Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Police share results from Rose Quarter “bicycle education mission”

Posted by on August 7th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

New sign at Rose Quarter-58.jpg

New sign at entrance to
Rose Quarter.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Yesterday from 3:30 to 6:00pm, the Transit Police and Traffic Divisions of the Portland Police Bureau staged what they refer to as a “bicycle education mission” at the Rose Quarter Transit Center.

According to a statement just released by spokesperson Brian Schmautz, the mission was, “done in response to a substantial increase in the number of complaints about traffic infractions in and around the transit station.”

Also in the statement, Schmautz writes that the temporary closure of the Steel Bridge has led to a 100 per day increase in the number of buses (shuttles) in the Rose Quarter area, which has, “resulted in several near misses between vehicles and bikes.”

The result of yesterday’s enforcement mission was 50 verbal and written warnings and two citations written to people operating bicycles who, “refused to obey traffic laws even after being given a warning to do so.”

The Police Bureau says they’ll return to the area for more enforcement missions at least until August 24th, when the Steel Bridge is scheduled to reopen.

Remember folks, TriMet won’t officially re-open the Rose Quarter Transit Center to bikes until September. Until then, it’s best to avoid that area or walk your bike as you go through.

Also keep in mind that the entire Rose Quarter area is extra confusing right now. In addition to the Steel Bridge closure, there are several East Side Big Pipe construction sites and detour and construction signs abound.

A few weeks ago I called 823-CYCL to notify the PDOT about a “No Right Turn” sign on a tripod that someone had placed directly in the bike lane on N. Interstate (at NE Holladay), that forced bikes into the adjacent travel lane. The City was attentive and the sign was taken out of the bike lane a few days later.

This sign is on the median at N. Interstate
and N. Multnomah (seen when going
south on Interstate). TriMet has
acknowledged that it should not
include a bike symbol and plans to
change it ASAP.

Then, this morning, while riding southbound on N. Interstate, I noticed detour signs for the Steel Bridge (at N. Multnomah) pointing bikes and peds to a detour that took them onto the east-side sidewalk, and advised traveling the wrong way on the sidewalk (a very dangerous proposition). I notified TriMet and they confirmed that the signs should not have had a bike symbol on them and that they are only meant for pedestrians. They plan to have new signs up shortly.

You can read more about yesterday’s educational mission via the BTA blog.

Also see TriMet’s tips for bike riders during the Steel Bridge closure.

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  • K'Tesh August 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Nice work on keeping up with the changes there Jonathan!

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  • CONFUSING August 7, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I don\’t ride through here very often but came this way on the way to breakfast on the bridges and all I can say is that it is CONFUSING! I was trying to ride legally going through the rose garden and then down to interstate rather than through the mall but I ended up in a situation where it appeared there was no legal way out over by the big hole in the ground for the sewer. Finally I just said whatever and rode past the street closed signs up to the esplanade entrance.

    At least the cops weren\’t ticketing people but it would be nice if the city paid someone to set up a clearer detour that didn\’t add significant distance to the route rather than just some people yelling hey don\’t go over there.

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  • Toby August 7, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    OK, so just what exactly are cyclists supposed to do going through there southbound? I don\’t go through the transit center, so I go from Vancouver to Wheeler, then I turn right onto Multnomah and take the lane so I can make a left onto Interstate. I know there is a sign at Interstate saying right only, but from a safety standpoint, I feels it\’s the best option. I\’ve used the crosswalk to get across Interstate, but with a line of cars filing through going right, they don\’t always want to yield. All the signage I\’ve seen wants to put me onto the sidewalk on the east side of Interstate. Not good, especially where you have to cross Wheeler with all the buses turning into it.

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  • jonno August 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    That area is a massive CF right now. Be polite, ride slow and use your bell on the lower deck! Lots of extra pedestrians.

    And to anyone who (like me) rides Everett to Front to connect to Waterfront Park, beware of the green light on Everett. It has an extremely short yellow and no lag before the red turns to green on Front.

