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View Full Version : NW Walker Rd at OGI, Beaverton


Let's Bike
11-03-2007, 11:26 AM
Yesterday (Friday, 11/2) around 7:45pm, I was riding home from work eastbound on NW Walker Rd. next to OGI. While passing the OGI driveway in the bike lane/shoulder(?), a guy driving a large SUV pulled up to the stop sign to my right from the OGI parking lot. He paused for a second and I looked at his direction (I have a very bright headlamp in flash mode), then he started accelerating when I was still right in front of his path. I was startled, and turned to look at him in panic. Thank heaven this time he saw me -- he slammed on his brake and avoided hitting me just in time, otherwise I would have been under his wheels.

At the time of the incident, I had three headlights (a 85 lumen headlamp in flash mode, a Dinotte 200L in solid high, and a Planet Bike Beamer 1 in flash mode), and two taillights (a SuperFlash in flash mode and a generic blinkie in solid mode). I had a red LED in flash mode on the side of my helmet. Unfortunately it was on the "wrong" side. :( My helmet is wrapped in reflective tape 360 degrees and my bike has reflective stuff all over (tires with reflective sidewalls; reflectors in front, back and both wheels; reflective tape on seat post, crank arms, trunk bag, etc.) My jacket was lime green, and I had reflective material on my tights. However, at such close range (< 5 feet) and when he sat so tall, nothing worked (He could have claimed that I was in his "blind spot" should he run me over... Or maybe he was just looking to his left for incoming cars, and not looking straight until he started moving).

I just received my Delta AirZound in the mail today. Hopefully it will help in the future in cases like this. I'm going to move my side LED to the right side of my helmet (as cars pulling out/turning from my left are usually much farther away so the reflective stuff should work better), and I have just ordered some Cold Cathode lights (http://www.vibelights.com/pococabili.html) for my top tube and down tube (There is a similar product called Down Low Glow (http://www.rockthebike.com/lights/downlowglow) for a lot more money).

According to this research (http://www.johnforester.com/Articles/Lights/cpscreq.htm), nearly 70% of car-bike collisions due to darkness are side-visibility related:
Motorist exiting from side street: 47.2%
Motorist turning left: 22.3%

Please read the invaluable How to Not Get Hit by Cars (http://bicyclesafe.com/) (This was the typical "Right Cross") carefully and repeatedly, and remember all the advice. Every time I have had a near miss, I come back to this page, and find that there are things I could have done to avoid or alleviate the situations.

Please, everyone, beef up your side-visibility, and ride defensively!

K'Tesh
11-03-2007, 11:57 AM
Sorry to hear about your scare.

Glad you made it w/o being hit...

Rubber side rolls better
K'Tesh

ps, could you post a nighttime image of your bike. Sounds like you got quite a bit of visiblity.

http://www.geocities.com/ktesh_kag/UFOthreeviewsSMII.jpg

Simple Nature
11-03-2007, 10:30 PM
I know well the place you are talking about. It is a nightmare *intersection* that is the beginning of a very poorly lit section of the road. And no matter how much reflectivity you have, it takes light to make the reflectors shine. And someone in a tall vehicle, heading home (at 7:30 no less) is probably not looking for much other than what can hurt *him*... not visa versa.

I would personally recommend a safer route than Walker Rd even if it meant an extra mile or two. At a time of year when cyclist are typically commuters and ride at what drivers consider *odd hours for cycling*, you are simply not expected to be there and the flash that the driver sees is no different than headlights catchig the eyes of a critter... ones that get out of the way on their own ...or become road pancakes (no love lost).

I know all about the *I have a right to the road* concept but face it... you are a vehicle and if an incident happens, it is considered *an accident*... unfortunately for us, it is quite often a very traggic accident. Being seen and being noticed are very different things. Ride where you'll be noticed and you will be much safer.

And yes, there are way to many vehicles where a bike simply disappear in front of the grill. I bet the look you gave that driver would-a-been a great Kodac moment!

Let's Bike
11-05-2007, 12:12 PM
Sorry to hear about your scare.

Glad you made it w/o being hit...
Thanks, K'Tesh! I was so shaken up by the experience that I did not get on my bike over the weekend. :( I'm happy to report though that I'm commuting by bike again today. :)

ps, could you post a nighttime image of your bike. Sounds like you got quite a bit of visiblity.
I'll try to post a nighttime photo of my bike after the Cold Cathode lights are installed. I'm adding LED straps (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AO7JP0/002-6962437-5349616) as armbands and legbands. Simple Nature is right -- reflectivity is useless when there is no light, so making oneself glow in the dark is a better solution (I would also recommend this for pedestrians).

I would personally recommend a safer route than Walker Rd even if it meant an extra mile or two. At a time of year when cyclist are typically commuters and ride at what drivers consider *odd hours for cycling*, you are simply not expected to be there and the flash that the driver sees is no different than headlights catchig the eyes of a critter...
Thanks for your advice. You are right! That stretch of Walker Rd is narrow and dark (lit on one side of street opposite to my travel), so is another stretch between NW 185th and NW 173rd. Ironically, this was part of the "safer" alternative route I have been taking to avoid some iffy stretches of NW Cornell Rd, adding 1.5 miles to my commute. The safest alternative will add 3 miles to my commute, which is not a problem when the weather is not miserable, otherwise MAX starts to look attractive...

