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Collision at N Broadway/Wheeler sends man to the hospital

Posted by on July 10th, 2012 at 10:47 am

Photo of this morning’s collision
at Broadway/Flint.
(Photo: Gerik Kransky)

A man riding her bike down N. Broadway and came in contact with a truck at the intersection of N. Flint this morning. The collision occurred at about 9:15 am.

According to a source who spoke to the responding police officer, the man on the bike was coming down Broadway, “too fast” and then “flipped her bike and struck the truck.” (It’s not clear what speed constitutes “too fast”.)

The man was transported to the hospital via ambulance but does not have any serious injuries.

A photo sent to me by Gerik Kransky (who was just leaving a meeting at the Leftbank Building across the street) shows the ambulance and the police assembled at N. Flint.

It’s not clear exactly why the collision occurred, however there are some typical behaviors at this notoriously dangerous intersection that might have played a role. Some people ride downhill on Broadway at a higher than average speed, which makes it hard for some people in cars to judge distances. Higher bike speeds also slow reaction times and make it harder to stop to avoid hazards. Right hooks are also common all along Broadway and the car might have been trying to turn right to go north on Flint.

I’ll update this story when I hear more details from the police.

Less than one month ago, I posted about a collision at Broadway/Wheeler (just a few yards from where this morning’s collision happened) and said it’s time for action at this terribly designed intersection.

On June 26th, I joined an ad hoc group of advocates, citizen activists, and staff from the Portland Water Bureau, ODOT, and PBOT. The meeting was called by Betsy Reese, co-owner of the Paramount Apartments which sit on the peninsula formed by Wheeler/Flint/Broadway. Reese is frustrated with the lack of progress in making the intersections safer. At that meeting it became clear that improvements promised by PBOT/ODOT as part of the N/NE Quadrant I-5 widening project will not come soon enough. There’s a feeling among activists that some immediate fixes must come about.

Broadway and Flint meeting-3Broadway and Flint meeting-1
Citizen activist and apartment building owner Betsy Reese (L) wants action.

This morning’s collision adds even greater urgency. (And please keep in mind that it’s not always about who’s at fault. The more important thing is that this is a dangerous intersection that needs attention. The more focus we put on fault, the less focus we have left for solutions.)

Also this morning, I heard some good news about progress. An ODOT rep at that ad-hoc meeting last month has said the agency will break off one component of the I-5 widening project — the closure of the slip-ramp that splits off the main Vancouver off-ramp just east of Flint — and get started on it next month. ODOT will begin the planning process to close the off-ramp this August and is expected to have the ramp closed by next summer.

That off-ramp makes the Wheeler/Flint/Broadway area much more dangerous because people leave the freeway at irregular intervals, which makes traffic flow unpredictable.

That action by ODOT is welcome news, but its only one piece of this puzzle. PBOT has the responsibility to do their part. They should immediately address this situation by beginning the engineering work on a new traffic signal on Broadway at Flint. How many more people have to be injured? Are we willing to keep rolling the dice or are we going to put our bikeway quality and transportation safety rhetoric into action and stand up to this problem like we should?

The ball is in your court Mayor Adams.

— Learn more about this issue at the Broadway Flint Wheeler story tag.

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Comments
  • Mindful Cyclist July 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

    The way the report reads sounds like she did not collide with the van, but rather lost control and flipped her bike and landed on the van. Perhaps the rider saw the van and panic stopped with her front brake and flipped onto the van?

    But, yes what does too fast mean unless the cyclist was going over the speed limit?

    Time for a fix, please!!

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    • q`Tzal July 10, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Too fast is when a cyclist is unexperienced or riding a bike with new brakes and underestimates the stopping power of the front wheel.
      Had a Pee-Wee Herman moment like that once long ago: locked the brakes accidentally, flipped bike (full 360 endo) while managing to land on feet. I actually uttered the words “I meant to do that” aloud. After screaming like a little girl. Much amusment was had by others.

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      • matt picio July 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        But do you have the super-cool bike horn? (“La Tigre della Strada”)
        http://www.therpf.com/f9/pee-wees-big-adventure-bike-58046/

        As a side note, Jonathan – faster speeds do NOT slow reaction times. Reaction times are impacted by lack of speed, lack of awareness, or tiredness, among other factors. Speed increases reaction DISTANCE, but not time.

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        • q`Tzal July 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

          Alas no.
          I have ringer bell of the sort that is used as sound effect to indicate “bicycles are nearby” because it is societally recognized as bike without thought,
          AND
          An AirZound hooked up to 3 liters of air supply.

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          • El Biciclero July 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

            “3 liters of air supply”

            I’m All Out of Love.