    The other day, I entered the intersection on a green on Everett, saw the light turn yellow out of the corner of my eye, and then saw the light on Front turn green as I was halfway across the intersection. I don\’t like to run reds, so this one caught me by surprise and I got honked at (he was so quick, guy must\’ve been covering the horn just waitin\’ for me to do something). Nearly got hit by a car in the far lane, too.

    It happened again this morning. Watch out, or wait for the (very slow) crosswalk change! Is there someone I can report this to?

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  • Donald August 7, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Bells are not mandatory.

    And drive me up the wall.

    I must have just missed the coppers yesterday. Loathe though am to do it, I do the long route when northbound and take great joy when I hit the I-5 onramp in catching up to the miscreants who can\’t read the No Bikes sign and mentioning to them that A: they didn\’t save any time and B: they are more than welcome to suck my wheel all the way up Vancouver if they need.

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  • Sport Class bottom feeder August 7, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    “…done in response to a substantial increase in the number of complaints about traffic infractions in and around the transit station.”

    Or one person (Myra Walker perhaps?) complaining many, many times.

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  • Forseti August 7, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    \”Also in the statement, Schmautz writes that the temporary closure of the Steel Bridge has … \’resulted in several near misses between vehicles and bikes.\’\”

    Of course he did. Because even though Schmautz is the public voice for an agency sworn to uphold the traffic laws of Oregon, he does not know that a bicycle is a vehicle under Oregon law.

    And now that we\’re a few weeks past the previous \”education missions\” done by the PPB at various locations around the City, anyone care to comment on their effectiveness? Are more people now coming to a full stop at those intersections? Sure they are. Otherwise you\’d have to admit that they\’re a colossal waste of your money.

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  • J to H August 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    This area is really poorly laid out, with terrible signage. Who\’s decision was it to set up an \”education mission\” in a place where it\’s almost impossible to ride legally, combined with the fact the city put up the wrong signage? Feels pointless and antagonistic to me.

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  • matt picio August 7, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Donald (#5) \”bells are not mandatory\” – on the lower deck? Some form of audible warning is necessary – it\’s required by law. A lot of us use bells, so either get used to it, or petition your legislature to change the statute.

    I use my bell because it\’s more clearly heard than my voice, and because I used to get hoarse from saying \”passing on your left\” over and over.

    Oddly enough, when using my voice once, after waiting for a safe opportunity to pass a pedestrian, the guy yelled \”a bell would be nice\” at me when I passed. Can\’t please everyone I guess.

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  • Donald August 7, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Hi, Matt.

    I was just responding to the \”use your bell\” as if we all had them.

    I don\’t. Sorry, man. As I\’ve posted before, the sound is just like nails on a blackboard to me. It hits my lizard brain and raises my pressure. Ain\’t nothing I can do about it.

    I whistle the theme to Super Why/Dragon Tales (depending on when I leave) or chat inanities about what I got mad about the previous eve listening to middle of the night rebroadcasts of Mac/Lehrer. I\’m aware of the requirement (although I selectively dispense with it if I see ear buds).

    I\’m convinced the whistling thing is a net plus for my CV system.

    Funny that about the yelling guy.

    Oh, and my mantra always is: Dogs hate surprises. My two toddlers know that one as well as they know helmets are mandatory. \”Be cool, Cujo\” they say in soothing tones from the seven o\’clock.

    So if you hear a guy pfffting PBS kids show incidental music or saying \”Port side\” or \”Tony Snow didn\’t deserve nearly as much sympathy as he got\” and you see he\’s riding an antique Raleigh Comp, introduce yerself.

    But please don\’t ding that bell. The lizard loathes it.

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  • Icarus Falling August 8, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Actually, though I do not use one, (don\’t recall ever having one installed on a bike I owned) and sometimes find excessive bell ringing to be damned annoying, I believe a signaling device, such as a bell or a horn, is required by law.

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  • Donald August 8, 2008 at 1:13 am


    I disagree.

    In fact, I\’m looking forward to input on this.

