Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on March 18th, 2010 at 8:30 am
In light of Hansen riding the MAX into the sunset, I checked the BikePortland archives and found that his name popped up several times.
The first time was back in 2007, when he signed his name onto a set of rules that were handed out to Zoobombers during one of their weekly rides. Among them: “No part of a bicycle may block the stairwells or aisles” and “Bicycles must be reasonably clean.”
The next time Hansen figured prominently on these pages was March 2007, when Portlander Sharon Fekety informed me of a horrible crash she had while crossing a set of MAX tracks. Ms. Fekety, an experienced rider, fell and broke her arm on what she alleged were greasy tracks.
Hansen admitted they use lubricant on tracks, but he denied that it was placed at the location where Fekety fell. Either way, the incident led Hansen to officially amend TriMet bike safety policy so that it encouraged people on bicycles to walk their bikes across some intersections.
On a much more somber note, also during Hansen’s tenure was the collision that claimed the life of 15-year old Beaverton high school student Austin Miller. Miller was riding home from school when he collided with a TriMet bus whose operator was pulling into a stop.
A TriMet investigation cleared the bus operator of any wrongdoing and Miller’s family sued TriMet for $2 million. A year later TriMet settled the case for $200,000, an amount that Stephanie Miller (Austin’s mom) said, “proves that Austin’s death was the result of a bus driver’s carelessness.”
In the wake of the Austin Miller tragedy, Hansen announced a slew of bus/bike safety initiatives. He actively sought out the partnership of the BTA and the fruits of that collaboration led to the green bikeways and other bike safety improvements to the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
Read more about Hansen and his departure in The Oregonian.