The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Another cyclist hit on Interstate

Posted by on November 6th, 2007 at 10:31 am

[Updated: 11/6, 10:19am, 11:17am; 11/7, 5:57am]

The scene.
(Photo: Adina Eggen)

A cyclist was hit this morning at the same spot where Brett Jarolimek was killed two weeks ago.

According to tips I’ve received from several readers, the collision took place this morning at around 8:40 am.

Witness Kristen West says a cyclist, whom the Oregonian has identified as Siobhan Doyle, was coming down N. Interstate and just as she approached the intersection with Greeley, a car (driven by 52 year-old Lisa Wheeler) that was also traveling south on Interstate turned right and struck the cyclist.

West says the cyclist was wearing a long-sleeved, fluorescent yellow jacket.

Other witnesses say the cyclist was laying on the median island at the apex of the Interstate/Greeley intersection. From reports at the scene the cyclist was put on a stretcher and taken away by ambulance but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries.

One reader, whom I’ll call Jane, called in and said she was riding directly behind the cyclist when this crash happened. She said, further up the hill on Interstate, the motorist made a very dangerous move into a parking lot, cutting off two bicyclists. Jane even considered following the car into the parking lot to tell her what she’d just done, but thought better of it.

Jane also said that, due to the driver’s dangerous maneuver, Jane slowed down as the intersection approached. She noticed the car had its blinker on and that the cyclist who was hit was “either right behind her or right next to her” when the collision occurred.

According to Jane, the collision flipped the 31 year-old cyclist over the car and the car ended up on top of the median island. Jane called 911 and said that the cyclist was “calm, although she was complaining about shoulder pain.”

Jane also spoke with the responding police officer. She told the officer about the near-miss altercation at the parking lot previous to the collision.

The police have issued no citations in this collision. I asked Police Bureau spokesman Brian Schmautz about this and here’s what he said:

“Determining fault at a collision is a function of an investigation. The Police Bureau will respond to any collision but unless there are trauma injuries our only role is to help with traffic control, confirm that there is not a crime involved in the collision (Reckless Driving, DUII, etc.) and confirm that all motorists have a valid drivers license and insurance. We will also help those involved fill out an exchange form so they can resolve their differences through their insurance companies.

Officers do not issue citations for a moving violation unless they have conducted an investigation. In cases like today’s collision there will be no citations issued because the collision did not meet the criteria for investigation.”

Many cyclists are understandably frustrated and a bit shaken to hear this news. Here are some snippets from emails I received just minutes after the collision:

“It was scary seeing her on the ground almost literally in the shadows of the ghost bike.”

“This is difficult to swallow given the massive amount of action and media attention that has sprung up in the last 2 weeks about bicycle and car awareness and education.”

Stay tuned for updates and developments on this story.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • pushkin November 6, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Prediction: no ticket for driver, gets off scott free. City will do nothing, Lt. Kruger will place blame on cyclist. Cyclist in turn will be blamed for collision.

    Just a guess.

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  • BikingViking November 6, 2007 at 10:35 am

    I\’m at a loss for words- two accidents in the same spot in less than two weeks.

    Here\’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

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  • toddistic November 6, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Kruger will absolve all responsibility of the driver because \”I didn\’t see the cyclist\” or \”the cyclist was going to fast\” et al. – per his normal rhetoric.

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  • Yoder November 6, 2007 at 10:43 am

    here\’s to a speedy recovery and a positive mental attitude. I for one will not be faulting anybody as a knee-jerk reaction.

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  • Dan November 6, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Not very helpful, but I rode past that intersection (southbound on Interstate) at app 8:55AM and there was nobody there.

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  • miss November 6, 2007 at 10:54 am

    I was right behind her. I called 911 and stayed with her until they took her away. I gave my info and description of the accident to the cop. Who said about the driver \”i dont think her reflexes are that good.\” after i said she seemed to speed up after hitting her and ran her over!

    The biker was miraculously calm and only complaining about her shoulder. She was hit by the car, flew over the car and then ran over by the car.

    The car driver had previously cut off two other bikers at the top of the hill when whipping into a parking lot and back out.
    She didn\’t appear to be sited at the scene. Hopefully she will be!

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  • Renee November 6, 2007 at 10:54 am

    I have chills. Everyone please be careful out there.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Yes, be prepared for the very successful \”I didn\’t see them\” defense.

    Once again, never an excuse!!!!

    It simply means you were not looking.

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  • Kevin November 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

    I rode by at 8:37. The Ambulance was already there and the cyclist was on a stretcher. The bike was city bike with flat bars. The it was leaning up against a sign and looked fine except for the front wheel was a bent. The car was a white Toyota Camry I think.

    The city really needs to close off that right turn ASAP. It is extremely dangerous, and not necessary.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 11:00 am

    By the way, I am not pointing fingers, or blame, as I was not there, but, a fact is a fact:

    If you pass a cyclist, then proceed to pull a right turn, well…

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  • dieselboi November 6, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I was on max and we rode by before any emergency vehicles had come. I bet I saw MISS attending to the bicyclist. It appeared the car was a white older model Ford Escort. The bicycle in the intersection was behind the car, implying the car drove over it.

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  • Adina Eggen November 6, 2007 at 11:03 am

    This was horrible!! I saw it with my partner as we came down Interstate today!! She was in tears, as this was her first day back on bike after being hit my a motorist 2 months ago. I was riding with her to celebrate her back on 2 wheels today, and when we saw the memorial for the cyclist killed last week with the backdrop of emergency vehicles at the bottom of Interstate, it was very disturbing. Email me for a picture from my phone.

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  • Kristen November 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

    I\’m with Yoder:

    Here\’s my wishes for a fast, full recovery!

    And no knee-jerk reaction from me; although witness accounts of the driver\’s behavior prior to this crash is making me think…

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  • Adina Eggen November 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

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  • eric November 6, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Is there a number for the Portland police where people can call and leave a witness statement for the crash? Is there an incident number or something?

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  • Kronda November 6, 2007 at 11:20 am

    This is ridiculous! And enraging. And sad. From the sound of comments so far, it sounds like the driver literally had no regard for the lives put at risk.

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  • kenichi November 6, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Seriously, what\’s the point of the southbound right turn from interstate to greeley? couldn\’t you just go to going and hit greeley or swan island from there? it seems like it\’s a right turn lane that could just be taken out.

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  • spencer November 6, 2007 at 11:34 am

    They need to fix that intersection with a stop sign or something. I wonder if the traffic engineer assigned that intersection has a sense of moral responsibility? Does he/she agonize about this and take each fatality and injury personally?

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  • Peter W November 6, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I agree with Kevin. There appears (from google maps) to be nothing off Greeley Ave between Interstate and Going St, so they could close the right turn to cars and if cars were traveling south and realized they needed to go somewhere on Greeley, they could turn left and go around the block at Knott St, then go North on Interstate and turn left at either Greeley or Going St.

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  • tonyt November 6, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Ditto kenichi #17

    I was about to ask the same thing.

    Why go all the way down Interstate, turn right on Greeley, and then go all the way up Greeley to end up where you could have been if you\’d done what kenichi just pointed out.

    An unnecessary intersection (the Interstate to Greeley part) that is racking up victims.

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  • Elly November 6, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Has any right-turn enforcement occurred at this intersection in the past two weeks? Sam Adams suggested during his press conference that such enforcement would be a priority, and this seems like a natural intersection for it (or better, as someone else suggested, to remove the option to turn right). The PPB seems to have missed a golden opportunity to quickly enact and publicize a heavy enforcement operation here. Though maybe the opportunity isn\’t lost if they step up quickly now.

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  • Anonymous November 6, 2007 at 11:37 am

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Rawls, Julie
    Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:21 AM
    To: PDC-DL All Staff
    Subject: Cyclist hit

    Dear staff:

    I was driving directly behind a car that hit a cyclist this morning coming in to work. It was a terrible thing to see. The accident happened at the SAME intersection of N. Greeley and Interstate Ave. where a cyclist was recently killed after being hit by a garbage truck. The driver was not watching or paying attention and turned right and directly into the cyclist sending her over the hood of the car. Then the driver panicked and hit the gas and drug her another 5 feet. We all got out of our cars and rushed over to assist the cyclist who was amazingly calm and composed. I heard paramedics say they thought she had a broken arm, shoulder and collar bone. I am so glad she was not killed.

    PLEASE, if you are driving a car, slow down and look all around you for cyclists. This accident was totally preventable. It was rush hour with cyclists all around. A person on a bike is no match for several tons of steel. I would also go as far as to say I do not feel riding a bike down Interstate through this intersection is safe for any cyclist at any time of day or night. Something must be done to fix this problem intersection.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 11:43 am

    \”They need to fix that intersection with a stop sign or something\”

    There is a traffic light there by the way.

    The way to \”try\” to fix a problem like this is to cancel right turn on red, or right turn without stopping, even when green, in the whole state.

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  • N.I.K. November 6, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Indeed, Elly. I really hope that those reports of a sting at Ladd\’s Circle this morning are inaccurate…it\’d be a real pisser to see an enforcement action going on down there and nothing having done at this point on Interstate which one would think would be a hell of a lot more relevant to safety concerns, what with something deadly actually having transpired there and all…

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  • brd November 6, 2007 at 11:47 am

    I have commuted down Interstate for the past 4 years 3-4 days per week and never seen an accident at Greeley.

    I agree with the post about removing that right. There is no reason for it.

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  • brian November 6, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Definately a time for another meeting of big wigs to blabber on and on…

    Or how bout some good old fashioned enforcement? The law enforcement around here is pathetic.

    Lower speed limits. Signficant enforcement with penelties that stick. The education portion will just happen because people don\’t like paying fines. It is time to reduce traffic stress and fuel consumption for everyone.

    The unfortunate fact is 90% of the people out there like it it the way it is. Drive like you own the world.


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  • spencer November 6, 2007 at 11:56 am


    The signal there is to control the traffic from Greely, Interstate and the light rail crossing. By making everybody, in all directions, stop at that intersection you drastically reduce the speeds involved and increase the amount of time for people to react and to see each other.

    People turn right infront of me all the time, but running a space barrier and the grace of the Avid BB7s has kept me upright so far. The intersate down hill is about speed, and the number of bike skid marks there, attest to the number of near misses.

    Banning turns, be it right or left, is not a universal solution. Routing of bike boulevards minimizing right turn opportunities and/or speed is a lot better approach. For example, copare interstate to greely from Adidas south. Interstate is full of vehicles turning right. The only two objective hazards on Greely are the merge from Swan Island and crossing the lane just before you get to Interstate.

