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Protest on SE Powell slows traffic, draws big crowd

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

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Portlanders who want safer streets showed up in force today at the busy intersection of 26th and Powell in southeast Portland. They were spurred into action after a gruesome collision on Sunday severed a man’s leg off. Alistair Corkett was bicycling south on Powell when a man driving a truck in the opposite direction turned left. The collision sent Corkett to the hospital where he’s undergone multiple surgeries.

Corkett is a 22-year old budding bicycle racer who’s life has been forever altered — and he’s one of dozens of people who have been victims of traffic violence at this intersection. City data shows this is the most dangerous intersection on Powell between SE 7th and SE Cesar Chavez, with 73 injuries from 2004 to 2013.

At tonight’s event upwards of 100 people actively took part in the protest by biking and walking repeatedly, and legally, through the intersection. The goal was to slow down traffic and the event was strategically held during rush hour to have the most impact. At times there were dozens of walkers and bikers using the intersection at the same time. Some in the lane and filling the bike boxes, and others in the crosswalks and on the adjacent sidewalks. Many held up signs and there was a large presence of local TV and print media.

Here’s how it looked…

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This was a heated exchanged that thankfully fizzled out in just a few minutes.
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There was also a simultaneous protest at the unsignalized intersection of 25th and Powell where people repeatedly walked in the marked crosswalk and forced cross traffic to wait for them. While people stopped traffic, others stood on the sidewalk and called out license plate numbers of drivers who they felt drove dangerously or illegally.

While I never saw any physical contact between people or vehicles, there were several shouting matches throughout the protest. On two separate occasions a person got out of their car as arguments escalated into shouting and finger-pointing. Once at 26th, a man in a tow-truck nearly got into a fight with a bicycle rider. A large crowd gathered around but eventually cooler heads prevailed. In another incident, a woman got out of her car after people at 25th yelled at her for talking on her phone while people crossed in the crosswalk. A reporter from The Oregonian caught it on camera:

Sellwood resident Dan Kaufman organized the event. He has a son enrolled in Cleveland High School, which is adjacent to the intersection, and he’s worried about his safety. Kaufman is fed up and tired of waiting for Powell to be safer while people continue to get injured. Throughout the event Kaufman, who was there with his three sons and wife Kirsten, spoke into a mic hooked up to an amp on his trike.

“We are absolutely devastated by what happened here yesterday,” he shouted, “It was a horrible tragedy, and it happens here on Powell Boulevard, all the time.”

Kaufman has succeeded in garnering attention to his cause. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales mentioned the protest in a press statement today and tonight’s event was attended by Shelli Romero, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s interim area manager for Region 1. In an interview, Romero told me ODOT is in the early stages of development and design on a safety project that will invest $3.8 million on Powell Blvd between 20th and 34th. Romero said the project would include improved crossings, as well as ADA and transit enhancements funded by TriMet.

At 26th, Romero said ODOT wants to update the traffic signal. “We want to redo this signal so there will be not more permissive lefts — it’s going to be signalized so it will prevent the kind of accident that just happened.”

“We all agree that there are fatals and serious injuries on this corridor that need to be addressed,” Romero continued. “We’re moving forward and we’re going to get safety improvements on the ground as soon as we can… But those improvements won’t be on the ground until 2017.”

Kaufman overheard our conversation and soon he and Romero were having a spirited discussion.

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Dan Kaufman and ODOT’s Shelli Romero.

“What you need to do first is put safety first and that’s not happening,” Kaufman said, “And that has historically not happened. We’ve had enough!… I talked to the vice president of the school [Cleveland High] and he’s telling me a kid just got put in the hospital 10 days ago, and a few months ago another kid got hit-and-run by a Cleveland parent if you can believe that. He’s surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Talk to anyone who has gone to Cleveland and they’ll tell you this is a disaster and it’s on your doorstep and needs to be fixed, not sometime down the road. It needs to be fixed now! 2017 isn’t soon enough and your changes will be highway-centric. I have to worry about my son every day.”

Romero replied, “We agree. And we’re working as hard as we can to get it done as fast as we can, but it’s a very complex corridor with the geometry of the roadway and the visibility and the way it curves makes it a very complicated project.”

While Romero didn’t have the answers Kaufman was looking for, the two kept things respectful and shook hands after their conversation.

