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A bike-on-bike hit-and-run and a call for civility (updated)

Posted by on May 28th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

The bike signal near where
the collision took place.
(Photo: PBOT)

I got an email from reader and BTA Board Member Mary Roberts yesterday that I thought should be shared with others. It has to do with topics we’ve covered several times on this site — increasing bike traffic and riding with courtesy for others.

Congested bikeways, and how people on bikes handle them, could very well define the oncoming summer biking season. Here’s the email (emphasis mine):

“I was riding with a group of five friends yesterday and as we rode to the top of the bike/ped trail junction at NE Lloyd Blvd [near the bike-only signal], one of my group collided with a cyclist coming down onto the path from the intersection of the Steel Bridge.

Story continues below

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My friend was riding in the middle of the path and angling to the right to get out of the way of the cyclist coming down. The faster-moving cyclist rounded the corner wide and aimed to his left, rather than his right, and collided. She fell from her bike and was unable to rise. The other cyclist did not fall or stop.

My friend is now in the hospital and will have surgery today for a broken bone in her leg. Needless to say, her summer plans have suddenly been altered.”

[Update] Roberts just emailed more precise details on where this happened:

“She was climbing eastward from the railroad overpass bridge and still on the cement pathway rising to the sidewalk. He was headed south from the intersection and rounding the corner coming down. The collision took place about 6′ from the sidewalk.

She also added that, “It is a treacherous area – where there are steps to avoid, a narrow passage, and lots of traffic. Poorly designed for the level of use it gets.”

Back in November, PBOT installed
these yield markings to help with bike
traffic in this location.
(Photo © J. Maus)

This collision raises a lot of issues.

One I’d like to put forward is how our busy bikeways are not treated to the same level of engineering as roadways. For instance, the area where this collision took place is a major bike intersection, however it is essentially a wide sidewalk with a standard width curb ramp leading up to it from the roadway.

It is unheard of for a roadway that sees two-way traffic to not even have a yellow, dotted line through the middle. Perhaps it’s time for PBOT the Parks Bureau to look at doing more pavement markings and on off-street paths? Would that help?

At the end of Mary’s email, she had a question that I’d like to pose to you:

“What can we cyclists do to make Portland’s bike culture even better through riding defensively and with civility (stopping when we crash)? And, what suggestions are there for communicating more dangerous areas as this one surely is?


NOTE: Back in November, PBOT installed signage and pavement markings to help tame bike traffic near where this collision took place. I’m still trying to confirm whether or not the crash happened directly at this location.

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

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April
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April

Jerks are jerks, unfortunately. That person probably would have done the same in a car. :^(

nahbois
Guest
nahbois

As cycling becomes more common, the community will dilute. I know I had never heard of this website before and never considered myself part of a biking community. I am sure lots of riders feel that way and do not feel that they ‘belong’ to something more.

Just as drivers are not courteous, there will be riders who act the same. At least with drivers there is a reporting system. The more I read of jackasses no matter what they are using to get around, the more I am for a way to identify people who risk our lives. I really do think bike license plates is the way to go. I know its a barrier to ridership, but I can see it solving alot of problems. (bike saftey pamphlet when applying for license, coupons for lights and helmets, bike laws and how to protect yourself). It would be a great touchpoint for spreading education.

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

My take on this is that the hit-and-run statutes, ORS 811.700 &. 705, apply to bicyclists and that the fleeing cyclist may have committed a felony. That analysis would be independent of who may have been at fault in the crash.

Bicyclists can hold people like this accountable by keeping them at the scene or by getting a good description, following them, etc, whenever possible.

For example, maybe one of the injured cyclist’s friends could have followed the guy?

buzz
Guest
buzz

First of all, I am really sorry to hear about this person’s friend. A broken leg once the weather starts getting nice and being in a cast for maybe the next eight weeks? Ouch!

And, shame on the other cyclist for not stopping! Crap like this is only going make the anti-bike crowd scream louder that we need some form of bike registration.

I do, in a way, feel a yellow line in a bike path like that may be helpful. I do see too many groups of cyclist not riding single file when on a busy path like that and it could help. But, there are plenty of people that are going to ignore it!