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  • mary November 6, 2007 at 11:57 am

    As a commuter up in clark county, and have had many \”near misses\” my heart goes out to the cyclist.

    Please be careful out there everyone.

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  • mac November 6, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    I ride this stretch every morning, and it always freaks me out a bit. And I wrote to Sam Adams last week stating the same things others have pointed out, that there is on reason for that right turn onto Greeley from southbound Interstate. Just out of curiosity, I rode up Greeley last week, and there is not even a driveway between Greeley and Going. (Although cars turning right onto Going from Southbound Interstate is also a problem, at least bikes there aren\’t going to fast. The once a week or so that I am cut off, I have time to stop–so far.)

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    They would never put just stop signs there, as the liability of allowing people to make their own decisions as to when to cross the Max tracks is huge.

    You may recall recently a cyclist, when pacing someone during the marathon, went under the Max train there also, when heading north.

    A stop sign there is unrealistic, sorry.

    One reality is:

    Even though we do not have a police force capable of enforcing it, no right turn on red is a very good idea.

    What might you imagine is one (and the main) reason that some states allow right turn on red? To keep traffic flowing smoothly.

    What might be one reason that most states do not allow it?

    Safety. This is exactly why the privilege should be revoked.

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  • K November 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Just like I always say at work, policy is nothing without enforcement. No one cares about rules unless there are consequences.

    I feel bad for her broken bones but am happy she is alive.

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  • N.I.K. November 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Lower speed limits.

    Or, you know, actually ENFORCE the existing ones instead of playing that \”10-15mph buffer\” card. Too many folks behave as though speed limits are a vague recommendation extracted from someone\’s ass rather than a rule.

    Otherwise, 100% agreed, brian! 🙂

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  • miss November 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks Julie for taking the time to alert your staff!

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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    How can you expect the PPB to enforce laws that, when broken, cause severe injuries and death when they\’re busy stinging cyclists in Ladd\’s Addition, where rolling bike stops have never hurt anyone?

    My thoughts are with the victim. It\’s time we do something to make this stop.

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  • Andy November 6, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    There was another crash on west burnside last night (5-11) around 20th. Anyone know anything about that one?

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  • K November 6, 2007 at 12:14 pm
  • tonyt November 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Amen N.I.K.

    Speed LIMIT. As in the LIMIT for how fast you can drive.

    Want a ticket buffer?! Try driving below the limit.

    But then again, before we expect cops to enforce the rules, perhaps they could OBEY them. Imagine COPS yielding to pedestrians at all intersections as required by law. Boy that\’ll be the day.

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  • Steve Brown November 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Do not travel through any intersection with a motor vehicle on your left or right, be ahead or behind. I was hooked in July and have adopted this new behavior since. Yesterday I made sure I was behind a car and just missed getting hooked in the same intersection. We all have to ride assuming a car will make the turn!

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  • Joe November 6, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    TOTAL NUTS!! loss for words again.

    Get Well Soon Please!


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  • Zaphod November 6, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    This does put the Ladd\’s sting into stark relief. It seems we have the organization here to emulate the volume of complaints that the homeowners did @Ladds to get some enforcement out where it is needed. What number do we call? Who do we write? Lets all get on the same page and send a clear message that cannot be ignored.

    Very glad that Siobhan will be OK. I hope for a speedy recovery.

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  • Patrick November 6, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    I didn not witness the accident. I work at the Kaiser up the hill. I commute there everyday. If any officals are looking for input from cyclists who ride that route every day. I\’d be interested.

    I\’m no longer taking this route to/from work anymore. This is crazy.

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  • Andy November 6, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    According to The Oregonian, \”the cyclist escaped serious injury.\” According to a comment above, \”I heard paramedics say they thought she had a broken arm, shoulder and collar bone.\”

    Am I the only one who thinks a broken arm, shoulder and collar bone are serious injuries? Granted, they are as bad as, say, death. But they\’re no fun. But maybe the report in the comment wasn\’t acccurate….

    What\’s more alarming is the conclusion of the report by The Oregonian: \”Police do not routinely investigate accidents in which no one was seriously injured. No citations have been issued.\”

    So, in addition to it being OK to hit cyclists you didn\’t see, it\’s also OK to hit cyclists as long as you don\’t injure them very badly?

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  • Donald November 6, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    And here\’s a nice little tidbit to foment about:

    \”Doyle was taken to an area hospital but she was not seriously hurt. Police do not routinely investigate accidents in which no one was seriously injured. No citations have been issued.\”

    If there\’s a backboard and an ambulance involved, I\’d say somebody was injured. Who gets to define \’seriously\’?

    Since Brett\’s death, I\’ve really been reconsidering my support of bike lanes that put riders to the right of cars at intersections. Having been a PDX bike commuter since the halcyon days the early 90s, I guess I\’ve developed some street savvy that has somehow let me escape being \’hooked\’ so far. But my close calls are getting closer and more frequent and I\’m finding myself in guerilla traffic mode more and more often.


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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Andy, I agree. I have broken my collar bone and, take it from me, it fu**ing hurts. For months and months.

    And for what? Because you couldn\’t be bothered to follow the law?

    \”So, in addition to it being OK to hit cyclists you didn\’t see, it\’s also OK to hit cyclists as long as you don\’t injure them very badly?\”

    Yes. Lt Kruger has told the public this over and over. The (irrelevant) Mayor has nothing to say, and Chief Ditz just lets the Nazi run his mouth. None of these people give a damn about the health and safety of Portland cyclists.

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  • Brian Johnson November 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Yep. It\’s all a matter of \”perception\”. The driver must have \”perceived\” that it was safe to make the turn.

    No citation! No fine! No failure to yield!

    Good grief… this is just nuts.

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  • Anonymous November 6, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Get well soon!

    If police don\’t press charges, Siobahn should. \”Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 133.045 and 133.060 create the procedures which allow you to initiate a prosecution. The statutes provide that once you draft and file a complaint or a citation the police must personally serve the defendant with a summons to appear in court. This means even if law enforcement was indifferent to your initial report, once you properly begin the procedure, they are required by law to go to the residence or business of the defendant driver and serve the papers. A court date will be set for the defendant\’s appearance, or trial if it is a traffic court matter, and you will be given the opportunity to present your side of the story. Of course, the defendant will also be entitled to defend the charge.\” – From

    There\’s even a reference to Mark Ginsberg from when he was a law student. 🙂

    I was run over intentionally a number of years back and had one of these successfully prosecuted. Perpetrator: 10 days in jail, loss of his CDL (thus job) and probation. You have to be persistent.

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  • Anonymouse November 6, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Get well soon!

    If police don\’t press charges, Siobahn should. \”Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 133.045 and 133.060 create the procedures which allow you to initiate a prosecution. The statutes provide that once you draft and file a complaint or a citation the police must personally serve the defendant with a summons to appear in court. This means even if law enforcement was indifferent to your initial report, once you properly begin the procedure, they are required by law to go to the residence or business of the defendant driver and serve the papers. A court date will be set for the defendant\’s appearance, or trial if it is a traffic court matter, and you will be given the opportunity to present your side of the story. Of course, the defendant will also be entitled to defend the charge.\” – From

    There\’s even a reference to Mark Ginsberg from when he was a law student. 🙂

    I was run over intentionally a number of years back and had one of these successfully prosecuted. Perpetrator: 10 days in jail, loss of his CDL (thus job) and probation. You have to be persistent.

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  • CN November 6, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Here\’s my idea, again:

    Double or triple fines for moving violations wherever bike lanes, sharrows, etc. are on the pavement. Hit drivers in the pocketbook. This type of \”zone enforcement\” is done on freeways where construction is being done. Why not on city streets?

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  • Matt Picio November 6, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Dabby (#30) said: \”What might be one reason that most states do not allow it?\” (right turn on red)

    I\’m presuming you mean in specific instances, and not statewide – all 50 states have allowed right turn on red since 1980. You very correctly identify why specific intersections frequently prohibit it, but that\’s usually due to oncoming traffic from the side or the front – not from behind.

    I\’m not sure prohibiting on red would do anything in this case anyway. If the light is red, the cyclist should be slowing to a stop. It\’s when the car overtakes a cyclist and turns across the bike lane on a green light without checking their blind spot that is the problem. (presuming that\’s what happened here)

    I agree with previous commentors that the turn seems redundant, though it does serve to allow people who miss the turn at Going to then get to where they want to go without having to turn around near the railyard. That area has a lot of non-through streets that are confusing for those who don\’t travel it often.

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  • tonyt November 6, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Steve #38

    \”Do not travel through any intersection with a motor vehicle on your left or right, be ahead or behind.\”

    I understand what you\’re getting at, but are you suggesting that you come to a halt everytime you approach an intersection to insure that a car won\’t be next to you at that moment? What does that force the bikes behind you to do? Or the responsible driver who was timing their turn behind you? What happens if there is a lot of traffic, insuring that at almost every point you are next to someone? Sometimes the sad fact is that there is no \”safe\” only safer, and we really do rely on others doing what they should.

    I ride defensively, and pretty much assume that I am NOT seen, but there is a point where \”defensive\” riding becomes so unpredictable and reactive, that it makes things more dangerous.

    We don\’t like to admit that there are times when there is nothing we can do, because we like to emphasize our sense of control. But imagine, you\’re riding, approaching this intersection and a car passes you and immediately turns right. By witnessess\’ accounts, this is what occurred.

    It sounds to me like you\’re just trying to convince yourself that it wouldn\’t have happened to you.

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  • Matt Picio November 6, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    This stretch of road might benefit from one of those radar signboards like you sometimes see in front of the schools (I\’m talking about the permanent structures, not the mobile ones) to give visual feedback to both drivers and cyclists as to their speed.

    Anyone know as to how effective those signs REALLY are? I\’ve heard that they work, at least in the school zones, but do they work without accompanying enforcement?

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  • Qwendolyn November 6, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Tonyt in post #48 is spot-on.

    Short of getting off your bike and walking it around town, there is sometimes nothing that one can do to be any safer.

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  • Qwendolyn November 6, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    oops, tonyt in post #50

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  • Donald November 6, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    @ Matt #51

    I don\’t know about my fellow cyclists, but when I see a radar readout of my speed when I\’m on a bike, it\’s reads to me as a challenge to make a personal best. (I actually posted a call for highest speeds recorded on temp readouts that were posted in the vancouver/williams corridor earlier this year.)

