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Woman killed while riding her bicycle at W. Burnside and 14th

Posted by on October 11th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

[Updated 2:33 pm, 2:50 pm, 3:19 pm]

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Photos below

A cyclist was killed around 1:30 pm today in downtown Portland.

According to Portland Police Bureau Lieutenant Mark Kruger, 19 year-old PNCA student Tracey Sparling collided with a cement mixing truck at the corner of W Burnside and 14th (photos below – Google Map of location).

Here is what Lt. Kruger can report after an initial investigation:

The truck was headed northbound on SW 14th Ave. and it came to a stop at a red light on W. Burnside. When the truck’s light turned green, the truck began to turn right (eastbound) onto W. Burnside. At that point, somehow a bicycle collided with the truck.

Kruger said they cannot tell what type of movement (if any) the bicyclist was making before the collision. He said there were no skid marks from the bicycle tire.

Oregonian reporter Stuart Tomlinson used to ride through that same intersection. He reports that witnesses in the restaurant directly adjacent to the corner say both the truck and the cyclist were stopped, but when the light turned green the cyclist went straight and the truck turned right.

[*Warning: The photo of the crash scene (below) might be unsettling for some viewers.]

Lt. Kruger described the bicycle as a green singlespeed Nishiki “Citysport” road bike with front and rear brakes. The victim was reportedly a female. The Oregonian is also reporting that a witness said “she was very young and carrying books in a shoulder bag.”

Lt. Kruger and his team will continue their investigation and I will share more details as they come in.

Here is a photo of the scene taken about 30 minutes after the collision:

This view is looking south on SW 14th. 14th is one-way and has a bike lane.

It’s hard to tell what happened from this photo alone and we should reserve coming to any conclusions until we know more from Police investigators.

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  • max adders October 11, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Just walked past the scene. Streets are shut down in all directions. The victim is covered in a tarp in the street on the corner by Crystal Ballroom / Ringler\’s. The Truck itself appears to have been making a right hand turn (northbound) down the hill from 14th to Burnside (eastbound) when the accident occurred.

    Be careful out there, folks, and ride defensively.

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  • tonyt October 11, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    That\’s what it looks like to me. Cyclist heading straight in the bike lane, truck turning right through the bike lane.


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  • Elicia, Vice-Chair of the committee October 11, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Do we know who it was yet?

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  • Jessica Roberts October 11, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    It looks like a classic right hook, driver failure to yield to a bike in the bike lane.

    If that\’s what happened, I hope that the driver feel the full force of the law. I am willing to take action to demand justice if necessary.

    My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim.

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  • toddistic October 11, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    I hate stories like this espically considering I have friends that ride over there. Now I\’m going go text them all.

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  • destin October 11, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    my wife just went down there, she works near by, and someone almost hit her with a group crossing the street on a walk sign, my wife spoke to the driver his rolled down window that they had the right of way and someone was just killed ( pointing toward the incident ) through driver inattention , and the guy told her to fuck off and stormed around the corner at high speed.

    be careful out there guys and girls.
    some drivers just do not care.

    my condolences to the family of the victim,
    i hope this diver, if guilty, is punished as he should be.

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  • Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Rest in peace.

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  • Tasha October 11, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    This is so horrible! I bike this way every day that I bike. It is really touch and go when cars are making right hand turns. I\’ve had some close calls all along NW and SW 14th, going to Lovejoy and 14th. I feel like crying. Many many condolences to family and friends.

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  • Jenn October 11, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    This is devastating, absolutely devastating. Especially as a young female cyclist, this breaks my heart. It reinforces the notion that we MUST ride defensively.

    Condolences to her family, friends, and all that knew her.

    Please let this be a somewhat of flag to motorists that cyclists exist and you NEED to be aware of us as much as we are of you.

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  • Qwendolyn October 11, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    This is very sad.

    I would also just like to offer heartfelt condolences to friends and family

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  • Dave J. October 11, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    I dunno, not sure I agree with the editorial decision to post the photo showing the poor girl lying under a tarp. I mean, I realize that sometimes you need photos to communicate the horror of the situation, but still… not sure I would have done that.

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  • nick October 11, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    NW 14th, between the approach to Burnside north to Lovejoy, is one of the most dangerous areas I have ever ridden.

    How indescribably sad.

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  • me no likey October 11, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    i don\’t like the photo either, but i\’m glad it\’s there. it really drives home the reality of this. that photo should be on a billboard.

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  • Spencer October 11, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    The picture is as powerful as you can get. I sure see that in my mind when I am sitting at an intersection. Be defensive.

    Take care everyone.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 11, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    For Goddess\’s sake, when proceeding straight through a light (or an exit) don\’t EVER let motorists execute right hand turns from the lane to your left! Get in the through traffic lane and either pass them on their left or wait behind them.

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  • tonyt October 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I feel sick to my stomach.

    This is just a nightmare for her poor family.

    I agree with the other posters that the full force of the law needs to fall on this driver. Certainly he/she is probably devastated, but remorse should not be a mitigating factor.

    If the facts are as they seem, the driver is at fault.

    It is only when there are consistent consequences, regardless of intent, will drivers operate as if their lives at stake.

    Don\’t let anyone call this an accident. This is a collision.

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  • Tiago October 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    This is so, so sad.
    No matter what \”conclusions\” are taken, it\’s almost certain that nobody was doing anything extraordinary. I am crying because I know that, as long as we accept these horrible machines as a normal part of our lives, we have to expect fatalities just like these. The fact that it could be someone that I know infuriates and scares me.
    Is this a war?

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  • rixtir October 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Breaks my heart too, Jenn. I think everybody here probably feels pretty much the same about this.

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  • Agent Bunny G October 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I almost collided with a small car turning right in front of me today. It wouldn\’t be the first time it had happened, either. I wonder if the driver even had their turn signal on…? It\’s bad enough when a vehicle turns into the bike lane when there\’s a cyclist there, but I bet the turn signal wasn\’t on. I think most of us have learned to look for turn signals and anticipate wether they are going to try and turn. This is really sad, my condolences to the friends and family.

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  • morgan October 11, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    The same thing apparently happened to a couple of kids up here in Seattle about a month ago.
    A dump truck driver didn\’t look/didn\’t see/didn\’t care, made a right turn in front of the kids and suddenly there was one less young mind in our world.
    I feel horrible.

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  • Spencer October 11, 2007 at 3:35 pm


    Please, before people get going, wait for the investigation.

    With a truck that big and that high up, a bike can easily be in a blind spot. If you can\’t look at a driver in the eyes, they certainly can\’t see you.

    Please take a lesson from this, pray for the family and save your rebuke until the driver is found to be negligent.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 11, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    \”I am crying because I know that, as long as we accept these horrible machines as a normal part of our lives, we have to expect fatalities just like these.\”

    I know. An Oregonian reporter just called me to get a comment. What can I say about something like this?! What is there to say?

    I basically said, \”the truck was so big there\’s a chance the driver never saw the cyclist…we try to share the road with vastly different sized vehicles…\”

    I agree with Tiago in that as long as we share space with huge, heavy vehicles this is something that can (and will) happen.

    Is there anything we can do about it? (besides have a complete system of bike-only streets and physically separated lanes?)

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  • Zach October 11, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    The photo\’s not uplifting, and it didn\’t feel that great seeing it for real a few minutes ago either…

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  • Amy October 11, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    My condolences to the victim\’s family and friends.

    I was hit by a car on NW 14th and Everett. Very nearby, and the same scenario–car making a right turn into the bike lane.

    There are loads of bikes on 14th–let\’s be careful out there!

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  • Dave J. October 11, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Trucks are even more of a danger in these situations because the driver is up high and thus less likely to see a cyclist parked alongside him near the curb. (Not that they bother to look.) I\’ve nearly been hit in the exact same circumstances several times, and it\’s always a truck. Nowadays I just always assume that trucks can\’t/don\’t see me, and give them a very wide berth.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 11, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    \”I bet the turn signal wasn\’t on..\”

    The photo on the Oregonian\’s report shows that the truck\’s signal is on…when it was turned on we don\’t know… but in the photo it is on.

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  • max adders October 11, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    \”I am crying because I know that, as long as we accept these horrible machines as a normal part of our lives, we have to expect fatalities just like these. The fact that it could be someone that I know infuriates and scares me.\”

    Welcome to life as a human being.

    \”Is this a war?\”

    No, I think it was a cement truck.

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  • b October 11, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    it wasn\’t too long ago that a similar situation happened up in seattle….and the victim was also blamed. gotta love how Lt. Kruger is quoted saying: \”SOMEHOW a BICYCLE collided with the truck.\”

    bicycle travels straight, truck doesn\’t heed right of way, turns right, and runs over girl and kills her. don\’t say that \”SOMEHOW a BICYCLE collided with the truck\”….the driver ran her over and killed her! he even said there were no skid marks from the bicycle.
    seriously, stop blaming the victim!

    \”Oregonian reporter Stuart Tomlinson used to ride through that same intersection. He reports that witnesses in the restaurant directly adjacent to the corner say both the truck and the cyclist were stopped, but when the light turned green the cyclist went straight and the truck turned right.\”

    see, even the oregonian realizes who had the right of way.

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  • wyatt October 11, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    A lot of semis have a convex mirror mounted on the hood so they can see in that blind spot where the cyclist may have been. In the one photo of the truck involved in today\’s collision it appears as if that mirror is turned in.

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  • Dave J. October 11, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Just a note, b–Kruger HAS to say that because if he makes a public statement as to fault before the investigation is completed, the driver\’s attorney could claim bias at the trial.

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  • tonyt October 11, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    The Oregonian is currently calling this a \”fatal bicycle accident.\”

    Accident. That word does not apply. This is not a tree falling on someone.

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  • Doug October 11, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    More information at Oregonlive:

    How very, very sad.

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  • waimin October 11, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Sadly, even if the dump truck driver did look he may not have been able to see her. (A witness said they started at the same time, so the cyclist may have been directly next to the front right wheel.) I sent this story to many of my driving friends as a reminder to ALWAYS look for cyclists before turning right. As cyclists, we also have to remember to ride defensively. Not everyone will look and even some who do may not be able to say you. Such a tragedy. It just shakes my world.

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  • BURR October 11, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    my condolences to the victim.

    bike lanes and right turns don\’t mix, the city stripes these curb-side bike lanes everywhere and expects the motorists to pay attention/care. It will never work because the lane positions are counterintuitive and bad engineering is just bad engineering, folks, you can\’t turn a sow\’s ear into a silk purse.

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  • wyatt October 11, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    This is horrible. According to a witness on this oregonian article, the cyclist was a young female, carrying books in a shoulder bag.

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  • rixtir October 11, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Jonathan wrote:

    Is there anything we can do about it? (besides have a complete system of bike-only streets and physically separated lanes?)

    I\’m a biog fan of bike-only streets and physically-separated lanes for this reason.

    Absent some equality in our road infrastructure, it is absolutely imperative that cyclists not ride to the right of motorists approaching an intersection, and to be especially careful of trucks, because they can\’t see you when you\’re next to them, and their wide turning radius means there\’s a good chance you will be crushed under their rear wheels if they turn into your path.

    Like some said above, be careful out there.

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  • Klixi October 11, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    SIck to my stomach, I live RIGHT near this intersection and and ride through this same intersection once a day, 3-4 on the weekends. Today I walked (fearing rain) and on my way home I walked right through this mess. Sick to my stomach definitely. As soon as I saw the yellow tarp covering a body I felt faint. What time will the ghost bike be placed?

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  • tonyt October 11, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    I just talked to MJ and he would rather not have media there for the ghost bike placement, so please do not post the time here.

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  • BURR October 11, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    The driver will probably get off with a $242 failure to yield ticket.

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  • JT October 11, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    I hate this \”lets blame Kruger\” thing man of you do on this site..the man is just doing his job in a terrible situation..his wording is canned and WILL NOT CHANGE NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU COMPLAIN….its the legality of the situation. a collision is a collision, it does not infer blame…jesus…
    its a sad day, don\’t make it worse by bitching about everthing…

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  • Bjorn October 11, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Maybe it is time for oregon to look at legislation requiring these on any truck registered in Oregon:

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  • muddy c October 11, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    The wording (from the Police or writer not sure?) indicates the cyclist ran into the truck. How does a 120 lb cyclist get crushed by a couple of tons of cement truck when first hitting it?

