Harvest Century September 22nd

Fatal bike/car crash on NE Prescott at 57th

Posted by on May 14th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Looking east on Prescott. Green
paint in foreground marks where
bike came to rest.
(Photo: Elly Blue)

This evening around 5:30 pm, a 36-year old man on a bicycle was fatally wounded when he attempted to cross NE Prescott Street at NE 57th (view map below).

According to investigators, Sandy Bass Jr. was headed north on NE 57th on his way to pick up his son at Rigler Elementary School. He was struck by a white Subaru that was headed west on Prescott.

Story continues below

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According to PPB Sergeant Voepel, the driver will not being cited.

The Police have also already determined that the person operating the motor vehicle had the right of way and that impairment was not a factor. Voepel told Blue that it appeared the man operating the bicycle “made an error”. Police spokesperson Mary Wheat told The Oregonian that, “it appeared that the driver of the vehicle had the right of way.”

This is NE 57th approaching Prescott with the same approach as the man who was hit.

Blue reported seeing many bikes riding by in the vicinity. I have also already read several comments and gotten emails from people stating they commute through this area and that crossing Prescott can be tricky.

Prescott is a 35 mph in that location and the collision happened just half a block west of an Albertsons grocery store and just a few blocks east of Rigler Elementary School (view map below).

The deceased man’s name has not been released. A photo of his bike published by KATU shows that he was riding a stock, mid-low range Specialized mountain bike.

As is the case with all fatal collisions, the Portland Police Traffic Division will carry out a full investigation.


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106 Comments
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    steve May 14, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I have been buzzed on that section of Prescott many, many times. For whatever reason there are numerous drivers there that do not respect the right of cyclists to be on the roadway.

    I hope this is not the start of a long Summer. My thoughts are with the cyclists friends and family. What a shame.

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    pedalstrikeforceagentdown May 14, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Sad.

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    Wilder Schmaltz May 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    This is at the end of my street. Police and news crews are still there as of 7:15 p.m. The bike is still on the scene, in the Northbound lane, as is a bundle of clothing or material, and spray painted markers are on the road. Police could only say that it was a fatal accident and that the deceased is a male in his 30s. The officer also said that there was no impairment (alcohol/drugs) known to be involved as yet. Remembering my buddy Brett Jarolimek.

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    Christopher May 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    This is very sad. I usually take this route home from work, but today I decided to take the MAX. I’ve had a few close calls on this stretch of Prescott. My heart goes to everyone involved.

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    K'Tesh May 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    My Thoughts and Prayers go to the Families involved…

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    schrammalama May 14, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    We noticed the commotion as we driving down 60th at the 5 point intersection. West bound driving on Prescott you can get a lot of sun glare. I’m not surprised that it would have been hard to see someone. That said, people drive way to fast down Prescott.

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    Little Red Bike Cafe May 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Our hearts go out to all involved. Please let us know if there is any way we can help.

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    ScottG May 14, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I am deeply saddened to hear this. I’m planning to participate in the Ride of Silence next Wednesday, and this will be yet another person to ride for.

    I will also say that I’ve always felt a bit awkward crossing Prescott along 37th, which is a bike boulevard. There is a corner there which makes it nearly impossible to see traffic coming from both directions.

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    Zaphod May 14, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Oregonlive’s story has the crash listed at Cully & Prescott, a few blocks from 57th. They may be rounding to the nearest major cross.

    A sad day indeed.

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    old&slow May 14, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    i just went to oregonlive to check out the story. What a sewer that place is. A bunch of antibike rants and a bikeportland slam. They don’t even wait to hear any details about a persons death before they start the sick comments. My sympathy to the persons family and my sadness sometimes about a bunch of a-holes who live here.

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    Alexis May 14, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    The comments on oregonlive always suck.

    I particularly like the one about learning how to use lights at night… when the crash was in the early evening, a time which is perfectly light out during this time of year.

    Steve @ 1–according to oregonlive it looks like the driver had the right of way. We can’t ALWAYS blame cars (tempting as it is). Either way, in bike-car run-ins the bicyclist always ends up getting the worst of it.

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    Barney May 14, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    @ #9
    I thought the comments at Oregonlive were a pretty accurate cross-section of public opinion. There was sympathy, sarcasm, unreasonable anti-bike sentiment, unreasonable anti-car sentiment, and classic anonymous internet aggression. For a site that isn’t particularly dedicated to cycling, I didn’t find it to be too over-the-top. Yes, I hope for better, but in the meantime, I choose to spend more time here than on Oregonlive.

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    Anonymous May 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Our Prayers and thoughts go out to both families of the parties involved in this incident.

    Very sad for all…

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    Val A Lindsay II May 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Damn, damn, damn. My sympathy and empathy for all involved…

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    Kyrstin May 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    So sad. I came home from a ride that took me right through that intersection to the news of this tragic accident. Our families thoughts are with those of touched by this incident.

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    Anonymous May 14, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    this is exactly where the mayor had previously proposed a cycletrack. I have to say where is it Sam??? You have been in office for awhile but I havn’t seen any actual movement on improving bike facilities at this intersection. Additionally can we get a traffic circle installed here, the 5 way stop is bizarre and dangerous leading to many near misses. Safety would be much improved with a slowing feature rather than a stop and punch it feature.

    bjorn

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    Bjorn May 14, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    this is exactly where the mayor had previously proposed a cycletrack. I have to say where is it Sam??? You have been in office for awhile but I havn’t seen any actual movement on improving bike facilities at this intersection. Additionally can we get a traffic circle installed here, the 5 way stop is bizarre and dangerous leading to many near misses. Safety would be much improved with a slowing feature rather than a stop and punch it feature.

    bjorn

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    Patrick Valdez May 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    My condolences goes out to the family of the cyclist. But let’s not join sides on this one. From the details I have read, the vehicle had the right of way and no drugs or alcohol were involved. I’m not laying blame on the cyclist either. It may have just been a tragic accident but whatever the outcome I only hope this doesn’t turn into another cars vs. bikes war.

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    wsbob May 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    In the second picture from the top, the terrain seems fairly level rather than an upward grade closer to the setting sun. At 5:30pm, is sun glare a problem for west-bound road users at this intersection? I’m not personally familiar with the intersection, but wondering if it might be a little early for the sun to be in people’s eyes… 6:30?

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    are May 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    absent a posting, the default speed limit is 25 mph. the report should include an analysis of how fast the motorist was going, and if glare was a factor, then even 25 might be too fast for conditions.

    incidentally, this is several blocks west of the five-way. the proposed cycle track was on Culley, as I understood it.

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    graham May 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I commute down through this same intersection on my way home from work every day on my bike, tragic indeed. I’m seeing a lot of comments about the 35 mph posted speed limit in Prescott, which I’ve never agreed with for precisely this reason (and the fact that this happened just one block from Rigler elementary). My thoughts and prayers go out to the man’s family. I was on my way home from work on my bike today to find the street cordoned off. All the officer would tell me at the time was that it was a “traffic accident.”