Vance Longwell
Guest

Right, but there were alternative routes available to the group of 5, correct? For instance, they could’ve been using a motorist lane there that is marked and well regulated. If that’s indeed what the sole cause of the accident was, of course. What was the status of the group? I mean, were they single-file, well spaced, and riding at a safe speed? Was any one in the group using a helmet that might have impeded their vision, or helmet mounted mirrors the same? Did the guilty cyclist here have a helmet, or mirrors impeding their vision? Did the guilty cyclist even KNOW they hurt some body, i.e. were they aware of the collision? Did everybody’s safety equipment, i.e. brakes function properly? What about the skill and experience levels of the cyclists involved? I’m just curious if, “rude”, as J is stating, was the only cause of this accident, is all.

When you drag something as abstract, and complex, as, “Feelings” (Etiquette), into a traffic environment it inherently creates a situation where both parties can technically be in the right. What does that ultimately solve? Besides, what’s ruder than to plop yourself down in the middle of a lifestyle I’ve been practicing for decades, ride 5 m.p.h. all over the road, and then tell ME I need to chill out?

Riding a bike in Portland on fairly unregulated MUPs, or crowded bike-lanes, is a recipe for disaster. Who doesn’t know this, and make the necessary plans?

I’m not in the practice of defending jerks, while bashing injured cyclists. Please, save it. I’m also not for laying blame, taking action, grabbing the pitch-forks, and burning somebody down without just cause. Or implementing policy the same.

I’ve broken both of my femurs a couple of times each and that ain’t no fun. I’m truly sorry for the injured party. It’s rough out there folks.

Nicky V
Guest

nahbois,

I thought the same thing about license plates for bikes but then I wondered how it would be enforced, especially with people who already have bike(s). I also agree that we’re in an increasingly “me-first” self-entitled society and there are people with that kind of attitude in every facet of life.

I have trouble figuring out exactly where that intersection is. I’m guessing that it is in the Rose Quarter and I tend to avoid cycling in that part of town – high traffic, train tracks, long lights, etc.

The only solution I can think of is for those of us who ride responsibly to be that much more diligent in spotting dangerous situations and planning/anticipating how to proceed safely. I continue to be “on-guard” if there is anyone within 20-30 feet of me when I ride.

Nicky V
Guest

DJ #5,

When you’re following the guy, what happens when you catch him? If it’s the sort of person who leaves an accident like that, it’s most likely the sort of person who won’t cooperate if you (a civilian) catch up to him and “question” him.

TofuTodd
Guest
TofuTodd

How terrible! And not one of her mates chased this person down? Ignoring moral accountibility, is there no legal accountibility for these type of collisions? Even if they cought them, what do you do, call the police, hold the person there, and file a report? What if I have no money, no job, I cause $5,000 in medical bills to someone else, am I legally required to pay for that? Lets say I “buzz” someone with no contact and they lose balance and fall and break their leg, what then? Should cyclists be required to have insurance?

Lazlo
Guest
Lazlo

One thing that has always bothered me about that spot is that the signal tripping spot painted there is smack dab in the middle of the ramp, so that cyclists entering from the north have to avoid people waiting for the signal. Given that it’s designed that way, it’s incumbent upon the riders entering the ramp to exercise due caution, and for this guy to come in fast and veer to the left is just assinine. I really wish riders would slow down on the entire length of the Esplanade. It’s the season where traffic greatly increases, and pedestrians, runners, etc. are often busy enjoying the river view. Slow down, don’t pass until it’s clear, and give notice. Speedy healing to the fallen rider.

DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

Nicky V (#5), all Oregonians have the legal authority to arrest others who have committed a crime in their presence.

I’m not necessarily saying you should follow someone or question them, but you should do whatever you feel you can safely do to hold the guy accountable. That sort of behavior will make people think twice about running from the scene of a collision.

You might be just dial 911 or follow far behind the guy while you call 911 and give a description.