    I\’m willing to bet ten cents that the wording calls for a verbal warning and that mechanical warning isn\’t specified.

    Beyond that, I\’m willing to bet a quarter that a verbal (which I assume includes whistling) warning is suffcient.

    All said, yes, we\’re supposed to give warning.

    I stop at red lights 99 percent of the time. I stop at stop signs 88 percent of the time.

    I give ped overtake warning if I suspect it\’s going to be a tight fit or if I think the ped/jogger is experimenting with vector, which is probably like 33 percent of the time.

    I average 14-18 mph on the lower deck/waterfront. If the coast is clear, doppler is against me, people are prone to look and say \”what?\”. Better to just be there. If it\’s not a clear shot, I tuck in behind the ped and wait for a chance. No need to worry anyone.

    I figure it\’s sort of like the autobahn: Once you\’re on it, no matter your conveyence or speed, you should expect the overtake and make allowances and observations in expectation of it.

    Being a parent, strollers and kids get a huge slow wide allowance.

    and, still, headset/earbuds and you get nothing. and you\’ll like it.

    (sorry, bit of caddyshack slipped in there.)

    Yes yes, I may be part of the problem, but I can own that. Haven\’t hit anyone since 1987, and that guy had it coming. Aggressive panhandling on the Burnside will get you a shoulder every time. (this is prebikelane)

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  • jimbo August 8, 2008 at 1:19 am

    My little girl has a bell. It dosn\’t really tell people what side your on or anything. A casual \”on your left\” will usually work rather well. That is of course if people realize that they are walking in a bike lane and not on a sidewalk of course. Bikes are allowed to ride on siewalks in Oregon at \”Walking speeds\” same for cross walks \”Walking sppeds\”

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  • chuck August 8, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Audible warnings should be given EVERY time you\’re passing someone, regardless of if you think they\’re going to hear you or not. there should be no excuses why you don\’t give a warning. Too many times I\’ve nearly had someone run into me from the rear from doing this. prime example was someone who decided to pass me on the left while going over the broadway bridge. I nearly ran him into the steel beams of the bridge.

    anyways, back on topic. when are they going to go forth with the plan to allow bikes to ride through the transit center? I\’m assuming that it\’ll be after this whole steel bridge thing is over. c/d?

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  • Moo August 8, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I have one of those small bells with the spring loaded clapper thing, and it seems that I only need to hit it once to do the trick…and the sound is halfway pleasant and at just the right pitch – compared to the racheting old school types. As far as yelling on the left, that usually startles people, and they can surprise you with any kind of move to the right or left.

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  • Jessy August 8, 2008 at 9:18 am

    This area is confusing if you\’re new to riding through it. But once you see how to get through without disobeying the (current) law, it\’s really not that hard. The only people that cut through where they\’re not supposed to are just confused or stubborn.

    That being said, I\’ll be glad when they make the direct bike access permanent. Not so much because it\’s a hassle going the extra 2 blocks around, but more because I think it\’ll just make everyone happier & safer, since they\’ll know what to expect.

    I say it over & over… The only way to ride safe is to be predictable. And the only way to be predictable is to follow the rules.

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  • Myra August 8, 2008 at 9:43 am


    I win on this one.

    By the way I don\’t do formal complaints, sorry. \’

    I was way way ahead of the curve on this thing.

    If they would have given out tickets to all those bikers I would be more happy but you can\’t get everything when you are right.

    Behold the power of my words. Sure I can\’t write in English very well but they are being heard.

    What next a crack down on bikers with no lights.



    This is just adds to the fun of my vacation even if I promised my husband not to talk about bikes, it\’s worth it.

    That\’s one victory for keeping bikers alive and out from on top of people walking and out from under busses and trains.

    We call that a win win win win

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  • Pete August 8, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Donald (#10): too funny! I don\’t have a bell either but can see them being useful (I ride in lanes mostly, rarely on sidewalks, otherwise saying \”on your left\” – how uncreative!).