    Oddly enough, these same signs do cause me to hit the brake when I see them while driving my car.

    But I can imagine anything at the bottom of a hill that gives a rider\’s speed, would just be an invitation for disaster.


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  • bahueh November 6, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    a.o….to paramedics, with everything they see on a regular basis, a few broken bones are NOT serious…as they are NOT serious for ED physicians or staff. They may be painful for you and out of your norm, they they aren\’t medically \’serious\’…..its professional terminology and shouldn\’t be over analyzed in this situation..
    if she was breathing and coherent with reactive pupils and a heartrate, its not serious…

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  • pfarthing6 November 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Perhaps during heavy commute times, when there are lots of cyclists about, we all could just naturally group together and TAKE our right of way rather than being nice about it all and doing the old single file thing.

    Motorist just don\’t seem to realize how much we give up for their sake…and what do we get in return? MARGINALIZED and THREATENED. If we can\’t count of government to protect us (right), then we have to start protecting ourselves by changing our habits.

    The fellow who said that he now rides differently to avoid accidents is right on. We all should do something differently and make no assumption about the robots in their steel boxes.

    I do the same. In front or in back, never on the side unless they are trapped in traffic…and then \”slow\” since doors pop open when least expected.

    And whenever I\’m around a couple of other cyclists, I group up and take my share of the road.

    BTW everyone, lane sharing is illegal. So, if there isn\’t a bike lane, and the situation is questionable/unsafe, you need to take your place in the lane. No way that they can say they \”didn\’t see you\” then.

    Don\’t know if there was a bike lane at the intersection, but if not, then the driver should be cited for illegal passing and lane sharing. But if the cyclist was going straight in a right turn lane, then, I\’m afraid the fault is clearly not just the motorists.

    Communication and organization. That\’s how our species has survived bigger predators. Just think of cars as big predators with tiny little brains…not far from the truth really.

    Any way, good vibes and speedy recovery to Siobhan.

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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    That sounds great, bahueh. Why don\’t you go explain that to Siobhan.

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  • pfarthing6 November 6, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Oh, and as far as the sting operation in Ladds that people are concerned about: What if we all just rode throuh there like other vehicels takeing our lane, coming to complete stops, and force cars to do stupid things like pass unsafely, so that they get a ticket.

    Would be really cools if we could get text messages or something telling us where the sting is so we can put on a show right in front of \’em. Anything like that setup here?

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  • bahueh November 6, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    time to contact Potter:


    Like I said, my experience in the medical field….yes, it hurts…I understand, but if you\’re really trying to antagonize the situation by exploiting what a paramedic said, you\’re barking up the wrong tree.
    the girl\’s going to get the same message in the hospital ED today, trust me…
    she\’s stable, she\’s alive, its not serious. move on. it\’ll suck, it\’ll involve rehab, it\’ll be painful, I\’ve been there myself.
    don\’t attack me for bringing a paramedics perspective to the table, it\’s ineffectual.

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  • Moo November 6, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    How about a no turn on right red light, that can only be triggered to green by a vehicle when it comes to a complete stop for a few seconds. Kind of like the opposite of the bike crossing signal at the N. end of the esplenade.

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  • Bicycledave November 6, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    I don\’t think medically serious is the proper standard to use when judging if injuries are serious enough to warrant an investigation by police.

    I would argue that a trip to the hospital is serious enough (though it may not be medically serous).

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  • Stripes November 6, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Here we go again.

    The Oregonian says the \”cyclist collided with the car\”.

    The car collided with the bicyclist.

    Awful reporting.

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  • Stripes November 6, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    ps – my understanding of the law is that if the damage is over $1500, it warrants a report by the police. I hope one was made. Broken bones cost a lot of money.

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  • Del Duncan November 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Man, this is interesting, terrifying, insane, a lot of descriptors. I monitor this site in my newsreader from Albquerque, NM and find it interesting that in a city that is so touted as \”bike friendly\” to be having so many of these issues. Same here, as we just had someone killed on a very popular bike route and to date, no citation, etc. Same kind of police non-response which makes me sick (and even more so as my Dad is a retired police lieutenant, and I can guarantee his responses would not be to excuse drivers).

    We just had a local duathlon close by this weekend, and I was driving home from breakfast through the bike route. Signs everywhere warning people to slow down. Speed limit is 55 through that stretch.. I was going 45 as there were bikers in both directions. Idiot behind me can\’t wait and passes me going at least 70. It\’s simply hard to understand and I think it comes to down to plain rudeness and a me-first mentality that society has.

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  • Aaron November 6, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Why all the talk about right turns on red? If the light was red, the cyclist shouldn\’t have been in the intersection.

    If the light was green, then a right turn on red law would be irrelevant.

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  • Peddler November 6, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    KGW is reporting with the heading of \”Bicyclist hit in same spot where cyclist was killed two weeks ago.\”

    We will see how long till they change it to \” Cyclist coliided with car.\”

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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    bahueh, I didn\’t attack you nor did I \”try[]to antagonize the situation.\”

    I only pointed out that such overly-technical use of the term \”serious injury\” fails to capture the suffering of the victim, which is most certainly intense.

    Then I invited you, if you want to throw around notions like, \”broken bones are NOT serious,\” to go explain yourself to Siobhan. In fact, why don\’t you wait a few days or weeks to tell her, after they\’re no longer giving her good opiates but still every time she tries to move her shoulder it feels like she\’s being stabbed. That\’d be a good time. Be sure to emphasize the \”NOT\” part again, too.

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  • Steve Brown November 6, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    To tonyt #50 What I am saying is position yourself to be seen. Take the lane if you must. I still have enough pop left in my legs to move ahead or slow down if needed. You cannot eliminate all the things that might happen. But you can increase your chances of getting back home in one piece if you eliminate the obvious. I have taken a couple of hard hits on the pavement with no cars around so things do happen. I was not saying I would not have been hit. Just that my new level of distrust and a little braking when I might have hammered through an intersection a couple of months ago saved me yesterday.

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  • Zach November 6, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Mr. Potter –

    I am writing to encourage you (as Police Commissioner) to step up enforcement of specific traffic laws that directly affect bike safety.

    Two recent deaths followed by today\’s serious (but thankfully not fatal) collision on Interstate Avenue make it clear that you need to direct the police department\’s traffic division to enforce ORS 811.050, a law which requires motorists to yield to cyclists within bicycle lanes in order to protect the safety of the thousands and thousands of Portlanders who depend on safe roads for transportation every day.

    Lt. Mark Krueger, commander of the traffic division, has made it clear in public statements that he does not agree with this law. Not only is it not his position to decide which laws to enforce, but his statements directly affect my safety as a cyclist. I hope you will consider instructing Chief Sizer to reassign Lt. Kruger to a different position immediately, as he has demonstrated that he is not interested in or capable of enforcing important traffic laws.

    (name and address redacted)

    Also sent a similar one to

    I\’m not optimistic about getting any results, but if they hear from enough people you never know.

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  • Peter C November 6, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I know the mission of CopWatch is not to catch under-enforcing officers like Kruger, but can we get those guys to share some expertise? Maybe they can advise the cycling community on how to get this guy moved to a different desk and replaced by an officer or officers who are less shy about ticketing drivers.
    Additionally, I plan to post a sign up on Interstate saying \”Cyclists: Take the Lane\” and I expect it to be removed by the city. While we wait for Sam Adams and his committees to help, how about we get involved at the street level posting (and re-posting)signs at known and playing crossing guard if necessary. It would sicken me to have another ghost bike at an intersection known for trouble or that has seen a collision this year.

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  • Robin November 6, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    And to think last week I was just past all my anxiety about commuting. This is totally unacceptable. To think that this woman may not even be ticketed is infuriating. Now I will take a moment and say a prayer for the Rider and everyone on the roads today.

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  • Kori November 6, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Portland Police needs to send the message that hitting or killing anyone (including cyclists) with a car is not acceptable. I am outraged at the lack of citations in the case of \”I didn\’t see\” because I didn\’t look drivers hitting cyclists. Cars are have the potential to be weapons… if I randomly shoot a gun and \”don\’t see\” someone is it okay to hit them?!

    I think we all need to join forces with the BTA and other local organizations and demand the police enforce the laws. I think closing that right turn is a great idea. At minimum a LARGE sign should be placed mid hill on Interstate to warn drivers and cyclist of this problem.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    I have been told in the past (by the office of Sam Adams) that signs placed are generally not taken down unless a legitimate complaint from a business is filed.

    This was in reference to a memorial sign I was trying to have put up for a Fallen Cyclist, downtown.

    I was told it was against city ordinance for them to put one up, but if I put one up, it would not be taken down unless complained about.

    So, possibly signage would last a little while, and help slightly. And receiving nods from local businesses ahead of time would help the situation.

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  • Jim November 6, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Shut down that intersection today! Make it happen PDOT, Sam, etc! Its gotta happen!

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  • Joe November 6, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    I just feel the \” Target \” on my back just got bigger.. thanks media..

    just got of a short ride to the store had
    a Teen layin on the horn, trucks running red lights getting close to me. you name it today its happend..

    all in a 1 mile.. ahhhhh

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  • girl on a bike November 6, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Welcome to Portland, where police officers are either \”too busy\” or too apathetic to respond appropriately to life-threatening situations involving cyclists or pedestrians, and will instead excuse away dangerous behavior by motorists … or anyone who happens to be wearing a police uniform.

    What are they \”too busy\” doing? By my count, lately it looks like they\’ve been:

    – sexually molesting women (hello, Officer Matthew Kohnke!)
    – having sex on the job with severely autistic people (lookin\’ at you, Officer Jason Faulk)
    – writing stiff penalty tickets for bike riders at intersections that shouldn\’t even have stop signs
    – and, well, they haven\’t tasered anyone to death lately, so I guess that\’s something. Point for the cops.

    Way to go, \”law enforcement.\”

    I\’ve been pretty disgusted with Portland Police before, but this is getting ridiculous.

    I really hope nobody feels like this comment is a cheap shot. These are the POLICE, for frak\’s sake. We clearly can\’t count on them to protect or defend us as law-abiding cyclists … and apparently as a woman, I can\’t even count on them to NOT HURT me for personal gain.

    It\’s horrifying. Shame, shame on the police. I\’m writing to Rosie Sizer right now.

