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Victim of collision at notorious Greeley/I-5 intersection comes forward

Posted by on February 3rd, 2016 at 2:22 pm

The bike lane and the freeway on-ramp on North Greeley where a man was hit on January 27th.
(Photo: Google Streetview)

A recent collision on North Greeley where it crosses over an on-ramp for the Interstate 5 freeway has thrust concerns about that dangerous intersection back into the spotlight. It’s also a reminder that even when collisions don’t lead to serious injuries or even death they still take a significant toll on victims and the road designs that lead to them still deserve our attention.

“Now, just the thought of riding to work makes my heart pound. I feel nervous walking through crosswalks.”

This collision happened on January 27th. Luckily the man who was riding his bike was not seriously injured aside from “road rash and various contusions.” There wasn’t any media coverage and we only received scant information from the police about what happened. But since last week we’ve been contacted by the injured rider. He told us he wanted to stay anonymous because he’s still piecing everything together and dealing with unhelpful insurance claims adjusters (who seem more concerned with telling him to “pay more attention” than representing his interests).

The man, let’s call him Bob, said he’s having to pay out-of-pocket for his hospital stay. To make matters worse, the person who was driving is not admitting fault, so Bob will likely have to pay for a new bike as well — an expense he estimates at $1,000 to $2,000.

But replacing his equipment is the least of Bob’s worries. His “cycling confidence” has been shaken to the core. Here’s more from his email:

“But what I’m most broken up about is my cycling confidence. I have zero interest in riding anymore, let alone replacing my bike. My New Year’s resolution was to hit 5,000 miles. I registered for the Portland Century 10 months in advance. Mere weeks ago I was planning a long weekend tour of Astoria and the Oregon coast. Now, just the thought of riding to work makes my heart pound. I feel nervous walking through crosswalks. If I’m not actively doing something that occupies my immediate attention, my thoughts drift back to that morning: realizing in that moment that the car is not going to slow down, careening off the windshield, screaming “no, no, no” as I hit the pavement, my bike crumpled beside me — the bike that made me fall in love with cycling a year-and-a-half ago. I think about how surreal it all was, how I thought this could never happen to me.”

Ride Along with Ali Reis-9
Another view of this intersection taken during our Ride Along with Ali Reis.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I hate to publish things like this because I worry that it will scare some of you and that you might ride less because of it. But maybe this type of thing is what’s needed for us to do, in Bob’s words, “a re-examination of Greeley’s safety.”

We’ve mentioned this location several times in the past. In the southbound direction people are driving 45-50 mph and then speeding up even faster as they merge onto the I-5 on ramp. Meanwhile, there’s a designated bike lane to the right that directs riders to merge left across the freeway on-ramp in order to continue southbound toward Interstate Avenue. This is a completely unacceptable design for a bikeway — especially a route where the latest City of Portland counts show about 1,400 average daily bicycle trips.

Back in September when Mayor Charlie Hales was still considering re-election, he rode his bike from Kenton to City Hall. I was on the ride and hoped we would ride past this intersection so he could begin to share some of the urgency I feel it deserves. Unfortunately we didn’t take this route because one of his staffers felt it would be too dangerous.

Portland wants more people to ride bikes. Every major adopted city transportation plan and policy we have makes that crystal clear. But until we help people gain cycling confidence instead of lose it, we’ll never reach our goals.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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  • Adam February 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm


    Are you able to tell us if it was a late lane change by the driver of the car from the left lane to the right lane? That is always my biggest fear when I cross there. I end up waiting until both lanes are clear to cross the right lane, since I’ve seen so many people at the last second change lanes.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 3, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Adam,

      No. I’m not able to tell you that. Unfortunately because this was not a serious injury crash there was no police investigation or report taken. At least that is my assumption given how these type of collisions are usually treated. I’ll ask “Bob” and/or perhaps he can come and comment himself.

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      • Wade February 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm

        “Bob” said he ended up on the windshield of a car, how is this not a serious crash in the eyes of PPB?

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        • paikiala February 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm

          PPB defines a serious crash as one that involved emergency transport to a hospital.

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          • estherc February 6, 2016 at 11:26 pm

            Which means the crash victim can decide for themselves whether its “serious” or not. Anyone an call an ambulance for any minor injury. On the other hand, someone can choose to tough it out for more serious injuries.

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  • Buzz February 3, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Almost all of the worst hazard locations for cyclists in Portland are at locations where the local street grid intersects the Interstate Highway System.

