What if Bret Lewis was crossing Tualatin-Valley Highway?

Posted by on February 17th, 2011 at 9:11 am

New analysis of the crash that claimed the life of 47-year old Beaverton resident Bret Lewis last Saturday reveals that — contrary to what was reported initially by the Beaverton Police Department and subsequently covered by several local media outlets (including this one) — it’s very possible that Lewis was crossing Tualatin Valley (TV) Highway prior to being hit.

The police reported that Lewis was bicycling westbound on TV Hwy and that he was hit from behind by James Nguyen. Much of the discussion around this tragedy has revolved around why Lewis was not riding in the bike lane or the lane nearest to the curb (witnesses have helped police determine that Lewis was in the lane to the south of the bike lane).

But, what if Lewis was crossing the street? Would/should that change how we make sense of this tragedy?

Image by Jim Parsons

We first began to consider the possibility that he was crossing (and not riding on) the highway when our West Side correspondent Jim Parsons shared the aerial photo above in which he points out a footpath leading onto TV Hwy that’s adjacent to the intersection where Lewis was hit (SW Tualaway Ave). After seeing Parson’s image, I learned through email conversations with Lewis’ close friends that he lived directly south of the intersection.

Lewis lived on SW 3rd St between Fairmount and Menlo. One of his friends shared with me that, “It’s likely he was trying to cross there to cut through to his home.” That same friend shared that, “There is nothing or no one in Bret’s life west of SW Tualaway.” Another friend of Lewis’ told me that, “He was on his way over to his friend’s apartment,” which she confirmed was north of Tualaway (see map).

If Lewis was crossing (and not riding westbound on) TV Hwy, it would also help explain why Mr Nguyen was unable to see him. Lewis had a functioning light on his bike, but Nguyen told police he couldn’t see it in time to avoid hitting him. If Lewis was crossing the street north to south, a light on the rear of his bicycle would not have been visible to someone in a motor vehicle headed west. As for why Lewis was stopped in the traffic lane prior to the collision, we’ll likely never know.

Does this fundamentally change this case? Yes. The legal context of both Lewis and Nguyen’s actions change if Lewis was crossing a street versus riding a bicycle with the flow of traffic. Would Oregon’s crosswalk law apply in this location? Would this intersection meet the legal definition of a crosswalk? I’m not sure, but perhaps someone else could chime in to clarify.

Editorial note: This story isn’t an attempt to find out who’s to blame in this tragedy. My intention in publishing this is to shed light on what seems like a very plausible scenario in hopes that it can help those in the community who are still trying to make sense of what happened. In addition, I feel this type of detail is yet another reason why police statements drafted immediately following a crash should refrain from drawing too many conclusions so as not to mislead the public about how a crash occurred before a thorough investigation has been done.

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9watts
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9watts

“I feel this type of detail is yet another reason why police statements drafted immediately following a crash should refrain from drawing too many conclusions so as not to mislead the public about how a crash occurred before a thorough investigation has been done.”

Amen.

And three cheers for all the dedicated bikeportland commenters who’ve proposed scenarios including someone crossing TV Hwy here to suggest that the police’s glib dismissal (and some commenters’ attitude about someone in a traffic lane) may be unhelpful at best, or simply wrong. Three cheers for you, Jonathan!

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Yet you continually were quick to point out that he had a functioning light, therefore he must be visible. Still doesn’t change the fact that if you go into the lane of traffic, you better be 100% confident traffic isn’t coming.

k.
Guest
k.

It not only fundamentally changes the case but it should make people pause before spouting off opinions on this site when they don’t know the facts. So many commentators jump to erroneous conclusions based on their own prejudices.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

This is a better place to ask this:

Who cac answer as to the legality of this type of crossing?

Ignoring for now the illegal act of walking across government sanctified rail road property: is an unmarked crossing still legally a crosswalk in Oregon IF the crossing is at a T-intersection leading across a major road to nonexistent pedestrian facilities?

For the sake of devil’s advocate I present evidence of Washington County’s official war against pedestrian rights: a map (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&i e=UTF8&hq=&ll=45.512542,-122.854 754&spn=0.000859,0.001982&t=h& z=19) of W Baseline Rd @ SW 173rd Ave. Currently there are no crosswalk markings but a peek at the Street View clearly shows they were painted in the past. A close look shows that they were intentionally removed by grinding. Sort of like having physical evidence that WaCo consciously and systemically wants all non-automotive users off their roads.

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0
Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

I had a long talk with Ray Thomas a few months back on the subject of whether bikes have the right of way in crosswalks. As I understand it, here are the important points (but please note that I am not a lawyer, and if there is any error it is sure to be mine and not Ray’s…so please don’t make any legal decisions based on this!):
– The insurance code does define “pedestrian” as including bikes, and thus you could make the legal case that since “pedestrians” have the right of way in crosswalks, so do people on bikes. It should be noted, though, that the vehicle code definition of “pedestrian” does not include bikes, so I would say this is a big gray area.
– Bikes explicitly have the right-of-way on sidewalks (though they are required to yield to all slower-moving sidewalk users), and if you define crosswalks as an extension of the sidewalk, you could again make the case that bikes have the right of way in crosswalks.
– Bicycles also specifically must “slow to a walking speed” in crosswalks. “Walking speed” is not defined and Ray says that the fastest walker on record can go 10 MPH, but a more legally defensible range is 3-4 MPH. The intent of this is that fast-moving bicycles shouldn’t be able to surprise motorists who were not able to anticipate that they would enter the crosswalk.
– Pedestrians (and by Ray’s definition, bicyclists) may not “leave a place of safety” (that is, step off the sidewalk and enter the crosswalk) if an approaching car cannot stop in time. This goes together with the ‘walking speed’ provision in my mind, as a fast-moving bicyclist is unlikely to be able to assess whether an approaching car can stop in time.
– Pedestrians (and by Ray’s definition, bicyclist) have to actually step into the crosswalk in order to assert their right-of-way.

So, if I’m synthesizing all this correctly, people on bikes may be able to make a case that they have the right of way in a crosswalk, but it is not cut and dried, and in any case they would have to be traveling at a “walking speed.”