And that was a large part of tonight’s event. It brought many people together to talk about road safety. Some people disagreed with each other and hashed out their differences — others supported each other and made plans to take action.

One woman held up a sign that read, “Mom Against Bikes on Road: Honk if you agree.” While you might think a sign like that would lead to a hostile reaction, I was pleased to see several people engaging her in discussion.

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I also met Alyssa Hadley, a 16-year old sophomore at Cleveland High School. I asked why she came to the protest. “I don’t want to get hit!” she replied. The biggest issue? Speeding. “Cars don’t follow the speed limit and it’s not enforced,” she said.

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Alyssa Hadley.

Taizz Medalia was holding up a sign that read, “ODOT, Do Your Job.” She’s a mother of two who came down for north Portland to show her support. “I can just imagine if I was that mom,” she told me, “hearing that news.” “I think when streets are safe for bicyclists they’re actually safer for everybody, including cars. I asked about her impressions of Powell after standing beside for a while. “It’s horrible, it’s absolutely dangerous. Now I know why my kids have told me this is a death trap.”

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Taizz Medalia.

I also noticed another mom in the crowd. Someone who knows tragedy all too well. Kristi Finney’s son Dustin was killed by a drunk driver while bicycling on SE Division back in 2011 and she held his photo in her arms as she walked down Powell hoping to find Kaufman and learn how she could support his calls for change.

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Kristi Finney.

Alistair Corkett was lucky he wasn’t killed on Sunday. His mom Julia Corkett was at tonight’s event and was smiling as she received hugs from supportive friends and took to the microphone to say a few words.

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“I appreciate you all for coming out and supporting Alistair and to fix this problem that needs to be fixed.” Corkett told the crowd that Alistair is “doing well” and that while he had a “terrible thing happen to him” he’s alive and it could have been much worse.

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

63 Comments
  • Chris Anderson May 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I had a few drivers roll down the window and ask why the slowdown. Once they heard about yesterday’s collision they were very supportive. One man even parked and joined in.

    Of course most drivers had no idea why, as the backup was long enough you couldn’t see the signs much until you got to the intersection.

    Lesson learned: shutting down Powell or other arterials is very effective, and could even be done by just a handful of people. Today the people of Portland took Powell back from ODOT for a few hours, and there’s no reason we couldn’t do this everyday until they transfer jurisdiction.

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    • tedder May 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      I’m just reviewing a vid of a woman who asked what was going on, was told, and her answer was “oh SHIT!”. The comment was made that she’ll be a cyclist soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI7PwSBhWvQ

      It was nice to feel like pedestrians and cyclists were on the same side.

      Also notable was the conversation and smiles among the cyclists, in sharp comparison to a few very angry drivers who lobbed standard insults (questioning sexuality, explaining how cyclists don’t pay for the roads, etc). [warning, offensive language in this vid] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8Tj0e9lyy8

      A UPS truck (Oregon plate 28848) was showing some less-than-honorable behavior too. I think there’s a law about stopping for pedestrians, especially when they are in crosswalks? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY9GKHk7IyM

      Finally, if you’re a woman with rad leg tattoos, I have a vid to share with you.

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      • rmamick May 12, 2015 at 10:57 am

        I hope somebody called UPS to report the driver.

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    • Chris Anderson May 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

      I forgot to mention the most disheartening part: the Portland police on the scene had zero interest in citing crosswalk violators. It seems a huge waste of resources to ignore this. I guess crosswalk laws are only enforced if it is the mayor crossing.

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  • Eli May 11, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    BikeLoudPDX is hosting a second protest two days from now:

    Wed, May 13, 4pm
    123 NW Flanders (ODOT Region 1 Headquarters)

    This time it’ll be a die-in, complete with fake blood.

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  • Joe Rowe May 11, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    The Oregonian said I did not move for several signals while in my car. They should have reported that I was following the law and avoiding a $360 fine by not turning right. 811.260 http://www.stc-law.com/bike_right_turn.html

    Here’s the picture:
    http://s.oregonlive.com/SHxZ6Qc

    I really wanted to ride my bike today. I did not feel safe, so I drove. I think a lot of people think like me. I even took video in case any crazy bikes attacked my car, or cops gave me tickets for missing “several” signals.