    I could say many things about this, but what seems most obvious in retrospect is that the Interstate Highways never should have been brought into the city in the first place.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      That’s a good observation Buzz. It shows that ODOT prioritizes car movement/speed/”capacity” over everything else… And it also shows that PBOT is afraid to call them on their bullshit.

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      • David February 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

        That there is even a rift between PBOT and ODOT just shows how ridiculous our transportation infrastructure management system is. Why are there two public agencies at odds with each other? How can this problem be solved?

        One thing that comes to mind is if rather than splitting things into “this is an ODOT road/highway or this is a PBOT road/highway,” the agencies were responsible for different aspects of management.

        For example, what if within city boundaries, city governments and bureaus were responsible for design standards that align with city goals. And the state agency was responsible for maintenance/funding.

        The only people that make distinctions between ODOT roads and PBOT roads (besides those who read this blog) are people who work at those agencies. To normal people, they’re just roads. Some are crappy to cross or bike on, and others aren’t. It shouldn’t be this way. It’s time to figure out a better system of management.

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    • Spiffy February 3, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      the interstate freeway system was never meant to connect multiple parts of the city to itself, it was meant to connect to one point in the city…

      but cities have abused the freeway and created many offramps all within miles of each other…

      we should only have freeway access on the outskirts of the city, not at multiple points within it…

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      • Todd Boulanger February 3, 2016 at 4:20 pm

        And the original historic reason for the first phase of the US Interstate System was even more limited…it was primarily proposed to move military equipment in times of war / unrest between military bases.

        The only project in the 40+ years of the US Interstate System that truly met this requirement was H-3 on Oahu (the last time I looked into it).

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        • Todd Boulanger February 3, 2016 at 4:22 pm

          And another interesting factoid on H-3…during design the military attempted to scuttle the project due to concerns about cost and that they no longer needed it due to military base closures/ consolidations. But our then well connected senator kept it going.

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  • SilkySlim February 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Totally identify with the worst result of incident being shaken confidence. I went down once back in the ice storm, and I still feel tense making any turns. But don’t worry ‘Bob,’ I promise it will slowly dissipate with each mile ridden.

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  • John Lascurettes February 3, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    For those not as familiar biking on this stretch (raises hand), are you talking about the southern end of southbound Greeley before it meets Interstate? I’m looking at a streeetview on Google and it seems to be the only thing that would match what you’re talking about.

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    • John Lascurettes February 3, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Yup: https://goo.gl/maps/g7adLujd1PU2

      Oh gosh, why on earth does the bike lane not transition BEFORE the split to the left?

      Also the pavement markings int he bike lane have sharks tooth markings telling bike riders to yield to motor vehicles, yet the white regulatory sign is completely ambiguous. I’d take that sign to mean “yield to bikes” yet the pavement markings clearly say “bikes must yield”.

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      • Buzz February 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm

        At a minimum, it should be a merge, rather than a crossing, and it should be longer than the usual too-short, too-late merges that PBOT paints on the pavement for cyclists at locations like N Broadway and Larrabee.

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        • Adam H. February 3, 2016 at 2:58 pm

          A merge would be just as dangerous. People riding bikes should NEVER be forced to merge over a highway on ramp at grade, green paint or not.

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          • Eric Leifsdad February 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

            The auto lane should yield, just like every other time you cross a bike lane in a car in Oregon. How did this get done backwards? Looking at it from any point of view other than “get bikes out of my way, I can’t wait 4 seconds”, it’s obviously better to let the bike cross.

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            • Adam H. February 3, 2016 at 3:25 pm

              It’s unreasonable to expect that people driving 45+ MPH onto a highway entrance will properly yield to people riding bikes. Even if they did see someone riding in a “merge” zone, they likely wouldn’t be able to stop in time. There needs to be grade separation here.

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              • dan February 3, 2016 at 3:40 pm

                If this was signed as a merge, I would continue to do exactly what I do today: look over my shoulder, and if there are _any_ cars behind me in either lane, come to a full stop and wait. Depending on someone in a car to allow me to merge across the lane at this intersection when they’re driving highway speed is putting my life in the hands of someone who isn’t smart enough to ride a bike 😉

                The scariest experience I ever had here was when I was stopped with my foot down here, waiting for traffic to go by, and a car came speeding up, saw me, and for some unknown reason stood on their brakes, triggering ABS and coming to a full stop, nearly getting rear-ended as a result. What the hell…? I can’t imagine that it looked like I was about to ride in front of the car. I appreciate the sentiment (I think), but that was way scarier than if they just went by in the lane like I had expected.

