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Collision on Hwy 101 south of Cannon Beach results in critical injury – UPDATED

Posted by on July 8th, 2012 at 12:27 am

Another serious injury collision happened today on Highway 101.

According to the Oregon State Police, at about 1:25 pm, a 35-year old woman was riding northbound on the shoulder of Hwy 101 five miles south of Cannon Beach near milepost 35 (just south of Hug Point Road) when she was struck by a 78-year old woman driving a Dodge Caravan. The OSP says the woman driving the van “drifted onto the shoulder and struck the woman’s bicycle from behind.” No names have been released yet.

The woman riding the bike was with her husband. He was up the road a bit, then stopped and turned around shortly after the collision because his wife never caught up. The woman was flown to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for treatment of critical injuries. The van operator and her passenger were not injured.

An OSP statement says, “A decision on enforcement action is pending. Traffic was heavy and there were several witnesses contacted for statements.”

BikePortland reader Dana Troy was driving home from the beach when he came upon the collision. Dana also wrote this note via email: “Someone said the person on the bike swerved out into traffic, but that is not anywhere near official. Overheard a guy say, ‘Those bikers have a death wish riding out here.’ I refrained from yelling at him.” Here’s a photo of the scene taken by Dana (note the shattered windshield in the van):

I’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

UPDATE, 7/8 at 10:00am: The woman riding the bicycle, Christeen Osborn from Hood River, remains in critical condition. The woman who was driving the van is Wanda Cortese from Kennewick, Washington.

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  • 9watts July 8, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Overheard a guy say, ‘Those bikers have a death wish riding out here.’ I refrained from yelling at him.

    Let me guess – that guy was driving a car; can’t conceive why anyone would every ride a bike on public roads or streets. Where do these foolish notions come from? Oh, right. “…streets had to be socially reconstructed as places where motorists unquestionably belonged.” (Peter Norton, Fighting Traffic, p. 1)

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    • Jack July 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Of course no one is riding 101 with a “death wish”, but I would hope that anyone riding out there is at least aware of the obviously increased risks. It’s a winding highway — often with a limited shoulder — and plenty of scenery to distract driver’s from the road/traffic.

      I’m not blaming the victim. It’s of course the driver’s obligation to not rear end another road user and state’s job to discourage irresponsible driving through enforced laws. Just saying that I’m honestly surprised there aren’t even more cyclists seriously injured out there.

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    • Chris I July 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Last summer, on a bike tour, we were at the top of Cape Lookout and had a driver comment to us “you cyclists are really taking your lives in your hands on these roads”. One of my friends replied: “no, we’re leaving it in your hands”.

      Note that the route to Cape Lookout is considered a scenic byway, and is plastered with signs informing drivers that cyclists will be sharing the road.

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      • ME 2 July 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

        Exactly. I recognize the increased risks, but it comes to down to the culture on how drivers are taught to pay attention to and to react when they come upon a cyclist. An incredible forming experience for me happened almost 20 years ago when I was bike touring in Europe. I was pedaling in Germany on a 2 lane road that was winding with a cliff on one side and a lake on the other. There was no shoulder as I was following the bend in the road. Suddenly I could hear a semi approaching and as I instinctively started cranking it and bracing for a narrow miss, the semi shifted down and waited all of 20 seconds until the road straightened so he could safely pass me.

        I know this isn’t Europe, but hopefully in time, it can be like it.

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      • Jason Smith July 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

        I look at it like this, when road biking you are basically putting trust in every single driver that goes by you all day. That could be 100s or thousands of people, many of which hate road bikers, or are drunk and/or hate road bikers. I don’t trust anybody that much!

        Stick to Mtn biking on trails away from cars and people; at least if you get hurt, chances are it’s your own damn fault. I do hope she recovers and does not end disabled.

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    • Mike July 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

      II went by the wreck on Saturday, and saw the van and crumpled bike. We knew something bad happened whole waiting in traffic by the slow speeds of cars going North and very shocked faces by the drivers. There was a fireman directing traffic. He was almost crying.
      I am an avid bike rider in Vancouver, Wa. and often ride to S.E. Portland . I would never ride a bike in that area!
      At least that stretch of 101 has tight traffic lanes and sometimes the bike lanes are almost gone. The roadway has sunken lanes on turns and lots of bumps. Before we met the wreck, we were wondering how the speed limit could be 55 M.P.H. with so many parks, bays and parking lots etc. Traveling 55 MPH was scary.
      It may not be a good thing to look out to the ocean while driving, but considering the wonderful views, it happens all the time.
      I guess I’m a realist, but I think 101 is an very dangerous road for a car, much less a bike. We can point fingers at bad car drivers, but when we put our bikes in and ourselves in bad positions, someone will die.

      Did I mention that much of that roadway is in and out of the shade?

      Good luck biking,

      Mike

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  • 9watts July 8, 2012 at 7:22 am

    “A decision on enforcement action is pending.”
    Does anyone know what this means? At first I read this as ‘a decision about what citation will be issued is pending’ but citation and enforcement are two different things.

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    • Machu Picchu July 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

      It sounds like a pledge to enforce, but what enforcement options could they use other than a traffic citation? That’s a real question, 9watts, I’m not sure. Criminal charges? Caning? (OK, the last one was a joke, though it might be more effective than fines.)

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    • Machu Picchu July 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Also, “decision on enforcement action”. Sometimes the decision on action is no action at all. So maybe not a pledge to enforce, after all. My Sunday morning decision on landscape action is to forego it all, and watch cycling on the tube.

      Enforcement action may be influenced by the long-term status of the injured party. May have to wait that out? Not sure.

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    • wsbob July 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      ” “A decision on enforcement action is pending.”
      Does anyone know what this means? …” 9watts

      In case you haven’t noticed, or have read the bikeportland story you’ve posted a comment to, this story is about a collision between a motor vehicle and a bike on Hwy 101.

      Most likely the statement phrase you’ve quoted, implies an investigation of the collision is being conducted. When it’s completed and conclusions drawn, if there’s grounds for enforcement action, i.e., a citation or some other form of enforcement, if it’s advised to proceed as such, that will likely occur.

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      • 9watts July 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

        No need to get huffy, wsbob. It was an honest question. I wasn’t aware that a citation was considered a “form of enforcement.” Is it?
        Language & usage can be funny sometimes – like Gang Enforcement Team….

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        • wsbob July 9, 2012 at 2:06 am

          “…I wasn’t aware that a citation was considered a “form of enforcement.” Is it? …” 9watts

          Think about this question: ‘What is enforcement?’. I would say the issuance of a citation is a part of enforcement. An arrest would also be part of enforcement. Cops simply on patrol, is part of enforcement. So ‘enforcement’, is the whole thing…why what police do is called ‘law enforcement’.

          Another question to ask: ‘What is penalty?’. I’d say penalty is the serving of the fine or sentence to probation, jail or prison people get once it’s been proven they’ve done something in violation of the law.