    If you could not make the protest the best things you can do

    a) put your Oregon State lawmakers in your cell phone. Then call them and demand they write you a response!

    https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html

    b) Cut down your donations to the useless Oregon BTA and send the money to the PAC at Cascade Cycling. They are the best bang for your buck until Portland creates PAC to fight deadly cars.

    c) Come to meetings of Bike Loud PDX
    http://bikeloudpdx.org/index.php/Calendar

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    • tedder May 11, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      You did a courageous thing. Dressing up in hi-viz and wearing your helmet to cross the street is clearly what all cyclists need to be doing. I admonish you, however, for not using clip-on lighting while crossing the street during the daytime.

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  • GB May 11, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    From a driver’s perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFQbwNsf8KA

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson May 11, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Glad to see ODOT engaged in the conversation. Didn’t see any kind of bike access included in list of what to do on Powell. Maybe next 20 years?

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    • 9watts May 12, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Yeah, that had to have been a thankless position for Romero to occupy. But perhaps eventually we’ll get through to ODOT. Maybe they’ll get tired of the bad PR, never having anything satisfactory to tell their audiences. Realize that vocal opposition to Vision Zero is not good enough.

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    • was carless May 12, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Hey, ODOT once talked about bikes in an internal meeting. Unfortunately, since they dont have a bike department that’s out of their jurisdiction. You have to talk to the state legislature about that. Or just kick ODOT out of Portland!!

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  • Scott H May 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    House district 42: Rep.RobNosse@state.or.us
    Senate district 21: Sen.DianeRosenbaum@state.or.us

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  • ethan May 11, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    2017??

    2000 mother trucking 17?
    What in the gosh darn heck is this bull excrement!?

    I hope I live long enough to make it to the die-in.

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    • Alan Love May 12, 2015 at 11:21 am

      It’s even better on the section of Barbur that ODOT controls. Realistically, we’ll have safety improvements in *20 YEARS*. Please, PBOT, take these roads off ODOT’s hands. You’re still a beaurocracy, but I’ll take PBOT over ODOT any day, anywhere.

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  • Charley May 12, 2015 at 12:00 am

    This strikes me as a really, really big deal. There was nothing like this for Sparling or Jarolimek, which suggests to me that something has changed. I think this is wonderful.

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    • Scott H May 12, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Some of that probably has to do with this happening in front of a school.

      I’d like to think that everyone is tired of ODOT employees collecting a paycheck while (seemingly) not caring that people are killed and injured on our roads. I know I am.

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      • Kyle May 12, 2015 at 7:37 am

        For a moment I thought you were talking about the BTA, and then I read ODOT. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  • peejay May 12, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Sorry I couldn’t make it, but I noticed two of my signs did! Looks like we made our point, though I think we need to keep making it.

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  • Dwaine Dibbly May 12, 2015 at 5:45 am

    If the choice is between a good solution in 2017 and a crappy one now, I’m tempted to suggest that waiting is ok. What worries me is that we’ll wait 2 years and the solution will still be crappy.

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    • Eric May 12, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      All of the speed limit signs could be changed tomorrow, for what, $100 each? (Not sure if that’s quite enough budget to cover the graft.) Can we pass a hat?

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  • 9watts May 12, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Dad Against Misplaced Apostrophes.

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    • Patrick Barber May 12, 2015 at 7:48 am

      There’s more than one of you, so it’s

      Dad’s Against Misplaced Apostrophes

      … wait a minute …

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    • Adam H. May 12, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Fathers Against Reckless Transportation

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  • Andrew Bu May 12, 2015 at 7:16 am

    I thought the protest was spectacular. What a wonderful display of civic pride with just a tinge of civil disobedience.

    I am coming from the viewpoint of a cyclist who moved to Portland because it is bike friendly. The grass isn’t as green as it could be, but it is still doing a pretty fantastic job. I do not live around Powell, so I don’t have the tie of it being my neighborhood.

    I don’t think the bike protest and the people walking in the crosswalk should have been at the same time. Here’s why:

    There is already enough bad blood towards cyclist. The bike portion of the protest did not actually slow down traffic too much. It led traffic to be at a speed which maybe it should always be for that part of Powell.

    The protesters walking back and forth in the crosswalk was what made it a crawl for cars. It was effective, we’re all talking about how great the protest was. And likely no one’s opinion on the issue of bikes, road safety, and Powell Boulevard was going to change because of the protest, people feel how they feel. But the people backed up at Powell will blame cyclists.

