Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Multnomah County Judge involved in collision while riding on SW Terwilliger (Photos)

Posted by on August 25th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Scene of the collision (looking north on Terwilliger
at SW Condor).
(Photos: PPB)

Thursday morning at about 7:44, Multnomah County Judge Kathleen Dailey was riding her bike to work in the bike lane on SW Terwilliger Boulevard (map of collision location). As Dailey crossed SW Condor headed northbound, a person operating a motor vehicle pulled out in front of her and Daily hit the left front fender.

According to the Portland Police, Dailey was traveling at what she says was “a pretty good clip” of about 25 mph prior to the collision. Here’s what they say happened next:

“A Mazda CX-7 driven by Cynthia Ferrell was stopped on Condor, waiting to make a left turn on to Terwilliger Blvd. Ms. Ferrell did not see the bicyclist and pulled out when there was a break in traffic. Judge Dailey was unable to stop and collided with the Mazda, impacting the left-front fender and door.”


Ferrell (the driver) was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device (which comes with a $323 fine). Judge Dailey was transported to the hospital and sustained some serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Judging from the police account of the crash, and from reader emails, this seems to be a situation where the person in the car failed to properly estimate the velocity of the person riding the bike. Reader Barbara S. shared her thoughts:

“My guess is that the car driver under estimated the speed of the bicyclist going downhill and thought he/she could pull our in front of him. At least that’s my experience with this intersection on my daily commute to OHSU.”

Anyone else observe this phenomenon at SW Condor and Terwilliger? Should there be a “Watch for Bicyclists” sign at the intersection?

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Marcus Griffith August 26, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Anyone want to talk about that “dangerous cycling” argument?

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  • ben August 26, 2011 at 12:35 am

    “…and pulled out when there was a break in traffic.”

    more like “pulled out when she THOUGHT there was a break in traffic.” folks need to start looking for bikes specifically and acknowledging them as traffic. “not seeing someone” in a bike lane in broad daylight makes me wonder if they have the required skills to be on the road.

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    • Racer X August 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Traffic = cars

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  • Mark Hashizume August 26, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Me being cynical: I wonder if the driver would have gotten cited if the person she hit was not a judge?

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    • t.a. barnhart August 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

      yes. i got hit by a car making a left turn & did not let me clear the intersection (misjudged my speed, too). the driver got the same ticket. and her insurance company paid a pretty heft sum for my “serious but non-life threatening” injuries. our cops usually get this stuff right.

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    • q`Tzal August 26, 2011 at 9:24 am

      That’s. Not cynical, it’s pragmatic.

      Cynical is noting the PPD officer’s statement of a cyclist going at a “pretty good clip” and wondering aloud if the cyclist would have been ticketed for “too fast for conditions” if the cyclist was not a judge.

      It could easily be argued by the auto-enamoured that cyclists are so hard to see that they shouldn’t go around blind corners like that.

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      • Schrauf August 26, 2011 at 11:07 am

        It’s not a blind corner. 25 mph is not exceeding the speed limit. Stop blaming the victim unless you know enough facts that indicate the victim should be blamed.

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        • q`Tzal August 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

          Ah, too subtle perhaps.
          I was not blaming the victim.
          I am simply shining the dismal light of reality on the fact that police officers have been known to charge/ticket the cyclist in an auto vs bicycle collision EVEN IN situations were it is plainly clear that the auto driver is at fault.

          Also, I am not familiar enough with this area but can say that depending on the automobile you will need to pull further in to the road before being able to see around obstacles.

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      • middle of the road guy August 26, 2011 at 11:42 am

        You see persecution in everything.

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      • mabsf August 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

        Here my musings: Kind of weird that drivers complain about 25 mph as “too slow” for neighborhoods, yet when a bike comes towards them it’s too fast…
        Perhaps it gives that particular driver a better appreciation how fast 25 mph really are — too fast for her reaction time…

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    • Joe Rowe August 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Cars don’t try to pull out in front of a truck if their life is at stake. Put the judge in a truck and the judgment of car would have changed.

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      • wsbob August 29, 2011 at 10:35 am

        “…Put the judge in a truck and the judgment of car would have changed.” Joe Roe

        Visually as well as physically, trucks are bigger….much bigger…than bikes. Because they’re bigger, they’re easier to see than a person on a bike. This is the key reason most people would be more inclined to stop for a person driving a truck than they would for a person riding a bike. The judge said she didn’t see the person on the bike.