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  • joe adamski November 6, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Ever consider a class action lawsuit against the Police?.. failure to provide equal protection. Holding cyclists and cars to different standards sure sounds like grounds for a case.That citation, issued or not, is crucial in any further action, post-collision.

    If I right-turned from the center lane in front of a car in the right lane,causing a collision; I would be held at fault. But that same situation crossing through a bike lane is a different case.

    A legal fund,ready and available for future incidents would give notice to the City that \’we\’re not gonna take it\’ and might cause some consideration of the attitudes about bikes and collisions.

    Is everyone else as agitated as I am?

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  • Doug November 6, 2007 at 2:31 pm


    In a previous post you mentioned a petition you were putting together in order to address the issue of Lt. Kruger\’s obvious bias and refusal to enforce existing law.

    Where does that stand?

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  • Julie Rawls November 6, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    It\’s Julie again….the woman driving behind the car that hit the cyclist today. Wanted to respond to blogs about injuries. I believe her injuries were serious. I was standing right there as the paramedics gently lifted her from the street onto a plastic flat board – and she cried out in terrible pain. I would not be surprised if she suffered broken ribs (which are very painful) on top of her other injuries. I have also e-mailed Sam Adams today to plead with him to do something about this intersection.

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  • hank2125 November 6, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    I ride that stretch of interstate everyday into downtown and up terwilliger to the veterans hospital,the police could sting any part of that route to bust speeders or the legions of drivers that speed up to beat a yellow turning red, I\’ve been lucky more times than I can count because I\’ve hesitated just a second before moving into an intersection and watched as some driver on a cellphone blows through a red, that happens every morning downtown, in the afternoon when I come down terwilliger there isn\’t a car obeying the speed limit, I\’m doing over the posted 25 and I\’m being passed by people flying down the hill drifting into the bike lane it\’s chaos. I saw the story kgw ran and I\’d say if anybody wants to know what it\’s really like to ride a bike in portland, they should actually get on a bike, I know what it\’s like to drive but how many drivers know what it\’s like to deal with cars and the hostile attitudes towards those of us the are committed to biking. The ppb does not seem interested in policing any kind of car bike dispute so we riders will just have to be extra careful, easier said than done.

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  • tonyt November 6, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Stripes #63

    You bring up an interesting point. I\’ve heard the same thing before, and what I heard related to PROPERTY damage, not bodily injury. Anyway perhaps a.O can chime in as to whether it is true or not.

    But for the sake of argument, let\’s say it\’s true.

    It would be a perfect example of why the system is set up in favor of cars.

    If I ran a red light for instance, and hit a car, I\’d be hard pressed to NOT cause $1,500 worth of damage. Even just a scratch could easily exceed the cut-off point. A report would be made and a \”bad\” cyclist would be a matter of record.

    If a driver ran a red light and hit me while I was on my old lugged steel Specialized Allez, they could shred that bike and not come up to $1,500. No report would be made and the actions of the \”bad\” driver would never be reflected in the statistics.

    Anyone know for sure if this $1,500 thing is true, or just legend?

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  • SammyD November 6, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Stripes (62),
    You are nitpicking with the writing. A cyclist colliding with a car is the same as a car colliding with a cyclist.
    And the rest of the article indicates that the car hit the cyclist, the car struck the cyclist.

    As for the \”Take the Lane\” signs on the interstate,
    Instead, while we wait for something to be done about this problem, how about posting signs reminding drivers to be wary of the bike lane when turning right, and signs reminding cyclists to be wary of cars turning right. When I learned to drive I was told to never assume other cars know what their doing (ie, just because they have their signal on doesn\’t mean they\’ll turn any time soon) So perhaps drivers and cyclists need some reminding that they can\’t predict each others behavior.

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  • […] 6th, 2007 · No Comments Today another cyclist was hit at the intersection of Interstate and Greeley.  The cyclist broke some bones but she’ll be […]

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I am sorry to bring this up but;

    \”- writing stiff penalty tickets for bike riders at intersections that shouldn\’t even have stop signs\”

    This is still very illegal, ( a yield at a stop sign) and bringing it up in a complaint or suit would do nothing more than to take away the validity of such allegations. If we start using legitimate citations in order to gain leverage, everyone will pay in the long run.

    You could add: writing citations for a poorly worded and badly interpreted braking ordinance, while admitting that the perpetrator has legitimate brakes. ($242) ( It has been the practice for certain officers to admit that a bike does have proper and able brakes, while writing the ticket for no brakes)

    And: Profiling of a certain sector of the cycling community.

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  • ds November 6, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Link to accident report

    The criteria:
    Damage to your vehicle is over $1500
    Injury (No matter how minor)
    Damage to any one person’s property over $1500
    Any vehicle has damage over $1500 and any vehicle
    is towed from the scene as a result of damages

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  • David Dean November 6, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    It is outrageous that no citations have been issued in the deaths and injuries of cyclists yet the PPB is wasting time and money enforcing stop signs at one of the safest intersections in Portland.

    There are great people in the PPB but we clearly don\’t have the right people in the right places. It is time for a leadership change.

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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    \”[a].O.: In a previous post you mentioned a petition you were putting together in order to address the issue of Lt. Kruger\’s obvious bias and refusal to enforce existing law. Where does that stand?\”

    We got off track while researching a legal issue. But the petition is basically written. I don\’t have much time to coordinate this, but could really use some help. Rixter?

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  • SkidMark November 6, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Obviously the problem here is motorists NOY YIELDING TO CYCLISTS – AS PER THE LAW!

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  • girl on a bike November 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Dabby, your point is taken. And as easily as I complain about how pointless this kind of police \”action\” is, I\’m one of the cyclists who DOES stop at stop signs, will never roll through red lights, etc. Infractions or not, hassling cyclists should be much, much lower on any cop\’s to-do list.

    The point I was making was about apparent police PRIORITIES. Citing cars who smoosh cyclists to death? Not a priority. Citing cyclists who commit minor traffic infractions? PRIORITY! SET UP A STING!!

    I appreciate your level-headedness, but I\’m so riled up, I\’m surprised I can be even this coherent. I mean, think about it, really — based on what\’s been happening lately, I can foresee not only being pulled over on my bike for something like an \”illegal lane change\”, but being asked to show the cop my panties while we\’re at it.

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  • Robin November 6, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I noticed some people mention they wrote Sam Adams today. I did as well. Let our law makes hear us load and clear and perhaps we will see action on the part of the police.

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  • SammyD November 6, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Since the $1500 policy seems to be between vehicles and not involves bikes, here\’s something relevant to collisions b/t cyclists and drivers.

    In Portland: \”city police maintain a departmental policy of facilitating exchange of information between the parties to an accident, but not investigating or issuing citations in traffic accidents unless one of the parties is placed into the area hospital Trauma system, the driver has an outstanding warrant or a suspended license.\”

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  • cb November 6, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    I biked passed the scene this morning about 10 minutes after the accident and I hope the cyclist has a speedy recovery. I think the City needs to do something at that intersection right away.

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  • pdxrunner November 6, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    How can I write a ticket to the PPB for not doing their job? We need a refund of our tax dollars, because the Portland Police are just wasteing them. Potter and his crew have got to go before more people die!

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  • kg November 6, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Maybe a few more stories about how cyclists run stop signs in Ladds Addition would help.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Also, I forget hw to properly do it, but I recall that if a citation is not served on someone who, for example, has run you over, there is proper wording that can be used in order to force a investigation into the cause of an accident, and possibly result in charges or a citation after the fact.

    Hopefully someone will help me out here with this. I believe it was even covered here on this site.

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  • Motorist November 6, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    @Pfarthing #56

    \”Robots in their steel boxes\”

    I realize there are alot of bad drivers out there, just as there are alot of bad cyclists.

    However, generalizing, and referring to those of us who are motorists as \”Robots in their steel boxes\” is key to part of the problem around here.

    I do not cycle. I either drive or I walk. Cycling doesn\’t work for my career, and for whatever reason, I have always disliked riding a bike.

    It does not mean I am a robot. It does not mean I do not care about the environment.

    Everyday I drive carefully and safely, watching out for those that cycle and those that walk. I do not want to see anyone hurt.

    I have tried time and time again to open a dialog with cyclists about various areas that are dangerous or questionable. Time and time again I have been met with no response. Time and time again I have been met harshly.

    I have written many letters to our city leaders, asking for help on this matter because I don\’t want to see anyone getting hurt. Because we are all a part of a community that must work together to make it happen safe and securely. We must share the roads legally.

    Riding a bicycle does not necessarily make you a better person than someone who doesn\’t.

    I do not eat meat because I care about the environment. I use renewable energy because I care about the environment. If I don\’t need to use energy – I don\’t, i.e., I air dry my laundry. I buy local. I thrive locally. I carpool. I harvest rainwater. etc. I do this because I want to have the least amount of negative impact on this earth as I can.

    But I will not assume myself to be a better person than those who do not take the actions above.

    I will not lower myself to derogatory name calling to those who I do not know. They might be making a positive difference in ways I don\’t realize.

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  • BILL November 6, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    I feel for the family. Opinions aside, this does not change the fact this was a terrible event. Having said that, I have passed through this intersection at a high rate of speed many times. Whether that intersection or any other intersection, I have never come close to hitting a vehicle that was in front of me. I have been cut off, nearly swiped, and been left uncertain of a motorists intentions. There is a responsibility with the motorist for sure, but my god, I have never seen a group so out of touch with reality.

    Be accountable for yourself and stop with this saving the world BS. I love this city, I really do, but the countless number of clowns that want to be coddled need to take a ride down 3rd Ave in Midtown Manhattan…and shut up. You are on a freaking bike. It does not make you special. It should create a heightened sense of awareness because of how exposed you are to any number of elements. Lastly, if you need a cause to float your boat, find something better to do with your time. Lobbying for a bicyclist who did not check his ego at the door is a silly battle to fight.

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  • tonyt November 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    ds #85,

    Not sure if you were responding to me (#81), but that link to the report is interesting. It still doesn\’t answer the question though.

    What are the conditions under which a report MUST be filed?

    We know that if the injury is \”serious\” a report must be filed. That makes sense, although the definition of what constitues \”serious\” is certainly up for debate.

    My question is whether there is a property damage threshold beyond which a report MUST be filed.

    Having experienced the bias of the PPB first hand, I know that the scenario I illustrated in #81 happens all too often. I would like to see less latitude available to the police in this regard.

