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Former NFL, UO star Joey Harrington hit while bicycling on SE Foster

Posted by on August 1st, 2011 at 9:41 am

SE Foster Road near 88th.

Last night, 33-year old former NFL and University of Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was hit and injured while riding his bike on SE Foster Road.

Portland Police say Harrington was riding westbound near SE 88th when he was struck from behind by 26-year old Derek Johnston, who was driving a small SUV. Harrington suffered non life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

The police cited Johnston for following too close.

SE Foster about one mile east of this crash (at SE 108th). Even with bike lanes, the street is dominated by motor vehicles.

Foster has no bike lanes at this location and the street is notorious for traffic crashes. Back in November, Portland Mayor Sam Adams and representatives from ODOT launched a “High Crash Corridor” traffic safety campaign just one mile east of where this crash occurred. At the press conference for that event, Adams said, “This street functions in many ways like a freeway, but it’s not.”

Unfortunately, for many people, major arterials like this continue to be treated like freeways and they continue to pile up victims. It will take much more than banners and underfunded “safety” campaigns to change that.

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Joe C
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Joe C

+1 “It will take much more than banners and underfunded ‘safety’ campaigns to change that.”

Mike Quigley
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Mike Quigley

Why wasn’t he riding on the sidewalk?

Justin
Guest

That’s my neck of the woods. Foster Road, as designed, is a gem — wide enough for patios, sidewalks, streetcar, bike lanes and cars. As currently configured, however, it only really serves cars. Making it serve all users will slow auto traffic, boost pedestrians and help the great businesses who are struggling. I could live with one lane of auto traffic for the entire diagonal portion of Foster.

Nick V
Guest

It’s a shame that Foster is so messy and dangerous when cyclists come off the 205 bike path and head west. I usually switch over to Woodstock at the crosswalk around 87th or else I go a few blocks north and weave my way back west.

Glad that Harrison is okay and Johnston owned up to his error but, yeah, Foster is pretty bad and a “safety campaign” (I thought the mayor didn’t have time to campaign.) won’t do any good.

Jon
Guest
Jon

This part of Foster is what is called an “auto-infested traffic-sewer”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Maybe SE Foster would be a great first test of ODOT’s new focus and commitment to active transportation. ODOT Director Garrett recently said he considers them a “mobility agency.” With Harrington’s public profile, and ODOT’s stated new direction, this could be a pivotal point for SE Foster and urban arterials in general.

Can’t wait to hear a statement from Harrington. Hopefully he says something about the lack of adequate bike access on Foster.

efudd
Guest
efudd

License all bicycles and the riders , req a safe rider test, req high viz clothing in traffic ( the reclined bikes are imposible to see in traffic) and add bike safety to auto drivers test to increase awarness , use the fees to improve problem areas , not for bike garages that get almost no users and cost too much

Another Dan
Guest
Another Dan

“police cited Johnston for following too close”
Well, yes, 0″ is too close, but is “following too close” the correct charge? What if he had hit a pedestrian? Certainly that would not be a case of following too close. Why not reckless driving, for instance.

Cora Potter
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Cora Potter

I want to chime in and let everyone know that thanks to a Metro MTIP grant and PDC, a new streetscape will be happening on this section of Foster and the adjoining section of the couplet on Woodstock (87th through 94th). It’s currently in the design stage and should break ground next year.

But – this chunk of money ends at 87th. So – to make sure that all of Foster gets the love it needs, be sure to support the current funding request for Federal Flexible Funds.

http://bikeportland.org/2011/05/16/pbot-reveals-candidate-projects-for-federal-flexible-funds-53065

I also want to clarify on the couplet removal study. The decision to retain the couplet was not based on the freeway interchanges. The reason why the couplet is more advantageous is that you can have narrower street crossings with one way streets. If we had converted to two-way, the area between curb bulb outs would have been further apart to accommodate turn movements for freight.

The LTCURAC, who was advising on the study and the streetscape project felt that shorter crossings and narrower streets provided more pedestrian friendliness and traffic calming.

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

I do believe this is the first news event for a bike related “accident” in which whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet or not goes unmentioned.

I waited for it… “Harrington was wearing a helmet.”

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

Wow! So I guess all I need to do is be a U of O star quarterback and spend a little time in the NFL if I want a motorist to get ticketed while I am riding my bicycle.

I wish Joey a speedy recovery. And, wish one didn’t have to be a sports star in order for the motorist to get cited.