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          • Another Doug July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm

            District Attorneys decide whether to pursue criminal charges after they have had an opportunity to investigate a crash. The responding police decide whether to issue citations for traffic violations. Right or wrong, there is a perspective among law enforcement that issuance of a citation will forgo the DA’s ability to pursue criminal charges. (Double jeopardy) So, press reports that a decision on enforcement action is pending is far better than the “no citations were issued at the scene” which we hear so often. I think that we can all agree that law enforcement is too lax and forgiving with respect to the repercussions for motorists who hit us while we are riding. But, at least for now, they have it right with respect to their message to the public and the absence of excuses on behalf of the motorist, which has happened too often in the past. Now, if law enforcement would follow up after the investigation with a press release about what they have decided to do with respect to criminal charges or a citation.

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            • wsbob July 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

              Just above the comments section links in red font under the ‘Possibly Related Posts’ heading have been displaying headlines for some of the past bikeportland stories about the previous Hwy 101 rear-end collision involving a bike and a motor vehicle. links:

              http://bikeportland.org/2011/10/04/collision-on-hwy-101-north-of-gold-beach-leads-to-serious-injuries-60050

              http://bikeportland.org/2011/10/05/women-remain-hospitalized-following-highway-101-collision-60182

              http://bikeportland.org/2012/06/04/man-receives-jail-time-assault-conviction-for-highway-101-collision-72693

              Some readers may be interested in browsing those stories for perspective on how the police and the legal system dealt with that collision; official statements made with regards to how the investigation was proceeding, what enforcement measures were eventually taken.

              The counties in which the two separate collisions occurred, is different: Curry for the Oct/2011 collision, Clatsop for this most recent collision. Different jurisdictions carrying out their responsibility to enforce the law. Though they both occupy a similar position in the state’s legal hierarchy, it’s inevitable that there will be differences in how everything proceeds after the collision…investigation, content of press releases, decisions about enforcement action, and so on.

              It’s a tough situation. Reader comments to those stories expressed some of the same frustration with the overall situation, as they have here, about meaning of police post incident text, enforcement action taken, etc. In the counties, as elsewhere, people working in enforcement and the courts are bound to do their job according to the law. Citizens thinking police enforcement isn’t sufficient, could work to change the laws if they see fit, to allow the police to be more vigilant, or increase police dept budgets to allow them to enforce more actively than currently able.

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              • 9watts July 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

                Thanks for doing all that cutting and pasting of archival links, wsbob.

                What I suspect at least some of us are ticked about are the larger (and unfortunately familiar) dynamics:

                (a) broad daylight, no blind corner, person on bike doing nothing wrong, and she still gets mowed down.

                (b) the fact that the death wish talk immediately crops up only adds fuel to the fire.

                The mismatch between physical reality (a) and misguided and frankly misanthropic attitudes as expressed by the person whom Dana Troy wanted to shout back at (b) is hard to swallow – one more time.

                The fact that law enforcement and the DA and other opinion makers don’t do more to counteract the unfortunate victim-blaming–don’t assert loud and clear at every opportunity (and this was one) the rights of anyone to enjoy Hwy 101 by whatever mode they choose and under all conditions without getting mowed down–doesn’t help, but I don’t think it is the primary issue, either.

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                • wsbob July 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

                  It’s fine to be ticked that collisions like this one occur. In fact…a natural reaction. You seem to be saying, (last paragraph.) that the cops should be making some kind of stand other than they’re presently making, for people’s right to travel 101 safely, but you’re not offering ideas about what form that stand could or should be.

                  It would probably be a good idea for everyone seeking improvements in safety on this road, to devote more thought to developing workable ideas to get that accomplish greater safety on this road. People want safety, but someone has to come up with the nuts and bolts that can make it work.

                  All the links I cut and pasted…simple to do…were up at the top of the comments section, but I thought people might be more inclined to click on them and browse the stories if they were included also in a comment in this section. I really do hope people take time to read those stories and the comments, and also click on the numerous links posted within the stories and the comments. Seriously, there’s a lot to absorb in that material, but I think also, a lot that can be learned about scenic Hwy 101, and issues associated with it.

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                • 9watts July 10, 2012 at 7:49 am

                  “…but you’re not offering ideas about what form that stand could or should be.”

                  Actually some folks have made good suggestions already here in these comments, and I’ll add a few of my own.
                  laws/enforcement
                  - reduce speed limits;
                  - adjust testing schedules for driver’s license and renewal;
                  - stiffen the penalties for damaging someone not in a car with one’s car a la strict liability.

                  outreach/media
                  - get out in front of the ill-considered blame the victim framings that so often intrude into both the news stories and subsequent comments by clarifying rights and vulnerabilities;
                  - opinion makers should express zero tolerance for/seek to eliminate this carnage, and plan how to achieve this with specific changes (see this list);
                  - understand history of streets & roads in US and how they have been re-zoned as exclusive automotive zones; recognize the need to undo this.

                  Others can add far better suggestions, but I don’t think this group lacks for useful and concrete ideas. How to get a hearing with the appropriate folks is then another matter to be taken up.

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                • wsbob July 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

                  “…Actually some folks have made good suggestions already here in these comments, and I’ll add a few of my own. …” 9watts

                  If you seriously wanted a legislator in Salem to look at any idea or suggestion for improving safety on Hwy 101, the idea would probably need to be fleshed out in terms of details.

                  They need a strong argument presented that the idea is realistic and has some chance of actually working, before they spend committee time and other legislators’ time in Oregon’s limited biennial legislature session scheduling, figuring out if the idea could be made into an actual change.

                  It’s great if you feel people have come up with a lot of ideas for making the road safer, but without at least some of the nuts and bolts to move any one given idea forward, not one of those ideas is probably going anywhere.

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                • 9watts July 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

                  Since you have such a good grasp of what is required, why not lend a hand?
                  I appreciate that someone’s got to flesh this out. But what do we have the BTA and legislative staffers for if not for precisely this kind of translation?

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                • wsbob July 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

                  “Since you have such a good grasp of what is required, why not lend a hand?
                  I appreciate that someone’s got to flesh this out. But what do we have the BTA and legislative staffers for if not for precisely this kind of translation?” 9watts

                  BTA and the legislature’s agenda appears to be overwhelmed; they’ve got too much work already. I don’t see them accomplishing much in the way of dramatic improvement without some very solid ideas brought before them.

                  I don’t consider myself to have a particularly good grasp of issues associated with road use. Interested in various aspects of road use that with some changes, could make them safer and favorable to a wider range of transportation modes? Sure. Kind of think I don’t know enough to help move things along. Trying to read and learn a bit about the workings of things, be a little bit better informed seems to be about it.

                  By the way, not directly related to this collision or road safety, necessarily, but in terms of making changes…money…or rather, lack of sufficient amounts of it, inevitably presents itself as an issue to reckoned with. Bit of a stretch here, but simply said, Hwy 101 runs through coastal counties that have for decades, relied on revenue from timber sales for funding of basic services. Gold Beach is in Curry County, directly adjoining Josephine County to the east. In May Josephine was force to make major cuts. This Oregonian article is worth a read, or a re-read, for the wide range of cuts that the budget shortfall obliged:

                  http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/05/because_of_tax_levy_defeat_jos.html

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  • Mike bodd July 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Sight seeing and driving don’t mix.

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    • anon July 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Old people and driving don’t mix!

