Harvest Century September 22nd

Fatal crash in Northeast Portland

Posted by on April 27th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

NE 106th and Weidler

This evening at about 5:30 pm, 49-year old Cary Bernick of Southeast Portland was killed while riding his bike on NE Weidler near the intersection with NE 106th in East Portland (map link).

The Portland Police Bureau say Bernick was riding against traffic on Weidler (which is one-way westbound at that location) and was “in a lane of traffic and not using the bicycle lane” when he was hit. It also appears from their statement that the man was riding on the south side of the street, opposite from the side with the bike lane. The PPB has also confirmed that the man was not wearing a helmet.

Story continues below

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Here’s more from a witness, as reported by The Oregonian:

“According to Ron Dean, who works in the area, the cyclist is someone he has seen collecting cans and bottles in the neighborhood.”

This is a view looking west on NE Weidler as it approaches NE 106th. The man who was killed would have been riding toward us on the left hand side.

This is very sad news. Just last week we held our monthly Get Together event in Outer Southeast and several of the people who showed up live near the area of this crash. One of the topics they shared was how daunting it can be to cross these major arterial streets. As a result, many people ride the wrong-way or on the sidewalk. We will never know why this man chose to ride the wrong way, but I hope people keep that in mind as they think about this tragedy.

This is the first fatal bike crash in Portland since the fall of 2007. There were no fatalities in 2008.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

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

108 Comments
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    Maculsay April 27, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Three blocks from me. Folks are always riding against the one-way traffic on Weidler/Halsey. Pretty close to that new bike shop, though.

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    Krampus April 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    The clouds around 5:30 tonight were LOOMING.. it was very dark out at that time and I’d imagine some cyclists were caught without their lights. Always have your lights!

    As bikesnob says, don’t be a bike salmon

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    John Steg April 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    My heart goes out to this poor fellow. As a biking resident of this neighborhood I’d like to echo the takeaway point made about the dangers of circumventing these big intersections due to their inconvenience — I’m guilty of this practice. Ride safe everyone.

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    joe adamski April 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I don’t know the guys age, but when I was a kid,we were told to ride facing traffic as it was safer. This misinformation is still out there.

    I am still a proponent of some sort of skills testing/education. If we have to ‘share the road’ we better know what we are doing.

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    Kathleen McDade April 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Ditto what John said…I’m thinking through how I negotiate crossing Halsey northbound on 111th now.

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    chriswnw April 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Sounds like a ***deleted due to insensitive comment — Jonathan**. That street is only two lanes.

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    Joe Rowe April 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Email
    theresebottomly@news.oregonian.com

    Ask the Oregonian to report seat belt notes in every car accident if they continue to mention helmets in bike accidents.

    Or ask them to kill their bias by leaving out details on helmets.

    They love to mention the lack of helmets but don’t mention seat belts, or lack of, in most car accident reporting.

    No mention of belts in these recent reports:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/dallas_man_killed_in_motorcycl.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/04/fatal_crash_closes_99e_in_milw.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/04/victim_identified_in_fatal_cra.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/fatal_traffic_accident_blocks.html

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/identities_released_in_sandy_d.html

    Here is the cyclist death from today
    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/police_investigate_fatal_accid.html

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    Zaphod April 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Be safe out there. Can we hold off on snarky thoughtless commentary for just a moment when someone has died? Please.

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    Bjorn April 27, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Riding the wrong way without a helmet seems to have been a factor in this case, but I would like the City to take a hard look at the environmental factors at play here too. This cyclist was probably heading to either the fred meyer or the winco a couple blocks from the site of the collision to return cans. There is no good low traffic route to get to either of these locations. High speed arterial streets are much more dangerous to cyclists than slower low traffic residential streets.

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    old&slow April 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    joe, asking the oregonian to be a responsible news outlet is asking a lot. ***this sentence deleted due to a personal insult — Jonathan***

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    Rixtir April 28, 2009 at 12:29 am

    If the cyclist was in the lane of traffic, and riding against traffic, he obviously bears some responsibility for this crash. Despite any alleged negligence, what I’d like to know is what conditions existed that prevented the driver from safely avoiding hitting the cyclist?

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    b April 28, 2009 at 1:41 am

    i used to commute to and from my old job along this route. i would regularly see people riding against traffic (on weidler especially).
    none of them ever seemed too concerned with their surroundings or safety.
    they rode at a leisurely pace, yet slightly erratic (weaving about).
    and every so often, you’d even get people in those electric wheelchairs doing the same thing.
    i once saw a dude dragging a trash can behind his wheel chair against traffic down 148th.

    i do my best to say something as i pass these people (and i admit sometimes i’m more polite than others). but honestly, i doubt most of them really care if they are endangering themselves and others.

    outer NE and SE is chock-full of gnarly intersections (especially around i-205). i stared into the face of death ever morning and afternoon, trying not to be killed by the notorious right-on-red-at-30mph off/on ramp-ers. doesn’t matter if you’re walking your bike in the cross walk and have the signal… you are roadkill.

    therefore, it’s up to you to pick your battles and negotiate these intersections responsibly.
    and honestly, i feel theres a group of people who do….and another that could really care less.
    i’m all for community education, especially with youth.
    however, i also realize that some people will continue to choose to ride like a moron.
    hairy intersection or not, no one has to resort to riding down weidler against traffic.

    we always harp on drivers about not losing their cool about waiting a few extra seconds or minutes during their drive.
    well as cyclists, we should remember the same thing.
    sometimes lower traffic streets/ bike boulevards / etc may be a block or two out of our way… but is that extra 30 seconds really gonna be unbearable?
    i mean i understand that you want to show off your new pink deep V’s all the way from SE 12th and Hawthorne down to 52nd. but why run the risk of getting doored, impeding traffic, angering motorists, etc… when you could easily hop over on salmon? i’m SURE even salmon has some sweet pedestrian babes to dig your bar spins!

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    TS April 28, 2009 at 3:07 am

    The Oregonion mentions (the lack of a) helmet (which I don’t really care about), but says nothing about lights. What I really want to know was did the cyclist have a front headlight? Any lights or reflective material at all?

    Condolences to the cyclist’s family, and to the driver, too. That’s going to be a traumatic memory all around.

    Jonathan rightly asks the question we should all be asking: How can we reduce/prevent this from occuring to someone else?

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    Martinn Reis April 28, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Saddens very much me to read that so many people are automatically blaming the victim or making excuses for the driver. The fallen cyclist is not able to tell his side of the story, is he?

    While riding against the traffic flow is usually risky that should not mean that you deserve to die or be hit.

    My whole heart goes out to the family and friends.

    In heaven, everyone rides a bicycle.

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    Jeff April 28, 2009 at 6:53 am

    I detect a poorly veiled attempt by a few here to somehow relieve the cyclist of blame in this case, despite his clearly poor, poor choices. That said, it’s a sad state of affairs all around, and my heart goes out to the guy.

