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New Sellwood Bridge opens with a “Dang!”

Posted by on March 1st, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Cheers for the new Sellwood Bridge turned to jeers less than 12 hours after it officially opened.

Multnomah County says at about 6:00 am this morning a woman drove a pickup truck onto the biking and walking path on the north side of the bridge. Then when the path narrowed and the truck got sandwiched between two barriers, the woman got out and left the vehicle.

County spokesman Mike Pullen said the woman likely approached the east end of the bridge from the parking lot of the Riverside Corral, a bar located on the northwest corner of Tacoma and 6th. “She probably drove over a curb,” he said. Pullen added that, “There were signs in the vehicle that indicated drug use.” The County filed a police report.

Portland Police Public Information Officer Pete Simpson told us they’ve contacted the woman. “An officer spoke with driver on the phone who said she got on the wrong path and got it stuck overnight,” he said. “No arrest, no cite, no damage.”

This strange episode resulted in lots of traffic for about an hour. We heard reports from several readers that people were cutting-through neighborhood streets to get around the backup. Crews eventually used a fork-lift to pick the truck up and carry it away.

(Photo: Sellwood Bridge Project)

It’s worth noting that after our report on the bridge yesterday, several readers were dismayed to find out that Multnomah County will not be adding green color to the bike lanes on the bridge as promised when the final design was adopted in 2012. Without some sort of protection, they worried, people in cars will be tempted to use the bike lane to pass and park. The county’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee was asked by bridge engineers if they felt the color was needed and they said no. One of the committee members told us they don’t think encroachment will be an issue. “Let’s just see how it goes,” he said, “Some sort of paint or coloring could be added later if there appears to be a big problem.”

It’s not clear yet whether this morning’s incident will qualify as a “big problem.”

Mike Pullen thinks it was an anomaly. “It is very difficult for a driver to get onto our multiuse path at the east end of the bridge. It is not a signage issue for the project. The driver took a very reckless action that took a lot of effort,” he said. Then Pullen added, “We will look at when we can do, such as a bollard to prevent this from re-occurring.”

In 2013 a similar thing happened when a woman managed to drive her car for nearly a mile on the bike path that runs in the center of the I-205 bridge over the Columbia River. After the path narrowed and woman’s car got stuck, she panicked and called 911. In that case (which wasn’t even the first time someone had driving on that path), the Police also felt it was just an innocent mistake and did not cite the woman. “Apparently she got confused… and got on the bike path,” Officer Simpson told us at the time. “Officers exercised discretion with someone who clearly made a mistake.”

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • alankessler March 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Why censor the license plate? This driver is a danger to everyone. Not only should her license plate number be made public, her identity should as well.

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    • Dave March 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm


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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      The front plate was censored by @sellwoodbridge on twitter. Axoplasm’s pic has a visible license plate, though you have to view it full-size- it’s a dark Toyota Tacoma, OR 510-GQM.

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    • Patrick March 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      510 GOM Oregon.

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Drove over a curb, drug use, presumably abandoned her vehicle.

    No ticket/citation.

    I shouldn’t be surprised, because even when drivers hit/kill someone there isn’t a citation.

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    • JF March 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Yet if you slowly roll through a stop sign on a bike, with no visible traffic around for mile, you get a ticket.

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      • 37Dennis March 1, 2016 at 10:42 pm

        Where, like 295th and Division? ….you might have a mile long sight line, and lack of oncoming traffic out there I suppose.

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    • Steve B March 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      I hear you. In fairness, there are times when the police wait to issue citations after an investigation that may refute certain charges or turn up new ones. I suspect some charges in this case will come later.

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    • Eric March 1, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      But how did she get out of the truck!?

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      • Opus the Poet March 1, 2016 at 10:27 pm

        Roll down the window and do it NASCAR-style.

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        • Mark Smith March 1, 2016 at 10:48 pm

          Dukes of hazard style.

          If she was wearing daisy dukes.

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    • Paul Johnson March 2, 2016 at 4:01 am

      Driver was white.

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  • soren March 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    “An officer spoke with driver on the phone who said she got on the wrong path and got it stuck overnight,” he said. “No arrest, no cite, no damage.”

    Elsewhere today an angry motorcycle cop writes $260 tickets for people cycling safely rolling through a stop sign.

