Infamous blind curve on I-5 Bridge poses safety hazard

Where the I-5 bridge path ends.
(Photos: Marcus Griffith)

Despite the City of Vancouver’s efforts to redesign an adjacent parking lot in 2009, the blind corner at the northeast end of the I-5 Bridge continues to have frequent collisions between people bicycling and illegally parked cars.

The parking lot where the bridge path comes out belongs to Clark County Public Utilities, and it’s infamous for regular bridge riders.

“Once I came around the curve, there was no where to go because cars were in the parking lot blocking the bike path.”
— Chiara Caballero

33-year old Vancouver resident Chiara Caballero was heading north on the east side of the I-5 Bridge at a “decent speed of 10 or 15 miles per hour” when she started to make the blind turn at the north end of the bridge. When she made the turn, her path was blocked by a car.

“Once I came around the curve, there was no where to go because cars were in the parking lot blocking the bike path,” said Caballero.

According to Caballero, she swerved to avoid the parked car and ended up wrecking, causing severe damage to her bike and receiving “strained ligaments and tore muscles.”

“It’s a nasty, blind curve and cyclists just take it too damn fast.”
— Bob West, Clark Public Utilities

Caballero isn’t the only recent collision at that that corner.

In April, 27-year old North Portland resident Michal Hoffman and three of his friends headed to North Clark County for distance training when they took the blind curve while going “under race pace, but still pretty fast,” according to Hoffman.

“I was leading and as I turned off the bridge, there was a family with a small child getting out of a car right by the bridge… I braked and hit their car… [and] everyone else slammed into me,” He said.

According to Hoffman, he broke his arm but thankful the child wasn’t hurt.

This view (bridge path is in upper right near telephone pole) shows the parking lot and the inadequate “No Parking” signage.

Based on his years of watching bike traffic on the bridge from his nearby office window, Clark Public Utilities employee Bob West thinks he can sum up the problem.

“It’s a nasty, blind curve and cyclists just take it too damn fast,” he said during an interview at his office. West said he would like to see “slow down” signs or even a traffic mirror so that pedestrians can see cyclists coming down the bridge.

As if by cue, a group of people wearing matching white and black spandex came flying around the corner on their bikes, almost hitting a man about to step on to the bridge path.

City of Vancouver Senior Planner Jennifer Campos said the city is aware of the safety problems caused by improperly parked vehicles in the adjacent parking low and is taking steps to mitigate the hazards.

“We restriped the parking lot to create parallel parking stalls and to better delineate the parking area through there as a part of a grant back in 2009. We will be installing sharrows through there this year as well to further increase the visibility of cyclists,” she said.

Campos also added she will talk with the Vancouver police about “added enforcement” for illegally parked cars.

Part of the problem, according to several cyclists, is that a “small, impossible to see” sign is the only sign that identifies the pavement by the corner as a no parking zone.

It’s not clear at this time if the city will increase no-parking signage when sharrows are installed.

And even if they do, all the signage in the world won’t prevent every act of illegal parking and it won’t change the fact that blind curves must be taken with extreme caution — especially if you are riding fast.

UPDATE, 3:17pm: Reader Gabriel M. just sent in this awesome video of riding across the bridge. We spliced it to just show you the curve portion…

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noah
noah
11 years ago

I’d suggest it won’t be much safer until it’s also a no stopping zone.

Paul in the 'couve
Paul in the 'couve
11 years ago

I ride this frequently and strangely enough I’ve never really given much thought to this danger. I do as a rule keep blind corners in mind while riding and adjust my speed accordingly. Also with the narrow path, and the telephone pole right in the middle, there are other hazards should make a sensible cyclist slow down. It is a basic rule of the road, as well as common sense that you can’t ride fast if you can’t see where you need to go – both for cars and bicycles.

Although I agree that keeping the path clear and making the no parking zone more apparent is necessary, I don’t have much sympathy for cyclist who try to take the corner high speed and crash – it’s part of the sport in a sense. I do however feel badly for pedestrians who get hit or frightened by kamakazee cyclists who think the whole path is a racetrack.

