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Water Bureau event will focus on bike/truck safety

Posted by on June 3rd, 2009 at 10:05 am

Bike-Truck Safety Event-16.jpg

Water Bureau Director David
Shaff at last year’s event.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Continuing a campaign they began last year, the City of Portland’s Water Bureau will hold a bike/truck safety event this Saturday.

The Water Bureau says this ongoing effort to improve safety was prompted by a number of near collisions over the years (mostly at the infamous NE Broadway and NE Flint Street intersection, which is close to one of their facilities).

The event will be held in outer Southeast Portland and, like last year, attendees will be able to jump up in to a truck driver’s seat for a first-hand look at blind spots and the dangers of riding near large vehicles.

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Bike-Truck Safety Event-7.jpg

Climbing into the cab of a
truck was a popular activity
at last year’s event.

Also at the event this weekend, the Water Bureau will share information about a major construction project they’ll start this summer out at Powell Butte. According to a press release, the Bureau says during the six to eight month excavation phase of the project, a dump truck will exit Powell Butte Nature Park at SE 162nd and Division once every two to four minutes.

That’s an estimated 100 truck trips per day and 30,000 total trips from Powell Butte.

With that project, and the onset of summer’s busy bike season, now might be a great time to re-watch the Water Bureau’s bike/truck safety video they released back in October.

The Water Bureau has teamed up with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to put on the event. It will be held in the parking lot of the Safeway Supermarket at 16409 SE Division Street and SE 162nd Avenue, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm this Saturday.

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  • Vance Longwell June 3, 2009 at 10:26 am

    In my opinion the single most important part of this particular education and interaction program is getting cyclists into the driver’s seat of a Class A vehicle. Hopefully that’s what they’re using instead of their ‘Bs’. Prolly seems, “eh”, to some, but I was super excited to see planners thought of that.

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  • benschon June 3, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Hate to nitpick, but the dangerous intersection near the Rose Quarter is at N Flint and N Broadway, not NE.

    Glad to see the Water Bureau reaching out like this.

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  • mark ginsberg June 3, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Water Bureau, in my experience, is very responsive to cyclists. I have walked bad construction scenes with them to make them more passable by bike. They have even moved “work ahead” signs to not block cyclist view/line of sight.

    They even use the “share the road” bumper stickers. Those stickers were created in response to some bad bike v. bus events, but Tri-Met still chose to not use those stickers, while many City agencies have been quick to use them.

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  • Amanda June 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Jonathan, I think you meant “Sunday” in your first paragraph? I think I’ll ride my bike over and check this out!

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  • Joe June 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Riding the intersection at N Flint and N Broadway every day I find the dangerous part is not necessarily the water bureau trucks, but employees of either the water bureau or other businesses (PPS?) in their personal automobiles driving too quickly and thinking they can turn in front of me. I know…that’s kind of a blanket statement about most drivers in general anyhow.

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  • Ethan June 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I had a scary encounter with a Water Bureau truck earlier this year. They were EXTREMELY responsive and even followed up to let me know what actions had been taken with the driver. I’m glad to see their commitment to safety is so broad.

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  • bahueh June 3, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I”ve got two friends in the water bureau…they tell me often that all of their crew guys are scared to death of crushing a rider…but they also wish cyclists would actually obey a few more laws…as there is only so much mobility and reaction time in a 10+ ton piece of road machinery…

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  • Sarah Bott June 4, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Thanks Ethan! We’re glad you have us on speed dial 🙂

    Joe, Water Bureau employees are discouraged from using their personal vehicles to enter and exit through that intersection – for the same reason we don’t permit our big rigs from using it. When I bike to our Interstate facility from home, I bike down Broadway and turn right at Interstate rather than right on Wheeler. That’s how ingrained it has become to Water Bureau employees to avoid Wheeler.

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  • Peter Nierengarten June 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Actually the event will be on Saturday, June 6th, not Sunday. Come out and join the fun. There will be FREE Water!

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