    The reference is 814.410 Unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk, and the wording is \”audible warning\” as others have mentioned. Bells or horns aren\’t required, though another reader of this site introduced me to the Delta Airzound that\’s been used to prevent an inattentive motorist from hooking me on an occasion (and to vent frustration at a rude motorist on another – yeah, that\’s probably illegal ;).

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 8, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Hi Myra,

    I\’m glad you\’re trying to bring attention to this issue… but can you please refrain from the \”hahahahahaha\” and I-told-you-so tone?

    your comments would be much more effective and respected if you did. just a thought.

    And by the way, the police have been ticketing people on bikes for not having lights for a long time now.

    a few years ago i went on a ride-along with an officer and we were seeking out folks without lights and pulling them over.

    and by the way, I\’m all for busting people that are not properly lit.

    thanks for the comment.

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  • brewcaster August 8, 2008 at 10:40 am

    True, this area is confusing. But what is not confusing to me is a sign that says, NO BIKES. Why is that hard for people to follow?

    The above is correct, I follow the law in this area, and most often beat those folks who just risked their lives biking in an area filled with huge buses that are expecting not to have to dodge bicycles or public car traffic.

    YES, there are improvements needed, but again this does not give you a pass to break the law.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 8, 2008 at 10:44 am

    \”what is not confusing to me is a sign that says, NO BIKES. Why is that hard for people to follow?

    Just FYI, the \”no bikes\” sign is no longer there.. it has been replaced by a \”walk your bike\” sign (which I\’ve added to the story above).

    and FYI, bikes will be allowed to go through there once TriMet completes installation of new bike lanes, signs, etc.. in september.

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  • Red Hippie August 8, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I was almost killed by a bus on tuesday tuning out of the mall (Wheeler to N. Interstate). The driver looked at me and still pulled out even though I had right of way. I lock us both wheels and prayed, stopping a few feet from the bus. The driver leans out of the window and yells \”you f-in idiot\”. Nice.

    I follow the rules and ride around to Multnomah to get to Williams, and would expect the trimet drivers to be aware of wear people go. Yesterday while riding home, I am in the group op bikers at the bike light by the steel bridge and a group of 15 riders was released. 10 of them rode right through the bus mall despite the sign. 3 guy continued on interstate and only me and another guy went around to Multnomah.

    In a way I now blame the driver that almost hit me less. If two thirds of the riders illegally cut through the mall, that becomes you expectation. He probably thought I would ver off right throught he mall and that is why he ended up cutting me off. If I had been hurt, the blame would not be his alone. Partial responsibility would lie with those 10 riders who cut through the mall.

    Subsequently, I am happy to see the cops there because it makes me, a daily bike commuter, safer.

    Right on PoPo

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  • jeff s August 8, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Icarus (#11) & Donald (#12): here\’s the Oregon Revised Statute language on sidewalk cyclists warning pedestrians:
    814.410 Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:
    (b) Operates a bicycle upon a sidewalk and does not give an audible warning before overtaking and passing a pedestrian and does not yield the right of way to all pedestrians on the sidewalk.

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  • Toby August 8, 2008 at 11:41 am

    No, seriously, it wasn\’t a rhetorical question (#3), does anyone have any safe and legal suggestions on getting from N Vancouver to Steel Bridge other than walking through the transit center? (Preferably a way not involving bells!)

    Going northbound, I go past it all on Interstate and turn right on Larrabee (bottom of Broadway Bridge) to Broadway to Weidler to Williams. I\’ve tried doing essentially the reverse going south, but getting across Broadway to go down Larrabee wasn\’t pretty. I don\’t have a problem taking lanes and riding assertively (or aggressive if need be), but there\’s no point in temping fate either.

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  • brewcaster August 8, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Coming South on Vancouver, turn right on Multnomah, then get in left lane and make a left when light is green on Interstate. I think you know the rest…

    True the light has a no left turn sign, but there will be no traffic to contend with. If you don\’t want to turn left here, I sometimes will stay in right bike lane, and then do a crazy maneuver to wait with other bikers in bike lane on Interstate. Just watch out for the bus stop here.