        It sounds as though you’re suggesting the doctor in her car saw the judge on her bike, but decided to drive on anyway, thinking she could make it, and even if not, what’s the difference, because she wouldn’t be hurt by a bike, being protected by her car as she was.

        Okay…I’ll grant you that some people probably do drive their cars with regard to people riding bikes, with the idea that it’s the person on the bike’s tough luck if the person riding isn’t able to stop for a motor vehicle pulling out in front if them. Truly though, I think the percentage of people driving their motor vehicles in such a way, out of all the people driving, is very, very small.

        If you the doc is one of them that did, the least you might do is provide at least a smidgen of information that backs up such an assumption, before making a broadside comment that she wasn’t much concerned about the person on the bike possibly piling into her.

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        • wsbob August 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

          Excuse me…corrections:

          “…The doc said she didn’t see the person on the bike. …”.


          “…If you think the doc is one of them that did…”

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        • El Biciclero August 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

          I think what Joe Rowe is suggesting is not that drivers will maliciously pull out in front of cyclists because they know that a weenie little bike won’t hurt them (well, some might), but rather that people are naturally tuned to look first for things that will hurt them, not things that they might hurt. This may be part of the reason why many drivers “don’t see” bikes; they don’t fit a pre-programmed threat profile and so don’t register on most drivers’ radar. I’ve had to train myself to watch for peds and cyclists when driving, and also to watch for peds and autos when riding. I am aware of (when riding) my own tendency to notice first and fixate on that which will kill me–to the possible exclusion of other things such as peds that might be in my path. It takes constant awareness and “self-remindering” to always see everything.

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          • wsbob August 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm

            Joe Rowe doesn’t bother to elaborate or clarify what, in his remark he was implying about his sense that people driving cars are less inclined to notice people approaching them on bikes, than they are people driving trucks. It sounded to me though, as if he was likely voicing the old, bitter and false refrain that people driving cars generally just don’t care one wit about what happens to people riding bikes in traffic.

            Sure, I can accept that for most people, the instinct for survival and actions that go along with achieving it take precedence over common watchfulness. Still I find it very difficult to believe that most people would not be highly motivated to apply the routine precautions necessary to avoid the predicament the person driving the motor vehicle in this collision is now in.

            Aside from the very distressing reality that someone was seriously hurt and could have been hurt far worse, there’s the hours of people’s time that have already been expended in resolving the consequences of the collision. Not just the people directly involved in the collision, but all the other people too…police officers, doctors, insurance investigators. And of course, money too. At the very least, traffic collisions are major hassles. People don’t want to be involved in them.

            That leaves comparable visibility as a significant reason people are likely not seeing people riding bikes equally as well as they’re seeing motor vehicles. From a visual standpoint, bikes can be far more difficult to detect than most cars. Bikes being generally harder to see than big, looming trucks, doesn’t absolve road users from responsibility for yielding right of way, to bikes when the situation calls for it, as this one did. The point though, about comparative visibility is an important one. People that ride bikes can improve their survival edge, if they take measures to increase their visibility to other road users.

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    • wsbob August 27, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Mark Hashizume
      Me being cynical: I wonder if the driver would have gotten cited if the person she hit was not a judge?
      Recommended 17

      I’d like to know more about how the driver of the car came to be cited for violating a traffic control device. That the person driving did get cited for this, suggests there was either an admission of doing so on their part, or witnesses besides that of the person on the bike involved in the collision, witnesses whose accounts of the collision enabled the officer to conclude a violation occurred.

      If it had been a ‘she said-she said’, no witnesses and no real evidence to contradict an account some people that drive would have given…that they stopped for the stop sign but the person on the bike was riding too fast…; that would have made it hard for the cop to issue a citation.

      Before hearing the reasons the citation actually came to be issued, jumping to conclusions that the person having received one in this collision, simply because the person riding the bike was a judge, isn’t beneficial to anyone.

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      • R. Sewell August 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        Common sense indicates why she was ticketed: If you are coming from a traffic-controlled street, entering a non-traffic controlled street, the only way you can get struck by another vehicle is by failure to obey the traffic control.

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  • Skid August 26, 2011 at 2:36 am

    “Ms. Ferrell did not see the bicyclist”

    Sounds like an admission of guilt. The charge should be driver negligence, and the penalty should be a hefty fine and a license suspension.

    That would get people to SEE cyclists.

