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Trucking company settles with Rickson family for $700,000

Posted by on February 26th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Scene of the collision.
(Photo courtesy Rickson’s attorneys.)

As we reported this morning, a jury was expected to rule on the Kathryn Rickson case today. Rickson’s family was pursuing a $1.78 million lawsuit against the trucking company that owned and operated the truck involved in the collision that claimed her life back in May 2012.

However, just a few hours before the closing arguments were set to be heard at the Multnomah County Courthouse, representatives from Golden State Foods Corp. decided to settle out of court for a sum of $700,000.

According to Charley Gee, an attorney with Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton, the firm representing Rickson’s estate, this is a significant settlement that should send a clear message to trucking companies to take driver training more seriously.

During the seven day trial, Rickson’s attorneys presented evidence that attempted to show that the driver of the truck and/or his passenger should have been more aware of the presence of a bicycle lane and a person who might be occupying it. Gee said they presented the jury with evidence showing exactly what the truck driver and his passenger could see from their windows. “We went out and got a truck that matched the truck in the incident and we closed down the intersection,” Gee shared with us via telephone today. “We circled the block in that truck and documented exactly what a truck driver could see in the mirrors and what the passenger could see.”


“There was absolutely no excuse for not seeing a bicycle rider in that bicycle lane… And with that bike lane being one of only a few with green paint, there was no reason, no excuse,” said Gee.

Gee added that they also presented evidence (partially via testimony from the truck driver himself) that showed the truck had an irregular turning movement prior to the collision. As the truck approached the intersection, it slowed way down, then veered left a bit (to do a “jug-handle” turn, a common move for large trucks trying to make a tight right turn), then right again, then the truck paused again for some reason before colliding with Rickson.

For more details on how the collision occurred, read our report about the District Attorney’s findings in the case.

Gee, a daily bicycle rider himself who rides through this intersection frequently, said he hopes the $700,000 settlement encourages local delivery companies to spend more time training their truck operators on the law and how to drive safely in the urban core. As for the design of this notoriously dangerous intersection, Gee added, “Personally, I’d love to see a bike-only signal.”

— Read more about Kathryn Rickson in our archives.

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Comments
  • q`Tzal February 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The ol’ jug handle maneuver is illegal because it creates this exact scenario.
    First you jog left to get wide on the right turn. While turning left you can’t see anything on the right.
    Then you turn sharp right. Your ability to see if anything has traveled into your right blind spot is almost instantaneously over as that view angle is transited due to the increasing angle of truck to trailer as you complete your turn. At this point you’ve committed to run over anything that you didn’t see before you swung left.

    You are supposed to stay straight in the lane, as far to the left as is safe & legal, and pull forward enough in the intersection so that you can clear obstructions when you execute a simple right turn. In most two-way streets this requires the left turn lane to be set back a few car lengths so that the truck can ge back in the travel lane after pulling forward far enough to allow the trailer tandems to clear the curb.

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    • paikikala February 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      In this case the street being turned onto was one-way southbound with ample space.

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    • Paul February 27, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      I’d be interested to hear where you’ve been driving where the left turn lane limit line is set back at all, or enough for a tractor to occupy.

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      • El Biciclero March 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

        Left turn lane stop lines are generally set back a little bit to allow traffic turning left from the cross street to cut the corner, although it’s probably not normally enough to make room for button-hook(?) turning maneuvers by buses or trucks.

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  • Kyle February 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    As a cyclist, pedestrian, and driver in inner-city Portland, I’d personally like to see limits on truck sizes for local deliveries. Our streets are far too narrow for larger trucks and drivers routinely make illegal and dangerous turns.

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    • q`Tzal February 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Turn was legal, the way it was executed was illegal.
      But #ELL YES these trucks are just too long for downtown.

      I simple low cost interim solution would be to talk to whatever Portland business alliance covers downtown and ask them if there is any way that the city can accommodate their need for large truck access: in other areas, at low traffic times or by establishing some facility for offload & transfer to smaller trucks/vans.

      Simply as a matter of attrition most heavy industry that needs frequent freight loads to & from urban cores will relocate to areas outside the urban core for cost reasons. Maybe I don’t know my city as well as I should but I can’t name a single company within downtown Portland that requires daily as much freight as a 48′ or 53′ trailer can deliver. The US Postal Service just SW of the Broadway Bridge comes to mind. All others almost certainly could be accommodated with smaller trucks. It’s just a matter of phrasing the question to business owners properly.

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      • Paul February 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm

        Those 48′-53′ semi-trailers contain multiple stops. It wouldn’t be practical or cost effective to send multiple smaller trucks and drivers. However, requiring them to operate during off-peak hours (middle of night) might be an option.

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        • q`Tzal February 28, 2014 at 9:19 am

          In the 2+ years that I’ve been driving for one the nation’s largest trucking companies over 99% of the 53′ trailer loads (all the trailers I’ve touched have been 53′) have been single stop from shipper to consignee.
          Only recently did I get on an account with multiple stops and even some of those are full loads to single stops.

          All that said: the most frequent stops AND easily over 80% of the total bulk goes to local shippers. It’s offloaded from tge big truck and reloaded on smaller straight trucks.
          Then there are the small ridiculous stops: driving to a hardware store in the previous local shipper’s delivery area to drop off a single box.
          I can count on one hand the number of stops of all places I’ve gone on this account that were blatantly not designed for 53′ trailers; 48′ used to be tge single trailer maximum length. At a tight dock and older cities that 5′ can make all the difference.
          I’ve had the opportunity once to refuse to deliver to a stop. I always scout new stops with aerial view on Google Maps. Poor lady was opening her kitchen design studio and I had freight she needed to open. I look up the area and it’s a dense mix of commercial park and townhouses. She had no dock so I’d have to park in the narrow two lane residential street then back out of it afterwards on to a busy major arterial street. Once I got my safety department to look at what I saw they agreed but no one had bothered to check before I refused to deliver.

          And this is the crux of the problem: helpers in the vehicle, safety departments or random kind strangers “helping out” ALL culpability falls on the professional driver. While roadway engineers can layout an intersection to accommodate a 53′ trailers underb optimal circumstances those circumstances almost never include other cars and obviously don’t account for pedestrians or bicycles of any speed.

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      • Poisonpony February 28, 2014 at 2:28 am

        I see lots of muti stop restaurant supply trucks that are 48′-53′ downtown. The ones that deliver between 3 and 6 am get around fine. There should be times for class A (trailer) trucks to be bared from the downtown core. Only class B (straight trucks) during the day.

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        • q`Tzal February 28, 2014 at 9:20 am

          I hip wit dat.

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        • q`Tzal February 28, 2014 at 9:27 am

          Better time range would be 0100-0500; this provides a buffer for shipper/receiver incompetency.
          I can’t tell you how many places I’ve been where the workers seemed incapable of operating a paper inventory checklist.