In this incident, we don’t even know whether the police were called. But they definitely should have been.

are
Guest
are

not much engineering is required to set a protocol as to who has right of way in these intersections (usually, the person who is still in the roadway and is trying to get onto the sidepath). with such a narrow access point, a dividing stripe would not help, though it might be useful to designate a corral for people exiting the trail and waiting for the light to gather in, so that people coming in do not have to fight their way through. I agree with comment 2 that a leaving the scene charge might apply here, but I do not agree with the other comments that licensing is indicated. getting around under your own power is a basic right.

jb
Guest
jb

I am sorry to hear that this is happening. I have experienced some discourtesy from other riders recently as I’ve started to bike-commute again. I was riding across the Bway Bridge this am in a fairly big pack of bikes and was staying toward the right as I know I’m not a fast rider (on bridges particularly). Not one rider that passed me on the left alerted me that they were passing. I had several pedestrians in my *lane* and almost got sandwiched between a passing cyclist and a pedestrian because I didn’t know the cyclist was coming.

How hard is it to say “on your left” as you pass someone? Would probably avert several accidents and just promotes good will among fellow cyclists? Just disappointing that all of a sudden cyclists are exhibiting the same aggressive, inconsiderate behaviors as motorists.

Vance Longwell
Guest

nahbois #1

Seriously. Plates add weight. Plates are just another thing to come off and injure you in a crash. Plates without lighting can’t be as easily read at night. So does that mean adding a light for it too? Or can I just not ride at night any more? Same for hand signals BTW. They can’t be seen at night. If I don’t have to use them at night, why then during the day when it’s safer? Or do I have to get little battery powered LED rings now?

How are we gonna mount plates? Put your pipe-clamp on a Kestrel, or other Carbon or Aluminum Monocoche frames, I’m waiting. What about single-wall 531 chro-mo? I can push my finger into tubing like that, where ya gonna mount?

Of course it would be kool to call the cops and have them instantaneously respond to your every traffic gripe, just like they do now, right? Put the plates on. Go ahead. Then what? A tiny fraction of civil suits get sorted differently? Meantime, we’ve all got Katana swords attached to our machines, waiting for us to crash.

The solution to this problem is to slow the mixing of unlicensed, wildly differently skilled and experienced, often new cyclists, with a roughly equal number of people who’ve been out here for years doing just fine. Slow it down is vastly different than stop it. I forget though, there are profits to be had…er…I…mean…a mode to be grown. Sorry, I always forget.

minister
Guest
minister

Good point Lazlo. PDOT needs to move that signal trip line to the right. It’s way too tight for cyclists going Southbound even at a slow speed.

Pancho
Guest
Pancho

You should have chased him down and knocked him of his bike. EYE FOR AN EYE!
Be careful out there people. I see close calls everyday. I’m surprised that more people dont get hit. There are a lot of idiots that need to be, then maybe they will think twice about being a jackass.

Dan
Guest
Dan

This morning I was biking around PSU on a two-way road, and had two bicyclists veer into our side forcing us to slow down. Biking at lunch today I had someone pass on the right without a word, coming close to me, whom I could have easily hit. Also, as I was biking on 5th south, was passed on the right, illegally, since he veered into the bus lane, and cut in front of me.

Mike B.
Guest
Mike B.

That sounds like a very unfortunate incident. If I’m not mistaken that area is the area with the new yield signs that went up this year and those wacky painted arrows. I don’t know anything about the incident, but I do recall that people coming off the esplanade have to yield to the traffic coming onto the steel bridge, which is not clearly understood by the markings on the pavement. It does seem like trying to have 5 cyclist come through such a small area seems to be a bit much, especially for anyone trying to get onto the steel bridge ramp. Is it possible the cyclist did not see your friend go down? I know riding through that section has a few soft turns before you ride over the tracks below, with usually someone sleeping on the ground by the steps. Anyway, I hope your friend recovers in a timely manner.

Hart
Guest
Hart

If cycling congestion is a problem, then we should be spending more to widen cycling lanes. Use the car driver logic, it seems to bring in the billions.