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    • wsbob July 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

      “…But, yes what does too fast mean unless the cyclist was going over the speed limit? …” Mindful Cyclist

      In this particular situation what may ‘too fast’ mean? Too fast to safely control the bike, would be one possible meaning.

      Whether or not it actually was the person on the bike going too fast, or instead, something incorrect the driver of the van did that resulted in the person on the bike not having sufficient time to stop, is something probably worthwhile to wait for further details about.

      “…According to a source who spoke to the responding police officer, the police say the woman on the bike was coming down Broadway, “too fast” and then “flipped her bike and struck the van.” (It’s not clear what speed constitutes “too fast” in the officer’s mind, and it’s unlikely the bike was going above the 30 mph speed limit.)…” maus/bikeportland

      Here again, though the meaning of “too fast” in the police officer’s remarks to maus’s source might not be perfectly clear, that the person on the bike may have been going too fast to safely control the bike, is one possible meaning.

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    • HAL9000 July 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Rule #1 in Oregon driver’s handbook: don’t drive too fast for the road conditions. Or your own ability. If the cyclist did indeed crash of her own volition, it would seem she met condition #2.

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      • Chris I July 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        You can still get right hook traveling at a walking pace. What speed is considered too fast when a car can pull in front of you at any point?

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    • Randall S. July 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I believe “too fast” means “literally any speed above walking speed.”

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  • Chris I July 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I wonder how many of the cars go “too fast” on Broadway, per the officer’s definition?

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    • Unit July 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Probably many. Car drivers get ticketed in crashes for going too fast for conditions all the time.

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      • Randall S. July 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

        You realize that’s not possible, right? A police officer (the ticketing agent) would have to have literally been at the scene at the time of the crash with a radar gun in order to determine that the driver was going too fast. Third party subjective testimony in not a valid basis for issuing a citation.

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        • Mindful Cyclist July 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

          Actually, I know someone that was ticketed for speeding after a crash. The skidmarks were measured and it was determined he was going over the speed limit.

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          • Chris I July 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

            Might be a bit more difficult to do that with a bike crash.

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    • matt picio July 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Note – the officer did not say “too fast”. A “source” speaking to the officer said the cyclist was going “too fast”. Big difference.

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  • peejay July 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

    No word from the officer as to where the van was. Was it in the middle of a right turn? In the bike lane? Or was it minding its own business in an auto lane and the cyclist somehow defied the laws of physics and flipped the bike while traveling sideways to the left and struck the van. I’m calling shenanigans right now.

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  • Ian July 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Mindful Cyclist
    Perhaps the rider saw the van and panic stopped with her front brake and flipped onto the van?

    This is exactly what happened to me on Broadway before, avoiding a right hook on a new bike. Riding quickly in that bike lane is a recipe for getting mashed by a car. With 3-4 lanes of traffic, you’d think they could find space for a separated cycle lane or something… anything.

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    • BURR July 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

      I rarely ride in this location anymore, due to all the hazards, but staying in the downhill bike lane on westbound B’way west of I-5 is suicidal; much better to move to the left and take the lane.

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      • spare_wheel July 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        broadway and weidler badly need some traffic calming.

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  • Dabby July 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

    While working as a mechanic in wyoming, a customer was killed by a dump truck. They claimed he was doing over the 50 mph speed limit, and cleared the driver, who pulled out of a neighborhood in front of him.
    As i was dating a cop,i went to the crime scene, and after my analysis, i tried to make them aware of the fact that he could not have been doing more than 30 mph tops(seriously crappy running gear). I used to try to fly down that stretch on a sweet road bike, and would maybe hit 40 before i wanted to barf.
    He was a schitzophrenic who rode that route everyday, on a very slow, mellow bike.
    They found him at fault, and chastized him in the media.

    All to protect a dumptruck driver with a ( i was told in confidence)
    Bad driving record, so he wouldnt lose his license.
    So sad…..

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    • 9watts July 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Dabby,
      and no one stood up for the guy (except you)? Nice justice system.

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      • Randall S. July 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

        Cars are traffic. Cyclists are obstructions to traffic. We have to preserve the status quo. Didn’t you know that?

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  • tonyt July 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    “Higher bike speeds also slow reaction times and make it harder to stop to avoid hazards.”

    Higher speeds do not slow reaction times. It’s just that you cover more ground during a specific time frame, rendering your existing reaction time insufficient for dealing with unforeseen events/obstacles.

    The cops need to STOP with this on-the-fly assessment, conjecture, and opinion as to what happened. We saw this in the extreme with the case of Tracy Sparling. PPB should gather evidence to the best of their abilities and make minimal public statements until they know what the hell they’re talking about. It’s totally irresponsible.