    I personally resent the implication that because of some traffic routing and street design choices that have been very long in the making, that cyclists are “forced” to make the dangerous, reverse traffic choice he made… C’mon, there’s always a safer option than that. Get off and walk if you have to or go up and around a couple blocks… Personally responsibility and common sense STILL rule the day….

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    kgb April 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

    There is no excuse for riding in the manner described here.

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    Bent Bloke April 28, 2009 at 7:41 am

    This is a very sad reminder of why it is important to follow traffic regulations. Traffic laws are intended to make the streets safer for all.

    My heart goes out to the family of the victim, and to the motorist, who must be hurting emotionally.

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    BB April 28, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Why not just install a contra a flow bike lane? There is ample room.

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    matt picio April 28, 2009 at 7:52 am

    TS (#14) – While the lighting conditions may have been poor due to the weather that was moving through at the time, I’m not sure lighting was really relevant – the collision happened 3 hours before sunset, and it’s fairly common for people to ride during the day without lighting or reflective clothing. If the truck was running without lights on (also common during the day), reflective clothing wouldn’t provide any additional benefit.

    Not trying to make excuses for the victim, but criticizing him for not having lights or day-glo while riding in the daytime smacks of the old “wear your helmet in the shower” argument.

    The proximate cause is riding the wrong way on a one-way street, and the question is how do we encourage people not to do that?

    My condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, and also to the driver who struck / was struck by him.

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    Mike April 28, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Tragic. And with sunset not ’till 8:15pm, I would also have been caught without a light at 5:30pm – if that was the case here since no one knows if he had a light or not.

    While cyclists have every right not to wear helmets, everyone still should!!! They’ve twice saved my life.

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    resident April 28, 2009 at 7:56 am

    This short 10 block section of one way couplet in the midst of two way thouroghfares is inconvienient for all modes of transport. I frequent several small businesses in the area and notice eratic and irrational behavior by all. Lots of cutting through parking lots at speed to avoid backtracking or sitting at a light. People just arent paying attention through there. This is a business district right off 2 major interstates with poor street design, not a lazy section of low traffic neighborhood streets.

    So be safe, watch your surroundings, and take the extra 30 seconds to bike on the right side of the road and obey the traffic laws. Peace to all and happy safe cycling!

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    bahueh April 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

    love it…folks here want to blame everything but the guy choosing to ride in the opposite direction of traffic…
    news report last night said he simply swerved into the oncoming lane and was hit by a side view mirror of a large truck…

    feel bad for the driver and all witnesses…from the interview I saw last night, they looked really shaken up by it after giving the guy CPR and watching him die…

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    old&slow April 28, 2009 at 8:14 am

    J. Maus, you publish a flippant comment regarding a person’s death posted just hours after he died and then delete my comment where I just called out the person for being so callous? It’s your site but your editorial judgement seems kind of bizarre.


    old&slow,

    please point out the “flippant comment” you refer to and I will take a look at it.

    You directly referred to another commenter as “a dick” and myself and another reader (who emailed me privately about it) did not feel it was appropriate.

    sorry if you feel my judgment is “bizarre”. I have moderated about 80,000 comments so I feel I have a pretty good sense of how to right the ship when it starts to go off course.

    Thanks,
    –Jonathan Maus

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    Anonymous April 28, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I find it amazing that there are not more of these tragic accidents. There are ALOT of very bad cyclist around here. And even more bad drivers.

    I’m sorry for the meaningless loss of human life. I really don’t have a clear picture of what happened, but people really need to be safe out there.

    Wearing a helmet is common sense. Giving cautious regard to the flow of automotive traffic is common sense.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) April 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Want to add that just because some people (including myself) want to discuss how the bicycle facility could be better, it doesn’t mean we are completely absolving the actions of the man who was killed.

    Obviously, he likely made a poor choice (although we’ll never know what exactly happened because he’s dead)… but a system that only accommodates one mode of travel is also a poor choice.

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    Glen B April 28, 2009 at 9:41 am

    While there may be a bias from the media when reporting helmet usage, I do find the information helpful.

    I’m always trying to gauge the level of risk I take, and minimize it while still enjoying cycling. Yesterday for example, because of the low light, I did ride my commute with a yellow jacket and front and rear lights.

    When I read about an accident, I want to know about the rider and his/her safety choices. It helps me evaluate my own behavior.

    While you can argue the point, I observe that most of the careful and serious cyclists that I know and respect ALLWAYS wear helmets. If you show up for a group ride with the Portlandvelo club for example, without a helmet, someone will either lend you one or ask you to come back another day (with helmet).

    Helmet use is sort of an ‘indicator’ that helps the reader to understand the choices being made by the cyclist. The same can be said for reporting blood alcohol level or lighting.

    Ride safely and have fun,
    Glen

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    old&lsow April 28, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I thought the comment no. 7 about it being a “darwin” incident right after if happened was pretty flippant. Comment no. 9 also thought the same.

    thanks old&slow, I’ll check those out right away. — Jonathan

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    Paul April 28, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I would like to comment on something b mentions in a post above. Finally someone points out the situation with people riding down major/busy roads. I have biked as my main transportation for the last 8 years in this city. I have only had 2 or 3 close encounters and they where all minor. I am not trying to say I am invincible I am just pointing out the fact that I never ride down any busy roads bike lane or not. Actually I am not even really a fan of bike lanes. I think they give you a false sense of security when they really just put you in danger most times.

    Almost every destination in this city can be reached by taking back roads and only crossing busy ones. And, when I cross if I have to I get off my bike and walk, run or do whatever it takes. Every time I see people on Hawthorne, Alberta, Powell, MLK…… I get so frustrated because it is so simple. I would even vote to ban bikes on some of these major/busy roads.

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    Jason April 28, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I can’t agree more with John Roe (#8) and disagree more with Glen B (#27).

    Much media and police bias is evident and reinforced when helmet use is noted. It is often irrelevant to the accident and is used as a way to shift blame to the cyclist, regardless of his/her error. It’s almost like blaming a rape victim because she was wearing a skirt.

    Seat belt use is often noted in auto accidents, but seat belts are required by law and clearly save lives.

    Lack of a helmet does not cause nor is it indicative of any choice made in operating a bicycle on a roadway. A better analogy for cars is airbags. How would this sound, “The driver of the truck clearly ran the red light and collided with a pontiac grand prix, severely injuring the occupants. The grand prix that was being driven did not have airbags.”

    Is the statement about airbags relevant to the crash? Perhaps, but lack of airbags does cause accidents nor indicate poor judgment in operating a vehicle. Since there is already an inherent bias against cyclists in the eyes of many motorists and law enforcement officials, it does not help anyone to note absence of a helmet.

    Besides, does anyone really think a bike helmet will protect them from a 4000+ pound vehicle? Mine protects me to some extent from impacts with pavement if I fall, but it is clearly and explicitly not designed to protect against impact from a moving automobile. Helmets are tested as if you fell and hit your head on the road.