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    Joe Rowe May 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Rest in Peace. My heart goes out to the family.

    I lived just off 66th and Prescott and did that direct East-West commute 5 days a week for a year.

    If Jonanthan and the media can speculate the bike made an error, why can’t he speculate the car made the more frequent error?

    In technical terms, a car going 35mph had the right of way. In terms of reality, I doubt the car was doing under 35. Who knows.

    Did the cops send away any witnesses? I’ve seen that happen for the one Portland car accident I saw first hand.

    I used the parallel side streets of Skidmore and Going 90% of the time. But when I was under time constraints I would take the lane at 22-26mph on Prescott between 33rd and MLK. Cars would freak out and speed past me, and I’d catch up with them at the next light. I’d say nothing to them and never see them again because they would be stuck in a line of 10 cars that would not make the next green.

    Cars would often drive 40-50 on Prescott in the section between Albertsons and 33rd. There are no obstructions other than 47th and a curve.

    There were no clouds today. I was outside baby sitting at 5:30. And at 5:30 the sun would have caused conditions that require drivers to slow. If the driver was squinting into the sun, the driver should have slowed as the law states under driving too fast for conditions.

    If I were the family, I’d have a lawyer calling any and all witnesses. I’d have the speeding and driving record of the driver pulled ASAP. I’d pull the cell phone records of the driver. I’d determine if the driver was wearing music devices. I’d have my lawyer measure all skidmarks and have the car inspected for poor brake conditions.

    If there was a lot of trauma did the driver not even attempt to stop? If the driver did not attempt to stop then perhaps the driver was not concentrated on the road ahead. The blame can be shared. It’s possible the bike took a risk trying to get to the other side, but it’s also possible the driver was knowingly taking risks.

    Was the car in a hurry to get somewhere?

    I’ve seen cops send away witnesses. In their judgement, one witness was enough. I’ve also seen a horrific crash in Portland. The cops said they did not need any witnesses, they had one and did not want to take my info. I asked them to take my info because I had heard the driver who ran a stop declare to the victim that he had run the stop as he jumped out of the car and apologized. The other witness was in a car behind the accident and could never had heard that. I was a pedestrian, and I know when things go to court, people deny the truth of the scene.

    It’s all about the witnesses. I don’t trust Portland Cops after a significant number of instances where people were seriously hurt and they wanted to rush the report or not even file a report. I guess the cops would blame it on the taxpayers for not giving them enough manpower to do the job better.

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    JR May 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I’ve rode on Prescott before and felt unsafe with the speeding cars.. I’ve heard residents there also complain about the speeding cars on that street.. Whatever the vehicle was doing, I doubt it was going slower than normal.. which is too fast.

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    efglez May 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    A friend called me to check on me, thinking the worse… I was told to @%%*&&# STOP riding my bike already, that there are way too many crazy people driving out there. It is sad to think that this could happen to anyone at anytime. Thank you to all the people that cared enough to call a friend.
    We have power in numbers, please don’t stop riding and if you are not doing it already, get out there soon. The more the bikes the safer we will be. My thoughts go to his family and friends.

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    dsaxena May 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    ScottG (#8)…I agree about 37th/Prescott. I’ve been crossing that a lot on my routes lately and that intersection alone is reason for 37th to loose Bike Boulevard status. It seriously needs a bike activated light in the North-South direction.

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    Rixtir May 14, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Joe Rowe, #21:

    Thanks for that post. It’s an important reminder that when a cyclist dies, he can’t tell his side of the story, so it’s up to all of us to ask these questions for the cyclist.

    Of course, the PPB could ask those questions too, but they won’t.

    Sad. He was a single parent. I hope his child has family.

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    Chris May 15, 2009 at 12:19 am

    OMG…..i was riding Prescott from 82nd to 72nd today at about 6pm! I took Prescott instead of my usual route on Sandy because traffic is lighter……i could never imagine someone getting hit on such a wide street with such light traffic, but you never know eh? My friend just called me telling me to please buy a helmet because she is one of the teachers at Rigler of the kid that the deceased was coming to pick up and this has totally effed her up. Getting my helmet tommorrow.

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    Cully Neighborhood Mother May 15, 2009 at 1:14 am

    I walk with my daughter along 57th and cross to Prescott to get to Albertson’s almost every day. 57th has no sidewalks between Alberta Street and Prescott. Same with Cully and 60th. No sidewalks. No crosswalks. Certainly no bike lanes. Absolutely no parks. Cars rule this residential neighborhood. Sam Adams made many promises to the Cully neighborhood and has forgotten us. Pedestrians and bicyclists are second-class citizens in this area. What am I supposed to tell my daughter? We cross this intersection every day. I don’t think I can pass this location without remembering the tragedy. We have no car. We have to either ride our bikes or walk a 1/2 mile to the bus stop at Albertson’s because that is the nearest Trimet bus! There are no sidewalks to get there. I know this intersection like the back of my hand. It can be hard to see the cars coming from the west because of parked cars. Sometimes you have to step out to see. And the cars are going fast from both sides. They’re going fast from the west because they’re all freaked out and frustrated by the crazy 5-way intersection. Maybe someone cut in front of them there and then the driver was angry and sped up. Or maybe they were still dwelling on that intersection and not focusing on the road ahead. I know I shouldn’t speculate but I see it all the time there. I’m terrified to find out who it was. I know all my neighbors. This is a real neighborhood, not a through-way. Slow down. There are children playing in the streets because we have no sidewalks and no parks. Prescott is a major bike route. This is my street. This is so sad and terrible.

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    benn May 15, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Joe Rowe:

    Contrary to what you assume, eyewitness testimony actually has been shown to be fairly unreliable. I recognize it runs counter to what is generally expected, but there is quite a bit of information available documenting how frequently eyewitnesses make mistakes. Google unreliable eyewitness for articles about this phenomenon.

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    Paul Tay May 15, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Guerrilla traffic calming on Prescott, anyone?

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    Paul Tay May 15, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Only on Pedalpaloooza.

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    Ash....Housewares May 15, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I live on 79th and used to take Prescott all the time. I never took it past 33rd. MLK to 33 is sooo dangerous. The funny thing is, I see a HUGE number of people riding that strech with no helmet. I don’t get it??!! Worried your going to crush your doo? Want people to notice that really cool cap you just bought? There is no room on that street for a bike! I don’t understand why anyone would ride it when there is the calm low traffic Skidmore one block south. It’s nice I ride it everyday. Yea, it sucks from Cully going east, I don’t like the “unimproved roads” either. I think I’d like being dead even less though!

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    Brandon May 15, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Maywood Park/the 205. This “Bike Route” is in desperate need of a bike lane. Parked cars take up much of where the bikes should go if they want to stay out of traffic. That intersection with Cully is insane.
    Condolences to the family of the cyclist.
    I agree with some of the Hawthorne Bridge incident comments: focus on our current bike infrastructure before expanding into new areas.