Vance Longwell
Guest

Ya. Personal, or property damage in excess of five bills requires a police report. Exchanging all yer stuff, and stuff. Bet most of that is applicable to bikes. Bet. I’m with the potential hit and run guy up thread too. Which is a felony. Which is why I’m writing yet another comment (sorry).

Oregon’s citizen arrest laws are crystal clear. You may only deploy a citizens’ arrest upon some one you’ve personally witnessed commit a felony, and no other time. THAT’s called kidnapping and the fuzz is a little fussy about that one. Oh and can some one close that italic-tag at the end of comment #4?

Cutsie note: Did you know this is essentially what defines a cop in this state? Yup, an exemption from the citizen’s arrest law.

Mike B.
Guest
Mike B.

Can this location be clarified. The picture shows the crossing at the light, but the way the letter reads leads me to believe it is where the lane markings and yield sign went up a few months ago?

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

“Can this location be clarified?”

sorry it’s not more clear folks. i’m trying to verify the location… from my initial read of the email I didn’t think it was near where the new yield triangles have been put in but I’ll check.

Stig
Guest
Stig

Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery to the victim.

Any description of the guy who did this? The cyclists that I have close calls with are usually the really rough looking dudes who would probably otherwise in their truck if not for a driving ban type.

Seems crazy that you can break the law in a motor vehicle, but still get on a bike and cause all kinds of mayhem on and off the road.

Refunk
Guest
Refunk

Huh. There are several questions I’ve got about this and the responses it’s raised here.

1. If this occurred on a MUP, does the ORS regarding hit and run apply, since it did not occur on a public roadway? (obvious moral aspects aside) Or would it fall under some other consideration – negligence, assault, whatever?

2. Yeah, why didn’t her friends chase down the other rider? Hell, I’d have done so, even if I had just been a witness. As for what would happen upon catching up with ’em (if able), well – pretty sure something useful would come to mind for the occasion.

3. As for licensing: auto licensing barely provides an education for motor vehicle operators. Bicycle licensing cannot be expected to penetrate any further through people’s “me-first” thick skulls. Have those suggesting license plates be hung on bikes figured out how to make them readable beyond a meter or so in all conditions?

4. What about insurance? I ride knowing that at least my motor vehicle coverage extends to my operation of a bicycle on a public road. There is a huge number of uninsured operators out there, regardless of state law. Would bicycle operator’s insurance become mandatory along with that invisible license? Yeah, good luck with that.

4. Last year, performed a bike count at the intersection shown in the article photo, along with another volunteer (@700 bikes/hr?). The signal activator denoted by a stripe painted right in the middle of the ramp from the street is poorly located, an invitation for northbound riders to pile up there waiting for the light (and foolishly, thoughtlessly – me-first!, blocking most of the ramp to incoming south-bounders). I made a note of this on the tally sheets submitted to PBOT, and I bet it’s not the first they’ve heard it. The fix would be just to move the frickin’ sensor over so the waiting bike traffic would get [more] out of the way of the crossing southbound riders.

Best wishes for the injured rider’s speedy healing. Maybe somebody can give her some bakfiets love and take her out riding when she’s settled into the cast.

Jene-Paul

hanmade
Guest
hanmade

Pancho #15
Eye for an Eye makes the world blind.
That being said, we all must be vigilant in defensive riding and holding each other accountable for being irresponsible. The person should have stopped.

hanmade
Guest
hanmade

I would have been happy to chase him down and ask him some hard questions

KruckyBoy
Guest
KruckyBoy

Here’s a concept for civility- if you almost cause an accident with your bike, instead of giving the other biker or driver the finger and saying ‘f**k you’, stop and say ‘I’m really sorry’. It boggles my mind how few cyclists in this town know how to apologize!

Phr3dly
Guest
Phr3dly

I’m not familiar with this intersection, but it sounds as though there is a confluence of several paths.

Perhaps this would be a reasonable area to place stop signs to assist in the safe flow of traffic?

