home

Police: Man pedaled into back of parked TriMet bus on Burnside Bridge

Posted by on June 13th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

View of the bus and police vehicles
at the scene a few minutes ago.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portland Police say at about 4:00 pm today, a man riding a bike westbound on Burnside pedaled right into the back of a TriMet bus.

The incident was first reported to me by a reader who called and then later emailed after she came up on the scene right after it happened. Here’s the reader’s recap:

“I was going east on the bridge and the accident occurred going west at about 4PM. Fire truck was just pulling up when we passed (we’d been sitting in stopped traffic for several minutes) and a police car was flying down Burnside toward the accident. Ambulance had yet to arrive. The rider was in his 30s maybe (?), reddish hair, black bike shorts, bike shoes…didn’t see a helmet but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. Bike had white grip tape, was black with white lettering on it, road bike. The frame was creased in the center and standing up against the bridge railing. The cyclist was laying in the center of the right lane (lane closest to bridge sidewalk). The bus was pulled all the way over about 10 feet further up and a tri-met vehicle had pulled up hastily behind the cyclist with the door open (like someone jumped out super fast). Someone in a lime green SUV had blocked the bridge from traffic. Eveyone (tri-met supervisor and random people) were standing over the cyclist and he was conscious from what I could tell but he was laying flat on his back and not moving. People looked really freaked out and the cyclist looked like he was in shock.”

I rolled over to the scene to take a closer look and the police, TriMet vehicles and the bus were still there. They were all parked in the bike lane just 50 yards or so west of the Couch/Burnside curve that leads traffic onto the bridge.

Here are a few more photos to help you understand the context of where this occurred:

Looking east…

Looking west on Burnside at east end of the bridge…

I have also talked with Lt. Eric Schober of the PPB Traffic Division. He said it appears that the man operating the bicycle ran into the back of the TriMet bus. According to Schober, the bus operator had been pulled over in the bike lane “for a good minute or so” prior to the collision. Apparently the bus operator decided to pull over in this location because there were already several buses queued up outside his destination at the Rescue Mission near the western terminus of the bridge (just above SW Naito).

It remains unclear how and/or why the man on the bike didn’t see the bus prior to the collision. I also have not heard anything about the rider’s medical condition. Does anyone know the TriMet policy about remaining stopped in a bike lane?

Stay tuned for more details.

UPDATE, 5:57pm: Asked about their policy for buses parking in a bike lane, TriMet Public Information Officer Roberta Altstadt said, “We don’t have policy that prevents being stopped in a bike lane.”

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • eric June 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    what I don’t understand is why don’t the buses just stop in the traffic lane? There’s no safe place to pull over anyways, so just put on the 4 ways and hit the brakes.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • KJ June 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Buses letting passengers off into a bike lane? People on bikes rarely stop for peds exiting the buses at the westbound Hawthorne bridge stop. When I have exited the bus here I have never has a cyclist stop for me to let me pas to the ped side of the sidewalk. Frustrates me as someone who is usually on my bike! I think it’s safer to let people off at a curb.

      Recommended Thumb up 16

      • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:04 am

        he didn’t say the bus was letting people off… just a place for it to sit and wait where it belongs, in an auto lane… then when the stop is clear it can move up to the curb to let people off as usual…

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • KJ June 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

          Gotcha, that I can get behind.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

        • GDorn June 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm

          What’s an auto lane?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Bike-Max-Bike June 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      I agree. The traffic lane is a much safer place for buses to stop and wait then a bike lake. Car-cage vs. bus-cage crashes offer better protection for occupants. Car and bus on bike not so much. Sometimes it just seems like bike facilities don’t get any respect from so-called professional drivers. I hope the Trimet driver is cited for violating the cyclists ROW.

      Best wishes to the rider.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • esther c June 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        Nope, we cyclists like drivers are responsible for observing the lane ahead and stopping for obstacles. Buses have rights of way that autos don’t because of the high number of passengers they carry. That is why when they merge left back into traffic at a stop for example, they have the right of way.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Anthony June 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      This doesn’t necessarily seem safer to me. If you were riding your bike in the bike lane and saw a bus stopped in the traffic lane, would you keep riding in the bike lane? I know I wouldn’t. I’m not about to risk the bus crushing me against the curb in the event it did decide to pull in closer. And with the bus blocking a lane of traffic, there’d be a bunch of cars merging over into the other lane suddenly, thereby making it much less safe for the cyclist, as well as a lot harder to get past the bus in general.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:06 am

        I pass stopped buses on the right all the time… it’s called the bike lane….

        Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Chris Tuttle June 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

        Totally agree with Anthony here — when a bus stops in a traffic lane, it leaves open the temptation for a cyclist to keep moving past the bus. Boom! Cyclist plows into pedestrian.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • DoubleB June 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Cue the excuses to NOT blame the cyclist in 3, 2, 1 . .

    Recommended Thumb up 27

    • Pete June 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Where’s the thumbs down button when you need it?

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Sunny June 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    How could the cyclist ram the bus and fall 10 feet backwards? Something is awash.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Sunny June 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      *afoot

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Anthony June 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      It makes perfect sense to me that they may have had the bus driver pull the bus up further so as to be able to properly attend to the injured cyclist.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Nik June 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Police statements about the events leading to crashes involving cyclists stretch the bounds of credulity and common sense so frequently, whether or not they are ultimately proven accurate, and almost always in the direction of blaming the cyclist, that healthy skepticism is warranted.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

  • Lazy Spinner June 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Possibly riding head down and assuming the bike lane would be clear, decides to lay down an awesome Cavendish-like sprint and…oops! No way that a rider with his head up cannot recognize that he is closing hard on a large stationary object like a bus.

    Or…do we have a fast moving fixie rider that couldn’t slow down quickly enough?

    Or…distracted rider looking at text message, fumbling with iPod, checking out hot girl in passing car, gazing at the river, etc?

    Sunny – I am guessing that the bus driver moved 10 feet up after hearing the “bang” on the back of their vehicle or the dazed rider staggered/crawled around a bit after the impact.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • davemess June 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      except this is on an uphill section

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • o/o June 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    maybe he tried to pass the bus but he could not because there was another vehicle passing by. he did not have enough time to stop.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Pete June 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      That was my guess (pure speculation of course). Looking backwards to sync with traffic and miscalculated…

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Psyfalcon June 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Assuming the facts are true, we have brakes. Cyclists need to be aware and ready to use them even if other road users are making illegal stops or lane changes.

    I just can’t get behind the idea that it is ever ok to run into a stationary object.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

  • Ted Buehler June 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    From the Oregon Commercial Driver Manual
    http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/36.pdf

    p. 2-10, section 2.5.2 — Communicating Your Presence
    When Parked at the Side of the Road
    When you pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the four-way emergency flashers. This is impoartant at night. Don’t trust the tail lights to give warning. Drivers have crashed into the read of a parked vehicle because they thought is was moving normally.

