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Man suffers serious injuries in crash after hitting bumps on N Vancouver

Posted by on August 9th, 2012 at 9:46 am

Scene of this morning’s crash.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning just before 8:00 am, a man crashed and fell off of his bicycle while riding south on N. Vancouver Avenue just north of Broadway.

The man was taken away in an ambulance and I have yet to hear official word about his condition. What I do know is that a woman who saw the aftermath said the man was, “hurt badly.” I spoke to a witness at the scene shortly after the roadway was cleared who watched the entire thing unfold (he was standing on the corner when it happen). The witness said the man on the bike was coming down Vancouver as it approaches Broadway when his front wheel rolled over a large and long lump in the road. The bike bobbled, the witness claims, and then the man crashed on Broadway just a few feet south of the tip of the median island that separates Vancouver from the I-5 off-ramp. The witness said the man didn’t move for several minutes and was convulsing before EMTs arrived on the scene.

While it’s hard to say what role the rider played in his crash (he was apparently speeding up to make a green light), the lump in the road is significant. Below are some photos of the lump I took a few minutes ago…

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-3

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-4

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-2

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-5

I hope PBOT sends a crew out immediately to warn road users of these bumps (bright spray paint would help) and then follows up by smoothing them out as soon as possible. As we learned from a 2010 study performed by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, “injury prevention should focus on improving the safety of the bicycle commuting environment.” That study found that about 20% of frequent bike commuters experienced an injury while biking over the course of a year. The key takeaway from that study is that cities need to prioritize the quality of bikeways (keeping them free of hazards), not just the quantity.

Bumps, lumps, streetcar tracks, potholes, debris, gravel and cracks are barely noticeable in a car; but on a bike they test riders’ tolerance. And, as we have unfortunately seen this morning, they can also lead to serious crashes.

Let’s hope this guy makes a full recovery and gets back on his bike soon.

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  • Gabriel Amadeus August 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Dang, hope he recovers quickly. Those bumps are caused by heavy vehicles coming to a stop (usually trimet busses), I’ve noticed them in many areas around town and have nearly crashed b/c of them myself.

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    • Craig Harlow August 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Yep, there’s an especially deep/bumpy set of these bus wheel impressions on NE Broadway westbound at 12th ave., and they’re smack in the bike lane. From this google pic I think the severity of the bumps is not obvious, though some previous patching seems evident.

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  • Maks August 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

    that bump is dangerous! i used to commute that way when i was living in NE. once, i was going down pretty quick and caught the green. i was thrilled and as i passed through, i bobbled and my feet came off the pedals. luckily, my body stayed on the saddle and kept balance. since then, i try to remember to stay to the left. that bump is a fun-killer.

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    • John Lascurettes August 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

      From the pictures it looks like the bump starts with enough room for a bike to be on the “shoulder” side of it and then pinches to the curb by the time it reaches the intersection. Pretty easy to imagine a bike traveling straight coming to blows with it as it’s akin to crossing a track at a shallow angle without hopping your wheel over it for safety.

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      • John Lascurettes August 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

        All that said: it would be a good idea to take the lane early here – before the bump starts.

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  • Kim D August 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I ride through this intersection *every* morning – Have to say that 60% of folks don’t fly through the intersection (on bike), they ride pretty cautiously, especially near that median. There are a few people that try to beat the light and blow through it (makes me cringe when they get to those streetcar tracks and its wet outside). Was this guy in control of his bike when he was riding through? Was he wearing a helmet? (I know we talk about this alot, but after getting hit by a car myself this spring I really advocate protecting your noggin).

    Riders need to be more attentive to road conditions and look out for themselves. I don’t think PBOT can fix every bump and gravelly road section in the City – if that was the case, they should help Metro fix the road that comes down through the zoo. That’s a terrible road to ride on, in terms of potholes and conditions to watch for.

    If there was a wishlist of things to fix in terms of cycling-related, I’d love to fix all the inattentive drivers or jackholes that try to run us off the road FIRST, more infrastructure SECOND and road conditions third. (when motorists complain that roads are falling apart, if affects us too).

    Here’s hoping the guy makes a full recovery.