    My guess is that the Trucker never saw her. Just like on the freeway, stay in front or behind the big rigs. So, so sad.

    Everybody please just keep looking one step ahead.

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  • JT October 11, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    you all speak about this driver, whom you do not know, like he or she is not human…I\’d be willing to place $$ on the fact they feel damn right terrible at this very moment and wish they could take back the last few hours…this may very well be something that ruins their life as well.
    if their passenger door was not outfitted with a lower window or the trucks mirror (they truck they were given to drive during work today) was not capable of seeing below itself, their turn signal was on….
    what more do you want?

    Do I blame the driver yet? NO..I won\’t go that far because I wasn\’t there and I don\’t know what happend. Accidents..collisions…whatever you want to call them are a part of life on a bike…its the risk we take for sharing the road with 3000+ pound vehicles at high speed. Blaming another human being who may have very well done everything they knew how to do behind the wheel of a their work truck is asinine…until you all drive a cement truck for a living and deal with the realities of that in an urban area, you all shouldn\’t be quite so quick to judge or persecute from the safety of your afternoon office chair or living rooms or coffee shops.

    Does it scare me to share the road with these vehicles? Yes. Is it a reality I have to do with and a danger I have to avoid? absolutely.

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  • JT October 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm


    damn good idea…thanks for bringing some proactive to the forum…that would be worthy of following up on..

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  • rixtir October 11, 2007 at 4:18 pm


    damn good idea…thanks for bringing some proactive to the forum…that would be worthy of following up on..


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  • specialK October 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    I have to agree about bike lanes and intersections not mixing. Personally, I *never* trust cars at intersections like this, turn signal or no. If I\’m in the lane stopped next to them, unless they make eye contact w/ me I\’m just not going near that right-cross area. I\’ll hang back. Usually, I try to never be in this spot.

    Take the lane people!

    I can\’t get over how many dangers there are riding in bike lanes. 1) right cross, 2) DOORS!, 3) Loading/Unloading parkers… to name a few…

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  • Bicycledave October 11, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    If the witness account is correct:

    witnesses in the restaurant directly adjacent to the corner say both the truck and the cyclist were stopped, but when the light turned green the cyclist went straight and the truck turned right.

    It seems to me like the bike box concept mentioned in this article about bike boulevards would help prevent this sort of thing. In a bike box you would be out in front of cars and trucks instead of in their blind spot.

    I remember seeing these in Spain. I thought it was odd to have all the scooters (didn\’t see that many bikes when I was there a dozen years ago) squeezing to the front of the line at the intersections, but it made them visible before the light turned green.

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  • Mark C October 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    This is just awful, but I have to agree with the post above. I always try to move into the middle of the lane as I approach an intersection where I\’m continuing straight for just this reason. In fact, downtown I can usually keep up with traffic so I take and keep the lane.

    Whether you\’re on bike or a pedestrian, drivers just don\’t see you. They should, but the cyclist/pedestrian is always going to lose in this situation so we need to be constantly observant.

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  • a.O October 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Not only do we need to be constantly observant, we need to pass laws that severely punish this kind of lethal behavior.

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  • BURR October 11, 2007 at 4:49 pm


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  • bruce October 11, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    The average tone of most of these comments is disturbing. Regardless of who was at fault (which at this point seems very much up in the air) the notion that someone else must make the roads safe for us is incredibly naive. I see many of us (cyclists) making stupid and thoughtless decisions everyday. Believing that just sticking your arm out means you can cut across multiple lanes or that just being inside a painted white line makes you invulnerable to other thoughtless idiots roaring along at high speed is completely mindless. We cannot expect that more paint and brighter lights and more rules will keep us out of harms way. It does no good to point fingers at the cement truck driver or the police. We don\’t need any more finger pointing. We need to fully engage in the world in which we live. Take responsibility for our own selves. When we ride we need total vigilance. We don\’t have auto-pilot and I don\’t want it. I\’ve chosen to ride in order to slow the world down. My choice hasn\’t made much of an impact on the pace of life, except to my own. The cement trucks are still flying around along with thousands of other vehicles. Many driven by caring and intelligent people, many not. This horrible accident might well send some of us scurrying back to cars and keep the timid off of bikes. We need more cyclists. We can\’t lose any more of the ones we already have. Don\’t blame, don\’t condemn… engage, live, ride.
    A couple of years ago I made my entry into the cyber-cycling world saying: \”Ride like an ambassador for a new species.\” I still stand by that statement.

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  • JT October 11, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    a.o…what sort of \”behavior\” was that exactly?

    if the driver didn\’t see the cyclist due to physical constraints of their vehicle..and the cyclist was intent on moving with traffic into the intersection, where a right turn by a vehicle is KNOWN hazard, what \”behavior\” would that be exactly? Your comment is reflective of the belief that the driver of a large truck in a small space did this on purpose…

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  • Andy October 11, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Hell, I have a bad enough problem trying not to get clipped in my CAR when a big truck goes rolling around a turn.

    I think one possible solution with an increasing number of bikes and big rigs sharing the road is to implement more bike signals – let them be triggered by a pushbutton like walk signals. In fact, with so many pedestrians in the downtown core, that becomes a problem too, between right hooks and jaywalkers.

    I remember years ago in Pasadena, the signals along the main drag was set up like this:

    1) Full red in all directions at the intersection – ALL crosswalks are green. (Including diagonals allowed)

    2) Then traffic proceeds with green sequences, ALL crosswalks red.

    Wouldn\’t stop all potential for collisions, but it\’ll at least help with some of them. 🙁

    Bjorn – I\’d love to see side guards on trucks – but the lobby has proven their willingness to cry foul of features that enhance safety at a financial cost to them. One instance I remember is the old \”cat whiskers\” that they fought tooth and nail over. Now they aren\’t required, and not every time it rains it\’s a rolling fog bank behind every truck kicking up a wall of spray.

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  • rixtir October 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I think one possible solution with an increasing number of bikes and big rigs sharing the road is to implement more bike signals – let them be triggered by a pushbutton like walk signals.

    I would prefer to see a separate signal for bikes, that precedes the signal for cars, rather than having to push a button to get a signal. In the first example, we\’re equal (or even preferred) users of the road, in the second, we\’re second class citizens, an afterthought.

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  • Thom Hobbes October 11, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Kathy Hiebel in Santa Rosa, CA died this same way. The recycling truck driver had seen her as they approached the red light. When the light turned green, she went straight and he ran her over. Months later he was cited as being at fault. The nearby security cameras were instrumental in that finding as I recall. This tiny url link will take you to the ABC news report.

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  • Carl October 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    There will be a slow ride up Burnside to the site of the accident tomorrow (Friday).

    It will start from the west approach of the Burnside Bridge (where the Burnside is closed to motor vehicles).

    Meet at 6pm.
    Ride at 6:30.

    Candles, flowers, notes…bring whatever you think is appropriate.

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  • Curt Dewees October 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Cement trucks are usually owned by larger companies.
    What company owns this cement truck? Is it a local company (Ross Island Sand & Gravel, for example)?
    Did anyone get the trucks\’ license-plate number?
    With a little investigating, we should be able to find out who the truck driver is, and what his/her driving record looks like …

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  • Carl October 11, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    (Sorry to use the term \”accident.\” It\’s so ingrained. My apologies.)

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  • Dan (teknotus) October 11, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    There is a special Breakfast on Hawthorn Bridge tomorrow.

    The sun won\’t rise until 7:23 tomorrow. I\’m planning on bringing a light for that as well.

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  • me October 11, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    how many of you self righteous
    hippies have ever driven a cement truck?
    how many?
    raise hands.

    none of you can even drive, thats why you ride bikes.

    \”the law needs to get him and such and such\”, oh yes, this will miraculously bring her back to life, and take away all the pain her family feels.
    share the drugs people, we all want some.

    WAKE UP!

    it doesn\’t matter how many asinine
    crosswalk laws this city passes.

    loss of life is tragic!
    i saw the tears, shock,
    and panic in the truck drivers face.
    he didn\’t run her over because he didn\’t care.
    she took off through the intersection because the law said she could.
    she\’s an idiot.
    did she deserve to die?
    it was a tragic accident.

    he will never forget it for the rest of his life.

    every single one you tards posting here
    has blasted through a 4 way stop
    because no one was moving at that moment,
    or you hold the diluted belief that you\’re untouchable and have an
    exclusive right of way.
    load up another crack rock in that pipe.
    all it takes is less than a moment.
    had she waited 2 secs for the truck
    to make his turn with the big fat turn signal blinking in her face, or wait to see if he saw her……
    she\’d still be alive!

    man, i wish i could just throw on my shades and the ipod, turn off all that is going on around me and go hit the
    streets in my car with no turnsigals or brake lights and just drive through red lights and stop signs whilst weaving aimlessly on whatever side of the street i feel like driving.
    shucks, it sure would be nice.
    90% of you riders are ignorant and just plain stupid!
    and i mean DUMB, as in very low IQ.
    lack of intelligence.

    i think everyone in portland needs to see a short documentary of the
    \”portland cycle terrorists\”.
    because that\’s all any of you are!
    see you on the battlefield.

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  • Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile) October 11, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    As tragic and regrettable as this incident is, let\’s not rush to judgment until all the facts are known. If the cyclist rode up on the truck\’s right (as Channel 8 News just reported), then the cyclist was at fault. Stop blaming the truck driver.

    C\’mon, people! As bicyclists, we simply MUST assume some responsibility for our own safety. We MUST be aware of our surroundings at all times, and that includes not finding ourselves on the blind side of a truck at an intersection.

    Should you be on a truck\’s blind side at an intersection–regardless of who got there first–stay out of, or get out of, the truck\’s turning radius. Don\’t forget that long trucks turn wide when turning, and that trailers \”cheat.\”

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  • Bobby October 11, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Just horrible. So freaking horrible. My heart is so heavy from this news. I am well aware of how vulnerable we are but this is tragic. Those dotted line bike lane crossovers are so very dangerous. I wouldn\’t have thought twice about being next to the cement truck if the light was red and we were both stopped. I love everyone on a bike and hope you\’re all safe.

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  • Bobby October 11, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    I just read some comments and I agree that there should be more bike signals at dangerous crossover spots. The signal by the rose garden when you come up off the esplanade is a good example or the one on the cross town route on 40th or so that you can push to cross burnside. These dotted line lanes are a glaring problem. Has anyone else had problems coming off the Hawthorne bridge??? I know I check and excercise caution there but it only takes one slip or error on either parties side.

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  • Allan Folz October 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    \”the truck was so big there\’s a chance the driver never saw the cyclist…we try to share the road with vastly different sized vehicles…\”

    Jonathan, that is a very disappointing quote. It is not far removed from \”accidents will happen.\” There is no such thing as an accident. There are inattentive, rude, and/or abusive drivers however. Which this cemet truck driver is we don\’t yet know. But in turning through a bike line, it was *his responsibility* to check the lane was clear!

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  • Amy V. October 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I am shocked and saddened by this, it\’s truly a tragedy. But that doesn\’t give us, the biking community, the right to pass judgment before we know the facts. When we are quick to blame, and then act upon our knee-jerk assignment of fault as if it were fact, it negates our credibility as a community. And it is divisive, fueling the flames of the \’us-against-them\’ mentality which rarely is productive.

    I\’m most proud of being a cyclist when we come together collaboratively and intelligently, not when people get an angry mob mentality and justify it because they ride a bike.

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  • Graham October 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    I can\’t help but wonder if a \”bike box\” would have helped:

    Those bike lanes that put you in a right-turning driver\’s blind spot can be terrifying.

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  • leftcoaster October 11, 2007 at 6:50 pm


    Or do you think the food shows up magically at the store? The building materials in your home just fell into place? Your bikes miraculously evolved from twigs in your front yard?

    This us vs. them mentality has got to stop. The VAST majority of cyclists AND drivers are decent people who try hard to avoid accidents. So far there is nothing in this story to suggest anything different here.