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    • Chris I February 27, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Driver training can only go so far. This should be a clear message to trucking companies that they are creating safety hazards by operating long, articulating trailers in pedestrian/bike environments. They need to invest in “right-sized” equipment. Trucks that are shorter, more maneuverable, with smaller blind spots and side under-ride protection.

      Unfortunately, we probably have a Ford Pinto situation here, where it is cheaper for the companies to just settle with the victims in cases like these. We probably need our government to step in and require this protection.

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  • John Liu February 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I wish her ghost bike were still there. I would like the city to officially sanction ghost bikes. They could be mounted 10′ high on existing streetlight standards or other poles, if they would block sidewalks. They can be considered as a form of advisory signage. I suppose after some years (10?) they could be removed if necessary.

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  • esther c February 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Why are they making deliveries in trucks of this size on our surface streets? What was so damned big that it couldn’t have fit in a smaller truck?

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    • Paul Cone February 26, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      It’s all about economy of scale. I’ll bet that truck came from a distribution center in California.

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    • pdx2wheeler February 26, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      I can’t say definitively, but my best guess after reading the Golden State Food’s wiki page is the truck was hauling food to McDonalds…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_State_Foods

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      • Paul Cone February 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

        That was my guess yesterday, but the OregonLive article today says they were delivering to Starbucks.

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        • q`Tzal February 26, 2014 at 6:31 pm

          At Starbucks’ prices couldn’t they afford to ship everything in by carrier pigeons?

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        • q`Tzal February 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

          Google Maps shows 19 Starbucks just inside the I-405/I-5 loop of downtown.
          Make’m pay to install a special plumbing grid to pipe and in all their liquid stuff to all 19 of them. The rest of it could probably be delivered in a compact car.

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  • q`Tzal February 26, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    CargoCap is the fifth transportation alternative to the conventional systems of road, rail, air and water. It is a safe and economical way to carry goods quickly and on time in congested urban areas by underground transportation pipelines.

    Looks like from their press releases from late 2013 that someone in Germany is moving on this. All I can say is it’s about #@%! time!

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  • esther c February 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Delivering to starbucks. Well that makes sense. Those enormous 1 pound bags of coffee certainly require a tractor trailer.

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  • J_R February 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek were both killed by single-unit trucks. Banning semi-trailer trucks is not the solution to all right-hook fatalities involving trucks.

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    • ray thomas February 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Good point. The mirrors on the truck in Rickson were more than adequate to see the bicyclist. It was just not seeing what was there to see. That happened to me just the other night. I just didn’t see the approaching rider from my car. Fortunately I did not hit them. But a properly trained professional driver with a helper in the passenger seat to help spot for overtaking bicyclists in the bicycle lane would have sure been a whole lot more likely to catch this one before it became the fatal traffic disaster it turned out to be. “Accidents” don’t just happen.

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      • Joe Adamski February 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

        Ray, totally economics at work here. Were safety and efficiency the goal, they would not have sent a long tractor trailer rig into the urban core. However, they have a driver who is paid to deliver wherever sent. It costs for ‘drivers helpers’ as much as it would cost to transload this to a smaller vehicle. $700k is chump change to GSF. The price of doing business. The biggest win is its a certain award, not subject to appeal. You get yours, the family gets theirs. Life goes on. And GSF and everyone else will make that calculation as to whether it makes sense to change their operation standards regarding urban deliveries. My bet is they will not.

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        • AG February 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm

          And considering the share of the settlement that will go to raising her daughter, it seems very inadequate.

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          • hp February 26, 2014 at 10:37 pm

            Friendly point of clarification, she did not have a daughter. Her partner does, and said child still has both parents.

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      • wsbob February 27, 2014 at 1:42 am

        Split seconds and other complicating factors were in play here. What was there to be seen, may not have been there to be seen over the entire period both truck and bike were in the block together. This is something the truck’s driver and helper, and the person on the bike as well, should have factored into the judgments they made in traveling the road.

        To the earlier story about the settlement, I posted a comment with an idea as to how a driver of a truck could possibly handle a traffic situation such as the one presented by Madison at 3rd. Essentially, it notes there are situations where a helper gets out of the truck to clear of traffic, the area to be passed by the truck:

        http://bikeportland.org/2014/02/26/jury-decision-expected-today-in-kathryn-rickson-wrongful-death-lawsuit-102105#comment-4518340

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    • Chris I February 27, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Under-ride protection! Articulating trailers compound the problem, of course, but side under-ride is the biggest hazard for pedestrians and cyclists. It’s the difference between bouncing off the side of a truck and being crushed behind the rear wheels.

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  • Kittens February 27, 2014 at 2:02 am

    No offense to Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton, but $700k to a company as big as this is just the cost of doing business. Not punitive. Their employee was responsible for ending someone’s life.

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  • TOM February 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

    dump truck

    really ? a dump truck ? Local news reporting sux.

    http://kxl.com/2014/02/26/settlement-in-fatal-crash-involving-portland-bicyclist/

    PORTLAND — The family of a woman who was run over and killed by a dump truck on her bicycle has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the company.

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    • Daniel L February 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Just a simple typo, they surely meant “dumb”

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  • Joe February 27, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Still so sad ghost bike removed and large trucks still allowed. BTW I live by coca cola plant and these huge semi’s can’t make the turn off of main road here without going into oncoming lane. * right turns too * So I say that huge semi’s that have to swing wide are the issue along with being lazy and not looking in mirrors

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  • Scott H February 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

    “We went out and got a truck that matched the truck in the incident and we closed down the intersection,”

    Love this.

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  • esther c February 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I guess since we can’t manufacture anything in the US anymore all we can do is transport. And by golly, we’ll do that no matter what it takes. We’ve got semi-trucks driving all over our sidewalks, triple trailers on our freeways. Its ridiculous.

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  • Jim February 27, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    This is the city’s fault for engineering a bike lane in that dangerous situation. BTA will not admit this though.

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  • Poisonpony February 28, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Safety is everyone’s responsibility. For over a decade I rode between two to five thousand miles a year, and many a mile of it was in the core of Portland before bike lanes and sharrows. Today I’m more of a casual/sport rider.
    I’ve been a commercial truck driver for many years, the past 10 is mostly driving around downtown Portland. I personally know the driver that was involved in the garbage truck accident on Interstate. Sad for all involved.
    Speaking as a bike rider and a truck driver we all have to take responsibility for how we conduct ourselves on the road. As a truck driver I know a right turn is the most dangerous turn I can make. I need to be looking in the spot mirror during the entire turn to make sure no one slides up on my right. I need to be aware of my surroundings and know when I’m in a place where bikes have the right of way, and a drive more carefully in heavily congested areas especially where bikes are.
    As a bicyclists I know I have a responsibility to try to make sure I’m seen. I can just not just assume somebody is going to give me the right away because they’re supposed to. I also have a responsibility to generally obey traffic laws, and make sure I have adequate lighting and visibility at night. I also have a responsibility to ride with the traffic conditions and not just act like I can go anywhere or do anything I want. When I ride I just assume that the 20 to 80 thousand pound truck, or the two to six thousand pound car has the right of way whether it’s my right of way or not. This attitude has saved my life many a time.
    My personal experience with bike near misses have all involved a bicyclists that was blatantly disobeying traffic laws, or did not have adequate, or no lighting.
    This situation is so sad because the girl was doing everything she was supposed to do.