Steph Routh, WPC
Guest

Hi Jessica,
That is my understanding of the law, as well, but of course I would defer to a lawyer like Ray Thomas.

ray thomas
Guest

I would also note that ORS 814.410(3) states:
“Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a bicyclist on a sidewalk OR IN A CROSSWALK(caps mine) has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.”

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

Where does ORS explain those duties?

9watts
Guest
9watts

Since the police were at the scene it would be worth asking, for instance, if Bret’s bike had reflectors in the spokes? these reflectors are put there for precisely this kind of situation. What kind of analysis was done of Bret’s bike? Where is it now?

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

More info on the impact to the bike and Mr. Lewis would help, too. All the police report says is “struck from behind.” Does that mean the impact was directly parallel with the length of the bike, from the rear, or could the force have been all or partially from the side and the point of contact was simply toward the rear of the bike?

Also, Jonathon wondered about “crossing the street north to south” but what about crossing south to north? Then that northern curb lane would have been the last traffic lane Mr. Lewis needed to clear on his way toward the destination marked in the image, above.

Biker
Guest
Biker

It angers me that the excuse of “not seeing” is allowed. When you are driving it is your responsibility to “see” where you are going. If the weather conditions are bad you must slow down. Most drivers do not. Unless Lewis was wearing black and had no reflective clothing, he should have been visible to drivers. The driver should have been going 20 or 30 given the “bad weather” conditions and would have had a much better chance of stopping or avoiding Lewis, and if he hit Lewis, the damage would have been less. But at a speed of 50 mph he would not have had the time or the ability, and the resulting collision would be fatal.

When a driver hits a vulnerable user, the driver most likely is in the wrong. The police have it the other way.

But we do not have all the information, and may never given the mind set of the police.

Dave
Guest

It’s also worth asking if he was riding across, or walking his bike across – do we know if he was actually *on* the bike?

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

my assumption is that he was walking his bike and that’s why witnesses said he was stopped in the lane… to a passing motorists anybody with a bike that’s not moving is simply a stopped cyclist rather than a pedestrian with a bicycle…

Jack
Guest
Jack

There seems to be this strange assumption of validity regarding the driver’s statement claiming that the victim was stopped in the street.

Things to consider:
1) People don’t generally stop on high speed highways.
2) If you’re traveling 50 mph and for a split second, catch a glimpse of someone traveling 5mph, it would be extremely hard to determine if the slower person was stopped or just moving relatively slowly.

BicycleDave
Guest
BicycleDave

Don’t forget also that eyewitness testimony (though given a lot of cred) is absolutely the least reliable testimony of all.

esther c
Guest
esther c

Very important point. thanks for bringing this up. The witness that come here to say he saw him stopped says he noticed him stopped for 2 seconds before the crash. 2 seconds of walking could appear to be stopped. Or cycling at walking speed which is what the law requires in a crosswalk to be granted the rights of a pedestrian.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

I’ve suggested to someone in ODOT that there may be a good reason to install a pedestrian activated crosswalk somewhere along this long stretch of Hwy where there is no painted crosswalk.

Also, I cannot emphasize the importance of side view visibility. I’ve gone so far as to install several lighting systems on my bike and wrapped the frame in reflective materials to make myself less likely to be struck from the side.

Lightweights for wheels (spoke reflectors) ~$15USD are a lot more more visible than the plastic reflectors bikes come with. The Down Low Glow from Rock the Bike (dot) com is another product that I’ve had tremendous results from. Often I’ll see cars cross the centerline of the road when passing me (even though I’m riding straight on a well marked bike lane).

Paulie
Guest
Paulie

I found a spoke light at Powell’s Books for $7. They come in various colors (I chose amber). Battery-operated, they can be on steady, or blinking (better battery life).

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

BTW: where do you get the good reflective tape and/or could you link to the forum thread where you expound upon the materials and techniques you are using.

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

This forum thread has retro-reflective material sources and tips from K’Tesh and others.

Perry Hunter
Guest
Perry Hunter

Performance in Beaverton sells the reflective spoke tape. Kind of a pain to apply, but really effective.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

I’ll add, my avatar is an actual photo of my bike taken after dark with a flash

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

what isthe point of “what if’s” exactly?

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

I feel this type of detail is yet another reason why police statements drafted immediately following a crash should refrain from drawing too many conclusions so as not to mislead the public about how a crash occurred before a thorough investigation has been done.

Pot kettle black

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Not exactly. I am an independent journalist who publishes a blog. I am not a city employee and spokesperson with the power to issue information about a crash that is then copied verbatim and accepted blindly as the truth by media outlets.

My role and the role of a Police Dept. PIO are completely different and as such, we have different responsibility and expectations from the community.

Thanks for your comment.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

I don’t thing that cyclist was criticizing you Jonathan.

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

Your stance seems pretty hypocritical to me, why shouldn’t you hold yourself to the same standards that you hold others to? Much like the police department you have an audience that trusts your judgment, and when you post half-baked stories without all the facts people in your comments section get inflamed and frequently overreact to what turns out to be a falsehood.

How many people here blindly accept your version of the events of a collision? Think back to the Trimet accident on Hawthorne that turned out to be caused by the cyclist. All of the vitriol against Trimet in the comments from the original story was entirely unfounded, and was caused by your incomplete and inaccurate take on the proceedings.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

We might trust JM & some may trust him blindly without question but JM’s statements can not be used in court to defend against a civil suit; the government employee’s statement can.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

we don’t make up the news here, we just report what others make up… he told it like it was reported to him… we have to trust the source sometimes, even when they aren’t always right the first time…

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

How about the Esplanade “Bump Crisis” that Jonathan reported on? He first claimed that the bumps caused a fork failure, then had to go back and correct hours later when it came out that it happened because of a loose bungee. It was clear from the story that he’d come to a conclusion about it before he even began writing, and even when evidence supported a contrary point of view he continued to insist that it was the Esplanade that was the problem. It’s almost exactly what his criticism of the police department was about: Jonathan came to an incorrect conclusion about the accident and his incorrect conclusion shaped the public perception of the accident as a result.