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    proud lefty May 15, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Bikeers
    You have to OWN that the bike-rider was going south, thus crossing Prescott and obviously made a mistake in judgment and was struck. The car had a LEGAL right of way. At the time of the accident the sun would have had ZERO factor in the crash. Prescott is wide enough to allow car parking on both sides of the streets and there is plenty of room for both cars and bikes. Please do not make this a car vs bike issue, as many of the idiots on Oregonlive have done. Makes cyclist look bad as rude car drivers.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) May 15, 2009 at 8:58 am

    “this is exactly where the mayor had previously proposed a cycletrack”

    this is not true. the cycletrack will go in on Cully.

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    Rob May 15, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Prescott between MLK and 82nd is a well known shortcut for cars going to the airport, often in a rush. There are very few stop signs or traffic lights.

    What about paving narrow 6 foot paths over the unimproved streets parallel to Killingsworth, Alberta and Prescott on Going and Emerson, with some street dead ends for cars which let peds and bikes pass, like those around 14th and Alberta?

    I bet residents would support dead end streets. Great for kids too.

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    buzz May 15, 2009 at 9:10 am

    @#28 Cully Neighborhood Mother: You make several good points, but one of them I feel is key:

    “It can be hard to see the cars coming from the west because of parked cars.”

    I live in the Hollywood Dist. and there are a lot of parked cars in this area due to the library and other businesses. The cars are allowed to park to the very end of the intersection and it makes it very difficult to see no matter if I am on bike or car. Now, the speed limits on those streets is 25. I cannot imagine what it would be like if it were 35. Top that off, the intersection I live on, there usually seems to be two big vans parked back to back which makes visibility worse!

    Now, I am not sure if not being able to see due to parked cars was the reason for this crash, but it makes me wonder.

    The city of Portland needs to stop letting cars park all the way to the end of the intersection. The town I moved from (Billings, MT where autos are certainly king) does not allow this. It is a safety matter for cars, bikes and pedestrians.

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    Rich R. May 15, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Really sucks to see this happen, but you can’t blame the motorist unless he was destroying the speed limit. Then again it really doesn’t matter who’s at fault. Our comrade is not coming back 🙁 I got turned into on Wednesday (I’m okay) and the Range Rover driver was totally clueless that I was there until I hit his from passenger panel. Reminded me, once again, that I (we) must super aware at all times. Preaching to the choir, I know.

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    buzz May 15, 2009 at 9:19 am

    And, my heart goes out to the family.

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    ScottG May 15, 2009 at 9:22 am

    buzz: I’m 100% with you. Having moved here from out of state as well, I’ve been disappointed to see the way cars park right up to the edge of intersections on busy streets (e.g, N Mississippi). Trying to nose your way out into those intersections (especially in a car) is extremely dangerous. I never understood why no one else seemed to be bothered by it.

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    a.O May 15, 2009 at 9:30 am

    These design issues are certainly worthy of discussion and implementation.

    This morning, I just can’t get past the fact that there is a little boy somewhere in Portland who is very scared and very alone without his dad. It breaks my heart.

    It’s so much worse in this society where we don’t take care of our own. Perhaps if the phrase “bike community” means something, it means stepping up for this little guy?

    Do we know whether he has anyone to take care of him?

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    Joe May 15, 2009 at 9:31 am

    RIP bike friend.. sad news! Cars R Coffins

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    Rixtir May 15, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Benn, #29:

    That is true, but since the police are already talking to eyewitnesses, why not get as many eyewitnesses as possible? Picking one eyewitness at random certainly doesn’t improve their odds of getting an accurate account of events.

    The only other options available are asking the driver what happened, and accident reconstruction/forensics. The problems with the first option should be obvious. The problem with the second option is that the police are NOT forensic engineers, even though they sometimes fancy themselves to be.

    Ideally, you’d want to have both a forensic engineer, and corroborating eyewitness testimony– neither of which you’re going to get from a police investigation.

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    Rixtir May 15, 2009 at 9:44 am

    a.O:

    This morning, I just can’t get past the fact that there is a little boy somewhere in Portland who is very scared and very alone without his dad. It breaks my heart.

    This is absolutely the worst part of this tragic collision. I really hope he has loving family with him at this moment.

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    Erica May 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

    All the best to the deceased cyclist’s family. As much as I’d like to rail about the need for greater education on roadway safety right now, a moment of silence seems far more respectful. I hope his family finds solace in the thoughts and prayers of hundreds of fellow cyclists.

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    fredlf May 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I live near, and very frequently ride through, this area. Just want to add my voice to those who point out Prescott is over-loaded and too fast, and the 5-way intersection is simply madness.

    Maybe this will help push forward the Going bike blvd.? Meanwhile, Skidmore is a far safer choice, esp. between 33rd and MLK.

    My heart goes out to the friends and family of the deceased. If something is organized to help, I surely will contribute.

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    John M May 15, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I lost my brother in a bike/car accident when he was 36 yrs old. His death devastated my family, especially my mother. The elderly driver and his wife attended his funeral and we ended up consoling them because they were so completely distraught. My brother was a great biker – he just hit an unseen hole in the road and was thrown under the car. A terrible accident.
    I hope bikers and drivers all consider how a tragedy would affect their loved ones and please drive/bike safely.

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    Ed May 15, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Prescott is also very tricky to cross at 37th (especially southbound) which is the most viable north south bike route for that area of the city. It is a back way, all the way from Alemeda to pretty much the 33rd overpass to the north. Prescott doglegs here, and with houses close up it is impossible to see east bound cars approaching without committing to being in the middle of the street basically. If vehicles are approaching one must break fast and essentially stand in the middle of the road in the middle of a fast dogleg where there is considerable lane drift by vehicles. This is tricky for even experienced cyclists and a time bomb for beginners.

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    Rixtir May 15, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Proud Lefty, #34:

    Bikeers
    You have to OWN that the bike-rider was going south, thus crossing Prescott and obviously made a mistake in judgment and was struck. The car had a LEGAL right of way. At the time of the accident the sun would have had ZERO factor in the crash. Prescott is wide enough to allow car parking on both sides of the streets and there is plenty of room for both cars and bikes. Please do not make this a car vs bike issue, as many of the idiots on Oregonlive have done. Makes cyclist look bad as rude car drivers.

    Proud Lefty, I hear the assumption you’re making, and inviting all of us to make: that the cyclist blew a stop sign and paid the ultimate price for that.

    I stop at every stop sign, and every stop light, every time. I also frequently write about why cyclists should follow the traffic laws. In other words, I’m not given to making excuses about disregarding the law. That said, I’m declining the invitation to assume anything about this collision. The reason is because we only know one thing: that a driver collided with a cyclist.

    You say the cyclist was southbound on 57th; the collision occurred on Prescott, so it’s easy to assume that the cyclist blew the light and was trying to cross Prescott when he was hit.

    But I don’t think that’s what happened. I think what happened is he was heading south on 57th and turned right on Prescott– the news reports say he was on his way to the elementary school to pick up his son, and to do that, he would have turned right.

