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Fatal bus/bike crash in Beaverton

Posted by on February 11th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

random shots need to edit file photo.
(© Jonathan Maus)

A man 15 year-old Beaverton boy lost his life today in a collision with a TriMet bus on Farmington road, just west of Murray Blvd (Google map).

From reports, it seems like the collision occurred as the bus, going westbound on Farmington, crossed over the bike lane prior to pulling over for a stop. View the intersection below:

Red arrow shows approximate location of collision.

Here’s more from the Oregonian:

“Few details have emerged from the scene. Sgt. Paul Wandell, a Beaverton Police spokesman, said it is unclear whether the bus hit the cyclist, who was described as a “young adult male.”

There is a bike lane on Farmington Road, but it remains unclear if the cyclist was using the lane at the time of the collision, Wandell said. The cyclist, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene, he said.”

The victim’s name has not been released. Beaverton Police are interviewing witnesses, passengers on the bus, and the driver as part of their ongoing investigation

More coverage:
Beaverton Valley Times

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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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Opus the Poet February 11, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    There was also a bike-Jeep collision in your neck of the woods also Doctor rides to work in an ambulance after getting hit by a Jeep At least with that story the motor vehicle was known to be in the wrong.

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  • Rico February 11, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    A terrible thing. I just happened to be at that intersection–waiting first in line, heading South on Murray, precisely when this occured. Doubly strange that I\’m a long-time cycle commuter in Beaverton, and usually am commuting home at that time (I drove, today). Didn\’t see the impact, but certainly heard the muffled crunch (sorry). It could be that the cyclist bumped down from the multi-user path, and onto the side-roadway. Could be that the bus didn\’t see him. I see cyclist do this here, as the side of the road is especially wide for the Trimet buses to pull off…and as many know, those buses move & pull ver quickly. Regardless of the circumstances, a tragedy, and a reminder for Westside cycle commuters to remain vigilant.

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  • Brent February 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    My thoughts and prayers go out the the cyclist\’s family. I ride this route daily on my commute from work. Rico is correct about it being a dangerous intersection. Cyclists going south on Murray that use the multi-user path need to be wary of the cars turning right on to Farmington. I make a right at this corner from the multi-user path on to the west bound bike lane. I am very vigilant on watching for buses at this location as they tend to enter the bike lane just as they start to clear the intersection. Most of the time it is safe to make this turn but still dangerous coming off of that multi-user path.

    It would be great if the bike lane countiued on Murray between TV Hwy and Farmington. This is the only stretch from Hwy 26 to Scholls Ferry Rd. that is missing the bike lane. It forces cyclists to move onto and off of this multi-user path, or be in the actual traffic lane. Both options put the cyclist at a great risk for an accident.

    Please let\’s not start laying blame on the cyclist or the bus driver until all the facts are known. At this point it is not know which direction the cyclist was coming from or heading to.

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  • Joe February 11, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    biker down.. RIP

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  • wsbob February 12, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Absolutely, a very dangerous intersection. Because it\’s a major intersection, so many cars pass through there, fast, creating an enormous amount of things for everyone on that road to be watching for. It might be safe outside of rush hour, but during rush hour, it\’s a very scary place for cyclists.

    I don\’t know what they can do about it really. The intersection feels so big. So, the cyclists direction of travel hasn\’t yet been confirmed and announced? Seems to be the situation.

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  • Peter February 12, 2008 at 12:56 am

    the thing i can\’t figure out with this accident and others like it, is how bicyclists end up under the vehicle? it seems like several factors would have to come together perfectly for a bicyclist to get ensnared by a wheel, or get trapped underneath a moving vehicle. and, in this case, did the bicyclist go under the front of the vehicle??

    it might sound a bit dark, but i\’d like to see an animation of how these types of accidents happen – so i and others know how to prevent them – both when we\’re driving autos and when we\’re on bikes. i\’ll throw in $5 towards that cause.

    we should actually have a full array of these riding/driving safety/training videos out on youtube, etc. Having a street sketch-up is just not as effective – let\’s do some real 3D, multiple-perspective video/movie work.

    ot: just want to double-check that austin is not the only place that was unable to access today/yesterday…? i thought maybe there\’s be a \’tech difficulties\’ notice up or something.