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    • Mike July 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      That conjecture was made by JM, not the police officer.

      If a car lost control and crashed, many here would speculate that the driver was going too fast to retain control. Why is it wrong to do the same for a cyclist? Nearly every cycling accident I have had was due to this very reason (riding too fast).
      Am I the only cyclist in Portland that has ridden too fast for my abilities/conditions/situation?!

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      • tonyt July 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        I was covering two issues in my post. The first is the reaction time quote which was JM.

        The second point was more vague and I could have been more specific. I was referencing the “too fast” which was the cop. I was also speaking in general terms of the tendency of the PPB to comment out of turn as to the conditions of events.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        Mike,

        the key difference is that what often happens in these situations is the police officer does not have the perspective/experience of bicycling in high traffic, urban areas. When someone that has a car-centric perspective offers an opinion that someone riding a bike was going “too fast”, it often reeks of bias to me. I have seen it happen many many times over the years… Especially when the only people available to analyze a collision are the responding officer and the person in the car because the bike rider is either dead or in the hospital.

        It’s totally possible that the person on the bike was going too fast for conditions, I’m just pointing out that snap judgments by people without a bicycling perspective can be harmful. This is why I think it should be mandatory for all police officers to spend a few days riding a bike in the places they patrol.

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        • Wyatt Baldwin July 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

          > This is why I think it should be mandatory for all police officers to spend a few days riding a bike in the places they patrol.

          And walking.

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        • Mike July 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

          I understand and agree, and yet there are snap judgements on this blog about vehicles going too fast any time there is a crash.
          When a driver gets in a wreck, many here assert the driver was traveling beyond their control and I tend to agree; you need to retain control of your vehicle at all times, including in a panic stop situation.
          If the cyclist suddenly stopped and an automobile hit them, most would say the driver was going too fast or following too closely.

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          • Mike Fish July 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm

            Hah – I’d venture the opinion that blog snap judgments aren’t quite as important as the ones police officers have to make while working… I’d consider my opinions more carefully if I got their benefits! :)

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          • El Biciclero July 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

            What Mike Fish said–I don’t think knee-jerk blog comments will ever find their way into the evidence log like police reports can. I also don’t think blog commenters with an armchair opinion will be summoned as witnesses in the court case.

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      • wsbob July 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

        Instead of relying on the second hand account from the ‘source’ of the tip, why not attempt to contact and get the word direct from the responding officer to whom the description of the collsion is attributed?

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  • Schrauf July 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    If PBOT and Sam are unwilling to improve this awful intersection, maybe they could at least help arrange for an ambulance to be waiting on the corner on standby.

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    • Andyc July 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      I was just thinking that! Commission an “ambulance-stand” here.

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      • tonyt July 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        There’s always money in the ambulance-stand.”

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        • Craig Harlow July 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

          banana

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  • Oliver July 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    A person in a car once made a left turn in front of me causing my motorcycle to collide with the passenger door. The driver’s comment was “I thought I could make it”

    There was never any question about who was at fault, the car failed to yield the right of way.

    Now if the police officer has proof that the woman was exceeding the speed limit, he may have some point, otherwise what’s up? Either the car failed to yield right of way causing a collision or it did not and there was not.

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    • tonyt July 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Well, “too fast” doesn’t always need to reference the speed limit. “Too fast” can mean for the conditions at the time.

      If a driver is driving at or below the limit, and it happens to be raining, and they run off the road on a corner, then they were driving too fast for the conditions.

      If a cyclist crashes due to high speed (regardless of the speed limit) then they were riding too fast.

      Regardless though, the cop shouldn’t be making such comments so early in the investigation.

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  • El Biciclero July 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    “Too Fast” is bogus. Too fast for what? The speed limit? Don’t know for sure, but that’s doubtful. Was she going so fast that the bike developed a “speed wobble”, throwing her over the bars and into an innocent van? Was she going too fast to stop instantly if someone decided to cut her off? Nobody in any vehicle can account for that unless we all stick to 10mph. Even that slow, I’ll bet somebody could find a way to make you crash. Was she tailgating the van? That’s more like “too close” than “too fast”. Too fast for some officer’s or witness’s personal taste is most likely. “I would never go that fast on a bike! That’s a death wish!”

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    • BURR July 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      I think she was going ‘too fast’ for the person in the van who failed to yield the right of way.

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      • dwainedibbly July 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        I was thinking the same thing.

        Let’s get this intersection fixed NOW!

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    • DoubleB July 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      “I would never go that fast on a bike! That’s a death wish!”

      Are we revisiting this here?