    It’s great to see the PPB prioritizing vision zero enforcement actions!

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    • Adam H. March 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      If evidence of drug use and driving on the sidewalk isn’t enough to issue a citation to a reckless driver, what is?

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      • El Biciclero March 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm

        Adam, Adam—“reckless”? Come now, this driver was merely innocently and understandably confused. I mean, anybody would be, right?

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      • paikiala March 1, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        So, since no one else knows all the story, I thought I’d chime in.
        The police often do not cite pending a review by the DA. Double Jeopardy. And while evidence of drug use inside a vehicle and the owner acknowledging she made the mistake only provides circumstantial evidence of a … misdemeanor?
        BAC probably won’t work, it’s been too long, and THC (?) isn’t a crime in Oregon any more.

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        • Adam H. March 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm

          Honestly, a misdemeanor is fine. She didn’t hurt anyone and it probably wasn’t intentional. However, there needs to be some sort of punishment for this, otherwise we are sending the message that careless driving is okay and there will be no repercussions for their actions.

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          • Eric Leifsdad March 1, 2016 at 10:46 pm

            Bridge cleaning fee, bridge closure fee, barrier damage fee, etc.

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            • ConcordiaCyclist March 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

              Exactly – it had to cost SOMETHING to extricate the vehicle.

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              • Adam H. March 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

                I think at the very least, if we’re not going to prosecute drivers that do these kind of things, we should at least be mailing them an invoice for the damages they cost the city/county/state. Even if they don’t pay, as more of a symbolic measure to show “look at all the money you cost your fellow taxpayers”. Perhaps they’ll feel some personal guilt and think twice next time.

                I’m only half joking. 😉

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                • El Biciclero March 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

                  Shouldn’t be a joke at all. Structure it like an EOB from health providers:
                  Here’s the amount your little “procedure” cost, here’s the amount “covered” by your fellow taxpayers, and here’s the amount of “patient (driver) responsibility”. For multi-vehicle incidents it might take a while to determine fault and prepare the bill, but if “The Public” started charging for these costs, auto insurers could add a whole new line of coverage for “public damages”.

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  • Joe H March 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    One of the committee members told us they don’t think encroachment will be an issue. “Let’s just see how it goes,” he said, “Some sort of paint or coloring could be added later if there appears to be a big problem.”

    If the “big problem” ends up injuring/killing someone, will this committee member take responsibility? Be held liable?

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  • John Lascurettes March 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Oh good god! The scaffolding goes up on the Broadway and a some guy drives on the MUP and jams it within the first week. Now this. Do we need to start putting that in to bridge plans: Week one dorks driving on MUPs?

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  • Tad March 1, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Is this the “let’s see if there’ll be a problem” that planners were speaking of when opting not to add the green paint?

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      also see the commenter on the previous Sellwood thread, accusing “us” of complaining about world-class infrastructure.

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      • Scott H March 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

        That dispute over infrastructure doesn’t really apply here, protected bike lanes vs buffered bike lanes wouldn’t have made any difference. Someone drove their truck under the influence of intoxicants, over a curb or two, over the nature strip, around a fence, and even attempted to squeeze through concrete jersey barriers. The concrete curb didn’t deter her, and green paint and bollards wouldn’t have either.

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    • q`Tzal March 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Want so desperately to throw “Let’s just see how it goes,” in his face when he demands safety improvements near his children’s school.

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  • Allan March 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    love the title of this post

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  • Nate March 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    >Portland Police Public Information Officer Pete Simpson told us they’ve contacted the woman. “An officer spoke with driver on the phone who said she got on the wrong path and got it stuck overnight,” he said. “No arrest, no cite, no damage.”

    So she lied to the officer about when she got it stuck, there was evidence of drug use in the vehicle, and she illegally jumped a curb and drove in a bike lane, and she won’t be punished?!

    And people wonder why Portland has such crummy drivers…

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  • Jason March 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Hmmm. She (likely) left the bar, drove over a curb, left a car full of drug use indicators, yet…no arrest, no cite, no damage? What? How? I am more astounded by this than the actual act of driving up there and getting stuck and just bailing!

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    • paikiala March 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      all supposition.