    \”Me\” at #61 above, is obviously the other type: a violent psycopath who probably WOULD hurt a cyclist if given the chance. Fortunately jerks like this are the minority. Watch out for them.

    Oh, and \”Me\”… before you go calling other people stupid you might want to run the spell check a few hundred times and watch for homonyms (words that sound the same but aren\’t, like \”diluted\” and \”deluded\”) because your deluded ramblings diluted your message.

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  • toddistic October 11, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    it is important that as a bicyclist we stay alert. If you come upon a large truck or semi, wait behind them or in the bike lane behind them. If a large truck or semi comes along side you make sure you give yourself a way out.

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  • Angela October 11, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    As mentioned above, a very similar event occured in Seattle, WA only a few weeks ago. The driver of a dump truck made a right turn into two bicyclist (who were both within a bike lane) and actually drug one of them for about 20 feet before noticing that he had hit someone (two someones, in fact). There was a fair deal of controversy over the article published in our \”alternative press\” publication, The Stranger, as it heavily indicated that the cause of the accident was related to the fact that the cyclist were riding fixed gear bicycles. The article erroneously states that the cyclists were riding brakeless (they did indeed have brakes and a correction/apology was later published)along with several other disputed \”facts\”.

    I feel incredible sorrow for the families in both of these accidents. I can\’t imagine how devastating it must be.

    That being said, I would like to thank the people above who are also offering your sympathies for the driver. Yes, perhaps legally, this driver was at fault, as the bicycle did have the ride away, but we don\’t know that this driver didn\’t look. Perhaps they did. That is a VERY large vehicle and depending upon where the cyclist was, she may have been impossible to see. Now, I would never blame her, or say that she brought this upon herself, but what I will agree with people above who say to take the lane at intersections. I myself either do that, or in order to cruise to the front of a line in traffic, I will approach the stopped cars (only if they are in the right hand lane with multiple lanes) on their left side, that way I am sure that none of them are going to right turn into me and also because I am more visible to the driver on that side. The safest place to be in regards to a car or truck is IN FRONT of it.


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  • SKiDmark October 11, 2007 at 8:18 pm


    She was on a bicycle in a bike lane. ORS requires motor vehicles to yield to bicycles going straight in the bike lane when the motor vehicle is turning.

    I didn\’t know expecting motor vehicles to obey the law, especially when it can kill someone, is being a self-righteous hippie.

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  • Mike Perrault October 11, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    @ 61 \”me.

    I\’m a engine captain on wildfire crews. I drive a 3900 lb truck with 2000 gallons of water behind me through the forest without roads. Do not tell me that I cannot drive or that I do not understand. I choose not to drive because I care about the world and it\’s future.
    Each and every bicyclist comes equipped with turn signals, some people don\’t use them but that is just the same as motorists who don\’t use them. I am not going to play into your game of blaming people.
    I do however call into question your insults towards a girl who died, brutally. You are a coward for speaking this way and you should be ashamed of yourself.
    She did nothing wrong, she followed the laws and was killed by someone making an illegal turn and yet he is not to blame?
    Please quit making things about them and us, are you trying to say that you\’ve never run a four-way in your car? Or you\’ve never turned without a signal? Or you never listen to your car radio or talk on a phone? This is about someone dying because of illegal actions.

    Come try your hand at driving on the fireline and you\’ll see driving that you cement jockeys can\’t even fathom.

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  • Pierre-Luc Auclair October 11, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    That picture is really shocking, it says so much!

    I think accidents like that show that motor vehicle stop lines should always be a few feet behind those of cyclists!

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  • Tasha October 11, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    It\’s so stupid to play the \”Blame game\”. It angers me to hear it on both sides. I am sure more things could have been done on both the cyclist\’s and driver\’s parts. I, for one, ride very defensively, as I\’ve almost been hit numerous times by right turning drivers with and without turn signals. If the cyclist had been super cautious and not gotten right up next to the truck, she might still be alive. Then again, maybe the driver could have looked 3 more times before turning, or \”assumed\” there was a cyclist, if it was indeed in a blind spot.

    I do however, think it\’s wrong he\’s not being cited. If someone runs over a pededstrian, the excuse \”I didn\’t see him/her\” doesn\’t normally fly. No matter who\’s to \”blame\” here, a person\’s life has been taken and there should be some repurcussions for that fact. It\’s so sad on all levels, for the cyclist and her family and freinds, and for the driver and the guilt he must have right now. Compassion, sympathy, and respect, not name calling and vitriol, are what are needed right now.

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  • topsyturvy October 11, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    The biker\’s loss of life is terrible, but this blame game is really a waste of time.

    And what is even worse? Stupid bikers.

    I commute & ride bike in Portland, and my most *favorite* sight is a fellow biker, with iPod in ears or talking on their cell phone (something we often accuse drivers of doing), and HELMET ATTACHED TO THEIR BACKPACK OR HANDLEBARS. As my boyfriend says, \”Helmets only work if there\’s something to protect.\”

    Cars and trucks are big and fast. Drivers are often distracted. We must be always alert and ride defensively, regardless of laws, lanes or right-of-way. I hurt my shoulder in a collision because I was not paying attention & hit a car. My promise to myself is to be always vigilant, and even that is no guarantee of safety.

    See you at the memorial ride…

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  • jessica james October 11, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    The same thing happened up here in Seattle a few weeks ago. My condolences go out to the friends and family of this Portland cyclist.

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  • ray October 11, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    just theoretically, what if you took some of that really bright/permanent/reflective white ground spray paint, laid down the ghost bike where the bike box would go, and went nuts?

    you\’d kill two birds with one stone, making an impromptu bike box and painting your ghost bike at the same time.

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  • Nuada October 11, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    This is why bills like 299 (which is currently dead and waiting revision) need to be rewritten. People will take worse advantage of doing illegal things in bike lanes if given the green light to do so, and as we see, it is quite bad enough as it is. Where are the deterrents? Bike lanes are not safe. Take the lane, wear bright clothing, hand signal wildly, make eye contact and use a bell or horn profusely.

    Hasten the Vehicular Homicide law for Oregon.

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  • Todd B October 11, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Hi \’Me\’ and \’Leftcoaster\’,

    Yes some of us bicyclists you complain about have driven trucks for a living…I drove a Mack dump truck long ago building state highways…among other equipment. (You do not have to drive a truck on some of our crammed streets to worry about hitting a bicyclist – like the Hawthorne.)

    Given your line of discussion…how about the powerful freight coalitions, industry, and truck drivers helping us (your bicycling friends, neighbors, parents, and children) in getting PDOT (and similar agencies in other cities) to treat bicycles as full vehicles at intersections. Typically too many design compromises are made at these locations when compared to best practices (and design manuals of bike friendly countries).

    Better bikeway facilities would reduce the cases where freight operators have to second-guess and hope that there is not a bicyclist (or pedestrian) in their blind spot, etc. And better bikeways breed bicyclists with more logical movements…vs. being forced into what is often illegal but safer movements (though unexpected from most motorists who do not bicycle).

    So after all is studied and discussed regarding the design of this intersection and the human behaviors that have occurred…perhaps these mitigations will be installed:
    – bike box
    – no right turn on red
    – fewer thru lanes (why are there 3 thru movement lanes towards 405 other than 1950s capacity considerations)
    – bicycle lead interval (initial green light for stopped bikes, red for cars)
    – a separate bike lane for every bike movement (to the right of each car lane), a left, thru, and right;
    – remove the on-street car parking if more space is needed (may not be needed if the number of car lanes are reduced)
    – reduce the complexity of the intersection and speed…to allow vehicle operators a better chance to correct errors before it is too late.
    – etc.
    And Sam, I call on you to reform our intersections to serve all street users…to support your staff in making these important upgrades in safety and fight the simple calls for capacity at all costs. In the end this is not an engineering problem but an engineer who was not ‘allowed’ to design the intersection well.

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  • julia October 11, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Save all motorized Humans!

    I will fight for Her, the unaware victim of correct assumption, and the protection of the poor guy that has to live with the the unintentional experience of killing, against his intention (uninformed victim as well).

    She was correct to proceed, but assumed since she was following the rules, that he knew she could be there by law hence the bike lane in the first place. Doing what we assume… that he yielded to her….that everyone knows, that she might be there and yield to her by law.

    She was trusting of the current laws to accept her as a motorist, cyclist, and thought he saw her…he did not.

    I wish the drivers DMV test to get a license that would include cyclist laws and cyclists would have a certification test as well. I\’m a cyclist and let\’s face it,we are moving faster than vehicles heavier than we are, with no protection. We are wrong if we think everyone knows the laws or has a license to show it.

    I trust laws, do you??? (hah) let\’s make it so…

    Let\’s fight for our right to not kill innocently without laws to make ourselves aware of it…

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  • Colonel October 11, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    This is the most dangerous traffic situation in my experience, and most likely to take out an inexperienced rider. Tragic.


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  • brettoo October 11, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    So, what are we going to do about this to make sure this death wasn\’t in vain? First, we need to vent our anger and express our sadness and condolences. Then we need to get all the facts in. And then we need to organize to get the city to take steps to reduce the chances of this kind of tragedy happening again.

    If it turns out that this is something that a change in street and/ or bike lane configuration can prevent, then we need to figure out what the best change would be. For that, we need experts like those in the BTA, Roger Geller, and the rest to weigh in.

    Personally, I\’d like to see us go to a separated bike/ped lane system as I enjoyed during a visit to Holland this summer. But what about putting bike boxes at all major intersections — how much would that cost? is that a reasonable solution? Better signs at intersection (\”Yield to bikes in bike lane\”?) A change in the traffic statutes? I don\’t know. We have to do what\’s politically and financially achievable, but we also have tragic evidence now that we may need to raise our standards.

    Sam Adams is justifying a coming infrastructure repair plan on safety grounds, and we need to do the same with the upcoming bike infrastructure plan. Making Portland more bike friendly may have to do with lifestyle, with peak oil, with obesity, with cost efficiency, with global warming … all of those and many others are great reasons to spend money improving bikeways. But now, tragically, we know for a fact that improving urban bike facilities is also literally a matter of life and death.

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  • Take a step back October 11, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I have been hit bicycling by a car turning right, and I have to say, it was my fault. I was going faster than the car and passing him in the right lane when he turned his blinker on (albeit late) and turned right. Luckily, I only went over the hood and had a few bruises.

    The driver was horrified. He felt awful. It was truly an accident. To assume that the cyclist is always is stupid.

    I am not saying who is right as none of us actually know. I doubt that the driver who killed this cyclist is likely not feeling great right now either.

    Condolences to all involved.

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  • jami October 11, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    my heart goes out for her family and her lost potential. i imagine the driver also feels terrible, but it looks likely that he fatally broke the law here.

    the most important lesson to me in these crashes is that turn signals are a matter of life and death to cyclists. if this guy didn\’t signal until he was halfway through the turn (or after the crash), i hope the police make an example of him. unfortunately, i doubt anyone but the driver will truly ever know when that signal went on. it\’s not the sort of thing witnesses probably remember.

    another huge problem is that, at least when i took driver\’s ed, they didn\’t teach us to look right when turning. i always do look, years after a driver threw on his signal at the last minute and illegally turned right in front of me and i limped for several months afterward. i wonder how drivers\’ ed can improve in this regard. heck, maybe they could even replace the question about the stripe color of deaf people\’s canes on the driving test with something about turning through bike lanes.

    but until drivers are better-educated about bike lanes, i can\’t stress enough that *cyclists can almost never pass cars on the right safely*, bike lane or no, legal right of way or no. just hang back until you are sure it\’s safe. no, we shouldn\’t have to, but i know it\’s kept me out of a lot of accidents.

    finally and inflammatorily, when a cement truck breaks the law and a cyclist is involved, maybe it would be (was?) no help, but i sadly suspect that this gal with her heartbreaking bag of books (near powell\’s…) wasn\’t protecting that precious head with a helmet. helmets have gone from nearly ubiquitous to nearly extinct in only a few short years (coincident with the rise of messenger chic). sacrificing smart to cool is neither, portland. c\’mon.