Another example of where riders need to be sensible about blind corners is heading south on the I-205 at the south end of the Glen Jackson where there is a blind corner on a narrow bike path. Have there been accidents there? Every time I had north there on a nice day I almost expect to get in a collision with a south bound cyclist cutting the corner at high speed. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened to me yet.

Lazlo
Lazlo
11 years ago

+1
Granted, cars should not be stopped or parked there, but that corner should be taken slowly. Riding “under race pace, but still pretty fast,” is reckless at that spot, imho.

lou
lou
11 years ago

I agree with Paul especially regarding the blind corner at the bottom of the ramp on the south end of the Glen Jackson bridge. I, too, expect to be creamed each time I make the turn.

As to the north end of the I-5 bridge it seems to me that a simple bike path type striping on the pavement along the sidewalk curb would solve the inappropriate vehicle parking problem. As to the “under race pace” issue, there is really no way to avoid attributing that incident to a case of operator error.

Lou in the ‘couve

ayla
ayla
11 years ago

I hate this corner too. Headed north or south I always yell a warning “rider up” to alert anyone who can hear me over the car noise.

John Russell (jr98664)
11 years ago

When I lived in Vancouver (and when I cycle back there), I never really had a problem with this corner. The sidewalk on the bridge is narrow enough that I don’t want to be going over 15–20 mph in the first place. I would imagine that some ‘No Stopping’ stenciling and striping on the parking lot could help things a bit. I couldn’t imagine that this would require too much paint. A slightly more expensive improvement might be to pave that small area of dirt to the west of the sidewalk coming off of the bridge. I’ve accidentally hit it in the middle of a dark night, and it can be quite the surprise if you’re not expecting the pavement to end.

Also worth noting is that in Clark County, 911 handles non-emergency calls to the police as well. Just tell them it’s a non-emergency as to not hold up anyone else, and then ask for an officer to come and deal with the illegally parked car. I can tell you from experience that it works.

Now if only they could more that jersey barrier a little to the left so that I could ride straight onto the ramp to SR 14 eastbound. On I-82 near the Tri-cities, WSDOT has actually installed a bicycle only freeway entrance from the Umatilla Bridge bike path, not to mention the bicycle on- and off-ramps on SR 14 at Ellsworth Road. WSDOT has a pretty good record of bicycle-friendly freeways, but sadly this is not one of those cases.

velowocky
velowocky
11 years ago

I hereby request that the term ‘spandex’ be stripped from use on any online forum and replaced with ‘lycra’.

JAT in Seattle
JAT in Seattle
11 years ago
Reply to  velowocky

It’s funny because “Spandex” does set my anti-cycling-troll detectors a-quivver, but if the intertubes are correct Lycra is a DuPont trademark while Spandex is a generic desciptor of a type of fabric.

We could be persnickety and insist on “technical fabrics”

Jennifer K
Jennifer K
11 years ago

Not helping the problem is the blind curve is at the end of the “hill” on the bridge. Even if you are trying to be mindful of your speed, its easy to go a bit faster than you should.

Gabriel Amadeus
11 years ago

And what was the man stepping onto the bridge wearing? A helmet?

Greg
Greg
11 years ago

Rule of thumb for all vehicles, cars and bikes alike, is that you travel at a speed such that you can stop in half the distance you can see in any given situation.

No, I don’t always follow that rule. But, if something happens and I’m going too fast to stop, then I have to bear some of the responsibility.

That being said, it shouldn’t be too difficult to put a stop to accidental parking in that location.

woogie
woogie
11 years ago
Reply to  Greg

It’s actually the law in Oregon, called the “Basic Rule”.

Good enough for the streets it should be good enough for bike paths.

“The basic rule states you must drive at a speed that is reasonable and cautious for existing conditions. The basic rule applies on all streets and highways at all times.