    We won\’t ever get a true sense of who\’s at fault in most car/bike collisions until all car/bike collisions are reported. As it is, the cops get to decide what gets reported. That allows them to skew, consciously or not, the numbers. They then get to advocate targeted enforcement based on the numbers that they themselves had a hand in manipulating.

    There isn\’t a real check in the system to insure that the data we are getting is a reflection of what is really happening.

    I understand that many people here are looking forward to Sam Adams getting elected Mayor, and I myself would probably vote for him. But we can\’t allow our votes to be \”givens.\” We need to squeeze some answers and opinions out of the guy before we throw our weight behind him.

    Will he demand more thorough reporting of collisions?

    Is he open to changes in PPB leadership?

    We have to hold his feet to the fire, not because he doesn\’t want to help us, but because we have to provide him with the political cover. Sam Adams has to be able to point to us and say, \”I had to.\”

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  • Nelson Muntz November 6, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Keep the pressure on City Hall and the PPB. The current mayor may not do a thing since cops generally won\’t turn on their brethren but when Mayor Adams takes office, the PPB going to be under the microscope.

    Keep reminding Sam from now until Election Day 2008 that bicycle safety and bad cops are the first two items on his agenda the moment he becomes mayor.

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  • sarah hobbs November 6, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    First Brett, now the accident today. While I would like to think the police would do the right thing here, I am not going to hold my breath. Cyclists here are seen as expendable.

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  • David Dean November 6, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    We need more accountability. We need black boxes in cars to be reviewed after collisions and we need SPEED CAMERAS. There is no reason to put in speed bumps and roundabouts, which obstruct emergency vehicles, when we can put in revenue generating enforcement mechanisms.

    Oh yeah, and we need to enforce the laws as they are written.

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  • Stripes November 6, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Isn\’t it sort of messed up that if an irresponsible driver crashes & causes $1500 of damage or more to another person\’s property, the police will file a report.

    But if an irresponsible driver crashes & causes $1500 of damge or more to another person\’s body or life, the police don\’t.

    And people say America isn\’t obsessed with materialism.


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  • mac (not a lawyer) November 6, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    If anyone posting or reading here knows Siobhan, she may have a legal action against the City, as well as the driver. Because of the Oregon Tort Claims Act, however, she\’ll need to get an attorney and file notice with the City quickly. This could make the City wake up and act more quickly.

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  • David Dean November 6, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    \”Will he demand more thorough reporting of collisions?

    Is he open to changes in PPB leadership?

    We have to hold his feet to the fire, not because he doesn\’t want to help us, but because we have to provide him with the political cover. Sam Adams has to be able to point to us and say, \”I had to.\”\”

    Well put!

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  • SammyD November 6, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    tonyt #96
    To answer your question regarding thresholds b/t vehicle and cycles: Police will not investigate or issue citations unless any party involved is sent to the hospital\’s Trauma system. I found this from the source I listed in my earlier post (91). Not a direct source from the police or the transportation safety, but I trust it.

    Stripes #101
    I hope this is a sufficient correction to your post.

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  • mbannon November 6, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    I ride down Interstate Ave once or twice a week and that\’s a scary intersection. Very easy for either the cyclist or the driver to mess up, with dire consequences.

    At the very least, I think the city should add warning signs as you descend the hill pointing out the dangers of blind spots and right-hook car-cycle collisions.

    It might be even better to make that intersection a stop sign instead of a stoplight.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    I will vote for Sam If he: (for starters)

    Helps and or encourages heavily, the Demotion of Rosie Sizer, who must be now, and has been in the past, been part of the root system of cycling problems with the Portland Police.

    And, let\’s go (as in no more police man role playing) Officer Kruger, who\’s incompetency may be enough to get him promoted, but is not even close to enough to provide safety for those he is paid by, and to, protect.

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  • SammyD November 6, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    tonyt #96
    To answer your question regarding thresholds b/t vehicle and cycles: Police will not investigate or issue citations unless any party involved is sent to the hospital\’s Trauma system. I found this from the source I listed in my earlier post (91). Not a direct source from the police or the transportation safety, but I trust it.

    Stripes #101
    I hope this is a sufficient correction to your post.

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  • JL November 6, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    According to OPB news:

    Brian Schmautz: “It sounds like what happened in this case is that the bicyclist was going straight, the motorist was turning and probably didn’t clear their mirror before they started to make their turn. But remember, when an officer issues a citation, the officer has to go to court and prove to a judge that their conclusion was appropriate. If you do no investigation, how do you say what happened?

    Schmautz says police policy is to only investigate accidents in which someone is seriously injured. Since Doyle is okay, he says, there will be no investigation and consequently police can’t issue a citation.

    This is outrageous! No citation when the bicyclists were killed, and no citation when a bicyclist\’s injury is not \”serious\” enough. So, when is the time to enforce the law?

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  • jami November 6, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    the police have to start taking it seriously when drivers break the law and kill or injure cyclists. their failure to issue citations when drivers have clearly broken the law with incredibly serious consequences never ceases to amaze me.

    a witness in comment #6 had a cop tell her: \”i dont think [the driver\’s] reflexes are that good.\”

    i hope the cop didn\’t mean that as an excuse for the driver running someone over with her car! if she\’s incapable of driving an automobile, she shouldn\’t dangwell drive an automobile! take her license away and let her try out her \”bad reflexes\” on a bike. (well, perhaps she should take the bus.)

    best wishes to the tough-as-nails cyclist (i was an emotional wreck when i got right-hooked, and nothing was even broken).

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  • Bicycledave November 6, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Between dead and several broken bones is a pretty narrow window to issue citations.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 6, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    \”\”Will he demand more thorough reporting of collisions?

    Is he open to changes in PPB leadership?\”


    I understand and share some of the frustrations about the enforcement issue.

    This is by far the most complex part of all this bike safety discussion.

    I am in contact with PPB spokesman Brian Schmautz and we\’re setting a time to meet hopefully this week.

    Your comments and concerns are being heard. that\’s all I can say right now.

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  • beerick November 6, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Oregon needs better driver education in general. It needs to be mandated, there needs to be a standard curriculum, and in there some common sense points need to be taught. One of them is that if there is a bike in the bike lane and you take a right, it is your responsibility to know where the cyclist is at all times.

    If you pass the cyclist, make sure that they end up behind you, if you decelerate, make sure they haven\’t overtaken you before moving over.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 6, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    this case would be a good one to start a \”citizen\’s initiation of violation proceedings\”.

    I have covered this process at length in the past…

    A story of someone successfully bringing charges (and winning!) using this process.

    An account from someone who went through the process.

    background on the process

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  • Antonio Gramsci November 6, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Cyclists can best protect themselves from danger zones like N. Interstate and Greeley by carefully avoiding riding through the \”suicide slot\” altogether:

    The citizen initiated ticket process sounds like a better avenue than trying to get cops onsite at problem intersections like N. Interstate. Based on their record, I\’d be more afraid of them ticketing cyclists for exiting the bike lane to avoid the \”suicide slot\” (using a punitive interpretation of ORS 814.420 that deliberately disregards cyclist safety, and demands that cyclists merely \”slow down\” while passing through the suicide slot rather than avoiding it altogether).

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  • nick November 6, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    down here in los angeles, its perfectly okay to drive drunk and intentionally ram cyclists on their morning commute.

    Simply drive away, sober up and at the end of the day call the PD and say some crazy cyclist ran into your car. Mention you were just too scared to stop.

    Don\’t worry about witnesses. Its the motorist\’s word that counts.

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  • miss November 6, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    I just talked to the cyclist – she was admitted to the hospital with a broken clavicle and shoulder blade. She told me that the car did not roll over her (as i thought it had) it merely pushed her along the road. She was still in high spirits, just happy it hadn\’t been worse.

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  • annefi November 6, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you for the update on Siobhan. That is very thoughtful of you to keep us informed. Please pass on to her our best wishes and relief that she suffered no further injuries.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks Jonathan, that is what I was referring to in my comment, but could not remember the proper wording.

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  • Dabby November 6, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    I too wonder how a person can be considered ok with a broken shoulder blade and clavicle.

    We have the most uncaring and incompetent police force around.

    Of course if it was a police officer that this had happened too, the driver would be in jail, probably still handcuffed, fully cited, and in court tomorrow morning, 9 a.m.

    But since it is just a cyclist?

    I bet Tom Potter would look great on the cover of Mad magazine……..

    What, me worry?

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  • […] I found out about the fatal collision in October). I performed a similar search, and sure enough, another cyclist was hit by a right-turning vehicle at that exact same spot this morning. Fortunately, it sounds like her […]

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  • christine November 6, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    dear Siobhan,
    i just talked to your sister ciara, to find out why she was late to our meeting about the house. as soon as she said she was in the hospital with her sister, somehow i knew that her sister was the girl hit this morning, and i was horrified.

    please know that this has devestated the cycling community. please know that while some of us may not know you, we are loving you right now so much, as wishing you a very, very speedy recovery. please know that the outrage felt will soon feed direct action measures to protect our cyclists.

    best wishes to you-christine

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  • miss November 6, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    I have a question – If the driver was not cited, does that also mean the driver and the drivers insurance company is also not responsible for the injuries?!?!?!?! or more so, the huge emergency/hospital bill she will have? Even with insurance she\’ll be looking at hundreds if not more with the ambulance ride.

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  • Me 2 November 6, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    To Missy,

    The driver\’s insurance carrier will definitely be involved. I\’m not an expert on these matters, but from the PPB statements (i.e. Sgt Schmautz saying she failed to check her mirror), it seems likely that they will be paying for medical bills and pain and suffering.

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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    \”this case would be a good one to start a citizen\’s initiation of violation proceedings\”

    Indeed it would.

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  • peejay November 6, 2007 at 10:34 pm


    How can we all help to make that happen?

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  • ciara November 6, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    I just got back from visiting my sister, Siobhan, in the hospital. She\’ll be staying there overnight and hopefully coming home tomorrow. Miss is right, her left shoulder is pretty much fucked and will take months to recover. She can barely move.
    She got a print out of this article and comments and since she\’ll be stuck at home for awhile I\’m sure she\’ll enjoy/appreciate reading the other get well comments and discussion.

    \”Police do not routinely investigate accidents in which no one was seriously injured. No citations have been issued.\”

    We don\’t have much more information on the driver or any citations. But if you ask me, her injuries are pretty serious. She needs help to use the restroom, she\’ll be recovering for months, her bike is pretty messed up, and they cut all her clothes off :(.