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

Stopping is the polite thing to do, obviously. When my boyfriend hit somebody who was passing on his right and knocked him over he stopped to make sure he was ok. The guy had been passing on the right with no warning, making him clearly at fault (though my bf veered a little bit) and he still wanted to know my boyfriend’s “information” and wanted to just be a huge dbag about it. He wasn’t injured at all, no visible scrapes or damage to his bike… he seriously had just fallen over, and he wanted to be a jerk. And (when information was not provided) he made a graceful exit and spit at our feet.

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

Jonathan,

There’s two sides to every story and I would lvoe to hear the guy’s side of the story. I find it unbelievable that someone could collide with another cyclist to the extent there are broken bones (a little vague in the email imo) and ride off. Even more appauling is that not one of the five riders gave chase to the guy who allegedly caused the crash. I also do not believe the witchhunt mentality going on in the comments section. I would encourage you to try and vent the entire story as well as verify facts before posting. This is BikePortland, not KATU.

LoneHeckler
Guest
LoneHeckler

Interesting. Just yesterday afternoon, I had a close encounter with two bicyclists on my commute home. They were turning left from SW Harrison to 5th Ave. I was biking straight (east) on Harrison — taking the lane, with a green light and the right-of-way — and both riders rode directly in my path, one right after another. I yelled at them to “yield” but both were either oblivious or rudely ignoring me. There was a car behind them, following the same trajectory, but the driver did stop and let me go when she saw me.

It’s frustrating enough dealing with careless motorists, but seeing senseless acts on bicycle — ironically, one guy was even sporting a bright yellow safety vest — irks me to no end.

And it sounds like the collision above probably took place not at the light, but closer to the path. Nonetheless, I second the argument that the signal trigger is located awkardly in the middle of the curb cut, making it difficult for sharing the road with approaching bikers. Perhaps the cut could be widened so folks riding west can get onto the path safely, out of the way of bikes waiting for the bike signal.

Refunk
Guest
Refunk

Phr3dly @ #27!!

Thanks for the laugh!! (tears of mirth on my cheeks as I type)

Stop signs??

If it’s the intersection in the photo (cars coming off a bridge, bikes off a popular MUP), 99% of bikers only stop there because it’s so busy with automotive traffic. Stop signs would have no more affect on safety than at any other location. They only “stop” anything when the rider respects the concept of law as opposed to respecting power – like the power of a car to crush, similar to the power of a patrol officer to cite speeders having an affect on car drivers which is shown when they fearfully slow below the speed limit as the cop passes before speeding up again.

Theoretically, law is what protects us from bad, destructive behavior – not our own personal ability to resolve every conflict on the spot by virtue of strength, weapons, guile, etc. (let alone common sense). Car drivers generally violate traffic law as far as they feel comfortable in doing, and bicyclists are generally no different. One can be flipped-off for commenting on riding style in passing for the same reason the cop gets temporary respect from the scofflaw car driver. No cop, no penalty for the motorist; the cyclist blows traffic control because in their opinion it doesn’t apply to them and their attitude is, “So what? F*** you, what ya gonna do about it?”

It may be that stop signs and other traffic control measures are not as necessary for safety as courtesy and common sense. Some experiments in Europe doing away with ’em seem to point that way. Think about it, though – there must have been a reason for the evolution of the practice of their use.

Besides, I don’t think that the situation as described in the article could have benefited by any additional traffic control. Way, way too many people ride through there safely every day for me to think that this was anything but operator error(s).

Stop signs. Har-har…

Jene-Paul

naomi
Guest
naomi

toddistic #28 makes a good point. It seems odd the four would just watch as their friend was knocked down in such a way and not give chase to stop the guy or call for police.

Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if this really did happen the way the 5 cyclists say it did.

The number of horrible/speeding cyclists out this spring is more than I can count. All these people trying to race everywhere are a total headache to deal with.