    (I acknowledge that for safety reasons it was smart to have the occasional person go over the crosswalk to slow cars down further and make it safer for cyclist as they were biking during the protest.)

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  • Tom SEPDX May 12, 2015 at 7:53 am

    As a bike and car commuter to work, I’m pretty disappointed in this protest. There are already plenty of people in this city that have a negative outlook towards cyclists and agitating them in an already irritating situation (rush hour) is only taking a step backward. Stand on the sidewalks with signs to protest – this would’ve drawn plenty of attention to get ODOT to act, as they did. It’s pretty shameful to see heated arguments go down in the middle of Powell. By souring the reputation of the common cyclist, you put more people at danger than you are trying to keep safe. We want an environment where the road is willingly shared – this was a bad approach.

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    • paikiala May 12, 2015 at 10:36 am

      PBOT didn’t do traffic calming until residents were laying in the streets with TV cameras watching.
      A little agitation now and then is a good thing.

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    • Tom SEPDX May 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Just to add to my own initial response:

      [I’m not defending the truck driver in any way, but I thought maybe I could shed some light on what I think might’ve happened for those unfamiliar with the intersection. If you think this is flat out wrong, please respond. Rebuttals welcome.]

      This area puts more than bikers at risk and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It forces drivers to make risky decisions quite often. That intersection truly is a mess for drivers when traffic is somewhat heavy, making it even more unsafe for all people involved. I just realized this, because I’ve driven on that same route that the truck did 100’s of times, majority of them being as I am leaving Burgerville and would rather use the light to get back onto Powell, than exit via 25th which can be impossible to turn left on when traffic is steady. Almost every single time when you are at that light on 26th, if you are turning left onto Powell – whether you are turning left to head east or west towards downtown – you have to wait until the light turns a late yellow or even a red if you are caught out in the intersection a little bit. It’s sketchy, because it’s tough to see around the long line of cars that are also queuing up to turn left, so you almost risk getting t-boned by a car in the other lane heading straight on 26th if you don’t make a quick left turn when you get your chance. I can imagine a biker could be difficult to see in this situation, particularly if he or she is moving a significant speed (again, not saying it is the biker’s fault at all). It almost forces you to whip your car aggressively so you don’t interrupt the flow of traffic heading north and south now that their light is now green and you are about to be in the way. It’s a huge pain not having a protected left turn signal for cars, because odds are you are only going to get one car per light to advance on their way. Not sure how it went down, but if I had to guess, the truck turned left sharply last second as the biker was hurrying to beat his light as well. Seems like common sense to add a left turn signal there, especially with all the amateur drivers in the area being it right next to Cleveland high school. Being able to move a handful of cars at a time per light without having to worry about an oncoming car, bike or pedestrian would solve a big problem on that intersection.

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      • gutterbunnybikes May 12, 2015 at 8:12 pm

        You’re not suppose to enter the intersection until you can clear it – while the light is green. If you can’t clear it, you need to wait. That whole pulling out into the intersection and waiting for a gap isn’t an excuse.

        This is the perfect example of how people constantly break the law while driving an automobile, and don’t realize it.

        I’m willing to bet, that most he traffic hold up in the central eastside and downtown is people like you that jump out in the intersections when they can’t clear the intersections (even if they have the green) then get stuck in the middle of it.

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        • paikiala May 13, 2015 at 9:06 am

          I think you’re confusing through movement with this case, a left turn.

          Not pulling into the intersection to wait for a gap to make a left turn would likely mean no left turns could be made during peak hours (which this case also was not).

          Can you cite ORS to support your claim?

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    • James May 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Every protest ever has had a nay-sayer claiming, without evidence, that the protest would have been more effective if they just didn’t inconvenience people. Congratulations on being that person, Tom.

      How many drivers would have been able to read those signs, or engage with protestors, while zooming by at 45 mph?

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  • SilkySlim May 12, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I jogged through the event on my commute home and even made a few crosswalk traverses further up Powell to reemphasize the point. I think this was a really simple, quick, and effective demonstration. I bet doing this once every few months would have better results than the millions of dollars of road adjustments coming soon (errr, I mean 2017 at earliest).

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  • Bjorn May 12, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I am not surprised to hear that a student was hit by a another student’s parent, although the fact that they would flee the scene points to them probably being intoxicated, why else would they leave. I remember seeing a safe routes to school statistic that more than half of injuries to kids walking or biking to school are caused by a classmates parent. Reducing the number of parents who drive their kids to school makes all the kids at that school safer.

