Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Collision at Killingsworth and Cully injures man on bike – UPDATED

Posted by on March 28th, 2014 at 9:57 am

NE Cully at Killingsworth, looking northwest toward the spot where the collision took place.
(Image from Google Street View)

The Portland Police Bureau’s major crash team is investigating a collision between a bicycle and car at Northeast Killingsworth Street and Cully Boulevard at 7:48 pm Thursday night.

Police said the man on the bike, described as being in his 20s, suffered “traumatic injuries” and was transported to a Portland hospital for treatment. Police did not release his name, and his current condition isn’t known.

“Preliminary information indicates that the bicycle rider was traveling in a northwesterly direction from Cully Boulevard, across Killingsworth, when he struck the side of the westbound vehicle on Killingsworth,” a police news release said. “The crash occurred west of the intersection.”

The driver of the vehicle has remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation, the news release noted.

Both Cully and Killingsworth are striped with narrow bike lanes at this intersection; it’s one block north of the north end of Cully’s elevated and parking-protected bike lane. The intersection also has four double-striped crosswalks and button-activated pedestrian signals.

We’ll update the site as more information becomes available.

UPDATE, 1:13 pm: Here’s the latest information from the PPB:

Traffic officers are continuing to investigate last night’s crash that critically injured a bicycle rider in Northeast Portland.

24-year-old Ryan Egge remains in critical condition but is expected to survive his injuries.

Investigators learned that Egge was riding his bicycle northbound on Cully Boulevard at a high rate of speed when he cut through a convenience store parking lot on the southwest corner of Cully and Killingsworth and continued riding onto westbound Killingsworth, where he struck a 2013 Dodge Dart traveling westbound, driven by 64-year-old Cheryl Sellars.

Egge was not wearing a helmet and suffered a significant head injury.

Sellars was not impaired or speeding and cooperated with investigators.

The investigation is continuing and citations may be issued at a later time.

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  • Bjorn March 28, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Odd side note, just a block away where Killingsworth intersects the highway at the east end of the weird strip club strip mall it appears that someone left the roadway and hit the stop sign knocking it down and dragging it a ways down the street. There was a temporary stop sign on a barricade blocking the bike lane there this morning…

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    • Oregon Mamacita March 28, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Interesting side note, Bjorn. I have seen quite a bit of car damage in SE, yet it isn’t always reported. I suspect that the car damage problem is bigger than folks want to admit- it is probably drunken driving. The problem isn’t just in Portland- there was a house in Aloha that was struck twice in one month by drunken drivers.

      They are likely running toxiocology tests on the cyclist. Those would be routine and hopefully he will pass (and recover).

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    • Banjo!!! March 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      I live nearby there and see evidence of car damage on that corner pretty frequently. Bollards might work? I’d hate to see someone (else? I seem to remember at least one cross/flowers memorial) die there.

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  • Chris Anderson March 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

    It’s crazy to me that Killingsworth is marked as bold green on Google’s bike maps. I can see its appeal as a direct route but it doesn’t feel very hospitable.

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    • Chris I March 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

      They kind of screwed up the diet project. The center turn lane is far too wide. They should have narrowed it to 12ft and used the extra space for bike lane buffers. This would help narrow the feel of the excessively wide roadway, and hopefully slow people down a bit.

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    • Sarah March 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Killingsworth has bike lanes east of NE 42nd, so I’d call it hospitable enough. Certainly not the most enjoyable of routes, but the bike lanes get the job done.

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      • Chris Anderson March 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        I’m just griping because I wish Google would reserve a color for “you can take your kids and/or parents on this route.”

        I hope he recovers and keeps riding, and that we are able to make meaningful changes for a real Vision Zero, without waiting for someone to get hurt.

        No matter the outcome as to arguments about who could have done what to prevent it, we should acknowledge that our pavement wasteland aesthetic environment is at the top of the list to blame. Buffered bike lanes would help immensely, and more so if the buffers were planted with trees etc (and it was legal for faster riders to use the regular travel lanes.)

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    • Dan March 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      It’s a solid green line (dedicated lane), rather than a bold green line (trail). All that means is there is a bike lane present.