    If you must stop on the shoulder of any road, you must put out your emergency warning devices within 10 minutes. Place your warning devices at the following locations: [figure 2.8]

    [more on how to place the warning pylons...]

    FWIW. I didn’t see anything about when drivers should or shouldn’t block the bike lane when stopped on a road with no emergency shoulder to pull onto.

    & best wishes for a full recovery to the injured bicyclist.

    & remember to look in front of you at all times, for all hazards, not just things like potholes and broken glass. The Oregon Bicyclist Manual advises bicyclists to “Ride Alertly” and “Be prepared to stop suddenly or to take other evasive action” (p. 9)
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/bike_manual.pdf?ga=t

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Ted Buehler June 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    BTW, it’s totally possible to not see a stopped bus. A couple years ago a woman in Salt Lake City was killed because she pulled into the center lane of a highway to pass a strong of stopped cars, only to smash into the side of a railroad locomotive.

    Folks are often blind to unexpected obstacles — for a reason — to operate on a road you need to filter out a ton of stuff. You need to go into total tunnel vision mode to only pay attention to the road in front of you, and things on the side that may enter your path. You need to filter out buildings, flashing neon signs, trees, clouds, attractive pedestrians. If you didn’t, you couldn’t even come close to focusing on the street in front of you. So our filtering skills need to be big and burly. And these well developed filtering skills are exactly what can cause us to be blind to giant objects in front of us…

    FWIW,
    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 13

    • DoubleB June 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      “If you didn’t, you couldn’t even come close to focusing on the street in front of you.”

      The bus was IN FRONT of him.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Robin Canaday June 14, 2012 at 6:25 am

      I was sitting on a bus that momentarily blocking a driveway. The driver started backing straight out and… wasn’t stopping. Yep, he ran into the bus (he had at least 10 seconds to notice the bus.) Happened to me when I was in a car in a parking lot, too. We were even honking at the driver.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Erik E June 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Once, when I was about 8, I was riding my bike along with a friend and talking back and forth and I hit a parked VW bug and ended up on the hood. I was at most going around a solid 7 miles per hour and thankfully was fine. In the next 29 years of riding I have managed to avoid hitting parked cars. So, I know you can hit a parked car if not paying attention. Most importantly though, I hope the rider is okay and everyone else has a safe ride wherever you’re going.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:09 am

      I once ran into the back of a parked motor home when I was about 15 years old… now I pay more attention…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • spare_wheel June 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    “We don’t have policy that prevents being stopped in a bike lane.”

    So they can park in our lane but we cannot legally take theirs.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Pete June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      I don’t understand your comment. The travel lanes are ours to take when we’re driving. The bike lane – and travel lane if necessary – are ours to take when we’re bicycling. I’m not sure which “they” you refer to in ownership of the travel lanes.

      If the bus driver was truly stopped on the bridge waiting – and was not disabled or loading/unloading passengers – it would seem to me that driver was in violation of ORS 811.550 section 9.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Kevin Wagoner June 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I don’t understand this comment.

    “We don’t have policy that prevents being stopped in a bike lane.”

    Is that illegal?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Yes. It is.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • K'Tesh June 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      811.440 When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane.
      This section provides exemptions from the prohibitions
      under ORS 811 .435 and 814 .210 against operating
      motor vehicles on bicycle lanes and paths . The following vehicles are not subject to ORS 811 .435 and
      814 .210 under the circumstances described:
      (1) A person may operate a moped on a bicycle lane that
      is immediately adjacent to the roadway only while the moped is being
      exclusively powered by human power .
      (2) A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when:
      (a) Making a turn;
      (b) Entering or leaving an alley, private road or driveway; or
      (c) Required in the course of official duty .
      (3) An implement of husbandry may momentarily cross into a bicycle lane to permit
      other vehicles to overtake and pass the implement of husbandry .
      (4) A person may operate a motorized wheelchair on a bicycle lane or path .
      (5) A person may operate a motor assisted scooter on a bicycle lane or path .
      (6) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a bicycle
      lane or path . [1983 c .338 ’645; 1991 c .417 ’1; 2001 c .749 ’24; 2003 c .341 ’8]

      811.550¹
      Places where stopping, standing and parking prohibited
      This section establishes places where stopping, standing and parking a vehicle are prohibited for purposes of the penalties under ORS 811.555 (Illegal stopping, standing or parking). Except as provided under an exemption in ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking), a person is in violation of ORS 811.555 (Illegal stopping, standing or parking) if a person parks, stops or leaves standing a vehicle in any of the following places:

      (1) Upon a roadway outside a business district or residence district, whether attended or unattended, when it is practicable to stop, park or leave the vehicle standing off the roadway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (1), (7) and (9) are applicable to this subsection.
      (2) On a shoulder, whether attended or unattended, unless a clear and unobstructed width of the roadway opposite the standing vehicle is left for the passage of other vehicles and the standing vehicle is visible from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon the roadway or the person, at least 200 feet in each direction upon the roadway, warns approaching motorists of the standing vehicle by use of flaggers, flags, signs or other signals. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (9) are applicable to this subsection.
      (3) On the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a highway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (4) On a sidewalk. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (5) Within an intersection. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (6) On a crosswalk. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (7) Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless a different length is indicated by signs and markings. For purposes of this subsection the safety zone must be an area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and which is protected or is so marked or indicated by adequate signs as to be plainly visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (8) Alongside or opposite a street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing or parking would obstruct traffic. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (9) Upon a bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (8) are applicable to this subsection.
      (10) Within a highway tunnel. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (11) On any railroad or rail fixed guideway system tracks or within seven and one-half feet of the nearest rail at a time when the parking of vehicles would conflict with operations or repair of the tracks. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (12) On a throughway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (13) In the area between roadways of a divided highway, including crossovers. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (14) At any place where traffic control devices prohibit stopping. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (15) In front of a public or private driveway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (16) Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (17) Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (18) Within 50 feet upon the approach to an official flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign or traffic control device located at the side of the roadway if the standing or parking of a vehicle will obstruct the view of any traffic control device located at the side of the roadway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (19) Within 15 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to a fire station, within 75 feet of the entrance. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (20) At any place where traffic control devices prohibit standing. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (21) Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad or rail fixed guideway system crossing. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (3) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (22) At any place where traffic control devices prohibit parking. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (3) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.
      (23) On a bicycle lane. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) are applicable to this subsection.
      (24) On a bicycle path. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) are applicable to this subsection. [1983 c.338 §669; 1985 c.21 §1; 1985 c.334 §1; 1989 c.433 §2; 1997 c.249 §234; 2001 c.522 §9]

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • K'Tesh June 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm

        Seems to me that there are a few points where TriMet has got this wrong…

        811.550¹
        Places where stopping, standing and parking prohibited
        This section establishes places where stopping, standing and parking a vehicle are prohibited for purposes of the penalties under ORS 811.555 (Illegal stopping, standing or parking). Except as provided under an exemption in ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking), a person is in violation of ORS 811.555 (Illegal stopping, standing or parking) if a person parks, stops or leaves standing a vehicle in any of the following places:

        (9) Upon a bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (4) to (8) are applicable to this subsection.