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                • Stace February 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

                  Yes! I have ridden this route for years and have seen this happen so many times. Scary and then sometimes the drivers behind them look pissed at you just for being on a bike.

                  The other challenge with this intersection during the morning commute is the steady string of truck traffic coming off swan island. Generally I actually find the truck drivers to be very predictable but sometimes I end up waiting forever for a clearing to cross.

                  I am curious to see how the np greenway trail develops and if it does indeed run along greely, will it put an end to this dangerous crossing?

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              • Eric Leifsdad February 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

                Or perhaps it’s unreasonable to have a bike lane crossing a 45mph+ onramp? The driver coming from behind can clearly see someone on a bike here. Granted, the geometry is bad because you want to know they are slowing before you cross but clearly this design assumed “cars-first”. A competent engineer would have paused at “Oh, I can’t safely give bikes priority with this configuration, something has to change.”

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          • Pete February 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm
        • Mao February 3, 2016 at 10:05 pm

          Just every part about this path is bad news. I took it a few times in the summer at 7am when it was empty and even then I came to a full stop until I saw a nice opening. Strong and Fearless can’t come close to describing anyone who would ride this.

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      • Chadwick F February 3, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        This design was changed some years back.
        I can’t really recall exactly what it was like because I barely ever use/used Greeley (High-five Mayor & staff!), and if I remember right it was still pretty treacherous.
        Anyone got a photo of this spot from like, maybe 5 years ago or more?
        Just wondering if the design is worse now than it used to be.

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        • Chadwick F February 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm

          Seems like you merged further back.

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        • Tom Hardy February 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

          It is worse! I have always started crossing the traffic lane to the middle while the dividing line is still a single line as a merge. It gives motorists a clearer warning that I am moving across the traffic lane rather than the “As ODOT/PBOT requests” by the way the crossing is marked for the cyclist to come to a stop in the bike lane and wait until it is clear and walk/mount while crossing the lane.

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      • shirtsoff February 3, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        I always attempt to merge/cross before the bike lane ends. I’m never, ever attempting to ride onto the on-ramp, why would I allow it to direct me there? It’s uncomfortable to change lanes early but it makes the intention as clear as possible to all other users of the road.

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        • John Lascurettes February 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

          Exactly my thoughts when I was looking at it in street view. I never would wait until after the onramp splits off to make my transition. I would position myself in the lane before that ever happened. This is just horrible design all around (particularly how you’re wedged against the jersey barrier with no path of escape. Horrible.

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      • paikiala February 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

        the regulatory sign is small and with a bike symbol, so it is for cyclists. A vehicular yield sign is a large triangle, pointing down.

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    • Brendan Treacy February 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Yep. Southern end of Greeley just south of Overlook Park:

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  • Kat February 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Dear “Bob”, you will get back on the bike but I know *exactly* how you feel. My car was totaled by a guy who ran a red light, I had whiplash, contusions, nothing really serious. But I didn’t drive for a couple of months, and I had to take baby steps. I was riding the bus for a while, and I would suggest that, then take a new bike out for a spin in “safer” areas, like the BVT or other bike trail, to get some confidence back. That initial anxiety after any accident SUCKS. But I know you’ll be OK. <3

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  • DNF February 3, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I ride Greeley almost daily, and I’m always worried about this intersection. Even the lead up to it can be sketchy because it’s just a narrow bike lane next to a jersey barrier. Someone talking a bit too much on their phone while heading to the ramp, and suddenly you’re a smear on the wall, even though you were just sitting there waiting for traffic to clear.

    The ramp up from Swan Island is almost as bad. While the speeds are lower, there’s almost no visibility of bikers by the trucks coming up the ramp, or by bikers of the trucks that might be coming up the ramp.

    The stretch from Adidas until past the on-ramp is the worst part of commute, no question, and to make matters construction crews regularly throw signs or other things up in the bike lane, forcing you into the traffic lane.

    I’m honestly quite surprised no one has died on this stretch yet.

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    • Adam H. February 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      The jersey barrier is on the wrong side of the bike lane. Instead of protecting people riding bikes from cars, it’s protecting drivers from themselves.

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    • Brendan Treacy February 3, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      This is all supposed to be solved with the North Portland Greenway Project: http://npgreenway.org/
      As with the off-road mountain bike project, their hearts are in the right place but the pace of change is painfully slow. It shouldn’t take a generation to build a bike path. 1-2 years maybe, but not this long. Maybe some increased exposure in the mayoral race can put some energy back into the project. Hopefully it doesn’t take a death.