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  • Oliver March 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Heading north, west of the intersection, hits westbound car in door.

    It sounds like the rider was riding northbound against traffic on the sidewalk. Or he was making a left turn onto Killingworth from Cully.

    Either way, someone failed to obey a tcd.

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    • q`Tzal March 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Either way, someone failed to obey a tcd.

      In rereading the article to see if there was a presumption of guilt for either party I was stunned at the opus of neutrality that this article is.
      Very little hard information and yet even less baseless speculation!

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      • Opus the Poet March 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

        Something bothering me is the possibility of the cyclist being involved in a pinball wreck, as the ball, getting bounced from one vehicle to another. Cyclist making a left turn gets in the turn lane, driver takes umbrage at the cyclist not being in the bike lane and moves into the cyclist and the now out-of-control ballistic mess that is the cyclist hits the vehicle in the cross street. Of course the wreck did not happen in TX but I have been “herded” by drivers who didn’t think I belonged in the turn lane. his could have just been a slightly more violent version of that.

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      • Oliver March 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        Well it looks like I was wrong, no tcd violation required. Then again, I hadn’t considered that someone would cross opposing traffic and bomb through a parking lot (with blind crossing, Brothers Market) and expect to come out the other side unscathed at such a major intersection.

        The rider took one heck of a risk that he wasn’t pasted by someone heading eastbound on Killingsworth.

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        • davemess March 28, 2014 at 6:18 pm

          Oh man, I didn’t read it well enough and thought he was just making a 90 degree right turn, yeah the described move is super sketchy.

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  • Champs March 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I’m not going to speculate on what it means, but striking the side of the car is an interesting fact.

    This isn’t going to spook me at that intersection. There’s plenty of time for that just east of there, from the bizarre strip mall in Cully’s triangle of insanity all the way to Gresham. Road debris on Killingsworth, broken glass on Sandy, stress around the ramps at 82nd, 205, and 122nd…

    As an aside, do cut-through diagonal streets ever do anything positive?

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    • Racer X March 28, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      “…do cut-through diagonal streets ever do anything positive?”

      In response to this question, a diagonal street grid’s value is in making regional trips/ “lines of communication” less distant/ more direct [though slower than highways] when they travel trough a gridded urban street network…most of these arterial examples may predate the minor side streets that were subdivided and built after the older regional trade routes (first nation trails, wagon roads, rail/ trolley, etc.) were laid out. The other “value” is in creating monumental vistas and places for monuments in capital cities (think Washington DC, etc.).

      But to your point…they do make urban intersections less safe in this era of higher speed motorized traffic unless design or engineering countermeasures are added as mitigations…the multiple jurisdictions controlling these intersecting streets and driveways makes solutions more complex too.

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    • Ciaran March 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      “As an aside, do cut-through diagonal streets ever do anything positive?”

      Without the cut-through diagonal known as “Broadway” in New York, we’d have no Flatiron building–a marvelous piece of architecture that would never have been built in its unique triangular shape if it weren’t for Broadway.

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    • Spiffy March 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      “As an aside, do cut-through diagonal streets ever do anything positive?”

      you’d have to list some examples of some cut-through diagonal streets that were built that way for me to comment…

      the only ones I know of weren’t cut-through when they were built (Sandy, Foster, etc) and only got that way due to infill…

      I assume that the diagonal part of Cully was from long ago before anything existed out there…

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      • davemess March 28, 2014 at 6:25 pm

        I think he’s talking about ones like the Arleta triangle. Outside of that I’m having trouble thinking over very many. Have to be a couple off of Foster (maybe the intersection with Woodstock).

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  • Todd Hudson March 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    “Egge was not wearing a helmet and suffered a significant head injury.”

    Wearing a helmet is important.

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    • q`Tzal March 30, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Certainly doesn’t hurt… if you’ve got it fit right.

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  • davemess March 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I’m curious what a “high rate of speed” on a bike is categorized as, and who made that assessment? Seems a bit arbitrary to me.
    Granted it’s rarely a good idea to cut corners through parking lots (and illegal).