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    DUH! April 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I would say there’s a big difference between someone dying as a ‘victim’ in a car crash and someone orchestrating the car crash with their lack of judgement and using oncoming traffic to commit suicide.

    If one makes the choice to drive head on into a truck, a foam helmet is NOT going to make a difference! EVER!

    Let’s check in with reality real quick and see what’s going on:

    Q-Is it OK to ride my bike into oncoming traffic on a super busy arterial street even if I have my helmet and front light on?
    A-NO!

    Q-Is it OK to drive my car the wrong way down a one way street if I have my lights on?
    A-NO!

    Q-Should we expect a life threatening situation if one were to choose to ignore all traffic laws and drive ANY vehicle down a one way street into oncoming traffic?
    A-YES

    Q-Does a person value their life and the safety of others if they choose to endanger themselves with blatant and obvious disregard for their surroundings?
    A-NO

    From reports I heard this morning the cyclist was a man in his late 40’s! And from where I stand any grown adult who drives their vehicle the wrong way down a one way street is NOT a victim, they are the instigator of the accident – all others involved, the driver, and the witnesses are the victims.

    Like it or not, we are all responsible for our OWN safety, and it is extremely irresponsible and foolish to expect others to be more aware, and take better care of those who obviously don’t care for themselves or their own well being.

    I have a difficult time calling this man a ‘victim’ especially when there was a bike lane heading East on the other side of the block on Halsey. I have no issue naming him as the responsible party though.

    I’m not happy any one is dead, but taking responsibility isn’t always fun – but you usually don’t die or endanger others by being responsible for your actions – this man would still be alive if he bothered to care for himself.

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    lady April 28, 2009 at 10:34 am

    this is very sad. I was in the car with my father and we seen this man lying down on the ground with thwo big gases on in his forehead and another on his chin there was glass everywhere on the ground and this man was breathing very hard. We seen a cab van stopped witch is most likely what hit him this man was also breathing very heavily. some one at the 77 bus stop then ran over to try and prop his head up with a shirt to stop a lil bit of the breathing. I couldnt sleep knowing that this man that I seen laying there was not okay. I am so sorry to hear that this happend. it is very sad he was not wearing a helmet this could have been prevented dif he would have rode on the other side of the stree.

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    lady April 28, 2009 at 10:36 am

    What was meant to be said is that he had two big gashes and the man wanted to stop some of the bleeding

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    bryndildaddy April 28, 2009 at 10:39 am

    [i]This is the first fatal bike crash since the fall of 2007. There were no fatalities in 2008.[/i]

    Actually, wasn’t the kid in Beaverton killed by the TriMet bus in 2008?

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    SkidMark April 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    While it is a tragedy,the cold hard reality is that is is the result of ignorance. He was riding against traffic, many people who do this think they are supposed to, they think it’s safer to see the cars coming toward them. In some rural areas in the US it’s still on the lawbooks to ride against traffic. People still teach their children to ride against traffic, and on the sidewalk. Two things need to be done, people need to be educated, and it needs to be enforced, and by enforced I means a verbal warning with an explanation of what the laws are.

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    Mike April 28, 2009 at 10:51 am

    There were several deaths in the Portland area in 2008, but non in Portland proper, that’s the distinction when they say “no Portland bicycle deaths in 2008.”

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    SkidMark April 28, 2009 at 10:51 am

    The thing about saying that a cyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet is that there is the implication that they would still be alive if they had been wearing one, and that is not always true.

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    Mike April 28, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Joe #8 – Motorcycles do not have seat belts.

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    E April 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Articles which point out that a dead cyclist was not wearing a helmet make me feel better about wearing mine. This may be a false sense of security. I have read several articles which point out that those killed in a traffic accident were not wearing seatbelts – as I recall these are typically stories of carloads of teenagers going off the road or something like that. Don’t know if it makes any difference.

    I feel bad for the driver. I’m sure he was completely unprepared for a bicycle coming toward him in his lane like that. I’m sorry we will never know why the cyclist made that choice, since we will never know what could be done to prevent others from doing the same.

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    Steven J April 28, 2009 at 11:14 am

    attempting to squelch my fears, I attempt to reason away the life lost here, only to be reminded again of how truly short life is.

    My heart goes out to the spirit of Cary.
    much love to his family in mourn.

    in the end you can only do so much to promote your own safety.
    And why I get so furious at drivers throwing around 3000lbs of steel seemingly unaware.

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    KruckyBoy April 28, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I personally think that it is completely relevant to know whether a biker was wearing a helmet or whether a driver was wearing a seat belt. While neither is a guarantee of safety, both are personal choices which GREATLY increase the chances of surviving many types of accidents.

    #35- there is the implication that they would still be alive if they had been wearing one

    I personally think there is the implication that they would have increased their chances of being alive. A helmet saved me from a traumatic head injury in December. It was a personal decision, and because of it, you DIDN’T read about me on Bike Portland, or the Oregonian.

    Either way, any fatal crash sucks no matter who is at fault, or who should of but didn’t do something.

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    Joe Rowe April 28, 2009 at 11:57 am

    We face a deadly combo of bias from both reporters and cops. Cops write reports on bike deaths/injuries, and the press love to flame that bias to sell papers. It often becomes police spokespersons blaming the dead cyclist before any facts are known, and later the papers claim it is not their fault “because the cops said it was true”.

    Cops go easy on victims in cars, and very often don’t bother to make note of the many laws broken related to the accident, distracted by cell, too fast for conditions, lack of seatbelts etc. Seat belts should be noted in every accident report. My guess is that reporters leave out mention of belts even when the cops include it. Why? For a variety of reasons, including angry calls from the family of the diseased.

    Ms. Bottomly from the Oregonian told me they simply report the relevant info that the cops give them. But it’s not that simple.

    Here’s a good bikeportland story on cop bias
    http://tinyurl.com/bikebias1

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    scoot April 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    RIP, Mr. Bernick. For all we know, he may have been momentarily confused, thought he was on Halsey and realized he was screwed in the same instant as the driver. I once made a quick right to escape a really hostile driver freak behind me – right onto a one-way coming toward me. There were no cars in sight, but it sure scared me. My instinct was to hop onto the sidewalk, fast, so there I was, going the wrong way on a one-way AND on the sidewalk. Things go wrong and end badly all the time.

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    SkidMark April 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I don’t think most people put that much thought into it. They just think that a helmet would have saved the rider’s life. People equate helmets as some sort of magic shield against injury and death. I’ve seen post about bicycle and motorcycle fatalies where the rider has died of multiple injuries, like head injuries and internal organ injuries, and you still get a bunch of helmet zealots parroting how the person would still be alive if they had been wearing a helmet. Ther is nothing to bear this out. You can still die from head injuries, helmet or no.

    BTW I wear a helmet more often than not. You’re lucky a helmet has only saved you from a traumatic head injury once, I’d be dead about a hundred times over.

