those?

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  • Donald October 20, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the info, Dennis. That sounds like a scenario I\’ve seen at this crossing many times: One lane stops for the crossers and the opposing lane just blasts on through.

    I posted a Close Call in the forums months ago about the \”sister\” instersection to this one. It crosses Marine under the 205 bridge.

    The yellow lights at the 205 crossing are flashing 24/7 while the lights at the crossing near the marina (where it appears this collision occured) are passively user-actuated.

    What a mess. Especially if you drive the corridor daily and end up getting used to the flashing lights at the usually empty 205 crosssing.

    This is a dangerous intersection and is well marked for both driver and MUP user alike.

    I put the onus on the driver of the motor vehicle to yield to a rider or a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk in such a situation. The 45mph limit is not permission to do so if the conditions do not permit it. And if a driver can\’t notice someone in a marked crosswalk in time enough to stop, my guess is they were going too fast for the situation.

    And I would like to remind folks, especially the spirited and opinioniated visitors posting with pointed fingers, that cycling is an increasingly viable transportation option for many. On the whole, cycling is safe and usually very unbotrusive to the motoring public. You will certainly see more cyclists on the road in the future. And if drivers don\’t become more aware of the dangers they pose to other users of the public right of ways, sooner or later you\’ll see a blogger writing about an \”accident\” involving yourself, a friend or a loved one.

    _DA

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  • Kristen October 20, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Hm. By my calculations, it takes 0.1333 of a minute to drive one tenth (1/10) of a mile at 45 mph. That\’s about 8 seconds.

    I\’m not familiar with that particular intersection, only having gone through it two or three times, but what\’s the sight distance? _DA, are you sure she had enough time to slow down from 45mph once she saw someone in the cross walk? Would she have been able to slow down if someone just popped out from an obstruction and crossed in front of her?

    Here\’s a thought: Maybe she thought the pedestrian was the only one crossing, and the ped had already cleared the lane and was on the far side of the road from her. She could have thought it was safe to continue.

    What were the conditions? Was it raining? What was the cyclist wearing? Was it all black, as seems to be the fashion these days? Was there oncoming traffic whose lights may have made it difficult to see the cyclist?

    From what I\’ve read here, it appears that the cyclist did not make sure the vehicles were going to stop for him before blithely crossing the road. Not to stir the pot any more than it already has been, but what ever happened to people using their brains? What\’s the point of wearing a helmet to protect that gelatinous mass if you\’re not going to use the smarts that are contained therein?

    The only thing we need to spend more money on right now is educating everyone (not just cyclists, EVERYONE) to use their brains every now and again.

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  • SKiDmark October 20, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    If the bike path had a STOP sign and the cyclist didn\’t stop, well…

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  • motorist October 20, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Maybe a red light camera so dmv can mail tickets to every single bike that blows the stop sign. Or post a patrol man there periodically to write tickets until the biking comunity gets a hint that they have to obey laws too. Also remember that even though it is a crosswalk that cross walks are for pedestrians not bikes, dis mount and walk across if you expect cars to stop for you, cars are not obligated to stop for bikes in a crosswalk as there is not enough time and a collision will occur.

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  • Schrauf October 20, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for the additional info, Dennis. There is always more to the story.

    Most people here who appear to be judging the victim are well aware they don\’t have all the facts. Please understand the purpose of forums such as this is not to burn the victim at the stake, but to learn more about specific incidents so we can all be safer out there. Usually there are many hypotheticals because none of us were actually at the scene of the incident.

    Regardless, discussions like this are still valuable – whether we have the facts straight or not.

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  • Huggy Bear October 20, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Glad to know that all you people makeing judgement call have never rode through s stop sign. As a fellow bike rider I have but will try to do better. Have a nice day and always continue to stop as you all do.

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  • rixtir October 21, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Motorist, Post 40:

    Also remember that even though it is a crosswalk that cross walks are for pedestrians not bikes

    Wrong, cyclists are permitted to use the crosswalk.

    dis mount and walk across if you expect cars to stop for you

    Wrong again, cyclists are not required to walk in the crosswalk.

    cars are not obligated to stop for bikes in a crosswalk as there is not enough time and a collision will occur.

    Looks like you win the trifecta, wrong again. Cars ARE obligated to stop for bikes in a crosswalk, and can be held liable for failure to do so.

    If a collision does occur between, ahem, a motorist and a cyclist in the crosswalk, some of the the relevant issues for a jury to sort out will be whether the motorist kept a proper lookout, whether the motorist exercised due care to avoid colliding with the cyclist, whether the motorist was observing the speed limit, whether the cyclist was in observance of traffic control devices, and whether the cyclist entered the crosswalk when the motorist was so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

    See you in court sometime. Bring your checkbook.