I also know of the area where this above crash happened and it’s definitely a tricky one. Then again, if both cyclists are being smart and not racing, there shouldn’t be any problem there.

sumadis
Guest

I live in LA, read this site to learn about progressive cycling city things. Few years ago, similar thing up in the hills above H’wood, only I was descending, far right on a bad road, 12% grade. Group coming up, hairpin turn, last girl in the group goes wide left instead of right to avoid a puddle. Slam. Wind knocked out, fair bit of blood, happy for helmet. Bike tweaked. Regain breath, figure rib and possible arm busted. Look around, and the whole group – a local club team – gone on up the hill. No one stopped. I straightened the bars, kicked as much hop from the wheel and limped 7ks home. Bleeding. Broken (rib yes, arm no, 7 stitches to close my hand). Emailed the club ’cause I recog’d the jerseys, no response. Seen’m up there since, no comment. Bottom line, we are all riders and need to look out for each other. That means more than just staying to the right, slowing down, holding a line, etc. It means being respectful, mindful, conscious. It means if you’re on a public path and you’re ‘training’, remember and respect that everyone else out there isn’t a Cat-1 wannabe for you to overtake or treat with disdain. It means being human. And it carries over to blog comments too.

Hart
Guest
Hart

Really, though, it is pretty dang rad that we even get to argue about cycling congestion. I know people all over the country who wonder why they even have bike lanes in their city because they never see a single cyclist on them.

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

#29–seriously, the fact that some people failed to react fast enough to chase a fast-moving rider who was moving in the opposite direction is more appalling than not stopping after that rider just broke somebody’s bones? You seriously need to get your priorities straight, Captain Vigilante. Yes, we all like saying how we would have raced after them and performed a citizen arrest (with what handcuffs? are you going to strap them to your bike rack to take them to the police station?) If your friend is seriously injured, your first instinct is generally “are you ok” and not “to the batmobile!”

Also, it would be nice to get the other guy’s side of the story, but that is always conspicuously missing in a hit and run.

John Lascurettes
Guest

I got into a rear-ender/side-swipey kind of thing with another cyclist on N Williams a couple of weeks ago. My fault totally (looked down at my rear wheel for one second too many and cyclist in front came to a full abrupt stop). I apologized up and down profusely and asked him repeatedly if he and his bike were okay. Later when he and his friend biked by me around a corner they asked if I was okay (I was re-securing a loose pannier) and I apologized again.

If you make contact, check in with the other cyclist, people!

Jene-Paul, regarding insurance: Actually auto-coverage nearly never covers you riding your bicycle. Your liability is more likely covered by your homeowner’s policy if you have one. I speak from first-hand experience. A guy who cut me off (after running a red) a couple years ago tried to collect on paint damage. My auto insurance wouldn’t even hear it. They handed it over to my homeowner’s insurance who would have covered it if I was at fault (but the told him to f-off since he ran the red).

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I wish the person with broken bones speedy recovery and hopefully s/he has insurance. If not, maybe his/her friends can through her/him a fundraiser?

That said, I also have questions – if the crash was hard enough to break bones how did the other cyclist not fall down? Was there actually impact or did the injured party lose balance after the other cyclist passed too closely?

Also – groups of 5 should ride single file at busy intersections and on busy routes like the east bank esplanade – I see lots of extremely impolite groups of riders who think their pleasure cruise is the most important thing happening at this moment and that they need not move or yield to anyone. I’m not saying this group was being impolite – I can’t tell from the story so I’m asking: what were they doing? How were they aligned?

Guest
it ain't about "feelings"

Hi there, I think that having common courtesy and road safety should not be confused with “feelings”. Traffic law as we know it is built upon common sense vis-a-vis public safety.

I am becoming weary of hearing excuses for unsafe bicyclists. We are riding vehicles, not toys. We should really consider the ramifications of unsafe actions such as turning too quickly, clipping off the other lane (or oncoming traffic, rather, when we don’t have lane lines), and passing.

This doesn’t have anything to do with fuzzy feelings or purely subjective perspectives of correct or incorrect bicycling form (or theory behind speed, &c).

This has to do with not posing a road hazard to others on the road.

and oh my god, if you hit someone, STOP. What kind of human being can be so detached?

I have only been in the states for 15 years and will refuse all attempts to desensitize me to the point where one makes me feel underfoot because I am not speeding along at 25 mph. Yo, I run on “island time”. Americans think we’re bumbling idiots because we’re not in a hurry.

ride safe.