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  • TOM February 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

    this article has a lot og good background info
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/02/deceased_cyclist_kathryn_ricks.html

    highlights:

    “We feel that Kathryn was sort of maligned by the attitude of the police and the company, which was somewhat cavalier,” said Rickson’s father, Ted Rickson. “We didn’t think it was a these-things-happen kind of matter.”

    the 60-foot-long delivery truck turned in front of her — and she collided with its front bumper in the bicycle lane.

    Police did not cite the driver, Dawayne Eacret. The Multnomah District Attorney’s Office investigated and decided not to pursue criminal charges against him — saying Eacret couldn’t have seen Rickson coming. A witness said Rickson also was moving fast.

    The DA’s office made public its memo declining to prosecute.

    Thomas’ firm shut down the intersection as it drove an identical truck through the intersection, with a bicyclist following behind, and video-recorded the experience for jurors. Thomas’ firm also found that 70 percent of trucks similar to the one that killed Rickson have an additional set of mirrors — called fender mirrors — that would have provided one more view of Rickson.

    Thomas said a lesson can be learned from Rickson’s death.

    “It’s the motorist’s obligation to yield to bicyclists in a bicycle lane,” Thomas said. “You can’t turn your turn signal on and fail to look or see somebody in a bicycle lane. You’ve got to be sure.”

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 28, 2014 at 10:24 am

      This case clearly shows how the law is failing us. Common sense — as displayed by lawyer Ray Thomas and his team — and even the trucking company — as shown by their agreement to settle — know that the truck operator was negligent and should have not made the turn. However, the DA (which is very sensitive to bicycling IMO) was unable to prosecute because the law is so poorly written as to make it way too difficult to hold people accountable in these situations.

      That’s too bad. A change to the law is needed.

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      • Scott H February 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

        Yeah, the fact that the DA is powerless is embarrassing. The law is the DA’s weapon, and right now it’s a butter knife. If we want our streets to be safe, we need to give the DA an axe.

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      • wsbob February 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm

        “…Common sense — as displayed by lawyer Ray Thomas and his team — and even the trucking company — as shown by their agreement to settle — know that the truck operator was negligent and should have not made the turn. …” maus/bikeportland

        Both parties agreed to settle, because each knew both parties involved in the collision were negligent. Easy to say the law is “poorly written”, without making any effort whatsoever, to explain how the could realistically be written better.

        Looking forward to substanatial suggestions from bikeportland, about how laws relating to road use in traffic situations such as that of SW Third and Madison, could be better written so as to reduce the possibility of collisions such as this one.

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        • wsbob February 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm

          Edit: ” substanatial” to: “substantial”.

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        • El Biciclero March 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm

          wsbob. This seems to be the chorus of your song: “It’s easy to suggest changes without suggesting what the changes should be”. I think there have been suggestions aplenty made here and elsewhere that you could put 2 + 2 together and surmise at least an inkling of what some possible suggested changes might be. Here are a few suggestions from me–note that I am NOT putting words in Jonathan’s mouth:

          1) Repeal ORS 814.420
          2) Amend 814.420 to permit leaving the bike lane at “an intersection where a right turn is authorized” (that’s California’s language). This was actually an amendment that was on the table at Oregon’s last leg. session; does anybody know how the vote came out? Was there a vote?
          3) Clarify a driver’s duty to yield right-of-way. There have been cases where the driver of a vehicle that killed a cyclist was exonerated because they supposedly “couldn’t have seen” the person they ran over. This suggests that vehicles where the driver can’t possibly see another legally operating road user they might run over should be made illegal to operate, at least in tight downtown quarters. It should never be the case that a driver cannot possibly perceive a need to yield because their vehicle is so unwieldy as to prevent seeing the space around them.
          4) Clarify the existence of bike lanes through intersections. As one notorious local pro-tem judge in Portland made abundantly clear, the law forces cyclists to ride in bike lanes, forces drivers to yield to them, yet leaves a big enough loophole that a judge can declare a bike lane to temporarily disappear in an intersection so that a right-turning driver effectively has no need to yield to bike lane users. Add language to the definition of a “bicycle lane” to make it clear the bike lane exists in an intersection, just like an unmarked crosswalk.
          5) As has been suggested in comments on this very article: require side underrun barriers on trucks that are high enough to allow a bicyclist to end up under trailer wheels.

          Your typical suggestion seems to be along the lines of “caveat ciclistor” (made-up Latin for “let the cyclist beware”).

          Oh, and there could not possibly be anything approaching negligence on the part of Ms. Rickson in this incident. She was following all legally-prescribed rules for operating her bike in this bike lane. Riding one’s bike should not require military-level hyper-vigilance and threat assessment, yet if a cyclist does not maintain that level of extreme awareness and fails to demonstrate fighter-pilot reaction times, they are “negligent”?

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          • wsbob March 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm

            No ‘song’ or ‘chorus’, just simple statement of the facts. Bikeportland’s Jonathan Maus, like some of it’s readers that comment, periodically bluster, saying some law or another should be changed in some way, or written anew, as attempts to achieve on the part of people that drive, a higher awareness of, and yield to people traveling by bike amongst motor vehicles.

            That may be fine if they accompanied the bluster with some kind of actual, researched and thought out, viable proposal for law they’re thinking of. They’ve not done that so far, that I’m aware of.

            My thoughts on a couple of your suggestions: Repealing 814.420, or much of any effort to repeal it would be a mistake, maybe a big mistake. Wasted effort. Counterproductive, self defeating for people that ride. Far better to read, learn and understand what the law actually does for people that ride, and effectively prevents people that drive, law enforcement and the courts from doing.

            (2): not necessary and redundant as far as 814.420 is concerned, because “…(c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions. …” cover the situation you describe; although amending this part of the law to add ‘…and situations.’ may be something to consider.

            Hard to know exactly what wrong that led to this collision happening. I wish the case would have gone to trial so that causes could have been more closely examined than they likely will now be, it having been settled out of court. Just a couple of many things I’d like more info about, as to what those involved in this collision were doing, leading up to the collision:

            The truck had a driver and helper; what was the working arrangement between driver and helper that covered looking out for traffic vulnerable road users and otherwise, approaching the truck and trailer from the rear of the vehicle?