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  • McAngryPants August 8, 2008 at 11:54 am

    First…Trimet fails at that transit center.

    Second…everyone stop feeding the trolls. If you ignore them, they have now power.

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  • Toby August 8, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    That\’s what I normally do (on green) because it\’s the safest (I feel) but I\’m half waiting for Officer Ball Buster to see me do it and write me up for disobeying a traffic signal or whatever it is. The judge wont care if it\’s safer, only if it was legal, which it\’s not.

    And yeah, sometimes I turn left, sometimes I do a sort of clover loopdee loop (Like on well designed interstate interchanges elsewhere). Six is one, half dozens another. Still have to wait at the next red.

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  • Yes August 8, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    \”I noticed detour signs for the Steel Bridge (at N. Multnomah) pointing bikes and peds to a detour that took them onto the east-side sidewalk, and advised traveling the wrong way on the sidewalk (a very dangerous proposition).\” – Maybe I just need a visual to understand, but is it possible to travel the wrong way on a sidewalk? Can a sidewalk be 1-way?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 8, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    \”is it possible to travel the wrong way on a sidewalk? Can a sidewalk be 1-way?\”

    for peds, it\’s not a big deal, but for bikes, \”wrong way\” would be going against the direction of traffic in the adjacent roadway.

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  • matt picio August 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Red Hippie (#22) – You *SHOULD* blame the Tri-Met driver. It doesn\’t matter if you are the only cyclist on the road obeying the law – he needs to obey the law as well, and that requirement does not hinge on your behavior, nor that of anyone else. Too many people are using the bad behavior of others to justify their own bad behavior. The driver made an assumption rather than preparing for both possibilities as he (or she) should have. Partial responsibility does NOT rest with the 10 who rode right on through – if that were a \”normal\” intersection, and you and the bus behaved the same way, would it be partially the responsibility of other bikes and cars that continued straight through the \”normal\” intersection?

    It\’s prudent to assume that other traffic may do crazy and/or illegal things, and over time people develop the skills to tell when others intend to do just that. But it\’s also prudent to assume that other traffic may entirely obey the law, and all road users should be prepared for the other traffic to do so.

    Tri-Met drivers have no excuse – they have the training, the experience, and the operator\’s license that says they are supposed to know better. They\’re ostensibly professionals – when they fail to accomodate lawful behavior of others and impinge on the right-of-way of others, they fail as safe and responsible drivers. It\’s as simple as that.

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  • Moo August 8, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Isn\’t the bike in the walk your bike sign being pushed backwards? Just sayin\’

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  • Todd Boulanger August 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I rode through this workzone last night (11PM)…and I saw a lot more pedestrians [for that time of night] walking across the Steel Bridge between transit stations…and I would request that Trimet consider:
    – installing a bike only detour sign to direct bikes off of NB Naito Parkway bike lane earlier…their current sign ios a bike & ped detour sign pointing bikes down a flight of stairs or into grass.
    – installing sharrows where they want bikes to go in order to link up the network.
    – Install A boards at the Yellow Max platfrom at Rose Qtr explaining what is up and option to walk to Old Town. (There is a taped message but you have to stick around to hear it loop through.)

    – extend security into the plaza area above the Steel Bridge (Peace garden)…there were a lot more campers there than I seem to remember…they were no problem other than their camping carts were blocking the route (or could be a source of concern for slower transit patrons on foot from suburbia)

    I assume there will be a lot of bike & ped conflicts this month – especially in the weave that one must now take to reach the Steel. Better signing and temp. on road stenciling through would be great.