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    • Chris I August 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Sometimes it’s nice to have a helmet, even if it just protects you from road rash on your head. Better to have the first contact with the pavement occur with the helmet, not with your skull.

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  • Chris I August 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

    They need to beef up the road bed there. It looks like this is being caused by collapse of the road due to vehicle weight, most likely the Trimet busses that hug the curb here. It would be best if PBOT removed the entire section and poured a slab of concrete here.

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    • HAL9000 August 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

      I think the city enjoys repaving streets like SW Naito Parkway every 3 years!

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  • Nik August 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I hope the cyclist recovers from his injuries quickly and that this dangerous area is made more accomodating/

    Especially difficult are areas where the road surface is degraded in which one is trying to signal a turn. Hitting a rough patch of broken up pavement is bad enough with both hands on the bars let alone just one.

    I turn right on SW 2nd every morning from Main after crossing the Hawthorne bridge. The bike lane crossing the intersection of 1st and Main and the turn lane on Main between 1st and 2nd are really chewed up from buses and other vehicles traversing it. Probably 3000 people rattled their way across this rough patch by bicycle just yesterday.

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  • dennis August 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Asphalt feels like a solid surface, however it’s actually an extremely viscus fluid surrounding small stones as an aggregate material. Heavy vehicles, combined with hot days and that space experiences a lot of braking torsion as well. The only way to prevent those from re-occuring, is to replace the surface within 20 to 30 feet of the intersection with concrete slab that’s at least a foot thick. That would provide a semi-permanent surface that will last much longer without any sign of deformation.

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  • findizee August 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    He was wearing a helmet and wasn’t moving when I drove by in my gas guzzling pick up. Hoping he is OK…..

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  • Scott August 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

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  • Andyc August 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Man. Our infrastructure is just laughable. Condolences to the rider, and hope you heal quickly!

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  • Jonathan Gordon August 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

    If the city doesn’t have the budget to fix these lumps I wonder if they could paint them with high-visibility paint? I noticed the STP route on Willamette was pretty well marked out — in some places you can see more paint than asphalt — and it really helps. Can anyone weigh in on whether the city would respond to such requests via their safe line?

    Transportation Safety and Neighborhood Livability Line (823-SAFE).

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    • JAT in Seattle August 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

      I imagine if the city were to mark dangerous bits of substandard dangerous pavement then they would be on notice that the danger exists and a clever personal injury attorney would then make the argument that they were negligently liable when someone crashed there – whereas if they turn a blind eye…

      And by that I don’t mean to impugn government’s good will toward cyclists, but there are things one doesn’t want to know.

      I suspect the high-viz paint along the STP route was put there by the ride organizers, who, while powerless to fix the roads, do want to alert riders to the dangers.

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  • encephalopath August 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Never noticed that ridge on the right side of the lane before. I’m always in the left wheel track at that point.

    The lane is too narrow to share so I’m taking the primary position all the way through across Weidler.

    Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fixed, but buses do this everywhere.

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  • Steve August 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Shortly after coming across this scene this morning, I almost witnessed a similar event unfold on the western end of the Broadway bridge as it heads down south onto NW Broadway. The first of two raised asphalt seams almost annihilated the rider in front of me. He was rather wobbly already, but somehow managed to stay upright despite the sudden jerks to his wheel/handlebars.

    Having significatnly raised bumps in the bike lane at this location has always seemed like a recipe for injury to me. People seem to negotiate these bumps pretty well for the most part, but an unstable rider could easily end up flying into the curb or into the adjacent automobile lane. Can we get some of these locations smoothed out a bit???

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  • Spectre August 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I didnt see the guy crash but came up on him moments after it happend. I really hope he is ok. He was wearing a helmet and his bike appeared to be in good working order. From the way it was described to me, he hit the bumps way back veered into the curb causing him to fall essentially face first on to the road. His helmet did not appear to have taken much of the force of the impact and I am guessing that he hit the ground more with his forehead and face than the helmet could protect. There were several very kind souls with medical training taking care of him before the ambulance arrived. My thoughts are with him and his family…

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    • Chris I August 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      If your helmet is fitted properly, your forehead should never hit the pavement. Nose, chin, cheeks, are all vulnerable, but your helmet should be covering the forehead, and clamped down tight enough so that it doesn’t slide back, exposing your forehead.

