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Man dies after being hit while riding on North Willamette -UPDATED

Posted by on November 4th, 2009 at 6:55 am

[I’ve just published a new story with photos, notes and a video of the area around the crash. — Jonathan]

Street view of Willamette and Haven
(University of Portland is on the right).

The Portland Police Bureau has determined that a man was hit by two motor vehicles while riding his bicycle in the area of North Willamette and Haven near University of Portland early this morning. The man — who has not yet been identified — later died in the hospital.

Here’s more from the Portland Police:

This morning at 2:26 a.m., Portland Police responded to the area of North Willamette Blvd and North Haven Street on a call of a bicyclist that had been hit. Officers located an injured man at the scene and he was immediately taken to an area hospital. This man later died at the hospital. Police are attempting to identify the deceased man.

Investigators from the Major Crash Team have determined that the bicyclist found on North Willamette Blvd. was hit by two vehicles. Both drivers and their vehicles are at the scene of this incident and investigators are interviewing both drivers.

This is the fourth fatal crash involving someone on a bicycle this year. Stay tuned for more developments.


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UPDATE, 10:09AM: KATU is reporting that police say the man was pushed into traffic prior to being hit and that neighbors say they heard arguing before the incident. Here’s their video report:

UPDATE, 12:33pm: The Oregonian reports that the man killed was Kipp Daniel Crawford of Portland and that both drivers of the cars who hit him were issued DUIIs.

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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BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Crawford fatality ruled homicide: $1,000 reward for informationJonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief)Matt PiciodroseEl Biciclero Recent comment authors
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Schrauf
Guest

Very sad. As details come out hopefully we can all learn from this very unfortunate incident.

An Oregon Live commenter asked what somebody was doing out on a bike at that time of night. Probably the exact same thing many people were doing out in their vehicles at that time of night! Fortunately another commenter explained the obvious.

Vance Longwell
Guest

Wow, you guys have way better coverage of this than any one else in town. Grats. There are rumors of a precedent altercation and I hope you all are planning a follow-up.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Very sad. It may be worth mentioning that N. Haven is where the bike lane starts again (northbound) and ends (southbound) to allow for the turning lanes for University of Portland. Between Fiske and Haven the bike lane is not painted and the lane narrows. It is a short section, but I always pay special attention there.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

Schrauf, do yourself a favor and avoid the Oregon Live commenters. They will seriously put you in for a really, really bad day.

So sad. Condolences to everyone involved.

gabriel amadeus
Guest

This is a very bad stretch of road, the bike lane just disappears for the busiest few blocks of that neighborhood. What sad thing.

Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief)
Guest

I’m on my way to the scene now to get photos and a better sense of how the streets feel in tha area.

kitty
Guest
kitty

I know it is not clear what happened yet. However I was just thinking about that road yesterday, the speed is much too high here. The city has no power over speed.

Joe
Guest
Joe

RIP! the bike was still near the lane with its flasher on.. sad

esther
Guest
esther

My heart goes out to the friends and family of this man.
I will be interested to hear exactly what happened here. Just south of haven is a traffic island which is a pedestrian refuge. It is a horrible, horrible traffic squeeze, worse than the one on n williams, because the bike lanes disappear entirely, meaning bikers who are comfortable feeling in the bike lane are suddenly forced to take the lane-often directly into 35-45 mph car traffic!!! Southband you have the option to take the right turn lane into U of P, but you have to merge back into traffic BEFORE the bike lane reappears again. This is utterly terrifying.

Worse, N. Willamette along with north lombard is basically known as THE fastest easiest and most direct way of getting to the U of P and st. Johns, Pier Park and Cathedral Park neighborhoods. And even though its residential, Willamette is easily the fastest way by car to get to ANYTHING south of lombard-between Richmond (entrance to st. Johns) and greeley (almost to interstate), which is about 3.5 miles? There is exactly ONE, count em, ONE stop! (Light at portsmouth)
Combined with a 35 mph speed limit, people barrel down this thing and tailgate at 40+ mph. (I’ve definitely seen people going 50+)

I don’t know any solutions for this traffic squeeze, except possibly removing the pedestrian traffic island and replacing it with a stop light; more heavy speed limit enforcement on willamette (they put in a mph counter at rosa parks, but other than that I’ve never seen ANY enforcement); and for bikers, always always take yale or princeton between columbia park and the railroad cut/fred meyer (two blocks to the north of willamette). Unfortunately this route is not signed as a bike route and the streets often confuse people not very familiar with the area.