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  • JV August 8, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Why does anybody who is heading north take the Steel Bridge to get to the east side of the river anyway? Especially during peak commuter times! The Broadway bridge is much nicer, wider, usually has ped taffic going in the same direction as bikes, and has good access to Interstate, Williams, and all points east and north. Seems like some of us just like the challenge of navigating difficult, confusing construction areas. Just avoid the Steel mess and leave it for the walkers…

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  • girl on a bike August 8, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Wow … whenever Myra posts, I feel like we\’re giving witness to a real, live Batman villain. I\’m imagining the costume looking sort of like the Riddler\’s, but with little \”no bikes\” signs all over it instead of question marks, topped off with a cracked bike helmet. Her secret origin is that she was once your average happy-go-lucky Portland rider until one fateful day when she rode up to a four way stop and the Joker blew up a tanker truck parked in the adjacent bike lane. When she came to, the first person she laid eyes on was another cyclist who had stopped to help her. In her understandable state of fear and confusion—not to mention the psychological effects of the nasty bump on her head where her helmet cracked against it—she put the pieces she remembered together and determined the cyclist who was helping her up had cut her off at the stop sign and caused her to crash. At that moment, Myra vowed she would spend the rest of her life hunting down renegade cyclists! I nominate Kathy Bates for the role whenever they get around to making the movie …

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  • steve August 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    That is the exact same image I have of Mr. Myra. Only difference is I picture Crispin Glover, as I am sure she is a he.

    We need to get a graphic designer or cartoonist to do a few sketches of our own super villain!

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  • Toby August 8, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Well JV #33, speaking only for myself, I live on the east side of the Ross Isl Bridge, so I\’m on the east side the whole time.

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  • Joe August 8, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    It\’s sad someone get happy from negative
    thoughts. ahh well its Friday all enjoy!

    be safe 🙂

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  • jimbo August 9, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Red Hippie-
    Obviously you have never taken a drivers test or you would know that when a buss puts his blinker on he has the right of way and you MUST STOP. Buss\’s allways put the blinker on when they pull out and rarely will yield to anyone. Many bikes seem dangerously oblivious to this and pedal right on by a buss trying to pull out. I see this almost daily and never get used to it. I am suprised there arn\’t more accidents. And even if you did have the right away its not going to do you any good if your dead. When something as big as a buss is turning around a corner he is going to need every bit of road and if your trying to squeeze up next to him then que\’ sara sara

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  • Cool it yall August 9, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Respect gets respect.

    If you wouldn\’t do it while driving a car, don\’t do it on a bike.

    Obey traffic lights & signs.
    Call your passing.
    Signal at all times
    Light yourself up like a Christmas tree.
    Don\’t Die!

    We are all traffic, and we have to share the road as well.

    Peace & Respect.

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  • zagreus August 9, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Redhippie, I am the first to point out instances where bike riders endanger others, and cause oversized vehicles to make dangerous adjustmens to their illegal or ill conceived maneuvers.

    I am also adament, as a bus driver, that bus drivers have an extra responsibility as holders of Commercial Driver\’s Licenses, to anticipate as much as possible what others will do, and to exercise caution–which includes being certain that you have clearance when pulling out. Given the circumstances you described, the driver\’s actions were unsafe, and his verbal abuse inexcusable. You should call in a complaint, and ask for a response.

    You do not sound vindictive, so at best this can be a learning experience for the driver, and at worst it puts Tri-
    Met on notice that they have a problem. If this driver has had previous complaints, he may lose his job–and should.

    I am also aware that buses have extreme blind spots, especially on the right, and that drivers cannot always see small, fast moving, vehicles, such as bikes, and hope that as a matter of self preservation, others will take that into consideration. Buses are easier for bicyclists to see than the other way around.

    On behalf of all Tri-Met drivers, I apologize to you for what happened.

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  • Red Hippie August 11, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Thanks Zagreus,

    I appreciate that. I did call TriMet and they were pretty nice about it. They are having a supervisor look into it and indicated that they will be back in touch with me later this week.

    In this particular instance I was coming from the drivers left and he was making a left. I have the habit of looking to drivers eyes and make eye contact with them. Although he had sunglasses on, I thought the driver was watching me since his head seemed to track my movement. In past jobs, I have driven large vehicles, and pretty much assume they can\’t see me unless I make eye contact with them.