            What factors may have resulted in Ms Rickson on her bike, entering the intersection at the same time a huge truck and trailer was apparently at the intersection or already in it, preparing to turn or already having commenced to turn?

            Thanks, kww for your thoughts just below: http://bikeportland.org/2014/02/26/trucking-company-settles-with-rickson-family-for-700000-102147#comment-4529658 After hours of first hand, trial and error experience, many people riding, understand potential dangers of riding amongst motor vehicles, and fairly simple, cautionary bike specific procedures for reducing that danger. Unfortunately, many people that ride don’t know these things. A much more accessible than is now, offering of bike in traffic riding skills and training could help counter this situation, and the kind of collision that happened at 3rd and Madison.

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            • wsbob March 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

              Correction: “…Hard to know exactly what wrong…”, to…”…Hard to know exactly what went wrong…”.

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            • El Biciclero March 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

              I still disagree with your interpretation of ORS 814.420. If the law as written allowed, e.g., leaving the bike lane to go through an intersection with no right-only lane, WHY would the legislature even consider changing the wording of exception e)?

              I have no idea what you mean by “self-defeating”; repealing 814.420 altogether would have no effect on the protections you seem to believe it gives cyclists. Driver behavior is not governed by this statute; rules for drivers regarding operation in the presence of cyclists or bike lanes are covered in a different chapter: 811.

              Please explain what ORS 814.420 does “for” people who ride; I’m sure I’m not the only one who is interested to know. All ORS chapter 814 is designed to do is to keep cyclists “in their place”, lest they start to think they are first-class citizens.

              Your interpretation, as best I can understand it, reminds me again of a conversation I had long ago. A friend mentioned how much she “hated” mushrooms.
              “How can you hate them so much?”, I asked, “They don’t even really taste like anything.”

              “Then why have them?”, she replied.

              If ORS 814.420 allows cyclists the complete freedom to operate in the safest possible way at all times while on the road, and imposes no legal restrictions on such operation, then what would the difference be if it were repealed? Given your seemingly very liberal interpretation of it, why would you care if it were repealed?

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              • wsbob March 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

                I’ve made efforts in past, and to this comment section, to answer the questions you’re asking. Answers I’ve given don’t seem to resolve doubts you, and some others reading here, have about the rights of people traveling by bike as road users, that are articulated in part by ORS 814.420. You’ll have to find another way to have your doubts resolved.

                More efforts could be put towards trying to repeal ORS 814.420. Of course, I’m not sure, but I don’t think the majority of the public, legislators, and legal people that will will study reasons the repeal is requested, will interpret the laws’ intent to be one that confines to the bike lane, people that travel the road by bike. Regardless of this, if an effort to repeal the law is what some people are determined to put their energy: Go ahead…let’s see what happens.

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                • El Biciclero March 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm

                  Could you state what you believe are the benefits that 814.420 affords bicycle riders?

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  • kww March 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I think there has to be some real substantial outreach to bicyclists, so that they DO NOT PASS trucks or cars at intersections when they are in the bike lane.
    I don’t care if it is the bike’s right of way or not. I ride the SW 3rd & Madison intersection every day, it is foolhardy to pass a car or truck when you are in the bike lane. I take the lane at that intersection.

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    • El Biciclero March 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      “I take the lane at that intersection.”

      Smart thinking. Let’s actually make this a legal option. 2013 HB 2732 had this as part of its package, among many other things, but it apparently never got out of committee. The proposed change was to exception e) of ORS 814.420, changing the word “must” to the word “may”, as in a cyclist may leave the bike lane if they are “Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must may turn right.”

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      • kww March 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        This would be great. I would even limit the right to enter the motorized lane to when speed limits are urban (i.e. 25mph), as anything faster could be dangerous.

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        • El Biciclero March 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

          Well, since there are other circumstances where it is legal to take a lane, e.g., passing, avoiding parked cars, preparing for a left turn, merging into a through lane to avoid a right-turn-only lane, etc. and there are no speed-of-motor-traffic limitations there, I would not limit the ability to merge based on speed of other traffic. What would happen if the posted speed were 35, but rush hour conditions had traffic moving at 15? What if the speed limit were 45, but it was 2AM and there was no traffic? What if the posted speed were 25, but drivers were all going 30? Under which conditions would it become illegal to merge? Adding this limitation would create yet another “discretionary” citation that could be issued by police who “judged” traffic to be moving faster than would be safe. Just change the word and be done.

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          • GlowBoy March 5, 2014 at 12:10 pm

            Absolutely. Out here in Beaverton most of the roads with bike lanes are posted at 35, 40 or 45mph. If I need to leave the bike lane and take a car lane due to road debris, slower cyclists, preparing for a left turn, etc., the posted speed limit of the roadway should have absolutely nothing to do with it.

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            • wsbob March 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm

              “….the posted speed limit of the roadway should have absolutely nothing to do with it.” GlowBoy

              It shouldn’t, as long as people leaving the bike lane or far side of the road for that reason and others, do so using due care in leaving the bike lane or far right side of the road. Some people don’t.

              The posted speed and the speed traffic is moving in general, has much to do with how someone traveling by bike properly and safely leaves the bike lane or far right side of the road and moved into the main lanes of the road.

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      • wsbob March 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm

        Amend it to read: ‘…must, or may…”. That would cover instances where there are, and where there aren’t right turn only lanes.

        kww: http://bikeportland.org/2014/02/26/trucking-company-settles-with-rickson-family-for-700000-102147#comment-4530047

        I also don’t think it would be a good idea to, based on posted speed of the main lanes, limit right to enter main lanes of traffic from the bike lane. Precautions and decisions for road users, whatever mode of travel, dealing with that situation, should fall under use of ‘due care’.

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        • El Biciclero March 5, 2014 at 11:09 am

          “Amend it to read: ‘…must, or may…’. That would cover instances where there are, and where there aren’t right turn only lanes.”

          I included the actual proposed text change from HB 2732. The word “may” implies “has permission to”; right-turn-only lanes certainly give one “permission” to turn right, so I don’t think the legislators believed both words were necessary. I’m glad to see we agree in yet another instance!

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          • wsbob March 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

            “…right-turn-only lanes certainly give one “permission” to turn right, …” El Biciclero

            Depending on the situation, ‘may’ can mean, ‘implies possibility’.

            ‘right turn-only’ lanes oblige, or require road users in such lanes to turn right.

            At or approaching intersections, a lane not designated with the ‘right turn only’ pavement markings or signage, the possibility in that situation, is that a road user may make a right turn at the intersection. They don’t have to, but it’s a possibility. That it is a possibility they’ll turn right, is a potentially hazardous condition for people traveling by bike in the bike lane or to the far right side of the road.