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    Paulo April 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    #27, Glen B: I’m not sure this guy was a serious cyclist, or even a cyclist at all. Perhaps he was just a person riding a bike, many of which aren’t experts on cycling safety, gear, proper routes and such.

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    lothar April 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    It’s interesting to see how an article about a guy who seemed to do everything right to provoke a collision devolves in to a debate about the media and the right not to wear personnel protection devices. I think it strays from the moral of the story . I think it cheapens what happened and keeps one in denial that he or she is just as much, or more responsible for their safety than the opposing forces.

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    huey lewis April 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    #15 no one *deserves* to be hit or killed when doing things in traffic that are in stark opposition to what you should be doing in that traffic. but it’s not shocking. and if you are hit it stands to reason that you might very likely be the one responsible for being hit/killed.

    also, there is no such place as heaven so let’s focus on biking and biking safely here in portland, on earth, in reality.

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    Rixtir April 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    The problem with simplistic assignments of blame (see post #30 for a good example) is that they make it seductively easy to turn off our questioning minds.

    It’s possible that this cyclist was 100% to lame for his own fatal accident, but the mere fact that he was riding against traffic doesn’t give us enough information to make that determination. There was another party– the driver– involved, so it’s proper, essential, even, to ask “Was there anything that the driver could have done to avoid hitting the cyclist (who was undeniably negligent if he was riding against traffic)”?

    Did the cyclist truly swerve into the driver, as was apparently reported on the news? And who reported that the cyclist swerved into the driver– an independent eyewitness, or the driver? If that report is based on the driver’s statement, rather than the statement of an independent eyewitness, I think it’s important not to just accept it at face value. After all, “he swerved into me” is one of the two main excuses drivers use when they hit a cyclist (the other being “I didn’t see him.”). Those two excuses cover a multitude of driver’s sins, and whenever a driver resorts to one of those excuses, it’s incumbent upon us to examine it for truth, because a dead cyclist can’t tell his side of what happened. On the other hand, if independent eyewitnesses confirmed that they saw the cyclist riding against traffic, and that they saw the cyclist swerve into the truck, then, and only then, can we be certain that all of the fault in this crash belongs to the cyclist.

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    chad April 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    We can armchair quarterback sometime into next week about who’s at fault and to what extent, but I’m seriously interested in the point Jonathan is trying to stress which is if the lack of bike facilities could have contributed to this tragic event.

    When my commute used to primarily be the N Williams/N Vancouver bike lanes I believed all of Portland was nothing but bike awesome.

    Since October, due to a job change I now work north of Columbia Blvd off of 33rd Ave and am now forced to navigate my way across Columbia Blvd twice a day using sidewalks and partially off-road paths while semi trucks and cars drive six inches from me at 50mph.

    Yes, I know the city would like me to use the 33rd Ave bridge to cross Columbia and Lombard but has anyone in the Office of Transportation even looked at that bridge and it’s complete lack of bike facilities and high vehicle speeds?

    I know I’m not alone in having trouble crossing Columbia, and back to the point, I know I’m not alone in having to ride through parts of town with little or no bike facilities.

    True, riding the wrong way probably led to this death, but is it possible that this guy forced to “be in the wrong” by the lack of bike infastructure in a part of town that is mostly ignored by the Office of Transpotation?

    Don’t get me wrong, PDX is still bike heaven, but this incident will hopefully bring awareness to the lack of bike infastructure in “non-pearl district” areas of town.

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    xiousgeonz April 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    It is good to hear the question “why would he ride against traffic?” instead of the unspoken “well, sigh, it’s a shame, but he *was* riding against traffic.” We should not be accepting loss of life without protest.

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    A.lison April 28, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    As described above the man who was killed was “collecting cans and bottles in the neighborhood.”

    Do you really think that buying a helmet, lights, reflective gear was his priority?

    Do you think he would walk into a bike shop, go to a class, read a City-produced bike safety pamphlet? Or read BikePortland.org, the Oregonian’s bike writers, or even pick up a free newspaper to read the latest drama about the “bike community?”

    I doubt it.

    He was not a “cyclist” he just rode a bike. There’s a big difference and we need to remember that just because we live and breathe this stuff alot of people don’t.

    It’s a huge challenge to try to and educate our community about the constantly changing rules of the road. Our system is inadequate.

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    wsbob April 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    It’s a simple reality that not everyone on the road is firing on all cylinders, mentally speaking. That’s one of the reasons I think we’re all well advised to be extra careful to watch out for and be prepared for extraordinary examples of road use incompetence.

    Based on the info reported here, it sounds like the MV operator holds no responsibility for the death of this person riding the bike. There’s always the chance though, that when a person is extra vigilant in the application of their best driving/road use skills, they might be able to avoid a close calls.

    About helmet use, and reporting by police and media as to whether collision victims were wearing them; If there is a collision involving a person on a bike, I appreciate knowing whether the person was or wasn’t wearing a helmet. Reading such reports, it’s not my automatic conclusion that a person’s life would have been preserved if they had been wearing a helmet.

    Often, such reports are simple statements of fact, such as: ‘The cyclist was not wearing a helmet’ or ‘The cyclist was wearing a helmet’. Laboratory determined levels of protection that helmets are designed to provide their users with are known and easy to access online. Reports of helmet use in collisions, accompanied by details about impacts and injuries sustained or avoided can help to give a better sense of the protection that a bike helmet will, or won’t be able to provide its wearer in a real life situation.

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    Muddog April 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    This sucks BUT….

    If I hear ONE MORE time about how people need to be EDUCATED about the simple safety rules such as wearing a helmet I am going to scream…
    No matter the social standing of the cyclist, doing unsafe acts increases one’s chance of death or injury.
    I have been riding motorcycles and bikes for 20 years and am astounded by the lack of common sense, safety adherence and frankly the cocky attitude of PDX cyclists as a whole. I am not saying this particular incident was caused by a deliberate act BUT riding down the wrong way & no helmet says recklessness to me…

    As some here are saying he may have been FORCED to ride the wrong way because of the LACK of infrastructure, are you serious?. So if there is not adequate lanes for you to ride do you still perform a reckless act?.

    You make bad decisions when you ride amongst cars then you pay the price.
    by the lack of comon sence,

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    Kathleen McDade April 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    A.lison (#51) — Bingo. That describes a lot of the bicycle riders out here in east county (although not all). Heck, I don’t even look like a stereotypical cyclist. We do need to do a better job of educating people on the rules of the road and safe practices. That said, I’m sure there are those who would ignore the rules anyway. And it certainly sounds like, in this case, it was the bicycle rider who made the wrong choice.

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    Jorge April 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    The left lane is at least one and a half car widths wide. The cyclist is at most two and a half – three feet wide. To what degree did the driver avoid hitting the cyclist? When children with a loose understanding of traffic laws wander into the path of a vehicle is the driver able to hit them because s/he is in the legal right?

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    Muddog April 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Jorge.

    1) It was not a “Child” that was hit.

    2) You “assume” the driver was @ fault, they were not.