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  • Dan (teknotus) October 11, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Some years ago I was witness to a woman getting hit by a truck as I was following just a few feet behind her. We had a walk signal, and the truck had a green light for a left turn. I saw the truck, and assumed it would stop, but was just cautious enough to slow down slightly myself. She was conscious, but obviously had multiple broken bones. She was in agony, the truck driver was in agony, her family was in agony. I too felt bad. I hadn\’t yelled out to her. I hadn\’t tried to pull her out of the way. I watched all of these people offering to help in any way I could, and ended up only able to get my name listed by the police as a witness. They never called me. The traffic signal designer, the truck driver, the woman, and myself all could have potentially prevented it from happening. There are few things I have analyzed more in my head than this single event permanently burned into my memory. I decided that we were all at fault, and each of us need to do what we can in the situation we are in.

    I think I understand the emotions people are going through, and their varied reactions to this. Four of my close family members died with only about 9 months from the first to the last of them. Most people don\’t know how to react to death until they have experienced far too much of it. Please forgive the people who post very reactively.

    After work I rode up to the intersection, and I watched cars turn the corner for a while. I don\’t think this intersection is safe. From when the walk signal turns on till the don\’t walk signal turns on I would be hesitant to enter the crosswalk. Though I have also taken the 14th ave bike lane across Burnside, I have driven it, I have stood at it, and been a witness to people blissfully crossing it oblivious to it potential dangers, and I have decided that it\’s design was bad without doing anything to get it changed. I have had the potential to be any of the participants so I can sympathize with all of them. It is easy to blame, and much harder to take the responsibility to make a difference.

    There are a few things that you can do.

    Comfort the family and close friends of the girl who died. There usually isn\’t much to say that helps. Really being there for them does. This doesn\’t mean a token show of support now, and then disappearing. Grief takes a long time. They may still need your shoulder to cry on a year from now.

    Support your community. A lot of people have a lot of emotions about this.

    Work to prevent future tragedies. Be it intersection redesign, driver, or cyclist education there are things you can do, and they will probably make you feel a little better.

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  • Donna October 11, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    \” Most people don\’t know how to react to death until they have experienced far too much of it. Please forgive the people who post very reactively.\”

    Too true.

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  • Todd B October 11, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Dear Jami…if you check PDOTs recent bike counts the % of riders wearing helmets is no where near \’extinct\’.

    Most bike friendly cities in Europe have TBI rates lower than the US even though bike helmet use among adults in near zero. Design, education, enforcement, bikes with lights, etc.

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  • janel October 11, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    bike boxes at every signalized intersection.

    my condolences.

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  • julia October 11, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Could we please try to protect and respect all of us in agreement as a unified source to pass laws of agreement? Thomas Jefferson, all in agreement? As Innocent as those that assume we are all here to make it right and believe it so? The love of ourselves as a group of those who change the world for the rights of everyone who cares? …

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  • Todd B October 11, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Also someone asked where Rinker is…

    they are everywhere…

    Perhaps this truck came from their closest concrete plant: contact

    Readymix – Foster Road R/M
    6400 S.E. 101st Avenue
    Portland, OR 97266
    Phone 503-777-1660
    Fax 503-777-1270
    Contact Matt Scott 503 777-1372

    Perhaps a memorial ride out to Rinker is in order?

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  • Todd B October 11, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    And to lay flowers out at their front gate for the sadness both families must be feeling this day.

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  • FactsAreFacts October 12, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Folks, the fact in all of this is simple.. There was a story in The Oregonian today about the city of Portland\’s crumbling infrastructure and back log of repair work needed. Also, the more people that bike, the less people who are paying vehicle/road/gas taxes. Given those two facts, Do you really think the government is going to spend a bunch of money for bike boxes, lanes, new lighting systems?

    If so.. get real! fixing every bad intersection in town for bikes would cost 10\’s of millions alone. Not to mention lost tax revenue.

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  • John October 12, 2007 at 1:51 am

    I work @ The Crystal Ballroom/Ringlers. This was scary just hearing about from people who saw it happen, or just walked past the body into work today. Deep condolences go out to the friends and family. This is a very real problem. We have at least 2 security guards outside on Burnside during \”club\” nights at Ringlers. The main reason being to keep the sidewalk clear enough so that people don\’t step out onto the street. I agree with the bike boulevards idea, and suggest as well possibly extra sensor lights letting large trucks and other vehicles know when there\’s a biker in the lane. The lines marking where the tires stopped will haunt me. Even as they fade, the memory of this incident will not. I\’m not a biker…for now, but as a bike-courteous driver, and a pedestrian to and from my car (for the time being), I will now take extra time before taking that first step onto the street.

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  • bike commuter October 12, 2007 at 3:49 am

    I think that \”me\” has placed all cyclists into a box. We aren\’t all the same, We don\’t all ride for the same reasons. We don\’t all wear helmets, we don\’t all have bike lights. We aren\’t all perfect all the time. Some of us get drunk and ride. Some of us ring our bells, signal, toot our horns, take the full lane at same speeds as cars and scooch up into the ped. crosswalk to assure that a bus and/or large truck/semi- or anyone can see us.

    I\’m responsible 99 percent of the time, wear my goofy looking helmet, ride assertively/aggressively enough to forego heavy traffic, or WAIT IT OUT, even when I drove I always waited it out even if there was an impatient jerk behind me. Let them wait, let them honk, let them pass. Your life, or your time schedule? Everyone, I mean everyone is in a hurry these days.

    Last year, as a pedestrian, a man in a pick up truck wasn\’t looking straight on but was still pulling up to the stop sign (the side street next to the paramont apartments) and I looked at him like \”are you gonna stop or what?\” and he started yelling at ME. I mentioned to him that he was pretty much driving blind and that there is a line that he should stop at. I say more tickets for this type of bx. Not only that, when he took off, *yes, passed through the bike lane as well luckily nobody was in it* he was looking back at me as he pulled out into broadway!!! I said \”you\’re doing it again! You\’re gonna kill someone.\” I recently made a huge mistake and took williams all the way to weidler and made my turn from the wrong lane and a driver yelled at me (which, by the way not only startled and distracted me but took my eyes off the road) and I yelled back out of FEAR and ANGER of almost getting hit by a car f*** off! well, it was an inappropriate response and I knew the minute I made that turn it was a mistake! I will never take that road again and constantly look for safer/less trafficky areas to commute through. Yes, we need to adopt some of these European bike avenue/box ideas. If there wasn\’t so much red tape/legality involved we could change this mess right quick!!!!

    my point is, we all make mistakes as drivers and cyclists and hopefully we get that second chance to learn from them. unfortunately the young lady who lost her life (my heart races just thinking of it)
    will not get that chance. My sympathy and deepest regards to her family.

    Let\’s ALL pay attention!!! Let\’s leave earlier, not be in a hurry so much, value lives whether they be in a car, truck, big wheel, on foot or on a bike. Be considerate of each other. I know most of us try our best most of the time. We aren\’t perfect, none of us are. I feel for both the woman\’s family and the driver. It\’s irreversible and haunting and I hope never to read another story like this again.


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  • Spanky October 12, 2007 at 7:34 am

    I\’ve always had misgivings about straight bike lanes crossed by right turning vehicles. Two reasons: bike \”passing \” on right depriving, in whole or in part, the driver of an opportunity to see the bicyclist. Second, large, tall trucks, the mirrors of which do not allow an adequate view of the area right next to the engine and cab of teh truck. The area occupied by bicyclists at a stop in situations like that pictured, waiting to travel straight ahead, into the path of a potentially right turning vehicle.

    I wonder if the truck was signalling, and if the witness account regarding both being stiopped at the red light is accurate.


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  • Klixi October 12, 2007 at 7:39 am

    People, have some respect and do not turn this into a pro-helmet crusade. Contrary to what you may believe, a fully loaded cement truck would crush a helmet much like a human would crush a fly. Anyone who says a helmet would have prevented her death is just being self righteous at this point.

    A helmet is not the answer, DRIVER AWARENESS IS. End of story.

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  • ken October 12, 2007 at 8:07 am

    October 11th, 2007 15:28

    This is so, so sad.
    No matter what \”conclusions\” are taken, it\’s almost certain that nobody was doing anything extraordinary. I am crying because I know that, as long as we accept these horrible machines as a normal part of our lives, we have to expect fatalities just like these. The fact that it could be someone that I know infuriates and scares me.
    Is this a war?\”

    Really? Let\’s be reasonable here. I am as upset as any but do you really believe vehicles are evil and that we are at war with them? I would love to see a lot less of them but most goods we use and enjoy, including bikes that get delivered to bike shops, are delivered using vehicles. Are vehicles really horrible machines? The biggest change needed is attitudes. We are going to be sharing the road with motor vehicles for our lifetime, so changing peoples attitudes about sharing the road with bikes is, for me, a more achievable goal. Taking the attitude that they are horrible machines is the same as drivers saying bicyclists are a nuisance. It is an extreme position that does not allow for understanding or change. It just polarizes, and don\’t we have enough of that in our country today?!

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  • aijou October 12, 2007 at 9:04 am

    I just need to say, that this young girl was a student where I go to school. I did not know her well, but she was going to be part of a small group of design students that are going to Tokyo in 2 weeks. Last week I struck up a conversation with her about the trip and she was so excited and I was looking forward to spending time with her there.
    This senseless tragedy has made me really sad. I am not a bike commuter, but we drive down the Broadway Bridge into the Pearl everyday. My husband and I constantly talk about how scared we are that we might have a collision with a aijou. Checking mirrors, looking back, making sure that no one is coming. On many occasions we have had to slam on our brakes because a cyclist shoots out with out slowing, this is after we have checked and both have made sure that it is clear and have proceeded to turn. I enjoy that we live in a city that has such a huge bike population, and 99% of riders follow the rules of the road. It is that last 1% that I worry about. On the other hand I know that cyclists also have the exact same worry about drivers. What is the answer? In the meantime keep this young bright girl and her family in your prayers.

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  • mark October 12, 2007 at 9:31 am

    In response to Klixi re bike helmets not being the answer. Yes, is true that it is not always the answer, but sometimes it is as a Salem native learned in an encounter with a truck
    Isn\’t sometimes the answer enough?

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  • Stuart October 12, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I have to say people making hostile posts like \”me\” are truly out of line. Horrible tragedies occur and to speak without intimate knowledge of the actual state of affairs (i.e. first hand experience of the situation) is ignorant. Attempt to be solemn and reflective rather than employing the chest pounding, loudest opinion is correct strategy favored by mouth breathers. This occasional contemplation could prove valuable in many situations. My best to the family and friends of this rider and to everyone in our community, including the driver.

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  • Bobby October 12, 2007 at 10:07 am

    This sad circumstance should be another call for us two-wheel travelers to pay attention to what is going on around them and to be proactive in their own defense. The death is unfortunate to say the least, but us bike riders really need to pay attention and try to avoid these sorts of situations and not let our ego\’s get the best of us.

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  • G October 12, 2007 at 10:11 am

    \”I am crying because I know that, as long as we accept these horrible machines as a normal part of our lives, we have to expect fatalities just like these. The fact that it could be someone that I know infuriates and scares me.\”

    Ya, those horrible machines that make modern life possible and bring the very bikes that all of you ride to market. I suppose you think bikes are farmed locally and organically in a sustainable manner.

    Clearly this is an unfortunate accident. That\’s right, accident. You have no evidence that the driver did this intentionally or even negligently. But obviously cars and trucks should be banned and bikes should rule the streets. Only then can we live in harmony consuming nothing but clean air to sustain our biological functions.

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  • not a lawyer October 12, 2007 at 10:14 am

    From Klixi:

    \”A helmet is not the answer, DRIVER AWARENESS IS. End of story.\”

    Dear Klixi, you are responsible for your own safety. The expectation that others should change their behavior so you don\’t have to change your is immature, entirely unrealisitic and hypocritical.

    Since different types of users are on the street, they share the reponsibility of being aware of the other.

    Regarding helmet use: There is zero harm to the rider from wearing a helmet….and citing one circumstance where a helmet would not have helped does not obviate all the situations where they can/do help. The exception you point out is irrelevant to the rule of common sense. There is no valid reason that a cyclist should not wear a helmet.

    In my opinion, selfish cyclists with a \”me\” attitude only continue and exacerbate the problems.