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  • Peter February 12, 2008 at 1:02 am

    and speaking of that Jeep \’accident\’, the driver only got a \’driving in the wrong direction\’ citation??

    that\’s like, instead of getting charged with attempted murder for shooting your neighbor in the head with your .32, you get a \’firing in the wrong direction\’ citation. wtf?

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  • Peter February 12, 2008 at 1:25 am

    ok – i see how the Jeep thing could have actually been an accident. roundabouts suck, etc. i still don\’t get it. it\’d be nice if we didn\’t have to call in the NTSB for every bicycle accident. if we got answers while emotions were still raw, we might actually be able to do something about dangerous road conditions.

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  • Christopher Lee February 12, 2008 at 1:27 am

    i don\’t know who\’s to blame but i will say that trimet drivers are dangerous. i\’ve almost been ran off the road multiple times by trimet bus drivers. my girlfriend had a bus consistently inch up behind her at a red light and consistently honk and motion for her to get out of the way even though the light was red and she was in the broadway bike lane. one time while trying to catch a bus i ran up to pull down the bike rack and the driver shook his head no and when i continued to pull it down he inch the bus forward and nudged me then motioned for me to get out of his way. that\’s just to name a few. basically what i\’m saying is trimet drivers need to be reeducated and if they can\’t comply should have their license taken away.

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  • BURR February 12, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Read the story on the NE PDX crash – the driver was \’shortcutting\’ the roundabout at the time. There\’s actually a specific traffic code violation for shortcutting those roundabouts, but I guess the cop wasn\’t aware of it, big surprise.

    No big surprise that no extra violations were added to his citation for hitting a cyclist while committing a violation, that\’s apparently still just par for the course for the PPB.

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  • BURR February 12, 2008 at 2:25 am

    811.330 Driving wrong way around traffic island; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of driving the wrong way around a traffic island if the person is operating a vehicle and the person drives the vehicle around a rotary traffic island in any direction except to the right of the island.
    (2) The offense described in this section, driving the wrong way around a traffic island, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §622]

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  • BURR February 12, 2008 at 2:29 am

    As for the Beaverton crash, Brett is correct, if you are riding south on Murray and want to turn west on Farmington, you are directed to a MUP on Murray and you reenter Farmington at the exact spot a bus would be crossing the bike lane to reach the bus turnout / stop. Very dangerous flawed design, the transportation dept. that designed / installed it should have some liability exposure here.

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  • Patti February 12, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Another heartbreak for all of us

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  • Stripes February 12, 2008 at 7:15 am

    How awful. I get so nervous riding around bus stops. Busses are so unpredictable, with some drivers choosing to signal, others choosing not to signal, some using their flashing \”yield\” signs, others not using their flashing \”yield\” signs.

    The intersection of Madison & MLK is very hairy. Even if you are hanging back in the bike lane to allow the busses to pull out first in front of you when the light turns green, there are so many motorists who choose to illegally stay in the straight lane and who then turn right in front of you, rather than get into the right hand turn lane and wait behind the bus.

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  • Andy February 12, 2008 at 7:45 am

    That intersection is on my commute too. It\’s very problematic. The bus stop is recessed from the curb, and the victim probably didn\’t realize the bus was pulling in. And if the cyclist was indeed coming from the multiuse path, the bus driver probably never saw him. It\’s a terrible tragedy.

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  • Peter W February 12, 2008 at 8:14 am

    My heart goes out to the victim\’s family and friends. This is a horrible, horrible tragedy.

    Sadly I think crashes like this will become more and more common in Washington County. The traffic engineers out there are infamous for accommodating motor vehicles at the expense of bicycle and pedestrian safety. Washington County is working on another MSTIP road funding package which will make more and more roads wider – 5 lanes in many cases and up to 7 lanes on TV HWY.