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  • Motoman October 21, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    I was a auto insurance adjuster for many years. When a bicycle rider is injured in a accident with a auto he first looks to his own automobile ins. for medical coverage. (This is called PIP) If that coverage limit is exhausted he then goes to his major medical coverage. Only if he has no medical coverage from either of these sources can he get medical coverage from the automobile involved in the accident and then he can only get paid up to whatever medical coverage limit the owner of the vehicle bought from his insurance company. In Oregon if one party to the accident is more than 50% at fault for causing the accident they cannot collect from the other party. If the bicycle rider in this case is 51% or more at fault he cannot collect for pain and suffering. Riding the bicycle no faster than a pedestrian can walk concerns riding bicycles on sidewalks shared by pedestrians. Everyone rides faster than a pedestrian can walk. In a bicycle/pedestrian accident the bicycle rider may be the disfavored one because of speed.

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  • rixtir October 21, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    When a bicycle rider is injured in a accident with a auto he first looks to his own automobile ins. for medical coverage. (This is called PIP)

    Would anybody here be surprised if I said that PIP is only available to you if you own an automobile?

    Riding the bicycle no faster than a pedestrian can walk concerns riding bicycles on sidewalks shared by pedestrians.

    No, it relates to approaching locations on the sidewalk where the paths of cyclists and motorists may cross (for example, when entering a crosswalk).

    In a bicycle/pedestrian accident the bicycle rider may be the disfavored one because of speed.

    No, in a bicycle/pedestrian collision, the cyclist will be liable if the cyclist did not yield to the pedestrian. The cyclist\’s speed will only be relevant if it is a contributing factor to the collision.

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  • a.O October 22, 2007 at 8:03 am

    And why would a bicycle rider look to his own insurance first? That would only apply if the cyclist were more than 50% at fault. When someone driving a car hits you, you look to *their* insurance first.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 10:16 am

    a.O., it\’s because Oregon is a \”hybrid\” state, with elements of both no-fault (PIP coverage) and tort liability.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 10:26 am

    What\’s patently unfair is the auto-centric bias inherent to insurance. The two most important elelemnst of insurance coverage for a cyclist are PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and UM/UIM (Uninsured Motorist/Under-Insured Motorist)– neither of which are available to cyclists unless they own an automobile.

    If you are a cyclist who owns an automobile, you can select high levels of coverage for PIP and UM/UIM.

    If you are a cyclist who doesn\’t own an automobile, you are forced to rely on the amount of coverage– if any– that the motorist has selected. Because many people get the minimum level of insurance required by law, this means that even if you are \”fortunate\” enough to be hit by an insured motorist, there may not be enough insurance coverage to pay your claims.

    This is why it\’s important to have your own coverage, and thus, why the auto-centric bias is patently unfair.

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  • Me 2 October 22, 2007 at 10:34 am

    \”When someone driving a car hits you, you look to *their* insurance first.\”

    I think there is also an expediency factor. Claims can take a long time to settle, so it is not uncommon for your insurer (who you pay premiums to after all) will cover your costs upfront and seek recovery from the other insurer in cases where it is their policyholder\’s fault.

    Good points Rixtir. Insurance is a pretty conservative industry. While have 5% of all trips sounds impressive for an insurance company it tells them that cyclists are a market they can overlook. Its not going to change without legislation or until the numbers grow the point that insurers starting seeing it as a market opportunity.

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  • Me 2 October 22, 2007 at 10:37 am

    I reread my post. I wish there was an edit function for sloppy writers like me. I meant to say that having a 5% share of trips in Portland sounds impressive relatively to bike ridership levels elsewhere, but are much a do about nothing in the eyes of the insurance companies.

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  • annefi October 22, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Jonathan,
    Do you have an update on Robert Verrinder\’s condition?

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  • Huggy Bear October 22, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    #51,Bob has responded to some commands and seems to recognize his wife and friendswho stop by. Swelling in the brain has stabilized. No other news on his condition. I am a friend who has been on a few rides with Bob.

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  • Todd B October 22, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    As someone who has not owned a car for almost 2 decades…I wish I could buy transportation/ mobility insurance…in case I hit a pedestrian while bicycling, if an uninsured driver hits me while bicycling, or get in a crash with a borrowed or rented car.

    I cannot always rent a Flexcar/ Zipcar.

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  • Todd B October 22, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    As someone who has not owned a car for almost 2 decades…I wish I could buy transportation/ mobility insurance…in case I hit a pedestrian while bicycling, if an uninsured driver hits me while bicycling, or get in a crash with a borrowed or rented car.

    I cannot always rent a Flexcar/ Zipcar.