To obey the basic rule, you need to think about your speed in relation to other traffic (including pedestrians and bicycles), the surface and width of the road, hazards at intersections, weather, visibility, and any other conditions that could affect safety. Use posted speed signs to help you determine what is a reasonable and prudent speed for present conditions.

If you drive at a speed that is unsafe for existing conditions in any area, at any time, even if you are driving slower than the speed limit, you are violating the basic rule. The basic rule does not allow you to drive over the speed limit.”

F
F
11 years ago

I can never get up that kind of speed because of all the migratory can people crossing the bridge on the wrong side.

That plus the fear of falling into the water….

Ok wait, what about that whole bridge is not dangerous?

Jennifer K
Jennifer K
11 years ago
Reply to  F

Pedestrians, cyclists and walkers, can legally go both ways on both sides of the bridge. The only right-of-way rule is that bikes yield to people walking.

Paul in the 'couve
Paul in the 'couve
11 years ago

F
Ok wait, what about that whole bridge is not dangerous?

+ Yes – and the crossing at Jantzen Beach is much more of a Safety concern for me than this corner.

JE
JE
11 years ago

if your speed is so high that you can’t avoid a stationary object you might be going a little too fast

Chris I
Chris I
11 years ago
Reply to  JE

+1

twilliam
twilliam
11 years ago
Reply to  JE

Not only this, but it sure seems like this corner is no surprise to most folks. I mean, if you ya know it’s there, and ya know that it’s coming… problem?

Paul Hanrahan
Paul Hanrahan
11 years ago

speed bumps for bikes? 🙂

Spiffy
11 years ago

the title of this article is WAY off… it should be “people on bicycles not watching where they’re going pose safety hazard”… I’m kind of ashamed for Marcus right now…

come on people, if you can’t see where you’re going (BLIND corner, hello!) then don’t go there… you have nobody to blame but yourselves… not the illegally parked cars, or the pedestrians…

this is a simple concept…

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
11 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Agreed about collisions under the existing circumstances but sure looks to me as though improving those conditions is a no-brainer. Besides the remedies already mentioned, how about painting the curb yellow in the no-parking zone? Striping or repaving could route bikes west of the wooden pole where there are better sight lines.

What agency is responsible for that path?

Kristen
Kristen
11 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

+1, Spiffy!!

You can’t blame other people for your lack of foresight– in this case, literally.

BL
BL
11 years ago

I think if someone posted a sign “Blind Corner” it might help cyclist avoid this issue. I’ve been through this turn countless times and I never have encountered a parked car; however, I can envision people parking their cars there for whatever reason (e.g. broken down). Also I’d never just plow through this turn (or any blind corner) without caution in the first place (potential for people, other cyclists, cars and animals, etc). That’s just me. Perhaps this is why my pace is low.

Tim
Tim
11 years ago

One of the many things I have learned from cycling is the importance of decision site distance. If your site distance is less than it takes you to stop you are going too fast. I learned this when I was 18 and taking a corner at 40 only to find a car in front of me going 20. Over 30 years later I still have the scars, but otherwise a good lesson. Too bad motor vehicle drivers don’t get this lesson. I couldn’t stop in time is an admission of exceeding a safe and prudent speed.
However, parking in a travel lane (bike or otherwise) is dangerous and discourteous, but technically I think the path ends at this location and you are in a privately owned parking lot, with no parking by agreement.

beck
beck
11 years ago

there are a lot of good points made by readers here. cars not paying attention. bikers not paying attention. its the usual battle. restriping the parking lot and sharrows are nice but i think a warning sign and/or a slow sign on the bridge wouldn’t hurt. not everyone pays attention to signs but at least it would be something. i honestly think if you’re hauling butt down the bridge you’re a fool. its narrow and if you catch a bar you’re going to be a human ping pong ball.

