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TriMet releases on-board video of “hard stop” that avoided bike rider

Posted by on December 6th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Still from TriMet video that shows
near-collision (upper left).
-Watch video below-

Last Friday night, a TriMet bus operator had to make an extremely abrupt stop in order to avoid hitting someone on a bike. According to eyewitness accounts, the bike rider did not stop at a stop sign.

TriMet just released footage from the on-board camera. Mary Fetsch with TriMet media relations says the footage shows, “how close the bike was to the front of the bus.”

The stop was so abrupt that one passenger suffered injuries. According to TriMet, the passenger was transported to a local hospital. Fetsch says the operator was hired in February 2011 and that their name is being withheld while the incident remains under investigation.

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Unit
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Unit

Kudos to the driver for their quick response. Tsk tsk to the careless and selfish cyclist, who should turn themself into police and take reponsibility for the injury they caused.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Also: kudos to Trimet for releasing the video.

Trimet: please consider doing the same for all future videos for the sake of public transparency and the reduced cost to taxpayers in long legal battles.

chad
Guest

Is this the best frame rate and resolution that these cameras capture? If there a higher res version of the video in the upper left, the person on the bike might be identifiable.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I wonder if they need a policy revision about hard braking. It seems that in situations like this, where several people are standing in the bus, it would be better to slowly brake and hit the single law-breaking cyclist instead of injuring the innocent bus riders.

Of course, if the bus is less full, and no one is standing, hard braking can be used.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Might be awhile before I can see this video. From viewing the video, is anyone feeling able to venture an estimation as to how close the person on the bike was to the bus upon crossing in front of it?

Esther
Guest
Esther

I don’t know whether the person on the bike was either careless/reckless/thoughtless/inconsiderate, or simply made a very bad misjudgment about the width of the street or the speed of the oncoming bus and the complicated rate x distance = time formula–or some combination of the two.

I do know that the crossings at Couch & Flanders are awful because of the high rate of speed on Broadway, the width (4 lanes of car traffic, plus a southbound bike lane) and the lack of signals at those intersections.
Couch is challenging because traffic waiting to cross Burnside gets backed up, and cars & bikes trying to go down Couch gingerly inch across the intersection, unable to see if there is oncoming traffic on the other side of the road (especially bicycles taking the lane on North bound broadway). Go any day at rush hour to witness it.
At Flanders here are less traffic jams, but the intersection is dark, and speeds are very fast because people have just come off the bridge (or because they are accelerating having gotten out of the traffic jam farther south).

Not to recuse the cyclist from fault AT ALL, because his job was to wait to cross till he could ensure it was safe for him and others.
But I do wish that Broadway would have additional speed reduction and more intersection safety measures put into place though. This is very close to where several people were killed by a Trimet bus last year.

Photo_analyzer
Guest
Photo_analyzer

Through extensive use of specialized and expensive photo analysis software(ms paint) I have been able to capture the identity of the scofflaw cyclist. I uploaded it to my photobucket. Have a look: http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q145/oobligooblie/th_scofflaws.jpg

whyat
Guest
whyat

This should definitely end the notion that people on bikes aren’t big enough to hurt anyone, or cause real damage. Buses are huge and weigh a lot. This could have been much worse. Let’s have some courtesy people, and ride safe.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

To me it looks possible that the rider was entering the frame and far side of the intersection at 13 sec when the bus was well back from the near side of the intersection.

That would indicate that the cyclist was waiting given the amount of distance covered in the 2 secs until 16 and 17 when the bike was directly in front of the bus. If this was the case, the bus was closing at a much faster rate(what was the rate of acceleration of the bus? had it just left a stop? It looks like the bus was stationary at 12 sec) and the cyclist moving much slower than she would have been if she had run the stop sign.

Joseph Rose
Guest

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
ha ha very funny 😉
Recommended 1

Jonathan, I’ll be calling to get your side of the story.

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

And on another note, I’d just like to point out that there are in fact idiots on the road, whether they are behind the wheel of a car or between the two wheels of a bicycle. Their choice mode of transportation is not so much at issue as the fact they should probably not be operating their own vehicle if they can’t pay attention/follow the laws well enough to do so safely.

People do stupid stuff all the time – someone tries to hit me probably once a day while I ride, whether it’s an errant door opening or someone driving down the wrong side of the road at an excessive rate of speed, directly at me. I’ve learned to pay attention, however, and have managed to avoid any serious injuries over the past ten years. Kudos to the bus driver for paying attention and jeers for the cyclist who was oblivious. As a further point, I think the perception that mostly its idiots who are driving is simply proportional to that vehicle’s popularity on the road. I can almost guarantee that if the tables were turned, there would be a lot more complaints about idiot bicyclists. It’s a lot easier to remember the bad situations that force us to react than to think of the good situations to which we are passive, but they are just as important.

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

Last week it was dark, I had my lights on and I was coming up SE Salmon – headed east. I lost track of the streets and rolled right through the stop sign at SE 30th before I realized I was in the middle of a busy street. The Stop sign was somewhat obscured and there was no traffic so I simply missed it and cruised on through.

I am glad no motor vehicles were approaching. My heart jumped a little when I realized my mistake!

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

I wonder whether emotions would have been any where near as strong if the bus had stopped to avoid a “pedestrian” scofflaw.