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  • Ryan May 12, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Like all of you, I am so horrified about this. I’ve also given what money I can to the fund. Many place the blame of this event on reckless driving, or ODOT’s mismangement, or a dangerous intersection. Like many of you, I also live near to this intersection.

    The problem isn’t any of these things. Those are symptoms of the problem. The problem is that we live in a car-centric society which places life and limb beneath convenience. It isn’t a given that cars exists, and the multitude of problems in our society which stem from them aren’t a fact of life. It’s important to remember that is possible to stop contributing to this problem.

    I don’t feel this event addresses the correct problem.

    Since I gave up driving, I see more and more what a menace cars are to us, animals and the planet. It’s a dirty game which I could no longer ethically contribute to. As Portland grows over the next few years, the only way for it to cope with that amount of additional cars on the streets is for more streets to become like Powell Blvd.

    They nailed it with this article: http://bikeportland.org/2014/02/24/editorial-a-pro-bike-lane-argument-that-seems-to-work-23-powell-boulevards-101922

    No one wants that.
    Drive less.
    Ride More.

    It’s a win win for everyone. Thanks to Bike Portland for covering these important issues in our city.

    Ryan

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  • Todd Hudson May 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I was amused that (a pretty convincing replica of) the General Lee from The Dukes Of Hazzard drove by and honked its Dixie horn.

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    • ~n May 12, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Todd, I saw that too. Cute. Unfortunately, I also saw some very rude drivers, many in 6000+lb pickups, who think they are the Dukes. They drove recklessly & rudely, some did not stop for people crossing, and they flipped off humans not in cars while they did it.

      Amusing as it was to have the Dukes’ car drive by, I’m NOT amused by ads like this, which I think are as irresponsible as the cigarette ads of yore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn43hrtkTKM.

      I don’t find it amusing AT ALL that autos are sold with commercials that imply their car is the one where in it, you’ll pass everyone and smugly be “the winner.” IMO, we all lose in safety and health because of the way ads misrepresent cars’ maneuverability. Then there are the ads showing all the interior comforts, like you’re in a hotel room and can lay back, relax, and watch TV while you drive.

      I’d like to see auto ads at least be required to state a warning like drug commercials do: “WARNING: This motor vehicle weighs 4500lbs and is proven to be dangerous to operate at speeds over 35mph. Absolute attention is required to operate. Do not operate while using your cell phone.” Etc.

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  • barb lin May 12, 2015 at 9:07 am

    My friend Moss wrote of the SE bike lock incident that driving is an experience surrounded by armor and biking is an experience of being totally vulnerable. We naturally have to have our defensiveness raised whenever we enter traffic, we don’t get to approach it as a right or an entitlement, or a mindless daily chore – its a challenge, a puzzle, an adrenaline rush, a battle. Greeways, bikeways and side streets for me whenever possible, life is too short for all that anger. http://mxmossman.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-encounter.html

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  • RM Hampel May 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Scott H
    Some of that probably has to do with this happening in front of a school.I’d like to think that everyone is tired of ODOT employees collecting a paycheck while (seemingly) not caring that people are killed and injured on our roads. I know I am.Recommended 5

    That’s not at all a fair comment. I met and spoke with Shelli Romero a couple of months ago in a social situation. She really cares about this exact issue on Powell. In fact, she asked me, as a regular cyclist and resident of the area about what I thought should be done about Powell. ODOT has been working on this issue for some time. It’s not a simple one. And this is not, and hasn’t been a project on the back burner. They’re actively working on it. They’re not just “collecting a paycheck”. Sadly, a driver with a long history of bad road behavior gravely injured a cyclist. And now we’re all (rightly) outraged.

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    • Scott H May 12, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Sure, there are probably some hard working and caring people at ODOT. Since I don’t work there I can only speculate what kinds of politics keep managers like Shelli Romero from making the effective changes we need.

      But anyone calling this a complex issue is just drinking the kool aid. It seems very simple. Lower the speed limit with some signage, hang some traffic lights that have dedicated turn signals (you wouldn’t even have to add a turn lane), re-stripe the road to calm traffic. You could do that tomorrow if you really wanted to, not in 2017.

      Signs and paint are cheap and that’s essentially all it would take to save lives. We just want ODOT to prioritize our lives above throughput.