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  • rick March 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    just wow

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  • Carrie March 1, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I am just flabbergasted that this did not result in some sort of citation. Illegal parking? That’s a hefty fine and clearly easy to prove.

    The discrepancy with which these acts of wanton disregard for the rules and other people’s lives are dealt with as compared to the safety of our community is astounding. I was SO excited to have this new bridge open to be able to cross without huge stress. But now no green concrete, no visual delineation of where people belong, and that is not seen as something of concern when a physical concrete barrier can’t even keep people out. And then of course no citation. I’m convinced that the first cyclist that gets hit in the bike lane will also see no citation against the driver either. Because it was an ‘accident’.

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    • paikiala March 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      “…these acts of wanton disregard for the rules and other people’s lives…”

      How so? Malicious? Deliberate? Are any of your mistakes done without regard for what is right, or in spite of what is right (and isn’t that the definition of a mistake?)
      1. done, shown, used, etc., maliciously or unjustifiably:
      2. deliberate and without motive or provocation; uncalled-for; headstrong; willful:
      3. without regard for what is right, just, humane, etc.; careless; reckless:
      4. sexually lawless or unrestrained; loose; lascivious; lewd:
      5. extravagantly or excessively luxurious, as a person, manner of living, or style.
      6. luxuriant, as vegetation.

      Stop sign runners: no harm, no foul? or ‘only if you’re on a bike’?

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm

        This is “careless” and “reckless”, as your definitions indicate.

        If this isn’t careless and/or reckless, what would be, by your definition?

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      • El Biciclero March 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        “Stop sign runners: no harm, no foul? or ‘only if you’re on a bike’?”

        I think the characterization of “no harm” in this case is extremely generous. The bike/pedestrian path—the whole bridge, in fact—was impassable for a good length of time. Heavy equipment and operator time was wasted moving barriers and fork-frickin’-lifting a car off the sidewalk. The cost of this “mistake” was truly high in terms of time and money. If I run a stop sign while no one is around, please name the harm that it does?

        Yes, we can abstractly say that the law is the law and breaking it is breaking it, but there really are wide variations in the consequences to oneself and others depending on what law and who breaks it. We need to start thinking in terms of who is truly causing danger and costing other people time, money, and lives by their law-breaking, not drawing false equivalencies between rolling a right turn through a stop sign on a bike and driving a pickup onto a MUP, getting it wedged, then abandoning it for “somebody else” to fix.

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        • Buzz March 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm

          Exactly, it’s called ‘risk management’ and cops are terrible at it.

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          • El Biciclero March 2, 2016 at 11:55 am

            Unfortunately, many “enforcers” tend to prefer easy targets over dangerous offenders when given a choice.

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      • B. Carfree March 1, 2016 at 1:57 pm

        The harm or foul for a stop sign runner is obviously proportional to the potential to transfer momentum. Since a 5000 pound SUV going through a stop sign at 4 mph can transfer an equivalent amount of momentum as 200 pounds of cyclist and bike running the stop sign at 100 mph, it should be clear that cyclists rolling stop signs at low speeds doesn’t even register on the harm/foul scale.

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        • paikiala March 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

          math examples would work great if you did the math right, just saying.
          K = m*v*v
          Ksuv = 5000*4*4 = 80k
          Kbike = 200*100*100 = 2000k

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          • Paul Atkinson March 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

            Well done. I appreciate this! I know the formula by rote, but hadn’t done the math as it applies here.

            It’s worth noting that 4 MPH is quite slow, and equivalent to a 200lb cycle/rider combo (smaller than I, larger than many of you) going 20MPH.

            Again: at 20MPH, you’ve got the same momentum as a 5,000lb SUV going 4.

            There are other concerns; that the SUV driver feels safe and therefore may be less concerned about hitting something, or that the size of the SUV and the visibility limitations from the cockpit make it more likely to encounter a collision, but from a purely force standpoint this is an interesting result.

            Physics. Huh.

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          • alankessler March 1, 2016 at 2:20 pm

            Sarcastic comments work great if you get the physics right, just saying.

            Kinetic energy is m*v*v … momentum is m*v

            5000 * 4 = 20000
            200 * 100 = 20000

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            • Galen Seitz March 1, 2016 at 2:53 pm

              Close, but you’re missing a factor of 1/2. Kinetic energy = m*v*v/2

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              • alankessler March 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

                gah! you win the thread.