I think the anger focused on cyclists has more to do with the fact that they are upsetting an established hierarchy (and look weird) than any real safety problem.

Jonah
Guest
Jonah

That looks like a light on a bike to me. Of course, brighter would be better but we have no real standards for how bright lights need to be (And many cyclists simply don’t realize how ineffective their lights are when they have dull lights).

Joe
Guest
Joe

looks like the person mis-judged the timing of the light or something.

Mike
Guest
Mike

One question I would have is, how visible is the stop sign at that intersection? This is not to excuse bad/reckless behavior (and I hate that I feel I need to add that disclaimer). However, there are two stop signs on my regular daily route that are completely obscured by trees/shrubs. It’s also possible someone had parked a big truck on the corner making the stop sign less visible.

Also, does anyone know of a contact to report obscured traffic signals?

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

If these passengers were wearing proper padding (sumo suits?) and adequate restraining devices this could have all been avoided.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Not to justify this cyclists’ lack of care/poor judgement etc., but I do agree with other posters that that stretch of Broadway is an absolute mess to cross on a bike during rush hour. NW Couch has no light. NW Flanders has no light. Traffic is backed up for blocks on Broadway.

In fact. The whole of the NW quadrant is a mess for biking. Despite being the most walk-friendly quadrant in the entire city, it doesn’t even have a SINGLE bike boulevard. It’s pretty messed up.

James Crawford
Guest
James Crawford

If this had been a MAX train rather than abuse, the bike rider would be dead. Steel wheels rolling on steel rails are extremely energy effecient,but they have minimal traction. A max train has about ten timesthe stopping distance as rubber tired bus on an asphalt or concrete road. Keep this in mind along with the hideous capital costs the next time they ask you to vote fo light rail.

Steelshwinnster54
Guest
Steelshwinnster54

Having just read an account of this near miss, I came to gain a feeling of how others felt about the “near miss” and account of the passengers on board the bus.
I would again say to all, LIGHTS, LIGHTS, LIGHTS!. Yes I know they are expensive, but less so than a hospital visit. As stated above, we dont know if the STOP sign is obscured, bus driver was in hurry, bad judgement on part of bicyclist, all the above. Let’s be careful, the life you save may be your own.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Why does it matter if the stop sign was obscured? Would any of you just willy-nilly ride out across a very busy street like Broadway just because you don’t see a stop sign?

J.M. Jones
Guest
J.M. Jones

My Gosh! What an incredible amount of unrelated chatter about this issue….. Seems as that a person made an illegal move and it resulted in injuries to other persons. I have seen nothing that changes this in any manner. Pedestrian, bike or motor vehicle has little to do with this incident. The story mentions that a person on a BICYCLE caused a difficulty. I believe that if the idiot was in a motor vehicle the published story would have mentioned it. I ride as much as I am able, and I see lots of persons running red lights and stop signs, and more often it is the bicyclists that do this. I see it done safely, yes. I have done it myself (not very often…and not anymore) but the reality is that this practice is against the current “rules of the road.” It SEEMS the person was not illuminated well, not dressed wisely and flagrantly broke the law resulting in injury to others. I would respect bicyclists more for speaking up for, and insisting on, good riding AND driving practices instead of attempting to diffuse the issue or protect those of us who ride/drive like this person. Throughout recorded history, those groups who do not regulate themselves end up getting regulated.
Just as an aside…how long did it take for the public majority to believe that because you rode a loud motorcycle you did not belong to a “Hells Angels” type of group?
Sort of like 1% of the 99% is giving us a bad name…..

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Good example of why digital systems just suck in situations where clear, smooth footage counts. This is just choppy, grainy garbage compared to what an analog system could have accomplished.

Jim T
Guest
Jim T

Incidents like this really annoy me. One selfish bicycle rider (I won’t call him/her a cyclist) and the animosity level against all of us rises sharply. More fuel for the anti-bicycle people who would ban bicycles from public roads. One stupid rider makes life more dangerous for everyone else. Shame!

John Landolfe
Guest

It’s a very poor move by some individual. It’s worth noting that similar moves are made countless times a day in Portland by every type of road user, causing sometimes lethal traffic accidents. But of course there’s only one type of road user: the imperfect human. I have no problem calling this person out, but I’d like to see a consistency in our social pressure to be more mindful.

erik
Guest
erik

Would this have made the news if it was a car??
13 hard stops ?? This is the first one i’ve heard of.
You can call out the cyclist “BAD” and still discuss overall safety and stick up for your chosen mode of transportation against naysayers who conflate you with the scofflaw.

Jrdpdx
Guest
Jrdpdx

If the president do the United Brotherhod of Bike Riders union receives any more complaints about this cyclist they will go straight into his personnel file and if he gets 54 more complaints for various other reason, then… Well nothing will happen

No Spin
Guest
No Spin

Can someone tell me what the length of a city block in old town is? The map from the website above seems to indicate 200ft.

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=45.52587&lon=-122.67705&zoom=17&layers=M

If you take the video from frame 14734354 at time of 17:28:21 (just crossing burnside) to frame 14734390 at 17.28.29 (bike in front of bus at Flanders) you have 8 seconds and 800 feet.

20 mph 30 fps
30 mph 44 fps
40 mph 58.66 fps
50 mph 73.33 fps

What am I missing? A slower bus doesn’t throw people around so violently. (Contingent Liability).