      BURR in a comment above:

      “I rarely ride in this location anymore, due to all the hazards, but staying in the downhill bike lane on westbound B’way west of I-5 is SUICIDAL; much better to move to the left and take the lane.’ (emphasis mine).

      So a cyclist specifically uses the term “suicidal” which is pretty close to “death wish” and he means it not in the belief that “he hates cyclists” or “that she deserved to be an accident” but to mean what I said in a previous comment thread–”I don’t ride there much anymore because I think it’s dangerous.”

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      • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        There is a difference between riding in a location vs. riding at a particular speed. There is also a difference between someone with actual cycling experience making a judgment about what is dangerous for a cyclist and someone with no cycling experience projecting their own FUD onto an experienced cyclist–especially if that person is a law officer. “It” is worth visiting here again because you are not understanding how “it” affects people. When some non-cyclist member of the (statistical majority non-cycling) public makes claims that a certain cycling behavior or location is “dangerous”, it bolsters the thought in drivers’ (in general) minds that any cyclist riding that way or in that location is “asking for it”. When someone who rides a bicycle and has experience with a particular location or riding technique says that riding in a particular area is “suicidal”, he means that drivers there are oblivious to their obligations and are likely to run over you. Technically, those could be construed as equivalent statements, but the latter is advice from somebody in the same boat, the former is used against cyclists all the time to shift blame away from incompetent drivers. Not to over-invoke the name of BURR, but he (assuming ‘he’) also makes the comment “I think she was going ‘too fast’ for the person in the van who failed to yield the right of way.” As my dad always used to say, “consider the source”. It does matter.

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        • DoubleB July 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

          “There is a difference between riding in a location vs. riding at a particular speed.”

          BURR’s 1st comment above refers to riding in a location as does the “death wish” comment from the US 101 accident, so what does this have to do with speed. I simply mentioned it because it shows that even an experienced cyclist uses that term to describe it as I did on a previous thread.

          “When some non-cyclist member of the (statistical majority non-cycling) public makes claims that a certain cycling behavior or location is “dangerous”, it bolsters the thought in drivers’ (in general) minds that any cyclist riding that way or in that location is “asking for it”.”

          According to who? You? For someone who thought I was using semantics earlier, this is quite hypocritical.

          “Technically, those could be construed as equivalent statements, but the latter is advice from somebody in the same boat, the former is used against cyclists all the time to shift blame away from incompetent drivers.”

          I used to ride a bike to work for a year. How much cycling experience do you need to be “in the same boat?” Oh I know, those that agree with you. How convenient.

          I know this seems difficult for you to believe but there are A LOT of people out there who aren’t anti-cyclist but wouldn’t ride a bike on Portland streets because they think it’s dangerous. For you to make the leap that every “non-cyclist” (whatever that means) thinks “dangerous” means “asking for it” is just absurd.

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          • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm

            “BURR’s 1st comment above refers to riding in a location as does the “death wish” comment from the US 101 accident, so what does this have to do with speed.”

            You opened by quoting my facetious “death wish” comment regarding perception of cyclist speed, so I thought you were comparing BURR’s comment to mine.

            “…’it bolsters the thought in drivers’ (in general) minds that any cyclist riding that way or in that location is “asking for it”‘.”

            According to who?”

            According to any number of police officers and judges around the country. I put links to a small sample of stories in this comment (which got buried in too much nesting) as examples of the general public’s–and even law enforcement’s, in some cases–view of bicyclists involved in crashes or just observed in “dangerous” situations.

            “For you to make the leap that every ‘non-cyclist’ (whatever that means) thinks ‘dangerous’ means ‘asking for it’ is just absurd.”

            “non-cyclist” means someone who doesn’t ride a bike. Perhaps I should narrow that to someone who either doesn’t ride a bike or only rides in parks or on trails rather than daily on city streets.

            I didn’t make the leap that every non-cyclist thinks that, but enough do so that the attitude needs combating (see the links I listed in the comment I linked to above).

            I also question why the response to “dangerous” areas is more often “not to ride there” rather than to “make them less dangerous”. Again, the source of the danger is drivers not paying attention, not knowing the law or being willing to follow the law, that makes any area “dangerous” for riding. Even that shows an unconscious bias: rather than say, “I always try to drive more carefully there because there are so many cyclists”, or even, “other people need to drive more carefully through that area“, most folks who default to driving more than riding say instead, “I would never ride there.”

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            • 9watts July 14, 2012 at 6:22 am

              El Biciclero said it well – again:
              I also question why the response to “dangerous” areas is more often “not to ride there” rather than to “make them less dangerous”. Again, the source of the danger is drivers not paying attention, not knowing the law or being willing to follow the law, that makes any area “dangerous” for riding. Even that shows an unconscious bias: rather than say, “I always try to drive more carefully there because there are so many cyclists”, or even, “other people need to drive more carefully through that area”, most folks who default to driving more than riding say instead, “I would never ride there.”