    The County even wants to add overpasses so Murry will be like a raised freeway crossing Farmington and TV Hwy – we can only imagine the problems that would cause for safety, with traffic never needing to stop as it turns on and off of ramps.

    We really need people to get involved in Washington County to help change their transportation plans to build more small, slow connecting streets that are more desirable and safe for cyclists. This is especially true considering how many Portland cyclists take MAX and bike to Intel and other westside jobs.

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  • Commuter February 12, 2008 at 8:22 am

    My prayers are with the family. Rest in Peace

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  • Guy M February 12, 2008 at 8:47 am

    This is a very sad start to the season.

    I ride this route on my daily commute, both to and from work. And while I do not go west on Farmington, my commute takes me further south, I do find this intersection to be a test of nerves.

    Often I will catch the light in a green state and many times I find myself in potential conflict with motorists wanting to turn right onto Farmington from southbound Murray. This sort of reentry into traffic and a bike lane from a multi-user path is a formula for disaster. I am surprised that a rider has not been right-hooked here yet. Until there is a change in this configuration, it\’s only a matter of time.

    My sympathies to the family of the rider.

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  • Peter W February 12, 2008 at 8:49 am

    re #12: I agree – looking at that intersection, you have to wonder why they purposely designed a conflict point like that.

    Perhaps a small improvement in this situation would be to put signs on the multi use path directing cyclists to take the sidewalk on Farmington past the bus pullout, then put a curb cut in so you could get down off the sidewalk in front of the bus pullout (far enough in front so the bus doesn\’t hit you as it pulls out).

    Another big problem is that this is a 45mph road with a design speed of more like 55mph. The bus probably is traveling pretty fast when it crosses the bike lane. A good long term solution would be to put in some bike/ped connections between Farmington and TV Hwy so you don\’t have to ride on Farmington.

    FYI – 6th runs south of Farmington, and is a low traffic neighborhood street parallel to Farmington. Some bike network signs would be good, to help direct people to the few roads like 6th that are low traffic and actually go somewhere.

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  • Peter W February 12, 2008 at 8:51 am

    re #12 again:
    \”Very dangerous flawed design, the transportation dept. that designed / installed it should have some liability exposure here.\”

    Anyone know if the County traffic engineering department could actually be found at fault for flawed design here? It might just take a lawsuit to make them do a better job in the future.

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  • Peter O. February 12, 2008 at 8:56 am

    So sad, I also used to ride through there daily but changed my route because I didn\’t like the traffic there. I had many close calls with the buses around there. They like to enter the bike lane early (sometimes 100 yards) before they make the stop and they don\’t always look.

    I stopped riding there and began to go down 5th/6th street.

    Not saying thats what happened but its what I have seen happen before on that route.

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  • Wash. County Commuter February 12, 2008 at 8:59 am

    I was a daily bike commuter in that area for seven years, and I\’d say it\’s probably one of the worst stretches in Beaverton at the moment- I always avoid that area by turning a block early and using SW 6th instead. I don\’t think more bike lanes on the arteries are practical in that area, but it would be nice to see them put in from the Library to Murray along 6th.

    My understanding of the situation from details published in the Tribune this morning is that the bus was coming into a stop on the SE corner of the intersection just as the kid was turning right off Murray, and physics won once again.

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  • KT February 12, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Per KGW, today:

    \”According to TriMet passenger Robert Summers, both tires ran over the bicyclist\’s head. He said there were 14 passengers on the bus at the time. Police were interviewing witnesses and the driver.

    Officers were also investigating to see if the bus crossed into a designated bike lane on the street.\”

    RIP, fellow cyclist!

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  • Ena February 12, 2008 at 9:16 am

    When I heard of this latest cyclist tragedy, I just began to weep. I wish that everyone, drivers, cyclist, busses and peds could just be a little more mindful while traveling. I am always thinking of cyclists when I drive.

    I learned that the bus rolled over the victims head with both sets of wheels. It was light out and this poor guy went under the front of the bus. I agree as well that trimet drivers, many of them, are awful. I find them to be very impatient, but think they get that way from people pulling out in front of them, expecting that they will wait. So, they get frustrated and drive like crap.