I have been reading "The Art of Urban Cycling" by Robert Hurst. He makes a good point about giving yourself more space is more important than visibility, as counting on visibility you are at mercy of the others. Another good point is to never trust eye contact -- drivers seemingly looking in your direction does not mean s/he sees you. He also suggests that a good cyclist rarely takes the full lane. This seems to contradict his "more space" suggestion, but his point is that one is not riding on a road suitable for biking (within one's confidence and skill level) if one must take the full lane often. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to find "suitable" roads for biking in the 'burbs. :(

lynnef
11-05-2007, 12:21 PM
When I'm heading east or west in that area, I've taken to avoiding Walker Rd west of NW 173rd, altogether. West to east - Evergreen, Cornell, NW 173rd, Walker... Granted, it is a bit scary heading through the shopping center at the end of Evergreen. You could cut down and get to Cornell sooner than 18th, if that is an issue.

Simple Nature
11-05-2007, 08:01 PM
I prefer the Baseline/Jenkins route 'till you get to Cedar Hills where Jenkins and Walker are only a block apart. Cornell from OGI, then down 185th to Baseline is a pretty nice well lit minimal detour route... that is if that's where you're going :p

I've also become much more familiar with the community routes where I can duck off of the main arteries and enjoy riding at the same speed as the cager traffic. Many housing developments have a shortcut route to where you are going.

Beaverton really should get it's act together on their west end. Maybe the meeting on the 6th that K'Tesh posted may be a good place to provide some input. Otherwise maybe we can do a ride through there (and take the lane!) and video the *conditions on the ground*. I'd love to see Walker become bike friendly all the way to 217 to connect to the 26 trail into Portland (after the climb from H#II! Escalator anyone?).

K'Tesh
11-05-2007, 08:19 PM
Everybody,

Please join Me at the Beaverton BAC meeting tomorrow, I'll be the one with the limp...
who knows, perhaps a cast... got the word today... My leg is officially broken.


K'Tesh

lynnef
11-05-2007, 09:52 PM
Yeah, that route is decent, but you've still got that really nasty stretch of Walker. Back in the Day, all of Walker was like that. I rode it once, when I worked at 185th and Walker, and bought my first bike helmet that evening.

They'd have to fix some bridges to widen it some there.

How about Cornell to 185th to Baseline? 185th has a bike lane.

As for the Jenkins/Walker thing, I turn left onto Ecole from Jenkins and get onto Walker Rd there. That long block of Cedar Hills from Jenkins to Walker is nasty. I also won't ride Walker east of Cedar Hills; I prefer to cut through the Cedar Hills neighborhood to Park Way, and ride up the Park Way hill, cut behind the shopping center and proceed from there. You'd continue and get onto the Hwy 26 bike path. Once I'm off Walker (left onto Filmont), it is a quiet ride all the way home.

If you are coming from Cornell, you could follow Cornell to 158th (yeah construction), then turn right, then immediately left, go through the office park, go into the Park and Rec parking lot, follow the walking paths through and pop out onto Pioneer, go through the neighborhood to Downing, left on Butner, cross Murray, Butner to Huntington, thence to Park Way, left and there you are again. No Walker Rd at all. Let me know if you want a map.

How are you getting up the the Hwy 26 bike path now?

I prefer the Baseline/Jenkins route 'till you get to Cedar Hills where Jenkins and Walker are only a block apart. Cornell from OGI, then down 185th to Baseline is a pretty nice well lit minimal detour route... that is if that's where you're going :p

I've also become much more familiar with the community routes where I can duck off of the main arteries and enjoy riding at the same speed as the cager traffic. Many housing developments have a shortcut route to where you are going.

Beaverton really should get it's act together on their west end. Maybe the meeting on the 6th that K'Tesh posted may be a good place to provide some input. Otherwise maybe we can do a ride through there (and take the lane!) and video the *conditions on the ground*. I'd love to see Walker become bike friendly all the way to 217 to connect to the 26 trail into Portland (after the climb from H#II! Escalator anyone?).

Simple Nature
11-05-2007, 10:28 PM
I do the bit of Walker past Cedar Hills and dive off onto the side streets and climb the hill. Once at the top, all the roads are plenty wide to share with cars. I hit the bike path right at the end once I cross the 217 interchange.

I certainly don't do this for a commute. And my preferred method to PDX is Beaverton Hillsdale (hwy 10) and over to Terwilliger. The route home is usually the 26 bike path after climbing up to washington park to get out of town. I use the switchback trail off 24th instead of Park.

I still have a lot of exploring to and sometimes I get caught on some serious nerve-frazzlers. Since I ride a trike... hugging the white line is not always an option. I'll take a lane anytime there are two going in the same direction.

Simple Nature
11-05-2007, 10:31 PM
Everybody,

Please join Me at the BTC meeting tomorrow, I'll be the one with the limp...
who knows, perhaps a cast... got the word today... My leg is officially broken.


K'Tesh

Wish I could make it but I'll be on MAX heading out of downtown when the meeting starts.

So is a broken leg good news? Usually breaks heal better than soft tissue issues. Good luck on your recovery.

K'Tesh
11-05-2007, 11:17 PM
Meeting... Show up late, we won't hold it against you

Mending... Dunno... going to see the ortho. surgeon tommorow.

lynnef
11-06-2007, 08:51 AM
It sounds like you are doing it the hard way. Do you turn onto Mayfield? Of course, the Park Way hill (I've tried the other streets that go up. Park Way is the least steep of the bunch) is a real hill by any definition.



I do the bit of Walker past Cedar Hills and dive off onto the side streets and climb the hill. Once at the top, all the roads are plenty wide to share with cars. I hit the bike path right at the end once I cross the 217 interchange.

I certainly don't do this for a commute. And my preferred method to PDX is Beaverton Hillsdale (hwy 10) and over to Terwilliger. The route home is usually the 26 bike path after climbing up to washington park to get out of town. I use the switchback trail off 24th instead of Park.

I still have a lot of exploring to and sometimes I get caught on some serious nerve-frazzlers. Since I ride a trike... hugging the white line is not always an option. I'll take a lane anytime there are two going in the same direction.