    Did he blow the stop? Or did he stop and then turn? I don’t know, and neither does anybody else. But from the photo above, it seems clear that he was already on Prescott, headed west, when he was hit. That being the case, why would anybody conclude that the car had the right of way? It’s certainly possible that the car had the right of way, but is it a certainty? If the cyclist was already on Prescott, heading west, the driver had a duty to pass him at a safe distance; the driver had a duty to keep a proper lookout (and so did the cyclist); the driver had a duty to exercise due care to avoid hitting the cyclist, EVEN IF THE DRIVER HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY; the cyclist himself MAY have been the vehicle operator with the right of way; and the driver had the duty to obey the speed limit.

    It seems to me that there are at least two possibilities here: (1) the cyclist carelessly entered onto Prescott into the path of an oncoming car, and the only question is whether the driver observed his duties toward the careless cyclist, or (2) the cyclist lawfully entered onto Prescott, and the driver failed to observe any of his duties to the cyclist. With the information we have about this collision, either of those scenarios is possible; therefore, any declarations that the driver had the legal right of way, and that this collision is therefore the cyclist’s fault, are without evidence, and premature.

    Rather than leaping to conclusions about “owning” what happened, it would be better if we first get some answers to questions that need to be asked– because, again, there were two vehicle operators here, and only one of them lived to tell his side of things– and unfortunately, we’re not going to get those answers from the Portland Police Bureau, because it’s extremely unlikely that they’re even asking the right questions.

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    a.O May 15, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Thank you, Rixter (49).

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    wsbob May 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Cully Neighborhood Mother, #28, I found reading your comment to be very worthwhile. Perspective on the situation from someone that actually lives in the neighborhood, walks it frequently, and seeing what works and what doesn’t is what I think will help others understand what can best be done to improve things.

    It certainly seems like the intersection should at least have crosswalks painted across Prescott accompanied by simple signs reading ‘Caution Bikes, Pedestrians’. If the city’s budget can’t allow for a crosswalk light right now, at least it might consider stringing a yellow, constantly flashing caution light over Prescott at the intersection until money for a crosswalk light can be provided for.

    It’s a good point about lack of sidewalks in your neighborhood. I live near such a neighborhood. Personally, I kind of like walking in the street at night. People driving through there seem to understand the need to use extra caution to look for people walking, but I’ll readily agree that the situation is dangerous. This neighborhood doesn’t have enough street lights either, so that compounds the problem. When there aren’t a lot of cars present, it’s nice to walk there when the sky is clear and the moon is out.

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    velo May 15, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Sad news. I’ll wait for more information about the details of the crash before passing judgement. That said, I don’t trust the Portland Police to conduct an investigation of any quality, but I hope they prove me wrong.

    Accidents like this point to the fact that we have a road system that ASSUMES people will be injured and killed. From road design, to speed limits to the design of the exterior of cars compromises in safety are made for speed and cost. This is not a reasonable calculation and we need to start considering that in our planning decisions.

    One thing I think about a lot when I do drive is the fact that traffic laws DO NOT do a good job of setting you up to deal with contingencies. It may be legal to go a certain speed or do a certain maneuver, but that doesn’t mean that it is safe. As a biker I see this too. Just because the law allows an activity doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

    Peace to all involved and I’ll be on the look out for more information.

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    Matt Picio May 15, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Joe (#22) raises a number of good points. While the motorist had the right-of-way, that does not relieve him of the responsibility to exercise due care. Was the motorist driving too fast for conditions? What was traffic like at that time? Were there any sight blocks?

    efglez (#24) – I have friends who say the same thing, and I have to remind them of all the activities which are more likely to kill you in Portland, like falls, electrocution, and drowning. Anything can kill you if it happens in the wrong way at the wrong time. All we can do is be aware of our surroundings and try to stay safe.

    proud lefty (#34) – it’s rarely that clear-cut, even in cases of unmistakable right-of-way. For a collision to occur, there typically are multiple factors, the absence of any one of which usually allows one or both parties to avoid the collision. In the instance on the Hawthorne bridge, the pedestrian(s) were a factor, as was Erica going left, the overtaking rider, relative speeds, the presence of a tall curb, etc. In this case, we don’t know about the cars parked on Prescott, relative traffic volumes, if the motorist was masked by oncoming traffic, or if the motorist’s view was blocked by trees, vehicles, or structures. While direct sunlight probably wasn’t a factor at 5:30pm, reflected sunlight could have been, and we don’t know what speed the motorist was traveling at.

    I was involved in a bike-on-car collision with a Mercedes last August. Fortunately I was not injured. I also had a stop sign, and the motorist had the right-of-way. But there were a number of factors which allowed the collision to take place, and what I thought was a safe crossing was not. I absolutely bore some of the responsibility in that collision (perhaps more than 50% – I don’t know, we didn’t go to court) but the other driver was, according to eyewitnesses speeding, and she didn’t exercise due care in a constrained area.

    We have to own our own responsbility, sure, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that none of this happens in a vacuum, nor of the fact that the operator of the larger vehicle has a larger responsibility to exercise due care and appropriate speed for conditions.

    Side Note: before someone argues with that last sentence, it’s not spelled out anywhere legally, it’s a logical conclusion, based on the known facts that heavier vehicles cause more damage to persons and structures, and tend to have inferior visibility and manueverability. Show me an exception to those conditions and I’ll show you an exception to that last paragraph.

    Rixtir (#49) – awesome points, and a great illustration of how little we really know and why blanket assumptions and absolutist statements don’t adequately desribe the situation. Well said!

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    jim May 15, 2009 at 11:47 am

    (Additionally can we get a traffic circle installed here, the 5 way stop is bizarre and dangerous leading to many near misses)

    Your right on this Bjorn- this is a very confusing intersection for some people. I’m suprised there aren’t more accidents there. The city engineers should make changes there for the safety of everyone

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    nuovorecord May 15, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Terribly sad…my heart goes out to the Mr. Bass’ son and family.

    We’ll never know now, but I wonder why Mr. Bass chose the route he did. From reading posts #27 and 49, it appears he was headed to the school to pick up his son. From looking at the map, it was possible for him to get to the school via Going St., a block to the north of Prescott. He didn’t “need” to be on Prescott, even though he was most certainly within his lawful right to be there.

    I often see cyclists riding on streets that are fairly busy, when there are low-traffic alternatives a block or two away. Yes, I understand that they have a right to use the roads, but personally, I’d much rather ride on a quiet neighborhood street than on an arterial. So it’s curious to me why someone rides on SE 39th (for example) instead of taking SE 41st, a designated bike boulevard route.

    I’m not blaming Mr. Bass for causing his own death, but merely wondering in the aftermath of a tragedy if society could do more to prevent future injuries or deaths through increased signage and education of safe routes? We talk a lot about improving infrastructure, cycle tracks, bike lanes, etc. But I wonder if people really understand how the streets connect and that they often have a choice of safer routes?

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    jim May 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I would venture an uneducated guess that with the amount of cars on prescot at 5:30 that they probably not able to speed. Was the driver headed into the sun? Did the bike make an Idaho stop in front of a car? I have seen more than a fair share of bad drivers in that neighborhood. My friend that lived there had to pay a higher insurance premium just because of all the bad drivers in that neighborhood

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    jason May 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I send my prayers to Mr. Bass’s family.