              This is, I think, the most concise rebuttal to the Hwy-101-is-not-for-biking detractors. I think the TriMet manual’s compassionate and inclusive language is usefully complementary: People who bike are people, just like you! Please treat them as people

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            • DoubleB July 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

              I was comparing BURR’s comment to the original one discussing the US 101 story. My fault for not being clear.

              “…’it bolsters the thought in drivers’ (in general) minds that any cyclist riding that way or in that location is “asking for it”‘.”

              I couldn’t find the stories you linked to so don’t want to overly comment without seeing them. That being said there were 52000 bike/car incidents last year. I have no doubt that in a few of those cyclists got the short end of the stick. Unfortunately that happens. It happens in any society run by humans.

              “I also question why the response to “dangerous” areas is more often “not to ride there” rather than to “make them less dangerous”.”

              Because you can’t make them less dangerous immediately. There are a lot of places where driving is more dangerous than it should be as well. The people in charge aren’t going to get up tomorrow and fix these issues. So I can A) understand the danger and drive more safely OR B) avoid driving down that road. Cyclists have that same option as BURR himself pointed out in which he takes the lane IF he cycles in that area.

              “Again, the source of the danger is drivers not paying attention, not knowing the law or being willing to follow the law, that makes any area “dangerous” for riding.”

              It’s never, ever the cyclists fault with you. Most studies show bike/car incidents are about 50-50 in terms of fault. You write like it’s 99-1. I’m not sure there’s anything more biased than that.

              Even that shows an unconscious bias: rather than say, “I always try to drive more carefully there because there are so many cyclists”, or even, “other people need to drive more carefully through that area”, most folks who default to driving more than riding say instead, “I would never ride there.”

              Just because it’s not said doesn’t mean drivers don’t drive more carefully through that area. You can do both–drive more carefully through an area with a lot of cyclists and agree that “I would never ride there.”

              This whole thing is about you taking one phrase to point out that drivers are biased against cyclists. Even another regular cyclist used the term in a very off-hand way, but he/she is a cyclist so apparently can get away with it–which is incredibly biased as well, by the way. If you choose to treat yourself like a persecuted minority, I guess that’s your choice. But in an area that bends over backwards to accommodate a very small community (you can certainly debate the efficacy of those accommodations), I find it incredulous that anyone would think that.

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  • spare_wheel July 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    “Some people ride downhill on Broadway at a higher than average speed, which makes it hard for some people in cars to judge distances.”

    I sincerely doubt this rider was going faster than the average motorist. Why the double standard? If people in cars have trouble judging distances they should wait or proceed with extreme caution.

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    • wsbob July 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

      “…If people in cars have trouble judging distances they should wait or proceed with extreme caution.” spare_wheel

      Image presented by a person on a bike is much smaller than that of most motor vehicles, particularly the front or rear view, making a person on a bike much harder to see than a motor vehicle.

      By the same fact, under various circumstances in which a motor vehicle can be difficult to see, someone on a bike may virtually not be visible at all to road users. Expecting road users to wait for people on bikes that can’t be seen is not very realistic. This may be a good reason to consider a possible change in the law to have it require front and rear daytime running lights on bikes used in traffic.

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      • Ted Buehler July 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

        wsbob — It’s the law. If someone is coming, you need to wait for them to go by. Plain Jane, it’s how it works in all 50 states and many other countries.

        Why complicate matters?

        Why favor motorists?

        All we need is consistent enforcement.

        How about a cop decoy on a bike busting down Broadway at 25 mph, and ticket any motorist who pulls out in front of them?

        It’s a much simpler solution. Requires no legislation, no additional barriers to bicycling, and might even bring revenue into city coffers…

        Ted Buehler

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        • wsbob July 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

          “…Why complicate matters?…” Ted Buehler

          My thought exactly. Overcome the inherently more difficult to see presence of people riding bikes on the road. People coming down the road have to be able to be seen before they can realistically expect other road users to see them and wait for them to pass. Motorcycles, more comparable in size to a person on a bike than are motor vehicles, run lights at all times, regardless what speed they’re traveling. People riding bikes with daylight running lights, at least in high traffic areas might be a worthwhile idea to consider; lights get better and more affordable, but expense would still be and issue, as would the additional annoyance to the street of flickering lights.

          Consistent enforcement is an elusive, dubious solution. It’s expensive, and counter to the more effective means of safety achievement to be gained by having road users themselves shoulder responsibility for helping the road to be safer.