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    • wsbob March 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      “…I’m curious what a “high rate of speed” on a bike is categorized as, and who made that assessment? Seems a bit arbitrary to me.
      Granted it’s rarely a good idea to cut corners through parking lots (and illegal). …” davemess

      I’m curious too. What mph do you think would represent a high rate of speed to be traveling across a parking lot? 5mph? 10mp? 15mph? 20mph?

      Another interesting question to consider, is, after he entered the parking lot, and crossed it in approaching its’ exit to Killingsworth, whether he stopped before entering onto Killingsworth, looking to see whether the way was clear in both directions before setting out onto the street.

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      • El Biciclero March 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

        “High rate of speed” when used to refer to a bicycle is a meaningless phrase. It is a little bit less meaningless when used to describe motor vehicle speeds because almost everyone has experience riding in or driving a motor vehicle as an adult, and has a better notion of the actual speeds that could be deemed “high”, e.g., over the speed limit. It seems this phrase was used to describe Kathryn Rickson’s speed prior to her crash as well. Most people who don’t ride a bike (and some who do) would think I was insane for bombing down a hill with a 40 mph speed limit at 40 mph, yet if a driver goes 45 down that same hill, would it be considered a “high rate of speed”? If I’m going 20 down my residential street (on my bike) and fail to stop for a pedestrian waiting to cross, he thinks I’m moving at a “high rate of speed”, while the driver behind me thinks I’m creeping along at 20. Ask both of them, and you’d probably get estimates of my speed anywhere between 10 and 30 mph.

        Personally, I consider anything over 30 mph to be a general “high rate of speed” on my bike, and anything over the speed limit to be specifically “high”. When in a parking lot, I consider the de facto “speed limit” to be the same as an alley: 15 mph. I don’t know whether that is correct or not, but I rarely drive or ride that fast in parking lots; I consider 10 mph to be the max “safe” speed in a parking lot.

        The question remains, though, whether the “high rate of speed” assessment was made of the cyclist’s speed on the street or in the parking lot–or both. Regardless, you are correct about the requirement to stop prior to entering a roadway from a driveway, so his speed in the parking lot is immaterial if he failed to stop when exiting.

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        • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 12:31 am

          “”High rate of speed” when used to refer to a bicycle is a meaningless phrase. …” El Biciclero

          Presented as a question to people as road users and people traveling the sidewalk, I think many of them would disagree with that viewpoint. Being much smaller than most motor vehicles in use on the road, people riding bikes can be accordingly harder to visually detect the presence of.

          This smaller size compared to that of most motor vehicles, could signficantly factor into an increase of the chance of colliison occurring over that where a motor vehicle is in use instead.

          Using as an example, some of the known facts of this collision, it’s conceivable that if instead of a bicycle pulling out of the parking lot onto Killingsworth, a car or larger motor vehicle pulled out, the person driving down Killingsworth would have accordingly been presented with the motor vehicle’s larger profile to spot and take evasive action from.

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          • El Biciclero March 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

            What do people’s (mis)conceptions of bicycle speed have to do with having a smaller profile? If anything, the smaller profile of a bicycle can tend to inflate people’s estimates of bicycle speed, which makes estimates of a “high rate of speed” even less reliable when applied to a bicycle.

            I still maintain that “high rate of speed” should be given no credibility when used to refer to a bicycle. At the very least, there is a double standard applied to speed estimates of motor vehicles vs. bicycles. Between a car and a bicycle traveling side-by-side at 25 mph, which one is more likely to be deemed to be traveling at a “high rate of speed”?

            Regarding speed estimates of bicycles by sidewalk users, just start paying attention to comments on “bike” stories in, e.g., the Oregonian or other news sites: cyclists on the sidewalk always seem to be going 20 – 30 mph, while cyclists in the road are usually described as going 5 – 10 mph. In reality, they’re all probably going between 10 – 20.

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            • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm

              “…Between a car and a bicycle traveling side-by-side at 25 mph, which one is more likely to be deemed to be traveling at a “high rate of speed”? …” El Biciclero

              In that situation, a bike but not the car, in good light, on level ground, 25 would probably be considered to be traveling at a high rate of speed. People can see the rider pedaling vigorously.