            People traveling by bike as said, can legally counter the potential danger by a variety of means; appropriately preparing sufficiently in advance,and moving from bike lane or far right side of the road to the main lane, is one of them.

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            • El Biciclero March 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

              This is where you are mistaken. ORS 814.420 gives no exception that allows a bicycle rider to leave the bike lane to avoid potential hazards. It is currently not legal to leave the bike lane when continuing straight through an intersection that does not have a right-only lane–this is why the legislature considered making a change to the law! Why else would they do that?. It is not legal to leave the bike lane to make oneself more visible to traffic waiting to enter the roadway from the right. It is currently not legal to ride outside the bike lane if the bike lane is striped in a “door zone”, unless there is an actual open door in your path. It is currently not legal to ride outside the bike lane if you are proceeding in the left lane of a one-way street, even though this would be legal if there were no bike lane. Ambiguities also abound in the current law: How long does it take one to “prepare” for a left turn? An officer could cite a cyclist if he thought they left the bike lane too early in “preparation” for making a left turn. If a cyclist knows that a bike lane ends some distance up the road, how soon may they merge out of it in anticipation of the bike lane ending? ORS 814.420 makes it just murky enough that it is up to a police officer to not only decide whether you’ve broken the law, but also to decide what the law means. That is practically the definition of a bad law.

              As far as the word “may” not encompassing situations where a driver “must”, it is a logical conclusion. Would you say that a driver in a right-only lane “may not” turn right? If not, then it is true that a driver in a right-only lane “may” turn right–in the permission sense, not the probability sense. That’s why I like the CA wording of “where a right turn is authorized”–there is no confusion about whether it means a driver might turn right, or whether they have permission to turn right.

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              • wsbob March 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

                You’re making this way too complicated. If you want to believe all those hypothetical conclusions you’re jumping to, go ahead and ride your bike according to them, if that’s what you think you need to do to stay within the law.

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                • El Biciclero March 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm

                  I’m not making anything complicated; the State of Oregon did that for me. In practice, it’s actually quite simple: I ride in the safest possible way I know how, legal or not. I violate the law all the time in favor of safety–and likely so do you. Chances are, no cop is going to get a bee in his bonnet and want to cite me for bike lane infractions–yet the infractions exist and I am technically guilty of many of them every time I ride, which is why I wonder why anyone who uses a bike for transportation thinks ORS 814.420 is a “good” law.

                  I still ask a) what benefit you believe 814.420 provides for cyclists, and b) why 814.420 should even remain a law if it is as completely unenforceable as you seem to believe?

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                • wsbob March 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

                  You may think you’re violating ORS.814.420, but you may not be. More likely, is that you simply don’t understand what the law provides, or that you, as some people do, somehow enjoy a vicarious sense that you’re breaking the law, even if you really aren’t.

                  ORS.814.420 isn’t actually very complicated. It’s legalese language is in a form that ordinary people have a fair chance of understanding on their own reading of it. I’ve read some other state’s versions of laws that address use of bike lanes. New York’s seemed more obtuse, difficult. California’s is kind of odd. Oregon’s is relatively easy to read and understand.

                  I’ve written in past comments, fairly recently in fact, what I believe are the benefits of ORS.814.420 to people traveling by bike. Also, what I think the laws weaknesses are. If you want to review them, you can do a search of the bikeportland archives.

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  • Caleb March 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    wsbob
    You may think you’re violating ORS.814.420, but you may not be. More likely, is that you simply don’t understand what the law provides, or that you, as some people do, somehow enjoy a vicarious sense that you’re breaking the law, even if you really aren’t.
    ORS.814.420 isn’t actually very complicated. It’s legalese language is in a form that ordinary people have a fair chance of understanding on their own reading of it. I’ve read some other state’s versions of laws that address use of bike lanes. New York’s seemed more obtuse, difficult. California’s is kind of odd. Oregon’s is relatively easy to read and understand.
    I’ve written in past comments, fairly recently in fact, what I believe are the benefits of ORS.814.420 to people traveling by bike. Also, what I think the laws weaknesses are. If you want to review them, you can do a search of the bikeportland archives.

    wsbob, would you say there is any dismissive, presumptuous, and/or condescending language in that post?

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    • wsbob March 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Given the person, El Biciclero for whom the response was primarily posted: No.

      El B is apparently, a veteran bikeportland reader that for some years, has frequently posted discussion comments. By now, he(presuming this is a guy.) should know how this weblog is set up, and how to find earlier comments posted by people, if he’s not already read them when they were first posted.

      In past, I’ve carefully thought through provisions the law offers, and written my thoughts about them in comment sections to bikeportland stories. The objective of people responding to what I’ve expressed in that regard, seems mainly to be to contradict what I’ve found, and go on believing what they want about the law, irrespective of what it actually says.

      That’s fine. They can think and do what they choose, but I’m not going to keep doing the work of repeating again and again, what I’ve written in past, just so they have something to do.

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      • El Biciclero March 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm

        OK, wsbob. I’ve attempted to search the BP site for comments that you’ve made regarding 814.420. It’s not easy to cross-reference comments by you that also pertain to this law. I’ll summarize what I think your position is based on the few comments I managed to dig up, and you can correct me where I’m wrong:

        1. ORS 814.420 allows enough exceptions that any cyclist can legally ride outside the bike lane whenever they think it is necessary.
        2. ORS 814.420 excludes drivers from the bike lane, thereby protecting riders in the bike lane and giving them a clear path and right-of-way.
        3. Repealing 814.420 would be “counterproductive” due mostly to the above, but also due to the thought that it might create driver backlash if they thought cyclists were being given free rein on the street.

        If these are basically correct, then here’s what I would say:
        1. Applicability of exception 3(c) depends heavily on one’s interpretation of “hazardous conditions”. I don’t believe that potential hazards are valid legal reasons to invoke exception 3(c) (however they are valid safety reasons), and we differ on our interpretation of exception 3(e), which states you may leave the bike lane if it is striped to the right of a lane from which motor traffic MUST turn right. I don’t think that gives a cyclist a legal reason to leave the bike lane if motor traffic merely MAY turn right. These exceptions are only “benefits” as long as general restriction to the bike lane is mandated by the existence of this law. To claim these exceptions are “benefits” is a little like saying the benefit of being in jail is they let you out to exercise once in a while. Wouldn’t it be better not to be in jail? Also, if the law really is as permissive as you think, why even have it? Wouldn’t it be pretty much unenforceable?

        2. Exclusion of drivers is not covered in this law (this is covered by 811.435 and 811.440). Repealing 814.420 would have no effect on the laws that proscribe driving in the bike lane; bicyclists would still be “protected” if 814.420 were repealed.

        3. I don’t know what could possibly be counterproductive about repealing 814.420–after all, we would still have 814.430 to fall back on to keep cyclists in their place (814.430 is the “Far-to-right” law, which is pretty much the same as 814.420, but without the painted lines.)