          Decoys on bikes sound like a good idea. Decoy pedestrians were used by the police out in Beaverton a few times in the last six months to get a sense of how frequently people that drive don’t yield, for whatever reason, to pedestrians. How big of a deterrent that kind of action can be, is less clear.

          In response to the story about this most recent collision at Broadway and Flint, with only the slightest of details about the collision presented, in various comments, there’s been far too much presumption that the person driving the motor vehicle, pulled out in front of the person riding the bike, leaving the person on the bike with insufficient road distance to safely stop. Might have happened, but it seems to make a lot of sense, before drawing that type conclusion, until there’s at least a few more details available that help to put together how the collision transpired.

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      • El Biciclero July 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

        Or we could stop making the law sound like cyclists are required to hug the curb at all times. We could train drivers to look for cyclists, rather than just happen to notice large objects that drift into their narrowly-focused field of view.

        Yes, DRL for bikes are a good idea, I am just very skeptical of anything that requires cyclists to take extra precautions without requiring anything of the drivers that would otherwise run over them. Drivers must be trained–or train themselves, as I have–to actively look for vulnerable road users at or beyond the edges of where they would normally look for giant cars. One doesn’t have to really look for cars, they present themselves quite unmistakably. I drive all the time, and I have seen many dark-clad, sidewalk-riding, crosswalk-using, non-stopping-at-stop-signs, wrong-way, etc. bike riders because I am always looking. Rather than use the focused center of their field of view to spot cars and rely on peripheral vision to detect peds and cyclists, I suggest doing it the other way around.

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      • spare_wheel July 11, 2012 at 11:55 am

        i agree that some motorists have trouble seeing cyclists but I think the cause is psychological not visual acuity. motorists need to become accustomed to scanning the road for cyclists! i did not see them is not a valid excuse.

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        • wsbob July 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm

          spare_wheel
          i agree that some motorists have trouble seeing cyclists but I think the cause is psychological not visual acuity. motorists need to become accustomed to scanning the road for cyclists! i did not see them is not a valid excuse.
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          People on bikes aren’t psychologically smaller than cars and other motor vehicles; they’re physically smaller, and they don’t have big shiny headlights, chrome bits and light reflecting windshields that together, work to raise the visibility of motor vehicles. This leaves people on bikes being far more difficult to detect on the road than motor vehicles.

          Don’t expect the ‘motorists need to be accustomed, etc, etc.’ to be a very reliable means of increasing the visibility of people on bikes. We’re talking average people here, rather than Formula I drivers.

          Actually, as more people are on the road, biking, I do think road users probably are getting better skilled at looking more closely for the presence of people riding bikes, but this doesn’t change the fact that people on bikes can be very difficult to detect within all the other busy activity in a given road situation.

          In terms of the visually detectable image they present to other road users, people on bikes in traffic aren’t infrequently like the character in that simple game popular some years back, ‘Where’s Waldo’. He’s right there in front of you…but where? Fun little game to pass the minutes at home with nothing better to do, but on the road, seconds can be critical.

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          • El Biciclero July 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm

            Does not remove the obligation of drivers to “detect” peds and cyclists. Active scanning does wonders, and should be a behavior ingrained in every driver in their training classes…oops, that’s right. Never mind.

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  • GlowBoy July 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I hope this isn’t going to be the beginning of cops (mis-)using the Basic Speed Law against cyclists riding down hills “too fast to avoid getting right-hooked”.

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  • basketloverd July 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    How much would a privately funded and installed camera system for this intersection cost?

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    • dan July 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      That looks like an apartment building on the left side of the top photo in this post. Someone could run a cheap camera (i.e., webcam) in their window for pretty darn close to free, and only review the recording if there was an incident.

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  • Craig Harlow July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Wwe can add the lateral grading of the roadway to the other dangerous elements in this section of roadway.

    The roadway curves to the left, and the lateral grade slopes downward to the right, creating two dangerous conditions:

    1) debris is constantly being pushed laterally downhill by car wheels and wind, i.e. to the right side of the roadway (bike lane)

    2) leaning a bike to the left to navigate the left-curving road on a right-sloping surface decreases bike tires’ grip on the road

    Add the two together, plus downhill momentum, and it’s a recipe for a loss of traction. These conditions are likely to topple anyone on a bike who has to react to surprise traffic movements by another vehicle.

    There’s a similar lateral grade issue on westbound Multnomah before NE 2nd Ave, in that case a right-curving road with a lateral left-sloping surface. There, at least, not all the debris is being shunted into the bike lane.

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  • Craig Harlow July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    We can add the lateral grading of the roadway to the other dangerous elements in this section of roadway.