        (23) On a bicycle lane. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) are applicable to this subsection.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

      • HAL9000 June 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

        (1) Upon a roadway outside a business district or residence district, whether attended or unattended, when it is practicable to stop, park or leave the vehicle standing off the roadway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (1), (7) and (9) are applicable to this subsection.

        Does this means it is or isnt allowed?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • El Biciclero June 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm

          There may be a subtle loophole here due to the fact that the bike lane might not be considered part of the “roadway”. There are two conflicting definitions in the ORS:

          801.155 “Bicycle lane.” “Bicycle lane” means that part of the highway, adjacent to the roadway, designated by official signs or markings for use by persons riding bicycles except as otherwise specifically provided by law. [1983 c.338 §23]

          801.450 “Roadway.” “Roadway” means the portion of a highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term “roadway” shall refer to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively. [1983 c.338 §83]

          So, are bicycle lanes “adjacent to” the roadway, implying they are separate from it, or is bicycle travel considered “vehicular travel”, for which the bike lane was designed, making it part of the roadway?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jennifer June 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    It wasn’t a fixie, it was a nice road bike with brakes. He was on the ground in the center of the right lane with his head pointed west, his feet pointed east. He was about 10 feet behind the bus. I think the idea of him trying to pass the bus on the left at a high rate of speed but being blocked by a car and running into the bus instead is most plausible. I did not see a helmet but he had nice gear on and a nice bike. I’m hoping the helmet was obscured from my view and there are no head injuries. I initially thought the bus had hit him.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • CaptainKarma June 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      I don’t care if he was wearing boojie biking bling or was butt-naked, both are legal. Do we judge matters on those issues? Apparently maybe?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Jennifer June 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

        I was reporting what I saw. If he didn’t have a helmet, based on the way he hit the bus he’s likely to have head injuries. I’m just hoping he doesn’t. I wasn’t passing judgment but you sure are.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

  • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    UPDATE, 5:57pm: Asked about their policy for buses parking in a bike lane, TriMet Public Information Officer Roberta Altstadt said, “We don’t have policy that prevents being stopped in a bike lane.”

    Except that it’s illegal to park in a bike lane. When a bus pulls over into a bus stop where there is a bike lane, that is an exception allowed by law. Far as I know, there’s no bus stop in the middle of the Burnside Bridge.

    All that said, WHAT THE HECK – how do you miss seeing a bus? Even in your peripheral vision it would be hard to miss.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm
      • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

        Okay, looks like TriMet can weasel their way out of blocking the bike lane through 811.440(2)(c):

        A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when required in the course of official duty.

        Pulling into a bus stop is definitely “official duty”, but standing to burn time in a non-designated bus stop is gray at best.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Spiffy June 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm

          I don’t think bus drivers are ever on “official duty”… I think that’s for people like cops and firefighters…

          Recommended Thumb up 1

        • dwainedibbly June 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

          Isn’t it illegal to stop on a bridge?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wsbob June 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    4pm, westbound on Burnside Bridge, the sun would be in the eyes of the person riding the bike, and would tend to diminish the brightness of whatever tail lights the bus would have had on.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Barney June 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Drove by there at that time and saw the bus but the cyclist was not at the scene anymore. I can say definitely that the sun was not a factor! Other cyclists were riding around the bus and the other emergency vehicles without a problem. Sometimes sh!t just happens! There seems to me to be no smoking gun here!

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • wsbob June 14, 2012 at 12:08 am

        “…I can say definitely that the sun was not a factor! …” Barney

        Oops! Okay. Thought it might have been. Maybe it was just a bad day for the guy on the bike. Possibly, fatigue caused his attention to drift away from the road.

        I do hope Trimet can figure out some alternative place besides bike lanes, for its buses to park when they have to wait for the bus stops to clear of other buses. It’s hard enough to ride on big, busy streets without having to dodge around a big bus that’s there for no particularly good reason.

        Was there perhaps, available bus turnout space for the bus to park and wait on the east approach to the bridge? Hopefully planning, on their part, their dispatcher…whoever… just a tiny, tiny bit further in advance would leave bus drivers with a better option for scheduling adjustments, than obliging them to sit mid-span on the bridge, in the bike lane.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • HAL9000 June 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      I would think that the sun would be in your eyes closer to 7 or 8 pm, not 4pm. 4pm the sun is still pretty high up in the sky.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Oh. Lookee there! It is actually illegal for busses to stand or park on the bicycle lane.

    Here’s the basic law: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.550 811.550(23)

    And no where is TriMet exempted here:
    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.560

    The closest thing is the following:

    When applicable, this subsection exempts school buses or worker transport buses stopped on a roadway to load or unload workers or children, providing that the flashing school bus safety lights on the bus are operating.


    TriMet buses are neither school nor worker transport buses and do not use flashing school bus safety lights (lest no one could have legally passed the trimet bus).

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • i ride my bike June 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      So its illegal for buses to stop at their bus stops adjacent to a bike lane? Afterall thats standing. The issue is overall street design designed exclusively for cars where if anything happens bikes, buses, and peds are always in the wrong.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm

        No, not if the bus pulls all the way beyond the bike lane fully into the bus zone (we all are too familiar that it’s not always possible for them because of parked cars and such – while sometimes the drivers can’t even be bothered).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:13 am

      this is why it’s legal for a bus to be stopped/parked in the bike lane while picking up passengers… it’s certainly illegal to be there just to wait to pick up passengers…

      811.560

      (2) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles stopped, standing or parked momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Pete June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Note section 9 – stopping, standing, parking on a bridge.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • John Lascurettes June 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

        Noted. Still don’t see anything in the cross-referenced exemptions that exempt them.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • oskarbannks June 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I wish a speedy and full recovery for the rider. Off topic a bit, but related to TriMet buses. I believe buses have the law on their side to pull away from the curb when the stupid little “red yield signs flash” on the back corner of the bus, but I often notice while on bike or in a car, that the use of this signal by certain bus drivers seems to overpower their judgement of common sense when merging back into the flow of traffic. And what if someone from out of town were to ride or drive past the back of a TriMet bus in this scenario and not be aware of this anemic and often sudden warning signal? Anyone wish to enlighten me?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Mindful Cyclist June 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      I liken the flashing yield signs to cell phone laws. Some states/municipalities have them, some don’t. Some are primary offenses, others secondary. Not sure if the cops would be more lenient to someone with out of state plates or not. I agree that some people may just not be aware, but what can you do unless we get completely uniform traffic laws around the U.S.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:14 am

      ignorance of the law is no excuse…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • oskarbannks June 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

        Then color me stupid.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

          I was stupid of many of Oregon’s state specific laws… and I’ve learned a TON from reading this website… it’s amazing how much you learn about motor vehicle laws once you stop driving them and start being intimidated by them daily…

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Pete June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

            True dat! It’s amazing how your driving habits sharpen when you realize it could be you, too…

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe June 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Get Well!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Barry June 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    There is so much group-think here its sad.