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      • Paul Johnson July 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm

        It’s less about age than it is about ability. I know some elderly truck drivers that pass every inspection, every physical, every examination with flying colors and have an excellent safety record. I also know 25 year olds who have been suspended multiple times.

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      • CaptainKarma July 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        The only time I’ve been hit by cars was when they were piloted by 20-somethings, or teens. Speaking of pilots, my flight instructor was in his later 70s. I felt MUCH safer with at 10,000 ft than on the street full ofadhd 20 yr olds. Grow up.

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      • Beth July 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

        Careful! Someday YOU will be old, and you better hope you have a way to get around then.

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        • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

          Careful! Someday YOU will be old, and you better hope you have a way to get around then.

          Well, for starters, when many of us are old we’ll all be getting around by other means than privately owned automobiles.
          Secondly, I already have a way to get around that doesn’t require checking in with the DMV, and I have no reason to think it won’t suit me when I’m old. If you doubt the efficacy of bicycles as transportation for old people (however defined) you might want to look at the age distribution of people who bicycle in the Netherlands or Germany.

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    • Jack July 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Seems like this could be generalized as “humans and driving don’t mix”. Looking at our track record, we’re clearly not qualified for the task.

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  • Kate July 8, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I highly doubt the cyclist swerved into traffic. Unlike some parts of 101, there is more than adequate shoulder there.

    It was a picture-postcard sunny clear day at the Coast yesterday and I don’t doubt traffic was heavy…hopefully several people saw something and the truth can emerge.

    I used to think heavy traffic on 101 = slower cars, but it’s not true. Everyone tends to drive faster and it’s even more nerve-wracking.

    What is the hurry, people? Is there someone in the car giving birth? Slow down and enjoy the amazing views (while staying on the road, of course).

    I live on the North Coast and cycle 101 near daily. I’ve affixed both blue and red flashing lights to the back of my bike& helmet. THAT seems to get drivers to notice more…

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    • resopmok July 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      unfortunately using the color schemes of emergency vehicles when you are not one is illegal. Probably better would be orange or yellow flashing lights, or red only on the back and white only on the front. In some places green and white is also reserved for emergency vehicles, though I can’t remember whether Oregon is such a state or not.

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    • matt picio July 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      More likely the driver swerved into the shoulder to try to get around a car turning left, or to avoid hitting a line-up of cars behind one turning left. (this is purely speculation, mind you) The collision site is right before Hug Point state park. Hug Point has a small parking lot which yesterday would have been completely full. Cars are trying to get into and out of that lot onto 101, causing periodic backups when everyone queues up behind the car turning left or right into the lot. Frequent stops and passing on the shoulder is the norm.

      It’s ironic, she made it through the worst part of that stretch (Arch Cape tunnel) only to be struck on a straight stretch of road with fairly wide shoulders.

      I hope she recovers, and that appropriate action is taken after the investigation is concluded.

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    • donald July 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I saw the couple go by as I was riding south on 101 yesterday near Oswald West. I was wearing my new day-glo green safety vest for this ride and she was wearing a full day-glo green windbreaker. I felt glad someone else was wearing the same colors – like we were both on “Team Safety” and we were both going to be ok… She also seemed like a really careful rider – riding on the shoulder, not too fast and attentive at the bottom of the Neakanie Mtn. hill.

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  • Machu Picchu July 8, 2012 at 9:26 am

    In situations like these, I think the resposible party(ies) should be held accountable, but how do we send a message to the public that these things can happen, and aren’t just acceptable odds? I think when a driver is drunk, with a history of it, it’s easy to think that one more bad egg got found out and punished (assuming they’re convicted, et cetera.) But if that driver’s a senior woman, which is to say low man on the Boogeyman pole, it’s assumed that the negligence, inattention, inability to just legally drive straight down the road is somewhat more acceptable. My point is that one person getting as harshly convicted as the law allows doesn’t really do anything toward changing the culture of “car as livingroom” and “driving as a normal thing to do at 50mph+ while close to unarmored people,” which is what really allows so many of these things to happen.

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    • wsbob July 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      “…But if that driver’s a senior woman, which is to say low man on the Boogeyman pole, it’s assumed that the negligence, inattention, inability to just legally drive straight down the road is somewhat more acceptable. …” Machu Picchu

      Assumed? By who? Not generally by most people…that’s for sure. While there are certainly instances where it’s not honored, all persons operating a motor vehicle have an obligation to be certain they’re fit to operate it safely. Relatives and friends have some responsibility to exercise some oversight with regards to people they know that for various reasons, may not be fit.

      Presently, that I know of, there aren’t tests capable of identifying a reliable correlation between a given chronological age of a person and their technical ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Many variables exist that complicate efforts to arrive at such a correlation. At any rate, a general assumption that a given age should be the cut-off age for driving, probably is a far, far, less realistic manner of screening for fitness to drive than would be other types of tests for technical ability and behavioral disposition.

      Thoughtless remarks, in which people jump to conclusions that the cause of a collision is due to a person being of a given age aren’t helpful or constructive towards arriving at sound, fair means of having the roads be safer to travel.

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      • CaptainKarma July 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        The only time I’ve been hit by cars was when they were piloted by 20-somethings, or teens. Speaking of pilots, my flight instructor was in his later 70s. I felt much safer with him at 10,000 ft than on the street full of adhd 20 yr olds.

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  • esther c July 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

    According to the Oregonian the van drifted onto the shoulder. The comments though are blaming the cyclist. What would one expect riding a bike around large vehicles you know. The lady driving the van was old so it wasn’t her fault.

    The law needs to hold people accountable to be 100% attentive when driving.

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  • Alan 1.0 July 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Comparing Dana Troy’s picture in this article, KATU’s picture, Milepost 35 and Google Streetviews, I wonder if the collision occurred just south of St Peter the Fisherman church, between E Upland Drive and Montbrecia Lane? (about a mile south of Hug Point Rd)

    My thoughts to Ms Osborn and her husband.

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    • colleen hilke July 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you, My sister is the one who was injured. She loved riding and is a doctor herself. She is not doing well and I live in New York and can’t be by her side.

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      • are July 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm

        ms hilke, my thoughts are with you and your sister. just a suggestion. you might avoid some pain by not reading comments people post to blogs.

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      • Alan 1.0 July 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        I’m so sorry, Colleen. Do consider are‘s advice about blog comments in general, particularly on less-well moderated sites than BikePortland. If you wonder about others who have been through this particular hell before you, you might read about Jan Morgan’s recovery (http://getwelljan.blogspot.com/), or any comments by Kristi Finney, who’s son Justin was killed by a drunk driver (use the search form on this page).

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        • Kristi Finney-Dunn July 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

          Thanks for referencing me, Alan. It’s good to know that mine and Dustin’s experience is being used for a good purpose… and also that what I’m trying to do is not going unnoticed!

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      • Pete July 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

        Colleen, I don’t know your sister personally but recognize her from when I was her neighbor in Hood River. Know that you have the prayers and support of many people here, we are all pulling for Christeen to come through quickly and fully.

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      • Kristi Finney-Dunn July 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        My thoughts are with your sister and the rest of your family and friends. These senseless, preventable collisions are so hard to understand, and to handle because of the trauma they cause. And it is true that reading the comments can be very disturbing because some people are very harsh and blaming, instead of empathetic and supportive, as you’d assume they would be in this type of situation.

