Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Truck slams into wall of Community Cycling Center

Posted by on December 9th, 2007 at 9:24 pm

CCC offices smashed by truck-1.jpg

CCC employee Benjamin Jaspers
in the damaged office.
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)

At around 3:30 on Saturday afternoon, a Toyota FourRunner backed into the wall of the Community Cycling Center (CCC) on NE 17 Avenue (at Alberta).

Several employees were working at the time (getting ready for the Holiday Bike Drive this morning), but thankfully, none of them were in the office at the time of impact and no one was hurt.

Here are more photos of the damage:

CCC offices smashed by truck-3.jpg

CCC offices smashed by truck-2.jpg

The driver of the truck (he lives in the building and he was insured) was trying to park when he somehow managed to jump the sidewalk and smash into the wall. The truck slammed into the building’s gas line (the building was evacuated and the main line was shut off immediately) and now the building is without heat.

Only a long crack and a shattered gas meter is visible from the exterior, but inside it’s a different story. The impact splintered studs in the wall, exposing drywall and insulation and sending office furniture tumbling.

Employee Benjamin Jaspers was sitting at his desk, which was near the point of impact (see photo), just minutes before it happened. He told me they have yet to fully assess the damage, but he suspects that several pieces of recently purchased computer equipment may have been destroyed.

At the Holiday Bike Drive event today, executive director Susan Remmers said the CCC staff must move immediately until a full structural analysis can be completed.

From the look of the wall, I would suspect a very large portion of it — if not the entire thing — will have to be replaced. If the wall goes, perhaps the saddest part of the story will be the loss of a beautiful mural that was just completed last year.

This is the second unfortunate blow to the CCC this year; back in February they were the victims of a major burglary.

Remmers, along with development and communications director Alison Hill Graves, said they have been so focused on the Holiday Bike Drive that they have yet to really even think about what lies ahead.

One thing is certain, the CCC needs our support (donate here). If you have leads on office space (or carpentry), get in touch with Alison Hill Graves at (503) 288-8864 or email alison(at)communitycyclingcenter(dot)org.

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  • Scott December 9, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    I hope the driver was insured. As it is, I\’ll see who I can round up to offer some carpentry help – if needed.

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  • Ashley December 10, 2007 at 12:01 am

    This is such a bummer. I had so much fun with the CCC today at the Holiday Bike Drive. Please keep us updated with things we can do to help out.

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  • tonyt December 10, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Well, obviously the CCC wasn\’t paying attention to traffic.

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  • Jeff TB December 10, 2007 at 8:10 am

    True that tonyt. When operating a building, one must always be cognizant of local traffic. Predictably, another scofflaw building got in the way of an innocent driver. I can see the headlines now: \”Buildings vs. Bikes\” When will the building community band together and start controlling themselves?

    My donation will be submitted soon.

    Any plans for a demolition party?

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  • a.O December 10, 2007 at 8:27 am

    You know, this sort of behavior makes drivers think all bike-related businesses are just not being careful. I hope they learned their lesson that being next to a parking lot means you\’re practically asking to be backed into by a pick-up.

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  • poser December 10, 2007 at 8:27 am

    and I\’ll bet that no CCC employees were wearing helmets at the time of the collision either.

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  • Steven J. December 10, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Argh..no doubt Lt Kruger will want to allow
    cars & trucks to pass through the CC office now to make a turn.

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  • Disco D December 10, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Ahh yes, wait til the oregonlive forum trolls get ahold of this 🙂

    Is it just me or has cars driving into building theme become more common as of late? I heard on the news a week or so ago someone drove into the side of a house. A few months back when I was in SF my favorite art gallery was shut down because someone drove right through the front (destroying the entire front of the building and some of the pieces on display).

    I mean, I understand accidents happen but driving into entire buildings seems a little odd.

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  • Tasha December 10, 2007 at 9:48 am

    You all crack me up. This is very sad. I was wondering who to make my holiday donation to. I think the CCC definitely deserve it (not that didn\’t before, but now more than ever).

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  • Dennis December 10, 2007 at 10:25 am

    That\’s what gets me, this building isn\’t next to a parking lot. There is a good six feet of sidewalk on the side that was hit. Perhaps his foot slipped off the brake or something.

    The exterior wall is cinderblock, and when I saw it, there was a section that was pushed in over a foot. From the outside, it looks almost as though the mural was the only thing holding the outside of the wall together.

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  • Alison December 10, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for your warm thoughts. We really can\’t believe it. I can only chuckle at the irony of the potential headline: Bike Shop Hit by Car.

    As Jonathan notes we have been focused on Holiday Bike Drive, which was yesterday and so wonderful. Thank you to everyone who helped put it together.

    Susan Remmers, our Executive Director, put it best when she said, \”we have overcome many obstacles and we will figure this out, too.\” She then requested any leads on office spaces and added requests for financial support so we can figure this out as quickly as possible. We need to keep everyone working.