That’s why I think his protests of “oh I’m just a blogger” don’t really hold weight. He has real influence with his readership, and has influence and access to PBOT as well. When he jumps to conclusions sans evidence he causes the public a disservice.

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

Anyone who accepts the second hand report of what a cop says witnesses reported in the rain as gospel would be using just as poor of judgement as someone who believes everything written in your blog. The police report does contain mild speculation (although you may very well consider it gross, reckless speculation I suppose) but I read it as such, and not really a strong assertion to objectively, categorically blame the victim.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Jeff
what isthe point of “what if’s” exactly?

If the police blow this off as he was riding westbound, stopped for no reason we learn nothing.

If ODOT realizes that someone died her because they were trying to legally make a crossing on the Hwy, perhaps we won’t be reading about some young mother with her kids being killed here in the next few years.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

“What if”ing the situation is nothing more than an exercise in mental masturbation, it does nothing to change the course of the investigation or the facts of the matter.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

I’m sorry if you don’t like thinky people but in this situation a problem has been identified.

Due to the lack of credible information from the authorities, a lack of believeable witnesses or a time machine to observe what actually happened we are left with two options: try to mitigate likely causes or chalk his life up to being roadkill for the price of progress.

Will we ever know for certain what happened: probably not.
This does not mean we shouldn’t try to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

huh
Guest
huh

Please explain how the witnesses are not credible?

What do you know about the witnesses we don’t?

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

huh
Please explain how the witnesses are not credible?
What do you know about the witnesses we don’t?

I know the same amoumt about the real facts of this incident as everyone else here:
NOTHING!
Having been the cause of 4 multi vehicle crashes I can say something expertly about the witness statements in this case: there is no variance and what was said to the police is exactly what was needed to escape without charges.
IF there was a witness ANYWHERE other that the responsible driver’s vericle then there would have been a differing perspective with more info and conflicting facts. In this case the statements are TOO TIDY.

Proof: no.
Given the glaring errors in the official statement the witnesses veracity should be called in to question.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

so exactly what kind of comments and articles here at bikeportland “change the course of the investigation or the facts of the matter”? you’re not suggesting we all stop posting our opinions…

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

He said shut up, take what Big Brother feeds you and smile while you’re at it.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Here is a link to the photo set of the area.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157625925431047/

I’ll be adding images of the trail and cut through later today.

buglas
Guest
buglas

I posted a thought along this line on one of the other threads. If you make the assumption that Bret didn’t really want to be in that particular spot rather than dismissing him as another biker with a near suicidal sense of entitlement, the perspective shift is dramatic. Then it’s easy to come up with a scenario (still speculation on my part) that has him stopped in the traffic lane.

As I recall on that day, the prevailing wind was out of the west. In the street crossing scenario that would have Bret looking left for traffic away from the wind and rain. That would give him a different sense of visibility than what the driver had.

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

I was actually taken aback by that comment and appreciative of what you were meaning with it. In my riding out there, I see a lot of pedestrians cross the street in places that aren’t crosswalks, marked or otherwise. It’s obvious Nguyen didn’t see Bret, but it seems likely that (if he was crossing) Bret also didn’t see Nguyen’s car, else he wouldn’t have gone. Pedestrians can be difficult to spot even at 20 mph while I’m riding at night, especially when they walk out from between parked cars or in poorly lit locations. I can only imagine how it would be at 50 mph, behind a wet windshield with glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic. Or even at 4 mph with rain soaking you and wind blowing in your face..

Bottom line, the whole thing is quite tragic. It seems like the police really aren’t doing their jobs on this one, but, I don’t set my expectations very high that they ever will.

Halster
Guest

This changes everything, but at this point it would be up to the family to pursue any criminal/civil action.

CU you all tomorrow.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Jeff
“What if”ing the situation is nothing more than an exercise in mental masturbation, it does nothing to change the course of the investigation or the facts of the matter.

Really? How about ‘What if Mr. Nguyen was found to have been texting seconds before hitting Bret Lewis?’ or ‘What if there were other witnesses who noticed something about other cars who reacted differently to Bret’s presence on the road?’
Although your position seems to match Sgt. Shumway’s I don’t agree. One way (the only way?) to get to the bottom of this is to ask *lots* of questions. ‘What if’ may not be the best or only way to phrase the questions, but it is a whole lot better than sitting back and telling everyone to go home and let the authorities sort it out, which is what I hear you doing.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Out of curiosity, I went to bycycle.org and got directions between the suggested locations. The “normal” route byclce.org calculates is 0.78 miles long and follows Farmington (busy two lane road with no bike lane) to Hocken — not as scary as crossing TV Highway in an improvised crosswalk, but not a route I would choose. The “safe” route that bycycle.org calcluates is 9.47 miles long. A route that looks safe to me would take you along 6th to Murray, up to Millikan, and back over to the destination — about 2.3 miles.

Of course, all this is hindsight layered on speculation. I guess my comments here are mostly an exercise in thinking about how far one would have to go for safe travel in “Bronze Level” cycling city.

BURR
Guest
BURR

What if the motorist signaled a right turn and then changed his mind?

That might have caused Bret to stop in the travel lane for the motorist to pass in front of him.

I still question how credible the witness accounts are that he was actually stopped in the lane.

Jim F
Guest
Jim F

Laws are nice and all, but they don’t keep you alive when a car runs you over. Either the cyclist was stopped in the lane when the car hit him. Or he was crossing in front of a car, without first making sure the car saw him and was stopping. Two things I would never do. He may have had the right of way blah blah blah. But he still got run over. So, no, I don’t think it matters what direction he was travelling.

runride
Guest
runride

I love K’Tesh’s avatar, we who ride on the road need to be very visible. On my commute, among other lights, I have a front spoke light that flashes red as it goes around. If on a rare occasion the battery is dead I feel very vulnerable at intersections. A flashing white head light can sometimes be just another light in someones rain soaked windshield.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“The police reported that Lewis was bicycling westbound on TV Hwy and that he was hit from behind by James Nguyen.”
Another ‘What if’
What if Jonathan’s investigation turns out to be correct, and Bret was crossing the highway? What does that tell us about the thoroughness of the Detective Sergeant’s work? What does it say about the prospects for justice in this and other cases? If we can’t trust them to do a thorough job of investigating a fatal accident, and taking an approach to public summaries of the events that reflects the partial nature of their grasp of what occurred, why have police at all? The absence of nuance, doubt, patience, ‘we don’t have all the facts yet,’ witnesses disagree about whether Mr. Lewis was crossing the highway or biking West or SITTING,’ etc. in the police report is troubling, especially how quickly most news media seem to skip along to the next subject, never to return or retract past inaccuracies or misjudgments on the part of the police.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

What does this tell us?
Rain leaves little evidence and the cop wanted to get out of it badly.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

If…….Bret Lewis was crossing TV Hwy, rather than traveling westbound on it as the Beaverton PD Media Release states, based on interviews conducted with witnesses to the collision…that could change the situation significantly.