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  • Brian August 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

    There are so many bad things about this intersection…The light is short so both cyclists and buses speed up to make it through AND the lane narrows to the left just before the intersection while at the same time veering right as you go through the intersection…crazy! The bumps should be easy enough to fix, I know Tri Met or the city has fixed these in other locations.

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  • whyat August 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I took a really nasty spill on a similar bump out on a MUP near bridge of the gods a few weeks ago. Luckily I only got some road rash, but it’s a good reminder as to how quickly you can run into some unforeseen circumstances. In my case I was on the ground before I realized there was an obstacle.

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  • ME 2 August 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I ride through there everyday and I’ve never noticed that bump before. Fortunately with a dedicated bike\bus lane I inherently ride the left side of the lane. The timing of the green is pretty short and I often find myself racing to get through it before the light turns yellow. As I understand, PBOT times lights at intersections based on traffic counts, but I wonder if the Vancouver Ave counts take into account bike traffic or just automobile numbers? If they don’t it seems like the unaccounted for bike traffic would warrant a longer green light cycle at that intersection.

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  • Sigma August 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Beginning next year, PBOT’s annual subsidy to streetcar operation costs will be about $6 million. Every penny of that could go to road maintenance, safety and bikeways, if city council changed its priorities.

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    • Marid August 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

      You know that’s not how it works these days. That $6 million would go somewhere else. Most likely into tax cuts for people who don’t need it.

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      • Sigma August 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        It’s city money-mostly parking revenue. Council can do whatever they want with it.

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        • Chris I August 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

          And $6 million is a very small portion of the budget. There are bigger pots to steal from. The streetcar is good for the city. Also, you should at least recognize that this particular hazard was created by rubber-tired busses.

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          • Sigma August 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

            “$6 million is a very small portion of the budget.”

            Maybe not when you consider the total City budget, but it is several times more than what PBOT spends on bike infrastructure every year.

            “There are bigger pots to steal from.”

            Like what? Parking money is by far the biggest pot of discretionary transportation revenue, and City Council chooses to spend more subsidizing the cost of a streetcar ticket than they do on bikeways or pedestrian safety, Citywide, every year. How many crosswalks and new traffic signals could be built on Foster with one year’s worth of streetcar subsidy? How much rutted pavement like this could be repaired? We could gold plate the Williams bikeway three times over with that kind of money.

            “The streetcar is good for the city.”

            Tell that to someone in Lents, Gateway, North Portland, outer southwest…basically anyone who doesn’t live or work downtown. We could build sidewalks with that money, too.  

            “Also, you should at least recognize that this particular hazard was created by rubber-tired busses.”

            I never claimed otherwise. And what’s your point? Money used to subsidize streetcar riders in the Pearl District couldn’t fix the problem?

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          • Unit August 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

            $6 Million would probably not even address all the ruts/potholes, etc in the city, let alone the more substantial safety problems.

            At the same time, ODOT is spending hundreds of millions on freeway widenings. I’d rather start there.

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  • maxadders August 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Adding my two cents: I ride this route nearly every day and have never noticed these bumps. Sounds like a scary crash, though. My attention is usually focused on the traffic lights, I guess. There’s also some diagonal concrete / blacktop seams to worry about right around the time I want to start applying my brakes for a red light…so there’s no shortage of stuff to get distracted by. Hope the rider makes a swift recovery.

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  • George August 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    These are really bad westbound on west Burnside (20th -22nd ish) Although not many bikes use that street it’s the same danger or worse for motorcycles. I can’t believe how many years they sit there and get worse and worse without being fixed. I’ve sent emails to PBOT but zero response of course.

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  • oliver August 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I hope the rider makes a quick recovery.

    I notice these bumps every time I go through there(they seem pretty obvious to me), but I’ve been aware of them for quite some time. They look pretty scary, and I usually avoid them, though sometimes I ride over them or to the right of them, like when I’m going to have to stop.

    I think coming upon them for the first time, and unaware, they could pose a (obvious I guess) hazard.

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  • K'Tesh August 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I’m really sorry to hear that this rider was hurt. I Pray that he makes a complete recovery quickly.