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            • Dan A March 1, 2016 at 2:55 pm

              Suppose I’m riding at 100mph, which is pretty close to my average speed going uphill through Washington Park, and I choose to slow-roll through a 4-way stop when nobody is around…..I usually slow to half-speed or less, so that would only be 30-50mph.


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            • B. Carfree March 1, 2016 at 3:04 pm

              It looks like a great many people haven’t had their basic physics courses yet. We’re talking momentum, which is conserved in a collision. It’s a simple mass times velocity. If we were talking kinetic energy, then we’d be talking mass times the square of velocity, but energy is converted to other forms in a collision so it’s less useful.

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      • Raven Roadhammer March 2, 2016 at 12:31 am

        Simple physics and common sense tell us that a heavier vehicle moving at higher speeds is capable of more physical damage and personal injury, thereby posing a greater threat to public safety, and imposing a greater burden of responsibility upon the operator. It is the height of arrogance and ignorance to insist that the laws of man apply equally in situations where the laws of physics clearly do not.

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  • Joshua March 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Again, why are we not making it more onerous to drive in this city/county/state/country? There is no such thing as an “innocent mistake, just as their is no fundamental right to endanger others’ lives. Maybe she didn’t mean to do it (more likely, she was inebriated past the point of knowing the difference), but she still broke the law, caused a potential danger to other users, and passed significant expense to the city. And we just say, “No biggie!”? WTF.

    The only way you get people to be better drivers is by having them pay more attention to their actions. And the way to do that is to actually hold them accountable for said actions. EVEN “MISTAKES”. Why would this woman now learn it’s unacceptable to ignore signs, or that she should proceed cautiously in new situations, or not drive (probably) inebriated? We’ve just told her that all those behaviors are acceptable.

    And then we wonder why drivers constantly endanger other road users.

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    • paikiala March 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      I was at a public meeting last night and you should hear the perspective of people that drive. clogged intersections, backed up for blocks, blocking other intersections; 14 minutes at rush hour to travel from Lincoln to Powell.
      Everyone knows what Powell, Division and 82nd look like between 4 PM and 6 PM, or Powell inbound in the morning.
      Slowly, Portland is making it onerous to drive, perhaps not just as quick as you would like.

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      • ethan March 1, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        “backed up for blocks” – it’s very easy to be backed up for blocks when every vehicle takes up about 1/10th of a block.

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      • Joshua March 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        I’d argue we aren’t really making it “more onerous” intentionally. We’re doing it in a roundabout way, by adding bike lanes, removing car lanes, etc etc. I’m all for these things, but then it gives drivers a reason to complain more about bikes.

        How about we just start saying “Driving is not a right, and if you can’t do it safely, you can’t do it at all?”

        Vision zero is a huge step in the right direction, but so far I’ve seen only tepid action to actually implement it, with most coming down to “safety will improve as a result of this other change” not “safety will improve because we are seriously enforcing prohibitions on unsafe behavior”.

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      • Buzz March 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

        It’s illegal to block an intersection, another traffic rule a large number of motorists ignore and the cops fail to cite for.

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        • paikiala March 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm

          True, but it is also illegal to enter an intersection if the downstream receiving lane does not have space, another one commonly missed.

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      • Mark Smith March 1, 2016 at 10:51 pm

        It’s amazing average intelligence humans fail to understand they are the problem.

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  • spencer March 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    leave comments here
    not just on BP

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  • Burk March 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Hmmmm, I think I see the drivers mistake. I’m pretty sure thats a Toyota Tacoma Prerunner. Had she been using a four wheel drive Toyota Tacoma I’m fairly certain she would have made it.

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    • 37Dennis March 1, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      She almost did… 200 hp more, and she could have just powered on through.

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  • Mike Quiglery March 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Understandable why she didn’t get cited. Cops are overwhelmed, underfunded, and don’t want problems. Plus, she may have had connections.

    In Eugene last year a guy in a pickup ran a stoplight, killed three kids and permanently injured their mother. No criminal citations because the cops said he cooperated with police and told them he wasn’t aware of the stoplight. DA agreed. Case closed.

    However, he is open to civil lawsuits. No news yet on that and it’s been over a year.