    Unfortunately, I couldn\’t ride with her today. But normally we have a 12 mile commute in the morning and I can tell you that she is definitely noticeable and the driver not \”seeing\” her is not an excuse. She wears an obnoxious yellow helmet, a high rez yellow reflective jacket, a headlamp, a front light on the bike, and a back light. And she crawls down hills (she is not a bomber).

    Miss and everyone else who stopped to help her thank you soooooo much!! My family and I really really appreciate it. It sounds like the driver was the last person to offer a helping hand, which is unfortunate.

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  • Peter W November 6, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Siobhan – I don\’t know how soon you\’ll read this but I hope you recover quickly and are able to ride (and do everything else of course) again without pain.

    I\’ve heard that your left shoulder, clavicle, and scapula are all broken and you will be out of commission for about six weeks. For at least the next six weeks I hope everyone will join me in stepping up our efforts to improve cycle facilities and their safety in Portland!

    Let us know if there is anything else you need.

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  • a.O November 6, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    How can we all help to make [a citizen\’s initiation of violation proceeding] happen?

    Well, with regard to Tracey Sparling\’s death at the hands of a motorist, someone raised the issue as to whether a third party (i.e., someone not the victim of a traffic violation) could initiate a violation proceeding. At the time, I doubted whether that would be allowed. But I have since changed my mind because traffic violations rarely, if ever, mention an object or victim of the violation. So, I think it would be acceptable to a court for \”us,\” i.e., anyone, to initiate a violation proceeding.

    Next is the issue of whether we should defer such a decision to Siobhan. On the one hand, she was the one who was injured and may feel strongly about doing it herself. Or she may not want a proceeding started. On the other hand, this proceeding would be brought not primarily for Siobhan\’s benefit but for the benefit of the entire community, to dissuade further violations of the law by motorists that jeopardize the safety of cyclists and to make a political statement regarding the PPB\’s unwillingness to uphold its sworn duty to enforce the law.

    As you can perhaps tell, I feel strongly that anyone should initiate a proceeding in this instance (and possibly others).

    Once such a decision is made, there is the need for someone to fill out the paperwork and other ministerial duties, conduct an investigation of the incident (possibly issuing a subpoena for any relevant information held by the PPB or PDOT), coordinate scheduling with the court, and prepare an evidentiary presentation and witness examination and cross-examination plan for the violation hearing.

    I don\’t really have time to do all this stuff, but I would be willing to appear at the hearing. I have good supervisory skills if anyone is interested in becoming an ad hoc volunteer legal assistant.

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  • Toby November 7, 2007 at 12:24 am

    They just said on KATU that Adams had a no right turn sign put up. No mention of whether it is permanent or until they can \’figure\’ something else out. Any takers on how many people will still be turning?

    I hope Siobhan heals quickly and completely, and that the driver foots the bill.

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  • Caoimhin November 7, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Fight back!

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  • Metal Cowboy November 7, 2007 at 12:56 am

    This case would be a good one to start a \”citizen\’s initiation of violation proceedings\”.

    Let\’s do it!

    No citations, no penalties, media all over the place calling her injuries \”not serious\”… meanwhile, she\’s in the hosptial tonight. KINK FM followed police and paramedics and TV and The Oregonian\’s lead, saying Doyle was not badly hurt????? WTF?

    It all adds up to the larger Portland Public thinking this is how it works around here – we bump and grind a few cyclists in the name of progress. Look, she\’s fine, cyclist have to stay on the sidelines because if not they\’ll be dead right. i\’m livid, have been for weeks, been doing what I can to letter write call etc. wave my helmet in the air but enough\’s enough – I have three small children, a lot of work and living on my plate, all the blah blah excuses, but I\’m gonna have to dust off my activist cap and wade in… it\’s what tracy, Brett, doyle and the rest of us \”accidents\” waiting to happen deserve…

    I\’m done – count me in for whatever protests, sit ins, class actions, letter writing, phone call bombardments to city hall, citation lawsuits. I\’ll give money to a law fund to get this rolling. I\’ll lead a ten thousand cyclist pedal around city hall – I\’m tired of hearing people say to me, \”Yep, you and your cycling friends are following the law in these accidents, but they\’ll just keep being dead right if they don\’t let the cars do their thing… we\’ll, if drivers who kill and injure cyclists have NO consequences – i.e still driving trucks and cars after running someone over, then we get the future we\’re will to put up with!

    The Oregonian\’s coverage has been milk toast, lackluster regarding her injuries and kit glove regarding Kruger\’s bias, logic, pr flubs, etc. and I say this with seven years experience as a former newsman at a daily AP paper. We need to force their hand with a massive editorial letter writing campaign. I\’ll send me second letter to the ed. on this issue in the morning. Who is with me?

    With everything that has happened, the media is so behind the curve…still running lame channel 8 segments about Cars Vs Bikes – sell the sizzle to make the viewership – focused heavily on bikes running stop signs in Ladds while cars are playing pinball with cyclists in North Portland? Again, WTF?

    I\’d throw up my hands dodge and weave the front fenders and take the lane when need be like I learned growing up in Florida, business as usual, except that I really think we have a good community that wants to find some answers – which includes cyclists, drivers, some enlightened politicans etc. – we just need to push harder, we have to make more noise, we have to stand up for our rights and not be worried that it might make us targets… we already are – put some demands out there in force – as a unified, large vocal group to get Kruger off the traffic beat, file suits that sting and make statements, demand a ton more funding for education, enforcement, bike infrastructure…. We need to take this moment to act, thoughtfully but decisively – something along the lines of a civil rights movement for cyclists. I pay taxes and don\’t feel like I need to kowtow or apologize for using my streets to get around on two wheels. I follow every traffic law I can on my bike unless it endangers my future. I will not sit idle while potential riders beg off because they think our streets are too dangerous to take up something that cuts obesity, greenhouse gases, saves money, healthcare costs….

    I commend Sam A for his quick actions today in closing the turn – let\’s lobby for a permanent fill in of that turn intersection and then keep the movement going on sppots around the city…

    I think the time for a timid response on cycling is done – the cycling community needs to show some real outrage, in mass, beyond blogs ( awesome and very effective tools that they are) a calm, measured, intelligently and eloguently put outrage, but more proactive rather than what feels, at times, reactive – call a press conference of our own with a tousand vcyclists on the waterfont and put the entire community on notice that cyclists are not going to just be mowed over so people can get wherever they need to be 30 seconds faster.

    I\’m in the middle of writing a cover story for Bicycling magazine about my family adventure across Canada by bike, so I\’ve taken the opportunity of having editor\’s ears to pitch a feature on Portland\’s growing pains as a sustainable bike friendly beacon -I welcome ideas as I get that story into the pipeline – If the world (NYT\’s etc) is going to keep holding us up as an example of how it can be for cyclists – we have to hold ourselves responsible for making it so – by holding police, planners, fellow cyclists, politicans, engineers, drivers, etc. accountable – it boils down to letting the politicans know with our votes, careless violating drivers through stiff penalities, planners by getting a much bigger portion of tax dollar spent on cycling and most important – by pedaling the streets in numbers every day.

    My rant is done by my efforts are not.

    Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie

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  • DT November 7, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Here here, Metal Cowboy!!!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 7, 2007 at 7:11 am

    I just updated the post with this:


    The police have issued no citations in this collision. I asked Police Bureau spokesman Brian Schmautz about this and here\’s what he said:

    \”Determining fault at a collision is a function of an investigation. The Police Bureau will respond to any collision but unless there are trauma injuries our only role is to help with traffic control, confirm that there is not a crime involved in the collision (Reckless Driving, DUII, etc.) and confirm that all motorists have a valid drivers license and insurance. We will also help those involved fill out an exchange form so they can resolve their differences through their insurance companies.

    Officers do not issue citations for a moving violation unless they have conducted an investigation. In cases like today\’s collision there will be no citations issued because the collision did not meet the criteria for investigation.\”

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  • Steve Long November 7, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Do Not, I repeat, Do Not stay in the bike lane coming down this hill. A bicycle is generally moving as fast as traffic and you can move all the way out into the lane. No one will come around you to be able to give you a right hook if you do this.
    As soon as you are up to speed, take the entire lane!

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  • Peter W November 7, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Thats F***ed up. When I was hit in may in WashCo, the Hillsboro Police showed up and even though I was standing (I only had some bruises and scrapes) they asked some questions and quickly determined the driver was at fault, and cited him.

    It is ridiculous that they wouldn\’t cite the driver for failure to yield to a bicyclist – you don\’t need to do more than look at the scene to realize that is what happened in this case.

    I think their policy needs to be fixed.

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  • Anonymous November 7, 2007 at 9:19 am

    How do the claims of the witness as to the reckless driving of the motorist – she posted here and spoke to an officer about the motorist cutting off cyclists at the top of the hill AND failure to yield at the bottom of the hill – NOT lead to an investigation into reckless driving? There are witnesses and a victim with broken bones, and yet the authorities do nothing. Nothing.

    It is a traffic violation not to yield to a bike in the bike lane, is it not? Sure, there might be better solutions and infrastructure engineering possibilities, but there is a standing law that has been violated on numerous occasions with absolutely no consequences, not even a fine. Sizer? Potter? Is it not one of your many tasks to oversee Portland law enforcement? You\’ve done a fine job of spraying $242 stop sign tickets left and right where there were no injuries or deaths, which is certainly upholding the law as it stands, and yet there is no action whatsoever when a cyclist dies or is injured due to a motorist failing to yield. I don\’t understand at all.

    I appreciate Mr. Adams reacting quickly and shutting off the right turn in this dangerous intersection, but it rings hollow when every driver in Portland knows that they can cause serious injury or death to a cyclist without so much as a slap on the wrist.

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  • Me 2 November 7, 2007 at 9:23 am

    This is another case of treating this as another vehicle on vehicle collision. But obviously it is much more severe when one of the vehicles is a bike.

    I have heard this rationale over and over again about not citing for non-traumatic injuries. Would the police be obligated to investigate and cite, if they find cause, if we had the vulnerable road users bill in place?

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  • Bicycledave November 7, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I\’m with you Metal Cowboy. I can make it downtown any weekday after 5. Just set a date and I\’ll be there.

    We\’ve subsidized a system that encourages people to drive for long enough. Encourages people to drive. Encourages people to use a form of transportation that is responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people per year (in this country alone) and that does not even take into account the effects of pollution or war to secure oil.

    Joe is right. It\’s time to get off our butts and really do something. I think this town is ripe for starting something big. We could start a bicycle movement that sweeps the nation. We showed some of our political clout last spring when we got the bicycle master plan funded. Let\’s stand up and be counted again.