    I was riding home yesterday (west bound on Prescott) and was forced to detour around the accident site using Skidmore because the police had closed that part of Prescott. I didn’t realize it was for a cyclist death at the time.

    I have ridden between NE 42nd and Sandy for the past 10 years commuting to work. In general I have found the traffic level to be reasonable, and the drivers to be courteous and traveling at a safe speed. It feels to me like a safe East/West bike corridor for a safety concious, advanced skill level cyclist. It is no substitute for a bike-boulevard, which can safely transport bike riders of all skill levels.

    I have found Prescott street to be decceiving to cross because it quickly goes from “no” traffic to a “pack” of cars. I would love to see the day when traffic *MUST* yield to pedestrians and cyclists waiting responsibly to cross a street.

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    ms May 15, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Jim (#56) – your friend probably paid a higher insurance premium because of a higher number of car thefts in that neighborhood, since that’s where he parked his car every night. Since we all could drive in that neighborhood, I doubt your friend’s insurance went up because of bad drivers. Insurance is usually based on your personal record, plus where you live (chance of theft, break-in) among other factors.

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    Opus the Poet May 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I saw the picture of the bike in the Oregonian article, and the front wheel was about 180 degrees to the handlebars indicating the impact was hard from the left, but the wheel was surprisingly undamaged. Given what was printed in the article from witness’ accounts it appears that the bike was taken out from underneath the rider by the initial impact and his momentum took him the rest of the way into the collision.

    I can’t say any more without seeing the other vehicle.

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    Rixtir May 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Opus,

    Check out the photo at the top of this page, and compare it to the photo of the bike and the cyclist’s belongings on the Oregonian page. It’s clear that the cyclist was hit on Prescott, just after 57th (you can see the street was cleaned where the collision took place), while the bike was sent all the way across to the other side of Prescott. Note also that the rear wheel is slightly damaged…

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    Opus the Poet May 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Elly was kind enough to send me a picture of the other vehicle, but all I could tell was that the cyclist did not impact the left side or the front bumper. And when I tried to see the article again on the Oregonian all the pictures had been removed, with additional editorial added in a different font from the original article. Could they have been hacked?

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    Opus the Poet May 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    And I should edit the first comment to read “had a surprisingly low amount of damage” because there was a small bit of taco to the front wheel consistent with impact from the left.

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    gypsygirl May 15, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I want to say thank you to the BikePortland community for the restraint and overall appropriate tone of their comments, when compared to the readers of OregonLive. I’ve been a bike rider and involved in the Portland community for the last five years.

    I work with the family involved, and when I see the comments people have left, all I can think is that a child – whom I know and care about – has been left without a father. We all have our opinions about the bike vs. car debate, but the end result was the same, regardless of who, if anyone, was at fault.

    If the family and child has seen this debate, please remember – your family member was a hard-working person who loved you and cared about you. I am so sorry he was taken from you so suddenly, and my thoughts are with you.

    Some people will endlessly and often thoughtlessly argue their points of view, regardless of the personal sorrow and costs involved in the debate. I hope you can think of the good things in the past and the blessings in your life together, and forgive those in the online community who are venting without thinking of how it will affect others.

    I wish the family comfort and peace during this time.

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    old&slow May 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    gypsygirl, thank you, this should be the last word on this other than condolences.

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    Afro Biker May 15, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    The city of Portland is only interested in spending money where they can show it off…mainly downtown and the Pearl. There is litte interest in improving quality of life out as far east as this accident occured and I’d love someone to prove me wrong.

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    Tasha May 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    This is so sad! This is about 4 blocks from my house. Prescott is a difficult street to cross, unless you use the Crosswalk light at 54th. We rode this way on Saturday for the “Town Hall on wheels” with Michael Dembrow and Jackie Dingfelder. The ride highlighted the bright spots of Cully and the not so hot bike spots. This is obviously a not so great spot. There are so many things that could have contributed to this horrible event. I hate the blame on either ends that goes around. We should mainly send our thoughts and prayers to the family right now.

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    Cully Neighborhood Mother May 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I know condolences should be the last word, but I’d like also to be constructive.

    First a correction on my last comment (#28). I accidentally said cars coming from the west… I meant cars coming from the east are hard to see – which is where the car was coming from.

    I like Rob’s (#36) idea of the dead end streets. If there is no land or park money right now, that would at least be a safer place for kids to play ball, skate, etc.

    #51 – Thanks for your own insights. I agree that it is a nice feeling at night, like you’re not really in the city. I moved here before having my child and didn’t mind the lack of sidewalks and parks. When my baby was a few months old, I took her for a night-time walk in a stroller and was nearly struck by a truck on Alberta Street and 57th (a few blocks from yesterday’s accident). We were trapped between parked cars and a speeding truck. I had to push the stroller into some bushes in the split-second before the truck was upon us. That situation really opened my eyes to the dangers for people. There are three group residences for people with disabilities that I know of on or near 57th Ave at Alberta Street and Prescott. There are many people in wheelchairs who cannot get to the neighborhood store, Albertsons, without riding on the street, passing parked cars. I also see a lot of families with multiple kids and just groups of kids walking together in the street. I suppose this is all a tangent, but I guess my point is that cars are given full preferential treatment around here.

    I wrote a note on Sam Adams’ Facebook wall similar to my post here yesterday. He didn’t respond to it; but he did respond to another string of comments about needs for Portland’s transportation infrastructure and he sort of dismissively agreed with everyone and reminded us to tell our city council to fund pedestrian and bike projects.

    Can anyone here point me in the right direction toward actually making something happen? I don’t like the idea of banging against walls and I’d really like to see some changes. Cully neighborhood is one of the last affordable areas for people to buy homes. There are so many young families now and many bicycle commuters as well. I love this neighborhood, but I don’t think the pedestrian system has caught up with our needs here.

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    proud lefty May 16, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Great comments Rixtir and i’m glad that you stop at all stop signs and lights. I am concerned on how much I see BOTH cars and bikes blow through stop signs; in some twisted sense, I’m shocked and pleased that this does not happen more often. I would hate to be a motorist who hits someone on a bike who blew through a stop sign. It is frustrating to see the lack of patience car drivers do have with cyclist. I used to ride to work but I stopped because I just felt it was too unsafe. Safe riding out there and my prayers are with this family because it sure sounds like this man was a good guy trying to do the right things.

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    kww May 16, 2009 at 2:42 am

    so there you have it, if a car has the right of way, they can kill you. wtf is up with the cops, the legilators??

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    Afro Biker May 16, 2009 at 6:39 am

    kww: If you were a biker and ran into a pedistrian and killed them, would it be any different?

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    wsbob May 16, 2009 at 11:50 am

    “Can anyone here point me in the right direction toward actually making something happen?” Cully Neighborhood Mother #67

    Cully Mom…if you got the time, you might want to drop in on the neighborhood association meeting for your neighborhood and get to know some of the people there. All Portland’s neighborhoods have one, and the city relies on them in part to be a voice for residents about issues of livability and so forth.