Joe
Guest
Joe

From the looks of it people fly on this road. Wilsonville has the same config, lane just goes away.. people do 40+ also
speed is a huge factor in this i know it.

Once again RIP bike Friend! I ride for you and all others.

travis
Guest
travis

During the day I would say this is a reasonably designed section of street as there is plenty of bike and pedestrian traffic to compliment the design. However, at night, when UofP is quiet, there is room for cars to accelerate and the lights are dim, I could see how something like this could happen. Sad.

Truthfully, there are few (if any?) safe routes from the St. Johns bars, theaters, restaurants, back into neighborhoods. I’d imagine, as St. Johns continues to grow, we’ll see more accidents on Willamette at both the fault of careless drivers and bikers. Hope not.

Joe Rowe
Guest
Joe Rowe

Perhaps in 20 years the N. Portland bikeway will get some funding, and all the victims will get their name on part of the bike path.

I live near there. That street is a 40-50mph car zone, and I never see any cops or those “check your speed” signs. There is a speed radar sign at Rosa Parks, but that is to get drivers to slow for the curve.

I doubt the drivers or cops will ever report the true details? Texting? Speeding? Did they try to avoid a deer on the road? Did they ever pull the cell records of the dude who left his lane and nearly killed a Portland Police officer?

List of deadly streets for cyclists:
Prescott, 40 mph
Killingsworth, 45
Willamette, 40-50
Lombard, Columbia 50
Ainsworth 30mph ( too narrow )
Albina & Interstate Ave ( I-5 congestion alternates )

RIP, and sympathy for the remaining family.

another bike victim…
possibly no citation for the ones who lived to describe their innocence…

http://preview.tinyurl.com/bikevictim5
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bikevictim4
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bikevictim3
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bikevictim2
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bikevictim1

ME 2
Guest
ME 2

First off my condolences to the victim’s family. I’m not familiar with this stretch of road, but it raises an interesting question. Why do bike lanes suddenly disappear?

I can think of three places in NE where this happens: 1) N Broadway, 2) N Oregon and MLK, 3) NE Oregon right before NE 12. In each case the bike lane goes away to accommodate a left turn only lane. My commute home takes me on N\NE Oregon and I find it pretty stressful at times to squeeze in between cars. Especially when the line starts moving because a car up ahead turns or the light turns green while I’m trying to go from bike lane, to no bike lane to bike lane.

Why did our planning officials do this? Do they revisit these exchanges? Do they plan on keeping them as is?

Lance P.
Guest
Lance P.

When are we as citizens of Portland going to stand up and demand a change in public space and public right of ways. Put in speed bumps, nots in the road, or simply removing through traffic (similar to SE Ankeny). Also, why is it here in Portland if you accidentally kill someone, you likely will be changed with manslaughter, but if you are in an automobile and kill someone you likely won’t even get a slap on the wrist. How many people must die before our representatives wake up! How many people must die before WE wake up!

Call city hall and demand action!
Talk to a real person: (503) 823-4000
Demand action!

Joe
Guest
Joe

#11 I think you right on with it! when the lane goes away and a stop light is couple meters up cars will try and rush to make it
past you, not yielding! lotta car fokes seem to have an issue with the law these days!

pampdx
Guest
pampdx

I take this route and it’s a very bad stretch. A lot of students crossing to get to U of P, cars flying through the area. I’m always confused about what to do. Very sad. I hope something is done here.

esther
Guest
esther

Travis: I agree with you that it’s difficult to find better routes to St. Johns. However, I think a big chunk of that is lack of signage for bike routes, because the North Portalnd streets around there don’t conform to the typical grid system in NE and SE and are confusing to even people who live in the area.