    3) Cyclist was NOT wearing a helmet and was riding on the WONRG side of the road.

    These are the FACTS, avoiding the truth and making UP “What If’s” just becuase you hold a grudge against cars does not help. I want more bike lanes, less cars AND I think cyclists should be held MORE accountable. Walking away from responsibility is not a mature response.

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    chad April 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Muddog

    No, I am not forced to perform the reckless behavior of crossing Columbia Blvd.

    I could just buy a second car which would take a few hundred more dollars a month from my paycheck, gain back that 10 pounds I lost because I commute to work, and try to find a drug to replace the feeling I get by riding my bike to work everyday. Then and only then would I be able to get to work without taking my life into my own hands.

    No, I’m definately not be forced to be reckless, but I feel the gains I get from riding my bike to work are worth the risk.

    Yes, this guy who got killed was more than likely (at least according to the news and police reports)being very reckless.

    But instead of hashing and rehashing and second guessing something that only the people who witnessed the incident know for sure why can’t we elevate the discussion surrounding this tragic (and yes, probably preventable) event into something that may provide productive discussions about something that MIGHT have contributed to this accident.

    There are holes in our bike infastructure…all I’m trying to say is that this guy MIGHT have fallen through one of them.

    That is worth at least some discussion.

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    matt picio April 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Paul (#29) – That’s a good point, and it does apply throughout inner Portland. The problem regionally is that it doesn’t hold true everywhere. Outer east Portland has much less infrastructure, and many of the side roads don’t connect. North-South is blocked by the MAX line except at the busiest streets, and many locations can only be reached by a major arterial. Beaverton and Hillsboro are even worse in that regard in many areas, and where there *are* low-traffic streets, they are frequently on steep hills.

    Jason (#30) – I generally agree with you except in one respect. “does anyone really think a bike helmet will protect them from a 4000+ pound vehicle”? If you research crash statistics, you will find many crashes which involve the cyclist bouncing off the windshield. In many of those cases, head injuries are sustained which a helmet could prevent. That doesn’t change the fact that a helmet is useless at protecting against massive trauma or blunt-force impacts to regions other than the head.

    Really, people – we’re never going to solve the helmet argument. There’s never enough data, and everyone disagrees as to what it means anyway.

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    TS April 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Matt (#20)

    Whoops… I thought this occurred at night after dark. I must have misread somewhere. Mea culpa.

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    chriswnw April 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    “very time I see people on Hawthorne, Alberta, Powell, MLK…… I get so frustrated because it is so simple. I would even vote to ban bikes on some of these major/busy roads.”

    Why? Ride on the streets that work for you, but don’t tell me which streets I should ride on. I don’t generally ride on MLK or Powell, but Alberta and Hawthorne work just fine for me. I hardly ever have any problems on either of those two streets — not any more than I would on any residential street.

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    G Stanley April 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Maus said (post 26), “… a system that only accommodates one mode of travel is also a poor choice.” Even when the system is conceived, designed, implemented, constructed, and paid for as an automobile system, heh? When bicycle riders start paying their share of road taxes they can legitimately start compaining about highway design.

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    ChipSeal April 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Perhaps if the city of Portland would change their focus of prosecuting cyclists who do not come to a complete stop at stop signs and cite cyclists who are true safety hazards, (like those salmon cyclists) perhaps this one would have been deterred from making this fatal decision.

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    G Stanley April 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Chad (post 49), ditto for you. You’re FORCED, are you? Someone puts a weapon to your head and FORCES you to bike commute? Gimme a break.

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    chriswnw April 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    How many times do we have to hear this nonsense about cyclists “not paying their way”? Look it up — local roads, which cyclists generally use, are financed primarily by general taxes and property taxes, not gas taxes. For the most part, cyclists don’t ride on highways. When was the last time you saw one taking the lane on I-5? At any rate, as general tax payers, cyclists would at least theoretically have a say in whether or how a freeway is built, because every freeways imposes externalities upon the surrounding area.

    (Most cyclists own cars too.)

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    Perry April 29, 2009 at 8:34 am

    G Stanley (#61 and 63) – care to elaborate on why you think that? Last time I read the laws, pedestrians, bicyclists and cars have a legal right to use the public roadway that they paid for through their property and income taxes. Yes, I own a car, yes I pay my tag fees every two years and when I put gas in it, I pay those taxes too.

    On what basis do you feel can deprive me of the right to travel on the public roads in reasonable safety?

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    matt picio April 29, 2009 at 8:58 am

    G Stanley – do you ride a bike? Have you ever ridden a bike? Do you drive?

    Most cyclists are multi-modal. Nearly all of them pay income taxes. Most of them are employed, and their employers pay taxes on their behalf.

    When motorists are paying the entire cost of the road system, without any input from people who solely bike or solely take transit, or solely walk, THEN you can rightfully complain. As it is, the other modes on average pay more than their share of the roads, whether measured by access, road surface area, lane miles, wear, or nearly every other metric you can conceive of.

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    Muddog April 29, 2009 at 9:01 am

    ?????? WTF over…

    Let’s get something straight here. ROADS ARE FOR CARS, I ride to work, I also own a car and a motorcycle. With that said cars come 1st, like it or not, simple fact of life, simple physics, so when you ride anything with two wheels on the road, right or wrong, it is YOUR responsibility to be defensive. Because cyclists are @ the bad end of the stick if a collision occurs you must make sure you do EVERYTHING RIGHT, every time you do not it increases your chances of being killed or seriously hurt. I have friends from all over the country and some from Europe that are astounded by how stupid PDX cyclists are, almost suicidal in their approach to ridding. This does not include everyone but this automatic jump to ALWAYS blame the automobile is BS. The fact is this guy did EVERYTHING wrong and died. It sucks but those are the facts, to somehow blame the car when there is NO blame to give misses the point.

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Wow, if you’re shouting ROADS ARE FOR CARS, it must be true, regardless of facts. eh?

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    chriswnw April 29, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I think that the roads are for bikes. I have proof: I was riding on a road this morning on a bike. And it got me to where I wanted to go. Therefore, roads are for bikes. There you have it — watertight evidence. Case closed.

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    Muddog April 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I think railroad tracks are for Pedestrians, I walked on some the other day, so therfore they are for Pedstrians. There you have it, watertight evidence.
    If I get hit on the railroad tracks it must be the trains fault becuase, well just becuase……

    Case Closed…..

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Muddog, you still have no evidence to back up your ridiculous assertion that “roads are for cars.”

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    AR April 29, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I commute from SE to downtown every day. Some days I ride, some days I drive. On the days when I drive, whenever I see someone crawling up Hawthorne (having skipped the Ladd’s cut-through or Salmon), I think to myself, “I know they have the right to ride on this road, but WHY pick Hawthorne over one of the bike boulevards???” If this is my reaction as a bike commuting driver, just imagine the hatred spewing from the non-biking drivers stuck behind you as you take up half of the right lane during rush hour. I know enough to give you a lot of room when I go around you. I hold the steering wheel tight, and try to ease my way around without angering the cars in the left lane, oncoming traffic, or the cars behind me in the right lane if I’m the one closest to you as you slowly make your way up the hill. I’ve seen the drivers who will try to get as close as they can without actually hitting you. Sometimes they might misjudge the distance.