Mike
Mike
11 years ago

Rhetorical question:
If it were automobiles (aka “death machines”) coming around that corner so fast they were unable to avoid hitting a cyclist or pedestrian would it be the blind corner posing the hazard? Or would readers say the driver was going too fast for the conditions?

canuck
canuck
11 years ago
Reply to  Mike

It would be a violation of the Oregon statute called the basic rule. Driving for conditions, regardless of what the speed limit is for the area.

Barrel around a blind corner and hit a stationary object, you’re at fault.

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
11 years ago
Reply to  canuck

Well, it would be if it were in Oregon. Instead, it’s a violation of RCW 46.61.400, Washington’s “basic rule.”

@ Rootbeer, downthread, many sidewalks have telephone poles in them.

Mike
Mike
11 years ago
Reply to  Mike

So if you are on a bicycle moving too quickly to avoid a stationary object or a pedestrian coming from the other direction, it is a problem with the infrastructure (as implied by the article title).
If that bicycle is replaced with an automobile, then it becomes the fault of the driver.

middle of the road guy
middle of the road guy
11 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike, that is the usual line of thought with most people on here.

Rob
11 years ago

It might be nice if someone just hooked a curved mirror on that poll one day. Probably doesn’t have to be big, and I don’t think they cost much.

rootbeerguy
rootbeerguy
11 years ago

Its not ok to have a pole in the middle of road. Why is it allowed to be in the middle of the path???

Dave Thomson
Dave Thomson
11 years ago

My biggest fear at this corner is not peds or cars but a cyclist coming the other way; I slow to a walking pace and can avoid parked (or parking) cars and peds, but if a cyclist comes around that corner going the other way at “10-15 MPH” or ““under race pace, but still pretty fast”, I am still going to get creamed. Another reason it really should be one-way for bikes, but in the meantime no one should be going faster than 2-4MPH (walking pace) around a corner with those sight lines.

Tim
Tim
11 years ago

Riding in Italy, we noticed that mirrors were common features on corners – more common that arrows. So, we would say mirror to communicate an upcomming tight corner, and still do.

Maybe we should have a few poles in the middle of the road. That would teach us to be ready to stop. One way roads with two way traffic are the norm for much of the world.

Atbman
Atbman
11 years ago

JAT in Seattle
It’s funny because “Spandex” does set my anti-cycling-troll detectors a-quivver, but if the intertubes are correct Lycra is a DuPont trademark while Spandex is a generic desciptor of a type of fabric.
We could be persnickety and insist on “technical fabrics”

If lycra replaces spandex, then you’ll see a surge in the use of “lycra louts” by the anti cyclist brigade as UK usage is copied

Refunk
11 years ago

People keep writing “path” or “bike path” in reference to what is actually a nearly hundred year-old sidewalk. Northbound is the original span of the 1917 Interstate Bridge; I think it was Todd B. who once measured both bridge sidewalks and determined that the southbound – newer – one was a few inches wider in several spots, but they’re both just plain narrow.

Jennifer K above is correct about right-of-way: neither ODOT or WSDOT have any restrictions regarding direction of travel on either side of the bridge.

Not that the can-collectors would probably care one way or the other if there were directional restrictions. However, I’ve never had one of those guys NOT pull into the girders to allow a bike to pass.

rant: I HAVE had racer-boys stop & arrogantly gripe about getting by even after I had courteously pulled off into the girders on a fully-loaded tourer long before they were near (useful mirrors). A few came close to having to fish their unobtanium bikes out of the Columbia, so unwisely rude were they to a stranger but in every instance they quit spouting their entitlement just in time as I waited patiently for them to shut up and move on.

There is NO sight-line to follow around the northbound end by the old bridge power plant building entrance. This isn’t rocket science and that’s not a purpose-built Multi-Use Path. Speeding on it is like flying around a corner on the sidewalk in downtown Portland. It’s a frickin’ sidewalk. Quit bitchin’ and show some maturity.

/rant

captainkarma
captainkarma
11 years ago
Reply to  Refunk

Totally realistic perspective on the issue, Refunk. But I’m afraid you’re a little more polite than me, as far as scorchers “needing” to get by. First come, first served. Not a race track.