However, there are a very few great alternatives to Willamette. For cutting out a long and speedy chunk (including the area where this crash happened) I almost always take Woolsey-Olin-Stafford-Princeton-Carey (as shown on the current map: http://www.portlandonline.com/Transportation/index.cfm?c=39404&a=219182
and try to get my friends to do the same.
Yale is slated (based on the current master plan proposal) to become a suggested bike route, but I personally prefer Princeton, which passes 2 parks, has only a few stop signs along this length.

And between the railroad cut and “downtown” St. Johns I almost always take Ida or Alma to Jersey, which runs parallel to Willamtte, and drops you off at the entrance sign to st. Johns by the McMenamin’s, Tonalli’s Donuts, Leisure Tavern, Blue Moon Coffee, and Weir’s cyclery (albeit at a very complicated intersection).

Lance P.
Guest
Lance P.

FYI – If you don’t want this to happen to you then call and ask for change! It only takes 5 mins.

1) Mayor’s Advocacy coordinator = 503-823-4120
2) Amanda = 503-823-3008
3) Nick Fish = 503-823-3589
4) Randy = 503-823-4682
5) Dan = 503-823-4151

Leslie Carlson
Guest

ME 2 #13
Bike lanes also disappear while heading south on SE Milwaukie right before SE Powell Blvd–one of SE Portland’s busiest and most dangerous intersections. I am with you on changing this; I haven’t reviewed the update to the Bicycle Master Plan yet to see if it does.

It is not only stressful, it’s an accident waiting to happen when you ask people to merge from bike lanes into fast-moving traffic.

travis
Guest
travis

thanks esther…

i’ve gotta ride into st. johns for a meeting this afternoon (i work off wabash and lombard) and i’ll swirl around on those routes.

i’ll say: in the summer i like to race the sunset from hollywood (where i live) to cathedral park on sundays. i’ve seen folks treating willamette like a culdesac -kids especially. it’s an easy road to let your guard down on the weekend evening when the bulk of the weekend warriors are done. imagine it’s the same for cars.

dave
Guest
dave

Very sad to hear about this.
I live in the area and rode by on my bike this morning…was wondering what the fox 12 news van was doing there, now I know.

This is a very dangerous section of Willamette. I’ve ridden by the university many days during the work week for 3 years and have never felt very safe there. You have to ride very defensively, drivers don’t want to let you take the lane as the bike lane disappears and then picks up again.

It was really frustrating to see a HUGE crosswalk light go in recently, with absolutely no consideration or improvements made for the bikers that go through there daily. Lately, it’s been worse due to the amount of leaves on the ground that are blocking sections of the bike lane.

I can’t help but feel that St.John’s and North Portland are continually neglected and given less of a priority when it comes to roadway safety, this is sadly a prime example, and if you ask me, it was only a matter of time before something tragic happened in this area. Just out of curiosity, how much responsibility lies with the University for the design of this area?

Take care out there. Now that the time has changed and things are darker, earlier, the roads are far more sketchy. My commute home yesterday was laced with near-misses.

Hollie Teal
Guest

KATU reporter says “police aren’t sure if the cyclist was in a bike lane or in the lane of traffic…”

i fail to see how that matters. the bike lane isn’t a safe zone, nor does being in the “lane of traffic” (bikes aren’t traffic?) mean someone on a bike earns their fate if they get hit by a car. the bike lane is inconsistently present, filled with leaf debris this time of year, and sometimes impassable for other valid reasons. why imply that the cyclist was out of line by being in the car lane?

AaronF
Guest
AaronF

I’m never sure if I’m supposed to take a lane there or not.

If they eliminated the on street parking in that stretch it would be a lot less hairy across the street from UP. I think that side is the yuckiest…

I’ll echo everyone else… people fly down that road in cars.

So sad.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V

My condolences to the victim’s family.

Unrelated, but I’ve found that both KATU and KGW show anti-cyclist bias so I go to KOIN for my local news. Is there a reason Jonathan references KATU?

Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief)
Guest

nick v,

when i reference another source it is not a value judgment about their coverage.. i am simply trying to keep people informed of other reporting on a story. thanks.

maxadders
Guest
maxadders

pushed into traffic? crazy. this doesn’t sound like a bike / car collision, this sounds like murder or homicide at the very least.

hemp22
Guest
hemp22

A commenter on Oregon Live states that they live there & heard this all transpire – they commented that the bicyclist was getting mugged, and got left in the middle of the street, tangled up in his bike. the rumaged through his clothes, took some stuff, and then ran off right before the cars hit the cyclist.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V

Jonathan,

Roger that. Thanks.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Tragic. What a great opportunity for UofP to work with the city and residents to craft a protected bike lane, Copenhagen-style, separated from the street by a curb,in that neighborhood. While friends and family are still absorbing loss, it would be the Portland way as improvements unfold to acknowledge the bicyclist with a long term memorial there.

We have miles of bike lanes here thankfully. Each section of which needs local involvement to clean and maintain them or request the city do so.

I’m a driver sometimes, we need bike route signs at lights and stop signs to remind Me (us,them) to look for bikes on the through lanes we cross.

Grimm
Guest
Grimm

Very sad, and I hope the situation is demystified and the ‘pusher’ is found. Condolences to the deceased and all who knew him.

The Katu report was pretty good, im glad they didnt try to play up the helmet or lack there of. However I was a little annoyed when they stated ‘we dont know if he was in the bike lane or the street’. Both are the street, there are two lanes and just one is limited to bicycles. But if there is a hazard bicycles can use the motor vehicle lane, and drivers need to be highly vigilant. Not placing blame, just saying vigilant driving is not valued enough.

Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie
Guest

I’ve been talking about this stretch for years. I live on Willamette blvd and emailed Sam three years ago about it – this specific issue about the dissappearing bike lanes . Such a preventable loss. Damn it. I’ve also emailed Jonathan awhile back about whether they are going to put the bike lanes back on willamette ont eh stretch north of where you turn off for the fred myers – they tore up the road to smootha nd repair last summer and the last time i pedaled it – recently – there still weren’t bike lanes back on it. I’ll have to check it out today – unless anyone knows. At any rate, we worked hard to get calming devices and /speed bumps along willamette three years ago, after a drunk from yourgos plowed into our neighbors yard. But more than speed bumps need to happen for willamette/reduce accidentds – lower speed limits, enforcement, lighting, complete streets etc.

Lisa G
Guest
Lisa G

My condolences. I am very saddened by this news. I really hope they find that missing person. This situation is intolerable. Bike lanes should not disappear, and if they do, there should be a traffic calming treatment for that stretch of road. I believe it is possible to know how fast a car was going at the time of the crash by assessing the damage. There is no excuse for driving that fast on these streets.I am considering attaching a half-mast flag to my bike permanently. When you put in your comments for the bike plan, be adamant about these issues.

grant
Guest
grant

Wow, you guys are quick with assumptions. Let’s wait for the facts, k?

Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief)
Guest

I just published another story with notes, photos, and video from the area where this occurred.

Here’s the story.

matt
Guest

No offense to other comment’s but it seems all the focus is on the road and the drivers in this sad incident. This poor guy was PUSHED into the road; the drivers may have been going 40mph but may have also been giving enough room to pass a cyclist. I’ve been riding for 9 years in PDX, 7 exclusively without a car, and yes I do get annoyed when a car passes me going too quickly.
Definitely, if the drivers were not driving fast (and we still don’t know how fast they were driving, right?) the victim might have had a chance of not being hit. I’m just saying that the lack of a bike lane in that section and the drivers possibly driving too fast is not the whole reason this terrible even took place.

I look forward to hearing what the investigation reveals.

Vance Longwell
Guest

Rob #29 – Say I’m curious about something, and I don’t mean to single you out. However, you are saying it, so maybe you can explain it.

Here we have a report of an incident happening that I’d be willing to bet is a first ever. I did a quick search and can find no reference whatsoever to fatalities in that area of the street. Not in cars, on foot, or on a bike.

So, this one thing goes wrong in a sea of things that went right, yet you are inclined to retreat this street? I don’t get it. In my mind, something that is 99.99999% effective should be left alone.

What logic dictates that a traffic-treatment, with a success rate like this, be changed? 100% efficacy is completely, physically impossible. I understand wanting to evaluate the area, but c’mon, I’ll bet there’s been over a million safe trips taken on that rode, in all modes, for every injury, let alone, death.