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  • Sergio October 12, 2007 at 10:25 am

    The only time I take my helmet off is when I ride up Johnson to Pittok Mansion. I only feel comfortable doing that because I\’m riding slow enough through basically zero traffic. Other than that it is stupid to ride without a helmet through the city. But I also believe it is everyone\’s right to be stupid.

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  • Fillard Rhne October 12, 2007 at 10:35 am

    I plan to send the following letter to _The Oregonian_ in a couple hours. While I won’t have time between now and then to do more than tweak the letter, I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

    (To the editor: This letter concerns Thursday’s collision at NW 14th & Burnside. Since it doesn’t identify the collision, it would need to be printed in sequence after another letter that does identify the collision.)

    I’m sure the truck driver feels awful about what happened, and we need to honor that, but we can’t let it get in the way of our speaking frankly about how the accident happened and what we can do to prevent future deaths.

    How the accident appears to have happened: In violation of ORS 811.050, a motorist turned into a bicycle lane without yielding. We can also speculate as to other causes: Is the truck’s blind spot too big? Does the trucking company impose an unreasonable schedule on its drivers? Speculations like these should be considered and perhaps investigated.

    What we can do to prevent future deaths will depend on how it happened. Options include: Give trucks more and better mirrors. Give truck drivers more training. Give truck drivers looser schedules. Paint cyclist advance boxes like at SE 39th & Clinton. And find other ways to guide traffic flow so that a normally responsible citizen’s brief lapse doesn’t cause a death.

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  • mad at 'me' October 12, 2007 at 10:42 am

    OK. I have to respond to \’me\’, though he/she will probably never read it.
    Geez! How can you make any assumptions about anyone posting here?
    I\’m raising my hand! I\’ve never driven a cement truck, but I did drive a 27\’ straight truck for years, all over this country, including NYC! I KNOW what it is to drive urban areas with heavy traffic, including pedestrians and bicycles. I also know that this \’accident\’ was not an accident because there is no such thing! Both the driver and the cyclist made decisions that led to this. No blame on either side. It is awful. That poor girl is dead because of bad decisions by both people. That girl wasn\’t an idiot, and I would guess that the driver isn\’t either. She\’s been \’punished\’ for her decisions, and the driver is being punished, too, regardless of what the law decides.
    OH, and btw \’me\’, are you a perfect driver who has never, ever, ever, rolled a stop sign? Blow a light? Failed to signal? Nope, you aren\’t. No one is, whatever they\’re driving.
    Mourn for that girl, mourn for the driver, just get off your friggin\’ high horse and stop being combative and insulting.

    Justice is simply another word for revenge, sanctioned by \’law\’.

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  • Eric Key October 12, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Tracey worked for us as a designer. He dad just called to let us know the news. We are all so broken up over this terrible tragedy. She was planning on taking a trip to Japan at the end of the month and her excitment was contagious. We are really going to miss her bright-eyed innocence which seemed to be so intoxicating to us old people in the office.


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  • Jane October 12, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I live with a commuting cylist and many of my friends do long rides on the weekends and I ride around on my bike, too. So I\’m cycle-saavy. Yet every time I have to make a right hand turn with my car across a bike lane, I tighten up. I\’ve had some close calls with cyclists and I\’m gun shy. So I signal, I slow down, I crane over my shoulder a half dozen times, and then I go. But I\’ve had it happen where a cyclist was just flying along, and came up on me even as I was turning. You can only see so far behind you and you have to look into your turn as you make it, so someone coming very fast can be upon you even although you have exercised supreme caution. Possibly this isn\’t what happened in the case of yesterday tragic fatality, but it points to the problem of having one lane on the right with a supposed right of way adjacent to the lane where, since time immemorial, or at least since the invention of the automobile, drivers of machines are accustomed to taking their \”free right turn.\” I don\’t know what the solution is, but I do know many, many drivers don\’t have a clue who has the right of way in this situation, not because they are careless, indifferent SOBs, but because they are programmed by years and years and years of driving to think of a righthand turn as \”free.\” Knowing this, when I\’m riding my bike, I don\’t come up and wait in the blind spot of drivers sitting in the right hand lane at an intersection who may or may not have signaled their intention to turn, although most cyclists do this. I sit back behind the car that\’s first in the lane so that I am not in their way whatever they do, and so that I\’m in full view of the driver behind me. Think about it. Bike lanes are so new that the majority of drivers haven\’t learned about them in drivers ed, and if they are covered in the drivers manual, I wouldn\’t know–I took my last drivers test thirty years ago. I\’m unintentionally out of date about the law. I\’m all for bikes on the street, I just don\’t think putting in bike lanes willy nilly is the total answer. We\’ve also got to educate the public about how to drive and how to ride with each other. It may feel good to disparage drivers, especially when one of them is technically at fault, but this doesn\’t save lives.

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 11:38 am

    but until drivers are better-educated about bike lanes, i can\’t stress enough that *cyclists can almost never pass cars on the right safely*, bike lane or no, legal right of way or no. just hang back until you are sure it\’s safe. no, we shouldn\’t have to, but i know it\’s kept me out of a lot of accidents.

    That\’s exactly what we have to do. The law allows us to proceed on the light; aafety requires us to not place ourselves where we won\’t be seen. The law allows us to wear whatever we want; safety requires us to wear bright colors. The law allows us to use almost any light at night; safety requires us to use the brightest lights we can.

    It\’s all about being seen.

    The law is a floor, below which we are not allowed to venture. For our own safety, we need to set a higher bar for ourselves than what the law allows, or requires.

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  • 180mm Crank October 12, 2007 at 11:39 am

    There\’s over 100 comments here and no one has pointed out that the bike lane is between two car lanes: The truck was in a straight ahead lane and crossed over the bike lane!

    The car-lane to the right of the bike-lane is left-turn only.

    It\’s not surprising the bicyclist assumed the truck wouldn\’t turn…

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  • 180mm Crank October 12, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Oh oops– My previous post is wrong about the lanes (and left-turn)– I\’m just cranky…

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 11:50 am

    180mm Crank, How can the left turn lane be to the far right of the road? Surely you mean the right turn lane?

    If that is the case– that there is a right turn lane to the right of the bike lane, then this driver not only failed to yield, but he was making a turn from an improper lane.

    Anybody know this intesection better than me? (I walk through there a couple times a month, and it is a dangerous intersection for peds, but I just don\’t recall the lane layout).

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  • apartment 4 October 12, 2007 at 11:51 am

    @ 180mm Crank:
    Actually the truck was in a straight/right turn lane and she was in a bike lane just to the right. You can see it here.

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  • apartment 4 October 12, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Oops – sorry for the bad link. But if you look at the street view of the intersection on google maps you can see exactly how awkward the intersection is.

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  • 180mm Crank October 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Sorry again people for my rant– is the internet making us any smarter? not me…

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  • LM October 12, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I was devastated when I heard the news, for both parties involved. If you bikers should be blaming anyone, it should be the City of Portland and the engineers who carelessly draw up striping plans for the bike lanes downtown. It\’s absolutely ridiculous that they put a bike lane on the right side of a vehicle that is allowed to turn right. Where is the common sense in that?? How could the truck driver possibly see a bicycle and for that matter, the bicycle probably couldn\’t see the trucks blinker either. My condolences to all those involved in this tragedy.

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  • Andrew October 12, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I was there on the curb right after the event, before the emergency crews arrived, and believe I saw Tracey leave this earth. This tragedy will make me very sad for a very long time. I mourn for this woman I never met and for her loss, and feel for her family and friends and for the truck driver.

    And I mourn for the fact that this might not have happened. Both Tracey and the driver of the truck apparently made fatally poor choices. Tracey trusted that the law and the professionalism of the driver, rather than extra caution, would protect her; the driver seems to have made the foolish and fatal assumption that there was no one to his right, and he didn’t check.

    Unfortunately, the driver\’s poor choice was also illegal, and he is absolutely liable to pay the consequences. It is disgraceful that he won’t be cited. He didn’t run Tracey over intentionally, of course, but carelessness that results in death is criminal, period. I do feel for the guy, who will probably feel awful for a long time, but driving any motor vehicle (let alone a 10-ton truck) on city streets with pedestrians and bicycles is a serious act that requires and deserves very careful attention. How many of us have been threatened (or worse) by bus drivers? Bigger, blinder vehicles need to be held to account even more stringently, not excused because of it. There are a lot of drivers out there, so-called professionals or otherwise, who unfortunately need the reminder that this kind of negligence can have horrible consequences, and that there are very harsh penalties that they will be held to. Sometimes deterrents make the difference.

    And as for the rest of us cyclists, who still live, here is a wake-up call: there are just too many of us out there with our heads completely up our a**es, with no lights or helmets at night, who give pathetic or no lane change signals, who leap up and down curbs, weave through moving traffic, run red lights, and so forth. Some are just oblivious and can’t be helped, but many others seem to believe in their arrogance that rules and courtesy and common sense somehow are not expected them. You know who you are.

    To them I say: you jerks bear responsibility in part for these awful fatalities, for making it tougher with your antics for the rest of us to co-exist reasonably with motor vehicles, by making it tougher for the rest of us to earn and maintain the margin of respect that just might save some of our lives one day.

    The rest of us who ride need to speak out on both sides of the issue, by pressing for all drivers to take (or be made to take) responsibility for their actions, and for all cyclists to do the same.

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  • Soyung Key October 12, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    My husband, Eric already posted, but I felt the need to say something as well. Tracey starting working for us as a designer in May – in that time she proved that she was such a bright, energetic and very responsible young woman. I am going to miss her so very much – she had become an extension of our family. I read all of the postings above and wish people would not put their personal rants and play the blame game. All that matters is that a very sweet young woman, who was so talented and had such a wonderful life ahead of her is now gone. I send my heartfelt condolences out to her parents, her brother and her boyfriend. Tracey – wherever you are – may you be at peace.

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    To them I say: you jerks bear responsibility in part for these awful fatalities, for making it tougher with your antics for the rest of us to co-exist reasonably with motor vehicles, by making it tougher for the rest of us to earn and maintain the margin of respect that just might save some of our lives one day.

    And for teaching novice riders, who likely don\’t know any better, through bad example.

    Sadly, it sounds like Tracey was a responsible cyclist who got caught by the driver\’s mistake– turning across a bike lane when a cyclist was there– and her own– positioning herself where a negligent motorist could do her harm.

    Rest in Peace Tracey. This makes me so sad.

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  • Andrew October 12, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Soyung, I appreciate your peaceful outlook and your sharing your feelings about Tracey. And I agree, many of these postings are not pleasant to read. But- with respect- Tracey\’s passing is NOT all that matters.

    This messy and unpleasant discussion, where it contributes to our understanding of what went wrong and especially what may be avoided, is very important, as it may help more loved ones from being lost. That is our responsibility now. Learning, like grief, is processed in different ways by different people, including rants.

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  • Richard October 12, 2007 at 1:38 pm


    How horrible this accident is. What makes this an even more tragic event is the fact that bicyclists that post on here about the accident don\’t seem to acknowledge the fact that she rode up on a cement truck, on the right, with the turn signal on to turn right.

    People, I can\’t stress enough that we do what we practice. For this poor woman has probably done this over aq hundred times. It takes only once, like this, for it to be catastrophic.

    That\’s the problem with bicyclist. They don\’t under stand that if, as a driver, you are at first at a light and signaling for a turn, except for pedestrians, that vehicle has the right of way over moving from that lane to the turn lane of the other street.

    This type of accident is bound to happen again and again. Bicyclist need to understand that riding between cars, passing on the right without a bike lane, running red lights are all things that are incredibly dangerous.

    I hope we all learn from this tragedy.

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  • Thoughts on Riding Safely » patch October 12, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    […]’s initial report […]

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  • Chuck Yousef Beefor Yu Rheck Yousef October 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    This is a tragic accident. Unbelievably sad for both parties. For those of you who believe that automobile are the root of all evil you need to go check yourself. I have been driving through downtown daily for the last 12 years and I am amazed at some of the sheer righteousness and recklessness of downtown\’s bicycling populace. I\’m not going to group this gal in with the crazy fixed gear couriers who are possibly the worst law abiding people on the road and easily the rudest. No, this girl was just using her bike as a form a basic transportation and naively thought a bike lane would protect her. For those of you suffering from the same myopic condition please consider that many times people who share the road are rarely on the same page. Unfortunately, the stakes are very high when caution and awareness are substituted for ignorance, especially when heavy equipment, SUV\’s and even 3000lbs Toyota Prius\’ are thrown into the mix. Honestly, who pulls up next to a vehicle and assumes they are noticed especially a vehicle such as a cement truck. People if your on a bike, righteousness or in this case being unknowlegeable can be deadly. Being right is not a fair trade for being dead in the case of riding your bike.