    Half of you are trying to justify how a rider, running into the back of a bus, is the bus driver’s fault.

    The other 1/3 of you are trying to reason why a bus should never stop in a bike lane… to reach a *bus stop*. Clearly, in your mind, all bus stops in the vicinity of bike lanes should be removed in deference to bike riders.

    C’mon guys, you’ve jumped the shark.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      Barry. There is NO bus stop in the middle of the Burnside Bridge. None. Read the article again. The bus PARKED to wait for scheduling reasons.

      I have absolutely nothing to say about fault on the accident. But what does concern me is that a TriMet bus blocks the bike lane on a high-speed conduit. To go from the bike lane, around the bus, and merge with cars that can easily be doing 45 or more on that stretch is flirting with disaster, particularly on the uphill portion (I’m not sure where the bus was as far as uphill or downhill portions).

      Recommended Thumb up 12

      • DoubleB June 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm

        The decision by the bus certainly didn’t help the situation, although we don’t know if it would have been less safe to move towards his next stop.

        But instead of merging with traffic, any cyclist could have seen the bus in the lane, gotten off the bike, walked the 50 feet on the sidewalk to the front of the bus, and then resumed his or her ride. Are using the “brakes” that much of an issue for the cycling community?

        For a group that constantly harps on drivers to slow down and be smart, cyclists could certainly stand to listen to some of their own advice.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • Psyfalcon June 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm

          Only to be run over by the bus when it starts moving, or maybe a car coming too far back to the right after changing lanes to get around the bus. Then we’d hear, “he just stepped in front of the bus.”

          I still don’t think there is an excuse for hitting a stationary object, but illegal parking in a bike lane does produce hazards no matter how you go around it.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • DoubleB June 14, 2012 at 9:44 am

            “Only to be run over by the bus when it starts moving, or maybe a car coming too far back to the right after changing lanes to get around the bus. Then we’d hear, “he just stepped in front of the bus.”

            You have that problem regardless. The bus could also start while you are passing on the left. A car could also swing into the bike lane.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

        • John Lascurettes June 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm

          But instead of merging with traffic, any cyclist could have seen the bus in the lane, gotten off the bike, walked the 50 feet on the sidewalk to the front of the bus, and then resumed his or her ride.

          I almost thought you were being sarcastic here. But now that I see your serious, my reply is, are you freaking serious?

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Brad June 14, 2012 at 9:44 am

            Because being “dead right” is reasonable price to pay when exercising your road rights under the ORS. Got it! We should stop worrying about self-preservation because the law clearly protects us from harm.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • DoubleB June 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

            How is that not a legitimate option? Looking at the picture, it seems pretty safe to me to go around the bus on one’s bike, but why is getting off the bike so anathema to the cycling community?

            And ultimately that’s the issue the average driver has towards cyclists–they don’t care about the law or safety. Cyclists care about anything that inconveniences them and how it is everyone else’s (drivers, PBOT, etc.) fault but their own. 3/4 of this comment thread is proof of that–anything to prove the cyclist did nothing wrong. HE RODE INTO THE BACK OF A STOPPED BUS.

            Recommended Thumb up 6

            • YoYossarian June 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

              Traffic moves really fast on Burnside, this area is right after where Couch traffic is shunted out onto Burnside, so ultimately it’s not an ideal spot to merge out into traffic to go around a stopped vehicle. I would argue that the majority of people on bikes would be annoyed at best and scared at worst about being forced out of the smidgen of protection they have and out into traffic because of a parked vehicle (that it looks like legally should not have been there).

              …and ultimately I think that’s what’s behind the ‘bus drivers fault’ crowd you seem so perturbed by here. Yeah, everyone realizes the guy on the bike was probably not paying attention and/or going to fast but that’s beside the point. A bus was PARKED in the bike lane blocking bike traffic so that cars wouldn’t be inconvenience, pushing people on bikes out into fast moving auto traffic and into a dangerous situation.

              Recommended Thumb up 5

            • davemess June 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm

              It’s legitimate, but it’s ridiculous! It’s akin to saying that cars should just get out of their vehicle at a stop light to go press a button on the side walk to trigger their green signal.

              Would you be happy to do that as a motorist?

              Yet this is exactly what you are asking cyclists to do to accommodate an illegal parking job by TRIMET.

              Cyclists are pissed on here, because it’s stupid (and illegal) to have the bus parked in a bike lane on a busy street like the burnside bridge. Regardless of if the cyclists made a good decision or not. The bottom line is the bus should have not been there.

              Recommended Thumb up 8

              • DoubleB June 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

                Really, that’s your comparison. The equivalent for a driver would be to slowly merge into the another lane and then continue on my way once I passed the stopped bus or any time an auto lane might be blocked . . you know something all drivers do on a regular basis.

                But thank you for absolutely proving my point. It’s not about safety or the law, it’s about YOUR convenience and god forbid anyone prevent that.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • El Biciclero June 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

                But thank you for absolutely proving my point. It’s not about safety or the law, it’s about YOUR convenience and god forbid anyone prevent that.

                “The equivalent for a driver would be to slowly merge into the another lane and then continue on my way once I passed the stopped bus…”

                No, that would be the equivalent of a bicyclist merging into the non-blocked lane and going around on the left of the bus (which otherwise unhindered 30-40mph auto traffic will be loath to allow). No requirement to leave the roadway or “exit” one’s vehicle.

                When talking about a cyclist dismounting and walking, the only analog to that action in the driving world is exiting the vehicle and walking somewhere (I won’t even require drivers to push their cars). The comparison is completely valid. You are merely assuming that because it is easier for cyclists to carry their vehicles, we should expect it of them any time their way is blocked. If we can expect it of them when their way is blocked, then we can nonchalantly block their way, because, hey–come on–they’re on a bike!

                Don’t you worry your car-head about safety–you can bet most cyclists are keenly aware of safety issues. So, yeah, it isn’t about safety, per se, or necessarily about inconvenience; it is about 3rd-rate treatment (why did the bus driver think it was OK to block the only bike lane rather than one of the two available “car” lanes?) and the expectation that cyclists will scrappily do whatever it takes, no matter how inconvenient, to get around the many obstacles in their path, while drivers enjoy utmost privilege on the road and bear no societal expectation that they will happily do anything other than drive where they want.