JoseR
Guest

I would first like to say that this is a bummer deal and that the cyclist veering the wrong way cyclist (not the friend of the story) did a horrible thing.
But I don’t think this is a poorly designed area. The sidewalk is very wide. It’s a windy route that causes problems for people staying on their side of the path (just like in the case of this accident) but compared to may other sidewalks, roadways, and paths, this area should actually be considered higher on the list for good travel. This is more of an issue of cycling knowledge and respect than of transportation regulations and accessibility. I both like and strongly agree with Jonathan’s comment about how putting yellow lines all around town would help out. Especially in this area and all areas surrounding the river (the Waterfront path and the Esplanade). It is very irritating having people run/walk/cycle/skate/sit/horseback ride/dance on the wrong side of the path. I get frustrated with this at least 4 or 5 times a day as I take this route to and from work everyday. It’s beyond frustrating!!! But let’s not jump to too negative of conclusion because of a random accident. Let’s make sure to point of the goodness of what we have here in the city.

Please don’t take this post in the wrong way. I agree that it is horrible that the friend now has a broken leg & hospital bills. I also think that someone should try to describe the wrongful cyclist with the hopes that he could be caught. Plus, I haven’t even finished reading through the comments and so this might have already been covered. But I just read the paragraph about how bad this intersection is claimed to be and wanted to interject.

murfee
Guest
murfee

Yeah … that intersection is not sized right for the popularity. I ride everyday every season for years and I don’t go through there on a commute hour anymore. Same issue with parts of the Hawthorne bridge westbound. Just some dicey bottlenecks now that bike-commuting is becoming more popular.

As said above, the signal strip is right in that ramp. If they moved it back it might create enough space so that waiting bikes dont glog the ramp.

oh yeah – WHEN THERES BIKE CONGESTION RIDE SINGLE FILE AND DING YOUR FRICKIN BELL! 🙂

Blah Blah Blah
Guest
Blah Blah Blah

A combination of the people and the intersection it’s self makes this intersection suck, plain and simple, and I’m a pretty confident rider.

And I never ride the switch backing ramp, I practice my dismount and run the stairs.

Refunk
Guest
Refunk

Hey, John @ #36. I don’t know about yours, but MY auto insurance DOES cover me on the bike. This is a topic important enough to me that it was established a long time ago (and is confirmed yearly). The policy covers me and mine, not just the car. When I’m gone for a month in the saddle touring, it provides a little background peace of mind. That said, I do know that not all companies work that way.

And Alexis @35, your idea of priority is correct, of course, in terms of addressing the needs of the fallen rider. With so many other riders, however, unless they’re all EMTs or ER RNs or bird-colonel Flight Surgeons or whatever, it would seem that somebody might be available to give chase at least in an effort to keep track of the other party while contacting the PoPo. No Batmobile or restraints required. Sometimes friendship & responsibility involve trusting others and doing harder work than scheduled.

Who the hell knows, the other rider may have never noticed the crash, but perhaps they’d have stopped if they had been informed by a pursuer. OTOH, the bandit rider may also have just been a jerk. Apparently none of the subject group felt it was important enough to find out.

Take care of each other, huh? A quick healing leg to the lady.

Jene-Paul

indy
Guest

#33/L.A. biker dude
For you to hit someone that hard to break ribs going downhill, concerns me. What happened to the woman? How do you hit someone that hard and nobody stops?

Strange.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

My prayers go out to the injured cyclist. I hope she heals completly and quickly.

My suggestion, carry a camera at all times. With it, I find that I can document all kinds of issues. Should I witness a crash, perhaps the image of the situation could lead to some justice for the victim.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

FYI from experience. After being hit by a bicyclist & incurring significant injuries & bills ($5000). Your auto insurance does not apply if bicyclist to bicyclist. Only motorist to bicyclist. Bike to bike goes against the homowners insurance of the cyclist that hit you.
Also there can be issues since not on a roadway.
One has 2 yrs to file suit against the bike rider to recover damages.
The $500 police report DMV doesn’t seem to apply to bicycles.
These kinds of inconsistancies need to be addressed legally with the significant increase in bicyclists.

