(Photos: Jim “K’Tesh” Parsons)
On February 11, 2008, 15-year old Beaverton high school student Austin Miller was collided with a TriMet bus when he merged from a sidepath on Murray Road into a bus stop on SW Farmington Road.
The tragedy sent shockwaves through the region. It raised questions about the legality of sidepaths, riding conditions in Beaverton, and more.
The crash (and perhaps the resulting lawsuit filed by Miller’s family in June) also spurred TriMet to take a serious look at they train bus operators and at where other other potential bus/bike conflict areas might exist.
TriMet found a willing partner in their new bike safety initiatives in the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). Nearly one year ago today, the BTA and TriMet launched a joint initiative to improve bus/bike safety.
the opening of new bikeways
in the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
(Photo © J. Maus)
Yesterday, the BTA’s Michelle Poyourow took a look back at the results of that partnership. Writing on the BTA Blog, she wrote:
After the crash, TriMet instituted a training program for its bus operators on driving around bicyclists. By last fall, all 1,400 [bus operators] had passed through the two-hour class.
Poyourow also shared how the Miller death motivated TriMet to work with the BTA and the Portland Bureau of Transportation to install green-painted bikeways at the Rose Quarter Transit Center (a notorious bus/bike conflict area).
In addition, Poyourows writes that the BTA has stepped up their education efforts. At over 60 bike commuting workshops held since Austin Miller died, they’ve shared tips on how to safely ride around buses and they’ve gather data on where bus/bike conflicts occur through a survey that went out to 1,700 metro-area residents.
So what’s next on the BTA’s agenda for improving bus/bike safety? Read more of Poyourow’s article over on the BTA Blog.