    It’s these kinds of things that I feel that others should be out there reporting to the responsible agencies. From the comments above, I find it surprising that it wasn’t reported earlier. I guess that is the problem with S.E.P. fields. 🙁


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    • K'Tesh August 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      What Have YOU Done Today?

      The fix for this bump is not much different from what PBOT did for my complaint on SW Jefferson

      God gave us eyes for a reason.

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    • q`Tzal August 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      I wanted to say concrete would be better than asphalt but that argument seems invalid.
      Cost wise it is definitely cheaper to install asphalt. I’m not sure even requiring a twice yearly leveling of asphalt creep will cost asphalt out past concrete.

      So maybe we need to roll “road surface hazards” in to PBOT’s and ODOT’s newest rules on Level Of Service for bikes, pedestrians and handicapped. That sort of bump/ridge could be much more deadly for the blind of those in a wheelchair.

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  • q`Tzal August 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    In an amazingly wonkilicious transportation study (111 pages; go get your transpo geek on!) I found while looking for justification of concrete road construction over asphalt I was happy to discover I was wrong.

    It’s the way I was wrong that speaks to nearly every other “expert” also being dead wrong too.

    In a 2007 study from the University of Michigan. Report No. CSS07-05 “Economic and Environmental Evaluations of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Practices: A Case Study of Michigan DOT Pavement Projects” by Arthur Wai-Cheung Chan he investigates “ This thesis investigated the economic and environmental aspects of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) practiced by Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). From the economic perspective, it analyzed MDOT’s accuracy in projecting the actual costs over pavement service life and choosing the lowest-cost pavement alternative.

    In my summary of a summary of a summary:
    it seems that once you include externality costs associated with construction and life cycle maintenance that asphalt, asphalt-hybrids and concrete come out so close to each other in actual dollar costing that an in depth analysis (the description of which takes up a major part of this study) would be needed most times to show what is the most cost effective paving method for each individual project.

    Some excerpts from the chapter 5 conclusions follow:

    “The original purpose of life-cycle costs analysis (LCCA) in road construction is purely about effective investment of government agency funds in the long run. The “externality” associated with road construction is becoming more recognized, and “user cost” has been incorporated into LCCA procedures by more than 40% of the states DOTs including MDOT nowadays. Because of the complexity and uncertainty of monetizing the environmental impact and assigning the boundaries, external costs are yet to be considered by any states DOTs.”

    “The model showed that asphalt alternatives performed worse in some environmental indicators (e.g. material use, primary energy, volatile organic compounds and carcinogens emissions) but better in others (e.g. greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and lead emissions) than concrete alternatives.”

    “Most importantly, in the cloud of conflicting claims from the asphalt and concrete industries, the thirteen case studies did not show that one pavement alternative is always less environmental-costly than the other. The alternative with the lowest life-cycle agency and user costs did not necessarily have the lowest pollution damage costs either.”

    “Nonetheless, the importance of external costs in the LCCA procedure cannot be undermined. From the broader societal point of view, it is important to capture the “real” costs of road constructions as the externalities will be realized by the governments and the public eventually.”

    “Besides, the LCA model did not capture all the associated external costs of road construction. For example, it did not take into the account the possible difference in fuel economy between driving on asphalt and concrete roadways10, and the possible drop in fuel economy when pavements deteriorate over service life. The accidents induced by road construction were not included. It did not consider the monetary impacts of water pollution from road construction as well. If these costs from the use phase were included, the external costs would have become more significant at least numerically in comparison with agency and user costs.”

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  • Ted Buehler August 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Does anyone know what the “road smoothness standards” are for Oregon or Portland?

    I’ve looked, but never found anything.

    There isn’t anything I’ve been able to find in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide (AKA Oregon Highway Design Manual Appendix N).

    Ted Buehler

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  • Ted Buehler August 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    In California, bike lanes can’t have “steps” that are more than 10 mm high in the direction of travel.

    I think this “lump” on N Vancouver is classified as a “step” but I’m not sure. And it looks to be at least 1.5 inches, or 50mm, high… So, out of compliance with California regulations.