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  • Adam H. February 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    The crossover in that first photo is a joke. Does PBOT actually think people riding bikes can stop on a dime and make two consecutive 90º turns, all while watching for speeding drivers? Anyone who has ridden a bike more than zero times can tell you it’s impossible to turn at a right angle like that. Would we design highways in this manner?

    Not to mention the complete lack of protection. The only fix for this spot is a flyover/under for drivers. Forcing people riding bikes to cross over an unsignaled highway on-ramp is extremely dangerous and completely against best-practices for cycling infrastructure.

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    • Oliver February 4, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you. This 90 degree turn nonsense is a plague, and we see it over and over again. It must have something to do with the AASHTO bible.

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  • Matthew B. February 3, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    When I moved to Portland, one of my neighbors suggested this as a fun route because of the big downhill. I did it once, and concluded that it is too dangerous for me to enjoy. I get worried when Google maps includes this as a routing, I think it is just a bad choice. Google maps wants to send me down Interstate on my commute, but that is only marginally better, so I ride the bicycle superhighway down Vancouver. The Vancouver route is slightly longer but significantly safer, in my experience. Having said that, I’ve had two near doorings this week, not to mention the jackass on Willamette Blvd changing a tire on a truck who thought leaving a tire in the middle of the bike lane after dark was smart idea.

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    • Rider February 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      I used to ride from the st johns bridge to the Hawthorne bridge daily and my sentiments mirror yours exactly. I only ever took Greeley if I was running late for work and had a meeting I couldn’t miss. When Google maps first started including bike maps I wore them to suggest the take it off their suggested routes.

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  • Allan February 3, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    The interesting thing is that from a capacity perspective, 1 lane in each direction for cars would be totally acceptable, would reduce speeding greatly and would make the design of this intersection noticably more obvious. Perhaps it is time for a road diet on Greeley?

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    • Chuck February 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Greeley is the connector to I-5 south for all of the industry on Swan Island, including a parade of UPS and FedEx trucks in the morning and afternoon. Cutting it down to one lane is not going to happen, nor should it. There has to be some kind of solution, as this is a nightmare for people on bikes, but cutting out a lane ain’t it.

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  • Pat Lowell February 3, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I am so sorry, Bob. I know exactly how you’re feeling re: confidence, and it completely sucks, but it’s also completely normal after a trauma like that. You WILL get your mojo back eventually — but in the meantime, let time do its thing.. allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling without worrying about how you think you *should* be feeling.. and be receptive when your mind and body start asking, “ok.. maybe now?” Reach out to people who make you happy, and take care of yourself. Best wishes to you.

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  • redtech116 February 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    they need to match what they did on the north side…
    it looks like there is room on the other side of the barrier to link it to interstat.

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  • Chris I February 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Maybe we can put Greeley on a road diet here? No intersections, so one lane in each direction should be sufficient. That would leave space for barrier-protected bike lanes on each side, and it would help eliminate the absurd speeding that goes on.

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    • still riding after all that February 9, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      “cut down on the speeding” ?

      Not necessarily. If the number of cars and trucks stays constant, they would have to be going at least double their current speed in order to squeeze through in one lane.

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  • ethan February 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    “Now, just the thought of riding to work makes my heart pound. I feel nervous walking through crosswalks. If I’m not actively doing something that occupies my immediate attention, my thoughts drift back to that morning:”

    This reminds me of the times I’ve been hit by drivers. It really shakes you. Best of luck to “Bob” and burn in hell, ODOT.

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  • MaxD February 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I have always hated this, too., but I never feel safe on Greeley. If UPPR could be reckoned with, there is space for an off-road, separated path on the south/west side Greeley (between Greeley and the tracks). Ideally this would go all the way under the Steel Bridge to the Esplanade, but the City should fight for a short stretch from the on-ramp to Russell. After that, work to extend it north under the Going bridge and connect to Willamette just south of Ainsworth.

    Heading south, I have often wondered if a path could get built beneath the Marquam between Interstate and River. From River, head up the south side of the Tillamook viaduct, then occupy the southbound lane of Interstate Ave between Tillamook and Larrabee (Larrabee would have be structurally upgraded so all southbound vehicles would use it). South of the Boradway bridge, the route goes along the top of the bank to the Steel bridge. A new bike/ped bridge would then connect under the Steel Bridge but above the RR access road to connect to the Esplanade landing.