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  • Erika October 12, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Statesman Journal in Salem is reporting that the cyclist was Tracey Sparling, a 2006 grad of West Salem High School who was attending the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

    Rest in peace, Tracey. You were loved and you will be missed.

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  • Todd B October 12, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    For a bicyclist\’s/ driver\’s \’eye\’ view of the crash location…and lane configuration…try new mapping feature discussed earlier this week (called \”street view\’).

    Address: 422 SW 14th Ave, Portland OR,%20Spokane,%20Wa%2099223

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  • a.O October 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    @ # 121: You don\’t know the facts or the law, and your treatment of all bicyclists as the same shows you are totally ignorant of reality. Please stop posting this idiocy and go away.

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  • Mike Shannon October 12, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I was at Henry\’s when this happened. When we heard the audible crunch of the bike under the truck, we ran out. The poor girl was not moving at all. It did not appear that she was actually run over by the truck. The last poster was correct. It appeared she ran up on the truck unaware. She struck her head on something, not wearing a helmet. I immediately called my daughters in San Francisco to remind them to wear their helmets and always be super vigilant and aware. It was a very sad moment. After, the driver of the truck was white and in shock. He had been going very slowly around the corner because it was such a tight turn. All around it was a tough one. I feel for everyone. The girl, the family, the driver. Everyone.

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  • John DeJarnatt October 12, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    First, I not been a bicyclist for many years and haven\’t seen this page before. But I knew Tracey. She grew up down the street from me, and went to school with my daughter since kindergarten. Reading through these posts was very difficult for me. I appreciated the comments of many who offer their condolences, and felt great distress when reading the negative comments about \”this bicyclist\” as if she wasn\’t real. The debate over motorist/cyclist rights is important, but please remember the great pain that many of us feel as a result of this tragedy. For the sake of her family and friends, please be careful how you respond. Save the blaming and finger-pointing for another time. Please.

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    She struck her head on something, not wearing a helmet.

    One more way we can protect ourselves and prevent another senseless loss…

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    John, there will always be a vocal minority of drivers who apparently relish the moment whenever a cyclist is killed. They\’re part of a larger group of drivers who use the larger mass of their vehicles to push us off the road whenever they can.

    Pay them no mind, they\’re dull-witted cowards.

    Most of us here didn\’t know Tracey, but we\’re all grieving for her, and collectively offer our condolences for the loss of her friends and family.

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  • eddy bike commuter October 12, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    This is a tragic event is a teachable moment for all of who choose to ride a bicycle or even walk (crossing an intersection every block). We who are not wrapped in two tons of metal must be wary for our safety. The reality is that we are riding very light unprotected vehicles in a heavy vehicle world. This may not be fair, but it is what it is.

    To be operating the cement truck in a lawful manner, the truck driver would have had to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This is required of drivers who operate vehicles that surpass size or weight thresholds (or carry paying passengers). The reason a CDL license is required is the state recognizes drivers of large or heavy vehicles have an additional responsibility to exercise care and due diligence in mitigating harm to others. The question in this instance will be weather given the facts of the matter, did the cement driver exercise due diligence to avoid killing someone.

    One hopes the cement truck driver was deployed to a post-accident drug and alcohol test as would have been required of any CDL holder in the event of a fatality. Of course, it would also be interesting to know if the cement truck driver was on a cell phone or checking a map, eating his lunch, etc.

    Even if the authorities do not prosecute this as a criminal event, the estate of the deceased would be able to pursue a wrongful death civil action. Sadly, this would not undo this death, but it could “help” to send a message. A civil action would also permit the Plaintiff to discovery. It could then be learned if the driver had a beer with lunch, or was eating his lunch as he drove or was checking a map or was on a cell phone or was doing anything else that may have distracted him from executing the level of professionalism and attention to responsibility needed to drive a loaded cement truck in a dense urban neighborhood.

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  • liz October 12, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    As everyone else has said, this is horrible and my thoughts are with Tracey\’s family and friends. I hope that this prompts the city of Portland to do some tangible improvements for bike safety in this city. The city seems to enjoy the image of Portland as the most \”bike-friendly city in the country\” and I hope that city officials realize that bicycle and pedestrian planning need to become a real priority. I\’m an urban studies student at PSU and let me tell you that there are plenty of people over there who are interested and willing to work to make the city a safer and friendlier place for cyclists and pedestrians.

    I\’d like to echo support for the sort of separated bike/car system that Amersterdam has.

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  • livermore October 12, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    This is very sad, my heart to the family. Folks we have to take more responsibility. A week ago it was the MAX. We can never \”assume\” even if we believe we are in the right that a vehcile won\’t turn into us. Let the vehicle show intent after it starts moving. A few more seconds waiting will save lives. The driver of that truck is probably devastated and I truly believe he did not see her. Feel for him also as you would if involved as the driver. Trucks of that size need both lanes to turn properly and we see it all the time. That\’s not a violation. Regardless, steel will always win. Be careful – it\’s not worth trying to be \”right.\” Wear your helmets, stay off the Morrison Bridge (I see so many bikes there now – illegal, something bad is just waiting to happen – esp once the rain is constant and a car has to swerve to miss on the grates), and get a headlight.

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  • Brownie October 12, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Tracey was such a wonderful girl. We first met at elementary school in first grade because we were brownie girl scouts together.

    Anyone who knew her would tell you that she was one of the brightest, most creative and driven young women you could ever meet.

    I hope wherever she is she is happy that even in death she was able to do a little world shaking, or at least a little city shaking to get people to pay attention to cyclists on the road.

    My Condolences go to her family and everyone who knew her in Salem, NY, Portland or wherever else she took her sunshiney self.

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  • Andrew October 12, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    The overwhelming piece of information to take away from this blog is that no matter what the law says you\’re still responsible for your own well being when it really comes to blows.

    As a cyclist, I personally would have never attempted to move through that intersection until that truck had gone through. Never. An extra five seconds of waiting for the truck to go through the turn is worth having breakfast the following morning.

    The old, \”so and so had the right of way\” arguement doesn\’t matter much when someone\’s dead on the street, correct?

    Take responsibility for your own actions.

    What \”Me\” said (in his very sarcastic way) has a point. I drive a delivery truck as a back up for my company and am all to often looking out for cyclists MUCH more than I feel should be necessary, not to mention more than I\’m sure most other motorists are. It\’s obvious everyday I fill in that the majority of Portland\’s \”core\” (normally fixie) cyclists blow through red lights, stop signs, ride on the wrong side of the street, lane split..etc like nothing is ever going to happen to them and that everyone in a car will surely see their motions.

    It\’s truly a shame when every cyclist that flips me off as they blow through a red light because I\’m in the intersection with \”the right of way\” doesn\’t realize how much time I spend during my day making sure I don\’t run into them, because I AM ONE of them.

    But motorists are supposed to \”share the road\” right? How about this idea, the rest of the motorized world will start \”sharing the road\” when the majority of cyclists are vigilant in ACTING LIKE VEHICLES, by FOLLOWING TRAFFIC LAWS and above all, BEING PREDICTABLE.

    RIP to the girl, what a waste of life.

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  • se biker gal October 12, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Re: Me

    You sound like you have some anger issues that perhaps you might want to deal with sometime soon. I\’m sorry that you find most people so dumb – I would guess that you\’re missing out on a lot of the great people in this city.

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  • Stan October 12, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    A terrible tragedy and loss. Remember it could be you next, so live for the moment and love everybody.

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  • Jan October 12, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    What is the Oregon law with regard to a vehicle making a right-hand turn next to a bike lane? Aren\’t you supposed to move over into the bike lane (after signaling!) and make your turn from that lane? I realize that a normal car, let alone a cement truck, doesn\’t fit into the bike lane, so you end up straddling two lanes. But on the other hand, this keeps you from turning into a cyclist–they line up behind you, or you line up behind them. Just curious if anyone knows the actual law . . .

    Also, I understand that with the configurations of mirrors and windows present on the cement truck, the truck driver may have been unable to see Tracey. But don\’t we all find that unacceptable? Shouldn\’t vehicles be designed so that their operators can see ALL other users of our roads, cars, bikes, and pedestrians?

    What has been the experience of cyclists with the routes that have colored pavement emphasizing the location and continuation of bike lanes through intersections? Are these effective?

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  • dark horse October 12, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Having the right of way means NOTHING.

    The driver being punished means NOTHING.

    There will always be careless drivers, and/or good drivers who simply do not see us.


    The sooner we accept that fact, and do everything we can to ride defensively–no matter the laws–the sooner we won\’t have to hear about crap like this.

    Assume nothing, and watch your butts, my friends.

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  • Marlowe October 12, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Seems like we need a campaign like the one in NYC called \”LOOK\” to raise drivers\’ awareness about interacting with bicyclists safely. Check out:

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  • Nuada October 12, 2007 at 11:12 pm


    It\’s move over only after yielding to cyclists and, of course signalling (the proper signalling distance is the equivalent of two telephone poles from the corner). A motor vehicle may legally cross the bike lane but not drive in it to make the turn. (See the 2007 Oregon Driver Manual page 76).

    The bright blue bike lane extensions seem to be able to grab motorists attention a bit more, easy to see.

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  • […] making a right turn from 14th Avenue onto Burnside by the Crystal Ballroom. has more on the […]

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  • AB October 13, 2007 at 1:28 am

    This horrific event reminds me of something just as unbelievable that happened in Salem last summer. Again, a driver failed to yield, thereby killing the person who had the right of way. This time it was a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Plus the driver had NEVER had a valid driver\’s license. And his stepfather defended him, saying he had a constitutional right to drive even without a license. Here are a couple stories from the Statesman Journal:

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  • Whitney October 13, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Thursday afternoon I was walking in SW to grab something for lunch. I heard a gut wrenching noise and when I turned towards the source of the noise, I saw a body on the ground and a man hop down out of his cement truck. This image has haunted me since, and reading that a young woman was killed in this accident destroys me. As a daily bike commuter I fear that, as bikers, we are not cautious enough. We should ALWAYS assume that cars can not see us and that we are NEVER safe in the bike lane. As drivers we need to be fully aware of our surroundings and pedestrians at all times. Most importantly, we all need to be more AWARE. We need to open our eyes and recognize that we share the road and world with others. It\’s not all about where WE have to get or where WE are going. If you are driving in a car please take the extra time to check for bikers before turning. If this causes you to be one minute late, who cares. If this results in the car behind you honking and getting angry, fuck \’em. Let \’em honk. If you are biking and there is a car in front of you being careless and swerving into the bike lane, don\’t try to assert your rights as a biker by risking your life. Slow down, get the hell out of the way and stay safe. I know from this moment on I will be a different kind of biker and driver. I hope you will too.

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  • TedBiker October 13, 2007 at 8:42 am

    My heart goes out to the family. I have just about recovered from a similar bike/car accident on May 25, 2007 – fortunately not ending in death, where a driver without a turnsignal turned into me on Johnson Creek Blvd, colliding with me on my bicycle. The interesting part is that the police refused to investigate and the driver\’s insurance, STATE FARM, sent ME a bill for the damages to the car, followed by calls from collection agencies and threats of litigation! They believe I was liable. They claim that the fact that they hit me was evidence that it was not safe to ride to the right of the car! (Fortunately, a letter to the President of SF got them to back down on the litigation.)

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  • jim-b October 13, 2007 at 9:19 am

    To Tracey\’s family: I\’m very sorry for your loss. She will be missed by many.

    To the truck driver: this will be a terrible thing to live with, and I hope you will find peace.

    To my fellow riders: a white paint stripe on the pavement is no replacement for riding smart. Ride like you are invisible, be careful, and save your yelling and arrogance for ultimate frisbee.

