Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on March 2nd, 2009 at 10:12 am
NW 9th and Lovejoy.
(Photos by Marion Rice)
This morning around 8:45 a woman riding her bike in the bike lane down NW Lovejoy was right-hooked as she attempted to cross NW 9th.
According to Marion Rice, who was on the scene just minutes after the collision took place, the woman was pinned under the car and dragged across the intersection. The car and the bike came to rest near the northwest corner of the intersection (in front of Subway).
Police and ambulance responded to the scene and the woman was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. An officer on the scene told Rice that the woman was conscious (but unable to speak) and has likely suffered a broken leg and pelvis, a broken jaw, and has suffered serious facial lacerations.
Police on the scene also think it’s clear that the woman on the bike had the right-of-way and that this was a classic right-hook situation. Rice also reports that the man driving the car (who has remained on the scene) was given a field sobriety test and has just been arrested (we assume for DUII, but we can’t confirm that yet). The car is being towed.
right hooks. I took this photo in 2006.
(Photo © J. Maus)
To say this is a notorious intersection would be a major understatement. This is a very busy route for bike commuters and it has been known as a dangerous intersection for years. One reader who emailed me about this morning’s crash wrote:
“I ride through this intersection every morning and it is the most dangerous part of my commute. You all should write a story on dangers of this intersection.”
In November 2007, in the wake of the Brett Jarolimek and Tracey Sparling fatalities, Lovejoy and 9th and was slated to be one of 14 intersections to receive a bike box and painted bike lane, but those improvements never happened.
While she was at the scene this morning, Marion Rice happened upon a sign posted at the intersection…
According to a source at the Bureau of Transportation, one of the main reasons a bike box and painted bike lane was not installed at this intersection is because the streetcar will soon run up Lovejoy and onto the Broadway Bridge. The street will a major makeover when that project happens, so PBOT doesn’t want to install a bike box only to have it torn up later.
(Update: 11:30am) I spoke to city traffic engineer Rob Burchfield about this intersection. He confirmed that plans for a bike box were put on hold due to the Portland Streetcar Loop project that is expected to begin construction in September. Burchfield said that anything put in now would be torn up when the streetcar project starts and he adds that, “How we would treat bikes [at this intersection] is a major part of our part of that [Streetcar Loop project] discussion.”
Thanks to everyone who emailed and called about this crash. We’ll follow this story and publish updates as necessary.