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  • motorist October 23, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Rixter post 43
    I see you have all sorts of rights, I guess if you want to use all those rights I will be reading about you on one of these blogs. PS those rights don\’t mean much when your dead. Most all bikers use a lot of common sense, it is only a handfull that think they are superman that give bikers a bad name

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  • commuter October 23, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Huggy Bear, post# 52 -

    Thanks very much for the update. I\’m very glad to hear he\’s doing better. please continue to give us updates on his condition if possible, as it seems that this story has been dropped by the media.

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  • Jim O'Horo October 23, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Other friends I rode with yesterday told me he\’s been upgraded from critical to serious condition. My heart goes out to his wife & family. Hope he continues to improve.

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  • Family October 26, 2007 at 9:31 am

    This man that got hit is my family. All through my childhood and growing up i have biked with him, he is the most aware and safe biker i have ever biked with. Its really unfortunate that this blame is put on his neglegence…the facts of him not coming to a stop is not correct. It really pisses me off that everyone is getting this idea like he should have known better. Well he did not fly thought the intersection, and stop being so rude, he is fighting for his life and this could have happened to anyone. Im completely disgusted by peoples blame and rudeness.

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  • kg October 26, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I\’ve been hit by cars on three times in Portland. Two times I was rear ended by cars as I came to a stop at a stop sign. In all three cases the insurance company paid for everything (bike repairs and doctors bills plus suffering and loss of work). I assure you those drivers are still paying increased insurance premiums and tha makes me happy! :)

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  • rixtir October 27, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Motorist, Post 55:

    I see you have all sorts of rights, I guess if you want to use all those rights I will be reading about you on one of these blogs. PS those rights don\’t mean much when your dead. Most all bikers use a lot of common sense, it is only a handfull that think they are superman that give bikers a bad name

    Motorist, thank you for raising an important point. Will you be reading about me on these blogs? Possibly. It\’s unfortunate, but true. Even though I scrupulously obey the law when I ride– more so than the vast majority of motorists, who regularly flout the laws– and even though I follow safe riding practices, it\’s still possible that you will be reading about me on these blogs.

    Why? Because most motorists regularly flout the law and common sense. How many motorists can claim to have never driven above the speed limit? How many motorists routinely ignore right of way when making a turn? How many motorists routinely distract themselves with cell phones, eating, grooming themselves, and even reading materials?

    Yes, I can follow the law, and I can follow safe riding practices, and still be hit by some scofflaw motorist without the sense or decency to simply obey the law and follow safe driving practices.

    Thanks for raising that poiint, motorist.

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  • hvp October 28, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    This man taught her & I (to remain private) to ride we\’ve done the STP with him serveral times, he\’s one of the foremost activists for bicycle safety and as I remember seeing him time & time again and year after year on the RACC he was at the forefront of safety. I\’m appalled by the idea that this man was negligent and this woman was unfortunate. She\’s just as much to blame (if we have to place it) as he is if not more. Do all you drivers come to a stop (or even slow) if your lights are green…NO! No you don\’t! You blow through intersections prying subconsciously that all the other motorists are obeying the laws. Bob most likely cleared that intersection visually, had the \”green\”, was in the right and still was hit. I drive, I bike, I have ridden that ride behind this man with \’her\’ and truly believe he was as he should have been but bikes & cars are not equal and he lost the battle with the car…hopefullly not his life.

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  • annefi October 29, 2007 at 1:57 am

    I am very concerned about learning how Robert Verrinder is faring in his recovery process and what key facts the media reports have omitted from their reports. The family and friends must be really steamed if the reports that momentary inattention by Robert led to the collision are inaccurate. It sounds like that is completely out of character for him. I hope someone can give us an update soon.

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  • marc October 30, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Kan Kruger!

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  • Ejaz October 31, 2007 at 7:49 am

    All the comments that I have read so far seems to hinge on the information presented by the witness on the scene that the crash victim did not stop for the Stop sign. This may or may not be true. Before people start criticizing the crash victim I wish they would have waited for the facts based on detailed police and engineering investigation before passing judgment on the crash victim’s action. There are large numbers of elements involved in accident investigation that reveal the fact of the case.

    Regardless of who was at fault, I hope and pray for a speedy recovery of the crash victim.

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  • friend November 3, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Recovery update on Bob: He is still in intensive care. While he can respond to commands from the medical staff, he is still unable to communicate which is making diagnosis on brain function difficult. His broken bones are healing and he has made progress in fighting off an infection that developed recently.

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  • annefi November 4, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    To Bob\’s friend: Thank you for the update. Bob is a strong and healthy man.