                Recommended Thumb up 6

              • DoubleB June 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

                “When talking about a cyclist dismounting and walking, the only analog to that action in the driving world is exiting the vehicle and walking somewhere (I won’t even require drivers to push their cars).”

                Leaving the vehicle in an auto lane to go somewhere is NOT equivalent. The equivalent is all the obstacles I face to driving my car on a regular basis. But I’m guessing you don’t drive and have no idea what those obstacles are.

                Love the name-calling and condescension. Kind of shows what this cycling community is all about.

                I have no idea why the bus driver decided to park in the bike lane where he did. Maybe he had a good reason and maybe he didn’t. Maybe it was unsafe to cross the bridge and park where he normally would and got that information via a dispatcher. Maybe he believed (and based on the photo with justification) that he left enough room for the cyclist to pass him on the left and that it was safe enough for everyone. Frankly the fact he was there completely MISSES the point. What if it had been an accident that took up the bike lane? Or fixing a pothole in the bike lane? Or road striping? Stuff happens on the roads and bike lanes of Portland. The reality is that was the situation and the question is what to do about it. Would getting off the bike be more palatable if there was a bike accident in the bike lane? Something tells me you won’t answer that question.

                Also love the fact that you and wsbob seem to think there is a conspiracy by Portland to keep the poor oppressed cycling community in its place. I guess the miles of lined bike lanes, bike boxes, and countless other activities are there for show. This city bends over backwards to accommodate cyclists, but the minute something happens there is name-calling, calls to change roadways, calls to change driving laws, and everything else under the sun. There is rarely introspection about what cyclists can do to make cycling and driving more compatible and safer. It’s all about blaming anyone but the cyclist.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

                • El Biciclero June 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm

                  “The equivalent is all the obstacles I face to driving my car on a regular basis.”

                  Please name some of those obstacles. Legally operated vehicles and traffic controls don’t count.

                  “But I’m guessing you don’t drive and have no idea what those obstacles are.”

                  I can’t speak for others here (not sure who you are responding to), but since you quoted my previous comment, I’ll reply to your guess by saying that I do drive all the time to lots of places. Do you ride a bike for anything other than recreation–or at all?

                  “What if it had been an accident that took up the bike lane? Or fixing a pothole in the bike lane? Or road striping?”

                  There is a big difference between casually parking in a bike lane and some incidental, unintentional blockage or planned maintenance activity. I’m not talking about what to do to get around a blocked bike lane. I’m talking about people’s (including yours) attitudes that casually blocking a bike lane should not be taken as seriously as casually blocking a “car” lane. Had the bus parked half-in the bike lane and half in the rightmost “car” lane, the outcry from motorists would be heard just as loudly as it is from cyclists here. Yet even though the solution would be, as you suggest, just merging into the left lane and going around, something tells me your view of the bus driver would be much more negative if he had decided to block a “car” lane for no apparent reason.

                  “Would getting off the bike be more palatable if there was a bike accident in the bike lane? Something tells me you won’t answer that question.”

                  That you think I wouldn’t answer your question underscores the impression I have that you are missing my point entirely. Again, there is a big difference between something incidental and unplanned happening vs. casual disregard for a lane of traffic ostensibly reserved for more vulnerable road users. Also, as I point out in my response below, in the event of an accident, much like after the collision that occurred here, there would likely be emergency personnel directing traffic, because God forbid drivers be made to observe and figure out what to do on their own if there is some obstacle in the road. If it is going to affect drivers, we get right on setting up warning signs, cones, getting cops out there to wave people through, whatever it takes.

                  “Also love the fact that you and wsbob seem to think there is a conspiracy by Portland to keep the poor oppressed cycling community in its place. I guess the miles of lined bike lanes, bike boxes, and countless other activities are there for show.”

                  Heh. To a large extent, they are there for show, since rules regarding bike lanes and boxes are largely ignored by motorists and rarely enforced by police. And, for the record, by painting bike lanes, the transportation department is actually explicitly demarcating cyclists’ “place” and legally putting them in it (although there are a few exceptions), thanks to ORS 814.420. You should look that one up. Add to that the fact that many bike lanes have severe defects, as I mention in my other comment below. Steps the city or organizations within the city have taken that have actually made a difference to the safety of cyclists are things like prohibiting right turns from Interstate onto Greeley–but they waited until one cyclist died and another was injured before they did anything. And what were those cyclists doing when they got run over? Using the painted bike lane that the city so graciously put down, creating one of the most dangerous places on the road to ride.

                  “There is rarely introspection about what cyclists can do to make cycling and driving more compatible and safer. It’s all about blaming anyone but the cyclist.”

                  What do you think would be the epiphany reached by such introspection on the part of cyclists? I’ll take a guess–things like, “why don’t we just give up our right-of-way to suit oblivious drivers–after all, they always ‘win’ in a crash!” Or, “I guess I really should go 3 miles out of my way to avoid that dangerous stretch of bike lane!” Maybe something like, “Wow, going 6 mph on the sidewalk really is safer–plus all the signal buttons are within easy reach!” Perhaps, “It really does make my trip to work more enjoyable if I stop at every driveway and green light just to make sure nobody is going to come flying out and hit me!” Another good one is, “wow, I think I should start going far above and beyond the requirements of the law so drivers can see me; I’m going to buy a whole new neon wardrobe and get another couple hundred dollars’ worth of super-bright lights!” Or, we could go with, “even though the speed limit on this road is 30 mph, I’d better stick to 10 mph, just in case some driver pulls a boner move.”

                  If you were a cyclist, what would introspection reveal to you?

                  Recommended Thumb up 1

            • El Biciclero June 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

              Getting off one’s bike to haul it up onto a sidewalk, or portage it across some impassable section of ground, or for whatever reason is certainly “legitimate”. It’s at least as legitimate as expecting car drivers to have to get out of their cars and push them around buses and such that have seen fit to double-park for a while, blocking the only “car” lane on some busy street. It’s at least as legit as having car drivers get out of their cars to run over to the sidewalk and push a button to get their signal to change. At least as legitimate as having cars detour around some road hazard by routing them through a series of connected parking lots. This is the thing that comes across as “whining” to those afflicted with “car head”: it’s not that cyclists aren’t able to be more flexible and inconvenience themselves for the sake of “safety”, it’s that society in general expects them to. “Well, you’re on a bike, right? So what’s a little 12-block detour if it’s safer?” “If you’re on a bike, why can’t you just go up on the sidewalk and push the ped signal button?” “Somebody parked in the bike lane? Big deal! You can just go around (either into 30mph traffic or over the curb onto the sidewalk). Quit whining.” It’s already a car’s world out there, and cyclists are following the “rules” of self-preservation far more often than they are taking advantage of the few legal “perks” that appear in writing in the ORS or in paint on the street. It’s a bully’s mentality that says, “You cyclists stay outta my way–stay over there!”, then makes “over there” the most difficult and inconvenient place to operate.