Having been cycling in PDX since 80’s I’ve has a few encounters over the yrs. The lack of courtesy on cyclists & drivers in some areas is on the increase. I’ve been gently hit 2x by cyclists in downtown both red running ligts on fixed gear who bot hsaid the couldn’t/wouldn’t stop since on a fixed gear. Why not? Both irritated when I asked for name etc in case of need t ocontact for further unkown injuries

Jimmy P
Guest
Jimmy P

I ride through this area everyday, as do many others. It’s a really scary intersection. Coming up, you’re blind to bikes on the right due to a hill and shrubbery. And on the left people come flying down the hill. It’s a huge downhill, and then at the intersection there’s a very big right hand turn.

If this areas going to be made safer, it’s going to be the riders that have to do it. The city would have to take out the stairs and garden area to make it really safe. Just slow down. We all love getting to where we’re going quickly, but slow down. I see lots of close calls and near misses on the bridges and waterfront, and most of them are because some cyclist thinks that they need to ride at Tour De France speed everywhere they go.

sumadis
Guest

to clarify for indy #43 – I didn’t hit her. she went left instead of right on a tight bend and i went down. period. no contact. i wouldn’t have crashed – had reason to push my line further right than necessary – if she’d stayed where she should have thru the corner coming up. sorry i wasn’t clear about that in the post. the point was to say accidents happen and we’ve all gotta take a breath (maybe slow down) and look out for each other.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

This is a rant which is only partially related to this story…

Its OK to go fast if you’re riding an arterial, its not OK when you’re on a crowded sidewalk where there are pedestrians and bicycles trying to pass one another.

Try to treat other bicycles and peds the same way you want cars treating you — make sure there’s time to pass, give adequate room, don’t startle people, etc.

For Gods sake if you are involved in a crash stop and make sure everyone is OK.

PdxMark
Guest
PdxMark

I’m a friend of the injured cyclist and the other riders in the group. There are a few comments here that warrant a bit of clarification. These are my personal comments and not in the name of my injured friend or the other riders.

(1) It’s quite easy in a bike-bike collision for one cyclist to go down, hard and fast, while the other cyclist doesn’t. If your front wheel is knocked to the side, even with a gentle bump, you stand a very high chance of going down very fast. If your rear wheel is hit, even pretty hard, you have a good chance of NOT going down. I don’t know the details of this crash, but it is quite easy for one cyclist to ride through and away from a collision while the other goes down.

(2) The cyclist who ran away from the collision knew full well about the collision and the crash. He is utterly guilty of hitting and running. As he rode off one of the other riders called to him to come back. He yelled back that “you were in the way” as he fled. There is no mistaking that he knew about the collision and the crash.

(3) The cyclists were middle-aged women who are as experienced and considerate a group of road riders as you’ll find. When one of their friends goes down their first concern is the friend, who is laying on the ground, not chasing after some likely younger man heading the opposite direction without even a pause in his pace. It’s preposterous to opine that the failure of a woman to chase after a man for the sake of a direct confrontation on a bike suggests some lack of concern, seriousness, or whatever else was being implied in some comments.

(4) Speed of the hit and run rider was the major cause of the crash. He was going too fast to make his turn from the sidewalk on NE Lloyd Blvd. and also keep to the right side of the path he was turning onto. He swung wide, to his left, across the front of the rider he hit. Simply put, he was going too fast to be in sufficient control under the circumstances of other riders being on the path.

(5) Finally, we riders need to slow down in congested mixed-use areas like the Esplanade. The dense mix of walkers, riders, boarders, dogs, etc., particularly now with the warmer weather, requires riding slower than the 15-18 mph, or more, that some people seem to NEED to ride. Simply riding with consideration of others would have prevented this collision and others that are sure to happen there.

PdxMark
Guest
PdxMark

(2) The cyclist who ran away from the collision knew full well about the collision and the crash. He is utterly guilty of hitting and running. As he rode off one of the other riders called to him to come back. He yelled back that “you were in the way” as he fled. There is no mistaking doubt that he knew about the collision and the crash.