Try get in contact with those witnesses to learn more specifically what they saw; Did they see how Lewis actually came to be in the traffic lane south of the bike lane?

The information about Bret Lewis’s destination and where he lived, that help establish a possible route relative to TV Hwy and Tuallayway Ave, might be helpful to determine whether he was crossing rather than traveling TV Hwy, but it’s not proof.

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

I just looked at the map and if this is really true, it may have made a lot more sense for Bret to travel about an extra 1000 feet and use the controlled intersection at Hocken instead of crossing at Tualaway. If he had been crossing when he had a green and got hit, the driver would have certainly (well, I can only hope!!!) been cited.

Not trying to blame anything on Bret since I was not there and he cannot speak for himself. Just thinking about the poor visibility and weather when crossing a road as busy and fast at TV hwy.

No matter what, RIP Bret!

John Lascurettes
Guest

Let me state this in the crudest way I can:

If Bret were a rock in the road and motorist hit it because “it’s hard to see under those conditions”, the motorist is going too fast for the prevailing conditions.

Why is the motorist still not cited for this?

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

45MPH is the minimum speed.
You are required to rush ahead until you can read all the bumper stickers on the auto in front of you no matter the speed or conditions.

John Lascurettes
Guest

No it’s not. This is not a freeway. It is a highway (as ALL public streets are in Oregon). There is no minimum speed and the basic safe-speed law always supersedes any minimum speed law.

Tacoma
Guest
Tacoma

I thought I noted a touch of sarcasm in q’Tzal’s reply, especially when he gets to the part “…until you can read all the bumper stickers on the auto in front of you no matter the speed or conditions.”

John Lascurettes
Guest

Sorry. You’re right. Didn’t note that. No wonder I was surprised by his response. Still – I gots some facts there laid out. 🙂

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…It is a highway (as ALL public streets are in Oregon). …” John Lascurettes

So you really believe all public streets in Oregon are highways? Who told you that? Because…it’s nonsense.

There’s different ways to sort about questions about this sort of thing, but as a first resort, I like to check on this free down-loadable dictionary, WordWeb.

“Highway: A major road for any form of motor transport” WordWeb

“Freeway: A broad highway designed for high-speed traffic” WordWeb

By that definition, TV Highway is most definitely a ‘highway’, whereas Tuallaway Avenue is not a highway (it connects Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro). Neither is Hocken Ave, or 3rd St, where Bret Lewis reportedly lived. I don’t think even nearby Cedar Hills Boulevard, which carries a huge amount of traffic, is considered a highway. All of those streets carry slower moving traffic than TV Highway.

For Beaverton, it’s a curse, more than not, for TV Highway to be directed straight into town as it proceeds east (Somewhere east of Tuallaway, TV Higway becomes Canyon Rd.).

It would be a great boon to safety and livability of the city, if Beaverton could persuade the county to have the speed limit for TV Highway westbound from Beaverton reduced from 45mph to 35mph up to Murray Blvd. That would give neighboring residents a better chance of crossing the street safely if they wanted to take a shortcut at Tuallaway instead of going a couple tenths of a mile down to Hocken. Wouldn’t have taken Lewis long to cover those two tenths on his bike.

TV Highway…is a highway that’s been forced to assume freeway characteristics.

Opus the Poet
Guest

I suggest you read the laws. All public streets and roads are classified as “Highways”. I haven’t researched the history of this so I don’t know “Why”. I just know it is, and I live in Texas. Is it so hard for you to look up the laws for yourself?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

As with many terms, the word “highway” is understood in casual conversation a little differently than it is in a legal context. From the ORS (801.305):

“Highway” means every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures within the boundaries of this state, open, used or intended for use of the general public for vehicles or vehicular traffic as a matter of right.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

El and Opus…thanks for checking into how the word ‘highway’ is used by state agencies and in the statutes. I’ll accept that usage to the point it’s relative to understanding the type of street on which the collision between Nguyen and Lewis occurred.

That usage of the word ‘highway’, doesn’t change the fact that motor vehicle traffic travels fast and intensely on TV Hwy. If it’s not technically a ‘freeway’, despite a lower posted speed limit of 45mph, the type of road and character of traffic on TV make it very much like a sort of freeway.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Sorry, thought I was over the top enough not to be taken seriously there.

But this is real:
Found “highway” in the ORS 801.305 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/801.html)
801.305 “Highway.” (1) “Highway” means every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures within the boundaries of this state, open, used or intended for use of the general public for vehicles or vehicular traffic as a matter of right.

(2) For the purpose of enforcing traffic offenses contained in the Oregon Vehicle Code, except for ORS 810.230, “highway” includes premises open to the public that are owned by a homeowners association and whose boundaries are contained within a service district established on or before July 1, 2002, under ORS 451.410 to 451.610. [1983 c.338 §51; 2007 c.561 §1]

John Lascurettes
Guest

BTW, the phrase “minimum speed” cannot even be found in the ORS: http://tinyurl.com/4mewuvj

Whereas “maximum speed”: http://tinyurl.com/45damcm

tacoma
Guest
tacoma

Yes, sir. Liked the facts. I’m sure that took a little bit of effort. Well done and thank you.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Finally, pay special attention to section 4 of ORS 811.100: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.100

The offense described in this section, violating the basic speed rule, is a Class B traffic violation if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed that is not reasonable and prudent under the circumstances described in subsection (1) of this section even though the speed is lower than the appropriate speed specified in ORS 811.105 (Speeds that are evidence of basic rule violation) as prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule. [1983 c.338 §563; 1987 c.887 §9; 1989 c.592 §4; 1991 c.728 §5; 1999 c.1051 §229; 2003 c.819 §5]

Those conditions in section 1? Section 1:

A person commits the offense of violating the basic speed rule if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following:

Traffic, surface and width of the highway, the hazard at intersection, weather, visibility, any other conditions then existing.