              These little expectations people tend to have of cyclists–that we would never expect of motorists–are what make a lot of folks tend to post the kinds of comments you are reacting to here.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • DoubleB June 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

                “These little expectations people tend to have of cyclists–that we would never expect of motorists–are what make a lot of folks tend to post the kinds of comments you are reacting to here.”

                Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Are you telling me you don’t think drivers are inconvenienced? What about during Bike Days in certain areas of town? For road paving or painting? For general construction work? For parades in the downtown area?

                Someone parked in the bike lane. It’s an inconvenience. The 20 seconds it would take to get off the bike isn’t remotely equivalent to anything described above. If the bus had just stopped in the auto lane, would I be given permission to drive on the right in the bike lane? Of course not, nor would it be taken. It’s an inconvenience and I’d need to slow down, merge to the left, and continue on my way.

                But thanks for proving my point that it’s all about cyclists and their convenience.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

                • wsbob June 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm

                  “…Someone parked in the bike lane. It’s an inconvenience. …” DoubleB

                  Not just someone: a professional driver, who, more than non-professional drivers…should know better what’s prudent and safe to do with their vehicle on the road, driving a huge bus. Not just an inconvenience: An apparently unnecessary inconvenience.

                  Instead of creating a congestion point on the bridge by parking in the bike lane(…even if someone hadn’t run into the back of the bus, any bike traffic coming along would have had to merge into traffic on the main travel lane to the bus’s left, or take your suggested maneuver up on to the sidewalk…), why wouldn’t the bus driver had continued on to the west side of the bridge and looked for the nearest bus parking space there?

                  I consider there to be good reasons a bus driver could have to park in the bike lane, but assuming the details reported are on the mark, this bus driver didn’t have one of them.

                  Keeping bike lanes clear of unnecessary obstructions isn’t just for cyclists convenience, but for the convenience of all road users. I doubt very much that main lane road users take well to having to watch and slow down for bike traffic diverting around a big hulking bus parked in the bike lane.

                  Recommended Thumb up 2

                • Chris I June 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

                  It only takes 20 seconds to get out of your car and press a crosswalk button, but that isn’t a reasonable comparison? Do you even ride bikes in the city?

                  What if the bus parked in the right-most vehicle lane for its layover? Would that be fair to car drivers?

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • El Biciclero June 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

                  Thanks for missing my point. It is not the fact that drivers are inconvenienced while driving by any of the things you mention–of course they are–it is the fact that we all seem to agree that driver inconvenience should be minimized, while cyclist inconvenience is expected. Any time there is a known disruption to auto traffic, there are signs posted (often blocking the bike lane), detours given (detours which are often not “bike-friendly”), or other guidance provided for drivers to safely and confidently, if somewhat inconveniently, get around those obstacles. If a disruption only affects bike traffic, no such instruction or safe detours are generally provided–we just expect cyclists to deal with it. Get off your bike and walk. Figure out an alternative route on your own. Just merge into 45mph car traffic to go around.

                  Let me give you a few examples just from my daily route to/from work:
                  – Utility work happening on Murray Blvd (45mph posted speed) has put orange signs directly in and completely blocking the bike lane. Result? Auto traffic, unimpeded, continues to flow at 45-50mph. Bike traffic traveling at 25mph has to merge into that flow, or stop, dismount, and walk around on the sidewalk. No upstream “Bikes Merge” or any such signage is provided as would be if a “car” lane was going to be completely blocked ahead–nothing. Nobody would do any such thing in any lane other than a bike lane.
                  - Just like in the situation in this article, Buses will stop–again on 45mph Murray Blvd–and just wait in the bike lane. No passenger loading/unloading going on. Two lanes of auto traffic, unimpeded, continue to flow at 45-50mph–only bike traffic must stop and either merge into it when a gap comes along (hoping the bus doesn’t decide to pull back out right at that moment) or dismount, lift the bike onto the sidewalk and walk around.
                  - Bike lane conditions themselves. Many of the bike lanes I use–on my way home especially–are full of storm grates that are sunken far below grade, effectively narrowing the bike lane to about one foot. Other places along my route home have net bags of wood chips surrounding storm drains. I’m sure you’ve seen them: about 6-8″ high and about 18-24″ long, arranged in such a way as to take up at least half the bike lane width. They are dark gray/brown, with no cones or other warnings, invisible at night, and just plopped there without a thought. The only bike lane that leads from my office to any of the other major routes through Beaverton crosses RR tracks at a pretty shallow angle. There is a multi-use path section that cyclists may use to swoop around to the right and cross the tracks at a better angle without having to “suddenly swerve into traffic”. The street along which this bike lane runs is currently under construction and there are steel plates across the “car” lane, which are signed “STEEL PLATES IN ROADWAY”. What the signs don’t tell you is that there is also a severe bump and steel plate planted right at the apex of the quick turn a cyclist would take to divert from the bike lane onto the MUP to cross the tracks. It’s partially obscured behind a curb so that the first time you encounter it, you can’t really tell it’s there until you are committed to your turn. Any of the built-in or temporarily-added obstacles I just mentioned could easily–easily–cause a cyclist to crash, be tossed into traffic, and seriously injured, yet they are not given a second thought. Endangering cyclists is “no big deal”.
                  -Traffic signals that don’t sense the presence of a bike. There are several places where I need to make a left turn, or the bike lane routes me to the left of a right turn only lane so that I am at least a full lane away from the curb. At two of these locations, the traffic signal fails to detect my presence and I must a) wait for a car to come along, or b) drag my bike across another lane and up onto the sidewalk to push a button to change the signal. We just expect cyclists to do this, while drivers magically get signals that turn green for them.

                  You sound like you don’t really ride a bike for transportation with any regularity. If you did, you would realize that cyclist “inconvenience” is built in to the presumed and expected cycling environment and experience–and can injure cyclists pretty badly unless they are hyper-vigilant–while your examples of things that cause driver “inconvenience” are one-off events that are carefully planned so that any inconvenience drivers might be in for has been thought about beforehand and planned for, so that drivers will be inconvenienced as little as possible, and will have their hands held throughout the experience so they know exactly where to go and what to do to get around any problems.

                  You have car-head, my friend.

                  Recommended Thumb up 2

            • wsbob June 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

              DoubleB
              How is that not a legitimate option? Looking at the picture, it seems pretty safe to me to go around the bus on one’s bike, but why is getting off the bike so anathema to the cycling community?
              And ultimately that’s the issue the average driver has towards cyclists–they don’t care about the law or safety. Cyclists care about anything that inconveniences them and how it is everyone else’s (drivers, PBOT, etc.) fault but their own. 3/4 of this comment thread is proof of that–anything to prove the cyclist did nothing wrong. HE RODE INTO THE BACK OF A STOPPED BUS.
              Recommended 2

              “How is that not a legitimate option? …” DoubleB

              Legitimate? Do you mean ‘legal’? “Authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law” …”In accordance with recognized or accepted standards or principles” …thanks, WordWeb.

