BikePortland

Further clarification from TriMet on transit mall bus/bike crash


[Unofficial graphic, not created by TriMet.]

Graphic showing location of vehicles just prior to collision.
(Graphic: BikePortland)


There has been a lot of speculation and confusion about the crash involving a TriMet bus and a bicycle on SW 6th and Morrison back on August 12th.

The bus operator turned left prior to the collision and came in contact with Richard Krebs, who was on his bicycle (he suffered serious leg injuries and remains at OHSU getting reconstructive surgery). The Portland Police Bureau issued a citation to Krebs, for failure to obey a traffic control device. The bus operator was not cited.

Photo of the crash scene. The bus in front is the one involved with the crash. Note its angle relative to the left lane it was traveling in.
(Photo: Bill Jackson)

But how exactly did the collision occur? Was Krebs cited for running the light, the “Don’t Walk” signal, or the bus’s flashing “Yield” signal? What lane was the bus in prior to its left turn? According to an update I just received from TriMet, I can now offer a better answer to those questions.

And here’s what TriMet’s Mary Fetsch says about the bus’s turn signal:

“The yield signal on the back of the bus has no bearing in this incident, since it’s only used for pulling back into a travel lane after servicing a stop.”

I hope this new information and the graphic above helps to clarify what happened. Given that TriMet won’t release the video because of pending court action, more information will likely come out in the weeks and months to come.

UPDATE: *A bus operator in the comments has pointed out that the ODOT Commercial Driver’s Manual warns against making the type of jug-handle turn that the bus operator appears to have made. TriMet has said the bus made a “button hook” turn (staying in the lane), but the photos from the scene show that the bus more likely swung into the adjacent lane and made a “jug handle” turn, which the ODOT manual says is “incorrect.” Here’s the graphic from the manual:

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