    I know bikes have the right to be on the road – pretty much all the roads with some interstate exceptions. I just wish the cyclists who choose the roads that are busy with cars and which have no bike lanes (when there are designated bike boulevards a few blocks over) would stop and think about themselves as riders from the perspective of other people on the road. Parkers aren’t expecting you on Hawthorne after 12th, so they are more likely to door you. Many drivers, especially at rush hour, are just trying to get home. They are already crabby and hurried and thus not using their best driving skills or their patience. In my opinion, most drivers are pretty good at navigating the cyclists through 12th street. After that, the road narrows, there are buses pulling in and out of the left lane when the right lane isn’t wide enough to go around parked cars, and there is sufficient traffic coming west to make it difficult for cars to use the on-coming lane to go around other cars from the right lane that are trying to make room for a cyclist. Someone or something is going to get hurt. I agree with posters above who have talked about making choices – we all make choices, good and bad, every day. The more informed we are about how those choices affect other users of the road and in turn how the reactions of those other users might affect us as cyclists, the more likely we are to make safe choices.

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 11:17 am

    By the way, muddog, you might want to take a look at ORS 164.255:

    164.255 Criminal trespass in the first degree. (1) A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the first degree if the person:
    (a) Enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling;
    (b) Having been denied future entry to a building pursuant to a merchant’s notice of trespass, reenters the building during hours when the building is open to the public with the intent to commit theft therein;
    (c) Enters or remains unlawfully upon railroad yards, tracks, bridges or rights of way; or
    (d) Enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises that have been determined to be not fit for use under ORS 453.855 to 453.912.
    (2) Subsection (1)(d) of this section does not apply to the owner of record of the premises if:
    (a) The owner notifies the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the premises that the owner intends to enter the premises;
    (b) The owner enters or remains on the premises for the purpose of inspecting or decontaminating the premises or lawfully removing items from the premises; and
    (c) The owner has not been arrested for, charged with or convicted of a criminal offense that contributed to the determination that the premises are not fit for use.
    (3) Criminal trespass in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 §140; 1993 c.680 §23; 1999 c.837 §1; 2001 c.386 §1; 2003 c.527 §1]

    So your analogizing single-purpose railroad tracks to multi-purpose roads really misses the mark. But if you want to try to find a statute that makes it illegal for bikes to use the roads, the way 164.255 makes it illegal for anybody other than a train operator to use the railroads, have at it.

    And do let us know what you find.

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    Anonymous April 29, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Actually pedestrians only have a legal right to use roads in certain cases.

    814.070 Improper position upon or improperly proceeding along highway;
    penalty.

    (1) A pedestrian commits the offense of pedestrian with improper position upon or
    improperly proceeding along a highway if the pedestrian does any of the following:

    (a) Takes a position upon or proceeds along and upon the roadway where there is an
    adjacent usable sidewalk or shoulder.

    (b) Does not take a position upon or proceed along and upon the shoulder, as far as
    practicable from the roadway edge, on a highway that has an adjacent shoulder area
    on one or both sides.

    (c) Except in the case of the divided highway, does not take a position upon or proceed
    along and upon the left shoulder and as far as practicable from the roadway edge on a
    two-way highway that has no sidewalk and that does have an adjacent shoulder area. This
    paragraph does not apply to:

    (A) A hitchhiker who takes a position upon or proceeds along and upon the right
    shoulder so long as the hitchhiker does so facing the vehicles using the adjacent
    lane of the roadway;

    or

    (B) A member of a group that has adopted that section of highway under the provisions
    of ORS 366.158 and who is obeying the rules of the Department of Transportation for
    picking up litter on either side of the roadway.

    (d) Does not take a position upon or proceed along and upon the right highway shoulder, as
    far as practicable from the roadway edge, on a divided highway that has no sidewalk and does
    have a shoulder area. This paragraph does not apply to a member of a group that has adopted
    that section of highway under the provisions of ORS 366.158 and who is obeying the rules of
    the Department of Transportation for picking up litter on either side of the roadway.

    (e) Fails to take a position upon or proceed along and upon a highway that has neither
    sidewalk nor shoulder available, as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway,
    and, if the roadway is a two-way roadway, only on the left side of it.

    (2) This section is subject to the provisions of ORS 814.100.

    (3) The offense described in this section, pedestrian with improper position upon or improperly
    proceeding along a highway, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §558; 1991 c.486 §4;
    1995 c.383 §86]

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    What do “pedestrians” have to do with this discussion, “anonymous”?

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    Muddog April 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Rixtir.

    Maybe you should stay off the Pabst Blue Ribbon and turn down your Indy music for a bit, me thinks it’s cloud’n your brain’…

    Prove that roads are for cars?….

    Do I need to prove the earth is round and that Gravity keeps your firmly planted on the ground?.

    A). I NEVER SAID IT WAS ILLEGAL for bikes to be on the road..

    B) I DO think it SHOULD be illegal not to wear a helmet, to ride on the wrong side of the road, to willfully disobey bike laws, Rules of the road and to deliberately ride recklessly.

    C) FACT. ALL ROADS are mainly paid for by state AND federal $$$$$$, FACT, most of that $$$ comes from commerce, which is delivered VIA ROADS, which then allows people to travel so they can work to PAY for those roads. If you think MAX, Bridges, Bike lanes and most other road improvements are by property taxes and not gas excise taxes, gas taxes, taxes when you buy a car and license fee’s, etc then you have your head where the sun most certainly does not shine.

    D) FACT. This guy did not follow rules of the road and he DIED. Cheery picking state laws and then cutting and pasting them hardly makes your point.

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    Anonymous April 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    It was stated in post #65 that

    “Last time I read the laws, pedestrians, bicyclists and cars have a legal right to use the public roadway that they paid for through their property and income taxes.”

    Contrary to this pedestrians do not have a right to use the road as I pointed out in the Oregon statutes.

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    velo April 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Muddog – stop trolling, if you had a point it is lost in your trolling. Mr Maus, your editorial powers would be well used to add this individual to any ban list you might have.

    This is tragic. The victim screwed up, assuming that facts given at this point are correct. It is still tragic. Just because there was an error in action and judgment doesn’t mean the guy somehow deserved to die.

    As a nation we have one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the world and we are doing little to solve it. This sort of accident points to the fact that we have engineered roads, vehicles and systems that will kill people. This could change if our priorities change.

    I think it’s tragic for the driver too, it doesn’t sound like s/he was at fault. Surely this will haunt them for a long time.

    Blame and fault doesn’t make a tragedy any less so. The people who should that he deserved it might want to consider their own humanity before being so sure.