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      • Eric May 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm

        “corridor … geometry … visibility … curves … complicated” … priorities

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        • Scott H May 12, 2015 at 3:07 pm

          Haha yes, curved roads are so complex. Don’t worry, ODOT is actively studying what the geometry of the roadway is. A few more years and they’ll figure out how to install a bike signal.

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          • paikiala May 12, 2015 at 4:31 pm

            I note that 26th is a straight segment of roadway. The ‘complexity’ argument seems off to me as well.

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  • paikiala May 12, 2015 at 10:58 am

    From what I can tell, the narrowest parts of Powell west of I-205 are 58 feet curb to curb. That’s probably allocated to 12’/11’/12’/11’/12′ based on historical ODOT lane allocation. It’s a major freight route, so space for those mirrors when two trucks are next to each other is a limiting factor.
    Add to this it is posted for 35 mph.

    If Powell is to remain as a major city traffic street with the primary function to move auto traffic between the west side and far east side of Portland (big if), do we really need the center turn lane? It would be safer to remove those left turns, and half or more of the center turn lane space could be reallocated for roadside users like pedestrians or cyclists. This could focus widening projects (and limited funding) on only the major crossings.

    What alternative east-west streets could serve the same function? Should we funnel traffic to one street or spread it out (even if it means more traffic on a Holgate type of street?).

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    • Adam H. May 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Big trucks (18-wheelers) should not be allowed on our streets. They are too large and too dangerous to people walking and riding bikes, and thus incompatible with an urban environment. These trucks should be restricted to I-84 only and smaller trucks within the city should be used instead.

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      • paikiala May 12, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        So how do the mom and pop drivers who can only afford the WB-67 vehicles continue to operate if they cannot use the streets?
        Have you considered how much this might increase costs of our goods and who would be hurt most by such a policy?

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    • Chris I May 12, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      My vote would be for an elevated MAX line with 10′ MUP between 17th and 52nd. The supports would eliminate the center turn lane for Powell in this section. At 52nd the MAX line and cycle track would move to the south of Powell on the mostly vacant ROW. Now, where do we find a billion dollars?

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      • Reza May 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm

        Do you know how wide the support pylons for the elevated guideway would be? They would take up the whole footprint of the center turn lane, and probably then some.

        But yes, +1 on dedicated transit lanes for Powell. If only the surrounding neighborhoods would ever agree to an elevated line.

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  • Michael May 12, 2015 at 11:19 am

    two quick thoughts:

    first, I was not there – but this reminded me of the campaign that was highlighted a few weeks ago on BP – where one of the slogans was:

    “Stop killing us” (or something similar ). the directness and simplicity of that message is powerful

    Second, every time I see the photo of that woman with the sign that reads “mom against bikes on the road: honk if you agree” it makes me cringe – that is so offensive and inappropriate given the circumstances. For crying out loud, someone just had a serious injury and people are upset and grieving and have a right to express their anger and grief. While I understand the first amendment and all, there is a time and place.

    Aside from the callousness of her timing, of course, I have issue with her message. She is essentially saying Alistair had no right to ride his bike. This is blaming the victim. Moreover, the message is based on a false premise. cars have no inherent right to own roads. Roads carried pedestrians and bikes existed before cars; and people who drive need to respect that.

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    • Eric May 12, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      When the bike lane ends, the signs should say “caution: Motor Vehicles on Bikeway”.

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  • Sho May 12, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    So what were the directions of travel for each party? This post states Alistair was travelling south on Powell however the previous post states the incident occurred from both parties on 26th. If one was on 26th and one on Powell with a left hand turn that would mean someone ran a red opposed to turning into oncoming traffic. However it is kind of ironic that the protest took place targeting Powell when the incident was due to 26th ave traffic, none the less Powell crosswalks around there are pretty treacherous.

    “Alistair Corkett was bicycling south on Powell when a man driving a truck in the opposite direction turned left”

    5/10 BP post – “A collision involving a pickup truck and a bicycle critically injured a man biking southbound on 26th Avenue just before 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

    Police said the injured man’s leg was severed after the northbound truck turned left onto Powell in front of him”

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    • paikiala May 12, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      the descriptions you quote do not contradict.
      the cyclist was southbound on 26th, coming from the north and heading south.
      the motorist was northbound on 26th and turned left, coming from the south and heading west.