    See Table 1003.6 in the California Highway Design Manual:

    “Bikeway Surface Tolerances
    “Parallel to travel
    “Grooves: No more than 12 mm wide
    “Steps: No more than 10 mm high

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  • zefwagner August 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    The city should lay down concrete slabs anywhere that sees a high quantity of buses and semi trucks coming to a stop. It is more expensive in the short term, but would pay for itself over time and would be safer and more comfortable for everyone.

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  • Ted Buehler August 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    & note that Portland and ODOT encourage bicyclists to report unsafe road conditions without delay.

    If one of us would have called that lump in, PBOT or ODOT would have fixed it, and dude-in-hospital would still be pedaling the streets of Portland today.

    I’ve called in many lumps, dips and potholes, and almost all have been patched in a week or two.

    The best time to call something like this in is *before* it causes you or someone else to crash.

    Portland streets

    ODOT streets, highways, ramps

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  • Joe August 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    road blisters, get well soon.. at night it would be crazy to see that stuff

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  • Kristen August 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    That bump reminds me of the moguls in crossing 99W at Tualatin-Sherwood Rd in Sherwood, at the end of Roy Rogers Rd.

    The light is almost not quite long enough to get across by bike, but it’s scary to go too fast. The possibility of crashing is high.

    In any case– I hope the man recovers ok, and quickly.

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  • Kevin Wagoner August 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Is it legal for a citizen to mark the bump instead of waiting to see if something happens?

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    • K'Tesh August 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      I’ve been known to mark hazards, and to date, I’ve yet to have a cop on my doorstep over any of them.

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  • Seth D. Alford August 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Jonathan writes, “Bumps, lumps, streetcar tracks, potholes, debris, gravel and cracks are barely noticeable in a car; but on a bike they test riders’ tolerance.” Add blackberry vines and other weeds growing out into the bike lane to that list.

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  • halfwheeled August 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    “Riders need to be more attentive to road conditions and look out for themselves. I don’t think PBOT can fix every bump and gravelly road section in the City – if that was the case, they should help Metro fix the road that comes down through the zoo. That’s a terrible road to ride on, in terms of potholes and conditions to watch for. ”

    Agreed, there are countless spots along the road that are dangerous for CARS let alone bikes. Yet, when I’m driving, its MY responsibility to drive safely. Same goes for bicyclists, ride safely, and slow down! This bump is ride-able if you slow down!!! Its only dangerous if you try to bomb over it like it was flat.

    Hope this guy heals up fast.

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    • Brent Shultz August 10, 2012 at 12:15 am

      It’s also ride-able if you know it’s there. I recently started back up on the route in question, and the first few days those bumps were an interesting surprise. I’ve ridden through damn-near everything (not always successfully, mind you), and on a paved road, these bumps are well beyond what would normally be navigable.

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  • Jolly Dodger August 10, 2012 at 3:26 am

    BTA…our legislative biking advocacy group should petition the state for real road protection for cyclists. Including county or state level culpability in instances like this, where for want of concrete cash, they bide their time waiting for the potential costs of lawsuits to outweigh the road construction costs.

    Wasn’t it the League of American Wheelman who back in the early 1900’s pushed for the ‘better roads movement’ which eventually led to all modern macadam and asphalt roadbeds? This is certainly an occasion to rise up and demand modern infrastructure safety requirements for road quality.
    When will these demands be met? When a city council person’s son or daughter is killed by one of these preventable ‘accidents’?

    Hope the rider recovers most of his face. Sorry to the family.

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  • Ben August 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Is it legal to spray paint bright orange around hazardous spots like potholes and large bumps yourselves?

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    • K'Tesh August 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Even if it isn’t, it’s not like it’s something that the cops are going to hunt you down for, unless you start tagging walls, private property, and such.

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    • jim August 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      It would certainly help some at night when it is harder to see the lumpy road. You may get in trouble if caught though as it may interfere with the utility markings they do before digging. Perhaps the city could mark it themselves?

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      • jim August 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        I was at Jantzen Beach tonight and noticed someone had painted around the many giant chuckholes on the road that goes under I-5. It sure makes it easier to avoid them when you can see where they are.

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  • Jimmy P August 10, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I used to ride that route. Those bumps have been there for a year or more, easy.

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  • jim August 10, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Sam Adams has done a horrible job of taking care of the streets during his tenure, diverting money for pet projects, lack of preventative maintenance… Watch for him to make a last ditch effort to right his wrongs as his term runs out.