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    • skinner city cyclist August 27, 2011 at 7:09 am

      $325 is not enough do make a difference in people’s driving. It has not affected behavior up to now. More suspensions for negligent driving.

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      • Kristen August 29, 2011 at 10:04 am

        It would make a difference in mine– that’s a lot of money.

        Lucky for me, I drive so I don’t have incidents and collisions.

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  • TonyH August 26, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I ride home that way every evening. I’ve had a few close calls at this intersection, usually when it’s dark. Generally, it’s a “right hook” situation, where a car turns right onto Condor. Having a helmet light allows me to catch motorists attention. I don’t go very fast here, but pick up the pace after passing SW Condor.

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    • Randall Sewell August 26, 2011 at 7:44 am

      Yep. I’ve almost had a few accident there myself, either from motorists completely ignoring the stop sign while turning right (most common) or motorists turning onto Condor from Terwiliger.

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      • Racer X August 26, 2011 at 10:39 am

        Readers note: please start using the word “crash” or “collision” NOT “accident”, unless we as a community wish to continue to drivers saying they are not responsible for the outcomes of such interactions, etc.

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    • sorebore August 26, 2011 at 10:46 am

      Tony H. is AWESOME!!! He is the first person to answer the question that was asked!! Thanks for your input. I have also have had /been aware of problems at this intersection.

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    • john August 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      “having a helmet light..”

      I would say you have been very-very lucky. Much much smarter and safer to put several lights at ~ same height as car headlights. That’s where people look.

      “A light up high, washes out into the sky.”

      yes Yehudi lights do work great. But I personally don’t want to be steathly on the bike.

      headlamps have their place on mtb trail.
      But please, for safety’s sake, don’t use them on the road and street.

      My hands are always on the brakes in those situations. One can bleed off a lot of speed before impact and save yourself serious injury. And I will will wobble the bike / myself to get attention. Remember movement is what catches attention.

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  • HoldenH August 26, 2011 at 6:20 am

    That Intersection is on my commute to the VA twice a day, and I use it often to get to other places north and east, as it is close to home. Northbound is a descent from US Veterans Hosp Rd at 4-5% so cyclists can have good speed. My commute makes the turn, also, but I do worry about right hooks and try to occupy the 12ft wide lane before making the turn to keep motor vehicles from creating a right hook situation. Awareness is our best defense from collisions.

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  • Paul Souders August 26, 2011 at 6:44 am

    I saw Dailey’s bike being loaded into a cruiser at about 8:15. I pass through this intersection most days on my inbound commute and it’s dangerous in exactly the way described here. I’ve never had a close call at this spot but I’ve seen a few.

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  • Spiffy August 26, 2011 at 6:55 am

    no need for a “Watch for Bicyclists” sign anywhere… no need to clutter the landscape with more useless signs… if so, then by that reasoning we’d need a whole lot of “Watch for Automobile” signs everywhere… and a lot of “Use Your Turn Signal” signs…

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  • Spiffy August 26, 2011 at 6:56 am

    also, the title is slightly off, the judge was not hit, the car was hit by the judge…

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    • C-Dawg August 26, 2011 at 10:39 am

      From Jack, further down in this thread:

      Jack August 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

      The original title might be misleading, but only based on a particular interpretation of who is the ‘hitter’ and who is the ‘hittee’. If you approach it from a geeky physics perspective, hitter and hittee are irrelevant, rather two objects can only hit each other. If we’re talking about something more practical like boxing, we can pretty easily define the hitter as the person who intended to hit the other person. But in a traffic collision, generally no one intended to make contact.

      In this specific incident, who’s to say that we shouldn’t attribute the role of ‘hitter’ to the person at fault? It’s standard practice in basketball.

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  • Dave Thomson August 26, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Wishing Judge Daily a full and speedy recovery. From the crumpled sheet metal that had to hurt.

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  • Suburban August 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

    “Failure to obey a traffic control device” is one of the of the citations that can be paid for in cash, or you can attend a lecture and slide show where you get to see a wall sized photo of the freshly killed and damaged bodies of Portlanders Meiyin Lui and her 8 year old son Jin, who were struck by the automobile of DUI Tera Stanlick after school on a cold and windy day in a crosswalk on Foster Ave.

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  • cycler August 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Ouch, hope she feels better soon. Maybe green paint in the bike lane across that intersection might remind people that there’s a bike lane?