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  • Bob the Bicyclist November 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Hi, I just finished reading this blog, and found it rather disturbing. I in fact don’t remember if I stopped before atempting to cross Marine Drive or not or any other thing that happened that day. I do know that I had used that particular crossing many times before and had always stopped before crossing and have a difficult time beliving that I didn’t stop that day. I should also point out that there was a yellow blinking light that was activated by crosswalk users intended for the vehicles using Marine Drive to warn them of the crosswalk, and there were two stopped vehicles there. On a visit to the accident scene a few weeks ago I met a pedestrian who had been walking his dog across the same crosswalk immediately in front of me during the accident. He said that he had to break into a run to avoid the motorist who struck me.

    It has been just over a year now and
    I am finally home just this week, but still recovering and unable to walk, but hope to fully recover in time. Thanks for the nice thoughts from many of you and sorry to hear so many of you to blame me and other bicyclists for our lack of caution. I had been riding a bicyle for over 60 years with no serious accidents until this one, and hope to get back on a bicycle soon.

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  • wsbob November 3, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Bob, glad to hear you’re back and able to write about your experience. I would think your words “…I met a pedestrian who had been walking his dog across the same crosswalk immediately in front of me during the accident. He said that he had to break into a run to avoid the motorist who struck me.” should be very important to gaining better understanding about what happened. “…immediately in front…”. The relative distance implied there, whatever exactly it might have been seems very important.

    Hearing and learning about this incident and about the location where it took place, my thought was that the yellow caution light for motor vehicles wasn’t enough. It should be a stop light.

    Yes, I agree that a stop sign for bike path/MUP users should be there and that people should stop before crossing Marine Dr. at that location, but this safety measure does not satisfactorily minimize the potential for user error that the yellow flashing caution light on Marine Dr at this intersection represents to those that encounter each other there.

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  • Kt November 4, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Bob, I’m glad you’re home. I hope you’re mending well and are able to get back on the bike.

    WSBob, I agree with you; yellow flashing caution lights don’t seem to be enough to warn people. Some peds and bikes seem to think that the yellow flashing lights give them carte blanche to cross— that motorists will stop for them because of the lights.

    Having a traffic signal there for the crossing would be more appropriate. And safer.

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  • Jill November 9, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Bob, I’m so happy to hear you are doing so well! I have no doubt that you will be out riding again! People don’t seem to understand the definition of “accident”. You have never struck me as a person that was not aware of your situation. It’s part of your engineer type brain I guess. It’s sad that some of the people on this forum assume so much. I’m hoping that there will be an improvement in safety conditions at that crossing. Out of all the bad that has happened, there will come some good. Keep up the good work, and soon you’ll be back in the saddle. :-)

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  • Greg November 10, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I cross this intersection every day. I was there the day the police had a sting operation to ticket everyone who did not stop for the person they had at the edge of the cross walk. Cars are required to stop if a bike or pedestrian is there. Why then do they have YELLOW

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  • Greg November 10, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I cross this intersection every day. I was there the day the police had a sting operation to ticket everyone who did not stop for the person they had at the edge of the cross walk. Cars are required to stop if a bike or pedestrian is there. Why then do they have YELLOW lights instead of red. I risk my life every day with people who can’t decide whether to stop or not. They slow down and make me think they are waiting for me and then don’t stop. We need flshing RED lights and a sign that says ‘MUST STOP when lights are flashing’. I don’t think that is too much to ask!

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  • Greg November 10, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Oh yeah, one more thing. THERE IS NO STOP SIGN FOR BICYCLISTS THERE! Who ever reported that needs to check thier facts.

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  • K'Tesh November 11, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Bob,

    Glad to hear you’re doing better!

    God Bless!

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  • nkrase December 5, 2008 at 1:08 am

    On the Burke-Gilman MUP in Seattle there is an trail-road intersection on the NE side of the UW campus that is essentially blind for both the people on the street and those on the MUP. The stop signs on the trail have solar-powered LEDs integrated into them that flash every half second. These lights are visible from any position on the trail that has a clear line of sight. Here is an example from someone’s flickr taken during the day:

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1264/901977353_8fa03a1783.jpg?v=0

    It really drives home the point that a stop is practically always required there (it legally is, they periodicly do sting operations on the B-G stop sigs). They have these signs at multiple intersections on the trail as well.

    Something like that seems like it could have a huge effect here.

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  • Ann September 30, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I don’t know what prompted me to search, my I just read about your accident. Hope you are now able to ride again, I know that was always important to you. Wishing you and your wife only the best.

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  • Bob Verrinder July 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    It’s been a very long time, and I really don’t know why I am posting again, but I was the fellow on the bike that was hit. I am basically not recovering anymore. I am limited to walking very short distances with two Fore Arm Crutches, with considerable pain while upright and my riding now consists of slow short trips on a recumbent Tricycle. I have crossed that particular crossing a couple times on my Trike since my accident, and still consider it very dangerous. My mind and memory seem to be slowly getting better, but now being 75 years old, I really don’t expect much more improvement here:) Thanks for all the positive supporting comments.

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