So, again I ask, WHY hasn’t the driver been cited for violating the basic speed la?

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

I’ll do my best to answer your question. From the perspective of a law enforcement officer, which I am not, although I do enforce compliance in my line of work.

Imagine officers and judges and DAs who see a broad spectrum of noncompliance to ORS in their daily work. Enforcement isn’t terribly black and white, so when compliance folks observe a situation such as this, which is much less egregious than, say, that speed racer who killed someone on (Barbur?) recently, they tend to go lighter on folks who are less reckless.

If we apply the Basic Speed Rule evenly as you might seek to, we would cite anyone who collides with anything, especially if it is foggy or icy etc. If we wait and only invoke this Basic Speed Rule when someone is hurt, how is that fair? That isn’t how the regular speed laws are enforced, or most other laws.

Part of the duty of a law enforcement officer is to gauge just how egregious an infraction is, and whether it will stick in court. This is political sometimes… or based on broad assumptions in the community where the enforcement is applied, but that is just part of how the sausage gets made sometimes. I don’t know how we can fix that, and if you have a proposal, i am all ears!

I’m hope I haven’t minimized the death of Bret Lewis. I imagine there is a better forum for this discussion, but here I go. This is a tragedy, and the LEO was just about as callous as I’d expect a Beaverton cop to be… but I don’t see a miscarriage of justice here, for the reasons I’ve laid put above.

Opus the Poet
Guest

Actually that is exactly what should be happening, if you hit something that didn’t jump out in front of you (like hitting a cyclist from behind) then there is a clear violation of the Basic Speed Law. If citations were issued for all such violations, we might start seeing people SLOW DOWN when conditions are not perfect.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Those conditions in section 1? Section 1:

A person commits the offense of violating the basic speed rule if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following:

Traffic, surface and width of the highway, the hazard at intersection, weather, visibility, any other conditions then existing.

So, again I ask, WHY hasn’t the driver been cited for violating the basic speed la? John Lascurettes

Because…the responding officer and resulting police investigation apparently found the driver met all of those conditions. But what about ‘…hazard at intersection…’? That roughly describes Bret Lewis on his bike, estimated to have been stopped on the right main travel lane in the intersection of TV Highway and Tuallaway Ave.

The driver sees him, but not in time to completely avoid colliding with him. Why doesn’t he see the cyclist sooner? Driver’s not intoxicated…says he wasn’t on a cell phone or other such distraction. He’s not driving so fast that his car goes out of control. The cops determine that his driving is consistent with the basic rule for conditions of a rainy windstorm that was in effect at the time of the collision.

Road users are responsible for seeing on the road, hazards that are visible. If the hazard for some reason isn’t visible, yet the hazard turns out to be a person; should the public, through law enforcement and the courts, be citing road users for violating the Basic Rule for use of the road, when a not visible hazard in the form of a person is hit and injured or killed by another road user’s car colliding with them?

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Let me put it this way (and it’s fitting for this time of year). In Minneapolis at this time of the year, potholes appear that can literally tear the wheel off your car (I’ve never seen so many cars with a front wheel torn off before coming here) and you can’t see them until it’s too late (if you have to hit it, hit it head on and not at any sort of an angle). Thing is, it’s not reasonable for everybody to drive around at 10mph in case a pothole that you can’t see until you’re on it happens to have appeared. You have to take the reasonable approach that the city will fill the potholes (where there is one, there are many) in and drive like normal. Same thing with this driver. He drives with the reasonable approach that people are not going to stop in front of his car, especially when they’re not in a position to be visible.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Let me put it this way, I’m so glad you don’t run things in my town because your haughty tone and contempt for those who don’t skeddadle in the face of automobility is hard to listen to. Regrettably, the Beaverton Police seem to take a view of unmotorized bipeds similar to yours, though they thankfully leave off the derisive commentary.

RoadShare
Guest
RoadShare

Question for you: how many flat tires have you encountered since you’ve been riding the streets? How many of those flats occurred because you ran over a nail, glass or other sharp object or some other aberration in the road? By your definition, those are the times that you yourself were traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions.

John Lascurettes
Guest

How many flat tires have I had? On my bike?

Zero. Over 6,000 of commuting on a bike and not a single blowout. Flats, yes – cased by slow leaks. Never a blowout or quick flat.

How many blowouts on a car? One. And I was traveling on a dirt lot (slowly) where a scrap of metal punctured the tire and came out the sidewall.

RoadShare
Guest
RoadShare

So John,

By your own definition, you were traveling too fast, or not paying enough attention (or both) to avoid the scrap of metal.

My point, in the crudest way possible: shit happens. Even in circumstances where people are operating their vehicle with the best of intentions things go wrong. Obviously I’ve referenced an extreme example, but the thought was based on your comments. We can call for heads to roll all we want — the anger and frustration is totally understandable. However, I feel that those here who are pointing out ways for others to try to avoid similar incidents are reacting in a far more productive manner for the immediate future. Obviously we should all be held responsible for our actions. In Bret’s case, the motorist would appear to be getting off without as much as a slap on the wrist at this point, with the exception that he is going to have to live with this for the rest of his life. However, Bret was also involved by making the choice to be out there riding under those conditions. He paid the ultimate price for his decision and possible errors in judgement.

Everyone has to take responsibility for their own ride. It is much easier to change our own habits than it is to expect others to change theirs. It’s not a matter of fairness as much as a matter of survival.

david
Guest
david

Sorry if i missed this but did it ever mention if the driver had his lights on or not? I see cars driving without their headlights on EVERY DAY in portland. It could explain why the cyclist crossed in such proximity to the car if he had not noticed it due to the headlamps being off.

