View Full Version : WB on Cornell in front of Sunset High School

05-23-2007, 07:53 AM
I was riding west bound in the bike lane on Cornell in front of Sunset High School at around 5:30pm. The speed limit is 20mph there so I was traveling at about the same speed as the cars. I noticed that the mini van next to me starting to move right closer to the white line. I knew right away it was going to turn right. I hit the brakes which put the mini van in front of me as it turned. I tried to turn with it but I was still going too fast to make the turn in the small amount of space between the curb and the van. I hit the side of the van with my shoulder and fell to the street.

I talked to the driver and she said she didn't look. She was pretty shook up but did not apologize.

On reflection, there were multiple problems here. First, the area is too congested. Not only is there a lot of rush hour traffic from people trying to avoid Sunset Highway, there is a lot of traffic from the vast number of houses in the area and a lot of traffic due to the high school. Second, the low speed limit doesn't help separate bicycles and cars. Why would she think to look for a bicycle in the bike lane? Third, I don't know if she had signaled her turn because I was not in a position to see her tail lights. Fourth, I probably was in her blind spot so even if she did look, she probably would not have seen me. With the slow speed limit, I don't know what I could have done to make myself more visible.

At least until school is out for the summer, riding through this area is safe. I now take a less direct route that has less congestion. Unfortunately, the entire Cedar Mill area is a transportation nightmare (I live in Cedar Mill so I know), so my new route is quite a bit longer in order to circle Cedar Mill.

05-23-2007, 08:41 AM
All school zones are dangerous to ride through. I won't ride past Tigard High anymore, a teenager in a hurry to cut class one morning nearly mowed me down; she pulled out of the parking lot while staring right at me, so I know she saw me.

Glad you're okay, though! No damage to your bike?

:) Kristen

05-23-2007, 09:50 AM
heading west past Sunset HS. Ick (says the parent of two Sunset HS graduates). How about going north one block on Murray, then taking the first left and riding through the quiet neighborhood? Skips the whole Sunset HS/Sunset Athletic Club, shopping center, various corporate traffic, all those folks commuting home through Cedar Mill crunch.

Simple Nature
05-23-2007, 10:11 AM
I have no problem taking a lane when I can keep up with traffic (or do the speed limit). There is often a very sympathetic driver behind you that will support you all the way.

norse rider
05-23-2007, 11:33 AM
Well I am glad that you are alright. I am starting to sound like a broken record but taking the whole lane might be the way to go. I call the Cedar Hill/217/downtown beaverton thing a real nasty part of Portland to cycle in. I go through it now three times a week on my way to Hillsboro and I always drive my hog right down the middle of the lane when it is safe to. Again, glad you are safe and in good health.