Dabby
Dabby
11 years ago
Reply to  Refunk

It is rude to ride the Interstate bridge in any other manner than directionally, South on the west, North on the East.

It is true most people move over and giev way if there are two passing, but if one of them was going the proper and suggested direction, it would not even come up. Cans or no cans.
By the way, pulling a trailer across that bridge is one of the scariest things I have ever done.

And I have been in some scary situations.

Aneurin
11 years ago

The I-5 crossing is a woefully inadequate bicycle/pedestrian facility.

“Normal” people who are new to bicycle commuting are not going to brave the sheer terror of a path that is too damn narrow and that exits off into a parking lot strewn with gravel.

But hey, let’s spend another $100 million on design for a replacement bridge that won’t be done in my commuting lifetime.

TforTodd
TforTodd
11 years ago

I ride this frmequently, but am I the only one that rides on the LEFT side of the pole and into the parking lot where I have a clear line of sight? Trying to imagine why anyone would do otherwise.

Refunk
11 years ago
Reply to  TforTodd

I also frmequently ride on the left side of the pole, but there have been nights when a 90 deg turn east along the sidewalk in front of the building was necessary to pass cars parked right up against the fence. It ain’t the Clark PUD folks at that hour, it’s the revelers across the street at the restaurants.

The lonely sign reads, NO PARKING ANY TIME… maybe a little towing enforcement at all hours with notice given to those riverside businesses would solve some of this.

Parking Enforcement, City of Vancouver
Daytime, Mon-Fri (360) 619-1284
Evenings & Weekends 911

Lester
Lester
11 years ago
Reply to  TforTodd

I ALWAYS take the left side of the pole. Following the concrete to the right would be crazy, IMO.

I’ve never even had a near collision there even though I’ve been guilty of overcooking it a bit.

My infrastructure suggestion would be to stripe a lane to the left of the pole. Place a couple of painted “SLOW” signs on the bridge sidewalk so that northbound traffic can read them.

And a sign on the pole facing the parking lot notifying southbound peds about to enter the bridge to watch for northbound traffic about to exit the bridge.

Finally, outlaw wrong way cycle travel on the bridge sidewalks.

Gabriel M
Gabriel M
11 years ago

So I’ve read every single message and I remembered that I have some really good footage over the I-5 bridge so I decided to upload it to youtube and share it.

Before anyone starts calling me that I am crazy and a reckless driver, I do take the blame for going too fast while approaching the blind corner, but I have to admit that I was testing my brand new Scott Speedster S60, my bad. I have to say that I decided to continue to the left of the telephone pole wich makes a lot of sense since you have a more wide view of what is going but I guess too that at the speed I approached that corner there is no way you can continue following the sidewalk.

TforTodd
I ride this frmequently, but am I the only one that rides on the LEFT side of the pole and into the parking lot where I have a clear line of sight? Trying to imagine why anyone would do otherwise.

In the middle of the video while the jogger is coming my way I say “Thanks” to him to not make me stop in the steepest part of the climbing. If you want to go directly to the blind corner jump to minute 2:50.

Marcus Griffith if you would like to embed the video in the body of the post I don’t have a problem with that.

Link to the video: http://youtu.be/MAAiahtyXE0
Note that the lens of the camera is a wide angle one (170º) and is kind of deceiving in the perspective.

Let the haters begin haha 🙂

Maks
Maks
11 years ago
Reply to  Gabriel M

+1

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
11 years ago

The City should contact the PUD to relocate the pole at the PUD’s expense for purposes of traffic safety. (This is a common task in other cities.) And contact WSDOT about moving the highway fence pole(s) back too.

A temporary safety measure would be:
– add reflectors/ white paint to the wood pole
– add a second no parking sign on the west side (this is typically how such zones are marked – at each end)
– paint in a hashed no parking/ no standing bulb out zone at the bridge head

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
11 years ago

The video gives a pretty good feel on what it feels like to cross the I-5 Bridge by act.