??
Guest
??

If he were crossing the road and entered the roadway during a period of limited visibility and did so in such a way as to not allow an approaching vehicle to stop safely, he would be at fault.

I am not free and clear as a pedestrian to step into the roadway without taking into consideration traffic.

AC.
Guest
AC.

Yeah, thats basically true, if you limit responsibility to to Mr. lewis and the driver of the car that killed him. But, under the scenario proposed, Mr. Lewis was forced to play Frogger in real life. Thats the consequences of a car dominated landscape. Is that the kind of built environment we want?

3-speeder
Guest
3-speeder

Jonathan’s original post mentions that the “darkness, heavy winds and rain ‘are believed to be a factor ‘ ” in this incident.

If the automobile did not have its lights on, it seems possible under these conditions that a pedestrian might not have been able to see the vehicle until it was very close.

And in such a case, even if the ped crossed in such a manner as “to not allow an approaching vehicle to stop safely” (quoted from ??’s post), the auto driver would be at fault due to their failure to turn their lights on (as would be required under the conditions).

To paraphrase part of the defense of the driver, a pedestrian can hardly be expected to avoid stepping in front of a vehicle that they cannot see.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Now you’re just making things up. You don’t think the witnesses or police report would mention anything about the vehicle if something was out of the ordinary, such as having head lights turned off?

Pete
Guest
Pete

Possible he had his lights off, but doubtful. I think Buglas has the most logical theory of why Bret didn’t see the car: people tend to look away from driving winds and rain. And the car was a Prius? If a car approaches from upwind you have a chance of hearing its motor, even if you’re looking away (smaller chance). If that car’s motor is off you have no chance of hearing it.

Joe Rowe
Guest
Joe Rowe

Nice work Jonathan. Is the police report a public document? Who can file to get that published?

I would hope the next report from Beaverton leaves out the opinion, and lists only the facts that have been confirmed by people and evidence not in the car who ran down the cyclist.

If I get run down, please, do not trust the word of the driver or his/her passengers.

Jon Webb
Guest
Jon Webb

There’s a post from a witness to the accident in the other thread — someone saw him standing in the traffic lane for like 2 seconds before he was hit.
My own feeling is that he should have been more careful crossing the road, to put it crudely. Look both ways before crossing. Don’t linger.

Rol
Guest

If a vehicle was 2 seconds away from plowing into me, I’d stop too, and try to decide which direction to jump in.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

WTF? You could almost cross the whole street in 2 seconds. Why the hell would you stop and wait to get hit?

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

if visibility is limited the motorist should pull over or slow dramatically.

9watts
Guest
9watts

cyclist

That’s why I think his protests of “oh I’m just a blogger” don’t really hold weight. He has real influence with his readership, and has influence and access to PBOT as well. When he jumps to conclusions sans evidence he causes the public a disservice.

With all due respect. The Detective Sergeant’s salary is paid by us. We put gas in his tank and ink in his pen. Jonathan has to earn his living every day anew.
I don’t remember the Esplanade Bump issue that well, but in general find Jonathan very good about follow up, retraction if/when necessary, and learning from experience. I think their public roles may be very different, but their handling of information, commitment to the search for truth, balancing competing claims is but shouldn’t be.

Ross Williams
Guest

Why does this matter? Because if he was trying to cross and was killed then it is evidence that the highway is unsafe. By the bizarre rules of traffic engineers, that means it may “warrant” a traffic light, marked crossing, sign or other safety improvement.

JF
Guest
JF

Last I checked, only the police report has been released and the official investigation of the accident report has not been finished. Can someone please correct me if wrong.

So please keep in mind that everything here is WHAT IF.

Author of article, please put your disclaimer at the top as when i first read this, i thought it was information released by the investigation and not your own investigation.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I quickly scanned through the comments and it seems that some people here have the common sense not to get in front of moving traffic. Now only if this could be instilled on everybody.

I didn’t notice anybody point out this legal aspect though. Say he was crossing the road and the point of impact was somewhere in that box in figure 1. Is that area even a crosswalk? The legal definition say such and such feet from a line continuing the curb across the road or something similar. The figure has the box right in the middle of the intersection, where pedestrians are prohibited. Just another legality for you desktop lawyers to chew on.

random_rider
Guest
random_rider

After some thought I have come to the opinion that you are probably not a troll but, sadly, really are a callous and condesending individual. This is a bike-centric blog but hardly an echo chamber. Opinions differing from the majority are usually well received if the poster is polite (e.g. not calling others “desktop lawyers” who lack common sense).

You seem to be taking pleasure in an opinion that Bret deserved to be struck and killed. That attitude is not likely to make folks consider your point of view objectively. It is true that all of this is supposition. People are trying to make sense out of a terrible situation that cost a man his life. If there is a lesson that can be learned or reasonable actions that can be taken to lessen the chances of a similar collision in the future, we would like to find it.

What seems to have a lot of folks riled up is how quickly the police officer on scene made a determination when only a slight bit of digging by Jonathan showed that there was more information that may be relevant. It is disappointing that the officer, in his interview with Jonathan, seemed to be cavalier in his dismissal of any possibility that the driver could have any fault whatsoever in the collision.

Maybe Mr. Nguyen did nothing wrong. Maybe he was primarily at fault. None of us knows for sure and are simply speculating on possible scenarios to explain actions by a man that don’t make sense and led to a terrible outcome for him, his friends and loved ones and probably Mr. Nguyen as well. Your scenario of a reckless bicyclist is plausable. Your delivery sucks.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…What seems to have a lot of folks riled up is how quickly the police officer on scene made a determination when only a slight bit of digging by Jonathan showed that there was more information that may be relevant. …” random_rider

With all due respect, if the officer had knowledge of it, how might the subsequent info Maus’s learned change the outcome of the police officer’s evaluation of the situation as to whether or not a citation should be issued?