              I suppose there’s no law against people getting off the bike to climb the sidewalk…to go around some bus driver that thought it would be a great idea to park his bus…smack dab in the bike lane…because he didn’t think to find out ahead of time whether there would be room to park his bus at an actual parking space.

              It’s a legitimate though cumbersome option involving added potential danger over just cruising down the bike lane, but one that Trimet shouldn’t be putting people in the position of having to make for the reason its bus driver apparently did in this instance.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

      • oskarbannks June 14, 2012 at 12:11 am

        @J.L. it appears to be the east side of the bridge, which would be going up a grade. And by the way, I am with you on your response to Barry. The friggin bus was PARKED on the bridge! FFS! So according to the exemptions in the statutes you posted above, IS a bus allowed to stop midpoint on a bridge and or not, bike lanes aside? I am confused.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Mike June 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

        This was not the middle of the bridge, not by a long shot.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Nathan June 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

      You are partly right here, catch-phrases aside.

      Someone crashes into something while riding their bike. Yeah, it sucks, but there is no reason for each of us to take personal responsibility. The fact that the thing crashed into was a Trimet bus has no bearing on the accident other than being the only reason this is a news item. It could have just as easily been a parked car, but that wouldn’t make news.

      That said, the Trimet bus was parked in a fairly inconsiderate place. Forcing people using the bicycle lane into traffic on the Burnside bridge is unsafe, let alone annoying. It would be interesting to know what drivers are actually trained to do given backups at a stop.

      Also, it is totally illegal to park a bus in the bike lane. Bike lanes are emotional topic for many people who ride bicycles regularly. Much of the conversation which you labeled placing blame on the bus read, to me, like people discussing the law and trying to determine if there was an exemption for buses to do this.

      A small aside, you were the first person to type the word fault…

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Pete June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks for the generalization!! I tend to learn a great deal when I look at situations from several angles, and having groups of peoples’ opinions helps that. Just because I quote a statute that the bus driver likely violated doesn’t mean I’m saying this bike rider’s a hero for hitting a large, visible, stopped object. I learned a lot about the laws today (and where not to park!). That’s more than I could glean from some mainstream outlet where 90% of the comments simply accuse me of cycling through stop lights, voting to the left, and not paying taxes (and the other 10% just retort with “well drivers break the law too!”).

      Thanks Jonathan for keeping the conversations going all these years.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • JL June 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Is it just me or does the bus have the GAR sign on?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

      it’s just you that has the GAR sign on… c(:

      I’m sure they had to take the bus out of service after the accident…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kevin Wagoner June 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I agree John. Very uncool behavior. If it is illegal it deserves enforcement.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • i ride my bike June 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I am a huge bike advocate and supporter of reforming our streets but unfortunately in the US cyclists can be the worst enemy of cycling. Dont do stupid sh.t on your bike, this is just idiotic running into the back of a stopped bus. And lawless anarchist cyclists piss me off hugely.

    Recommended Thumb up 19

    • spare_wheel June 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      “shit…idiotic…lawless anarchist…piss me off”

      i recommend yoga and meditation.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • spare_wheel June 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

      i am very curious what these anarchists have done to you that has you so “pissed off”? did someone wearing a balaclava step on your lawn?

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Ted Buehler June 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    John L wrote:
    “But what does concern me is that a TriMet bus blocks the bike lane on a high-speed conduit. To go from the bike lane, around the bus, and merge with cars that can easily be doing 45 or more on that stretch is flirting with disaster…”

    Yes, this is an important point here. Blocking a bike lane is dangerous for many reasons. For every bicyclists that is inattentive and rear-ends the bus, there’s about 10,000 bicyclists forced to merge into the car lane to get around the bus.

    That Trimet figures it’s hunky dory to park in a busy bike lane on an urban expressway is not only dumb and discourteous to its fellow nondrivering commuters, but also suggests there’s other “policies” like this in the Trimet Drivers’ Handbook that endanger bicyclists.

    Does Trimet have a drivers handbook? Does anyone know?

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 12

  • Randy June 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    It’s not bad enough to be hurting, but to do it in an embarrassing way is even more painful, and then there is more embarrassment by becoming the subject of a blog where everybody is talking about you…

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Todd Boulanger June 14, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Perhaps someone should request a tape of the dispatcher directing (?) the bus operator to layover at that location – before the tape gets “erased”. And is there a rear mounted camera on TriMet or a bridge camera for a record of the crash.

    Sadly it’s time for all cyclists to wear cameras.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • resopmok June 14, 2012 at 6:55 am

    If the picture is any indication, the collision happened on the east end of the bridge (in the westbound lanes), before the traffic lane narrows after the s-curve that connects from Couch. Since the lane is especially wide, the bus, so long as it is in the bike lane as well, can park there without impeding the flow of traffic in the regular lane. Cyclists would need to merge with traffic immediately after the turn in order to avoid the bus while in that position. That merge can be made all the more tricky by how easy it is to take these curves quickly on a bike – at the same speed as if not faster than a car.

    So we take it from the cyclists perspective: He exited the s-curve from Couch at a high rate of speed and either did not see the bus or was unable to merge with traffic and stop in time to avoid hitting the bus. I don’t know the distances involved, but it is possible that between the time he was able to react and hit his brake levers that he was already out of sufficient stopping distance to avoid hitting the bus.

    It seems clear the bus was illegally parked. Doesn’t tri-met have a policy of some kind about not violating the rules of the road? Even though it is a publicly funded agency, I don’t see why its drivers shouldn’t be issued citations for this sort of thing.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Joe June 14, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I can say that if a bus is broke down on the side of the road aka bike lane
    it puts a rider into traffic. can we get them to put a sign behind the thing? if stopped for repair.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

      resopmok
      Doesn’t tri-met have a policy of some kind about not violating the rules of the road?

      no, because that would make many of their routes unworkable… they have to break the law quite frequently to make certain turns…

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • John Lascurettes June 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Joe
      I can say that if a bus is broke down on the side of the road aka bike lane
      it puts a rider into traffic. can we get them to put a sign behind the thing? if stopped for repair.
      Recommended 0

      And if the bus was broke down, they’d be exempted from the no parking in the bike lane law, provided they used their hazard indicators and put out flares within 10 minutes. This was not the case.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Jeff June 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

    wow, couple this with the two other cyclist/car collisions I witnessed on my ride home yesterday and it was a banner day for being on two wheels.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Mindful Cyclist June 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Okay, before I commented on this, I decided to try to get a grasp of where this picture was and see it with my own eyes since I take the Burnside Bridge during the commute. A couple of things stand out:

    1) This bus is clearly on the East end of the bridge. How did it know that there were a whole string of busses waiting in front of the Rescue Mission? And, by the time the bus traveled across the bridge, one of two of them may have continued on its route.