    Cully Neighborhood Association

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  • […] has been a hotly discussed wreck over on BikePortland. Fatal bike/car crash on NE Prescott at 57th and Cyclist killed in collision with car and Bicyclist, 36, is killed in collision with car also […]

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    Brian May 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

    My heart goes out to the family.

    It really seems like traffic conditions contribute to this sort of tragedy. Is there any way to get them improved?

    Roads like Prescot should be 30mph, and they should be highly patrolled. The norm is 45 and never a speed trap in sight.

    I live in extreme NW pdx. The surface roads are posted at 35, people are doing at least 10+ over that. Never a cop.

    I blame law enforcement, the judicial system, the legislature, and the insurance industry for nuturing this unsafe environment that is the status quo.

    I’m done with my useless rant.

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    are May 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I just biked this stretch this afternoon while scouting the route for the ride of silence this coming Wednesday
    http://bikeportland.org/2009/05/12/ride-of-silence-will-roll-through-northeast-portland/
    and did not see any speed limit postings on Prescott from Cully heading west until the school zone, where it drops to 20 mph. to me this says the limit should be the default 25 mph. but maybe I overlooked a posting somewhere, and of course heading east the limit is posted 35 mph.

    the road is posted as a bike route (whatever that means), and apart from the occasional parked car, the travel lane is reasonably wide and not difficult to share.

    motorists do tend to speed, because the stops are infrequent. there is a light at the pedestrian crosswalk at 54th, and at 52nd they do post 35 mph. the next light is at 42nd.

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    Rixtir May 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    The initial reports have turned out to be wrong. he wasn’t riding south on 57th, he was riding north from his apartment driveway, which is directly across the street from 57th; he never ran a stop sign, because there isn’t a stop sign. He crossed Prescott to turn left and ride west to the school, and was hit while in the lane traveling west.

    That makes questions of who was at fault much less clear than the police investigators first asked us to believe.

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    are May 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    again, I was at the site this afternoon, and the green paint markings on the pavement seem to suggest an impact somewhat to the west of 57th — in other words, suggesting he may have completed his turn and was in the travel lane when he was struck. plenty of room for an overtaking motorist to move left, and of course taking the speed down a few notches would help . . .

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    Rixtir May 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    That’s exactly what I think the evidence shows, are.

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    a.O May 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

    This definitely deserves another look.

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    Anonymous May 18, 2009 at 11:32 am

    How exactly to you move left to avoid someone who is crossing your lane from the right.

    Is it too hard to believe that a cyclist made a mistake on the road?

    Anytime a cyclist is involved with a motorist it is always the motorists fault in these comments.

    Riding the wrong way on a one way street, motorists fault.

    Failure to yield when entering a roadway from a drive way, motorists fault.

    Two cyclists collide on the Hawthorne bridge, infrastructure is to blame.

    When are cyclist responsible for their actions in traffic?

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    wsbob May 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    “The initial reports have turned out to be wrong. he wasn’t riding south on 57th, he was riding north from his apartment driveway, which is directly across the street from 57th; he never ran a stop sign, because there isn’t a stop sign. He crossed Prescott to turn left and ride west to the school, and was hit while in the lane traveling west.” rixter #75

    Rixter, not that I’m necessarily doubting your claim, but for everyone reading here, you might make clear what the source of those subsequent details are.

    So, are you saying that his apartment was on th south side of Prescott, just east of 57th? You say there wasn’t a stop sign. Are you saying he crossed Prescott mid-block, where obviously, there wouldn’t be a stop sign or a stop light to acknowledge?

    Other than the green paint on the road, it’s not clear how you can be so sure where the car collided with him.

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    Anonymous May 18, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    wsbob

    There is an apartment driveway directly across from 57th on Prescott. Although there isn’t a stop sign where the driveway enters Prescott, I do believe there is a requirement on the part of those entering the roadway from a driveway, to ensure it is safe to do so before proceeding.

    And part of that responsibility is to estimate the speed of oncoming traffic.

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    DJ Hurricane May 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Anonymous, it seems as though you are the one who as already assigned blame here. Pot, kettle, etc.

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    Rixtir May 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    wsbob,

    A subsequent oregonian article made it clear that he was leaving from his apartment to go pick his son up at school:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/05/school_officials_exploring_fun.html

    So yes, his apartment was on the south side of Prescott, opposite where 57th ends in a t-intersection on Prescott.

    Using the streetview feature on Google Maps, it appears that there’s no stop sign regulating traffic leaving the apartment complex driveway. So, no stop sign, no possibility that he ran a stop sign.

    There are two photographs that tell us where the collision took place. One is the photo in the Oregonian, where the officer is cleaning the site of the collision:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/05/bicyclist_killed_in_northeast.html#3671220

    In that photo, you can see that the collision took place in the westbound lane, and the bike came to rest near the curb of the eastbound lane.

    The other relevant photo is by Elly Blue, and is at the top of this article. In it, you can see the green paint outlining where the bike came to rest in the eastbound lane. You can also see, in the westbound lane, that the street has been recently washed. This is where the collision took place.

    So, to recap: The cyclist left his apartment on the south side of Prescott, exited the driveway (heading north), and crossed Prescott. Based on where the collision took place (just west of 57th), it appears that he intended to turn left and proceed west to the school once he crossed Prescott (alternatively, perhaps he intended to proceed north on 57th to Going, before proceeding west to the school, but that doesn’t adequately explain the location of the impact site, west of 57th). At some point momentarily after he entered the westbound lane, he was struck by a car proceeding west. Those are the facts, based on the evidence.

    And those facts raise questions:

    * Where was he in the lane when he was hit– had he already completed his turn and was proceeding west when he was hit, or was he hit before he could complete his turn?

    * Did he just disregard an oncoming car as he crossed Prescott, or was there some reason for him to not perceive the danger? Consider, for example, these two possible scenarios: (1) a car is proceeding west on Prescott, and for some reason– cyclist misjudging driver’s speed and distance, or cyclist inattention, or driver speeding, or driver inattention– cyclist rides into path of approaching car; (2) cyclist crosses Prescott and turns left to proceed west; simultaneously, car proceeding south on 57th turns right on Prescott without looking right, and hits cyclist. In the first scenario, the cyclist inexplicably rode into the path of an oncoming car– all we can do is speculate about why neither vehicle operator saw the other, or anticipated the impending crash. In the second scenario, we can see why neither vehicle operator saw the other. Thus, it’s important to ask not only what direction the cyclist came from, and where the cyclist was going, but also what direction the driver came from, and where the driver was going.

    * Assuming that the driver had been proceeding west for some distance (i.e., assuming that the driver had not turned onto Prescott from 57th), we need to ask why the driver failed to perceive that a cyclist was either (1) crossing into his path, or (2) was already in the lane, ahead of him and proceeding west.