J_R
J_R
11 years ago

I ride this route regularly and I’ve never encountered a problem. I agree with all those who think one should moderate one’s speed when encountering such areas.
I find it disheartening that Jennifer K. explains that it’s OK to ride and walk in both directions on both sidewalks. I don’t see any reason why cyclists, in particular, don’t follow the right side rule: southbound on the west sidewalk and northbound on the east sidewalk. There’s less than half a foot difference in clearance and it certainly eliminates a substantial number of conflicts if riders follow the aforementioned rule.
By the way, from what I’ve seen of the drawings and illustrations, the CRC bridge will absolutely solve all of these problems. I know some consider it to be a disaster, but I’m looking forward to a new, modern, safe facility, even if it also allows more autos on the upper deck. I await the flames.

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
11 years ago
Reply to  J_R

The “Ride with the Flow of Traffic Rule” applies roadways and even a few bike paths that have unidirectional traffic for bikes. However, no such rule exists on the I-5 Bridge. The City of Vancouver attempted to get one-way signs for bikes but ODOT killed the project.

Jennifer K is correct: the ONLY right-of-way rule is for cyclists MUST yield to foot traffic, regardless of direction. Of course, ride with flow of traffic and courtesy yields to bikes are encouraged (see link), but the law is the law.
http://blotter.vanvoice.com/2011/04/tips-to-safely-cycling-across-the-i-5-bridge.html

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago

Never mind the law does expect you to ride with the flow of traffic. The motor vehicle lanes act as a median for the bicycle lanes. Unless you’re going to argue that motorists on the I 205 bridge can arbitrarily pick a direction because they’re not on the central roadway (which, on that bridge, cyclists have the central roadway).

mo
mo
11 years ago
Reply to  J_R

I don’t think it’s wrong at all to look forward to adequate facilities. As a cyclist, I think the current bridge is woefully inadequate.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  J_R

I do like the separation between directions the existing facility has…but two bike lanes in each direction would be better than one of substandard width each way. God knows we’ve all been stuck behind Grandpa out for a cruise, or have been riding something particularly large and heavy and going slow holding people up that we’d rather let pass…

Dabby
11 years ago

Crossing this bridge sucks.
This is agreed by most all.

With that said, this corner is really a non issue.
I have been crossing this bridge for a long time, and, while I seem to remember this corner being different in the past, it has never been a problem to me.
I also approach it, as I approach everything while riding, expecting for someone to come around the corner, or for a car to be parked there.
Because this is bound to happen right?

Wrong.

But people are bound to ride around without paying proper attention.

shirtsoff
shirtsoff
11 years ago

Could they install a wide-corner mirror on that utility pole so as to increase the chance pedestrians, cars (illegally parked or otherwise), and cyclists may be seen by northbound travelers? I’ve seen these mirrors on tricky corners elsewhere in Portland. They’re the same kind you see in corner stores so that it’s easier to see down aisles. I have no idea if a Bureau of Transportation installs them or if they’re private improvements. Whatever the case, it could help at the corner of the Clark Public Utilities building.

Dabby
11 years ago

What would really help is if the People who run Joe’s Crab Shack and Hussong’s, not to mention the Vancouver police, would stop people from overflow parking in the private lot.
Not only is it overflow, but seems to be the new convenient place to park your Truck, boat and trailer sideways while drinking at the bars….

Proper, large no parking signs and enforcement, along with cyclists paying attention when exiting and entering the bridge, is the only change needed here.

Roger in Vancouver
Roger in Vancouver
11 years ago

I rode thru there last night and there were at least 6 cars illegally parked there. We called and reported it to the VPD. They were double parked in some instances.