It is not my intent to marginalize tragedy, but things happen for no good reason a lot of the time, and making drastic changes EVERY time wreaks havoc on methodology. Soon, we’ll be deploying changes to assuage fears, which opens us up to the possibility a good piece of infrastructure gets turned into a bad one on accident.

adriana
Guest
adriana

hemp22, I saw that comment on oregon live! I think it makes the most sense, guy got mugged in the street, got left there all tangled in his bike, and the cars probably couldn’t see him in the street since it’s so effing dark up there. AND the cars wouldn’t be there still if this was aggravated manslaughter. I hope to god that mugger gets caught, that pos… this is such a horrible and sad story. rip

jonnyappleseed
Guest
jonnyappleseed

Previous muggings in the area will give detectives clues as to the description of this mugger. You can bet on it.

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

Ya, I’m not sure this is an actual bike lane issue..or a bike issue at all…..if the guy was pushed from the bike lane or sidewalk..this is murder folks and I’m glad they have two of those involved detained.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

#36 – Vance Longwell –

VERY well said. Nice to see a voice of reason on here.

Yes this was completely tragic and not a one of us lacks condolences for the families of the cyclist, I’d wager.

But honestly people, this is NOT a dangerous stretch of road for cyclists. There’s a bike lane, for chrissakes.

This was nothing more than a happenchance tragedy, not unlike when a 2-y/o child gets left unattended for 30 seconds and wanders into a 25 mph suburban street and is killed by a motorist.

Please leave it at that.

cinnamongirl
Guest
cinnamongirl

I live in this area as well. It’s dark, the bike lanes are full of leaves and debris in many places and there is more than a mile of road that is completely uncontrolled. Speeding is the norm and forget about pedestrians crossing safely to get to the bus stops. I never see police except on the weekends when the kids party. Everyone has to be very careful.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Vince, To clarify, I am proposing that as UP owns the adjacent property, they should push for and pay (on their side) for street widening and construction costs, split with the City, for a model bike lane on both sides of the street, separated from traffic.

Many (tuition paying) students commute to UP on bike, so it is in both their financial and community relations interest to lead car/bike/walker plans and improvements nearby.

I bet they will.

The opportunity to improve things detracts nothing from the personal and family tragedy.

E
Guest
E

Can someone explain to me how 2 cars hit this guy????

This is NOT a happenchance tragedy. Two people were driving loaded weapons who should under no circumstances have been allowed to do so. Citations are massively insufficient; both drivers are repeat offenders. Can we have a three strikes law for dangerous drivers? 3 serious moving violations and you go to jail for life. One strike if you kill someone.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

E,

I understand your frustrations. My comments were as presumptuous as others as they were posted before the updated facts were released from PPB.

I retract my “happenchance tragedy” statements in both threads.

The drivers had exactly zero business being on the roads at ANY hour, let alone 2:30AM while intoxicated.

Fry ’em.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“I’m never sure if I’m supposed to take a lane there or not.”

Any time you would feel dangerously squeezed by an overtaking car, it is advisable to take the lane, subject to prudent choice of time to merge. You are never required to “take the lane”, just as you are not required to stay in an extreme-right position if it is dangerous. It is up to your own discretion where to be relative to the side of the road.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

Both drivers are repeat offenders. Which does not automatically mean that they were driving poorly at the time they hit the person. Even a sober driver with a clean record might have had the same result.

Chances are, you’ve been drunk countless times and done dumb things only a few times. Being in a certain state does not pre-ordain a result.

nic
Guest
nic

kip was a friend of mine and used to play in a band with my dad and has recorded and drummed with many other friends of mine.
I can’t offer any information about the accident. But he was a great drummer, a good guy and worked at Mississippi Station. I’m sitting there now having a drink, paying my respects.

Alexander Mace
Guest
Alexander Mace

I haven’t seen Kipp in years, but played in Jazz band with him all through High School in Ashland. He was a wonderful and kind man, and a gifted drummer. This is really really sad.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

My bad. The Oregon Legislature, in its wisdom, has chosen not to make killing somebody while driving drunk a criminal offense.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Doesn’t matter that people drive drunk and sometimes nothing happens. This time they killed somebody while they were driving drunk.