There’s still the fact of a person with a bike, rather than the protection of a motor vehicle… on the road on a very stormy, rainy night. A road that’s well known to be a very dangerous place for people not in a motor vehicle. If he’s trying to cross the road, he’s trying to do it without the protection of a signaled crosswalk. If he’s trying to ride with the road, reports are that he wasn’t in the bike lane, but in a main lane.

Suppose, after thinking about the controversy this collision has stirred up amongst cyclists reading here on bikeportland and elsewhere, Officer Schumway wakes up one morning and decides to issue a citation driver Nguyen after all…just to make absolutely sure he’s not inadvertently letting someone off the hook. What might you expect happens next when tbe chief looks at the case, or the judge, or whoever?

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

cyclist
That’s why I think his protests of “oh I’m just a blogger” don’t really hold weight. He has real influence with his readership, and has influence and access to PBOT as well. When he jumps to conclusions sans evidence he causes the public a disservice.

It is great to expect and hold our journalists, bloggers and other news sources to high standards.
I’ve always thought that the journalistic standard of excellence should be just out of reach: it makes the honest ones try harder and the lazy/dishonest ones give up to degrade in to fair and balanced demagouges.

What makes Jonathan Maus’ s innaccurate or unsubstantiated statement less important is the legal consequences it versus the legal consequences of what the responding officer committed to public record.

Nothing written here amounts to anything more than pissing in the wind and has no more effect than getting all of us riled up.

The responding officer’s statement, accurate or not, will be accepted as the truth by a court because the LAW considers him an expert witness. His credibility will not be called in to question like the memories of any witnesses on his record or off.

And JM’s blog posts and our rantings here count for no more than electrons in the wind unless action is taken to back it up.

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

Opus the Poet
Actually that is exactly what should be happening, if you hit something that didn’t jump out in front of you (like hitting a cyclist from behind) then there is a clear violation of the Basic Speed Law. If citations were issued for all such violations, we might start seeing people SLOW DOWN when conditions are not perfect.

It is fine for you to make an individual value judgement and say things ought to be that way, but that isn’t how things are right now. You have a minority opinion.

I was answering John’s question about why the Basic Speed Rule wasn’t enacted, not postulating what people ought to want from their justice system. If people really wanted this sort of rigid enforcement, there would be an outcry off of bikeportland.

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

Understanding how an collision actually happened is crucial to taking steps to improving safety. This incident highlights one of the more pragmatic realities about bicycle related motor vehicle collisions; too often the cyclists isn’t alive to tell his or her side of events.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Back in 1993, I was involved in a collision with a car in Ashland. I had been crossing a 5 lane road (w/a 35MPH speed limit, during early evening), in this case at a crosswalk. I had cars stopped on my left, I had a car stopped in the middle turn lane.
The car that struck my bike was in the far right hand lane. I saw it 2 ½ blocks away, and thought that I’d have enough time to make the crossing. More so, because I had all these cars stopped to allow me to cross. However, I was in the worst possible gear for going uphill from a dead stop, and I was going uphill.
When it became evident that the motorist wasn’t slowing, I turned left (away from him), and when I knew I was about to be hit, I jumped off the bike. I felt the bike being pulled out from my hands at the exact moment of the collision. I landed on my feet, the bike landed in a heap.
The motorist stopped, police were summoned. I had several witnesses who saw everything, and said so. The driver (an 80-something-year-old) admitted he didn’t see me, and offered to pay for the damages. The officer was satisfied that since I wasn’t hurt, no citation was necessary. I disagree with that, but didn’t know my rights at the time, and didn’t get the legal assistance I needed to press the issue (this is not the point of this report).
How does this apply to Bret’s situation?
IF Bret was crossing here, he may not have seen the car approaching, it may have been partially concealed by the hillock that was located on his right. Jonathan and I are uploading images that show this. He may have felt that he had enough time to cross. But, Mr. Nguyen did something that Bret didn’t expect… He sped up (just an idea, I don’t have the evidence to back this up). Bret would have naturally had an adrenaline rush, and taken a flight position, turning away from the car barreling down on him. At this point, his single speed may have stalled, certainly his forward motion would have approached zero. He didn’t get a chance to jump off his bike before he was struck.
This would explain the perception that he wasn’t moving, he was, but only just barely. This would explain why his taillight appeared only at the last moment before impact. This would explain why he was “traveling west on TV Hwy”.
I was there today with Lisa, his ex-girlfriend, and she knew he used that trail. Jonathan will be doing another article on all this tomorrow. I’ll leave the rest to him, as he’s the journalist (I never claim to be anything other than an activist, and a contributor (photography, ideas).

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

There’s lot’s of ‘could have’s to this collision. The story of your collision has some parallels to the one involving Bret Lewis, but the circumstances differ in numerous ways. One, for example, is that I notice you don’t mention in relating the details of the collision you were involved in, that there was a substantial storm going on, as there was the night of collision involving Nguyen and Lewis.

People are doing a lot of hypothesizing about Lewis’s route relative to TV Highway and Tuallaway, for which they have little proof. Meanwhile, the police report, which yet remains to made accessible to the public, is said to have witness accounts Officer Shumway relied on to determine Lewis’s travel activity on the roads. When the report is made public, I’m sure quite a few people will be taking a look to see.

“…But, Mr. Nguyen did something that Bret didn’t expect… He sped up (just an idea, I don’t have the evidence to back this up). …” K’Tesh

If Lewis used this short cut from the south side of TV, across the RR tracks and then the highway itself… . If he used the short cut with some regularity, which it seems he may have, wouldn’t he be familiar with the character of traffic on this road? Wouldn’t he be familiar with the fact that because of the 45mph speed limit sign posted some distance to the east, that cars travel up to 45mph on this section of TV Hwy, even on stormy, rainy nights? By what his friends have apparently related to Maus, it sounds like this was his neighborhood.

For a person not in a car, TV is a scary road to navigate. So is Canyon Rd in Central Beaverton, closer to where I live, as is also, Beav/Hillsdale Hwy. I don’t like the situation, but changing it is kind of like coming up against an indomitable force. In this situation, about the only reliable defense a vulnerable road user can draw from, is to make every effort to protect themselves for as many eventualities as possible.

esther c
Guest
esther c

good point. it is a defensive method when being hit from the side to turn away from the attack.though I”ve heard in actuality its better to try to turn towards the car and roll over the top. Don’t know if that’s true or not.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

For every violation of traffic law that is caught and let slide by police officers a driver knows that they can get away with so much more.