    Also, when travelling on Willamette last night, I saw three cyclists in just a moment or two with NO LIGHTS on their bikes. This is a recipe for disaster.
    Many stores offer discounts for lights, which means you can get them for about ten dollars. Let\’s help people we know get their bikes \’lit up!\”
    If they don\’t have the money for a light, buy one for them. It could save their life.

    The young man that was crushed by the bus last night is part of our Portland family. This issue includes ALL OF US doing something to make the city a safer place to ride.

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  • Shauna February 12, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Katu is reporting that the cyclist wasn\’t a man but a 15 year old kid. =/

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  • Vance February 12, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I feel horrible for this boy\’s family. This was a 15 year old child, not man, as stated in the bikeportland article. I think it is important to remember that thousands of people made a safe, incident-free, bicycle commute this same day. I would also like to point out that the mandatory helmet law did absolutely nothing for this victim. Again.

    My condolences to this child\’s family.

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  • Jim O'Horo February 12, 2008 at 9:24 am

    In a bike advisory commitee meeting a couple of months ago we were discussing some design issues regarding another project, and Farmington in Beaverton was cited as an example of the very worst in the entire PDX metro area.

    I\’ve ridden there myself, and felt very uncomfortable with it. The saddest irony is that for most of that segment the authorities haven\’t saved any right of way or reduced impervious surface. They just did such a poor design job that the result is disaster waiting to happen.

    My heartfelt condolences.

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  • steve February 12, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Yet again we see how much help a styrofoam hat is when pitted against a vehicle.


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  • Peter W February 12, 2008 at 9:46 am

    re #26: \”Farmington in Beaverton was cited as an example of the very worst in the entire PDX metro area.\”

    Jim, do you recall which meeting that was or the specifics of the poor design?

    I\’m guessing one factor is that the car lanes are super wide, and the road feels super wide, so cars feel really comfortable driving at speeds well beyond safe.

    Actually on a similar road, 185th, I witnessed the result of those speed inducing lanes: an SUV going at least 60mph T-Bone a Volvo trying to turn onto a side street. In the impact both vehicles spun around and ended up in the bike lane and on the sidewalk – note these roads generally have no buffer protecting pedestrians from cars. If I was riding any faster I\’m sure I would have been flattened by that SUV as it flew across the bike lane and onto the sidewalk.

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  • jamie February 12, 2008 at 9:52 am

    stay away from buses. When I ride down irving I either peddle my ass off to get away from upcoming buses, or just outright get off my bike until they are gone.

    Tri-met bus drivers are dangerous whether you\’re on two wheels or in a cage. Since moving to portland, I\’m far more weary of buses that seem to think they have the right to pull in and out of traffic regardless of what\’s going on around them.

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  • One Less :( February 12, 2008 at 9:53 am

    I used to manage Kissler\’s on Beaverton Hillsdale HWY. Let me tell you, the bus drivers in that area, or Portland for that matter, do not care about you on the road. Sure there is no bike lane on that section of the road where the shop is located, but thank god I only had to travel a short distance on that horrible road. A few years back the city improved the sidewalks (widened them) from 217 to just past Jesuit. They could\’ve left them alone and put in bike lanes, but whatever. The fact is this, in the 1/4 of road that I had to ride bus drivers never gave me an inch. Several times I felt as if the force of the bus would pull me under. I have also been cut off by buses turning into these, as I call them, \”pit stops\”. Horrible design as it gives them, as I\’ve been told by several pissed off tri-met bus drives, the right to turn and I must yield. Every time this has happened I call and complain to tri-met and site bus #, driver description, etc. but it keeps happening and what I suspect happened here. I bet the driver of the bus thought the cyclist would yeild for her to keep her bus \”on schedule\”. MORE DRIVER EDUCATION!

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  • rekon February 12, 2008 at 10:05 am

    It is quite unfortunate to hear about this! I will be interested to hear more as the details emerge.