        I’m just looking to understand why anyone who rides a bike regularly would possibly support the existence of this law.

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        • wsbob March 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm

          I don’t think granting or withholding ‘permission’, is the intent or the objective of this law, ORS 814.420. This law merely offers language describing a range of circumstances in which people traveling by bike have not failed to ride in a bike lane…and when they have failed to ride in a bike lane.

          The law exists as an official answer to questions road users may have about what are some of the situations people traveling by bike should be riding in the bike lane or to the far side of the road. It also offers guidelines for the police to determine whether the use pf the road by someone traveling by bike is not responsible.

          If you don’t believe 3(c) of the laws’ language “…other hazardous conditions. …” acknowledges as a hazard, potential right hooks from people driving in the main lane of the road to people riding in the bike lane: Fine. Believe what you think you want to, or have to.

          There’s no question in my mind that right hooks are a potential hazard to people traveling by bike in the bike lane, from people driving in the main lanes of the road. I very much doubt the people that worked on the law and passed it, would say this law allows hazards from ‘right turn only’ lanes to be avoided, but not hazards from right turns made from the main lane

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          • El Biciclero March 11, 2014 at 11:59 am

            “The law exists as an official answer to questions road users may have about what are some of the situations people traveling by bike should be riding in the bike lane or to the far side of the road. It also offers guidelines for the police to determine whether the use pf the road by someone traveling by bike is not responsible.”

            Ah. Is this a summary of the “benefits” the law provides to cyclists? That is what I’m looking for. The only benefit I see here is that the law supposedly “answers questions”–and it doesn’t answer questions about when to ride far to the right, those are “answered” in 814.430. However, it seems that just based on this conversation, the law also raises questions due to its ambiguity. The only “benefits” I can see this law provides are to drivers, and police who happen to be looking to harass a cyclist (I’m sure most officers have better things to do, hence the low level of enforcement of the law).

            I believe we agree on what constitutes potential hazards: right hook situations, door zones, drivers entering the roadway from the right, etc. To me, all these are valid reasons to leave a bike lane either momentarily or for some distance. We differ on whether the law considers all of these potential hazards to be valid reasons. Based on my reading of the law, which uses the term “conditions” rather than “situations”, and does not use the word “potential” anywhere in its text, and based on the fact that the Oregon legislature considered (as part of 2013 HB 2732) changing the wording of one specific exception to explicitly broaden its application, I cannot agree with your liberal interpretation of what the current exceptions to this law legally allow. Lawmakers and lawyers are practiced in using very specific language to define the boundaries of what is legal and what isn’t. The fact that we are even able to debate what should be a simple law means that it is poorly-written.

            Given either my interpretation that makes the law unnecessarily and even dangerously restrictive, OR your interpretation that makes the law basically unenforceable, AND given other laws such as 814.430, which somewhat redundantly cover what position cyclists “should” occupy on the road, of what possible “benefit” is ORS 814.420 to cyclists? In fact, the League of American Bicyclists downgrades the “bike-friendly” rating of a jurisdiction just for having laws like 814.420–shouldn’t that be an indication that such laws have no benefit for bike riders?

            This has gone on for a little longer than it should have, and I don’t even really expect a further reply, but I just want you to think about what actual benefits this law affords cyclists. I claim it offers zero benefit, and in fact creates tension between what is safe and what is legal. Now a law such as 811.435, which appears to restrict the operation of motor vehicles in bike lanes, or 811.050, which gives cyclists the right-of-way while traveling in a bike lane–those laws benefit bicycle riders (at least on their face; any false sense of security they provide does not benefit bicycle riders, and the lack of enforcement of such laws makes any benefit moot)–not so 814.420.

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            • wsbob March 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

              ORS 814.420 is a good law that, in part by way of reasons I’ve earlier detailed, helps people traveling by bike.

              Has LAB studied and weighed in specifically on ORS 814.420? If so, post a link to the group’s opinion on it. If that group has consulted with legal professionals about what they believe the law provides for, I’d like to read what they’ve found.

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              • El Biciclero March 12, 2014 at 9:44 pm

                I’ve been trying to post this reply for a couple days, but have been blocked from commenting (software glitch, not moderator action…)

                This article on Bike Portland contains the following quote (in reference to Oregon’s 3rd place ranking in bike-friendliness by the LAB):

                “That being said, the League has made it clear that Oregon’s mandatory sidepath law (ORS 814.420) continues to drag down our ranking. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has said they feel the law is “bad public policy” and they’d like it repealed; but it never came up during this legislative session.”

                I realize that appealing to authority doesn’t prove anything, but it makes my point: if so many who make a living (or at least a vocation) of dealing with these things believe this law makes Oregon less bike-friendly, and is “bad public policy”, shouldn’t we at least ask “why?”

                Maybe you are the one who truly understands what this law is about, but there are many who have thought about it harder than either you or I have, and have reached a conclusion that is different from yours.

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      • Caleb March 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        I’m vaguely aware of El B’s bikeportland track record, having read many of his comments now for the last couple years or so, which influenced my interjection. I appreciate your response, but it pertained to something I hadn’t really taken issue with.

        Specifically, I thought it perhaps dismissive that you would tell him he may misunderstand the law without saying how you think he misunderstands it, especially since in a prior post he quite comprehensively laid out his interpretation and thus you had information required to figuring out how he misunderstands it or at least to go on in figuring out how he misunderstands it. Now I understand everyone has their own values governing their behavior and thus not everyone wants to teach while attempting to persuade, but I just thought your lack of unpacking your assertion could be an indication you had become frustrated, impatient, and/or distracted from making sense of your differences, assuming understanding the truth of the law is solely what you were working to promote in the first place.

        Next I thought it presumptuous you considered the possibility he somehow enjoys a vicarious sense of law breaking to be a likely one, as though you have any direct sense of his senses/emotions which would allow you to calculate such a likelihood. Given what I’ve read from El B in the past, I believed your comment regarding his joy in breaking laws was baseless. But even if it weren’t, the likelihood influencing his interpretation of the law (which I assume your comment was meant to suggest) is unsubstantiated by what comments of his I’ve seen regarding the law. Again, I wondered that you may have been frustrated, impatient, and/or distracted from clarifying misunderstanding.

        And finally I thought it possibly condescending that you mentioned Oregon’s law is “relatively easy to read and understand”. Well, the relative ease/difficulty is, of course, based on comparing multiple laws. But the only allegedly misunderstood law under discussion was Oregon’s, and the factors governing El B’s understanding that law are those found solely within El B’s mind, whether they include understanding those other laws or not. How relatively easy/difficult it is to understand a law is irrelevant to whether a specific individual has the reading comprehension and knowledge required to understand that law, thus the relative ease/difficulty is irrelevant to whether or not that person presently understands the law. Therefore your bringing up the relative ease/difficulty seemed to me to imply (without any supporting facts) “How can you not understand this law? You should understand this law.” Also, I thought maybe you mentioning the abstraction of “ordinary people” supported that notion. Similar to what I said about the other issues, I’ll gladly let you and anyone else condescend all you want, but I thought the possibility an indication you were distracted from things relevant to the law’s meaning, and thus asked my questions hoping you would get back on track.