    Next time you blast through a red light and get stopped, use this guy’s defense. It might work! Worth a try?

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    • B. Carfree March 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Also in Eugene the year before, a business owner from Cottage Grove went out to a strip bar, spent several hundred dollars getting drunk and entertained and then spread a homeless man over several hundred feet of roadway. After the killing, he drove away but fell asleep at the wheel while parked on the freeway on ramp.

      Charges were reduced to the point of non-existent and he was sentenced to a couple week-ends of litter patrol.

      This sort of thing must stop if we are ever going to have a functional transportation system.

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      • Buzz March 1, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        “This sort of thing must stop if we are ever to have a functional justice system”

        Fixed it for you…


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    • 9watts March 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      “In Eugene last year a guy in a pickup ran a stoplight, killed three kids and permanently injured their mother. No criminal citations because the cops said he cooperated with police and told them he wasn’t aware of the stoplight. DA agreed. Case closed.”

      Or Frank Bohannon, who, we just learned here the other day, got off scot-free(?) after killing Kerry Kunsman while driving his F-350 too fast around a blind curve without a license on Hwy 131.

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      • Paul Johnson March 6, 2016 at 7:41 am

        Because it’s Oregon. Serious, though, good luck ever abolishing this before Oregon faces serious 14th Amendment issues. Oregon constitutionalized not being all-white only 80 years ago, and still has major issues with this.

        Seriously, this is part of the reason I left Oregon, because Oregon outright hates people who aren’t white. You want to stop the brain drain? Then stop electing officials that are in favor of the stop sign versus the yield sign. Because the Idaho Stop is a great way to stop people who aren’t white without restriction. Review the stop signs that could be yields instead, and post those here. Nothing short of this is legally acceptable.

        Proof carries as Jonathan Maus being a racist asshole if this doesn’t make it past his policy of “all posts must be approved by Jonathan without exception” rule, which is in play, for the last forever of Bike Portland, no matter how many outdated modes it kills outright. That being said, he still is, since white politics only matter on his site. So if this is not not this post gets approved, Jonathan Maus is still a racist bigot for expecting anything less than a voice of reason on his site, and given his over 100 posts rejected, he has a hard time sleeping at night, because bigotry isn’t acceptable even in cities as racist and homophobic as Portland, which are moves Jonathan has directly acknowledged. So, if you don’t like riding between two oncoming lanes in a cycletrack, then ouster Jonathan Maus, because he is your self-anointed God on this issue.

        Rejection of this post fully acknowledges deeply hate-seated race issues of Portland as fully acknwoledged under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, without exception.

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        • El Biciclero March 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm

          The Marijuana is legal here in Oregon, too—what are you smoking?

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  • Eric March 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    A Tacoma, stuck on Tacoma. Does nobody else see that coincidence!?

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 1, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Let’s not flip out. She deserves a citation, not arrest etc. And a lesson in reverse gear.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Let’s not flip out. She deserves a citation, not arrest etc.

      Per the article:

      Portland Police Public Information Officer Pete Simpson told us … “No arrest, no cite, no damage.”

      Of course, we “flip out” on all the fatalities and maimings that don’t result in any citation or arrest too. How silly of us.

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      • John Liu
        John Liu March 1, 2016 at 2:18 pm

        Did she kill or maim, strike or even endanger anyone?

        Yeah, a citation was deserved. But I’ve gotten off with a warning from a traffic cop/highway patrol before, and so have most of us. It’s not terribly outrageous. (Unless you’re on BP where everything is an outrage.)

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        • Pete March 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm

          How did she not endanger someone by driving on a path where people walk and ride bikes? Just because circumstances (fortunately) didn’t result in injury or death doesn’t mean her negligence wasn’t dangerous.

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          • John Liu
            John Liu March 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm

            Because there is no indication that anyone was on the path when she blundered onto it.

            When I drive over the sidewalk on the way to my driveway, and there is no pedestrian nearby, do I endanger anyone?

            She inconvenienced pedestrians and cyclists, that’s about it.

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            • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 1, 2016 at 3:18 pm

              You’re obeying 811.505 by driving ACROSS the sidewalk.

              Driving ON the sidewalk is another thing.

              What if she was driving in the oncoming lane and parked her car in that lane? Hey, she didn’t hit anyone and left the car there, sometimes I make left turns across the oncoming lanes, so it’s all good, right?

