A bittersweet bike box

Bike Box at W Burnside and 14th-5.jpg
The new bike box at W. Burnside and 14th.
Video below
(Photos © J. Maus)

On Monday, the city of Portland installed a bike box in the SE corner of W. Burnside and 14th streets in downtown Portland — the same intersection where Tracey Sparling was killed nine months ago.

This is the eighth bike box the City has installed in the past four months since the first one went in at SE Hawthorne and 7th.

There are a total of 14 locations on the initial list, but only eight of them have been authorized and installed (the other six are pending due to various issues).

Bikes now get plenty of
breathing room at red lights.

When I heard this one had been installed, I called Tracey Sparling’s aunt, Susie Kubota. She had already ridden through the intersection and noticed it a day earlier.

She said it made her feel, “ecstatically bittersweet.”

At first she was “elated and pleased” to see the bike box, but then she had “a mind-numbing flash” that, had it been installed last summer, her life would be much different:

“…it makes me physically ill to consider that such a simple fix would have definitely prevented the right hook that killed my niece.”

After I visited the site yesterday, I had similar feelings. I’ve shared more of my thoughts in the short film below:

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