Woman riding a bicycle rear-ends Mayor Adams in his Prius

Mayor Adams’ Prius at the scene of the collision.
Photo: Beth Slovic/The Oregonian


[*See statement about the collision from Mayor Adams’ office below.]

The Oregonian reported this afternoon that Portland Mayor Sam Adams was involved in a traffic collision that involved a woman on a bicycle.

According to The Oregonian, Adams was driving his City-issued Prius when he stopped to avoid someone walking in the the intersection of SW 4th and Columbia just one block from City Hall:

The bicyclist, Tasia Bernie, says the mayor “came to a really quick stop” at the intersection of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street. The mayor was making a left turn but stopped to avoid a pedestrian, Bernie says. She then crashed into the back of his Prius and fell to the pavement.

At just after 3:00 today, the Mayor’s Communication Director Amy Ruiz sent out a statement about the collision, which I’ve posted in its entirety below:

Mayor Sam Adams’ account of this afternoon’s bicycle‐car collision at SW Columbia and SW 4th

This afternoon, shortly before 1 pm, Mayor Sam Adams was driving his city‐issued Prius to an event at Lincoln High School, accompanied by his Public Safety and Peacekeeping Director Antoinette Edwards, when his vehicle was rear‐ended by a woman riding a bicycle.

Mayor Adams was driving eastbound on SW Columbia, and intended to turn left onto SW 4th; He had a green light. He stopped for a female pedestrian who was jogging across 4th Avenue, westbound. While stopped and waiting for the pedestrian to finish crossing, the Mayor heard and felt something bump into the back right side of his vehicle. He turned on his hazard lights, and got out of his vehicle.

The Mayor found a female and her bicycle on the ground behind his vehicle; she had collided with the back of the Mayor’s vehicle while also traveling eastbound on SW Columbia. He helped the woman to the sidewalk, while another man, also riding a bicycle, stopped and moved the woman’s bicycle to the sidewalk. The Mayor asked the female cyclist if she was injured or needed medical attention. She declined medical attention. She and the Mayor exchanged contact information, and the mayor also handed out his card to the female pedestrian and the man on a bike, and asked them to contact our office with their contact information.

The Mayor has given his account, and the other parties’ contact info, to the City Attorney, who has in turn provided it to the City’s Risk Management department for follow up. The Risk Management department will contact all parties involved as part of a routine investigation of any collision involving a publicly‐owned vehicle.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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ralph
ralph
12 years ago

No citation for following too close?

craig
craig
12 years ago
Reply to  ralph

Only when the police are called to the scene, and only if seems right based on their info at the time. No mention of police in this story. If either of them files an ODOT crash report, it could possibly result in a citation to the person on the bike, but not likely.

Rain Panther
Rain Panther
12 years ago

Ok, so I realize we don’t have all the details yet. But generally speaking, if a car stops abruptly while making a turn and you then crash into the back of that car… you’re doing it wrong. Really, I don’t care how sudden it is- you’ve got to expect these things.

Tym
Tym
12 years ago
Reply to  Rain Panther

my thoughts exactly. don’t know why the headline/article makes it sound like Adams could be at fault in any way.very poorly worded.

Chris I
Chris I
12 years ago
Reply to  Tym

Strategically worded by the Oregonian “journalist” to get a rise out of the readers.

Tym
Tym
12 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

definitely, just strange to me that Bike Portland would use the same wording to report it when its clearly just baiting people.

Mark Armstrong
Mark Armstrong
12 years ago

Cyclist Crashes into Back of Car Driven By Mayor. Accuracy in headlines has never been the Oregonians forte’, why would I think it would start now.

Mark (a responsible cyclist)

andy
andy
12 years ago

Tym+1. Shouldn’t it read: “Cyclist in collision with Mayor Adams”?

Tym
Tym
12 years ago
Reply to  andy

yeah I thought BikePortland was going to do some word-police stuff. This might be a good one.

jeff
jeff
12 years ago

Sorry to say, rear endings are pretty cut and dry. How come so many riders in this city can’t seem to find their brake levers?

Mark Armstrong
Mark Armstrong
12 years ago
Reply to  jeff

That’s because hipsters don’t have brakes on their “fixies”.

Mark Armstrong
Mark Armstrong
12 years ago
Reply to  Mark Armstrong

To be fair, I don’t know if that was her issue or not.

andrew
andrew
12 years ago
Reply to  jeff

How come so many riders in this city can’t seem to put brakes on their bikes?

Chris I
Chris I
12 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Probably the ones that removed them so they can look cool?

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago
Reply to  jeff

i also NEVER EVER follow too closely and I ALWAYS (cross my heart and hope to die) bike SAFELY!!1!!!

