View Full Version : Wrong Way dude on Hawthorne Bridge.

08-14-2006, 09:30 PM
Monday, August 14th, 7AM.
I was headed westbound on Hawthorne overpass. At the bottom of the hill, just after where the East Bank Esplanade users merge with Hawthorne bridge traffic. I'm cruising from the downhill, noboby in front of me and nobody merging. I come around the nearly blind curve (where the sidewalk narrows) and I'm face to face with an idiot riding the wrong way. I apply the brakes get as right as I can and yell "wrong way," he's oblivious.

Just a reminder folks, that zone is Baaad. the combination of reduced visibility, narrowing path, and merging traffic is a recipe for disaster. Signage on the bridge doesn't seem to help, perhaps because once somebody is going the wrong way they won't take the time to turn around and figure out how to get going the right way. Instead they'll take thier chances, and everybody elses. If I were in a car and realized I was going the wrong way (which I've done), my instinct would be to get the hell turned around or off the road. I'll be going a little slower in thru this area tomorrow...

Ride safe cyclists

08-18-2006, 08:31 AM
I had a simiar encounter on Monday, but probably at around 8:00. I was cycling behind my gf and saw this guy on the wrong side, as far to my left as possible in the bike lane; we were almost on the west side of the river.

Since she was approaching some peds and might try passing them (thus colliding with asshole), I warned her. I think he must have heard me, because when he passed by me he looked at me and yelled, "Bitch".

It put a damper on my day, though I don't know why. I think it's because cycling usually feels like such a good, energizing, free way to start the day. When something goes wrong like this, and I'm reminded of our vulnerability and the hostility that many feel toward us, some of that goodnes is gone. I'll probably get used to it, though.

08-18-2006, 10:39 AM
I've been thinking about this problem, of people riding the wrong way.

Here's some thoughts I've had, and yes, I've encountered a lot of people who ride the wrong way. Grr.

It appears that we the dedicated biking community need to figure out some way to educate the (this is going to come out wrong, but here goes) non-dedicated, part-time bike riders as to the rules of the road.

Take for example to woman who was pulled over by the police on Jonathon's ride-along who didn't know she had done anything wrong. Or, to stay with the theme of this thread, the people going the wrong way in the bike lanes.

The problem is, how do we get info to these people without appearing controlling, confrontational, whatever?

Mostly around Tigard, it's kids riding the wrong way in the bike lane... maybe there needs to be some outreach at the school-age level?

And what about the adults? How do we reach them?

I've thought that maybe most of the people breaking the rules of the road are people who don't know that they have to stop at all stop lights and stop signs, or signal their turns, or ride with traffic. How do we get the info to them??


08-21-2006, 07:37 AM
Actual working solutions to a problem, that's a tough one. I normally just like to complain...

Here's some half-baked ideas:

*Educational signage along bike routes, pictures and words.

*Perhaps if chronic cyclists wore instructional tee-shirts with brief phrases of cycling enlightenment and etiquette printed on them. That way when tee cylightenment clad bikers pass others they are reminded of the "proper" ways to ride.

*Monthly instructional bike tour. A monthly bike ride with stations along the route that teach different lessons, how to ride with auto traffic, cyclist rights, bike etiquette, and bike safety.

I think the only way to learn is to be on the road and to learn what you are doing, what is a safe place to be in on the bike and what is not a safe place to be in. I also believe it helps to be with experienced confident riders. I get "what do I do when..." questions from fellow riders who have been on the road with me pretty frequently.

When I ride with newer riders, I automatically ride in the street, they are often hesitant to ride with me and end up poking along on the sidewalk. I tell them there is safety in numbers and if we ride together we are more likely to be seen and safe. I explain why I prefer to ride in the street (visibility to vehicles and avoidance of peds and pets on sidewalk). As these newer rider's experience increases, they begin to see themselves as capable, and eventually they pick up confidence and the habits of good ridership. Iím not saying that Iím the quintessential good-mannered cyclist out there, Iíve got some bad habits too (like often feeling entitled and riding aggressively with autoís, which doesnít work if the drivers are angry or simply unaware). I'm working on it though...

Ride safe and aware

Matt P.
08-24-2006, 03:06 PM
I also had an encounter with a wrong-way cyclist on the Hawthorne bridge, this morning. I yelled out to him "wrong side", but he seemed oblivious.

09-23-2006, 02:13 PM
Education should be balanced with even-handed policy from the brass. Stop as Yield I support wholeheartedly, as well as taking another look at making our bike arterials more arterialesque (thru right-of-way at non-arterial intersections (SE Salmon & 23rd), more red blinkies above trouble spots, more nocarbikethrus). It still seems like there's a gap between real-world solutions and policymakers at this point. What about an "enforcement action" at the westbound eastbank T intersection? It seems like everyone here has had problems on that side rather than eastbound :confused:

Matt P.
09-25-2006, 11:50 AM
Westbound's a nasty spot - tight, narrow turn with very poor visibility due to I-5's bridge pylons. The eastbound side has a much wider turn radius and better visibility. There's no way to remove the pylons nor widen the turn without spending a lot more money than the city's ever going to spend.

It might be nice to put a giant red & white "Cyclists - WRONG WAY DANGEROUS BLIND CURVE" sign on the approach to instruct cyclists not to go that way - provided it was far enough back that approaching cyclists aren't slowing and making a U-turn right on the backside of the blind curve.

This is one of those things that affects the casual users more than the daily commuters - many of us who pass through there every day are expecting potential trouble.