      I agree, protesting Powell for something only involving 26th is a bit odd. Sort of like adding sidewalks longitudinally along a road for a pedestrian crossing crash.

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      • Reza May 12, 2015 at 9:10 pm

        “I agree, protesting Powell for something only involving 26th is a bit odd. Sort of like adding sidewalks longitudinally along a road for a pedestrian crossing crash.”

        I see what you did there.

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  • alynn May 12, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I totally get the importance of the situation, but please also respect that I have to pick up kids at daycare and that it costs A LOT of money to be late…being stuck in traffic jam caused by protesters trying to make a (valid) point to lawmakers. Who was affected? The hundreds of people stuck in their cars, stressed out about being late for work, late to pick up kids, etc. PLEASE GIVE US DUE WARNING NEXT TIME.

    Don’t get me wrong – I have three kids and I don’t let them walk near the street – I support the cause. BUT….rawr.

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    • KristenT May 13, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      There was warning– I saw a post here about it as an upcoming event earlier.

      Besides, isn’t that somewhat the point? Your convenience doesn’t trump safety of other people? What about respecting other people’s needs to get to their destination safely, with all arms and legs still attached?

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  • davemess May 12, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    “Alistair Corkett was bicycling south on Powell when a man driving a truck in the opposite direction turned left.”

    Jonathan, you guys have had a few postings and comments of witnesses of the accident. Do we (or you) have a better idea of what actually happened? As a few reports had the cyclists running a yellow light and then crashing into the back end of the truck that was already turning.

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    • paikiala May 13, 2015 at 11:51 am

      What, exactly, is ‘running a yellow light’? Just curious.

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      • davemess May 14, 2015 at 9:37 am

        That was their quote not mine. I imagine it is entering an intersection when the light has already turned yellow, which I know is allowed if there is not safe time/distance to stop when going a reasonable speed. Correct me if my interpretation is incorrect.

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  • Lester Burnham May 13, 2015 at 8:19 am

    It takes till 2017 to put in a couple signals? Government proving once again they are good at only one thing…taking your money. That is always done with great speed.

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    • paikiala May 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      New signals – a complete rebuild in this case – is about $250,000.
      you should start a fund.

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  • Oregon Mamacita May 13, 2015 at 9:06 am

    The photos paint a much less successful protest than the prose. One picture- of white traffic vigilantes fighting a with a female African American driver, is quite ugly. Also, the conflict with the tow tuck driver suggests that the protest could be generating some bad publicity with the general public.

    Trapping people in cars to protest X is a Hart Noecker-style tactic and it should come out of the playbook. One of these days it is going to end really badly, either by creating a confusing situation for a driver who hits the wrong pedal, or because you have stopped some Gypsy Jokers or someone with a gun.

    There is a real sense of being above the law on this blog, and a tolerance for vigilante justice. Good luck with that. If we had a mayor with cajones
    the gal with the big tats on her thighs would be arrested.

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    • paikiala May 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      you don’t support political protest? or just this minority’s point of view?

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      • Oregon Mamacita May 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        I don’t support bike activists detaining drivers to force them to hear a political message, and I didn’t like the mob surrounding the black woman driver. The die-in is a better idea- you aren’t unlawfully detaining people then. I also don’t like protests that are likely to evoke violence- and it is reported above that you had one very angry tow truck driver.

        Deliberately blocking drivers is awful. Who the “f” do you think you are to force people to listen to your message? Would you like anti-abortion activists to block your trip and make you hear their message? Would you like anti-gentrification forces to do a slow roll on the N. Williams bike lanes during bike rush hour?

        Complete lack of principle. Hart Noecker-y.

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        • Chris I May 13, 2015 at 9:22 pm

          Your definition of detention is interesting. You might want to consult a lawyer before pressing charges. Also, nice work pulling the race card there. I’m sure that lady appreciates being used as a token like that.

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          • Oregon Mamacita May 14, 2015 at 10:02 am

            I am sure the lady appreciated all the little George Zimmermans taking it upon themselves to correct her behavior.

            Oh, a quick google search would have revealed that blocking someone’s car
            without justification is a crime & a tort

            Any person who intentionally restricts another’s freedom of movement without their consent (and without legal justification) may be liable for false imprisonment, which is both a crime and a civil wrong. It can occur in a room, on the streets, or even in a moving vehicle—just as long as the subject is unable to move freely, against his or her will. – See more at: http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/false-imprisonment.

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