        Even when a drunk driver drove into a bike lane and hit two law-abiding people riding bikes then fled the scene, a large number of people blamed the bicyclists. My 28 year old son Dustin, struck directly from behind, was killed immediately (thank God), and the other young man, side-swiped, had minor physical injuries (and has survivor’s remorse). I was astounded and wounded by the comments, and people gave me the same advice, don’t read them. But it’s hard not to when you’re searching for answers to questions you never wanted to ask. Now I read these comments for fuel, to fuel the fire of my determination to do something about these preventable collisions.

        I cannot express adequately my concern for your sister and all who love her. This is going to be a rocky road and I hope for a good outcome. My thoughts are with you.

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  • bjorn July 8, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Recently an elderly woman ran her van through the front of a business and ended up completely inside in Corvallis. If it is ok to have a minimum driving age then why not a maximum. 78 is awfully old to be behind the wheel.

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    • q`Tzal July 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Simply being age based is legally discrimination.
      Any law to achieve this result will need to ABILITY based as in testing, at least annually, to verify minimum visual acuity, physical ability, reaction time and a real medical check to rule out acquired neurological deficits.

      This will need to be payed for by auto insurance agencies as a cautionary strategy after insuring too many dangerous drivers and being sue to oblivion.

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      • Silly Rabbit, Discrimination is for Voters July 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm

        I think bjorn’s point is that we already discriminate based on age, though we don’t even do that well – the minimum driving age is too low, and it’s killing people (ref: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-teen-driving-study_09sep09,0,1775625.story).

        There’s no question that driving ability decreases as age increases, and yes everyone’s a special snowflake, but the whole point of laws like the minimum driving age is that we can make some fairly decent generalizations across the population. Way back when I got my driver’s license, I knew some kids that had been excellent drivers for years (despite the lack of legality).

        But, being able to drive == freedom. Until we have alternate serviceable transportation mechanisms, capping driving age means “past 75, you’re dependent on your caretakers to let you leave the house.” It’s not hard to see why that’s a tough sell, even though it would absolutely save lives.

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        • q`Tzal July 9, 2012 at 12:35 am

          I’m not saying that the driver’s age in this case was not a major factor in her impairment and unsuitability as a driver.
          My thrust is that we should not be relying on AGE to determine that some person has no business behind the wheel.

          Some simple observational tests above and beyond the basic driving test would have kept me from behind the wheel of a car until around 25-27 simply because of blatant anger management issues and epic impatience.

          Doctor perscribe drugs that make drivers unsafe but have little power to ensure the patient doesn’t endanger the public; I suspect it is HIPPA related.

          Some people are simply impared, incapable or out right dangerous regardless of age and we do the health and safety of the public a great disservice by focusing on age alone.

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        • nels July 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

          I’m 72. I drive just fine, put in a full day’s work, garden, can, volunteer, readcopiuosly, change my own oil, hike, etc. etc. Work circles around people in their twenties that I try to employe. I do not have a care taker.
          I do drive slowewr than the 75 mph on the freeway. With age, color reception turns more to grays, peripheral vision may narrow. I applaud bikers. I bike as well – short distances. Yes I have been cut off too. But what makes me most disgusted is bikers wearing all black. Get a clue and dress to be seen, and lights as well – even in daytime. I send much courage and good will to you commuters. But do be careful. From ‘does not have a care taker. ;-)

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    • wsbob July 9, 2012 at 12:53 am

      “…If it is ok to have a minimum driving age then why not a maximum. … .” bjorn

      Establishing maximum driving age is a far different proposition, because the people focused on are adults. Minimum age of for example, 16, is set because people younger are still at such a point of physical, emotional and psychological development and maturity that they cant generally be relied on to drive safely; they’re not adults.

      People of advanced age are adults. Adults are generally regarded as being old enough and sufficiently mature to drive safely. People do of course, experience changes to varying degrees from person to person as they age…a diminishing of sensory and reflex ability, mental capacity, and other things. Are such changes sufficiently consistent from person to person to support a maximum age limit for driving?

      Working to develop minimum ability standards for the operation of motor vehicles, that everyone would have to take periodically, might be a starting point. Far as I know, nothing like that exists.

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      • Oliver July 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

        And people over the age of 60 vote, in large numbers. (And they don’t walk single file to hide that fact)

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      • Pete July 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        I remember when my grandmother was alive and my Mom and sister and I took her into the Registry (DMV) to renew her license – walker and all. We all stood behind her as she took the eye test and motioned dramatically to the clerk to fail her and not renew her license. My Mom and Aunt had been pleading with her to give up driving after so many near-accidents caused by slow response time and inability to depress the brake pedal fully, but she insisted it was her right. Alas she passed the eye test easily with her new glasses, so we all left, my Mom insisting on driving us home to ‘celebrate’.

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        • wsbob July 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          “…My Mom and Aunt had been pleading with her to give up driving after so many near-accidents caused by slow response time and inability to depress the brake pedal fully, but she insisted it was her right. …” Pete

          You note that an eye test is already part of renewing ones’s driver’s license. DMV might be able to use a simple test to gauge accelerator to brake pedal reaction time and add that to the renewal procedure. Or use a driving simulator. A couple links:

          Geared specifically towards the needs of older drivers:

          http://driving.phhp.ufl.edu/virtual

          A more general system:

          http://www.drivesquare.com/home/

          For people interested in checking out their potential to drive in a racing situation:

          http://virtual-gt.com/

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    • Spiffy July 9, 2012 at 8:12 am

      but then we would need enough infrastructure for them to get around without a motor vehicle, and we’re just not there yet…

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      • kerry July 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

        this. This is what needs to be fixed to get dangerous drivers off the road. The bar needs to be set so, so much higher to drive. A plurality of drivers are completely incompetent to pilot around that much deadly force, and for far more reasons than age (I’d say a complete lack of regard for people around them is likely the primary). We’ll never do it though, until losing a license isn’t a sentence to being a shut-in.

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  • 9watts July 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Jack
    …and plenty of scenery to distract driver’s from the road/traffic.
    I’m not blaming the victim.

    I guess I’m not following your train of thought. What does the scenery have to do with anything? People riding bikes should only ride where there’s no scenery?

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    • Jack July 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I feel like my sentence is self explanatory. There is lots to look at along the road, which means its very likely that there are more people not watching the road when they are driving.

      I think people should ride on any road they feel comfortable riding on. That doesn’t change the fact that some roads are inherently more dangerous than others.

      Hearing a driver who lives out on the coast say, “Those bikers have a death wish riding out here.” should hardly come as a surprise. There’s plenty of people who seem to believe that riding a bike on any road requires a “death wish”.

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      • 9watts July 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

        “some roads are inherently more dangerous than others.”

        I think it is the ‘inherently’ part that I’m having trouble with. These roads are not inherently more dangerous. They are more dangerous because people (in your characterization) might be sight seeing and driving at the same time. That is a function of the prevalence of automobiles on this road and the absence of social or other sanctions to engaging in these activities concurrently.

        “Hearing a driver who lives out on the coast say, ‘Those bikers have a death wish riding out here.’ should hardly come as a surprise. There’s plenty of people who seem to believe that riding a bike on any road requires a ‘death wish’.”