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    wsbob May 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Rixter, thanks for the additional comments. I’d hope the PD and/or someone else conducts a very careful investigation of this collision in order to learn as closely as possible what happened. It’s hard to know, really, from reading the O articles and the descriptions people here have made of that street and the Prescott/57th intersection.

    I’m not familiar with the intersection myself. Reading the description of where the guy’s apartment was relative to the Prescott/57th intersection, it sounds as though the driveway is close to 57th. Entering a main roadway from that kind of situation, if that’s what he did, seems particularly dangerous to me. I tend to think road users are going to have their eyes pealed more for what’s happening at the cross-street/intersection rather than just before it.

    For someone on a bike, it’s probably better to take the sidewalk…50′?…75′?… to the cross-street…57th, wait for the light, and enter Prescott that way. If he crossed from the apartment driveway south side of Prescott, it’s odd that a west traveling driver on the north side of the road wouldn’t have seen the person on a bike crossing the south, east bound lane of Prescott, plus the west bound lane too.

    If as depicted in the O pic, the worker sweeping in the north side of the road/west bound lane accurately indicates the collision occurred there, yet the bike winds up over on the south side of the lane…that’s curious.

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    Anonymous May 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    “* Assuming that the driver had been proceeding west for some distance (i.e., assuming that the driver had not turned onto Prescott from 57th), we need to ask why the driver failed to perceive that a cyclist was either (1) crossing into his path, or (2) was already in the lane, ahead of him and proceeding west.”

    Why no questions regarding the speed of the cyclist? How fast did he enter the flow of traffic? Did he stop at the end of the driveway before moving on to Prescott?

    It’s all speculation but it seems that the speculation is always pointed at an inattentive driver.

    Could it have been a cyclist who just shot out of his driveway into traffic not allowing even the most attentive driver the time to react and avoid the collision?

    At 10mph an object covers 14.6 feet in a second. At that speed in less than 2 seconds a cyclist can travel across a lane of roadway into traffic.

    You are placing the responsibility on the driver to slow and/or stop every time another road user may enter the road way from adjoining streets or drive ways. Do you slow down for every driveway or do you ride knowing you have the right of way?

    Had the roles been reversed and it was a cyclist traveling west bound and a car exited a drive way causing a collision the blame would lie with the car for not yielding the right of way.

    Why doesn’t the same apply in this situation?

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    Rixtir May 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Anonymous,

    Based on the facts that we know, there are three possibilities here:

    1) The cyclist is solely at fault for this collision.

    2) The driver is solely at fault for this collision.

    3) Both the cyclist and the driver share some fault for this collision.

    If we want to know what happened, we have to ask questions, because there were two parties to this collision, and only one of them has given his account of what happened. Without asking questions, we won’t know what happened. If we don’t know what happened– and face the facts, neither you nor anybody else knows what happened–then assigning fault to the cyclist is a premature conclusion, and only indicates that the person assigning fault to the cyclist is biased, or has an axe to grind.

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    Rixtir May 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    And to answer your hypothetical, does it make any sense to you that a father going to pick up his young son at school would “[shoot] out of his driveway into traffic” without looking for oncoming vehicles– on a bike, no less? Is that what parents on their way to pick up their children do– recklessly gamble with their lives?

    Does that make moreL sense to you than the possibility that the driver wasn’t paying attention?

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    jane May 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    rixtir, both possibilities make equal sense. whether i’m biking or riding in a car, i see both bikes and cars suddenly enter a travel lane from a side street or driveway. no matter the mode, there are people who are rather cavalier about sharing the road. your analysis and commentary are appreciated, but i don’t find one’s reason for travelling (e.g. picking a child up from school) to be a strong indicator of biking/driving behavior. as for school pickups, anecdotal comments here have included stories of poor driving near schools by parents picking up kids. indeed, one would hope that such settings would result in more care exhibited by travellers, but all too often other factors seem to outweigh due care and respect to others in our midst.

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    Lisa Spencer May 18, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Gypsygirl:
    Sandy was my 1st cousin. We had lost contact with him (divorce, distance, etc.) and I do not know how to contact his mother. Would you be willing to pass a message on or tell me his mom’s last name?
    — Lisa (Bass) Spencer (daughter of Sherrie & Jack)

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    Rixtir May 18, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I agree, sometimes people do dangerous things, whether riding or driving. And while I’ve heard tales of parents driving poorly while dropping off/picking up their kids from school, those tales have tended to involve those parents endangering other people, rather than themselves.

    That doesn’t mean that this cyclist couldn’t have ridden into the path of another vehicle. But given that we don’t know what happened, what makes more sense– for us to conclude that he recklessly rode into the path of another vehicle, or that either the driver, or the cyclist, or both, weren’t paying attention?

    Applying Occam’s razor, we would have to first rule out the possibility that one or both of these vehicle operators weren’t paying attention.

    And yet we’ve been asked to believe, without a shred of evidence, that this collision is solely due to the cyclist recklessly (or perhaps carelessly) riding directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle; meanwhile, he’s been accused by the mouth-breathers over on the Oregonian site of running a stop sign, and then a little later, of committing suicide in order to create a backlash against drivers.

    Well, the fact is, we haven’t ruled out the simplest, most likely explanations first, so while it’s certainly possible that he rode directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle, I want to see other, better explanations ruled out first.

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    wsbob May 18, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I just remembered that in my comment #84, I wrote:

    “For someone on a bike, it’s probably better to take the sidewalk…50′?…75′?…to the cross-street…57th, wait for the light, and enter Prescott that way.”

    Except that as I remember from people’s descriptions, it’s a stop sign, not a light.

    I’m afraid I wasn’t getting the street layout. Sometimes, dial-up really sucks. Now that I’ve looked at the google map up close… . The second picture above…that would seem to be the guy’s driveway to his apartment…it and 57th are right next to each other.

    If he came from this driveway, it still seems odd that he would have been hit by a west bound car on. Anyone report skid marks from the car?

    The thing needs a very meticulous investigation, and even then, it may never be possible to know who exactly was to blame here…as if that were the over-riding concern some people seem to be convinced it is. Safety is the higher priority, and many people commenting on this thread have noted details about this intersection and the two streets that warrant close attention.

    I appreciate the numerous well reasoned minds and generally civil tone of most comments made here. Too many of the O’s frequent commenters regularly wallow in vengeful animosity (and seem to be deliberately allowed to do so), which I think has a devastating effect on the constructive potential of that public forum. Given that it’s likely a comparatively high profile site, that’s too bad, because the unchecked emotions allowed over there may be contributing to worsening relations amongst people.

    Checked out their blog today because Rixter provided the link in his #83 comment. I just wanted to see the picture. Scanned through a couple comments, then dropped to the last one, that of the O’s breaking news editor, John Killen. He’s at wits ends wondering what to do about the over-the-top people.

    Off topic long enough…just wanted to add a couple comments about this last subject.

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    are May 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I was at the site on Sunday scouting the route for the Ride of Silence, saw the green paint, saw zero skid marks.

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    Rixtir May 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    If there are any skid marks, they’d be across the street from the green paint, in the vicinity of NE 57th.