Dan
Dan
12 years ago

Despite voting for him, and despite his support (at least stated support) for bicycle infrastructure, I’m no fan of Mayor Adams. Still, it’s pretty hard to see how he’s at fault in this one…unlike when he T-boned that other car a year or so ago on Jantzen Beach.

If the cyclist couldn’t stop for the Prius, could she have stopped for the pedestrian?

Brad
Brad
12 years ago

OMG!!! Bikes vs. Cars just got even more serious!!!

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
12 years ago
Reply to  Brad

Bikes vs. Cars, the sequel: When bikes strike back (we still end up roadkill).

Alexis
Alexis
12 years ago

+1

Tony Columbo
Tony Columbo
12 years ago

Did Adams have his zipper up or down? Had he been drinking again?

Rain Panther
Rain Panther
12 years ago
Reply to  Tony Columbo

Ba dum bum.

Byron
Byron
12 years ago

Beth Slovic has already proven that she is more than willing to run over Adams herself in the press. And she needs to prove herself to the Oregonian. Keep an eye on more tabloid style reporting from Slovic as she attempts to solidify her beat.

Joe Rowe
Joe Rowe
12 years ago
Reply to  Byron

Slovic has won several recent awards, and did some of the best Journalism on Jefferson High. She makes Mr. Maus look like an Amateur. Do you think she would skip questions on the CRC in an interview with Adams? No.

Jonathan gives a lot of people free rides because he has a family to feed. I’m glad he is here. It is his business, but it is not journalism. It’s a blog. It’s a blog that leaves out key information on some hot topics.

Beth Slovic knows journalism, and it shows.

esther c
esther c
12 years ago

This news story will confuse the usual Oregonian commenters. They won’t know who to pin the blame on since they hate cyclists and Sam Adams with equal vigor.

Forseti
Forseti
12 years ago

You guys are pretty unimaginative with headline revisions. This one is clearly superior:

“Mayor Adams rear-ended while in Prius.”

ash
ash
12 years ago

Ha! Thank you Forseti. But yeah rear end collisions are pretty clear, sorry cyclist, doesn’t matter how quick it was.

Ethan
Ethan
12 years ago

“Women riding a bicycle”? Were they on a tandem?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

Please note that I’ve changed the headline of this story (and yes, fixed my typo for “Woman”) and I’ve added a statement about the collision from the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Sam Adams’ account of this afternoon’s bicycle‐car collision at SW Columbia and SW 4th

This afternoon, shortly before 1 pm, Mayor Sam Adams was driving his city‐issued Prius to an event at Lincoln High School, accompanied by his Public Safety and Peacekeeping Director Antoinette Edwards, when his vehicle was rear‐ended by a woman riding a bicycle.

Mayor Adams was driving eastbound on SW Columbia, and intended to turn left onto SW 4th; He had a green light. He stopped for a female pedestrian who was jogging across 4th Avenue, westbound. While stopped and waiting for the pedestrian to finish crossing, the Mayor heard and felt something bump into the back right side of his vehicle. He turned on his hazard lights, and got out of his vehicle.

The Mayor found a female and her bicycle on the ground behind his vehicle; she had collided with the back of the Mayor’s vehicle while also traveling eastbound on SW Columbia. He helped the woman to the sidewalk, while another man, also riding a bicycle, stopped and moved the woman’s bicycle to the sidewalk. The Mayor asked the female cyclist if she was injured or needed medical attention. She declined medical attention. She and the Mayor exchanged contact information, and the mayor also handed out his card to the female pedestrian and the man on a bike, and asked them to contact our office with their contact information.

The Mayor has given his account, and the other parties’ contact info, to the City Attorney, who has in turn provided it to the City’s Risk Management department for follow up. The Risk Management department will contact all parties involved as part of a routine investigation of any collision involving a publicly‐owned vehicle.

commuter
commuter
12 years ago

If he had his left blinker on then I say the cyclist was too close..if he didn’t then I can see how the cyclist was caught off guard although she is still at fault.

kww
kww
12 years ago

In east coast cities, this would be viewed as an assassination attempt, and bicyclists would be harassed in the coming months.

Tiffany
12 years ago

Totally not getting why her being a woman is at all interesting or relevant.

Chris I
Chris I
12 years ago
Reply to  Tiffany

They would have said “man” if the cyclist was male. I think you are being a bit hyper-sensitive.

Tiffany
12 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

I’d agree but uh, from Twitter:
Thanks to @MayorSamAdams communications chief @amyjruiz for using “woman riding a bicycle” in that statement instead of “bicyclist”. Bravo.

So apparently it’s better to gender the rider than not…. To what end, no effing idea.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Reply to  Tiffany

Tiffany,

I’m using that as a descriptive term. I don’t think “Person riding a bicycle” is as good of a headline. It’s purely a style consideration. Thanks.