              Elsewhere at 25 mph, depending on the circumstances, either bike or motor vehicle, cutting across a street beyond an intersection, cutting across a sidewalk, or a parking lot at may turn out to be characterized as traveling at a high rate of speed.

              It’s how fast the moving object is moving past people’s field of vision in a confined space, which people may fairly regard street cross sections, sidewalks and parking lots to be.

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    • q`Tzal March 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      It depends.
      If it was “One Of Us! One Of Us!” it would probably be over 30mph.
      If it was a “muggle” anything over 5mph is probably considered too fast.

      As a veteran of many poor driving choices in my infamous youth “too fast for conditions” means “you didn’t avoid a collision that you obviously could have if you weren’t going that fast regardless of the posted speed limit.” This BTW is the colloquial translation a SC cop gave me after expertly quoting the precise vehicular code and handing me the ticket.
      Ah youth; no one was ever moving fast enough for me.

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      • davemess March 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

        They said he was riding a high rate of speed on Cully (not the parking lot, although I guess you could infer that), so wouldn’t that have to be over the speed limit technically? Otherwise there is no real limit on bike speeds.

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        • wsbob March 28, 2014 at 7:12 pm

          “…They said he was riding a high rate of speed on Cully (not the parking lot, …”

          What readers here have to go on as to the rate of speed he was traveling, is the 1:13 pm update to this story, reporting the police investigation statement. Again, since it may be relevant to reasons this collision occurred, to all readers, I’ll raise the question:

          What mph do you think would represent a high rate of speed to be traveling across a parking lot? 5mph? 10mp? 15mph? 20mph?

          The police did not distinguish whether the high speed he was had been traveling, was confined to just Cully, and not the parking lot. Possibly, from the speed he was traveling on Cully, he reduced his speed somewhat upon entering and crossing the parking. At this point, exactly what his speed across the parking lot, and other actions on the parking lot were, isn’t reported in the police report.

          It’s likely though, that many people with a fair amount of experience on the road by one or more modes of travel, have some idea of what speed constitutes excessive speed when entering or crossing parking lots.

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          • q`Tzal March 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

            And a related issue is the legal duty of public road users when leaving private property (residential, commercial, paved, dirt) that transitions directly to the public road.
            My dealings with PPD as a licensed security guard suggests to me that there is no legal requirement of people exiting private property to come to a full and complete stop.
            Perhaps those of us that can read legal code can point to the appropriate vehicular code that governs the responsibilities of road users as they enter public roads from private property.

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            • wsbob March 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm

              Doesn’t have the exact language you used, “…come to a full and complete stop. …”, or the specific phrase ‘parking lot’ though I believe the ORS the link below leads to, definitely specifies that a stop would be required for a situation consisting of an exit from the parking lot of the convenience store on Cully-Killingsworth.


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              • q`Tzal March 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

                If I had to guess I’d say that the people that wrote the law initially would have tried to keep the wording non-specific enough that the legal consequences for unsafely entering a public road from a private residence would be the same as from an industrial property or a commercial parking lot. It is the public road that matters not what a private person/entity does with adjacent property.

                From a practical standpoint large commercial & industrial users that have frequent vehicual traffic at otherwise high traffic roads often are able to pressure their local DOT to install a full traffic signal at their driveway.

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              • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

                “…private…” q`Tzal

                In situations such as those that actions on private property leading up to this collision represent, I think ‘private’ would relate to the use a given person may be using the particular private property for.

                Here, it’s a convenience store, a business. The parking lot is there for people to park their cars while shopping or conducting other business at the store. For various reasons, the owner isn’t likely obliged to allow the public to use his parking lot for a cut-through, danger posed by such action likely being the general underlying reason.

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              • q`Tzal March 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

                And I just read that code link too. As far as my interpretation goes everyone has to stop too.
                I’ve learned not to trust my interpretation of laws versus their real world implementation.

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        • q`Tzal March 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm

          Also, for the sake of being purely pedantic, if a bicycle is recognized as a vehicle by Oregon law why shouldn’t posted speed limits apply to bicycles?

          It won’t happen often but it does happen. In a school zone Casey Jones better watch his speed.