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            • Adam H. March 1, 2016 at 3:29 pm

              If someone drives home drunk but doesn’t hurt someone, they are still endangering others.

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              • Adam H. March 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm

                Same idea applies here.

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            • El Biciclero March 1, 2016 at 3:34 pm

              “She inconvenienced pedestrians and cyclists…”

              Actually, probably not. How much bike and pedestrian traffic had to turn around and find another way across? But if news footage is to be believed, she definitely inconvenienced drivers, and crane/forklift operators, and employers who were waiting for those drivers to show up at work, and possibly customers of the employers who were waiting… The consequences of screwing up with a car are almost always very, very expensive and far-reaching, regardless of whether anyone was maimed or killed. We just are so incredibly inured to the true costs of allowing giant machines to be operated by incompetents that we tend to be blind to those costs.

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              • Paul Johnson March 6, 2016 at 7:44 am

                How many slaves were denied a full vote because it only counted as ⅗ of an opinion?

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  • dmc March 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Must have had to climb her drunk butt out the window.

    From the looks of the last picture, she almost made it.

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  • EPO Rider March 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I’m glad there is discretion. It’s a rare amnesty offered by life. Usually when you mess up or make an honest mistake you still gotta pay the price.

    I guess if driving on MUPs was a widely recognized problem – at least in our minds – there would be more citations. Like those pesky neighborhood stop signs at 630 a.m…

    But one sweet, panicked lady… and now a hapless barfly…


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  • Jeff March 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Where’d they put the SUV after pulling it out? Is there a towing fee?

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    • Tom Hardy March 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Hopefully it was towed directly to the wrecking yard with insurance informed that vehicle was abandon in the commission of a misdemeanor, namely illegal parking. This so If the gal had insurance they would be exempt from paying.

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  • charlietso March 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    The green paint for the bike lanes that got left out would have cost a fraction of the project cost, there is no justifiable reason for the Multnomah County Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to decide to leave that out. Encroachment into bike lanes has always been an issue for every bike lanes separated only by paint. I am afraid this is going to become one of those cases that no improvements will be made until a fatal or serious injury happens.

    The Committee shouldn’t be allowed to change the adopted final design without any reasonable cause. That’s what FINAL means!

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    • bjorn March 1, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      She drove up and over a curb, I am not sure green paint would have had much of an impact. Seems very unlikely that she was sober but since she waited until she sobered up to contact the police unless they can find someone who saw her drinking (and it doesn’t sound like they are looking) it seems unlikely that she will get the dui she probably deserves. In my opinion too much of Oregon law incentivises people to run when they know they are drunk and they get into a collision.

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    • Mark Smith March 1, 2016 at 10:52 pm


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      • Dave Thomson March 2, 2016 at 7:43 pm

        Sounds more like whineytown here on BP.

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  • bikeninja March 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    If there was anything that is evidence that the auto/oil/parking/real estate industries have undue influence on auto policy in this country it is in our policies for issuing and renewing drivers licenses. It would solve many of our problems if drivers liscences were tough to get and had to be renewed frequently with actual strict driving tests along the way. This policy could be paid for with fees by those getting drivers licenses so no extra taxes would be needed. Such a policy would cut down on traffic as fewer people would be on the road and there would be many fewer accidents as drivers such as this one would be off the road. We need to stop looking at driving an automobile as a right that every adult should have, and instead as a privledge that has to be earned by skill, diligence and judgement.

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    • m March 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Many more unlicensed (and uninsured) drivers is more likely.

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      • Opus the Poet March 1, 2016 at 10:51 pm

        Then make confiscation and recycling automatic when caught without license or insurance.

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  • Alexis March 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    What’s appalling to me is that the “big problem” mentioned as a prerequisite of installing even the most basic infrastructure will probably be someone’s life.

    If we’re not going to hold motorists accountable for their actions because they were “confused”, then we need to hold PDOT, ODOT, and Multnomah county liable for their “confusing” infrastructure.

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  • Jason March 1, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Why are there no bollards?!!!!!

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    • hotrodder March 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Obviously, the adhesive failed, they were knocked over and they got thrown into the river. That’s the life of a bollard in Portland.