        People believe all sorts of weird and problematic sh*t. I know people who think the government is flying planes over our heads spraying chemicals into the air without telling us. But I’m not willing to reify these kooky notions by making the jump from *some people don’t understand or acknowledge the right of other people to bike on public roads* to *if you hope to live this is no place to be biking.*

        Inattention while driving and a misunderstanding of the legitimacy of biking on Hwy 101 are two different things. We need to fix both, but we’ll make more progress if we don’t muddle them.

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        • DoubleB July 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

          Why are you jumping to a conclusion here from “Those bikers have a death wish” to “some people don’t acknowledge the right of other people to bike on public roads.” And it’s not just you.

          Some people find it incredibly crazy and risky to cycle on a public road. Is it? Probably not as much as they seem to think but the idea of riding next to motor vehicles is terrifying to them. That DOESN’T mean they believe cyclists can’t ride on the roads. It means it’s not an activity they are willing to engage in.

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          • are July 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

            so what exactly does it mean when someone says that someone else who is engaging in behavior he himself would not choose to engage in has a “death wish”? does this reflect keen insight into the other person’s awareness and thinking? or is it simply dismissive and dehumanizing? and if the latter, what might it imply about the speaker’s beliefs or attitudes toward the other’s “rights” in the matter? vis a vis, for example, the rights of others whose behaviors come into conflict with the behaviors of the person whom he is dismissing? we could set all this in logical syllogisms, or we could use ordinary language, but if we are using ordinary language, we should try to remember the logic.

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            • DoubleB July 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm

              “so what exactly does it mean when someone says that someone else who is engaging in behavior he himself would not choose to engage in has a “death wish”?”

              To me, it means “that is some risky behavior . .I would never do that.” Apparently to you, it means “I hate bicyclists.”

              “does this reflect keen insight into the other person’s awareness and thinking?”

              It’s one phrase given little context in one person’s life. So no I don’t think it reflects anything other than what I believe the person meant when it was said.

              “or is it simply dismissive and dehumanizing?”

              It certainly wasn’t a sensitive thing to say at the scene of an accident, but it wasn’t dehumanizing.

              “we could set all this in logical syllogisms, or we could use ordinary language, but if we are using ordinary language, we should try to remember the logic.”

              Well the person who said it used ordinary language and you’re the one that believes it means “I hate bicylists.” That’s your leap of logic that doesn’t really fit what was said. Something along the lines of “that serves her right for cycling here” fits the behavior 9watts described. From what we know that wasn’t stated.

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          • 9watts July 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

            “Why are you jumping to a conclusion… “

            I don’t think that jump is a very large one, DoubleB. That particular statement does not exude compassion for the mauled bicyclist, nor does it express outrage for the vile act resulting from a driver’s inattention, both of which I think would not only be human in a situation like this, but also very appropriate.

            Focusing on the (supposed) lack of good judgment on the part of the cyclist–all cyclists–in a situation like this reifies the idea that these roads are simply not a place for anyone who is not in a car, which is a social construct more than it is a physical fact. That person is not wrestling with how such a deep injustice could have occurred; they’re exhibiting how much of their own judgment they’ve given over to motordom. I don’t think you can have it both ways.

            You see, DoubleB, some of us want to right wrongs, fix things, make the world a better place. We refuse to accept injustices like this, made worse by by-standers’ callous and ill-considered statements, and the all too common sentiments that spawn them; make them seem reasonable. Any death or near-death by an automobile is one too many. If tackling this problem in a serious way means making it a little (or a lot) less easy for those who are used to going everywhere by car, so be it. A small price I say. What if it had been your sister?

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          • El Biciclero July 10, 2012 at 9:26 am

            Problem: “has a death wish” = “asking for it”.

            So when it happens, nobody blames the driver. The cyclist got what they wanted (deserved), right?

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  • kate July 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Macchu Pichu makes a good point. Reading the KATU comments, it’s all “cyclists should not be on the road” or “old people should not be on the road” as if those alone will solve the problem. We need to shift from this pointless argument to look for real solutions that will make us all safer. Because we are humans. Because we make mistakes and f*ck up.

    But the prevailing attitudes are making that hard right now. Drivers DO need to be held 100% accountable, as Esther says…and right now, the culture is still very much Cars Rule, So If You’re On the Road, Cyclist, It’s Your Risk& Your Fault.

    I’ve compared this before to beliefs such as: “well, you were walking alone at night wearing a short skirt, so OF COURSE you were raped!”
    Although we are far from eliminating rape, I believe our culture–to its credit– has moved significantly beyond that sentiment, and we need to keep working for that re: cyclists’ right to the road.

    But my main concern is: what can we do CONCRETELY to make things safer for cyclists and cars? Rather than just blaming and restricting and promoting this false sense that things will be safer, “only if” we make these limitations?

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    • wsbob July 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      “…But if that driver’s a senior woman, which is to say low man on the Boogeyman pole, it’s assumed that the negligence, inattention, inability to just legally drive straight down the road is somewhat more acceptable. …” Macchu Pichu

      “…look for real solutions that will make us all safer. …” kate

      Kate…your suggestion: Excellent. Macchu Pichu’s age biased conclusion to this thread so far: Lousy and not constructive to any kind of real or positive solutions.

      And the same also to the snide and ignorant wisecrack exchange between Pichu and 9watts about the ‘decision on enforcement’ phrase used in the OSP statement. Most likely, an investigation of the collision is pending, and when it’s completed, if there’s grounds for a citation, if it’s advised to issue one, they likely will.

      People over the entire range of driving age are inclined to drift onto the shoulder of the road, depending on the circumstances. Drugs and alcohol aside, which in this collision, according to OSP statements to the O story, are not thought to have been a factor, there are other reasons for drifting to the side of the road, such as fatigue, sleepiness, and distraction.

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    • resopmok July 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      We can stop issuing licenses and allowing people to drive who have no business doing it. Obtaining and retaining a license over the course of one’s life should be an ongoing process, in which not every person is assumed to be qualified. Not giving every breathing person a license would have the added benefit of there being less drivers on the road and an increase in shared or “alternative” transportation. Oddly, however, licenses are seldom permanently revoked, even after multiple serious infractions such as DUI. One can dream anyway, right?

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  • spare_wheel July 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    if there were serious consequences for killing a human being with a lethal vehicle (e.g. mandatory time in the slammer for involuntary homicide) motorists would pay closer attention to pedestrians and cyclists on the road.