    Dare to dream!

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    • Blake February 4, 2016 at 8:58 am

      I believe the agreed alignment of the npGreenway is on that railroad bed.

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  • rick February 3, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Even while obeying all ODOT laws, I was nearly hit by an suv yesterday while walkng on the crosswalk on ODOT’s BH Highway.

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    • Spiffy February 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      you were probably a distraction and thus need to be removed per ODOT policy…


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  • J_R February 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    It sounds like Bob failed to abide by the procedures needed by a bicyclist to get what he deserves.
    1) lie on the street and wait for the ambulance and EMTs
    2) be transported to the hospital for a full work-up
    3) retain an attorney; let your attorney talk to the insurance companies
    4) keep a detailed extemporaneous account of all your aches and pains, sleeplessness, medications, etc
    5) buy cameras for video evidence for when it happens again.
    It’s disgusting that this is necessary, but sadly, it is.

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    • eddie February 5, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      J_R – does that work out for most people financially? That is, in Bob’s case, would there be an eventual payoff which covers the costs of the attorney, ambulance, etc.? Not disputing what you said, just curious how these things work out usually.

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  • Spiffy February 3, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    after being menaced by vehicles instead of being timid I get out onto the major streets like Powell or MLK and take the lane… it lets me exercise my rights to the road while feeling enabled…

    it’s straight with plenty of visibility to the lane in front of you so there’s not much of a change of being hit… also, since the bus is always slowing down the right lane there aren’t that many angry drivers honking at me…

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  • dan February 3, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Question: are cars supposed to yield to bike traffic here?

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    • TJ February 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      The signs at the top and bottom seem to imply bikes should yield.

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    • Al Dimond February 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      The part of the bike lane on the far-right has yield triangles right before the end; whoever designed it clearly intended cyclists to yield at that point.

      Realistically cyclists are going to try to move across the offramp more smoothly than it’s drawn, meaning they’ll move over before the “yield” triangles. Generally a driver has a pretty firm responsibility to yield to someone in front of them (i.e. to slow down and not rear-end people) except when that person cuts in front without giving them adequate time to slow down. In this case (where there’s no crosswalk) common sense would dictate this standard applies. The cyclist would have to yield to traffic before moving left, giving traffic on the ramp enough time to slow down and not rear-end him; once he does this drivers would be required to slow down for him. Common sense would dictate that laws restricting cyclists’ lane choice and position would be irrelevant to this particular standard. I’m not sure how much practice lines up with common sense, though.

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  • TJ February 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I no longer trust drivers in the left lane after experiencing too many last minute lane shifts. NP Greenway cannot happen soon enough for those of us out on the Peninsular.

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  • yashardonnay February 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    This would be expensive, and probably not viable, but looking at the picture the safest solution I could come up with was keeping the lane to the right of the ramp on lower ground (on the other side of the concrete barrier) and having it cross through a tunnel underneath the ramp some 50 yards down. The notion that my head went there shows you just how bad the existing design is.

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  • Adam H February 3, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    i think its worth noting that the city’s bike map does not mark this as a difficult intersection/connection. It is shown as a continuous bike lane.

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    • John Lascurettes February 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Gap week!

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      • Jessica Roberts
        Jessica Roberts February 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

        Gap year 🙁

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    • Adam H. February 3, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      Imposter! 😉

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    • B. Carfree February 3, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Isn’t it lovely how such a “continuous” bike lane is fine for us peasants, but the mayor won’t ride it, even when doing a “look at me ride a bike” propaganda stunt.

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  • April Speers February 3, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Just wanted to add I lived in St. John until about 3 months ago, and while there I’d ride Greeley 5 days a week to go to work. I’ve always been extra cautious in this area but sometimes that doesn’t matter. One day I am stopped at that area right next to the bike yield sign and waiting for traffic to clear in the right lane so I can cross. I look, the right lane is clear and there’s a car in the left lane so I go. At that moment the car in the left lane merges into the right lane and crosses the solid white line in the process, and nearly runs me over. We both swerved and were able to avoid what could have been a terrible bike vs car crash. I was so scared afterwards since the car was going about 45-50 mph and knowing it was just luck I wasn’t hit. So with that being said: I don’t think it’s a smart idea to have bikes crossing an I-5 on ramp where cars are going 45-50mph. What I experienced above happens a lot, I’ve seen cars in the left lane make a last minute decision that they were in the wrong lane and wanted to get on I-5 on ramp. Or maybe they’re purposely in the left lane trying to pass someone going slower in the right lane. Anyways, lots of variables here but one thing is for sure, this is not a safe bike route.