    The roadway curves to the left, and the lateral grade slopes downward to the right, creating two dangerous conditions:

    1) debris is constantly being pushed laterally downhill by car wheels and wind, i.e. to the right side of the roadway (bike lane)

    2) leaning a bike to the left to navigate the left-curving road on a right-sloping surface decreases bike tires’ grip on the road

    Add the two together, plus downhill momentum, and it’s a recipe for a loss of traction. These conditions are likely to topple anyone on a bike who has to react to surprise traffic movements by another vehicle.

    There’s a similar lateral grade issue on westbound Multnomah before NE 2nd Ave, in that case a right-curving road with a lateral left-sloping surface. There, at least, not all the debris is being shunted into the bike lane.

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  • kittens July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    can someone please fix the timing on these lights! the last one before the bridge is utterly infuriating.

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    • Chris I July 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

      They need to be timed for 15-20mph. It is difficult to do that in both direction, however. This is why couplets are much better for traffic flow.

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  • Joe July 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Hope she heals fast, I must look like a speeder riding my bike with all
    these cars that are stuck in traffic or stop lights. JUST love cars that speed up when I have the lane, but hey I not slowing anyone down just tring to stay safe. SHARE THE ROAD PLEASE!

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  • resopmok July 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    So much conjecture so I might as well put mine out there.. I think probably the van was waiting to make a right onto Broadway from Flint, and the woman thought it was going to turn in front of her so she slammed on the brakes too hard. She then flew over the handlebars into the side of the van. It’s hard to make out much of the bike given how tiny it is in the picture, but it doesn’t appear to be damaged, which it probably would be had it also collided with the van instead of ejecting its passenger.

    It’s really easy to rant against bad drivers because there are so many and they drive lethal weapons, but in this case I’m gonna predict rider error and chalk it up to inexperience. Summer brings out the noobs in droves, so fasten your seatbelts for more crash reports until October.

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    • Todd August 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Those weren’t ‘noobs’ blowing through that stop sign on Flint on their bicycles, on the news story I just watched on channel 6, and flying out into MV traffic on Broadway. I would hate to have one of those bicyclists come flying off of a side street like that and into my path of travel because I am sure, because of their wreckless disregard, they would end up being a hood ornament on my car. Maybe the bicyclists should start minding the traffic laws just as MV operators are expected to and there will be less of these kinds of accidents.

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  • Aaron July 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I passed the scene before the police or ambulance had arrived and I think the collision must have occurred closer to 9 am. The cyclist was lying in the road practically underneath the passenger side of the white pickup truck seen in the photo. Did they strike a van or was it that pickup truck?

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  • K'Tesh July 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Has anybody thought to put up a bunch of webcams to record the action there? If/when (God Forbid) someone else gets hurt, there could be a clear record of what exactly happened, thus eliminating the chance of an officer making an uninformed judgment.

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  • motorist cyclist July 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    wsbob
    Instead of relying on the second hand account from the ‘source’ of the tip, why not attempt to contact and get the word direct from the responding officer to whom the description of the collsion is attributed?
    Recommended 2

    Because that would reek of actual reporting instead of biased conjecture and opining? Who was it that said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story…”?

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  • dude July 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Jonathan-
    You didn’t mention whether or not if there were any citations issued? Did the officer feel sorry for her and let her off this time?

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  • dude July 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Were there any citaions issued?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      No. My source said that the officer felt the collision was the fault of the woman on the bike and therefore decided not to cite. I’ll try to confirm this information tomorrow.

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      • Dude July 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        That sounds a little confusing still, she didn’t get a citation because it was her fault?

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  • Megan July 11, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Like how Aaron described, I was there when this accident (at least I’m assuming it was the same accident) occurred and I definitely saw a male biker try to avoid a white truck that was making a right turn, hit the curb, flip over his bike and land in between the front and back tires of a white truck. I didn’t see any van.

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    • 9watts July 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Maybe two different accidents?

      (1) woman on bike + van
      (2) man on bike + pickup

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      • Alan 1.0 July 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        I was wondering that, but I also see that Jonathan’s description has changed from “van” to “truck” (I’m guessing that means pickup).

        As to Jonathan’s larger point, about fixing this area (among many others), it’s a complicated problem. Removing the I-5 “slip ramp” and reducing Broadway’s speed limit to 25 would be good starts, and the latter brings along the 3-foot law. I wonder about a blinking amber lights embedded flush in the 8″ bike lane stripe, too.

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        • El Biciclero July 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          “…reducing Broadway’s speed limit to 25 would…[bring] along the 3-foot law.”