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    • Opus the Poet July 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      I am in agreement with you on that, killing people with motor vehicles should be treated exactly like any other means of killing people, knives, guns, baseball bats…

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    • are July 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      as a purely technical matter, killing someone with an automobile already does carry the potential for a manslaughter conviction. the problem (if it is a problem) is that the definition of reckless disregard of probably harmful consequences (which is the relevant standard) is a social construct, and the culture has a different view of what level of inattention is acceptable with respect to operating a motor vehicle than with respect to operating a gun (for example). opus has provided a useful link on the subject. we have placed the private automobile at the center of our built environment, even though as a practical matter almost no one can actually operate an automobile safely. i would argue, however, that this situation will not be significantly improved by increasing the frequency with which people are punished by the criminal justice system. it does not much good to put wanda cortese in prison, and putting ten or a hundred of her in prison will not make other drivers a whole lot more careful. because (see above) there is a limit beyond which ordinary humans simply cannot be careful enough, all the time, to prevent this kind of stuff happening. ultimately, we have to get rid of the private automobile. that day is a long way off. in the meantime, the available sanction against ms cortese is monetary civil liability. one hopes she has one hell of a rider on her insurance policy, or she has other assets to back up her mistake. but even this is an imperfect arrangement. why should ms osborn and her family have to depend on ms cortese’s insurance or solvency. what we need is a comprehensive system for compensating people for their injuries, without regard to the assigning of “fault.” but we have seen how difficult it has been to put in place even such a shoddy patchwork as obamacare, so you can all just wait another couple of lifetimes.

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  • Ryan July 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I’m planning a Hwy101 ride from Portland to SanFran w/ my girlfriend next summer. When would be the safest month to ride (in terms of traffic, RVs, vacationers)? I was thinking maybe the end of Aug through mid Sept.

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    • Oliver July 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

      After school starts.

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      • A.K. July 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

        Yeah I’d say AFTER Labor Day… that’s a busy beach weekend.

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    • Steve B July 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

      I’d recommend May or September.

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  • Sunny July 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    This is my greatest fear as a cyclist — being hit from behind as I ride the shoulder of a fast highway. I’ve tended to ride with my upper body low and parallel to the ground with plenty of mirrors in hopes that if I am hit, my body will “fold” and my head will not take the brunt of initial impact.

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  • Opus the Poet July 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    As I posted in a reply above, others have noticed that humans are poorly adapted to driving http://xkcd.com/1075/ but I think the distance warning should be changed to “rest of your life”. Outside of built up urban areas motor vehicles travel at speeds upwards of 50 MPH on roads that have hidden intersections, driveways, blind hilltops, and blind curves. Humans have evolved to run as fast as 30 MPH, and deal with thrown or falling objects that might hit 100 MPH. The fact that we can drive at average speeds of 70 MPH is testament to the over-built status of the human brain.

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  • ScottB July 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    age related driving facts:
    http://tinyurl.com/cc5n8y4

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  • Sunny July 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Rumble strips could have mitigated this.

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    • Dave Thomson July 9, 2012 at 9:19 am

      In my experience rumble strips are a negative for cyclists, not a positive.

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  • Machu Picchu July 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Whether it was due to my writing or your reading, you didn’t really get it, Bob. My father is 78, and as far as I can tell he is at least as good a driver as most on the road. My mom is five years younger, same deal. I think everyone on the road is a threat, including me. That’s why I avoid it, and drive kind of like a little old lady most of the time (there I go again!) The only age bias I was referring to was that of the public, and in favor of senior women, as opposed to young men. What happened to the woman (several months ago) who creamed the guy on Multnomah before crashing into a house? I don’t know. So anyone who knows can set me straight right now if she was incarcerated or caned, or something that I’m pretty sure would happen to mid-forties Me if I executed that kind of nincompoopery behind the wheel.

    Sorry if you found my intertwining humor with my honest attemp to think through the OSP’s language with 9watts insensitive (or whatever it was). You say things like “most likely” all the time. You’re just guessing, and you want to wait and see. Well anyone can wait and see. I want to try to think about what it means while I wait to see. I think language in official statements from government agencies is important, and when paired with eventual actions, can give insight in future instances where the same language is used. You have misjudged me, and it’s not the first time. Beyond that, you seem a little crabby on this one.

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    • wsbob July 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      “…The only age bias I was referring to was that of the public, and in favor of senior women, as opposed to young men. …” Machu Picchu

      Well then, back it up. Tell us how it is you believe something as absurd sounding as what you wrote would seem to be, could have even the slightest bit of truth to it.

      People do not want to share the road with people that can’t safely operate the motor vehicles they’re driving. This is how I see the public feeling about anyone on the road, driving. Definitely, public recognition is there, that people incompetent for a variety of reasons, are driving…but that this is acceptable? No.

      Arriving at the means to determine whether people wishing to operate motor vehicles are competent at any given time to do so, is a challenging proposition. It’s actually uncharted territory. With more and more people on the road, driving and biking, it becomes increasingly important to determine ways to monitor whether people are fit to drive.

      This collision on Hwy 101 is a serious matter, in fact it’s the second such rear-end collision on Hwy 101 in about the last 6 months. It’s not a laughing matter to be used to keep pulling out the same tired, sarcastic rhetoric about people of advanced age and police with regards to citations and fitness to drive.

      I hope to see people commenting to bikeportland, put more thought into…again as kate suggested: “…real solutions that will make us all safer. …”. That is, more effort to arrive at actual ideas and workable plans that could possibly be applied to procedures and laws, screening for higher levels of competence, or training for greater competence, amongst people on the road operating vehicles.

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    • Alan 1.0 July 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Machu Picchu
      The only age bias I was referring to was that of the public, and in favor of senior women, as opposed to young men. What happened to the woman (several months ago) who creamed the guy on Multnomah before crashing into a house?

      In that case (driver Candice Palmer, victim Reese Wilson) a grand jury determined she would not face criminal charges: http://bikeportland.org/2011/04/05/grand-jury-no-criminal-charges-for-woman-in-sw-multnomah-blvd-crash-50826 . Since a grand jury is randomly drawn from the jury pool, that maybe supports your claim, but it doesn’t address what would have happened if the driver were male, or younger.

      Still, actuarial statistics (insurance!) and the UCTC study cited by ScottB consistently show lower risk for female drivers in this thread graphically displays it, and older drivers remain safer than younger drivers. While there may be other social biases in play, misplaced or not, there’s a real bias in the risk probabilities that older woman are safer drivers.

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  • colleen hilke July 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    It doesn’t matter if the women was to old or the cyclist shouldn’t be on the road and have a death wish. My sister (ms. osborn) is injured. She is a doctor in Hood river and has dedicated her life to saving lives and now she is fighting for hers.

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    • ME Fitz July 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Colleen – My thoughts are with your family. Know that many people are sending support and positive energy to your sister.

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    • Julie July 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      I am so sorry to hear about Dr Osborn. I love working with her as do all of us in Hood River. She is so sweet. We are all praying for her. Don’t listen to the ignorant remarks and be glad for the others who have intelligent remarks and comments like “I felt glad someone else was wearing the same colors – like we were both on “Team Safety” and we were both going to be ok… She also seemed like a really careful rider – riding on the shoulder, not too fast and attentive at the bottom of the Neakanie Mtn. hill.”. People need to pay attention! Things or incidences come out of no where and we as motorists have to be aware. She helped me through a rough time with my husband and I won’t forget. She is a brilliant surgeon!

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  • shirtsoff July 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    This situation highlights the lack of mobility options for an aging population. Specifically, we have built a society centered around the auto and living in settlements where that is the only quick way to get to where you need to go. Elderly populations tend to lead more isolated lives and are not able to gather the support and resources from friends and families to go where they need to go.

    Imagine if all people, young and old alike, lived near light rail and it went to the places they need to, or imagine that everyone had low-cost shuttles/cabs to bring them where they need to go. We would see fewer people who may not be as able as many of us are behind the wheels on our roadways.