    This brings to mind something I witnessed Sunday during the Worst Day of the Year Ride, and I wonder if anyone got the bus number and reported it Tri-Met (I did not, but many dozens of riders also witnessed this event). What I saw was a bus traveling north on Williams, just after crossing Broadway, pinch off between 1 to 2 dozen cyclists in a concerted effort to \”merge(?!)\” across the bike lane so that it could make it\’s appointed stop. The bus did this all while honking incessantly as it passed a nearly continuous line of cyclists riding north on Williams. This bus failed to yield to the cyclists it was overtaking and passing and then physically forced them to the curb and/or to stop. These cyclists were pinched off so badly that when the bus did stop it was sitting at angle from the curb (I believe there was a paved shoulder for the bus too), fully across the bike lane, and still partially into the traffic lane!

    I was pinched off by a Tri-Met bus like this myself, and without the \”warning\” of a horn, about 3-4 years ago. Since that time, and after another unrelated rider\’s lawsuit against Tri-Met, my experience with Tri-Met buses has been quite good…they\’ve been courteous and quite yielding. What I witnessed Sunday however, was horrific and potentially life threatening to multiple cyclists, all at one time! Perhaps that driver was having a bad day, already behind schedule, whatever, and then having to deal with hundreds of cyclists (some more conscientious, skilled, safe, courteous, what have you, than others) it may have pushed this bus driver over the edge. This however, is no excuse! We are talking about a multi-ton city vehicle NOT yieldi ng to a bike lane with several dozen riders in it, and then FORCING its way dangerously through those riders. This is unforgivable, and I sincerely hope this is not what happened to the cyclist that was killed yesterday!

    Please, if anyone saw the event Sunday and has information regarding that bus, please, contact Tri-Met with a complaint!

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  • Bikelawya February 12, 2008 at 10:13 am

    RIP my young friend.

    Perhaps the fact that this was a child fatality will wake some people up in Portland.

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  • Ena February 12, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Another thought has come to mind that I would like to share. In 2005, I caused a three car accident. I was grabbing a piece of paper in my vehicle and before I knew it, I rear-ended a lady. Nobody was hurt, but I was very upset about this mistake. It took me many months to forgive myself for this accident.

    This brings this bus driver to mind. I think what happened was a stupid, careless mistake, in which she deserves to lose her job. I\’m sure she never wants to drive a bus again. Please remember that before we get enraged and want her to pay for her mistake, that I\’m sure she is suffering greatly, just as Austin\’s family is suffering. I want her to be held responsible for taking this young man\’s life, don\’t get me wrong. But, please put yourself in her place before we call for her destruction.

    If I did something like this, I don\’t know if I\’d ever be able to be an active part of society again.

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  • Johnny February 12, 2008 at 10:27 am

    rekon I saw this exact same thing happen a few weeks ago and reported the bus #, time and location to Tri-Met\’s customer service line. I\’ve been cut off by buses heading North on Williams a number of times and usually it\’s uneventful. The stops are set up so if a cyclist is in the right spot they end up playing leap-frog with the buses. I\’ve seen Tri-Met buses not yield to cyclists in the bike lane a number of times. They will and do pull into the bike lane with cyclists in it.

    If you see it happen please get the bus # and report it to Tri-Met!

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  • Robin February 12, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Here is a Oregonian update;

    It was a 15 year old boy. He was a student at the Beaverton Arts Academy. It\’s terribly sad.

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  • Jason Penney February 12, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    FYI, the victim was a sophomore at Arts & Communications Magnet Academy, a small magnet school in the Beaverton public school system.

    The students there are absolutely devastated.

    Busy street + young road user + inadequate engineering == bad news 🙁

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  • Metal Cowboy February 12, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Breaks my heart. A young man with his whole lifeahead of him. Education, enforcement and infrastructure – education for drivers, bus drivers, engineers and planners. I dream of the day we have so many cyclists out on the road that the mindset of drivers shifts.