        But days later, I’m glad to see you two could carry on the conversation in a way more direct to your objective of understanding the law.

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        • wsbob March 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

          El Biciclero and anyone else reading comments to bikeportland, can believe anything they want.

          I’m not interested in simply contradicting their thoughts expressed about what they believe ORS 814.420 provides for. If they don’t agree with my thoughts on this law or others, that’s fine with me.

          I think it’s not a good thing though, if other people accept, without some reading of this fairly simple law themselves, those thoughts expressed, as accurate interpretation of the law’s intent and provision. I’ve written many times in comments to bikeportland, that people should make the effort to read and understand ORS 814.420, themselves, and arrive at their own thoughts about what the law does and doesn’t do. Also have posted the link to text of the law:

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420

          Today, with the world wide web, almost anyone with access to a computer, can read the laws of other states. As I said earlier, I’ve read some of other states laws relating to use of bike lanes. The language style used in them varies some. Oregon’s is easier, more straightforward then others, still…not exactly what many people would likely want to sit down and read for relaxation. It’s worth it though. Better than taking a position exclusively on the word of someone else.

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          • Caleb March 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm

            My reflections on existence since childhood have been enough to tell me anyone can believe what they believe regardless of anyone else’s approval or lack thereof, and I don’t believe I said anything to indicate otherwise, so I’m perplexed as to why you were compelled to tell me anyone can believe whatever they want.

            Similarly, I was not under the impression you wanted to simply contradict what others believe ORS 814.420 provides for. But, that’s essentially all you were doing when you told El B his interpretation may have been wrong.

            And I’m similarly perplexed as to why you would mention, “it’s not a good thing though, if other people accept, without some reading of this fairly simple law themselves, those thoughts expressed, as accurate interpretation of the law’s intent and provision.” I’ve been under the impression that El B had read the law and reached his own conclusions about it, so just who do you think is accepting those thoughts expressed without reading the law, and how is that relevant to my prior comment(s)?

            And again, I’m similarly perplexed as to why you brought up the world wide web and how people can read about other states’ laws as if I didn’t understand what you were getting at the first time you alluded to such comparison.

            In conclusion, you hardly addressed anything I was getting at, and instead unnecessarily went on new tangents and expounded on things you had basically already stated before. It seems quite similar to you seemingly missing what El B was getting at earlier when he mentioned the “chorus of your song”.

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            • wsbob March 11, 2014 at 11:34 pm

              “…so just who do you think is accepting those thoughts expressed without reading the law…” Caleb

              Other people. El B most likely has read and thought about 814.420. He just seems to be convinced it’s far more restrictive than it looks to me to be. You might try inquire of some lawyers and judges. Ask a law school professor.

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              • Caleb March 12, 2014 at 8:38 am

                My comments went way over your head if you sincerely believe(d), based on those comments, that I was assuming any of El B’s position to be true or false.

                Okay, so El B believes the law is way more restrictive than it seems to you. Well, that means you believe the law is way less restrictive than it seems to him. Is it impossible that you are wrong about the law? Have you tried an inquiry with lawyers, judges, or law school professors?

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                • wsbob March 12, 2014 at 10:47 am

                  “…Is it impossible that you are wrong about the law? Have you tried an inquiry with lawyers, judges, or law school professors?’ Caleb

                  Anything is: ‘possible’. I’m confident 814.420 acknowledges all the rights of people traveling the road by bike to use road and bike lane, that I’ve written I believe it does…and I ride accordingly.

                  You and some other people don’t seem so confident about your understanding of what the law provides. If you’re going to try repeal this law, it’s you that’s going to need the advice of law professionals. Good Luck!

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                • El Biciclero March 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

                  “You and some other people don’t seem so confident about your understanding of what the law provides.”

                  It’s not a matter of confidence in understanding, it’s that understanding of the law doesn’t inspire confidence in the law to keep cyclists actually safe (rather than perceptually safe) if the law is followed.

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  • esther c March 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    “Both parties agreed to settle, because each knew both parties involved in the collision were negligent. ”

    This sort of victim blaming is unacceptable. They cyclist clearly had the right of way. According to Oregon law someone going straight in a bike line has the right of way over someone turning.

    Sure, its possible to avoid these collisions by yielding to every car and truck on the highway. But that still doesn’t make it the cyclist’s fault if they are obeying the rules of the road.

    If you are driving on the freeway in the left lane and have a head on collision with a wrong way driver is it your own fault because that is where wrong way drivers usually drive. Everyone knows you should always drive in the right hand lane to avoid wrong way drivers.

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    • wsbob March 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      “”Both parties agreed to settle, because each knew both parties involved in the collision were negligent. ”

      This sort of victim blaming is unacceptable. They cyclist clearly had the right of way. According to Oregon law someone going straight in a bike line has the right of way over someone turning. …” esther c

      Rather than assigning blame to the victim, Kathryn Rickson on her bike, that there was negligence on the part of both parties, is a simple statement of fact. On Rickson’s part, not recognizing, if that’s what happened…that the right of way she had across the intersection wasn’t going to be given, was negligence, and the price, was life.

      Although, I recognize there may have been scenarios at play, in which she somehow was not negligible. For example, the question of the communication that may have went on between the driver and the helper in the seat next to him relative to clearing the intersection/bike lane before commencing to turn the truck.

      If the helper was supposed to look down the street towards the rear of the vehicle, vocally calling out to the driver whether or not bikes were coming, maybe that communication got muddled. If so, that would just be an explanation and not an excuse for pulling in front of Rickson. I wish this case would have gone to trial. Maybe that would have brought about a more accurate understanding of what happened.

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      • Caleb March 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm

        I had assumed esther c was thinking of negligence as defined by law when she mentioned victim blaming. I know Rickson’s choices had a physical influence on the outcome of the situation, but do you maintain that negligence on the part of both parties is a simple statement of fact even in relation to the law (which according to esther c gives the cyclist in the bike lane the right of way)?

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        • wsbob March 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm

          Negligence of the laws of self preservation is what I was thinking of. No ORS statute exactly fits this collisions’ situation. Closest may be ‘Duty to exercise due care’:

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.005

          Right of way doesn’t mean much if the person it’s supposed to be given to, doesn’t use due care by not entering into a situation if there’s indication right of way won’t be given as required.