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Muddog,

    Thanks, but I prefer Kombucha to PBR, so your advice re beverages is about as far off the mark as is your advice that “roads are for cars.”

    You don’t need to prove that the Earth is round, or that gravity is the force that keeps us Earthbound– those facts have already been proven.

    You can’t however, equate your ridiculous assertion that “roads are for cars” with facts that have withstood the rigors of scientific testing.

    You might fervently believe that you’re stating a fact, but you aren’t– and the proof is your own inability to back your ridiculous assertion up with anything more than bluster.

    Now, as for your points A through D:

    A) You said that the “roads are for cars.” I said you have no evidence to back that ridiculous assertion up. You also made a ridiculous analogy between railroads and roads, in support of your assertion that roads are for cars. And now that it’s apparent that your analogy is false, you’re backpedaling– pun intended.

    B) It IS illegal to ride on the wrong side of the road, to willfully disobey bike laws, to disobey rules of the road, to to deliberately ride recklessly. So what’s your point?

    C) Fact: State and federal tax dollars come from state and federal taxpayers. While the Oregon Constitution requires that gas taxes be placed into the Highway fund, there is no such requirement in other states, and there is no such requirement at the federal level– the result being that federal funds for MAX, bridges, highways, and other transportation projects come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to the gas tax.

    Fact: Even in Oregon, gas taxes are not the sole source of transportation funding. And in the very near future, the link between gas taxes and transportation funding will be severed completely, because gas taxes can’t generate enough revenue to fund our transportation needs.

    Fact: Bikes do not place any wear and tear upon the roads– The tax dollars that are spent on road maintenance mitigate the road damage caused by motor vehicles.

    D) I haven’t cherry-picked anything. I showed you why your analogy is wrong, and you haven’t been able to refute that, just lik you haven’t been able to back up your ridiculous assertion that the roads are for cars.

    And yes, the cyclist wasn’t following the rules of the road, and that contributed to his death. The only real question in any of this is whether the driver was following the rules of the road. If he was, then the cyclist was 100% at fault. If the driver wasn’t following the rules of the road, then he shares some of the fault for this crash.

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    #77:

    It was stated in post #65 that

    “Last time I read the laws, pedestrians, bicyclists and cars have a legal right to use the public roadway that they paid for through their property and income taxes.”

    Contrary to this pedestrians do not have a right to use the road as I pointed out in the Oregon statutes.

    Actually, the roadway includes the sidewalk, so pedestrians do have the right to use the roads, although they are limited as to which portions of the roads they can use. But where they are allowed to use the road, not only do they have the right to use the road, they also have the right of way over ALL other road users.

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    huey lewis April 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    AR @ 72. No one is entitled to a speedy commute home. It’s not a right. it’s great when it happens, but more often it does not. this happens as much by design as it does by personal choice in the mode of transit used. so it goes…

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    Muddog April 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Velo.

    DID YOU NOT READ MY POST?????????? where did I indicate this was NOT tragic?.
    Just becuase I do not agree with GROUP THINK does not make me TROLLING.

    If I do not agree with YOU I must be re moved from the thread?.

    Who said he DESERVED to die?.

    Save the drama for someone else.

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    Anonymous April 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Sorry Rixter but the statute itself states

    “(a) Takes a position upon or proceeds along and upon the roadway where there is an adjacent usable sidewalk or shoulder.”

    Roadway does not include sidewalks.

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Anonymous, you’re right… sort of. The roadway does not include the sidewalk… But the highway does:

    Roadway:

    801.450 “Roadway.” “Roadway” means the portion of a highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term “roadway” shall refer to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively. [1983 c.338 §83]

    Highway:

    801.305 “Highway.” (1) “Highway” means every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures within the boundaries of this state, open, used or intended for use of the general public for vehicles or vehicular traffic as a matter of right.
    (2) For the purpose of enforcing traffic offenses contained in the Oregon Vehicle Code, except for ORS 810.230, “highway” includes premises open to the public that are owned by a homeowners association and whose boundaries are contained within a service district established on or before July 1, 2002, under ORS 451.410 to 451.610. [1983 c.338 §51; 2007 c.561 §1]

    Sidewalk:

    801.485 “Sidewalk.” “Sidewalk” means the area determined as follows:
    (1) On the side of a highway which has a shoulder, a sidewalk is that portion of the highway between the outside lateral line of the shoulder and the adjacent property line capable of being used by a pedestrian.
    (2) On the side of a highway which has no shoulder, a sidewalk is that portion of the highway between the lateral line of the roadway and the adjacent property line capable of being used by a pedestrian. [1983 c.338 §89]

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    So, revising what I said, pedestrians do have the right to use the highway, but they are limited as to which portion they can use. But where they are permitted to use the highway, pedestrians have the right ofd way over ALL other users.

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    Nono April 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    reading the paragraph, it sounds like a suicide to me. at least that is what I would call it.

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    Rixtir April 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm
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    G Stanley April 29, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Re: posts #62, 65, and 66.

    I won’t even get into bicyclists not being required to register or license, not being required to be competency tested, not being required to have liability insurance, nor there being any provisions for repeal of riding privileges for repeated or grave traffic violations, among other issues.

    Road construction and repair in Oregon is funded almost entirely by “road taxes.” Local and property taxes account for an extremely small part.

    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/2008_KeyFacts.shtml#Transportation_Funding

    Be sure to click on the link at the bottom of the page after you’ve read it.

    Sure, some local property taxes are used to fund highway construction and road repair. From the numbers shown I’d guess less than one percent. I don’t see ANY Oregon income tax money listed as a source…unless you want to consider the $4 million transfered from the general fund. Let’s see, less than $39 million from “all other sources” (so property tax money is just a small part of the $39 million), plus $4 million (perhaps) from the general fund. Approx. $43 million in a 2.6 trillion dollar budget. And that’s from ALL property tax payers and state income tax payers, not just the bicycle riders. Yeah, that’s paying your share all right.

    Bicyclists pay vertually NOTHING to support roads but seem to demand the entire system, which was designed for autos and paid for 99% by autos, be changed/re-constructed to accommodate them….at costs of millions of dollars.

    And yeah, most of us have cars and pay registration fees and taxes on them. That’s why we have the roads to use in the first place. Without them we’d all still be using cow paths.

    Oh,and poster #66, yeah, I’ve owned and rode. I’ve toured from Chicago to Los Angeles. I’ve bike commuted. I’m older now and my knees and hips are shot so no more. There, that’s probably more information than you wanted to know.

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    G Stanley April 29, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Sorry. Shudda been Re: posts #64, 65, and 66. Wish there was an edit function.

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    G Stanley April 29, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    The link I provided isn’t working…at least for me. It does work if I copy and paste.

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    CobyHoff April 30, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Umm… G Stanley,
    I followed your link. It is talking about the state’s budget. The state would be responsible for state highways, yes? Biking usually occurs on city and county maintained roads. I’m not following your logic. We’ve already agreed that gas taxes and other usage-based fees pay for highways and freeways. What they don’t pay for, is city and county roads, which bikers use primarily. Those are paid by city and county generated revenue, to which road fees and gas taxes do not contribute.