    Hope we can honor Austin with a memorial ride – Hal\’s event this evening is too soon for me to get overr there, but we should do something…

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  • Dabby February 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Maybe this should be a wake up call to reign in the atrocious actions taken daily by Tri Met drivers.

    I have long spoken out against the obvious and flagrant disregard for laws, and the well being of anyone who is not a paying bus rider, that our supposed \”public transportation\” daily displays.

    This accident appears, from all that I have heard and read about it, to be a simple fact of a bus driver pulling into a bike lane, where a bike was, and has the right of way. (Of course this may not be the case, but we have to analyze these situations for ourselves, not being able to trust the police versions of things anymore)

    I await the magic excuse \”I didn\’t see him\”, (many witnesses who were on the bus saw the cyclist before he was hit, and the driver did not, it has been reported) from this member of the largest road using group we have here.

    If you do not see a bike in the bike lane right in front of you, you are obviously not looking where you should be.

    I also await the public outcry and repercussions this will bring.

    I truly hope that the police in Beaverton have even a small enough amount of respect for the cycling community, enough for this to be properly investigated, and for Tri Met and the driver to be fully held responsible now, and in the future,(finally) for any and all actions unbecoming of a proper \”public transportation\” system.

    I hope the family of this young lad is dealing with this as well as can be imagined.

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  • J February 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I have a question of all of you who are outraged at the driving behavior of bus drivers: what\’s your behavior around buses?
    As I commute by bicycle from SE Portland, I cross the Hawthorne Bridge. Westbound on Madison at Grand, the curb lane is right-turn-only except buses. It\’s a heavily used bus stop and I encounter a bus there most mornings. I figure if the bus is still loading, I have a right to proceed up to the stop bar on the red signal. But if the bus has finished loading and his left turn signal and the \”YIELD to buses\” light are flashing, I figure I\’m obligated to stop behind the bus. Yet, four out of five bicyclists behind me pass me and figure they have the right-of-way over the bus. One of four cyclists curse me for stopping.
    So, what\’s your rationale? I\’ll bet the drivers have at least as many complaints about us as we do them.

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  • a.O February 12, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Yes, J, I\’m sure you\’re right. And when we fail to yield to them they have to wait a few extra seconds in their busy day and when they fail to yield to us WE\’RE DEAD.

    No, I\’m not defending the actions of the cyclists who don\’t obey the law, and the law requires yielding in that situation, but please get some perspective on what matters. Once we solve the problem of everybody STAYING ALIVE on the roads, we\’ll worry about those terrible cyclists who don\’t yield to busses when they should.

    I understand your frustration, but there are worse things that people do. Take Vance and steve, for example: They\’ve used a tragedy as an opportunity to make a political point. That\’s truly disgusting to me.

    What\’s important now is to focus our efforts on preventing more of these preventable collisions.

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  • Dabby February 12, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I believe (I am sure one of you anal folks will look this up trying to prove me wrong) we gave the buses (sadly) exclusive right of way years ago, through the power of the little Yield triangle, whether lit or not.

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  • BURR February 12, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    For all of you \’blame the cyclist\’ types, I thought I\’d repost this little gem of a quote from none other than Robert Hurst:

    \”One thing that I\’ve noticed about Portland — not only are there a lot more cyclists per capita there, but the cycle-commuters are also the most law-abiding, light-sitting, conservative and proper riders I\’ve ever seen anywhere.\”

    – Robert

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  • TV commuter February 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    It makes me sick to my stomach hearing about this –I feel so bad for that poor kid & his family. I do the trans-Beaverton bike commute daily & although I fortunately don’t usually pass thru this intersection I know it well.

    Beaverton has made some effort, but really has not come to terms with providing safe routes for cyclists. Almost all bike lanes are on large high speed arterials & a lot of them are discontinuous. For example – Farmington has no bike lane or MUP to the east of this intersection and then the weird Murray MUP transition to bike lane (across a bustop) where this accident occurred. A lot of the quiet side roads are convoluted, cul-de-sac riddled developments that are confusing to navigate (they would not be suitable as eastside-style bike boulevards). If you have a specific planned route it’s not bad (even on the arterials), but if you are just trying to find your way it can be difficult. Many pedestrians have it just as bad – no sidewalk or shoulder on some major roads thru dense areas (lady killed on 198th Ave a few weeks ago). Not a very good show for “the 2nd largest city in Oregon”. Compared to downtown there are far fewer cyclists out here in Beaverton – yet we seem to be getting killed off at almost the same rate.