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  • laurie October 13, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I was at Ringlers with potential clients when this horrible thing happend. I am the person that ran out to see if I could help. ( I did not see the exact accident). Myself and a passionate man were the ones on the ground with Tracey. (I did not know her name at the time). We did what we could and poured love into her, as did a few people standing near us. He was on the phone with 911 as we made sure she new she had poeple with her those last moments.
    Soyung: Thank you for your post. Most of you were not there and this ranting does nothing for Tracey or her family, or the others that this accident devistated. Please stop spreading rumors on \”what happened\” if you were not there. Most of you are pretty far off base. It also does nothing for the devistated driver who I saw afterwards or Tracey and her loved ones.
    We are all in the world together. In my humble opinion we all need to share and get along. Honor her memory and do something ( not talk about it) for our world.

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  • David October 13, 2007 at 12:33 pm


    First of all to the family of Tracey: I did not know this angel, but after reading many of these posts, I feel that I she has become part of me. I am deeply saddened by your loss.

    Fellow riders: I am in the unique situation of being both a rider AND an operator of a large commercial vehicle City Bus). I can understand the grief. I can understand in the heat of the moment sometimes there is alot of erroneous finger pointing and \”deep pocket\” syndrome, where folks want to launch lawsuits and start chanting \”Let\’s sue!!\”.

    If the information printed in the Oregonian this morning is accurate, then this is an accident, plain and simple.

    The Concrete truck driver was stopped with his right signal on at the light waitng to turn right. Tracey rode up into his blind spot and also stopped to wait for the light. When the light changed, she proceeded forward, he proceeded to turn right. Did she have the right of way? Yes, BUT as it has been pointed out, in this monsterous truck, she was in one of MANY blind spots. NOT PLACING BLAME…please read on…The driver wasn\’t being one of those jerks out to get a bicyclist, he wasn\’t being malicious, to the best of his knowledge and sight as he could see it, he was making a legal right turn.

    I have to do these types of turns all day….and it scares me each time. I am freaked every time I run Hawthorne and I have to contend with car doors AND inconsistent bikes. It scares me because I AM a cyclist and I\’ve been on the other end. It scares me BECAUSE I CARE!It scares me because I have seen cyclists (some, not all–let\’s not lump everyone here, ok?) ride like they own the road and ride with a sense of entitlement and give me the single finger salute while they cut me off. I do my absolute best to make room for and to signal for bikes when I move right for a stop and when I move back left after a stop, but I too have MANY blind spots, AND I am nearly 9 feet wide!

    One posting said they should design these monsters to compensate and with more mirrors! I would tend to agree, but is that my fault? Am I going to go to my boss and say \”Sorry, I can\’t get these commuters to work today because I don\’t like the design of the bus?\” Yes, that is sarcastic, but I\’m making a point. Several posters also made it. Stop blaming everyone else! There is always going to be the other guy. You & I can work hard to educate folks, one at a time if need be (hell, I have even converted some of my collegues who claimed to hate bikes & by the way, I bet you thought all of us hated you–see, we don\’t!) but just because you have the right of way (same goes for peds) NEVER assume that big metal monster is going to stop or yield for you. NEVER!

    Did you know that I try to avoid stopping (sometimes you just have to) at a crosswalk for bikes or peds BECAUSE cars almost always assume that if I am stopped (even at crosswalks, the boneheads) I am discharging at the curb and they will go around me. Most peds and bikes won\’t look when crossing the street, so they risk getting hit. Since I CARE about their safety, I would rather pass them up waiting to cross the street so my BIG hulk of metal is out of the line of sight, so they can cross safely. Think about it.

    Although I feel quite competent at my job and love what I\’m doing, I have a million things going on at the same time, and I am NOT purposely ignoring you..I may just not see you. Is it worth your life to ASSUME I did? Is it worth the few bucks you might get from a lawyer to lose your legs (or life) if someone else didn\’t see you? Are you one of those hot heads who is sitting there thinking \”well, if I was the driver…\” Well, we\’re hiring, come show you\’re stuff if you think you can do it better. That\’s not meant to sound like a threat, but the airchair quarterbacks can ALWAYS do it better than the guy (or gal) doin the job. Every place has it\’s scumbags, give us time too and we\’ll weed em out.

    Let\’s work together. I sure would like us to. ** I am so very sorry Tracey. ** God Bless.

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  • Oly October 13, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Re: #127

    \”It appeared she ran up on the truck unaware. She struck her head on something, not wearing a helmet.\”

    I wonder if this is true. If so, it\’s hard to mourn the death of someone who didn\’t value their life enough to take basic precautions.

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  • John Peterson October 14, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Posts 121 135 148 and others all have something important to say which really needs to be repeated…. basically, regardless of the law (right of way, being allowed a full lane etc…) certain situations are inherently dangerous for bicyclists (riding on 39th, Powell, 82nd, etc… blind spots, dooring, max tracks, the list is pretty much endless….
    So we as bicyclists need to ride defensively if we want to live regardless of the law…. Defensive biking should not be controversial–it does not mean giving up rights—It is your last line of defense basically–ride like the vehicles, pedestrians, etc… can\’t see you.
    Unfortunately you have to learn defensive biking, where the danger is, which roads, and situations…. I think in this tragedy, the cyclist did not realize the danger she was in.
    So one thing we, as older and more experienced cyclists, can do, is to try and communicate to other cyclists how to bike defensively.

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  • kelly October 14, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    She wasnt wearing a helmet and she was in his blind spot. Bicyclists need to be aware that drivers do have blind spots and it is the bicyclists responsibility to either let the driver know you are there to avoid an accident or do nothing and suffer the consequences.

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  • kelly October 14, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Everyone has sent condolences to the family of the girl, has anyone thought about what the truck driver is going through? Put yourself in HIS shoes…. you could\’nt see her, and you can\’t get out of your truck in the middle of traffic every time you want to turn just to check your blind spot.My condolences go out to him.

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  • Kathy October 14, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    So sorry for the family of this young girl. I am the widow of a cyclist killed last year and I feel every bit of the pain they are going through. Prayers are with families and driver. Cyclists, be ever alert.

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  • Steve October 15, 2007 at 12:16 am

    I find many of the posts present in this forum somewhat disturbing. To begin, I find it incredibly alarming that so many people are calling this something other than an accident. By definition, an accident is something that was unplanned and unintentional. To me, this situation seems to be just that. Furthermore, while the specifics of this case have yet to be fully disclosed, I feel that it highlights a very problematic issue facing this city. On the one hand, cyclists feel that motorists are not paying enough attention to their presence on the road. On the other hand, motorists are tired of seeing so many cyclists blatantly disobeying even the most basic of traffic laws. Ultimately, there will be no easy solution to this problem. Cyclists: you have to realize that when you are sharing the road with much larger, more powerful vehicles, you will be putting yourself at risk. Quite frankly, our roads were not constructed for bicycles, and you should learn to accept that until the traffic system somehow changes. However, motorists must learn to accept the fact that people have the right to ride bicycles, and should be as alert as possible. What I think is lacking on both sides of this issue is a basic understanding of the other\’s position. So before any more people condemn the \”reckless\” driver or the \”careless\” cyclist,take a moment and think about constructive ways to bridge the gap facing us, the Portland community as a whole.

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  • Ed H October 15, 2007 at 2:41 am

    I\’ve only ever been hit by a car while cycling twice. Both times were right hooks. Once was totally my fault (flying down a hill at 30 toward a light that turned green just as I approached, there was no way for the car to know I was going to be there so fast,) the other was totally the car\’s fault (flew by me, then cut me off.)

    Remember, even when you\’re in the right, you still have to watch out. (As destin\’s comment also shows.) After the \’not my fault\’ right hook, I now make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that I have made eye contact with the driver of the car next to me whenever I\’m in a right hook situation. If you can\’t be 100% sure that you have the driver\’s attention, then assume the driver doesn\’t know you\’re there.

    Like the old saying goes, you can be dead right.

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  • Tasha October 15, 2007 at 8:23 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with Post 148 (David). It is so refreshing to hear this point of view from a bus driver AND cyclist. I almost got hit by a bus a few weeks ago, but it was a bit my fault (car in front of me was turning right, stopped suddenly to not hit a pedestrian, I swerved left to avoid hitting the back of the car, bus was going straight). The driver opened her door to make sure I was okay (he just hit my left handlebar). I don\’t think that all people who drive big vehicles are \”out to get cyclists\”. I think awareness is the key and that we need more bus drivers like David!

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  • Bicycledave October 15, 2007 at 9:20 am

    There is absolutely nothing to indicate the driver did this intentionally, however it was not an accident. Allow me to explain.

    As a society we have made the choice not to require adequate mirrors or video cameras on big trucks to eliminate blind spots. This is a choice we have made to value profits (via reduced costs) over human life. I believe this choice cost this young woman her life.

    As a society we have made the choice to spend a tiny fraction of our transportation dollars on bicycle infrastructure. If we had chosen to spend more we may have decided to put a bike box (a.k.a. advance box) at this intersection. This is a choice we have made to value lower taxes (or automobiles) over human life. I believe a bike box here would have saved this woman\’s life by putting her in front of the truck and out of his blind spot.

    As a society we have chosen not to educate every child on how to bike safely. This is a choice we have made to value…(I\’m not sure what…academics, test scores) over human life. This choice could have saved this young woman\’s life.

    Since we have made these choices (and others not listed) we cannot call this an accident.

    I don\’t lay blame on the victim or the driver, but we have all made choices that contributed to this tragedy.

    My condolences to all those involved.

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  • Jim October 15, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Rinker is all about safety and i know its hard to understand how the family is feeling but take a minute to think about how the driver is feeling he so didnt meen to hurt or kill any one.

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  • a.O October 15, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    \”Bicyclists need to be aware that drivers do have blind spots and it is the bicyclists responsibility to either let the driver know you are there to avoid an accident or do nothing and suffer the consequences.\”

    So, Kelly, next time I change lanes in my big truck into your car and crush your child to death, don\’t blame me! It was your fault because you were in my blind spot. Do you have any idea how idiotic your post sounds? Not only are you WRONG, but you\’ve revealed your anti-bike bias.

    We here this constant mantra about how cyclists should adhere to the same rules as cars, but these same people want to impose a different set of rules on us, with more obligations than those of cars. Ridiculous.

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  • naess October 15, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    @159- \”We here this constant mantra about how cyclists should adhere to the same rules as cars, but these same people want to impose a different set of rules on us, with more obligations than those of cars. Ridiculous.\”

    actually a.o. if you opened your eyes a bit you\’d see that the whole blindspot issue IS imposed, on ALL vehicles. the whole issue of blind spots with large rigs is a major safety issue in most states, with many of them imposing fines for hanging out in them. ever heard of the \”no zone\”?

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  • a.O October 15, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    My eyes are wide open, and I see that THERE IS NO SUCH LAW IN OREGON.

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  • naess October 15, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    i never said there was. on the other hand there are \”informational brochures\” being handed out to motorists regarding this and giving the same advice that you decried earlier. thus, no new Laws being mandated on anyone, just common sense procedures, intended to help make everyones commute a bit safer, being suggested.

    of course for lars wannabes i guess even common sense is going too far.

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  • a.O October 15, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Common sense dictates that you can legally occupy a bike lane if you are riding a bike and that, if you are crossing a bike lane, you ought to check what\’s there before crossing it, particularly when you have a mirror that can show you what\’s approaching from the rear.

    The law also imposes a duty of due care that requires you to pay attention for the presence of bicycles in bike lanes. Good luck taking an \”informational brochure\” to court after you kill someone.

    I didn\’t \”decry advice.\” I said it was wrong to state that the operator of a vehicle has a responsibility to let the operator of another vehicle know that it is on the road. That is not the law, nor does it make \”common sense.\” The only appropriate legal and common sense solution is for people to pay attention to their surroundings, including other vehicles on the road.

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  • naess October 15, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    \”Common sense dictates that you can legally occupy a bike lane if you are riding a bike\”


    \”if you are crossing a bike lane, you ought to check what\’s there before crossing it\”

    also granted.

    \”particularly when you have a mirror that can show you what\’s approaching from the rear.\”

    not applicable in this situation, but in general also granted.

