“No honking, no alert, just drove by and soaked us all.”
— Caroline Dao
Last night just after 10:30, a group of people were headed home from the Timbers game, riding up North Williams Avenue near Knott Street (just north of Russell). According to Caroline Dao, who was in the group, a City of Portland street cleaning truck was also headed northbound. As it approached, Dao says, it “soaked us all.”
“No honking, no alert,” Dao recalled via email to BikePortland, “it just drove by and soaked us.”
According to one of the riders in the group, the street cleaner doused the group with a high-pressure spray. No one was hurt in the incident, but there “a lot of angry folks,” Dao says.
Halley Weaver was also in the group. “We heard several riders shouting profanities behind us,” she recalls, “and looked back just in time to be soaked by the street cleaner.” Weaver says her friend, Adam George sped ahead to stop the driver and get the license plate number. Here’s how Weaver describes what happened next:
“Adam rode ahead and stopped the truck (which aggressively lurched towards him several times) until he turned off the water. Then Adam came back to the side of the road and the driver turned back on the water, soaking even more cyclists. Adam once again halted the truck until the driver got out and shut off the bike lane side nozzle.”
George left a complaint about the issue on the City of Portland’s 24-hour street maintenance hotline. Portland Mayor Sam Adams is also aware of the incident. One of the victims contacted Adams about it via Twitter, asking him, “Are we debris to be washed to the side?”
“I am very sorry,” the Mayor replied.
PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck says, “We are investigating the reported incident. We take all reports of safety concerns regarding our trucks and operators very seriously.”