TriMet bus operator makes abrupt stop to avoid bike rider – Updated

Last night a TriMet bus operator made an abrupt stop – causing some injuries to passengers – in order to avoid someone riding a bicycle in downtown Portland.

The man on the bike reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign.

I first heard about it on the Twitter feed of Joseph Rose, a reporter for The Oregonian. I’m following up with TriMet, but thought in the mean time I’d share a first-person account just sent in by a reader:

I was on a #9 bus last night at about 6:15pm. We were travelling north on SW Broadway. As we came to Everett street, a cyclist with no lights darted across the path of the bus, mortally close, causing the driver to bring the bus to an immediate halt. The cyclist did not stop.

Everyone in the bus was thrown forward. I was sitting in the farthest aft of the three seats facing the back door, and ended up landing on the guy sitting next to me. Honestly, it was a fright.

One man, who appeared to be in his late sixties – early seventies was on the floor unable to move. A young woman “banged up” her knees. I worried that the extent of her injuries might not have been immediately apparent. The injured man was taken out by ambulance. The driver was emotionally shaken, as were, to varying extents, the passengers. Other people sustained minor injuries. We all had to exit the bus and get on the next one.

I am a cyclist… I do not have a single anti-cyclist bias in my body.

This individual cyclist’s irresponsible actions actually hurt people in a quantifiable way. I had conversations with other cyclists on the bus, and we were all in agreement that this individual was a complete jackass. Of course, incidents like these hurt us all. Stupidity begets stupidity.

I don’t know if Trimet investigates things like this, or if they make their investigations (or maybe the camera footage) public, or if you could craft this information into something productive, but I thought it prudent to at least make mention of.

I’ll have more on this as soon as I can. This story was posted from my phone as I’m away from a computer.

UPDATE, 7:46pm: Here’s more from TriMet Media Relations rep Mary Fetsch:

“Just received the supervisor’s report from the scene: Bus was traveling northbound on Broadway and at Flanders Street, a bicyclist rode in front of the bus. The bicyclist came from west to east on Flanders.

…it’s unfortunate that people were hurt when the bus had to stop quickly to avoid a collison. A TriMet bus weighs 20 tons and cannot stop quickly. This incident is a reminder to be safe on the roads and for everyone to focus on safety first.”

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