    We want:

    A bicycle rider\’s education program for all elementary schools in the Portland area.

    A police department that carefully chooses their words (and it\’s officers that make public statements) so as to accurately represent the law and educate drivers and riders to make things safer rather than more dangerous.

    Way more spending on bicycle infrastructure. Sam Adam\’s $24 million is a step in the right direction, but it still doesn\’t come close to our fair share. Everyone benefits from spending on bicycle infrastructure.

    Lower speed limits. Speed kills.

    Traffic engineering to prioritize safety above traffic flow.

    Is that too much to ask? Maybe there\’s something important I forgot. This is my suggestion for a start.

    Let\’s make a show of force. We are bicycle riders and we demand to be heard. We care about this city, this planet. We want to leave it a better place for our children and grandchildren.

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  • Anita November 7, 2007 at 9:36 am

    I am at a loss for words. Even the Chicago police know what \’failure to yield\’ is! I was hit several years ago in a right hook situation, and they issued the guy a ticket. Granted, he got off with a $50 fine and had to go to traffic safety school, but I\’m sure his insurance rates went up!
    Why can\’t the Portland Police enforce existing laws?!?
    It was so frustrating to hear about this collision just after I rode through Ladd\’s Addition…where there were two policemen waiting for cyclists to blow through…

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  • Kristen November 7, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Could someone please explain what Officer Schmautz means by \”trauma injuries\”?

    Seems to me that if an ambulance is called, your clothes are cut off, you\’re strapped to a backboard, transported to the hospital, and turn up with injuries such as a broken scapula, clavicle, and etc, that it would meet the definition of \”trauma injuries\”. No? Yes? Am I naive?

    I just don\’t understand the Portland Police forces actions these days when it comes to bikes and law enforcement.

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  • Julie Rawls November 7, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Wanted to reply to Ciara, sister of injured cyclist Siobhan. (Post #127) I was driving directly behind the woman who hit your sister. The fact that there is no citation in this situation is just extremely frustrating. This driver was totally neglegent and was not paying attention while driving. There just has to be some consequences for drivers who plow into cyclists. Also, I can corroborate the story that the driver was less than helpful. Maybe she was traumatized too…but she stood around and showed little to no emotion. The female cyclist riding just behind your sister was the most helpful, offering up her coat and staying by your sister\’s side the entire time. Anyway, police have a full account of what I saw and my contact info should you need to reach me. Godspeed to your sister\’s recovery.

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  • Huggy Bear November 7, 2007 at 11:18 am

    The Oxford Dictionary says trauma is a wound or injury or emotional shock producing a lasting effect upon a person. Maybe the Portland Police live on another planet. \”Huggy Bear\”

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  • Anonymous November 7, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    re: 123 and 124.

    If the driver\’s insurance co is involved it will be merely to state: Since the insured (motorist) was not determined to be liable, The insurance policy will not shoulder any liability on the behalf of the insured.

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  • David Dean November 7, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    This is so frustrating.

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  • Robert Leger November 7, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    As a cyclist, I have to ask why we think it is safe to ride adjacent to a car (or try to pass) while approaching an intersection? In an incident like this, when I ran into the side of a van that was turning right (across my bike lane), it was my fault. The van was in front of me, and had the right of way. I should have taken responsibility for my own safety by slowing down and being prepared to stop if the driver turned in front of me. The fault is not on the intersection – there are right turns everywhere. I now take responsibility for my own actions, and watch out, as my life and family depend on it. Nobody else is responsible for you, even if the government lets you think otherwise.

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  • Matt Picio November 7, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    That\’s fine, Robert, that you take responsibility for your own actions, but it\’s *not* your fault. BOTH parties are culpable, and the motorist is legally liable in that case while you, generally, are not.

    Let\’s face it – this type of crash can only occur because:

    1. The bike lane is \”outboard\” of the right-turn lane.
    2. The driver fails to see (or sees and fails to yield to) the cyclist.
    3. The cyclist does not account for the possibility of a motorist turning across the bike lane, or is unable to respond to the potential threat.

    The fault *is* the intersection. And the law. And the motorist, and possibly the cyclist. While the law will assign legal fault to someone, ALL of the above factors were required for this crash to occur, and the removal of any one of them would have prevented it.

    The third item I mentioned is not always practical nor possible – what does a cyclist do when riding in the bike lane downtown in rush-hour bumper-to-bumper traffic? You can be completely personally responsible for your actions, and anticipating others, and still get smacked by an inattentive person walking, biking, or driving in some manner against the law or good sense.

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  • Chip November 7, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Well, Um, Oregon Law disagrees with you on that one. If there is a bike lane then cyclists have the right of way, period.

    I don\’t know why there cars aren\’t getting citations. I call it crap.

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  • RJbiker November 7, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Mr. Robert,

    The van in front of you did not have the \”right of way\”. It is becoming more and more apparent that folks (cyclist and drivers alike) don\’t understand the concept of the bike lane. It qualifies under the law as a legal lane meaning that when the van turned in front of you crossing your \”lane\” they broke the law if they turned into you. What the van was supposed to do was to be aware of who \”you\” was on their right and not make the right turn until they could either determine that your speed was low enough to allow them to turn with a good safety margin across your path or wait until the bike lane was clear of all rear approaching bike traffic so they could safely make their turn. If this required them to stop in their lane to wait for a safe crossing or double check mirrors, then that is what is supposed to occur. It was not your fault and while I applaud your efforts to ride mega-defensively and assume that the bike lane will be violated at every intersection, just know legally this was not your fault, because that kind of excuse making and perception just empowers the vehicle drivers that much more and adds to an already totally messed up bike/car relationship in Portland. Just because the PPB is not enforcing the law does not make it legal to break the law, it just means that the PPB policies of enforcement are incredibly lame and nothing is likely to improve until the car driving public starts getting citations and then jacked up insurance rates which will create awareness pretty darn fast when it affects the bottom line of their personal finances.

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  • Robert Leger November 7, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Let\’s see if I can get this link to the Bike Manual to work right:

    Bike manual PDF
    Page 10, top paragraph, \”Passing other vehicles.\” This does not indicate to me that a bike lane always has the right of way. What manual, or ORS, notes that?

    I\’m not saying that motorists should be immune from being responsible. I\’m saying that we need to be careful and be accountable for our own actions. I\’d rather get home alive than be right about my understanding of bike/traffic law.

    ——Robert, I\’ve edited this comment for you. Note that I\’ve just added some HTML formatting tips to the comments section that will hopefully be of help to folks in the future. Cheers, Jonathan.

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  • poster November 7, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    #105 is correct. Police will only investigate if someone is sent to trauma at the hospital. This is true for car/car or car/bike collisions. My wife was rear ended on Ross Island bridge. Our car was a total loss, as was the car of the assface who hit her. Because no one was \’seriously\’ injured the police refused to take a report…even when we pressed them.

    #81 and #85…The $1500 scenario refers only to the obligation of those involved in the collision to report it to the DMV. The police play no role in this, other than perhaps handing you the form to send to DMV.

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  • aisling November 7, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Hi folks,

    this is siobhan\’s other sister (the middle one) and i just wanted to thank you all for your support. the three of us doyle sisters love biking around portland. it is so frustrating to see my sister lying in the hospital bed trying not to laugh (something we do way too much) because it hurts so much. i\’m not sure what \”seriously injured\” means to the ppb but maybe that is something that should be changed.
    she is in amazingly high spirits given the circumstances.
    i\’m sad this had to happen to anyone and hope that this and the previous fatal accident will not be in vain and can be the catalyst for more attention to bikes and bike rights!
    thanks again to those of you who were there and helped siobhan out. please stay in touch so we can continue to thank you or give you a ride if you get a flat tire.
    thanks again, we love two wheels!

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  • Doug November 7, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    The Portland Police might have a different view of this situation if they would take, say 10%, of their officers, and put them on bikes patrolling the city. It would free up some cars and the associated costs of maintaining and running them, it would keep the officers in better condition mentally and physically. It might even make some drivers start thinking about \”seeing\” bicycles once again if they thought the law might be on one of them. They could rotate duty on the bikes amongst the officers so that all get a shot at it once or twice a year. After spending some time wearing our shoes, they might be a little more prone to cite drivers that consider bicyclists as just one more thump in the road.

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  • RJbiker November 7, 2007 at 7:56 pm


    Please see the Oregon Drivers Manual page 76 for clarification on vehicles yielding to bicycles traveling in bike lanes and crossing intersections. I think this should make clear for you what the law says regarding this particular situation. And I agree with you totally that protecting yourself is the prime directive at all times. The lack of public education/enforcement, etc. has gotten things to a point of extremis where it is becoming a free for all out there on the road. My coworkers and I are wearing orange vests/ loading up the bikes with lights day and night and taking alternate routes to avoid the worst streets/intersections as much as is possible even if we have to travel a bit farther each way. Hopefully this latest rash of accidents will turn into something positive at all levels otherwise it will be chaos as usual. I have to say I am so incredibly disappointed that Law Enforcement in Portland is so pathically lame – maybe it is time for a local regime change right up the chain of command including the mayors office, we can\’t do much worse than what we have now.

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  • annefi November 7, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Doug (#153),
    That\’s an excellent idea. Send it on to Commisioner Sam and Rosie!

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  • RJbiker November 7, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Maybe one of your for real legal types out there can clarify our perhaps overly simplistic thinking on this issue. If the Police Bureau has policies that don\’t uphold the law (for instance driver fails to yield to bicyclist in bike lane/intersection but is not cited), is there some means to force that policy/regulation to be changed or reviewed through a legal means. I would think that it would be near to impossible for the City Attorney to defend the PPB\’s inaction on this or to even have signed off on it to begin with when reviewing their policies? Does it require citizens to bring suit (either class action or individual) against the city or something this extreme? The notion of whether there was a \”trauma\” accident shouldn\’t even play into the picture on this when an infraction was clearly comitted. Yielding means exactly that and a driver that fails to see the bicyclist failed to yield or who was aware of a bicyclist in the bike lane but underestimated the bicyclist speed has also failed to yield, or a driver for whatever reason could not see the bicyclist (blind spot on very large truck, etc) has also failed to effectively yield for the limitations imposed by that type of vehicle. This lack of enforcement seems like a clever way of exhonerating drivers of their legal responsibility to yield to bicylists as noted in the Oregon Drivers Manual which supposedly we all had to have a rudimentary understanding of to get our licenses? The idea that Portland is billing itself as a Bike Friendly Town is now under huge suspicion with this huge lapse in real world law enforcement on the streets to protect the rights of bicyclist. Cities that are noted as being far less bike friendly are doing a much better job on this particular issue of enforcement. My family is committed to standing with Joe Kurmaski and the rest of you in body/bike and dollar, where do we sign in? This is a quality of life issue at stake here for many of us and it is most certainly worth fighting for.