    As far as the Trimet drivers are concerned – some are good & some are bad, but even the good intentioned ones are erratic. The bad ones just pull in front of you & hit the brakes (not really a problem as long as they provide reasonable clearance) , the “good intentioned” ones either tailgate behind me until I pass the bus stop or pull in front & stop in the road (not crossing into the bike lane) waiting for me to pass on the right. Are they going to discharge passengers into me as I go by? Who knows? I know they’re trying to do their job & I’m sure they get frustrated at having “our space” cross thru “their space”, but with such a large and deadly vehicle vs. more vulnerable road users they need better training. I know there are some inconsistent bike riders out there, but the onus of responsibility rests on the professional Trimet drivers to use an extreme level of care & consistency (when crossing shared road space). In the last 3 years (10k+ miles of Beaverton riding) I can’t recall anything more than 1-2 minor issues with cars, but it is at least weekly that I get encroached on by a bus.

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  • Bob February 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    This is just such a terrible thing. 15 years old, I feel like I know that boy. My son at 15 T-boned a honda while on his bicycle. He fliped over the car and landed on his ass and ankles. He got a do-over and a life lesson. Every 15 year old should get a do-over. What a night mare.

    My condolences to the family

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  • Stripes February 12, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    The bus drivers that drive out in the suburbs drive like maniacs.

    Case in point – the # 14 Hawthorne bus drivers are generally pretty courteous. They are around cars, drive in narrow lanes, and see bicyclists a LOT on a daily basis.

    When the TriMet # 71 route was temporarily routed along Hawthorne, I was just speechless. I would see these buses go FLYING past me way too fast. They would take the corner of Hawthorne & 39th at alarming speed, causing pedestrians legally crossing in the crosswalk there to flee for their lives. I was honestly just… speechless at their behavior. It was such a drastic change from the way the #14 bus drivers drove.

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  • J February 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    So, a.O, based on your argument above, it\’s OK to blow through a red light on a bike because the motorist with the green only loses a few seconds!

    Every time a cyclist flagrantly violates the law he makes another enemy or at least an unsympathetic citizen.

    An as I described above, I and other cyclists simply need to yield and \”lose a few seconds\” while letting the passengers in the bus (not just the driver) get to their destinations on time.

    One of those people in the car or on the bus will end up serving on a jury for some cyclist trying to recover damages from a motorist who violated the law. We need to make a good impression on those we encounter if at all possible.

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  • naess February 12, 2008 at 6:34 pm


    j, you have to realize that a.o.\’s argument will always change to reflect whatever fits into his \”bikes are always right\” world view.


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  • naess February 12, 2008 at 6:38 pm


    a.o., your entire comment makes no sense, seeing as how if we were to \”worry about those terrible cyclists who don\’t yield to busses when they should,\” then we could \”solve the problem of everybody STAYING ALIVE on the roads,\”. at least where yeilding to a bus is concerned.


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  • Tom February 12, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I commuted through this intersection for over ten years until 1995. It was flawed then and still is.

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  • BURR February 12, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    TriMet drivers run red lights and speed all the time, they are worse than the motorists, because their primary performance metric is how well they keep to their schedules, not safety.

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  • Jenn February 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    My heart goes out to the family of this young boy. This is a terrible tragedy.

    To other posters – please stop bickering about who\’s right about what. Take that somewhere else. It\’s not appropriate right now.