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  • Scott Mizée August 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I also wish Judge Daily a full and speedy recovery. …and I hope Ms. Ferrell is doing well. Any kind of a crash on the road can be traumatic for all involved–no matter what their mode of transportation. Did Judge Daily have to go to the hospital?

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    • Randall Sewell August 26, 2011 at 7:46 am

      I believe so. I saw a PPD cruiser with what I think was her bike in it at the ER on my way to work yesterday.

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  • Carrie August 26, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I ride this route every day to and from work. I had a near miss at Condor Tuesday morning. The car was turning right, saw me too late and had to burn rubber to get out of my way. He was very apologetic which was nice. Most cars turning here only see cars, not bikes.

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  • Doug Smart August 26, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Some comments from the sidelines:
    1.) Hoping for a full and speedy recovery for Judge Daily.
    2.) According to Google Street View, there is a 25MPH speed limit sign about a quarter mile back up the road. This spot looks like a good place to take the lane and get some better visibility – a cyclist at speed wouldn’t be impeding traffic and thus wouldn’t be subject to the mandatory sidepath law.
    3.) The map link opened up to Coffeyville, KS. While it was entertaining to look for my cousin’s house there, you’ll want to click on the link on the left to find the intersection of the same name in Portland.

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    • Spiffy August 26, 2011 at 8:03 am

      I think the sidepath law applies whether you can keep up with traffic or not…

      it’s not about safety, it’s about putting us where other people want us…

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      • Doug Smart August 26, 2011 at 8:37 am

        @ Spiffy – you’re right.
        In a few minutes, someone more industrious than I am this morning will cite the appropriate ORS passage. For now all I have is the little shirt pocket card from Ray Thomas’ office.

        I didn’t get it quite right – my take-the-lane suggestion was based on speed but that doesn’t negate the mandatory sidepath law. However, you are allowed to leave the bike lane to avoid a hazard and I would contend that the combination of cyclist speed, location in a driver’s field of view, and a driver’s subjective judgement of cyclist speed would all combine to create a hazard. If I’m in a car and I see a bike blasting down the middle of the road, I’m probably going to perceive a greater speed than if I see them in the bike lane. There is a spot in my daily commute where I apply the “momentary hazard” thinking all the time. So far, so good.

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      • are August 26, 2011 at 10:13 am

        there should not be a striped lane on a 25 mph downhill, and/or a cyclist who chooses to go 25 mph should get out of the striped lane and into the travel lane. actually, 814.420 speaks in terms of a determination by the local road authority that the striped bike lane is safe for use at “reasonable rates of speed.” not that PBoT has actually made any determination with respect to particular facilities, but it is hard to imagine that they thought this one through very carefully.

        repeal the mandatory sidepath law.

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        • Todd Boulanger August 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

          To PBoT…perhaps this is an opportunity for a new bikelane striping treatment

          …a bike lane with a solid line on the traffic side and a dashed white line on the curb side…to remind cyclists traveling at posted speed (or with traffic speed) to leave the bike lane if they are able to keep up with traffic (and due to roadway conditions in a bike lane often being substandard – debris, pavement quality, road geometry, sight distance, etc.).

          Or PBoT could demo/ adopt a modified bike lane sign that communicates that the use of a bike lane along a portion of a roadway is ‘optional’ vs. ‘obligatory’. France (Paris) has such: round bike lane signs = ‘obligatory’ and square bike lane signs = ‘optional’. I found such additional information quite useful when i was cycling on streets for the first time.

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  • andrew August 26, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I’ve ridden Terwilliger every day for 5 years. It’s part of my commute from North Portland, and only that small stretch of Williams feels more dangerous. I’ve had several close calls. Speed bumps or some other traffic calming is badly needed.

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  • andy August 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

    The title of the story is misleading. The Judge was not hit while riding according to the second sentence in article.

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    • Jack August 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

      The original title might be misleading, but only based on a particular interpretation of who is the ‘hitter’ and who is the ‘hittee’. If you approach it from a geeky physics perspective, hitter and hittee are irrelevant, rather two objects can only hit each other. If we’re talking about something more practical like boxing, we can pretty easily define the hitter as the person who intended to hit the other person. But in a traffic collision, generally no one intended to make contact.

      In this specific incident, who’s to say that we shouldn’t attribute the role of ‘hitter’ to the person at fault? It’s standard practice in basketball.

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      • C-Dawg August 26, 2011 at 10:35 am

        Thank you Jack. Excellent way to put the pedantic people in their place.