    \”The law also imposes a duty of due care that requires you to pay attention for the presence of bicycles in bike lanes.\”

    which most likely occured, and most truck driver do. of course, the law also mandates what kind and number of mirrors a vehicle is required to have in an attempt to minimise any blind spots. especially on the right hand side.

    \”Good luck taking an \”informational brochure\” to court after you kill someone.\”

    which doesn\’t change the fact that they are dead, and wouldn\’t be if they had bothered to read oregons bicycle handbook, 2006, page 10.

    \”I said it was wrong to state that the operator of a vehicle has a responsibility to let the operator of another vehicle know that it is on the road.\”

    oh yes, the old \”i don\’t have to take any personal responsability as long as there\’s a law covering this\” tact. ever heard of \”on your left\” or for that matter a bike bell? go back to school.

    \”The only appropriate legal and common sense solution is for people to pay attention to their surroundings, including other vehicles on the road.\”

    that\’s funny, i thought that was the advise you were decrying. ie: being aware of your surroundings, including another vehicles blindspot, regardless of what kind of vehicle you are operating.

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  • a.O October 15, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    \”that\’s funny, i thought that was the advise you were decrying…\”

    Guess you thought wrong.

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  • a.O October 15, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    \”the law also mandates what kind and number of mirrors a vehicle is required to have in an attempt to minimise any blind spots.\”

    \”oh yes, the old \”i don\’t have to take any personal responsability as long as there\’s a law covering this\” tact.\”

    \”which most likely occured\”
    \”they are dead, and wouldn\’t be…\”

    You weren\’t there. You don\’t know. Pure speculation.

    Tracey was legally in her lane proceeding straight as allowed. The truck driver failed to yield in violation of the law. Those are facts.

    I can tell you can\’t see the difference, so this discussion is over for me.

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  • naess October 15, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    awww… so sorry a.o. but you are showing your true pundit colors very well. you should try out for talk radio.

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  • Mary October 15, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    As a cyclist-commuter (in fair weather) and an automobile driver, I\’ve become hyper-aware of cyclists while driving and cars/trucks while cycling. It is easy to become careless, whether on two wheels or four. I am too wimpy a rider to have proceeded straight without knowing what the truck was going to do – too many close calls have been educational. My disbelief about the \”blind spot\” arises from the driver and the cyclist proceeding along the same road prior to the turn. It seems the cyclist would have easily been visible during that block or so. Too late for second guesses, but never too late for renewed care on all our parts.

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  • […] iffy with my brakes on the way down the hill, but I made it outWith recent events occuring with the death of a fellow cyclist last week, it made me change some of my riding behavior. I do admit to being one of those silly […]

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  • Alan October 15, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    laurie (post #147), thank you for your post, which helps balance out some of the utterly callous and insensitive tripe that I\’ve read here. You had great presence of mind as well as tremendous compassion to run to be by her side at that moment.

    And yes, it\’s all true that we need to ride defensively, and there need to be more safeguards such as better mirrors for large vehicles like trucks, and the rest. But, you know, the sad thing is that sometimes all the defensive riding and vehicle safeguards and traffic regulations and other logical notions are betrayed by simple bad luck. We as stubborn human beings don\’t want to admit it, and think we can control fate somehow, and think if we\’d only done X, this wouldn\’t have happened. But, the fact is that sometimes terribly bad accidents really do happen and are unavoidable.

    And as laurie says, I wasn\’t there and have no idea whether this was avoidable or not, but what I do know is that it is utterly horrible, and a young woman lost her life, and her family will grieve for a very long time, maybe always, and I think what we need to do is simply hope and pray for peace for her and her family, and mourn her loss. And yes, we need to have some sympathy for the truck driver too, who may suffer greatly from this. I know I would if I were him.

    Again, thank you laurie for sharing your sense of compassion here. I think that\’s the one true thing that the rest of us can learn from this tragedy.

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  • F900 October 16, 2007 at 5:24 am

    Thanks for the comments, David. From my experience driving a road service dump truck, I\’d like to point out that the cab height makes the side view on these trucks even worse. They\’re basically road tractors with an extended frame. If Oregon had mandatory bicycle training, perhaps Tracey could have learned that passing these vehicles on the right is extremely dangerous (and in some states, illegal).
    My interactions with PDOT on this issue have been met with pretty dismissive attitudes over lack of funding. I\’m guessing it\’s because bike boulevards and the ever oxymoronic \”traffic calming\” are sexier than actually developing a sense of responsibility among cyclists. IMO, Portland\’s cycling community needs to get off their tall bikes and support their own education instead of constantly pointing fingers at others. Especially considering Oregon\’s status as a \”no-fault\” state pretty much guarantees a driver won\’t be cited in a situation like this.

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  • Bruce October 16, 2007 at 9:16 am

    What a horribly sad thing. As a long-time bicycle commuter, I think there are times when auto/truck drivers can be blamed for collisions, but I also realize there are times when they just don\’t see the rider. I don\’t feel it\’s anyone\’s fault.
    A big truck like that makes it more difficult to see someone in the bike lane, so riders need to be especially careful riding around them. Even in Portland, which has many more riders than most cities, a driver — even a driver who also rides frequently — doesn\’t automatically look for riders in the bike lanes.
    Some people are saying this collision drives home the need for bike-only streets, or for more intrusive separation. We certainly cannot expect paint on the pavement to protect us and solid separation would be a good thing to have, but every rider knows there are times when you wouldn\’t use the bike lanes, even if they were made of jersey barriers and razor wire. They\’re not everywhere you need them to be.
    I didn\’t read all the comments — does anyone know if the victim was wearing a helmet? Would that have made a difference? In some collisions it may make a difference, in others probably none whatsoever.

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  • Dustin October 17, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    A long while ago, when i was taking driving ed. course. I remember there was a law set into place for large trucks making right turns. If i remember right, if there is a large truck with its right blinker on at an intersection you are not allowed to drive up on the right side of the vehicle even if there is an open lane. Because some of these large trucks need that extra space to clear the curb on a turn. If this is the case blame could be shifted to the cyclist

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  • Red Light « What I Saw from My Bike Today October 17, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    […] go down, and rushed to his aid. Last week was a bad one for Portland cyclists: a 19-year-old girl got killed on 14th and Burnside when a cement truck turned right across her bike lane. The same day, a Ghost […]

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  • Carol October 18, 2007 at 10:28 am

    The cement truck driver is sitting a good distance off the ground in his seat ,and it is very difficult to see anyone or anything( especially the size of a bicycle) that is positioned down below his front right door. As Lt. Kruger stated \”When the truck’s light turned green, the truck began to turn right (eastbound) onto W. Burnside.

    He looks in his mirror, which reflects objects behind his truck, probably didn\’t see anything, being she is below his mirror and might have arrived after he had been sitting there waiting on the light. He then assumes that he has the right-away and not realizing she is there, runs over her.

    \”Kruger said they cannot tell what type of movement (if any) the bicyclist was making before the collision. He said there were no skid marks from the bicycle tire.\”

    It\’s a tragedy that the life of this young woman was cut short, something has to be done to change the traffic laws, so this type of situation between drivers and cyclist doesn\’t repeat itself.

    I\’m not going to condemn the truck driver for something that I can only speculate about, obviously the driver of the cement truck didn\’t see Tracy Sparling. I\’ve walked past 14th and burnside and have now (heard not seen) one person get hit by a car several months ago at 15th and Burnside ( bruises and minor cuts), I\’ve witnessed one near hit, and almost got ran over in the crosswalk myself by someone who just blew-through the light at 14th and burnside.

    Be careful out there cyclist, and you\’re right be defensive.

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  • Dave October 18, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Oof. I was in the same situation coming up Interstate a few weeks ago: in the bike lane at a stop light, big truck next to me turning right. I thought he saw me there because he paused before starting up, but guess I was wrong. Luckily, he braked before running me down..

    I didn\’t fully realize what terrible design this is until reading about the 14th and Burnside crash. We need to come up with a better way to deal with bike traffic at intersections.

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  • Cranked Magazine » Blog Archive » Educate October 18, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    […] a little too idealistically, but seriously WTF, things have to change, there’s been too many lives irresponsibly […]

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  • Mortality: Overrated? « I, Rob October 21, 2007 at 10:26 am

    […] also ups my chances of the Early Exit via vehicular misadventure (something we’ve seen too much of here recently).  I’ll take those odds, obviously, but I’ll admit there are times […]

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  • Tom C October 21, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    It is rather remarkable that in this advanced technological era, we allow vehicles such as this 60,000lb cement truck to operate in a dense urban setting with \”blind spots\”. There already exist many companies who manufacture and install video systems on commercial (and public transport) vehicles that eliminate essentially all such areas around a vehicle. So why do we continue to allow vehicles to use these inadequate mirror systems, accepting as if it is unavoidable the \”blind spot\” that led to this tragic and entirely avoidable death?

    See,, or for examples of such systems.

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  • Sam Knox October 22, 2007 at 5:43 am

    I\’m not a bicyclist, but I was employed as a truck driver for more than 30 years. The last 12 of those 30 years were spent in a concrete transit-mixer that was, for all practical purposes, identical to the one involved in this accident.

    Television news reports showed that the truck had a convex mirror mounted just below the passenger side flat mirror, and a convex mirror mounted on the front of the right fender.

    If those mirrors are clean and properly adjusted, there is no \”blind spot\” on the right side of the truck. The images in a convex mirror are small and distorted, but a bicyclist stopped AT ANY POINT alongside on the right would have been plainly visible to the driver.

    If eyewitness accounts that the cyclist and truck were both stopped at the intersection before the accident are correct, then my opinion as a professional driver is that the operator of the mixer is 100% at fault in this case.

    Sam Knox

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  • John Peterson October 22, 2007 at 10:46 am
  • Robin October 22, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Sam and John thank you for your posts very interesting.

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  • Michael R October 22, 2007 at 2:06 pm


    Attentive observations regarding the mirrors. Thank you for pointing it out. I\’m surprised the investigating police missed that point, it would be central to collision analysis.

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  • annefi October 22, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    In one of the early photos of the truck taken right after the accident, it was plainly obvious that the mirror Sam describes as being mounted \”on the front of the right fender\” was turned inward, rendering it useless. An early poster commented on this also.

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  • You are on your own. « LandPhil October 22, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    […] in Uncategorized tagged Bikes, Death at 2:35 am by salsaramirez The Right Hook If you’ve ridden your bike around Philly, you’re probably familiar with an interesting […]

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  • Motoman October 22, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Someone told me today when her bike and the cement truck made contact she was knocked off the bicycle. She struck her head on the curb and died from head trauma. She was not wearing a helmet. Can anyone out there confirm this version of the facts?

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  • Oly October 23, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Motoman – See post #127 from an apparent witness. Sounds like Tracey might be alive today if not for false vanity/dumb rebellion/…? I can only guess at why someone with any common sense would choose not to wear a helmet when riding in traffic.

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  • Oly October 23, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    \”A medical examiner Friday said she died of neck and chest injuries.\”

    That comes from a news report, so I guess the head trauma thing was just a rumor.

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  • wsbob October 23, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Oly, what news report did you get that statement from? Could you post a link to it?

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  • […] What\’s New!, bicycle, portland | Tags: bicycle, bike, cyclist killed, news, portland oregon 19 year old Tracy Sparling was crushed by a cement mixing truck <em>in the bike lane</em> on Oct. 11, less than […]

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  • rixtir October 24, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Oly, what news report did you get that statement from? Could you post a link to it?

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  • A Friend January 19, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I knew Tracey very very well. I loved her like a sister and she loved me. She was pretty much part of my family, I grew up with her, she was my baby-sitter, and a good friend. It\’s taken me over 3 months just so that I could go up to Portland today and see where this happened. I love Tracey, always will, and I\’ll miss her forever.

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  • […] the investigation is ongoing, it appears that a young woman died as the result of the right hook, which I have talked about here previously. The photo in the […]

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  • […] ghost bike that served as a memorial to Tracey Sparling, the 19-year old art student who was struck and killed by a cement truck on W. Burnside back in 2007, will become part of a permanent shrine in St. Stephen’s […]

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