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  • TomL February 12, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    I drove past the site earlier this evening and saw the ghost bike with some folks gathered around it – way after the memorial. My and my families thoughts go out to the family.
    I split my commute between Washington Co. and downtown and the WA county part is by far the worst of it. Narrow roads, no outs, intermittent bike lanes and an overriding sense of entitlement that exudes from the drivers out here. That intersection is a nightmare and I try to avoid it at all costs, even going out of my way to do so. I don\’t even count the times I get nearly swiped riding out here, it\’s just not worth it.
    RIP Austin.

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  • Cyclist Down « Lost on the Floor February 13, 2008 at 12:40 am

    […] Fatal bus/bike crash in Beaverton […]

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  • Peter February 13, 2008 at 3:34 am

    these agencies need follow-up pressure to make sure they get this stuff done:

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  • Opus the Poet February 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Just wondering about the bike/Jeep crash, what is going down on that one? Any charges agasinst the (idiot) driver?


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  • Clkay February 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    What is Brent saying. they know what way the bike was going. He goes the same route everyday. Two things either happened. The bus ran the red light and ran over the bike who had the right of way. What my guess is was the bus had the green and did the same thing it does everyday and pull into its bus pull out area. The bike rider did NOT pay attention to the light and went out into the lane without looking to see that the bus was going to turn in to the pull out area. Just speculation. All of these new rules and laws do nothing for bike safety. It is the same as driving a car, pay attention to the light and signs and do as they say and you will live. Don\’t obey the regular traffic laws and die. Bike deaths have gone up and will continu to rise as long as more bike paths are built and the bike riders think they own the road. Just remember the most lug nuts win. I have 8 on my truck so that means your 1 on your bike will get crushed under my truck. Pay attention.

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  • That Guy February 16, 2008 at 2:29 am


    …so what about the automobile drivers that think they own the road? I think they need to pay attention as well. I was almost hit last week by a well dressed man in a BMW. Who had a phone glued to his face.

    …nuff said.

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  • Clkay February 16, 2008 at 8:39 am

    That guy. You are correct, I expect car drivers to pay attention more as they are operating a vehicle that can do extensive damage. As I see it though as I drive around town, percapita bike riders blow stop signs way more then any driver. I stop at a light and a bike rider pulls up and stops looks and then crosses on the red light like he is a pedestrian jay walking. That is wrong and if you drive by and say something to the rider all you get is the 1 finger salute.

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  • steve February 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

    And that endangers you how, exactly?

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  • Duncan February 16, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Cklay were you there? Otherwise your assumptions are pretty much useless. I am sure that there were witnesses, that they have some actual accounts of what happened that will shed some light on the case.

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  • Charlie Elsewhere February 16, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Austin Miller Memorial Vigil: Monday, Feb. 18, 4:30 – 4:45pm, Farmington and Murray. All bikers welcome.

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  • Todd Martin February 18, 2008 at 10:44 am

    tragic, bike lanes kill… just how many more must suffer?

    enuf said…

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  • BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com February 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Typical bike-in-bus-blind-spot crash in the bike lane. PDX build \’em. They\’ll come. And, they DIE. Situatuon Normal All F-word UP.

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  • […] Miller was a 15-year old boy who was killed while riding his bicycle in Beaverton, Oregon. He and a transit bus somehow managed to collide. The […]

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  • Fellow Student April 26, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    I was a fellow student with Austin at ACMA, however I regret not knowing him well. One of my close friends, however, was as close as you could get with Austin – tied together by the heart strings. Needless to say, we\’re all struggling with this. The hardest part is that this was by all means preventable.

    Austin had a wonderful future ahead of him. He was going to write, and make films. He was incredibly talented – it kills me that some one with such artistic talent was stolen from this world. It kills me that he\’s gone.

    I just wish people would pay attention more – check your blind spots, you never know when there\’s a bicyclist there. And bicyclists should be considerate of drivers. Wear helmets, follow the laws. I know for a fact that Austin was very strict in following the bike laws.

    This tragedy was preventable – what are we going to do to prevent it from happening again?

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  • […] a much more somber note, also during Hansen’s tenure was the collision that claimed the life of 15-year old Beaverton high school student Austin Miller. Miller was riding home from school when […]

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