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  • jeff August 26, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I hate that insection and take the lane and slow down whenever possible. I’ve seen so many cars run that stop sign (treat it like a yield) coming up Condon.

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  • Dave August 26, 2011 at 9:26 am

    NOT trying to blame Justice Daly, but wearing neon colors is a great strategy, a truly life-saving thing.
    As novelist Cintra Wilson has called them, “colors insulting to nature” are not just for pro racers trying to advertise their sponsors, they are for American commuters riding in traffic with underregulated, inattentive, distracted drivers. How’s about a Euskatil jersey, judge?

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    • oliver August 26, 2011 at 9:59 am

      No, because then you’ll get both the hip and the slow-cycling nerds in a tizz for being a ‘reject from the peloton’, not to mention the general rage lycra induces in the couch-bound, beer n cheetos brigade, and thus part of the(ir) problem.

      *Last Sunday, I had a shirtless (at 8am!), middle-age hesher with a pair of drumsticks in his pocket tell me how funny I looked, when I was waiting for my group on Broadway.

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  • El Biciclero August 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

    “My guess is that the car driver under estimated the speed of the bicyclist going downhill and thought he/she could pull our in front of him.”

    Anyone else observe this phenomenon at SW Condor and Terwilliger?

    I observe this phenomenon everywhere. Admittedly, it can be difficult to judge the speed of any given cyclist due to the vast array of “engine” options available for bikes (i.e., rider skill and strength level). Still, my rule of thumb is “if in doubt, wait it out”.

    I agree with the posters above who advise taking the lane here when traveling at a “good clip”–the speed limit–but maybe as a judge, Her Honor was trying to obey all the relevant laws to the letter, including mandatory deathtra…I mean, sidepath. Just one example of how bike-specific laws are not designed for cyclists, but for the convenience of motorists. When on a bike there are often two mutually exclusive choices: ride legally, or ride safely. I am not a lawyer, so I can advise riding safely.

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  • Fred August 26, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I ride through this intersection everyday. While I have been lucky, I have ridden through after two car/bike accidents here this year. I am usually going about 25 mph and I seem to get passed by cars regularly, even though the speed limit is 25. Employees at OHSU really seem to be in a hurry to get to work.

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    • jeff August 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

      how exactly do you know where some of these speeding drivers work?

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      • Fixedale August 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

        Most cars that pass you end up sitting and waiting in line to make the left up into the hospital. I would say 90 percent of the cars turn left into the VA, OHSU or the small neighborhood further up the hill. Very few go all the way down the hill.

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        • jeff August 26, 2011 at 11:45 am

          and how do you know they’re not patients?
          or residents who live above the hospital?

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          • Fixedale August 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

            I don’t know whether to be happy or afraid that OHSU has that many patients streaming in at 7 in the morning every day of the week. Or pouring out at 5:30. And the last time I road around Fairmont Boulevard there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of housing subdivisions up there, just a lot of people jogging in the center of the drive lane.

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          • Paul Souders August 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm

            OHSU employee parking tags

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          • Anton August 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

            OHSU and the VAMC each have distinctive parking tags in their rear windows.

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    • Todd Boulanger August 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

      They are in a hurry to get a good parking space. 😉

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  • Fixedale August 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I have ridden this route to work for about 15 years. The only way to solve the problem of cars pulling out in front of bicyclist here is to close Condor and not allow it to be a through street. I have had motorcycles, trucks, cars, even someone I work with (they live on Condor) pull out in front of me on the descent side. You can kind of see the cars approach the intersection by looking over the slope and down to Condor, this is actually easier in the winter when you can see the headlights. If I see a car approaching (coming up Condor) I assume it will pull out in front of me and I slow to a crawl. I do the same if there is a car waiting at the intersection. Considering how many cars I see now with front tinted windows (hiding cell phone use?) I don’t think any amount of bright clothing really grabs a driver’s attention. 700 lumen flasher works ok, sometimes.

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  • Tom C August 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

    First, best wishes to the judge for a speedy recovery. I cringe when i see the photo and think about the physics that applied.

    Like many others here, i have ridden this section of Terwilliger twice daily for years in my commute from NE PDX.

    It is a disaster waiting to happen again and again, for all the reasons stated. Right hooks from Terwilliger, aggressive and unexpected high-speed lefts from Terwilliger and and the right and left turns from SW Condor onto Terwilliger (whether they bothered to stop or not, they often don’t see the bikes or misjudge their speed).

