Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 22nd, 2012 at 11:12 am
at SW Bertha and B-H Hwy. (Bike = green, car = blue.)
28-year old Jessie Belter suffered a broken leg when she was struck by someone driving a car as she rode in the bike lane on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway this morning.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, the collision happened at about 7:50 am at the intersection of Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and SW Bertha Blvd (map). The person driving the car was 33-year-old Nicole Poor. The police say that Poor was driving northbound on SW Bertha and attempted to turn westbound (left) on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. Belter was headed eastbound in the bike lane. Poor stopped at the stop sign, but then, "failed to yield to the bicycle rider," police say. Luckily, the car was only traveling about 5 mph.
Poor has been issued a citation for, "Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device." (Asked why that was the citation if the woman stopped at the stop sign, the PPB told me, "She stopped, but should have remained stopped longer... she didn't look and see the rider.")
"This intersection is the most dangerous on our bike commute between Hillsdale and OHSU/Portland State University."
— Barbara Stedman, local resident
Prior to hearing about this collision from the PPB, reader and SW Portland resident Barbara Stedman got in touch with us. She said her husband came upon the aftermath of this collision. And it got her thinking...
"I'm sending you this email," Barbara wrote, "because this intersection is the most dangerous on our bike commute between Hillsdale and OHSU/Portland State University."
Barbara lives just a few blocks from this intersection. She says the most dangerous thing about it is that people in cars turn right onto Bertha (from B-H Highway), despite warning signs and green-colored pavement in the bike lane.
Here's more from Barbara about why this intersection is unpleasant and unsafe for people who choose to ride a bike:
"B-H splits here, the left lane goes straight ahead towards Capitol Hwy, the right lane turns right in a wide curve onto Bertha Blvd and ultimately I-5. So in morning rush-hour cars routinely go above the posted speed limit of 30 and because the right turn is a gentle curve they don't have to slow down to turn right. When I go through this intersection I always make sure that cars see me and stop for me, before going through this intersection.
We have had several close calls here. I never saw the cars coming from Bertha as the big threat, as they have a stop sign and have to wait for a gap in traffic, but I do notice that they often don't come to a full stop when they see a gap in traffic. Or they come to a stop in the bike lane.
There are plans for the Red Electric Trail that would enable us to avoid that intersection, but until it is in place, it is a very dangerous intersection for bikes."
Sounds like the Red Electric project — which will provide a path from the southwest hills down to the Willamette River along B-H Highway — can't happen soon enough (last we heard, funding and construction of the project are to start this year).
UPDATE: KOIN-TV reports that Ms. Belter is pregnant.