          What do you mean about the “3-foot law”? If there is either a bike lane, or a speed limit under 35, the safe passing distance law goes out the window. There is no literal distance (e.g., “3 feet”) specified in ORS; instead safe distance is described as a distance that would prevent contact if the cyclist fell into the driver’s lane. To me, that says, “about five or six feet”. But still, it’s moot if there is a bike lane or speed under 35.

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          • Alan 1.0 July 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

            “it’s moot if there is a bike lane”

            Oh, thanks, my bad.

            And I’m not real excited about the blinky lights, either, or lots of other signage, for that matter. (I think blinky lights along the bike lane line might be better than other signage, but still it’s more visual clutter.) But something needs to be done, and while training everyone better (riders and drivers) should happen, it won’t happen soon enough.

            I was wondering about the 85th percentile rule-of-thumb. Do engineers factor in other things like crashes? Surely there must be other examples of places where 85% speed limits correspond with Bad Things?

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        • GlowBoy July 11, 2012 at 11:28 pm

          AFAIK, NE Broadway’s speed limit is already just 20mph, though you’d never guess from the usual 30-40mph that most drivers do on it.

          IIRC it’s posted at 20 somewhere near the beginning of the couplet at 24th Ave, and I don’t recall another sign between there and the bridge indicating a higher limit.

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          • Alan 1.0 July 12, 2012 at 12:07 am

            Surfing down Broadway on Streetviews I see a 30mph sign on the left side in the 2300 block. If there are others, I missed them. Seems like down around Victoria might be the place to sign down to 25, if they can legally do that.

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    • spare_wheel July 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      i echo what esther c said below. please contact the police. the driver needs to be held accountable for his mistake.

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  • Hermes July 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    A common psychological response on the part of an accident victim is to be embarassed and apologetic, regardless of who’s at fault. If the woman was behaving that way, the office may have simply concluded that she was indeed at fault and “going too fast” to control her bike. Yet if a motorist loses control and crashes into a pole to avoid another vehicle that runs a red light, is that motorist at fault? Not at all. Perhaps the Portland Police should be lobbied to exorcise their demonization of bicyclists.

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  • esther c July 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    My guess is this would be the same accident and the cyclist wasn’t at fault. If you witnessed this please be sure to get your contact information the cyclist. Can you contact the police as a witness so the driver can be charged for illegal right turn.

    If the cyclist was going “too fast” it was only too fast to avoid being mowed down by an ignorant driver if your scenario is correct.

    It sounds like the responding officer may not even be aware of who has the right of way in these situations.

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  • El Biciclero July 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I want diagrams!

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  • Todd August 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    It is my understanding that the bicyclist, as too often happens with bicyclists in this city, blew the stop sign on Flint with no regard for traffic on Broadway and when attempting to make that hard right onto Broadway found him/herself confronted with the delivery van already in the process of making his right turn onto Wheeler so blame the bicyclist for his/her own wreckless disregard of traffic laws and others around him/her.

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  • Todd August 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I’m watching channel 6 news right now and 15 bicyclists just blew through the stop on Flint turning right onto Broadway while I was watching the story. How about a little personal responsibility instead of rushing to blame the MV operator. If I blew through stop signs in my car like I see bicyclists in the inner city area blow stop signs I would have over $30,000.00 in fines. Wake up and take responsibility for yourselves.

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  • Todd August 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I’d like to share a little story with you bicyclists here. I was downtown a couple months ago and crossing Taylor at 4th in the crosswalk with the pedestrian light in my favor when a bicyclist blew the stop light and, if I had not jumped out of his way, would have been struck by him and possibly seriously injured. This was no ‘noob’ as some of you more seasoned bicyclists like to label these violators to minimize the idea that a greater portion of bicyclists in the PDX area disregard and disrespect the traffic laws. No this person was decked out in all the gear of a seasoned rider and well worn gear and bicycle at that. Later, as I was leaving downtown in my car, headed north on 4th to Alder to catch the Morrison bridge back to 84 east and, as I stopped, about 3 cars back, at the red light at Morrison st. several (7-9) bicyclist maneuvered between the stopped cars to improve their position at the stop light and one bicyclist actually smacked the driver’s side mirror on my car, knocking it loose to the point that I had to replace the mirror mount. Did the bicyclist stop and offer insurance information or offer to pay for damages? No. And if a motorcyclists pulled that same stunt winding in between stopped cars, he or she would be cited. I have no problem about sharing the road, I’m the guy, when heading to my friend’s house on Sauvie’s Island, give the bicyclists plenty of leeway on the dike road, slowing and waiting for oncoming MV traffic to clear before attempting to pass, but when dealt that kind of personal and legal disregard and disrespect by bicyclists, it makes it rather difficult for me to have any compassion for the cause.

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    • are August 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      great story, bro

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