    By the way, as a runner, i can also say that the pedestrians and runners on the Terwilliger path face similar dangers.

    Not sure what the solution is. Maybe make Condor one way, up-hill and only allow a right turn, perhaps with some additional signage alerting drivers to pedestrians and riders.

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    • Anton August 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      There already is such a sign at the intesection.

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      • TomC August 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

        Anton, above, is correct. There is already a HUGE pedestrian/cycle sign at the intersection. Looked going home last night. Had never noticed it as I was so ‘puckered’ up monitoring the car traffic.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

    To follow up on the roadway geometry issue…looking at Google Earth…the skewed approach to this intersection could be better (read safer…and with $$$$) with some creative striping and minor realignment (to 90 degrees). This work could also improve the visibility of the pedestrian crossing from the stairway.

    Perhaps for the short term…adding a FYG sign up hill to remind drivers turning into traffic to expect cyclists traveling faster (posted speed) that drivers expect.

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  • LoneHeckler August 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’ve been commuting this stretch for 20 years, and like others on this forum, I can attest to the danger of that intersection. It still makes me nervous when I approach it on the downhill due to right-hooks, southbound traffic turning left onto Condor, and folks turning either way onto Terwilliger. My strategy is to slow down — way down — on the approach.

    And that’s not to excuse drivers for illegal and unsafe acts; I’m as passionate as anyone about my right to the road (and go 25 mph on that stretch if I so desire) but it doesn’t matter how “right” I am if I’m lying in a hospital or morgue; IMHO it’s still my own responsibility to stay alive — and frankly I don’t trust anyone at that intersection. Perhaps signage or street redesigns would be helpful, but I’m still going slow through there.

    My thoughts and well-wishes to Judge Dailey. I saw her bike in the police cruiser and wondered what was up.

    On a side note, Cynthia Ferrell is a colleague and acquaintance of mine. She is extremely compassionate and conscientious and I’m sure quite devastated at what happened.

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  • Ted Buehler August 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Yes to Todd’s engineering solution proposal.

    Restripe the intersection so Condor makes a tight turn on the approach to Terwilliger. Put in a curb median and curbed road edges, and make each lane only 12′ wide.

    That would eliminate the ” motorists completely ignoring the stop sign while turning right [from Condor onto Terwilliger],” and the “aggressive and unexpected high-speed lefts from Terwilliger.”

    This would cost very little, and would force motorists to make dignified, slow-speed turns on and off Condor.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Ted Buehler August 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    For all of you daily riders — it sounds like this intersection is a perennial hazard. I imagine lots of bicyclists have been hit here that have not been high-profile public figures, and haven’t gotten the press that this crash has had.

    Here’s a suggestion for you — follow ODOT’s directive in the Oregon Bicyclist Manual “To make riding safer for you and other bicyclists, report unsafe road conditions to local authorities as soon as possible.”

    Make your reports to the City of Portland. Ask them for law enforcement and an intersection safety audit, and anything else you think would be helpful.

    If 25 of you call in or write in with the impassioned, articulate arguments you’re making on this forum, the problem will march up the city’s priority list. Right now, it’s probably not even on the list.

    Call 823-SAFE, or email safe@portlandoregon.gov Tell them if you see motorists running the stop sign, trying to right hook bicyclists, or trying to mow down bicyclists while turning left off Terwilliger.

    And if you have a cyclometer, peg yourself at 25 mph going down that hill, and if cars are passing you, ask for speed enforcement. The BTA has a radar gun you can borrow, too.

    Be the squeaky wheel.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Perry Hunter August 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Happens to me all the time where Multnomah Blvd. meets Garden Home at the Old Market Pub. Second only to the five-way intersection at Olsen and the BHH in pucker factor.

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  • danny August 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Following up on a comment above, I’m sure that the doctor who was at fault is a nice person and is appalled at what she did. This is simply great evidence of the fact that drivers often just don’t see cyclists (I suspect that there must be some research describing why humans’ brains often do not perceive object that enters our field of vision when we are not expecting to see that object in a given setting). This does not by any means make what the driver did OK. But what it means to those of us out there on our bikes (as I am every day) is that we have to work on ways to make sure that drivers see us — and assume that they don’t.

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    • LoneHeckler August 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      I think you just said — more succinctly and eloquently — what I was trying to say. Be seen! Be careful!

