Portland Bike Forums (by BikePortland.org)

Portland Bike Forums (by BikePortland.org) (http://bikeportland.org/forum/index.php)
-   General Discussion (http://bikeportland.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=11)
-   -   Hawthorne Bridge Guy (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1957)

brock 05-30-2008 12:22 PM

Hawthorne Bridge Guy
 
What's up with the guy who sits on the west end of the Hawthorne bridge every afternoon? The one with the toys and horns and bells and silly suits and what not. The one who sits exactly in the line of sight of vehicles merging onto the bridge, forcing them to inch forward into the path of all of the cyclists trying to get on the path? Pretty dangerous if you ask me.

brewcaster 05-30-2008 12:39 PM

I can't remember his first and last name, but I believe Danger is his middle name. ;)

Attornatus_Oregonensis 05-30-2008 12:57 PM

I think that is an extremely poor location for a street performer for exactly the reason you cite. I'm sure if someone explained to him that he was creating a hazard by obscuring visibility, he would move. I nominate you, Brock.

brock 05-30-2008 01:05 PM

Alas, yes. I hate that "rant on the internet" but "don't say sh*t in real life" kind of post, and I'm guilty of that here. The Hawthorne is a relatively new addition to my commute route, but I've seen that guy there for a couple of years. Just thought I'd see if any regular Hawthorne user had already approached him before I did myself.

Attornatus_Oregonensis 05-30-2008 01:39 PM

I will say something to him if you will. Deal? It might not be today, because I might be going home late, but I will do it soon. Again, I think just telling him that he forces people into the bike lane to see what's coming and that we'd appreciate it if he'd move a few feet might be enough to do the trick.

brock 05-30-2008 01:51 PM

Oh, I certainly will (Monday, headed a different direction tonight). He seems pretty consistent about being there, so I figure I wasn't the first person to deem his position dangerous, nor did I figure I'd be the first to approach him given the high traffic. For all I know, dude could be insane in the membrane and not even worth engaging :)

Ultimately, it's a poorly designed intersection, even without Hawthorne Man.

Attornatus_Oregonensis 05-30-2008 01:56 PM

Was that a Cypress Hill reference?

brock 05-30-2008 01:58 PM

Um, yes, I guess so... :) Showing my age, or my maturity, or something :)

tao 05-30-2008 02:19 PM

Different Perspective
 
Not mean to crash the party. However, since the guy shows up several year back, I found it easier to cross the on-ramp from the Madison St.

In the past, almost always (when I past there anyway), cars would stop right on the crossing bike lane to check the traffic. After the guy start showing up, I found that cars stop after the bike lane and I have easier time to cross. Is it just a coincidence? Looks like some of you have totally different perceptions.

Anyway, just my 0.02. Your mileages may vary.

Stay safe

brock 05-30-2008 02:44 PM

Interesting!

Jonathan Maus 05-30-2008 04:39 PM

i've heard this same thing (about him being a danger to bike riders) before. i agree that he creates a bit of a hazard but I've always just tried to go with the flow.. .but reading this thread makes me think he really should move just a bit.

i should head out there with my camera right now...

brock 06-02-2008 06:55 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by tao (Post 11609)
Not mean to crash the party. However, since the guy shows up several year back, I found it easier to cross the on-ramp from the Madison St.

In the past, almost always (when I past there anyway), cars would stop right on the crossing bike lane to check the traffic. After the guy start showing up, I found that cars stop after the bike lane and I have easier time to cross. Is it just a coincidence? Looks like some of you have totally different perceptions.

Anyway, just my 0.02. Your mileages may vary.

Stay safe

Tao - Are you on the roadway or the sidewalk when you cross the ramp? I looked a little closer yesterday, and see that if you are on the sidewalk along Madison, then there is a marked crosswalk that would end up crossing just behind a car trying to enter traffic. I've always stayed on the roadway, forcing me to cross ahead of the merging traffic. Maybe I need to figure out how to get on the sidewalk sooner, but I do see most bike traffic on the roadway.

You can see it if you use Google Maps to zoom in on the intersection - the crosswalk earlier on the ramp, the Madison bike lane going around the front of the ramp, and the little triangle the guy sits on:

Attornatus_Oregonensis 06-02-2008 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brock (Post 11651)
You can see it if you use Google Maps to zoom in on the intersection - the crosswalk earlier on the ramp, the Madison bike lane going around the front of the ramp, and the little triangle the guy sits on:

And is that him in the image? There is somebody there where he sits. And if you can imagine merging onto the bridge in a motor vehicle looking back over your left shoulder, he's right about where, in your field of vision, a bicyclist would be approaching if riding eastbound in the bike lane.

brock 06-02-2008 11:48 AM

I didn't even notice that, it totally looks like it could be him. He does wear a white suit and hat...

tao 06-02-2008 02:47 PM

Brock - I was talking about riding in the bike lane trying to get on the sidewalk of the bridge via the dotted line (Where a truck is merging into the bridge in the picture).

I always ride slowly whenever I pass there (from Madison or Water Front Park). One thing I learned from others on this forum and my own experiences is ALWAYS assume the motorist does not see you.

On the other hand, if this guy is causing hazardous condition someone needs to talk to him nicely. Two things are my little head: 1) Does he has every right to be there? 2) How do we prove he is causing issue?

I have no clue about #1 and I will not be able to prove #2 personally. As a cyclist who rides through there very frequently, I always stop before the stop sign and make sure that there's no cyclist or pedestrian coming from the Madison St. before I merge into the bridge.