Tiffany
12 years ago

And cyclist is somehow inappropriate?

are
are
12 years ago

well, this is where all this p.c. stuff about not simply saying “cyclist” just gets clunky

sockeye
sockeye
12 years ago
Reply to  Tiffany

Sure. A much better headline would be “A collision occurred between the mayor’s car and a carbon-based life form piloting some sort of transportation device” Details are too offensive apparently.

KJ
KJ
12 years ago
Reply to  Tiffany

The woman’s name is in the press release, it’s not an anonymous person. I am not sure what a better headline would be…. “Tasia Bernie rear ends Mayor Adam’s Prius with bicycle”?

john
john
12 years ago
Reply to  KJ

Car driver riding a bicycle re-ends bicyclist driving a car.

Bob_M
Bob_M
12 years ago

“Bicyclist riding a bicycle” would be better still. I am a bicyclist, but sometimes I walk, or drive.
The important question is, was she wearing a helmet?

Mark Armstrong
Mark Armstrong
12 years ago
Reply to  Bob_M

That is the important question for obvious reasons not the least of which is the strong correlation between helmet-less cyclists and irresponsible cycling which begs the question “which comes first?”

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago
Reply to  Mark Armstrong

i personally am more interested in the correlation between “cyclists who are overly concerned with how other cyclists ride” and constipation.

Mark Armstrong
Mark Armstrong
12 years ago
Reply to  spare_wheel

Overly or at all?

Jason
Jason
12 years ago
Reply to  Bob_M

The important question is: was he wearing steel toed boots? And does she have health insurance for her pets?
Those questions are about as relevant as what type of bonnet she was or wasn’t donning.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
12 years ago

Did the Prius receive ANY damage at all?

On the one hand we have a bike vs car collision – the bike loses.
On the other hand it was a Prius – it’s not like they are armored cars.

Mark
Mark
12 years ago

This happens every day in portland, move on people

A.K.
A.K.
12 years ago

Was the Mayor really driving from City Hall to Lincoln high? That’s not a very far distance… how about walking or taking the max?

Barney
Barney
12 years ago
Reply to  A.K.

If there’s one person in this city that I want to use a car (presumably the fastest way to get around), it’s the mayor.

J_R
J_R
12 years ago

Wait. There is no indication whether Adams, the woman on the bicycle who crashed, the man on the bicycle who helped, or the woman jogger crossing the street was wearing a HELMET. There might actually have been four people using the transportation system without HELMETS! Why hasn’t the PPB weighed in on this? Let’s get a complete picture of this entire catastrophy or is it only a disaster?

Curt Dewees
Curt Dewees
12 years ago

Word Police: The word “collision” implies that both vehicles were moving at the time of impact. In this case, however, the Mayor’s car had stopped and then the bicyclist rear-ended his car. While still a “crash,” this incident was not a “collision.”

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
12 years ago
Reply to  Curt Dewees

Word Police internal Affairs:
From merriam-webster.com
Definition of COLLISION
noun
1
: an act or instance of colliding : clash

Definition of COLLIDE
intransitive verb
1
: to come together with solid or direct impact (the car collided with a tree)

Your personal definition of collision might differ from the commonly accepted definition.

Racer X
Racer X
12 years ago

Or bicycling to Lincoln. 😉

Lazy Spinner
Lazy Spinner
12 years ago

I blame white liberal guilt, illegal immigrants, and public school teacher’s unions for this incident and for the grammatically and culturally insensitive manner in which it has been portrayed in the media! The only things that can stop this from happening again are mandatory orange safety vest laws, the constitutionally required reading of “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White plus lessening the tax burden on hard working American families!

A.K.
A.K.
12 years ago
Reply to  Lazy Spinner

Hah, gold!

Rol
Rol
12 years ago

From City Hall to Lincoln High is less than a mile. If the mayor needs a 3,000-pound behemoth to manage that distance, I think I can safely dismiss any conception I had of him as being a “cyclist” (a.k.a. “man on a bike”).

Bob R.
Bob R.
12 years ago
Reply to  Rol

Sure, you can if you want. But I’ll bet nobody who thinks Sam is some kind of car-hater is going to change their mind just because he was driving in this instance.

Maybe Sam’s just like a lot of us… Enjoys cycling, still uses a car much of the time.

Supporting and building cycling infrastructure does not require abandonment of driving. Nor does enthusiasm for automobiles require hatred of cyclists.

Can’t we all move along?

Adam
Adam
12 years ago

All of you people make me laugh. Thanks for a pleasant night read.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
12 years ago

Why is his driving a Prius relevent? If he was driving a Yaris or any other mundane car model would that have made the headline? Unless the implication is the comparative silence of a Prius (compared to non-hybrid cars) contributed to rider not stopping in time.