Joe Adamski
Guest
Joe Adamski

FWIW… Harold, about 5 blocks to the north parallels Foster and is much calmer, and feeds into Foster around 84th, avoiding much of this congestion, westbound. Not that its perfect.
I commuted this stretch for months before figuring out Harold. A bit of extra time, but it was worth it. BikeThere maps and other sources are invaluable in figuring out the safest routes. But you need to do this before you take off, unless you tote a map with you. Not blaming the victim, but I see this as an opportunity to get this message out.
And yes, Foster really needs some lovin!

Patti Bucher
Guest
Patti Bucher

Our son Nick was killed back in 2007 and today would have been his 29th birthday. These bike accidents are a constant reminder of his passing. Please be careful when riding and driving to prevent families from have to go through this. Here is to a speedy recovery for Joey.

Marc
Guest
Marc

Per Twitter: He suffered ‘Broken clavicle/ribs/punctured lung/scalp laceration’

http://bit.ly/rnPqXg

Sounds like he really was pretty lucky

Marc
Guest
Marc

He will also be spending a 2nd night in ICU

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

The O’s coverage explains more about the collision. That time of day was 8:24pm, and sun is cited as a factor in the collision. The O article offers quite a detailed description of how Harrington’s body was impacted in the collision.

http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2011/08/joey_harrington_expected_to_ma.html

Basically, it says he was flipped into the air and “…landed on the right side of his head and shoulder. …”. Nevertheless, still gets “…gashes sustained on the right side of his head …”, which are stapled together.

O story says he was wearing a helmet, to which Harrington’s dad is said to have given credit to the use of that equipment for possibly having saved his son’s life.

Harrington’s dad gave a press conference at OHSU.

No report of how fast the person driving the car was traveling when his car struck Harrington. Bad as it was, it kind of sounds as though this collision could have been far worse, with far more serious injury.

jim
Guest
jim

There was a story a week or 2 ago about how the city is spending a much bigger proportion of its money on the inner eastside and the outer east side is not getting their moneys worth. I would be real upset if I paid taxes and didn’t get my share. The good news is we will get a new mayor in a year and 1/2, things can only get better.

Chris
Guest

I worked my first day at Foster and 60th today. I biked down to A-Boy Hardware, and I thought, “Riding down Foster sucks!” What an awful road. If the city wants to improve the road, and the neighborhood, it should start with calming traffic by making it a two lane road, putting trees down the center, and throwing in a couple of wide bike lanes. This corridor has some potential. Feel better Joey Harrington!

lyle
Guest
lyle

That is a really terrible area of Foster, and the city should be ashamed of themselves if they think it’s a viable bike corridor. You can be building up tons of speed coming down from 122nd… in the bike lane, tons of visibility and buffer. But then before you know it, you’re thrown into this crazy narrow speed trap, with absolutely no space for bikes, completely crappy surface paving (at least as of two months ago), and just generally a set up for something like this to happen. I was about where he was and was thinking to myself the entire time that I could easily envision getting hit from behind or sideswiped. I couldn’t make it past 90th before I bailed north.

Never again.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

Another reason to wear polarized sunglasses to block glare –they’re a lifesaver on a bike and in a car.

jim werner
Guest
jim werner

efudd
License all bicycles and the riders , req a safe rider test, req high viz clothing in traffic ( the reclined bikes are imposible to see in traffic) and add bike safety to auto drivers test to increase awarness , use the fees to improve problem areas , not for bike garages that get almost no users and cost too much

i’m all for a safe rider test. i’m amazed that no one has been hurt where the springwater crosses powell loop/pleasant view. there are stop signs on the springwater on both sides but cyclists seem to think that since a crosswalk is painted there they don’t have to stop. if it were not for really gracious motorists there, half the cyclists in portland would have already been wiped out. i am a cyclist and a laydowner, bentrider, and have very little problem with motorists. i know the rules and i abide by them. by looking ahead, to the side and using my rearview mirror i’m a motorist’s best friend. i try to allow motorists to get by me in areas of no bike lanes and for the most part they appreciate it. mirrors make a difference. i am no namby pamby rider cruising at less than 10 miles per our i get out and ride between 15 and 20 miles per hour. i also get on my fellow riders for their transgressions. in addition i keep motorists aware of my position on the road and take no guff from them either. i take my piece of the road and motorists learn quick that they are not going to force me off the road. this may sound as an attack on motorists; far from it. motorists usually don’t mind cyclists on the road as long as they, by their body language, maintain a straight line down the road. now if we can just convince motorists to look to their left before entering the flow of traffic or making a left hand turn life will be good for all of us. i’d even appreciate motorists making left hand turns at intersections look for cyclists passing through the intersection.

as for cyclists using sidewalks, unless you are under 9 years of age or on 82nd ave ride on the street; i’m also a walker.

mh
Guest
mh

Anyone planning on recruiting Harrington as a spokesperson for cycling infrastructure improvements?