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  • Joe Adamski February 3, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I cringed when I heard reports of a cyclist hit on Greeley at the I-5 onramp. I expected worse and was relieved when the little I heard was it was a ‘minor’ accident, no serious injuries. Apparently not so.
    As npGreenway has worked for 10 years to get the signature trail of the 2030 Bike Master Plan built, Greeley has been a huge challenge. The Union Pacific Railroad has only been slightly engaged in finding a safe alignment through or around the Albina Yards. Cement Road has been no, no, and no. Only recently has a alternative alignment been offerred by UPRR. This would vacate the eastern-most tracks, immediately adjacent to Greeley for the trail . The devil is in the detail. I am no longer on the board so don’t know what the pre-engineering study the City authorized has found. Parks, in the Trail alignment study advocated for a East Greeley, up along the bluff trail, feeling it was the most likey to be built, though npGW and most felt it the worst choice.
    My point is that, save for ‘Bob’ we have dodged a bullet on that stretch, but not at the Interstate intersection. There have been two fatalities and several major crashes involving cyclists there. We need to find a better option than what we currently have.
    The npGW trail is currently projected to be completed by 2030, or later. What it will look like depends on whether Portland Parks, or the community accept a ‘most easily built’ trail, or a signature one that captures safety, equity, environment, and community. We as Portland citizens, deserve safe connection to our jobs, our neighborhoods, to recreation, safe transportation and to nature.
    A painted line adjacent to a high speed, high volume freight corridor is not part of anyones vision.
    Before the next ‘Bob’, the City, Union Pacific Railroad, and the business interests on Swan Island and throughout the City need to close ranks and make safe access a reality connecting North Portland to the rest of the city.The larger community is excited about the possibility. It just needs that extra push to make it so.

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    • Buzz February 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

      These greenways have been part of the state’s and city’s land use plans for how long now?

      The fact that these industries won’t work with the city on a better trail alignment and that it is going to take another 15 years to complete constitutes negligence bordering on the criminal.

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  • 9watts February 3, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    “Unfortunately we didn’t take this route because one of his staffers felt it would be too dangerous.”

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    • Paul Atkinson February 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

      This cannot be repeated too loudly nor too often.

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  • resopmok February 3, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    When I first moved to Portland, and before these lanes were striped even how they are, I got confused and ended up on the highway. On my bike. This was perhaps one of the most harrowing experiences of my time biking besides descending Burnside on a brakeless fixie (don’t ask, and for those of you who do it all the time – great for you). This is not the only dangerous section of southbound Greeley, either, the merge from Swan Island while coming down the hill is nearly equally as tricky. Between the two, I find it pretty irresponsible that the city has even painted bike lanes here, as it gives people a false sense of security (think: Lombard gap) that this route is even remotely safe.

    I’m not really surprised the driver took no responsibility, unfortunate as that is. I feel really bad for “Bob” and I hope there is some way he can recoup both is medical costs and confidence after an event like this. Common refrains like “Platinum” and “Zero Vision” come to mind when I think of the reality about how Portland actually treats biking infrastructure. City of Portland: Biketown is on its way, what are you going to do to help keep your citizens actually safe? If the answer is nothing, I smell a lot of lawsuits in your future.

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  • Roland Klasen February 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Best wishes to Bob and I hope he gets his mojo back. I drive this stretch almost daily and biked it dozens of times. I wonder if a 2 way MUP could be created on the north bound side of Greeley from Interstate to the Going street overpass. Seems like there is plenty of room and would be much safer.

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    • Panda February 4, 2016 at 7:35 am

      the mup should go on the south /west side of Greely. It could travel under Going and rejoin interstate at Russell. Other connections to the street grid at Ainsworth and Going

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  • Glenn February 3, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Like a few others on here, I commute along this stretch on a daily basis, although I probably should take another route. Jonathan cited the daily numbers, which are more than I would have thought. Anecdotally, in my 4 years commuting along the route, the number of cyclists has gone up significantly. I’ve also noticed an increase – unsurprisingly given the numbers – of near-misses. The majority of these have been along the Swan Island entrance onto Greeley (in my opinion, a far more dangerous spot due to sightlines) and when cyclists veer out into traffic to avoid some of the frequent obstacles in the bike lane.