If the police have responded to an injury or fatality the least they could do is write up the ticket then dismiss it later in court for leniency.

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

Sounds like a waste of money and time to me. The least they can do is write a ticket they consider frivolous and drag this poor man who accidentally killed someone into court? That’s justice?

You realize that when cops go to court they have less time to do their regular jobs, right? So, writing a ticket they intend on having a judge dismiss looks bad for the cop, and wastes the court’s time. And who does all of this theater serve?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

And why do you think they don’t do that? I don’t know the official explanation as to why they don’t, but I have some ideas about why they don’t.

First of all, the officer on scene, is to some limited degree, a representative of the law. They’re not supposed to arbitrarily assign or dismiss fault, (which some people obviously believe Officer Shumway may have done in the Nguyen/Lewis collision.), but if I understand correctly, they do have a responsibility to make a general conclusion as to whether the incident they’re responding to warrants a citation.

I’m guessing part of the reason police officers are assigned that responsibility, is that the courts can’t handle the workload of having to decide whether and where fault lies in every incident that occurs. So the officer is left to initially sort that out at the scene.

O.k. …but this collision incident is more serious than usual, because one outcome of it, is that someone was killed. Officer Shumway is quoted in maus’s interview, that a citation would not stand the scrutiny of the judge, and would be dismissed.

Where’s that leave members of the public that believe the driver should have been issued a citation? In the same way that in some situations, citizens can make a ‘citizen’s arrest’, can citizens also issue a citation for a traffic violation? If they can, would people even be willing to take on the responsibility of following through with the obligations such and action would require?

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Here’s the photos I took today exploring the theory that Bret was crossing TV Hwy, and not riding WB on it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157625953505511/

DUII_Velo
Guest
DUII_Velo

50 MPH on TV Hwy is against the law right/wrong? Where is the 55 MPH sign on TV Hwy? I rarely trust Beaverton Police reports: when did you recently see a member of Beaverton’s finest on a bicycle?
I believe if you cream someone on TV Hwy in your car, I believe you are not paying maximum attention to the role of operating your vehicle under Oregon ORS’s. Not unlike driving while texting perhaps?
I re-package this death scenerio as follows, …forget the individual being on a bicycle, how about if the victim was in a car…let’s look at the facts…just the facts your Honor. 16:30 Friday your support is welcome.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I often saw Beaverton police officers on bicycles when I lived there. I was told they go through mandatory bike patrol training (by the guys at Performance on SW Hall who supply some of them).

deborah
Guest
deborah

Thank you so much for the continued investigation and follow up. Getting to the bottom of why it happened seems critical for avoiding another tragedy like this again. It makes perfect sense that he was crossing the street and not stopped in traffic as was originally reported.

esther c
Guest
esther c

thanks for the f/u

The idea that he was stopped in the middle of a traffic lane has always sounded very far fetched to me.

9watts
Guest
9watts

f/u?

Tacoma
Guest
Tacoma

follow up.

Opus the Poet
Guest

follow/up

Noel
Guest
Noel

Regarding a comment made above about the responsibility of a driver to “see”, there are times when driving or riding conditions make it very difficult to see.

On my morning bike commute, during absolute darkness in winter, I ride down a street with no sharrows but no sidewalks. There are often pedestrians walking on the roadway, some have dogs. I have a 450 lumen light. Even so, on more than one occasion, a pedestrian was visible but the dog and leash were not visible until I was in the abreast of them. Sometimes the pedestrian herself is barely visible.

Should I be riding at a walking pace to avoid hitting a person or dog that I cannot perceive in advance? What are the legal responsibilities of the biker and the pedestrian?

Opus the Poet
Guest

From the way you described what happens, you are at a speed where you can stop or avoid obstacles in the road, whether you do that by making sure you ride far enough into the street so that you can see a dog against the pavement or just ride so that if the dog darts in front of you you can stop. You don’t have to go at pedestrian speed to be able to see and avoid pedestrians, you just have t go at a speed that you can see and avoid pedestrians.

And for those of you wondering “see and avoid” was the buzz phrase when I started taking flight training as we didn’t have all the fancy electronics to warn us when another aircraft was getting too close. We had to rely on the old MkI eyeball to not run into each other. It worked for more than 99% of the interactions, the only problem was a pilot can’t look everywhere at once, and a condition known as “target fixation” where you spot one threat and stop looking for other ones.

Hot Rod
Guest
Hot Rod

Crossing, or standing still, or biking – doesn’t change the fact that YOU are primarily responsible to keep from being hit if you are on a street by making yourself VERY visible AND by not stopping in the lane of traffic. It’s basic common sense.

Per the above photo with the red box, the red box is NOT in a crosswalk. A crosswalk would extend from the corners of the intersection at Tualaway. The red box is out in the open part of the intersection. The crosswalk law would not apply and even if it did – even if it were marked – it would not matter – you do NOT stop in a traffic lane at night while biking or walking! YOU must take some responsibility for your own safety.

This new information may be correct but changes nothing substantially.

Hot Rod
Guest
Hot Rod

It does seem strange that someone would stop while in a traffic lane. Then there was the woman hit on Barbur in December – she too was crossing the street at night.

Some of these streets are w-i-d-e and it takes longer to cross than you think. That could be part of the problem in this case – if he was crossing as discussed he had to cross about 6 or 7 lanes! Maybe he just misjudged the distance, but I’ll bet he had crossed here before.

If the speed limit is 45, many will be doing 50 and some 55 or 60 – they can cover a lot of ground while you push a bike across 5 lanes.

Invest in lights/reflectors.

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

Hot Rod: She was walking her bike in the bike lane and there were no sidewalks. I don’t think she was attempting to cross.

http://bikeportland.org/2010/12/16/fatal-crash-on-sw-barbur-last-night-44593

esther c
Guest
esther c

That woman was not hit while crossing the road. She was walking in the bike lane. A drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and careened into her.