    2) That stretch after the S-curve is plenty wide at that point. There is plenty of room to take the lane safely at that stretch. I do it all the time when going downtown as I am overtaking slower cyclists and there is always plenty of breathing room.

    Not going to speculate what happened here, but those two things just stand out to me.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • John Lascurettes June 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Indeed, much more room to maneuver a save passing action down there where the bus is pictured in those later-posted photos than farther up the span. I still cannot fathom how the cyclist missed the bus in his vision unless something was already wrong with him before he got there.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Jennifer June 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Anyone hear anything about the extent of his injuries?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Jeff June 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    folks, when you run into a stationary object on your bike, you can hardly blame the stationary object.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • oskarbannks June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      True, but I still take issue with the idea of a bus at full rest on a bridge, and (perhaps) with out proper warning signals. BTW, any word on his condition? There seems to be a lot of concern from everyone.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

        btw, it’s also illegal to park on a bridge.. oh wait, I think that’s only if it’s over a highway… parking on a bridge over a river is probably ok…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • gumby June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    As someone who rode full tilt into a parked car once, I understand how this can happen. The natural place to look when riding a bike with drop bars is at the front wheel. It is a contsant strain on the neck to look up at the travel lane. It’s natural to give your neck a break. It looks like this guy took too long of a break.

    This brings up a point (or a tangent). Why are we riding bikes for transportationthat were designed for racing? Look at countries that have high bike use. You don’t see these kind of bikes. Why? because they are ridiculously impractical for every day transportation. When riding in an upright position, your natural head position is looking straight ahead.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • davemess June 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Just because the bike hard drop bars doesn’t mean he was using them. You can get a decent upright position when using the hoods or the tops of the bars.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • are June 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      sitting upright places your legs at a different angle to the torso that is considerably less efficient for pedaling.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • El Biciclero June 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        …not to mention putting extra weight/pressure on the buttocular region…

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • oskarbannks June 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        I was JRAin’ along, sitting semi-upright with my hands on the ‘hoods of my Super Record levers attached to Cinelli 64′s, on my 1981 Simoncini, to the left at an attractive human without droppin the outside foot correctly to counter steer, and BAMMO! Ran into the backside of a U

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • oskarbannks June 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

          ooops, well anyway, I ran into the back of a U-haul trailer! OOuch! Very embarrassing to say the least. I hit it pretty damn hard too. Luckily, no one noticed.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

    • El Biciclero June 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Some of us commute or otherwise transport ourselves long distances and want to get there in a timely fashion without too much wasted effort.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • spare_wheel June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      it must be maddening to be riding such a practical bike and be surrounded by so many people who ride hybrids, mtbs, and road bikes. what are they thinking!!!?!!

      /snark

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Mindful Cyclist June 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Yes, I think I need to ditch the road style bikes I own and just go with one of those Euro-cruisers. Those fat tires and swept back handlebars would be much more practical on my ride home from the West Hills to my house half way up Mt. Tabor.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Mike June 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    It is quite funny how some on here attempt to find fault with the bus. The dude hit a bus!!!! If he had run into a building would you point the finger away from the cyclist? Crediblity not on your side on this one!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • John Lascurettes June 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      I don’t think anyone has put fault on the bus driver for the CRASH – haven’t seen anyone say that. But we are wondering why the bus was parked in the bike lane – which is illegal.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Austin June 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Well, you never know. Just yesterday I was on Broadway downtown, and bus was off to the curb letting people off. It then pulled left into the bike lane while I was using the bike line, getting pretty dang close to smashing me into a car that was in the next lane over. He didn’t use his ‘Yield’ sign and he didn’t use his turn signal, just darted out. Kind of spooky.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Spiffy June 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      there’s no “attempt” at finding fault with the bus… the bus was at fault… but the rider was also at fault, I think more so than the bus…

      like everybody is saying, it’s your fault for running into a stationary object in plain view…

      but it’s also likely illegal for the bus to be there in the first place…

      but it in no way excuses you when you run into it… you can be parked anywhere on the road illegally and it’s still the fault of the person that hit you…

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Johnny Tenspeed June 15, 2012 at 11:52 am
  • El Biciclero June 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Doesn’t parking in a bike lane count as “impeding traffic“? Oh, that’s right. Bikes are vehicles, they just aren’t traffic.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • esther c June 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I’m a little confused as to why some people think the bus should have stopped in the traffic lane and blocked that lane but not in the bike lane. Are we cyclists so incompetent that we’re not capable of stopping for a stopped bus in our lane but somehow drivers are?

    The saying is “share the road” not own the road. The guy made a mistake and rear ended another vehicle. Quit trying to figure out how to make it not the cyclist’s fault.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • El Biciclero June 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      I don’t think anyone is saying the bus should have parked in the car lane; some of us are doing a thought experiment wondering what drivers would think if the bus had parked there. Why is it OK to block the bike lane, but not a “car” lane?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • esther c June 16, 2012 at 8:25 am

        Buses can pretty much block whatever they want because they carry a large number of passengers I think is the understanding. That’s why they can pull to the right and stop at every corner in a narrow lane where cars can’t get by them. They block lanes all the time.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • esther c June 16, 2012 at 8:26 am

          Bascially, what I’m saying is buses blocking lanes are a fact of life in the city. Better be prepared.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

        • John Lascurettes June 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

          Esther, they temporarily block traffic all the time when loading and unloading passengers. This has been covered. This is legal. They do not, however, routinely park when they are blocking traffic. This is what has happened in this case, and we’re saying it’s not cool and it’s not legal.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jolly Dodger June 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I can almost visualize the cyclist coming around the curve, looking over his left shoulder for pinching drivers who are tight turners…the bus had been pulled forward after the “accident” 50 feet, (initial reports said?)…far enough where as the cyclist looks up and sees a bus directly in front of him while racing the red light traffic at 20 plus MPH…he almost didn’t have time to squeeze the brakes. Just not expecting the vehicle in front (which may at times come over into the bike lane at exactly that point due to oversteer after the curve…i’ve seen this a lot there) to not be moving at a place where ALL traffic should continue to remain moving forward…? How can blame be placed? If a bus had been blocking the right ‘auto’ travel lane at that point, a dozen cars would have rounded the turn and smashed him before the ones behind them even left the red at MLK….and the outcry…OMG, if Tri-Met was even allowed to use the Burnside after a cluster-fu*k like that. If the bridge lift was up and the barriers not in place, would we blame drivers if they got wet?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.