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    CobyHoff April 30, 2009 at 9:21 am

    OK, I just checked the PDF linked at the bottom of the page you linked. Indeed, some of that state budget does go to the cities and counties. To the tune of $261M of a $4.3B budget. Since this is only information from the state, it doesn’t really help us analyze the funding of city and county roads. We would need to analyze their budgets to see how much that $261M contributes to the maintenance of local roads.
    This multi-tiered government is sure complicated. 🙂

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    El Biciclero April 30, 2009 at 10:35 am

    G Stanley–

    Funding sources are slippery to get a handle on. I believe the source at your link speaks mainly to highway (read “freeway”, not local roads) funding sources. There is another report here that discusses transportation funding, and a quote from page 6 of that report says

    The state gas tax, weight-mile tax, and DMV fees comprise about 43 percent of
    ODOT’s revenue.

    Even if another 20% (as indicated in the report) comes from federal sources AND we assume that all federal funds are from gas taxes, that only makes up 63% of funds. Where does the other 37% come from?

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    El Biciclero April 30, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Oh, and many “cyclists”, i.e. “people who ride a bike sometimes”, still own cars and pay into the “DMV fees” part of the 43%, even if they never drive (thereby avoiding directly paying gas taxes). Everyone also chips in to pay the weight-mile tax on trucks any time we buy goods that were shipped by truck.

    No matter how you slice it, the amount spent on bike-specific road improvements is much less than the non-road-tax-related amount that goes toward roads.

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    G Stanley April 30, 2009 at 10:59 am

    No matter how you slice it, you can play with figures however you want to get the results you want. Doesn’t change the truth, though.

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    El Biciclero April 30, 2009 at 11:02 am

    G Stanley–

    No matter how you slice it, you can play with figures however you want to get the results you want. Doesn’t change the truth, though.

    Hmm. Sounds like that works both ways–right back atcha.

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    Pete April 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Oh puleeese, don’t tell me we’re back at the “cyclists pay nothing” argument! Talk to anyone in administration at ODOT and you’ll find the big projects are funded federally, and the fed budget has been in deficit since 2001. You think your (our) pathetic $.07/gallon is paying for things like a proposed $5B bridge, let alone keep up with the annual wear on I-84 from freight and studded tires? Right.

    If we had it your way, on a “pay-what-you-use” basis, you wouldn’t be able to afford after-school programs for your kids (childless people like myself pay for those and more, otherwise your public school costs would better approximate enrollment in private schools). You’d also be tolled to death on the highways (like on the east coast).

    As we saw gas prices surge, many people saw the wisdom of parking the car and picking up a bicycle. Did they get a refund from the DMV? No, they simply learned what it was like to be cut off and insulted periodically by inattentiveness. And now they can join the ranks of being called “freeloaders.”

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    Pete April 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Sorry… distracted by ignorance.

    My condolences to the Bernick family, and to the driver for their trauma. Maybe Cary cycled as an affordable alternative in these difficult economic times. He certainly doesn’t deserve to have funding arguments bounced around, and I apologize for getting off topic. Regardless of the circumstances this is indeed a tragedy, and my sincere thoughts are with his survivors.

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    Jorge April 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Mudddog.
    Not wearing a helmet does not automatically make someone’s head magnetically attract cars.
    Cars are equipped with brakes, a steering wheel and a clear glass windshield. Avoiding a human directly in front of your car should be the main priority when driving. Failing to avoid hitting a living person demonstrates negligence.

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    Kt May 1, 2009 at 11:48 am

    #61, 63, and 67:

    In point of fact, paved roads first came into existence because of and for the use of bicycles.

    Look it up. It’s in the history books.

    Roads are for bicycles. Cars took over the bicycle infrastructure for themselves.

    Now, the Interstate Highway System? That’s was all about cars.

    You can look that one up, too.

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    Kt May 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Pete, #98: me too.

    Condolences to both the Bernick family and the driver and their family. What a terrible thing to go through, regardless of how the roads were paid for.

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    wsbob May 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    “In point of fact, paved roads first came into existence because of and for the use of bicycles.” Kt

    Ha! Ha! Good one, but a nice thought at any rate! Let’s see…how might paved roads have first come into existence? Looking to Europe and Rome as an example…to allow easier, reliable movement of trade goods, and….troops.

    I’ve always heard that the push to create the Interstate Highway System was also about aiding expedience in preparing for a national emergency…such as an attack by another country. Next priority though, would probably have been to support commercial truck movement. A secondary benefit of the highway system is its use by cars that allow people access to employment that in turn benfits the economy.

    Where roads don’t exist, people get around on foot or on animals well enough. Today, off road bikes allow the same, but faster, and the rider can eat all the oats themselves.

    Modern paved roads and motor vehicles are a mixed blessing. They’ve had the very unfortunate effect of reducing to an inferior status, people traveling the road by means other than a motor vehicle. Where paved roads exist, vulnerable road users almost invariably become subordinate to the business that big, heavy vehicles on the road are engaged in.

    People such as the kid Austin Miller, the young art student Tracy Sparling, racer and bike shop worker Brett Jarolimek, Timothy O’Donnel and this latest neighborhood guy, husband, can collector Cary Bernick…their deaths are rationalized away quite easily by many people that accept with little question, the argument for domination of the road by the bigger and more powerful.

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    realistbiker May 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Very disappointed to hear so many excuses for not taking personal responcibilty. It is your job to wear a helmet and to ride safely and legally. How about the poor motorist that may not have intended to hit that bike rider and keep that memory for life? Riding a bike doesn’t make you a “cyclist” and you don’t automatically have the right to do as you please on the road. The road that you must share with cars, with the same rights and responcibilities. It is always a sad day when we loose anybody, but like an alcoholic or drug addict, you can’t make them be responcible if they don’t want to be responcible themselves. If you really want change, then all stand up and say “ride safely, legally, and responcibly with a helmet” protect yourselves people, no one else will. Best wishes to the family, but don’t become matyrs, please.

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    Opus the Poet May 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Well for those who doubt, wiki says the macadam road and the bicycle developed contemporaneously. I didn’t use to trust wiki, but their editors and fact checkers have gotten much better in recent years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam

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    wsbob May 2, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Opus, I checked out the wiki page you provided the link for. It doesn’t mention bikes at all.

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    Opus the Poet May 3, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Sorry I thought most people knew Count Draisne (sp?) was making the predecessor of the bicycle during this time period.

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    El Biciclero May 3, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I think to link the emergence of paved roads to bicycle use, we have to narrow the geographical context to the U.S.

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  • […] Bernick of Southeast Portland, on April 27, around 5:30 p.m. According to the police statements on BikePortland.org, Mr. Bernick was riding against traffic, on a one-way street, and did not have a helmet.  I wonder […]

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