Red Five
Red Five
11 years ago

I don’t know if you all on the “Entitlement Express” can hear this, but use some common sense and slow down at blind corners. DUH.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  Red Five

People don’t expect blind corners on a freeway. I certainly don’t. And I’ve ridden freeway cycleways in four states…the north Interstate Bridge landing is the only spot with this problem. It’s clearly a design problem far more than a driver expectation problem.

Lester
Lester
11 years ago

Here are my infrastructure ideas. I like the idea of an egress from the bridge sidewalk to the SR-14 onramp also but didn’t illustrate it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesterofpuppets/5797520565/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesterofpuppets/5798075524/

Jenny
Jenny
11 years ago

Attempts to make the bridge “one way” for cyclists have failed. Remember the last attempt?
http://bikeportland.org/2009/09/30/vancouver-looks-to-improve-i-5-bridge-crossing-for-bikes-24106
You can thank ODOT for killing one way signs on the bridge.
It’s a bridge to Vancouver, but ODOT is the one dragging its feet to make the bridge safer for cyclists.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

It’s because the proposed signs didn’t meet spec. That said, I do recall seeing standard-compliant signage indicating that you can’t go south on the north span in Vancouver (and I believe it’s the signage you see the backs of in the video when he rounds the blind curve).

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

You recollection is likely in error. The only sigage on the bridge pertaining to traffic on the shared path is for people on bikes to yield to people on foot.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago

Just hit the car, it’s softer than the ground…they knew what they were signing up for when they parked in the middle of traffic.

Dabby
Dabby
11 years ago

Also,
To Micheal mentioned in the article:

“Under race pace but still pretty fast..”
And riding close enough on the I- 5 bridge that your pals slammed into you?
And car illegally parked or not, you had to swerve out of the way so you didn’t slam into a CHILD?

I am sorry but if that is how you are riding in this spot you are:

1. An idiot.
2. Rude as hell
3. Reckless
4. Dumb enough to admit you fly through this spot on a very narrow bridge crossing.

I am sure your recklessness will teach you many many more lessons than a broken arm.

Sorry to be so blunt.
But it is needed it appears.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  Dabby

Really? The only person who needs to think about the child’s safety is the child and their parents. The world isn’t responsible for their wellbeing. Especially if they’re playing IN A FREEWAY RAMP.

Caleb
Caleb
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

It’s a SIDEWALK that turns into a SHARED PATH. Not even close to being a “FREEWAY RAMP.”

I’ve had problems at the turn when going slower than walking speed because its such a sharp turn and the building blocks the view for people coming both ways.

As the guy’s video shows, the turn is at the end of a long hill that contributes to people going faster than they should. Even trying to stay slow, its easy to drift to 5 m.p.h., which is still too fast for the turn.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  Caleb

It’s the bicycle lanes to a freeway. People are being negligent and stupid if they’re not expecting high speed traffic to come out of it.

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

Mr. Johnson, the improve surface path in question has been long identified as a sidewalk and a non-road shared path for foot and bike traffic. If it was, as you inaccurately claim, a “freeway ramp,” all non-motorized traffic would be prohibited.

Again, the only right of way rule in effect on the bridge is bike traffic yields to foot traffic. The bridge is a mere 3,5000 feet long, surely slowing down for safety’s sake will not cause an unreasonable delay.

Most bike traffic on the bridge is very cautious of both the bridge and other path-users.

Heater
Heater
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

REALLY? So cars driving 100 mph on the road don;’t have to worry about children crossing the street? People driving drunk don’t have to worry about the children they may hit?

Road users have an obligation to careful around children on or near the road, even if you think they child shouldn’t be there, doesn’t mean you can disregard their safety.

Jonathan & Marcus: the “blind curve” has two blind spots. The first is as you enter the turn (the video shows it at 3:01) and as you exit the turn (Marcus photographed).

I think some renegade warning signs are in order. It wouldn’t be the first time someone put into unauthorized signage along the I-5 path, now would it Marcus? 😉

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  Heater

Since when is anyone other than parents responsible in any way whatsoever for children? If the rest of us wanted to be responsible for kids, we’d work in a day care or have our own. “For the children” is an argument of people whose idea cannot be intelligently defended.