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  • Caleb March 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I assumed negligence of the “laws” of self preservation was what you were thinking of, but wanted to be sure you weren’t conflating that with the law esther was alluding to. I speculate she was thinking of ORS 811.050 (http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.050), but perhaps forgetting or unaware of specifically ORS 811.050.2 (is that the standard way of writing that?) making it possible for someone to legally not yield to a bicycle lane user when making a turn under ORS 811.440.2a (http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.440). Maybe esther can tell us exactly what law(s) she was thinking of, though. Regardless, I find myself in agreement with El B’s earlier suggestion that such behavior as outlined by ORS 811.050.2 exclude ORS 811.440.2.

    “Much” is a subjective term, so while I can agree with your opinion that right of way doesn’t mean “much” when someone will put you at risk by overlooking your right of way, that is not to be conflated with how “much” your right of way does mean in legal regard. When you without specification start talking about what people “should” do and/or who is negligent on the basis of a different subject than what the person you are responding to was talking about, I get the sense that you are ignorant to that person’s position due to hasty reading and/or projection or whatever else. While I am in favor of your apparent desire to make people a little more cautious around motor vehicles, I can’t imagine such ignorance (if that’s actually what it is) helps your cause, and instead may just alienate people you’re trying to help.

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    • Caleb March 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Only now did I notice the above comment didn’t become a reply to wsbob’s comment dated March 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm like I had intended.

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  • Caleb March 12, 2014 at 11:26 am

    wsbob
    Anything is: ‘possible’. I’m confident 814.420 acknowledges all the rights of people traveling the road by bike to use road and bike lane, that I’ve written I believe it does…and I ride accordingly.

    I asked my rhetorical questions, because I wondered if you follow the suggestions you make for others, because by some of the ways you’ve addressed El B, your confidence seemed to me to border arrogance.

    “You and some other people don’t seem so confident about your understanding of what the law provides. If you’re going to try repeal this law, it’s you that’s going to need the advice of law professionals. Good Luck!”

    I invite you to reread my comments more critically.

    I have not yet read the law. I do not and have not not claimed to understand it in any particular way, and thus you misunderstand my comments if you think my confidence pertaining to understanding it has been represented by my words. You also misunderstand my comments if you think I had any interest in repealing the law. I didn’t, and I don’t, especially since I’m not an Oregonian and have no informed opinion on the law. I’ll read the law and form my own opinion on it if I ever become so inclined, but until then please stop thinking any of my comments relate to what the law does/doesn’t do or whether or not I want it repealed.

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    • wsbob March 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      “…You also misunderstand my comments if you think I had any interest in repealing the law. I didn’t, and I don’t, …” Caleb

      Oh well, in that case: Exc-u-u-u-se me. Caleb, you have a good evening, day…whatever!

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      • Caleb March 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm

        Not that you needed to be excused, but I’d like our conversation to end in a civil manner, so I say you are excused. May you have a pleasant time, too!

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  • Well.... May 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Very tragic that an innocent life was taken. It would not surprise me if there was a knowing and wanton violation of law in regular operating practices by Golden State Foods Corp choosing profit over legal compliance, integrity, corporate responsibility, moral or ethical duties. gsf has convinced me that it will scoff at whatever law that gets in their way of profit and simply break them and apparently operates under the golden rule of cheaper of the two between the compliance and cost of violations.

    You will see gsf parking wherever they want around downtown with no regard to safety or rights of others. In middle of the road, lift gate in cross walk, in the bike lane in such ways. Never mind that they’re obstructing traffic, obstructing view and threatening the safety of pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists.They regularly park in disabled parking spaces in presence of supervisor ride along regardless of the fact that it is a direct violation of ORS 811.615.

    Irvine, CA based Golden State Foods is the exclusive supplier and delivery courier for McDonald’s Corporation. They also manufacturer and delivery the ingredients to other big corporate chains like Taco Bell, Starbucks and many other big corporate chains.

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    • wsbob May 16, 2014 at 10:36 am

      “…It would not surprise me if there was a knowing and wanton violation of law in regular operating practices by Golden State Foods Corp choosing profit over legal compliance, integrity, corporate responsibility, moral or ethical duties. …” Well….

      I don’t think it’s that simple. If the company were operating as you say, there would be many more complaints against it than those associated with this collision. The company wouldn’t likely be able to stay in business, if it was operating as you wonder it may be.

      I don’t know what the letter abbreviation stands for, but I had read someone else saying the company was QFC, same company that makes daily deliveries to Starbucks stores around the city. From my view out in Beaverton, yes this company’s truck crew does regularly park its truck right out front of the store, on, over, a road median it may not be legally allowed to stop its truck on. Motorcycle guys used to like to park their bikes on the median; the police eventually told them ‘no’. How much of a safety hazard it is for the truck to be parked there, I couldn’t say for sure, but probably not much of one.

      What the truck crew involved in the collision did, didn’t, or should have done leading up to the intersection, is another big question, not satisfactorily answered, and that at this point seems likely to never be satisfactorily answered. Failure to answer that question represents the possibility of a potential tragedy waiting to happen again.

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  • Well..... May 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    These pictures demonstrate that Golden State Foods Corporation will do things even when there are laws against it. I think it shows the attitude of profit first, pay no attention to morals or integrity. This company chose to use these humongous trucks that isn’t city appropriate, chooses to park illegal and apparently pay no regard to safety of others.

    http://imgur.com/J3I3vzW
    http://imgur.com/zIWZV7n

    It is unlawful to park in bike lanes in Portland. GSF is also known to park in roads blocking one way of traffic in two-way roads for extended periods of time coercing traffic to drive in the wrong-way. Can you point out the specific law sanctioning corporations like gsf to park a huge truck in bicycle lanes? It’s difficult to predict the probability of incident from forcing traffic to drive the wrong way, blocking view of parked cars, drivers, and bicyclists from each other and perhaps it would fall under black swan theory. Secondly, ORS 811.615 does not include freight loading as exempted lawful use of handicap space. This particular violation is considered under state law as a traffic violation rather than a parking violation.

    If someone leaves a car parked in the road to render help to someone who’s just collapsed, I believe that is a circumstance where the driver did not break the law, but to do this kind of thing regularly.

    When the operational norm is to break the law for convenience, business efficiency and profit, because it is cheaper than complying, then you can say that profit takes precedence to integrity. I think what I described and the pictures paint Golden State Foods as a company practicing profit-over-anything internal culture. Personal interest or business needs doesn’t give a pass to ignore the law not in your interest.

    Major corporations have the resources to get a panel of lawyers that an individual plaintiff can not match and offer a cash settlement to make them go away before getting to trial, and this is exactly what happened here.

    One question I can picture Golden State Foods asking is what is the cheaper in the long run between going around every corner or cutting corners on safety and law and having to pay fines for violations and having to pay out settlements for lives they take.

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