I am not related to the guy and don't get any share of his earning, nor am I trying to defending him. (Perhaps Jonathan is editing his story right now.)

Ride Safe

brock 06-02-2008 02:55 PM

Tao: If you are on the roadway (or the Madison bike lane, the left hand side of which is dashed for crossing traffic as in the picture) getting onto the bridge sidewalk, then I'm confused by your description. For a motorist to pull far enough forward for a cyclist to pass behind them, they would already be in the lane. I think the van in the picture shows that very well - he's already entering the lane, but there's not yet room behind him.

But where is there a stop sign? There is not a stop for eastbound Hawthorne traffic entering from Madison, for the vehicle or the bike lane. So maybe something is getting lost in translation here...

And for the record, in my 20+ of riding my bicycle in traffic, I always make the same assumption - that I'm invisible to motorists. This is also an intersection that I pass very slowly and with care. Even without the guy sitting there, I think this is a dangerous spot and should be controlled with a light.

tao 06-03-2008 03:01 PM

Sorry about the bad English. Regarding the stop sign, I meant the one on the ramp and the action meant what I did when driving a car to get on the bridge from Naito.

I rode through there from Madison yesterday around 6:00 pm. It was raining and the guy was there. The lady stopped at the stop sign had no problem seeing me, probably because of the flashing MiNewt.X2 on my bike.

I agree it is a dangerous spot. That's why I prefer to get on the bridge from the Water Front Park on dry days. My route requires me to cross the light rail tracks on a steep slope (Harrison between First and Naito), crashed once on a raniny day.

Anyway, I guess the idea I have been trying to convey is: Is the danger caused by a bad engineering combined with bad driving habits and the guy just happen to be there and got the blame? Or is it because the guy is blocking the field of vision of the motorist?

Jsnyder 06-03-2008 03:16 PM

I know he may not be in the best place, but I sure do like that I know I can always count on seeing at least one smile on my ride home.

brock 06-03-2008 03:39 PM

Tao - That is the crux I guess. I think it's some of both - bad engineering and that he's blocking the field of vision. The more I think about it, I'm willing to concede that it's more the engineering. I don't recall any bad motorist behavior here, as the intersection is a bit blind and no motorist wants to get slammed by a bus, but I'm sure it happens. With his elaborate routines, I'd also worry about him being a bit of a distraction.

But yeah, it is nice to see a smile, he does sure have a unique thing going on... :)

Maybe I just need to chill out and pick another way. Though I've been crossing the Hawthorne lately so I can come up the Eastbank, roll slow, take it easy, and absorb all of the bike love and smiles :)

beelnite 06-04-2008 08:33 AM

Ding! Ding!
 
Brock - I think you hit it on two accounts:

1) Driver behavior - I think the majority of folks drive that way daily and they expect bikes to be coming. He's become part of the intersection.

2) We can slow down and enjoy it! Well we'll have to educate some of the new and old riders that it's OK to ease up on the Hawthorne and enjoy the ride - one big problem I see is the competitiveness that seeps in with riders acting like they must do whatever it takes to "go their pace" even if it means passing on the RT, slamming into pedestrians, etc.

Some cyclists exhibit road rage behavior at that point - automatically assuming everyone is dumber and slower than them and only they truly know how to ride properly. The rest of us are simply weak - we couldn't possibly be slowing down for any good reason and therefore must be "dropped" in the "race."

What a nice fantasy for some!

K'Tesh 06-04-2008 08:49 AM

And besides... Kirk's trumpet lessons are paying off, he's actually gotten better at playing.

(yeah, I know him)

Attornatus_Oregonensis 06-04-2008 08:55 AM

I got stopped there yesterday waiting for the bridge to come down. I came along late, so I was actually stopped in line in the bike lane before the merge. And, of course, there was a vehicle waiting to merge but stopped and also waiting. Sure enough, she couldn't see me and I couldn't see her because the guy was in the way. He's right in the line of sight of drivers merging there. It's unsafe.

I chatted with him for a while. He's a nice guy, definitely working hard to entertain.

brewcaster 06-04-2008 08:57 AM

I love this Portland staple.

I want to expand on that notion about riders getting upset over having to slow down. It makes me sick. If you were driving, or walking or anything else, you have to adjust your speed to other traffic. Simple huh? I see soo much unsafe passing it gets me angry. And like I always say, 9 out of 10 times you will catch up to these folks at the next light.

You aren't saving any time!!!

Patience is a virtue. Enjoy the ride, if you have to slow down, booo hooo.

Attornatus_Oregonensis 06-04-2008 09:21 AM

I got angry about this yesterday. As always happens when you have to wait for a bridge, you're a peloton going over it afterward. Yesterday, it was like this all the way into SE.

I went to leave the bike lane for my left turn at about 5th and Hawthorne yesterday by looking over my left shoulder and signaling. There was a guy not just on my wheel but actually crossing over his front wheel with my back wheel. Had I started moving left at that point, we both would have gone down. Not to mention probably 30 people behind us. Very unsafe.

soyanarchisto 06-05-2008 10:23 AM

Before the entertainer was there, a host of panhandlers occupied that same spot. Sometimes the view is obscured, sometimes not. I ride my bike like I ride my motorcycle: as if everyone is out to kill me. I can't really blame the guy for being where he is--its the place most likely to get some cash from motorists. I'd love to see him move but I can't bring myself to ask him to.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.