Curt Dewees
Curt Dewees
12 years ago

Note to Internal Affairs: I was going along with the World English Dictionary definition:

collision (kəˈlɪʒən)

— n
1. a violent impact of moving objects; crash

But I stand corrected. According to the definitions of pure physics, anytime a moving object touches another object, it can be called a “collision,” even if the other object isn’t moving. For example, a butterfly’s wing touching a concrete skyscraper would [technically] be a “collision.”

F
F
12 years ago

Am I the only one who finds this hysterically funny? This is funny on so many levels:
…woman rear ends the mayor, bicycle hits Prius…
I’m just sad I missed this episode of Portlandia…

James Mason
12 years ago

I’d be real curious to know whether this was a fixie with no brake. I’m totally against that fad. I myself rear ended a convertible with two Iranian engineers in it. Flopped into the back seat. They wanted to take me to the hospital, but I wasn’t injured in the slightest. My custom made Ritchey road bike, unfortunately, was tweaked. It’s called “violation of the basic rule.” You’re always supposed to follow at a safe distance, whether you’re in a car or on a bike. I hope the woman’s bike isn’t bent.

kittens
kittens
12 years ago

Historically, newspaper headlines have always been assembled with the purpose of sales.

One Less :(
One Less :(
12 years ago

This makes me laugh, sorry but it does. Cyclist rear ends a car. What were you doing that made you run into the car? Riding a fixie with no brakes? Talking on your phone or radio to home base? My guess, just not paying attention and following WAY too close like most cyclists do in downtown. When you fail to protect yourself by paying attention to what is around you, this IS what will happen. Put down the phone, don’t answer the walkie-talkie, and don’t tailgate cars. Wow, ground breaking thoughts!

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago
Reply to  One Less :(

glass houses and black pots.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

This event hits on so many of the Portland stereotypes.

Pro-bicycling mayor, accompanied by Public Safety and Peacekeeping Director, rear-ended by bicycle while driving an automobile, turning left, waiting for a pedestrian who was jogging.

Rebecca
Rebecca
12 years ago
Reply to  Greg

It was a Prius! Don’t forget to mention that it was an eco-conscious, earth-tone colored Prius!

This incident has written the script for an entire episode of Portlandia. Carrie and Fred, are you paying attention?

Joe Rowe
Joe Rowe
12 years ago
Reply to  Greg

There is a southpark TV episode about a “Smug” ( not smog) cloud over SF. It’s now exhausting us. ha ha.

Speedster
Speedster
12 years ago

Tasia is a personal trainer, and incredibly hot!!! She can rear end me anytime!

Rain Panther
Rain Panther
12 years ago

Jeez Leweez, can we give it a rest with the fixie bashing? The fact is, it doesn’t matter what kind of bike you’re riding- if you don’t exercise a certain basic level of caution, you’ll run into stuff. I don’t ride a fixed gear bike these days, but when I did I was perfectly able to avoid rear-ending mayoral Priuses.

Kristen
Kristen
12 years ago

Maybe he was driving the one mile to Lincoln because he had another appointment shortly after that one and would not have enough time to bike/walk/take public transportation there. Maybe it was a sufficient distance away from the appointment at Lincoln that it was more efficient to drive than to ride/walk.

Loving the comments here, though. Does it count as irony, or general Portlandia-ness?

Philistine
Philistine
12 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

Yes absolutely, what’s “best” for the proles is not required for our overlords.

jered
jered
12 years ago

Even worse is when you’re riding your bike and you crash into a parked car cause you’re checking someone/something out… Come on we’ve all done it or had the near miss… Yeah, if you’re following at a safe distance you can’t possibly crash into the vehicle in front of you.

Jay
Jay
12 years ago

There is definitely a good deal of speculation here in the comments. I find it funny that people are willing to jump to the conclusion that she was riding a fixie, even though there is no information to support that. In all likelihood, she had brakes and was following too close and/or not paying attention. When a car rear-ends another car, people don’t automatically assume that the only way that car could slow down is by throwing it into reverse.

That aside, I mostly wanted to comment that Lincoln High School is walking/biking distance from City Hall. I’m not trying to get too righteous with this statement, but I’m fairly certain that driving a car 1mile downtown is slower and more inconvenient that walking or biking. Thanks for listening.

Jay
Jay
12 years ago

Ooh. Ok can we talk about how Sam Adams follows Tasia Bernie on twitter?

was carless
was carless
12 years ago

Honestly, how do you run into a stopped car? I know there are a lot of sailors out, but get your brakes checked, please.

kenny heggem
12 years ago

Okay. And? I just don’t see this as a big deal. Woman accidently bumps into a city owned car that the Mayor was driving. He sees if she is okay, he gives his card and helps her up like a gentleman, everyone is fine… and?