    The peninsula is quickly becoming gentrified, and being filled in with additional density. A good part of the newcomers to St. Johns, UPark, etc are younger and more affluent, individuals more likely to be bike commuters. The route down Greeley is far and away the most efficient route into the city, and we’re going to see numbers of commuters increase even more along there in the next few years.

    I feel strongly that bike should primarily share roads with cars, preferably with a designated lane. In some locations, that doesn’t make sense. This is one of those locations. NP Greenway needs to be completed before we see more serious incidents.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson February 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    npGreenway (Friends of North Portland Greenway Trail) is strongly advocating for a trail alignment between Greeley and the UPRR Yard. The RR has indicated a willingness to provide the needed easement between N. Going and N. Russell, and PBOT is doing a preliminary design/cost estimate for this option. The benefit of this route is that it can accommodate travel down Greeley and from Swan Island via Going…if done right! and leave the I-5 on ramp for only daring or fearless. Not me!
    Absolutely right that “Interstate” freeways should never have been built thru the middle of cities…but they only took out poor and minority neighborhoods, so no problem! Not ever Hitler dared do that in Germany.

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  • Brian February 3, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I have been through a similar incident, right hooked by driver and couldn’t get the police to come out and file a report. Give the claims adjuster some credit, they are likely not from Oregon and not familiar with Oregon traffic laws and the duties of the driver. Inform them of those that are applicable. If the damage to your bike is greater than $1500, file your own crash report.

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  • buildwithjoe February 3, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I ride this every morning. This intersection has the same problem as the Eastbound Hawthorne Bridge. Our city fails to install signs saying yield to bicycles. Our city lacks a website for neighbors to submit dangerous intersections and allow all neighbors to rank those as highest risk. Demote Portland From platinum to poop.

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  • Opus the Poet February 4, 2016 at 12:24 am

    It has been 14 years since the wreck that put me in the hospital, and I still get the same thing when I’m around cars. I’m told this is PTSD on my part.

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    • Opus the Poet February 4, 2016 at 12:28 am

      That was supposed to be a reply to Ethan’s comment, I don’t know what happened.

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  • Vince February 4, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I am sure someone has already suggested this, but here goes…A interesting project would be to do a ride report on all of the routes marked on the city bike map. Then add comments from the mapping to the city map and post it as somthing like ” Before You Ride”. It would make things safer for ne riders and might spur the city into some action.

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  • Joe February 4, 2016 at 9:00 am

    also I think we can face some signs of PTSD riding on the roads, sometimes I wonder what goes through heads of car culture types.. since i might have signs of PTSD,,,,,, but will always keep riding 🙂

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  • AJ_Bikes February 4, 2016 at 9:09 am

    What about putting Greeley on a road diet, and then building a jersey-barrier-protected, center-running, two-way bike lane. At least to Going, there’s nowhere for bikes to turn anyway. You’d need to do some work adjusting the intersection at Interstate and also at Going (maybe a dedicated bike phase to let people transition from center-running to side-running at Going, and another dedicated bike phase at Interstate?). Even without a road diet, you might be able to do this, but I think the lanes are probably too narrow to squeeze any more…

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  • Bald One February 4, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I’m a frequent rider on N Greeley and on this section. It is obvious that the I-5 on ramp intersection, the S-bound intersection at Going mentioned several times above, and the N-bound Intersection coming off the short section of MUP at the new camping area (where the pile of bark chips is always located) needs to be re-engineered. Yes, and soon.

    But, the City of Portland can do a lot to improve safety for cyclists along this entire section of N. Greeley, without doing any re-engineering or changes – simply by increasing maintenance and increasing traffic enforcement (speeding and unsafe driving). COP has a real problem in creating a maintenance and enforcement priority and instead seem to be obsessed with hand-wringing about ODOT. The bike lane (along the shoulder) is frequently loaded with heavy debris, thick muck/sand, lots of gravel. City needs to create a PRIORITY road sweeping along this (and other city) bike arterials where a bike lane is located on a shoulder of a busy street. Currently, large portions of the bike lane are unusable, forcing the cyclists closer and closer to the white line, where the cars and trucks are speeding and offer no room while passing. And more recently, the N-bound bike lane is now full of debris due to all the cars which are parking in the shoulder, pulling in and out of the gravel areas, and driving on the MUP. The city can easily fix this by frequently sweeping and cleaning the street along here, and occasionally having a cop control traffic speeds. Come on PBOT, lets get a new policy working for improving the schedule and priority of maintenance on these sections and throw the cyclists a bit of a life line on these areas.