Paul in the 'couve
Paul in the 'couve
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson
Since when is anyone other than parents responsible in any way whatsoever for children?

You are confusing two different senses of being responsible. Parents are indeed responsible for the safety of their children in a positive or active sense. But everyone is ‘responsible’ in a passive sense for not endangering other people. This is especially true regarding the more vulnerable. So as a cyclist on a shared facility you have a passive responsibility to not endanger a pedestrian by riding out of control or too fast too stop. As an adult you have the responsibility to not negligently endanger children. Since it is reasonable to expect a child might be on the interstate bridge cyclists are responsible to ride in a manner that will allow them to avoid injuring children walking on the sidewalk

For the children” is an argument of people whose idea cannot be intelligently defended.

I agree that one may use “for the children” unintelligently to support a bad idea but it does not follow that all such arguments are flawed.

Really it has little to do with children. It is a shared facility, and legally and from common sense all pedestrians and especially children have a right to expect faster more dangerous cyclists to not run into them.

Paul in the 'couve
Paul in the 'couve
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

-1

esther c
esther c
11 years ago

I’m surprised by all the negative comments about riding over the I-5 bridge. I love riding over it. The Columbia River gives me goose bumps, just the idea of it. Sharing the bridge with all the people enjoying the walk or ride is a pleasure. I love the way people pop in and out of from between the girders to let people pass buy.

Sure, you can’t hurry but why does everyone always have to be in a hurry. We get angry when drivers drive like bats out of hell. Its a public sidewalk and bike path, not a raceway.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago

Marcus Griffith
Mr. Johnson, the improve surface path in question has been long identified as a sidewalk and a non-road shared path for foot and bike traffic. If it was, as you inaccurately claim, a “freeway ramp,” all non-motorized traffic would be prohibited.

You know that’s not true in most states, right? Unless there’s a sign to that effect at the ramps, it’s open to cyclists, including Oregon and Washington. Thanks for playing, though.

Most bike traffic on the bridge is very cautious of both the bridge and other path-users.

We’re not even talking about other freeway users here, we’re talking about random folks blocking the road on a relatively high speed, high volume route in a bad spot. The pedestrians are fine (though for everyone’s safety should cross the bridge facing traffic since it’s easier for them to duck into the bridge superstructure than it is for everyone else to stop and weave).

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

Again, Mr. Johnson, the corner is not on a “road.” The ad nauseum approach to re-define the sidewalk/shared path as a road is a curious aspect of your communications on this subject.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago

Vehicles travel on highways. Bicycles are vehicles. This isn’t a peculiarity to the way I speak, these are not only the common definitions of these words, but the way Oregon defines them as well. Consider a dictionary.

Clark County Cyclist
Clark County Cyclist
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Johnson

What does Oregon law have to do with a turn in Washington? Paul Johnson’s brow beating of cycling entitlement to race on sidewalks is the exactly the attitude that turns people off from bike project.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago

Because, despite the idea that Vancouver is “NOT PORtLnad!!11!!1!” like y’all like to scream and shout, the two states are at legal parity on transportation matters.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
11 years ago

That, and I’m pretty sure in Vanouver, anything that doesn’t promote riding driver-only in a motorized car, toll-free, without offloading the cost to Oregonians, is a 100% nonstarter in Clark County if Clark County is allowed to have any input at all. Since Oregon is paying for it, I don’t think we should even worry about what Vancouver thinks and just toll the bridge anyway.

That said, if you honestly think that infrastructure works best when it reflects how people actually use it is what is going to cause burnout on the idea, then you woefully misunderstand your neighbors on your side of the river.

Clark County Cyclist
Clark County Cyclist
11 years ago

That turn is difficult at any speed. Just this morning I could of hit someone and I was going like 2 or 3 mph and watching for people. The west side of the bridge has a much nicer ramp.