    Finding an office, moving, building out the space, and replacing equipment are urgent priorities. We will be sorting through and figuring out the damage in the next couple of days and we\’ll keep you posted through our website.

    If you have a gift to give this year (any and all gifts help!), we welcome it. Here are some ways:

    1. Willamette Week\’s Give!Guide: we are included for the first time this year and the non-profit that raises the most money gets an additional $1,000. Any donation over $25 gets lots of great swag. giveguide.oaktree.com

    2. Donate securely online through our website: http://www.CommunityCyclingCenter.org

    3. Mail us a check:
    1700 NE Alberta
    Portland, OR 97211

    Remmers and Ben are out now visiting office spaces. Thanks to the people who have already called with offers of space and carpentry. Again, we\’ll keep you posted through our site on what we need.

    Thanks again, folks. You give us hope.


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  • Matt Picio December 10, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    What time was the building struck? Was it wearing a reflective vest, or dark clothing? Was the sun in the driver\’s eyes? Does the building have a history of operating unsafely, or swerving into traffic?

    Most importantly, was there an investigation, and will the building be ticketed for failure to yield? (I mean, it just sits there – how dare it!)

    Seriously, though – I hope that the CCC gets new space soon and that the current location is repairable. With luck, maybe the original mural can be retained and the damaged portion repaired. Please give generously.

    And for goodness sake, let\’s not vilify the truck driver until we have all the facts. Just because most \”accidents\” are preventable doesn\’t mean they all are.

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  • rixtir December 10, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I\’m surprised the report didn\’t read \”CCC wall slams into truck.\”

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  • N.I.K. December 10, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    This is one time no one will make the \”laws shmaws, with the weight differential, the victim doesn\’t have a chance\” argument.

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  • Aaron December 10, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Hey Jeff TB, do you mean a demolition party of the Toyota Forerunner?
    This is a very strong example of the huge impact (no pun intended) that autos have on society. It\’s more than just the terror on the part of peds/cyclists, or noise, or pollution. Autos cause damage in every area they are near. This is why I so passionately support alternatives. Another neighborhood last year was less lucky when it was without power due to a car crashing a transformer.
    But on a positive note, I would be happy to donate, and I\’m also thinkin – MAJOR BIKE MOVE to CCC\’s kindly donated office space. (with everyone bringing their own snacks as donation).
    I\’ll be there.
    Also can we trace over the mural so that it can be re-applied to the new wall?

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  • andrew December 10, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    I love the picture of Benji. Look at dat wall!

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  • Dante December 11, 2007 at 12:25 am

    I\’ll donate! …But the driver\’s insurance will eventually pay for the damage, right?

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  • Marc December 11, 2007 at 12:57 am

    Tell me the mural is okay!

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  • benjamin December 11, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Thanks Andrew… I think I could have looked a little creepier, but not much. Thanks everyone for the kind remarks, and the sense of humor about this whole thing!!

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  • Alison December 11, 2007 at 11:48 am


    Yes, the insurance companies are involved, but if anyone has dealt with them out there you can get an idea of what we are in the middle of. They surely will fix the wall (more on the mural below), but whether they will help us move and/or replace lost work time is up in the air. And they certainly are not working on our schedule.

    We have closed the damaged office (exposed fiberglass) until it is secured. Meantime we\’re sharing desks, working from home, taking PTO. We should know in the next day or two what happens next.

    The mural is a big concern. It will definitely suffer during the reconstruction and we need to figure out how to replace it.

    Thanks everyone,


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  • Michelle December 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    The problem with buildings is they just have so much attitude, you know? Like they think they have a right to be there in front of you or something.

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  • Jessica Roberts December 11, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    It\’s high time we started a building licensing program. They\’ve been freeloading off our precious gas taxes for so long, but don\’t pay a penny for the road in front of them!!!! It makes me sick.

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  • Michelle December 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    I think they should just be banned from the roads. Then there\’d be plenty of space on the roads and sidewalks for more cars, and traffic wouldn\’t get held up having to turn around them or stop behind them.

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  • jake December 11, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    perhaps the ccc should take advantage of the new hole in the wall and turn it into a \’drive-up window\’

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  • […] equipment was destroyed, and of course, there’s a giant freaking hole in the building. Click here to donate, and to read some of the most sarcastic comments I’ve ever seen. “I hope the […]

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  • […] Read coverage of the collision on BikePortland.org […]

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  • mike December 14, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I am glad that no one got hurt.That wall was a great piece of art. The first ride that I took my son on was stoped there as the half way point. It really is a center of cycling for a lot of people. I hope that they can restore it what ever it takes. So \”Mr Gorbachev don\’t tear down that wall\”

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  • Luxy January 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    What\’s up folks,
    Just looking for an update on the building status. I was one of the staff artists on the mural (go corbo go!!!) and have no idea how it\’s holding. Any news?

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  • Luxy January 16, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    And its a damned good thing all the cyclists on the wall were wearing helmets….!

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