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    • Tom Hardy February 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Of course now that PPB wants to eliminate traffic law enforcement (no tickets for motorists) it will not get any better because there will not be any revenue flow from fines for violations or vehicular assaults.

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  • Chuck February 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

    As an aside, why are those broke down RVs with equally broke down trailers allowed to remain on the northbound side of Greeley? They’ve been there for months and have created a toxic lake of debris in the bike lane. It’s not in great shape closer to the homeless camp either due to cars and trucks making multiple stops daily to drop off goods at the camp. Maintaining that lane seems like a decent stipulation for having that camp there.

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    • Eric February 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      A group of about 6 Cops were poking around the RV a few weeks ago. They know about it. Not sure what they are going to do about it (if anything).

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  • Jessica Roberts
    Jessica Roberts February 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I was hit by a car recently. Head-on crash at the lowest possible speed. The driver’s bumper tapped my front wheel and then they stopped. I wasn’t hurt, didn’t even fall off. $15 of wheel retruing and I was on my way. But even that “best case scenario” crash has pretty profoundly affected my comfort on the road. My paranoia factor has gone way up, especially when I’m biking with my kid. Every single time a driver crosses my path, I play out the way it could go sour. I suppose this anxiety will fade again over time, but I’m not enjoying it, and if I were a beginner or less confident/stubborn, I could see bailing on biking.

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  • Minister February 4, 2016 at 10:45 am

    So sorry for this rider. I used to ride this regularly for years until I moved and was brushed by a car at high speed making a late lane change to get onto the freeway. The air shook me and I had that feeling when adrenaline goes from your feet to the nape of your neck in an instant. I was using a cycling mirror but the car came up way too fast. I was lucky that day.

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  • JJJJ February 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I think the safest solution would be for the bicycle lane to stay to the right of the off ramp and eventually go under it and arrive back here

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    • John Lascurettes February 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Winner! Winner! Chicken dinner!

      That’s brilliant. Safe for everyone involved, no conflicts.

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    • Eric February 5, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      That’s UP railroad land son. And NOBODY touches the railroad, nobody! They are invincible and uncompromising when it comes to their property rights. So back up, step away and do not ask again!

      But yes JJJJ, that is the best solution and looks relatively easy to do. There is already a hobo trail/camp along there.

      I ride this route. Luckily I ride at rush hour and 90% of the time the cars are stopped in bumper to bumper traffic. But when traffic is free flowing, feels like I am in a real life game of frogger trying to get across there.
      What if my chain breaks right when I make a sprint for it? What if a car decides to get on the freeway and changes lanes at the last minute? Its freaking scary. Worst part of my whole 18 mile commute.
      I used to take the cement road through the Union Pacific Albina railroad yard (parallels greeley, on the bank of the river). But after getting stopped twice by the RR police Pinkertons, I have stopped. They threaten some pretty hefty fines! My pleas for survival go on deaf ears “I am just trying to get home safely!”.

      Realistically, I don’t see the city or anyone else doing $h!t about this problem anytime soon, or later. Involving the RR is a non-starter, and the bikers can always take Interstate.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu February 8, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    I think the safest solution would be for the bicycle lane to stay to the right of the off ramp and eventually go under it and arrive back here https://goo.gl/maps/NEM7Um5Vkj22Recommended 3

    Yes, definitely, that would be the best solution.

    It would probably require re-grading and retaining walls because the strip of level land to the right of the freeway onramp is narrow and there is a steep dropoff on the right side. So, it wouldn’t be cheap.

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  • Nancy Hedrick April 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I am a commuter that has a zillion times driven up this freeway ramp. It has always made me nervous when bicycles are present, as this car-bicycle interface isn’t well-designed. I tend to slow if I see bikes to my right and hope the guy/gal behind me won’t rear end me, and pray that the bicyclist won’t try to cross when there isn’t enough clearance. There needs to be improvements made here. How hard would it be to post a slower speed near this freeway on-ramp? Every morning the commuters are stopped by the light at the top of the ramp before merging anyway. This section to be truly bike-friendly needs either a lower posted speed and/or some sort of bicycle/pedestrian overpass designed. As it is, the lower speed option is an easy fix that could occur promptly.

    I used to work on bicycle injury statistics and have friends who are ardent bicycle advocates…and so I can’t help evaluating as I drive which places strike me as the least safe for the non-vehicle traffic. This intersection is, unfortunately, an example, of an accident waiting to happen.

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