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      • bjorn March 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

        Bollards aren’t always a great fit for a bike path as a cyclist can end up hitting them especially at night/riding in a group. She drove up over a curb to get to where she got, who knows if a bollard would have stopped her anyway.

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        • hotrodder March 1, 2016 at 6:49 pm

          Tell that to the rocket surgeons at PDOT. They keep trying to make them work and the bollards keep failing.

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          • Rob Chapman March 1, 2016 at 9:58 pm

            +1 for the rocket surgeon reference.

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          • Opus the Poet March 1, 2016 at 10:53 pm

            No, those are plastic wands. Bollards are made from steel and set in concrete for a couple of feet. Car hits one of those and you hose the car off the bollard.

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            • Glenn March 2, 2016 at 1:43 pm

              True, dat. Problem is that it’s just as hard, or worse, on a cyclist that hits a real bollard. But they’re hard to beat when you absolutely, positively, must keep an automobile out of something.

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              • Adam H. March 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm

                Bicycle Dutch has a good video on bollards. The essence of the matter is, yes, bollards present a hazard to cyclists, but they also prevent motor traffic, which is a far greater hazard to cyclists. Thus, use of bollards is justified. At any rate, they should have retro-reflective striping on them, as well as a pavement warning marker around them, as per the MUTCD.

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    • gutterbunnybikes March 1, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Is the implication that bollards would do a better job than a jersey wall, which is apparently at least partially in place?

      Yet another example of how infrastructure can not design human error (or worse) out of road design.

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  • Spenzor March 1, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Could this count as fleeing the scene of an accident?

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    • bjorn March 1, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      My reading says that you have to damage something besides your own vehicle in order to qualify for failure to perform the duties of a driver…

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    • Rob Chapman March 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      It passes the smell test easily.

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  • Paul Johnson March 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Portland drivers…if you don’t like the way they drive, stay off the sidewalk!

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  • kittens March 2, 2016 at 3:50 am

    At least she was not camping. Now that would be a real offense worth enforcing.

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  • eddie March 2, 2016 at 7:22 am

    This means of course that motorcycles and mopeds are going to do the same thing to avoid traffic on the bridge.

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  • Middle of the Road guy March 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Clearly a failure of the infrastructure and and not the decision making of the user.

    Oh wait…this was a motor vehicle? Never mind.

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  • TheRealisticOne March 2, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Ya can’t fix stupid

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      We can improve our roadways to mitigate stupid.

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      • Paul Johnson March 2, 2016 at 10:11 pm

        I would say going so far as to lay new road markings for a temporary traffic control instead of relying clearly on orange bollards qualifies. Not sure you can blame infrastructure if someone’s willing to argue with a K-rail.

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      • TheRealisticOne March 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        Ted, I hear ya, but this kinda stupid can’t be fixed with road improvements. Stupid is as stupid does…

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  • Amanda March 3, 2016 at 5:15 am

    They should drug-test whoever designed this abomination. A bike path should have exactly zero entrances large enough for a car. Otherwise it’s a false affordance.

    Green paint is not an ideal fix – not visible at night, for starters.

    How could this happen in Portland?! Your urban design squad needs to put down their mason jars and beard wax and get back to work

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    • Eric Leifsdad March 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      state, county, local, committee, committee, committee

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  • q March 9, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Why does Pullen assume she drove over a curb? The bicycles she was blocking didn’t drive over curbs to get there.

    I’d normally have no trouble believing a project spokesman, but this is a project with a history of designing horrible, unsafe detours and confusing signage, plus a history of blaming others for its own poor performance.

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  • TheRealisticOne March 10, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I must admit, this thread is really funny, makes me laugh. I come back to it just for a giggle. We’ve talked about physics, formulas and design standards. But, design has nothing to do with this ladies poor behavior. The only “blame game” that I’m willing to play, is to blame this lady. It should be clear to everyone here that this is not acceptable. Design this, marker that, makes no difference, this woman is an absolute idiot. Likely a drunk, irresponsible idiot, moron even. Disappointing that the police couldn’t find anything to charge her with, that may change later, but, really? Anyway, damn funny thread!

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 10, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      This is the “it’s just an accident” argument.

      There are well over 30k “accidents” leading to fatalities per year. They aren’t one-off instances, there’s a trend.

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