Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 14th, 2007 at 11:37 am
According to media reports, late last night a bicyclist was involved in a head-on collision with a car in Milwaukie, a city that borders Portland to the south.
Here’s a snip from the Oregonian:
“Gabriel Lee King, 20, of Arcadia, Calif., was riding north on the southbound shoulder of Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard about 5:15 p.m. when his bicycle crossed 22nd Avenue and collided with the car, said Kevin Krebs, a Milwaukie Police Department spokesman.”
King was last reported to be in stable condition with non life-threatening injuries. The Oregonian also adds that no citations were issued in the collision (one blogger wonders why the there’s no “uproar” about this) and that alcohol was not a factor.
Some Milwaukie residents are discussing this crash on the Shift email list. The emails have centered around the engineering of this particular intersection.
Heather Andrews, a Milwaukie resident who also works for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, wrote:
“the intersection where this occurred has big safety issues. SE 22nd is a major exit for cars wanting to access SE River Road, and the high speed of McLoughlin combined with the small angle they need to turn to exit (thus not slowing or looking) almost ensures bad stuff will happen there.”
Dave O’Dell rode by the crash immediately after it happened. “The whole area needs to be re-engineered with safety as the top priority (over traffic flow) if you ask me.”
But another Milwaukie resident Matt Picio chimed in and said,
“…it would have helped a great deal had the cyclist NOT decided to ride the wrong way up the shoulder at 5:15pm. Assuming he was riding 15 mph (not unusual, since he was going slightly downhill), his closing speed with the oncoming traffic was 60 mph…That intersection is surely badly engineered, and the City of Milwaukie is working with ODOT to fix it…but this particular incident has nothing to do with the bad design – a cyclist riding the wrong way at or after twilight on the shoulder of a busy 45 mph road during evening rush hour – not smart.”
Read more from the Shift list thread here.
Ironically, this crash happened on the same day the Clackamas Review ran a story about how the City of Milwaukie has just done a major overhaul to their Transportation System Plan that “focuses on all modes of transportation”.
Concerned cyclists are also urging the City to create a Bicycle Advisory Committee and there seems to be some positive momentum to make the city safer for bikes. In light of this crash, the timing for that couldn’t be better.