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    are May 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I do understand that, yes. there are several sets of green paint markings, presumably showing several different things. no skid marks in the westbound lane on Prescott, or anywhere in sight.

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    Opus the Poet May 19, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    OK This is what I know now, or at least think I know, about this wreck:

    1.The cyclist is dead.

    2.He was hit by a car. (yes I know, but sometimes you have to go back to basics)

    3.However he got hit it didn’t make it all the way to the bicycle. The bicycle only shows the damage that it would get if it tumbled along the road out of control. The picture I thought was showing the forks turned nearly 180 to the handlebars was caused by a faulty perspective, other pictures showed no twisting of the fork relative to the handlebars, and the damage to the wheels could have come from poor maintenance or from tumbling after the initial impact.

    4.The car shows impact damage only on the left side of the windshield.

    5.There are conflicting reports as to where on the street the cyclist was hit, and the direction he was traveling when he was hit. This is based on the final location of the bicycle and the cyclist in the street and the debris field left by the impact. As far as I know nobody posting here was an eyewitness.

    6.The lack of skid marks and the impact to the driver’s side of the windshield indicate the driver did not see the cyclist in time to react. It takes about a second to see, determine collision potential, and react to something in the road, or about 50 feet if the driver was doing the 35 MPH speed limit (the speed limit for that area is 35, right?).

    Things I don’t know but would really like to know:

    1.The cyclist’s injuries, what side of the body were they on? Did he have head trauma or upper torso trauma, or did he get cut by something and bleed out?

    2.Where was the cyclist on the road and what direction was he traveling when he got hit?

    3.This is allergy season, did either of them suffer from allergies that could have effected the ability to see and avoid?

    Like I said earlier the physical evidence in this wreck just isn’t making any sense and it is making me a bit crazy.

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    Elly Blue May 20, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Folks, there were skidmarks, long ones. I couldn’t get a photo with my phone that showed the length — the beginning and end were marked with green, as was what may have been the estimated point of collision, which was right in the intersection.

    Bass may not have been heading north as the Oregonian reported — they received that information from non-witnesses who were speculating about what had likely happened.

    It sounds like police will release more information about this crash soon. The fact that they haven’t said much about it yet may be a good thing, as initial reports in the past have not always been accurate.

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    Opus the Poet May 20, 2009 at 10:36 am

    OK if I can get an accurate length on the skid marks I can give you an estimated speed of the car prior to the wreck as modern tires will slow a car down at .5g and by solving d= 1/2at^2 for t when distance is known and a is known I can find the initial speed using v=at and working backwards (assume the car is stopped at one end of the skid marks and going full speed at the other end, there will be a slight error caused by the vehicle slowing before locking the tires) Then we will know if the car was speeding prior to hitting the cyclist, because this method is a bit on the conservative side. If the answer comes up over the speed limit then there is no question that the driver was speeding.

    As for the rest of it? I still don’t have enough information.

    Opus

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    wsbob May 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Elly, #96, thanks for mentioning that you saw skidmarks. That’s an important detail.

    As I mentioned before, it seems this collision really needs the benefit of a very careful, first-hand, on site investigation (no disrepect to the efforts of Opus, Rixter and others, but logic, theory and sparse details can only go so far to getting the closest possible idea of how a collision like this could happen).

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    Rixtir May 20, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I agree, wsbob. It’s not that I think that the cyclist was necessarily doing everything right here– just that I think he deserves a proper, careful investigation before conclusions are reached.

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    Olallie May 21, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I bike and car commute past this spot on my way to the airport. I saw the white bike memorial today. My heart goes out to this little boy and his family. This is so sad; I hope he has family to take care of him.

    It seems like a lot of people aren’t aware of the proposed improvements to the 5-way intersection and Cully. Here is a website explaining the project, which is scheduled to start this summer: http://tinyurl.com/rxqlsz

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    Cully Neighborhood Mother May 21, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    “For someone on a bike, it’s probably better to take the sidewalk…50′?…75′?… to the cross-street…57th, wait for the light, and enter Prescott that way.”

    There are no continuous sidewalks here. You have to go out in the road, past parked cars to use Prescott as a pedestrian or bike.

    Lisa Spencer: I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Please let us know if there is a fund set up for Sandy’s son. I’m sure the neighbors and cycling community would like to contribute.

    Anonymous: I appreciate your points about cyclist responsibilities, but in the end I believe that drivers should be responsible for all contingencies. As a bus driver, absolutely I am aware of every driveway and parked car and obstacle and blind spot. Driving is a profound responsibility. Of course cyclists and pedestrians are responsible for their actions, but an unarmored human body will always lose against an armed one. A car is a weapon and must be driven as if every other person on the road is in less control. Anything less is like swinging around an armed gun with the safety off.

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    wsbob May 21, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Cully Mother, especially considering the school is just two and half blocks away, now sidewalks seems to be a very serious situation.

    Olallie #100, I took a look at the page the link you provided, leads to. If I read it right, that project is designed to help Cully Blvd and not the section of Prescott between the school on Prescott and Cully Blvd.

    Rixter #99, the guy on the bike doesn’t seem to need investigation. Limited details reported about him seem to suggest he was a decent, reasonably responsible guy just trying to deal with the inherent hazards…no sidewalks, no crossing lights…almost no clearly indicated crosswalks… of this section of Prescott as he made his way to the school to pick up his kid. I think that’s what I read…don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong.

    The collision, how and why it happened, needs investigation. I’d want to know how long the skidmarks were, and much further down the road the 20mph school zone sign was.

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    Rixtir May 21, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    wsbob,

    What I meant is he deserves that a proper investigation of this tragic crash be conducted, rather than a half-baked investigation that leads to hasty and perhaps incorrect conclusions that he was at fault, and the driver was not.

    I’m not making assumptions either way, but I think that because he can’t tell us what happened, he at least deserves that we make an honest effort to find his side of the story, if there is one.

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    Prescott resident June 4, 2009 at 3:05 am

    About 5 years ago I called the city to ask for a serious signal at Cully for obvious reasons like when a pedestrian crosses at the cross walk and everyone loses count and jets out, and the fact that there are multiple parking lot entrances at that intersection. The stress of that intersection could affect your awareness for several blocks afterward. I’ve lived on 64th and Prescott for 17 years and have made my children avoid those cross walks and go up to Skidmore to cross where the driving can be more predictable except for that center lane. The city worker was quick at giving me an answer. She said that there was a planned improvement at that intersection and she pointed me to the PDF file online that gives the details. I read the plan and it sounded good except that it wasn’t going to start for another 20 or so years. So cross your fingers when you cross the street.

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    Prescott resident June 4, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Sorry I didn’t see Olallie’s comment about the city starting the improvements sooner. I’m really glad they are speeding it up. The sooner the better and safer.

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    joe June 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

    bump this. If possible, can bikeportland report on the results of the police investigation?

    HYPOTHETICALLY, and I am not saying this is what happened, but, IF, say, the driver was going 40mph in a 35. does that, legally, make him at fault regardless of the cyclist’s behavior?

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