    Since we as a society do not subsidize such services enough or even provide them in many locations, we leave the elderly with few options but to drive about in private cars. This can, but certainly not always, lead to dangerous and deadly situations such as what happened on highway 101.

    We need to increase access to mobility options for our aging populations and end this championing of the car as the best choice.

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    • Chris I July 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Actually, LIFT service, operated by Trimet in the metro area is heavily subsidized. It would be great if we had a dense walkable environment for them to live in, so we wouldn’t need to provide subsidized services like LIFT.

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  • shetha July 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I spent a lot of time driving up and down 101 this past week. Today, I drove by the spot where this collision occurred, and my heart went out to Mrs Osborn. Driving 101 is stressful. I am constantly vigilant for bike traffic, as the weather finally has people out on two wheels (where were they in December???) The speed limits vary from 55 to 25, depending on where you are. And the shoulder varies from wide to nonexistent. The signs stating that it’s oregon’s scenic bikeway always make me shake my head… really? There is not enough room to be on the shoulder and the vehicle traffic has so many blind corners and such a high speed allowed? How is this possible? Add RVs and logging trucks into the mix and it’s just disaster bound… that’s a sad fact :-( When I saw the markings on the road from the collision, I saw that the minivan brake markings started in the main lane and went off into the shoulder. I also saw where the bike came to rest markings… and they seemed WAY far ahead. I am hoping for a quick and full recovery for Mrs Osborn. And I hope that some sort of BETTER infrastructure is going to follow those lovely “bikeway” signs sooner than later.

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  • Paul Johnson July 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    How much you wanna bet Wanda keeps her license and doesn’t get cited?

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  • Paul Johnson July 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    This makes a pretty good argument for making all state and US cycleways in Oregon have speed limits of 35 MPH or lower.

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  • Ben July 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    If the elderly woman is unable to drive safely then she shouldn’t be driving at all. She has defiantly proved she cannot drive a motor vehicle.
    My heart goes out to Christeen Osborn, people need to just stop driving.

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  • GlowBoy July 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    “Someone said the person on the bike swerved out into traffic …”

    Seems to be the knee-jerk defense these days.

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  • kate July 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

    “This situation highlights the lack of mobility options for an aging population. Specifically, we have built a society centered around the auto and living in settlements where that is the only quick way to get to where you need to go.”

    Especially at the coast and in most rural areas. And would you like to talk about the drunk driving situation? Epidemic around here.

    There is one bus, the Tillamook Wave, that goes from Tillamook to Cannon Beach…but it’s done after about 8pm…and it’s notorious for buzzing cyclists :-).

    “The speed limits vary from 55 to 25, depending on where you are. And the shoulder varies from wide to nonexistent. The signs stating that it’s oregon’s scenic bikeway always make me shake my head… really?”

    I think a good start would be to reduce speed limit to maximum 40MPH on 101, but, of course, to most folks who live around here, and to those who make their living via commerce…I might as well ask them with a straight face to ride unicorns. But then I think of the revenue that could be generated busting speeders…and the amount of actual time saved on a trip going 55mph vs 40mph…again, is there someone giving birth in the vehicle that needs to get to the hospital? Is someone’s life worth your 15 minutes of saved time?

    And yes, 101 is marketed worldwide by the state as a scenic bike route. Has anyone quantified the $$$$ cycle-touring brings in? In the perpetually cash-starved tourist-based industry that is the north coast, that might make an impact on some people.

    By the way, there is loads of real-estate available for purchase right now between Rockaway Beach and Manzanita, if any of you out there have $$ to invest in establishing a bicycle-themed hostel or brewpub or campsite or something that might raise the profile of cycle tourisim on 101?

    As for the best time to tour 101…summertime is of course busy time, but if you can ride early morning-daytime during the weekdays, it’s still a better deal than weekends. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the side roads (i.e. Miami-Foley from Garibaldi to Wheeler) The locals get quite frustrated with the slowdowns on 101 by tourists (RVs especially) and tend to use the side-roads (which usually have NO shoulder) to drive even faster than normal.

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    • wsbob July 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

      “…I think a good start would be to reduce speed limit to maximum 40MPH on 101, but, of course, to most folks who live around here, and to those who make their living via commerce…I might as well ask them with a straight face to ride unicorns. …” kate

      “…we were wondering how the speed limit could be 55 M.P.H. with so many parks, bays and parking lots etc. Traveling 55 MPH was scary.
      It may not be a good thing to look out to the ocean while driving, but considering the wonderful views, it happens all the time.
      I guess I’m a realist, but I think 101 is an very dangerous road for a car, much less a bike. …” Mike http://bikeportland.org/2012/07/08/collision-on-hwy-101-south-of-cannon-beach-results-in-critical-injury-74403#comment-3058241

      Reducing the speed limit on at least some sections of 101 would make tons of sense, but for a few obstacles that would have to be dealt with. How are people supposed to be able to enjoy the seascape views when there aren’t sufficient turnouts to stop and park, if any, and they’re flying by at 55 mph and faster?

      40 mph, a 15 mph reduction would be an improvement; even slower to 20 or 25 on sections where the views are open and spectacular, an argument strengthened further where the road is insufficiently wide for generous shoulders or bike lanes. 101 is after all, a scenic road, indisputably, even if it didn’t have official designation as such.

      But of course, the purpose the road serves does have some obligation to commerce. Many people have to regard it as more than a pretty road to drive upon. How to reconcile the conflicting demands made upon this scenic road? Any possibility of creating bypasses to shift commerce traffic away from particularly scenic sections of the road? Also, though it might be challenging from an engineering standpoint, maybe it’s possible to widen and add turnouts to scenic areas of the road that need them. Extraordinary road engineering has been used in the Alps.

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    • 9watts July 10, 2012 at 8:01 am

      If more people took The Wave, depended on it, the schedule could and I think would expand. It is a rather bumpy ride–the suspension on those buses is awful–but I love it anyway. Cheap to get to the Coast from here, and not even so slow. Besides you meet the colorful locals who take it. :-)

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  • Adam Gniles July 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I just overheard myself say, “people in cars must really have a murder-wish to be driving out there.”

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  • esther c July 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Perhaps everyone needs to be tested routinely with drivers license renewal for ability. With 10 to 15 percent of Oregonians, for example being addicted to narcotics, it is probably shocking how many stoned people are driving on our roads legally.

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  • Christianne July 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    My sister and I drove past this about an hour after it had happened. Seeing the van, I initially thought they’d hit a deer, but then it was too early in the day for it, the pattern didn’t match quite right from what I’d seen growing up in Maine – until we drove a little further and saw the mangled wreck of a bike. It was horrifying. My thoughts go out to Christeen and hope she can make it through this and recover, and to her husband and family in this difficult time.

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  • Steve B July 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

    My heart goes out to Christeen and her family.

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  • Joe July 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Bike touring 101 is ride-able except for the fact huge 2ton machines sprawl the area. GET WELL SOON!