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    • wsbob August 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      “…This is simply great evidence of the fact that drivers often just don’t see cyclists…” danny

      People driving cars often don’t see other cars either. Comparatively speaking, it’s more difficult to see people on bikes, because people on bikes present a smaller profile than most cars and trucks, and even motorcycles, the latter of which are legally obliged to run front as well as rear running lights.

      This is exactly why it’s more and more common to see bikes with lights running front and back, during the day. On their own, people are opting to run flashing white front lights on their bikes. This is becoming an increasingly more practical and affordable option because of great improvements to light and battery design. A well known, national bicycle store has a good quality, bright, USB rechargeable front light discounted to about $60.

      Had Mitch Greenlick introduced a bill to the Oregon Legislature that required daytime running lights on bicycles used in traffic, instead of one having to do with bike trailer safety standards, it would have been much harder for people to dismiss such a bill outright, as they mostly did with the bike trailer safety bill.

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  • Barbara August 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I also commute on Terwilliger to OHSU daily. I don’t think that a sign warning about bikes would have helped. After all Terwilliger is a main bike way and as the driver is working at OHSU she should know that there is a lot of bike traffic. Green striping might be more useful to remind cars about bikes. Maybe the driver should just have to bike in traffic for a day to get an idea how bikes work and how traffic looks from a bicyclist’s perspective.
    Speed limit is 25 on Terwilliger, but most cars go at a speed of 35 mph. SW Condor is a little akward residential street, that unfortunately is used as a shortcut fromm Barbur to OHSU a lot, especially right now that Sam Jackson is closed.

    In general I’m really tired of having to second-guess car drivers all the time. I have seen in Germany how it can be different. Why? drivers and bikers are trained better to deal with each other. There are more bicyclists and pedestrians so that car drivers have to expect them when they turn. Most people own bikes and more people use their bike at least occasionally so that they know how it is to bike in traffic.

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    • wsbob August 26, 2011 at 10:55 pm

      “…Speed limit is 25 on Terwilliger, but most cars go at a speed of 35 mph. …” Barbara

      That’s 10mph over the speed limit, which easily translates to citations for 5mph over the posted speed limit. Camera vans or some other means of snapping identifying pics of people and their cars choosing not to stay reasonably within the speed limit may help to restore safety to Terwilliger.

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  • mefitz August 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    No “watch for bicyclists” signs. If you think that people don’t see other cars and bicyclists – they see even fewer signs.

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  • hank ferguson August 30, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I’ve been commuting to the V.A. for over a decade, this intersection is just as bad as everyone has made, out. I always slow down and if possible take the lane, and stay in it. After a few near misses I’ve learned my lesson. A few observation’s about this intersection, most driver do not signal until they are making the turn on to condor if at all giving cyclists no chance, drivers will speed up to beat the cyclist to the turn, cars coming south are sometimes hidden behind trucks and suv’s and you may not see them until the make a run for condor, and while the speed limit is 25 I’d say 90% are going 35 or faster, and I know this because I’m usually doing 30 to 35 myself and not using the bike lane, at least until those doing 40 or faster zoom up on me and that does happen frequently. All that being said, I think a speed bump at this location might help, while drivers ignore speed limits, they do seem to want to avoid flying over speed bumps, afraid to hurt thier precious cars.

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  • Tom M August 31, 2011 at 2:49 am

    I drive for my job, hence I ride as much as possible on my days off. I drive much more than the average person and have a few comments:

    1. Drivers are often inattentive and distracted, especially when commuting to work and/or on the phone. Expect this and do not trust them while riding a bike.

    2. Trust me, after driving vans all the time I know that distracted drivers can overlook even full sized tractor trailers. In this instance size really doesn’t matter.

    3. Swap between an older car from the early 90’s or earlier and then get in a modern car and you will notice how much bigger the blind spots are. It is really shocking. While the posts are 2 to 3 times larger for the safety of the passengers it makes it harder to see out. Having sat in a Mazda CX7 I can very much understand their being serious blind spots. The worst thing is there are much greater offenders out their like some of the Honda Insights. I will not drive another Honda Insight due to this very problem.

    4. People see bright colors and movement most. Flashing lights are key to safety. Steady lights are helpful, but flashing lights get much more attention.

    5. The suggestion of having this intersection at a more perpendicular angle is a very good one. It alleviates many of the blind spots I have mentioned. I can easily understand the car mentioned here having blind spots given the merge angle.

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