    Jimbo, I think you confusing the requirement to yield to a bus coming out of a stop. This was a case of a bus turning at an intersection. If busses were allowed to turn at intersections with impunity and not follow traffic law, there would be chaos. I would also encourage you to try to tone the rancor down a notch, as this tends to distract a reader from the points you are trying to get across.


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  • Icarus Falling August 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I was wondering when there is going to be a \”Police Education Misson\” and also a \”Tri Met Education Misson\”.

    A bus driver did inform me that Tri Met has very much stepped up it\’s driver education on bicycle issues.

    But we still have the problems with both the Portland Police and Tri Met drivers and supervisor\’s not properly understanding a cyclists place, responsibilities, or even rights on the road. Not to mention the PPB\’s inability to govern the roads enough to make it safe to bicycle down them.

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  • Red Hippie August 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    TriMet update:

    Well, I talked to a Trimet Supervisor and he indicated that a permanent record of the incident would be placed into the driver\’s record and it would be reviewed periodically looking for behavioral trends. I had asked for an apology from the driver (written or verbal), and the supervisor indicated that he could not force the driver to do this. I explained that I wanted an apology as a tangible indication that something was being done about the incident.

    I asked for a copy of the report that would be placed in the record with the drivers name and personal information redacted, and they refused this also. I asked for the contact information for the legal dept. so I could submit a FOIA request. He offered me the general TriMet telephone number.

    The most interesting comment was when the individual indicated that only-two near fatal bus-interaction in ten years showed statistically that they were doing a good job. (I was run into the back of a pick up in \’94 by a bus that passed me and pulled into a bus stop). I pointed out that given a near-fatal incident ever 5 years and that I am 37, that statistically I would be killed in the next few incidents.

    Anyone out there have any idea about requesting a FOIA, subpoenaing records or direct contacts in the Trimet legal department.


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  • peejay August 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for the update, red hippie. Good follow-through. I once filed a complaint with Tri-Met when I was called an \”a**hole\” by a bus driver for reminding him that his habit of parking and taking his break on the bike lane on a steep downhill was detrimental to my health. They were super nice and apologized to me, and said that would go on the driver\’s record. However, I don\’t know what went on the record. I hope you find out, and then we\’ll know whether the whole complaints process does anything at all.

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  • Zagreus August 12, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Tri-Met takes Customer Service Incidents very seriously. They are part of the driver\’s personnel record and are used as part of the progressive discipline process. Station management is responbile for fowllow up action. CSIs are also part of an evaluation if the driver wants to apply for another position within Tri-Met, such as fare ispector, road supervisor, or rail operator, and may prevent him from being promoted. Depending upon where the driver is in the progressinve disciplinary process, he may even lose his livelihood.

    The dispostion is confidential, just as you would want it to be if you were subject to a disciplinary action.

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  • Red Hippie August 12, 2008 at 3:45 pm


    I appreciate that, but without some form of independent oversight how do we know the system is working as intended. I asked for a copy of the report with the personal information redacted, so it could not negatively affect the driver but it would show the public that these issues are taken seriously.

    Otherwise, all I have is faith that TriMet is adequately addressing these safety concerns. If the system is working as intended, then why the need for secrecy? Secrecy breeds paranoia.

    Is there anything you can do to help?

    Thank you, Red

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  • Zagreus August 13, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Safety related complaints are categorized as \”Urgent.\” That puts the operator \”on the radar,\” not a good place to be. Every station manager and training supervisor has zero tolerance for unsate behavior. The driver will be under scrutiny, and monitored for repeat behavior.

    I would suggest contacting corporate communication for more detailed information. I do not want to give you bad information. Your suggestion for better feedback is a good idea–coprorate communications may be able to do somethihg with it.

    You may also want to contact the Bicycle Transportation Alliance–Brian Runyon, a Tri-Met driver, retired fire fighter, and full time cyclist, is a member, and can put this on the agenda.

    Tri-Met and a majority of its drivers are committed to sharing the road safely. Many drivers do not own cars, and use bicycles and mass transit exclusively. None of us wants to injure anyone.

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