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  • Rol July 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

    It’s true though, I’m totally out there on the coast looking for death. I mean why else would you be there? All the other ways of killing myself just seem so… non-scenic. Not to mention easy and quick. Who wants that? Not me, I’d rather ride up and down the coast for as long as it takes… months? Years? And maintain a bicycle in working order the whole time, until eventually I’m successful in finding sweet, sweet death!

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    • Chris I July 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      That’s why I bought a car. I would much rather be killing people than get killed myself…

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  • Zaphod July 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Wow… perhaps a bit of self-checking in in order. Some really thoughtless comments from many perspectives. I was stuck in post-accident traffic and saw the police and emergency crews surveying and marking trajectory and such. The shattered bicycle had me thinking the worst and I relieved to see this story about it not fatal even though she’s not out of the woods.

    Jon, please keep us informed on final outcome about her well being.

    I think vilifying drivers or jumping to conclusions has zero value and causes plenty of hurt. Not suggesting we let things slide or shrug but a bit of empathy all around might in order.

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  • Moe July 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Christeen and her husband Charlie Petit are very well known doctors here in The Gorge, and this has been very tragic news for us locally. All of us are wishing her a full recovery. I also wanted to share an interesting post from the Cannon Beach Gazette website from a witness that saw the accident.

    http://www.cannonbeachgazette.com/regional/article_9e2401be-2fe5-558e-93a6-da58fb8a1d55.html#user-comment-area

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    • wsbob July 10, 2012 at 1:08 am

      Excerpt with possibly factual details of importance from the comment to the Gazette story that Moe provided a link to:

      “I saw this accident and the person driving the van swerved over white line good foot to foot and a half and struck her from behind. There was apsolutely no reason for the woman driving to swerve. The bicyclist was almost in gravel she was that far over from white line. …” chrisi carrillo cowna/ comment to Hwy 101 collision story/Cannon Beach Gazette

      The technical details Ms Cowna notes may be useful to the investigation, but the highly emotional nature of the rest of the full comment aside from them, and the arbitrary, personal conclusions she draws is something investigators would have to keep in mind if they were to rely somewhat on her observations to help figure out cause of the collision.

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  • Sunny July 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm
    • Sunny July 10, 2012 at 12:05 am

      (post was made before Moe’s comment was displayed after awaiting moderation)…same article

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  • Joe July 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Just scary we have some driving at age 70.

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  • Scott July 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    “wsbob” -wsbob

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  • Amy July 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Yes, bikers know there is a risk, however, it does not mean we should not ride. There is a risk for every thing we do, including driving. I personally have been riding on the same highway as Dr. Osborn. I assure you she is safe! The problem is people in automobiles need to be more aware and careful. It does not matter if I ride on highways, or as close as the slow streets in my home town of Hood River, cars just drive to fast and to close to bikers. There have been several times a car has driven so close to me, even in a bike lane…..if I fell, or lost my balance there is no way a car could respond quick enough! Not all areas have bike lanes either. I think the key thing to remember is both cars and bikes are here to stay…..so everyone needs to be mindful and careful of each other. I am sure no one wants to hit a biker as much as a biker does not want to be hit! Learn to share the road safely!

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    • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Well said, Amy.

      I’ll only disagree on one point:
      I think the key thing to remember is both cars and bikes are here to stay.

      I’m not sure that is true. In fact I am certain that is not true. Cars have no future, or a future so diminished that most of us would/will find it hard to recognize. The end of cheap gas = the end of auto dominance; and we’re already moving in that direction both on the demand side (young folks aren’t that into cars anymore), and the supply side (gasoline isn’t being made anymore, just extracted at increasing rates from places that are increasingly expensive and technically difficult.
      (See The Race for What’s Left by Michael Klare.)
      For a delightful piece on this topic go to:
      http://westernmountain.org/Resources/DECLINE%20OF%20THE%20AUTOMOBILE.pdf

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      • DoubleB July 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

        Can you come up with one statistical study showing “cars have no future” other than your expert opinion and a 6-page essay from a guy who gave up his car?

        There were 890 million cars in the world in 2008. That’s expected to rise to 1.1 billion by 2020.
        http://www.ibtta.org/files/PDFs/Gaydash_John_V5.pdf

        Don’t trust GM. Fine. A statistical study estimates there will be over 2 billion vehicles by 2030.
        http://www.econ.nyu.edu/dept/courses/gately/DGS_Vehicle%20Ownership_2007.pdf

        The gas-powered vehicle might be on life support at some time in the future, but the personal vehicle looking somewhat like today’s car is still a very growing worldwide market.

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        • 9watts July 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm

          I appreciate your skepticism, DoubleB. You are not alone. Most people I know and probably most people in the overdeveloped world for that matter, have gotten very used to the car–their car(s)–and can’t conceive of life without them, or life with vastly fewer of them.

          When you ask for a statistical study I’m assuming you mean quantitative proof that car ownership is already declining? It is a fair question. All I can point to at the moment are studies showing trends among younger generations away from cars and driving. But that doesn’t in and of itself prove much, or suggest that cars have no future, but I think it is a promising bit of evidence from the demand side that suggests we won’t be caught with our parameters down when the taken-for-granted availability of cheap oil ceases, and/or we discover just how unpleasant the side effects of our consumption of fossil fuels are.

          More later.

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        • are July 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

          the study you cite does not seem to view the availability of fuel or the feasibility of constructing the necessary roads as constraints on the growth in ownership of private automobiles, primarily in emerging economies. instead, they project growth based on income elasticities, and then conclude that someone is going to have to find the fuel and build the roads. this methodology seems to me unsound.

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          • DoubleB July 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

            Then find me one study that shows ownership of private vehicles is going down.

            And even if oil completely disappears over the next 50 years, people don’t want to go back to slower transportation options. The private vehicle isn’t going away even if the method by which it’s powered does.

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  • Christina Carrillo-Cowan July 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I was 2nd car behind van that hit her. I saw the whole thing. Christeen was way over away from white line almost in the gravel when the van for no reason swerved over and hit her. The van did not even break until after Christeen was already thrown thru the air for 2nd time. I am very upset about what I witnessed. The van had apsolutely no reason for swerving. My thoughts and prayers are with Christeen & her husband. When ready to press charges or whatever please do not hesitate in contacting me. Good luck in speedy recovery Christeen!

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    • Amy July 14, 2012 at 2:03 am

      I personally know het and work with her….. I wii be sure to pass this on !

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  • resopmok July 13, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Raise yer hand if you want grandma in the slammer for running down the poor lady.

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    • Paul Johnson July 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      What makes it more acceptable to run someone over when you’re old versus when you’re young? All people were created equal. I don’t buy this “some people are more equal than others” argument when it comes to age.

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  • Amy July 14, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I know her and work with her….. I will be sure to pass this on !

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  • Hooben July 16, 2012 at 4:08 am

    The fact remains that the most dangerous thing we do is drive a car. More people die in cars than in airplanes, bicycles or walking. Driving an automobile is statistically the most dangerous part of our every day lives. You are more likely to die in an automobile crash.

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  • 9watts July 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Coming up on two years since this happened. Anyone know how Christeen is doing? Was there anything more than a ‘failure to maintain lane’ citation? This was to me a particularly horrific collision and I’d sure like to know what came of this. Some of us even sent letters to the DA back then asking for him to take a closer look at this.

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