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  • chucklehead August 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Now I have heard people say that drivers should be completely aware of their surroundings and to drive at a safe rate of speed so they can react in a timely manner to whatever road hazards there are……

    does this logic apply here?

    That being said, I hope the guy gets better.

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  • 007 August 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    There are some serious bus-created bumps and channels on SW Madison and 5th that are concerning. I don’t like navigating them or having to stop real quick where they are.

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  • Michael Weaver August 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hi everyone- I’m the rider whose crash is the subject of this thread. Left Legacy yesterday after 3 days of care. Thanks all for comments both sympathetic (personally) and useful (with regard to public policy). I am a mess and in some pain, but I have every expectation of a speedy recovery. I didn’t know of these conditions before approaching the area, since I usually leave Vancouver Blvd. for the B’way Bridge just past the hospital. In this instance I was making for the Rose Quarter to catch a train. Still, my memory may remain a little shaky…

    I was wearing a properly-fitted helmet, and following normal traffic laws and customs. We are all in the same boat.

    See you on the roads!

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    • K'Tesh August 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Glad to hear you’re on the mend! Praying for a speedy and complete recovery.

      God Bless!

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    • 007 August 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      It may be a while before the full extent of your injuries reveal themselves (my personal experience). If you have auto insurance, be sure to check with them for coverage and money for future and past treatment.

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    • spare_wheel August 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

      So very glad that you are on the mend!

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  • findizee August 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

    YAY! You are OK!!!! Sorry you’re in so much pain. Thanks for updating all of us, obviously we’re an opinionated bunch but also care….

    A couple days before I drove by and witnessed folks taking care of you on the ground, I’d decided to start doing my own tagging on a route I take to Oregon City, as I’ve come really close to diving into craters on ocassion…some craters are difficult to see until you’re upon them.

    I’m a recreational commuter (but I do actually go from Oregon City to the Pearl)… and not an ultra-competent cyclist. I get that we all need to pay attention but some bright pink paint would also help. Sometimes these bike eating craters sneak up on unsuspecting folk.

    If I get arrested, I’ll let you all know!

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  • Jonathan Gordon August 13, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend, Michael.

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  • Brittany C August 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Great news, Michael!

    I was thinking about you and hoping you were okay. Glad to hear it!

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  • lyle August 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Just in case anyone is wondering, I drove past this spot tonight, and as of around 8 pm the entire lane where the bumps were is shut off with traffic cones, and it already looks like they’ve done some sort of rough edging/leveling with a grinder to get it back to being smooth.

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  • ac August 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    They were pouring the asphalt this afternoon at 3:30p
    evidence of Bikeportland at work

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  • Cheryl Kuck August 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

    PBOT is very sorry to hear about the serious fall and injury on North Vancouver. We wish the rider a full and swift recovery. Our work is focused on improving the safety of the traveling environment for everyone.

    The pavement condition recently repaired on North Vancouver is called a stress bump. Extreme heat and heavy vehicle loads, such as the frequent bus service on North Vancouver, can soften asphalt and create bulges in pavement. Crews then have to cut and patch the area. Here’s a link to a story from 2009 about a similar problem on North Mississippi that includes an explanation from a former Maintenance Operations manager:

    While PBOT does run a proactive pothole repair operation year-round, a stress bump at any particular location is not predictable, so we appreciate the public’s help in identifying these pavement problems. Our crews will respond as quickly as possible.

    In general, the best number to call to report safety hazards or obstructions in the street and in bike lanes is our Dispatch line at 503-823-1700. Operators are on duty 24/7. The public can also report potholes to the hotline at 503-823-BUMP (2867) or use the City’s PDX Reporter mobile app.

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    • Paul Cone August 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Cheryl, thank you much for the insightful answer. It put another question in my mind — you said the “stress bumps” aren’t predictable, yet I know there are pavement inspectors out every day across the city, noting the condition of the asphalt (and other materials streets are made of, e.g. concrete). Couldn’t PBOT look in the pavement inspection data for these “stress bumps” and then be proactive about looking for them earlier, and maybe even target the more egregious ones for concrete pads? Or is that already happening?

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