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  • miss November 7, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    I\’m curious if any of you know or have talked to the two cyclists ahead of Siobhan and myself? The Driver had just cut them off, turning right, into the parking lot at the top of the hill – I could see they had to break hard – and then she turned around pulled back out onto Interstate in front of us. If Siobhan decides to seek legal help they maybe able to help prove that the drive was in fact driving carelessly and or recklessly. Along with Julie and myself.

    I have also just sent Cheif Sizer an email, coping Sam Adams, Dan Saltzman and sending a copy to the mayor. I will wait for my response to post it here.

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  • ciara November 8, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Thanks again everyone! Siobhan is still in the hospital but hopefully coming home later today.

    And yes, if anyone knows those two riders please let us know.

    Apparantly on the news about the closed intersection they showed a car STILL turning right (a sharp right) and in front of a bike!! Did anyone else catch this/know where I could view it on the internet?

    p.s. anyone want to help pay for an ambulance ride and three days in the hospital? (…just kidding).

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  • true November 8, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    ciara – thanks for the good news, I\’m glad that Siobhan is recovering and on the way home – I\’m sure everyone is.

    As to paying for the ambulance and medical expenses, there seems to be some action moving forward to attempt to get the driver cited. Any chance that she, the driver, will then be required to pay?

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  • Robert Leger November 8, 2007 at 7:19 pm


    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I still find it somewhat unclear/conflicting. For example – how much yielding should a vehicle do for a bicycle that they have just passed and want to turn in front of? How much distance do they need before they are safe to make the turn in front of the cyclist? We all know that depends on the cyclist and how fast they are riding, how fast the vehicle slows down, etc. There is a balance between safety and efficient traffic flow that we are trying to find.

    Combine this scenario/Drivers Manual page 76, with what seems to be implied by the Bike Manual – “If a car ahead of you is signaling a right turn, do not pass on the right” – and I get stuck on this conflict. The bike manual implies that anyone in front of you with a signal on has the right of way. That is what I should do if I was driving a vehicle and someone wanted to get in front of me. Then considering that we are considered “vehicles”… So I go with the more conservative and safer of the two actions (I’m an engineer, it’s what I do).

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  • someone else November 8, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    i think there is a difference between a safety suggestion, and the law. I agree that it\’s not the best practice, but it\’s not always possible to stop or slow down to let a car turn right. During heavy bike traffic stopping in the middle of the bike lane would just lead to further disaster.

    There are car drivers who know the law and wait for a biker to pass and don\’t have a problem with it. if a driver isn\’t comfortable or unsure making the turn in front of a biker then they should wait until the bike lane is clear.

    Traffic waits for pedestrians to cross all the time.

    I honestly wish that drivers would take a week off and ride a bike just to see how it is. I think the attitudes of 99% of them would change.

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  • xauen November 8, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    SECTION 1. ORS 811.415
    (2) For purposes of this section, a person may drive a vehicle
    to overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle under any
    of the following circumstances:
    (c) Overtaking and passing upon the right is permitted if
    the overtaking vehicle is a bicycle that may safely make the
    passage under the existing conditions.

    811.050. (1) A person commits the offense of failure of a motor
    vehicle operator to yield to a rider on a bicycle lane if the
    person is operating a motor vehicle and the person does not yield
    the right of way to a person operating a bicycle, electric
    assisted bicycle, { + electric personal assistive mobility
    device, + } moped, motor assisted scooter or motorized wheelchair
    upon a bicycle lane.

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  • garlicbreath November 9, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I am so angry, I could spit.

    Lately, I find it very hard to muster the courage to leave my house. Everyday I am harassed, intimidated and nearly knocked over. Speed bumps don\’t help. People are in WAY too big of a hurry to get where they are going. They do it because they get away with it. Where are the people paid to enforce the laws?

    When did getting from point A to point B take presedence over a life?

    There are many ways we can get together on the same page. Start by remembering: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Society has created a division amongst us. You against me.


    We all have an important role to play.

    There needs to be a change. People need to stop being so selfish. Laws need to be enforced. A little compassion? Empathy?

    I am deeply saddened by the losses we have seen these past weeks. You are all in my thoughts.

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  • Wendy Kroger November 10, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Wanted: Cops Who Really Investigate; DAs Who Really Prosecute; and Laws That Really Work….

    My friend Tim died during a long distance bike ride on NW Cornelius-Schefflin Road in June. He was hit by a woman who should not have been driving because she had a suspended license. If authorities had questioned whether she was drunk or high on drugs, she might have been charged with homicide. According to the incident report, during the investigation she was not asked to perform a field sobriety test even though she told the interviewing officer that she had taken meth just four months earlier and was currently taking not one but two prescription drugs for depression. Because the authorities concluded she was sober (by virtue of no field sobriety/blood/urine tests) she wasn’t charged with homicide. If she’d been drunk or high, she could have been charged. What is the conclusion? I guess if you are in your right mind, it’s okay to kill someone with your car.

    To serve the public adequately and to keep it safe, we need several different sorts of arrows in our prosecutorial quiver – both investigatory and legal – and we need to fill in two big blank spots in the quiver.

    First, we need law enforcement officers who fully investigate incidents and enforce the law fairly for all citizens. Based upon limited investigations/prosecutions of the series of fatal bicycle “incidents” in the past several months in the metro area, I have serious doubts that metro area law enforcement officers think cyclists have an equal right to our roads.

    Please contact your own mayor or county commissioners and ask that their local law enforcement investigative training practices be broadened to include adequate attention to and protection of cyclists and pedestrians.

    Second, Oregon is one of four states without a vehicular homicide law. We need one and we need it now. Please contact your own Oregon State legislator and ask for his or her support on a bill for vehicular homicide and ask that it be brought forward in the legislative session that convenes next February…. Petal Power

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  • wsbob November 10, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Hey bigdawg, I think some people around here have been missing your myopic viewpoint on some of the other topics discussed on this site of late!

    As for knowledge level of cyclists in the area of defensive negotiation of streets and roads, I doubt theirs is a lot different than that of people solidly encased in one or another type of motor vehicle.

    In fact, if anything, on an average, cyclists are probably much more aware of the vulnerability of bike to a hulking motor vehicle. At the same time though, the traffic infrastructure is not one specifically designed for bike/motor vehicle coexistence, but rather, one that is in an ongoing state of adaptation for that purpose as the realities of population growth, congestion, and energy source depletion sinks in to the collective consciousness, making biking an increasingly attractive transportation option.

    People are people whether they be inside a motor vehicle or astride a bike. Unless alarming, recognizable flaws in the traffic infrastructure get ironed out to more safely accommodate both bikes and motor vehicles within the range of reasonably attentive, aware and street savvy road users, avoidable, tragic collisions may continue to occur regardless of how well cyclists have learned to look out for themselves.

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  • Jeff S November 11, 2007 at 6:52 am

    After news of another accident on Greely Ave I\’m wondering what the responsibility is for a car driver. For cars to pass on the right side is known as the sui-side. So I\’m wondering how to know what to do when I see a bike BEHIND me and want to turn right? Surprisingly there is no mention of the road rules in any story about this or the 2 week old fatal accident. We immediately feel the driver of the car is at fault.

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  • dan November 12, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Sometimes i wonder if these could be considered hate crimes? Should there be a law like this if the driver\’s intent was to harm?

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  • Alison November 13, 2007 at 5:08 am

    I\’ve been reading the comments with interest, as I would like to see the U.S. significantly increase bicycle ridership as one solution to our nation-wide problems of 66% obesity, pollution, and waste of natural resources.

    Having just returned from living in Germany for 3 years, where bicycle riding is as natural as breathing and is practiced well into white-haired age, I really came to appreciate the convenience and practicality of having a bike at the ready for my short-distance errands/shopping and for longer-distance recreation. Since returning to Texas, I have steadfastly continued using a bike to get around, but it is work to do so, because the local design makes navigation and safety difficult and bike riders seem to be something of a novelty…and that\’s my point.

    In order for bicyclists to get the kind of public support that cars enjoy, bicycling must appeal to the general, everyday public. John Q must be able to envision himself riding the streets of Portland. Unfortunately, in America these days, most of the cyclists we see wear specialized clothing and equipment, which makes it appear that bicycling is only for recreation and requires a significant cash outlay. The other problem is the \’cool\’ factor. I don\’t think many Americans would consider owning the typical European daily rider, which is upright and sports wicker or wire baskets on the front and back, fenders, and chain guards.

    If you want to gain the support of the police and the attention of drivers, aim your efforts toward the Average Joe, the family, toward wearing regular, not specialized clothes, toward making practical destinations close by that encourage bicycle use, e.g., grocery stores, doctor\’s offices and post offices, libraries vs. expensive coffee shops. In other words, make it less secular so that you won\’t be dismissed as a fringe group.

    Change the traffic laws. In our preparation for driving in Germany, we learned that the driver is responsible for what happens behind him as well as in front – this law was meant to keep bicyclists safe from the kind of event that killed Brett. Our urban design must adapt.

    The most discouraging thing I\’ve witnessed since my return is our national failure to see and acknowledge what seems so obvious. We are fat because we don\’t move, but we refuse to exercise. We\’d rather buy a pill or lower-fat junk food. Europeans pay twice what we do for gas, so they drive smaller, more efficient cars. We complain about gas prices and research Arctic wilderness drilling before even considering dumping those 13 mpg trucks and SUVs. We have solar and other forms of emissions-reducing energy, but they\’re prohibitively expensive for most homeowners.

    These are the things we need to work on and bicycles are a good start, but again, the average American needs to see him/herself on that bicycle seat. THAT\’S our challenge.


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  • Donald November 13, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Anyone see the car/delivery truck accident at the Greely/Interstate intersection in the last two days? KATU had a brief viddy of it. Car was totally mangled.

    That little devils triangle has some bad mojo working…

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  • John R November 13, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    At the very least, could we not all petition to get a sign put up on Interstate Ave. warning both cyclists and motorists alike to this dangerous intersection.

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