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          • Terry D March 30, 2014 at 8:31 pm

            Legally bikes ARE vehicles, so you can get a speeding ticket in a school zone going over 20 MPH on a bike. Rarely applied of course since how many cyclists are 1) going over 20 MPH 2)get caught to the point of being pulled over and ticketed. I was pulled over once for running a red…actually it was yellow…. going northbound into DT on 4th once. He told me I was going “to fast for conditions” when in reality I knew that if I could only catch that light I had smooth sailing all the way until Old Town. He gave me a “warning” he wrote down in a little spiral pad….

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      • Phil Hanson March 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm

        One is never credited with potential accidents that are avoided, only discredited by accidents that aren’t.

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      • Beth March 29, 2014 at 9:58 am

        I really hope you’re using those terms (“One of Us” and “muggle”) with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Otherwise the non-racers in this town would have every reason to take offense. Let’s not turn the bicycle scene into a circular firing squad, okay?

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        • q`Tzal March 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

          Oh quite.
          One Of Us!” if one understands the movie reference seems as denigrating to an insular community as “muggle” is for referring to outsiders; perhaps more so.
          I really prefer “mundane” over “muggle” but it is much more insulting.

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    • Craig Harlow March 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Cutting corners through parking lots Illegal in Portlande? Not unless the law has changed in the past few years. Local municipalities in Oregon may ban the practice–and some do–but neither the state of Oregon nor the City of Portland do.

      “As long as you signal before entering the lot, and drive at a safe speed – and stop and signal before leaving on the other side…it’s OK.”

      – Portland Traffic Division Capt. Todd Wyatt, May, 2001.

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      • Craig Harlow March 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm
      • wsbob March 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm

        Isn’t trespassing illegal? If the parking lot being crossed is private property with no easement designated for public through travel that’s not related to business of the property owner, crossing a parking lot in that type situation could be trespassing.

        At any rate, people cutting through parking lots to shave a few seconds or minutes off travel time or avoid traffic and waiting for traffic lights, can be rather blatant and irresponsible. And risky and dangerous as well.

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      • davemess March 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

        Oh thanks. I thought I had heard or read somewhere that it was illegal.

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      • matt picio April 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        Indeed – it’s illegal in Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard, but not in Portland. Joe Rose mentioned it in an Oregonian article a few years ago: http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2011/05/cornering_gresham_traffic_chea.html

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        • wsbob April 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm

          Everyone, read Joseph Rose’s bit about the legality of cut-through’s. Quoted in that bit, Portland Traffic Division Capt. Todd Wyatt doesn’t say the practice is legal. What he says is:

          “As long as you signal before entering the lot, and drive at a safe speed – and stop and signal before leaving on the other side,” “it’s OK.”

          Rose whimsically paraphrases Gresham’s reasoning for adopting an ordinance against the cut-through practice:

          “…Yes, in Gresham, the practice is banned, even when you’re feeling the wrathful health benefits of bran muffins. Jimmy Law calls it “using private property to avoid a traffic control device” – a $250 ticket. …” rose/oregonian

          Private property. So Rose is contradictory and incorrect, when he says “…But Portland and Oregon City are among the places where zipping through parking lots to get ahead of traffic is still perfectly legal. …”. Trespassing is not legal. Unless someone wants to try and contrive an excuse that trespassing on public property is o.k. .

          There’s more, substantial stuff in Rose’s short bit, about the inadvisability of the cut-through. It emphasizes the potential hazards of the cut-through, that possibly contributed to the collision having occurred on Killingsworth.

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  • pdx2wheeler March 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    My interpretation is the cyclist was “cutting corners”. That is, riding against traffic, cutting through a parking lot, not wearing a helmet, and not crossing at the intersection with the signal… That behavior works really well in an urban environment 99% of the time. It’s that 1% of the time that blindsides you. Its a lesson that most of us, including myself, probably had to learn at some point in our riding adventures. I feel fortunate that when I learn my lesson it didn’t include critical injuries. Ryan, I wish you a FULL and speedy recovery!

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  • wsbob March 28, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    “…Investigators learned that Egge was riding his bicycle northbound on Cully Boulevard at a high rate of speed when he cut through a convenience store parking lot on the southwest corner of Cully and Killingsworth and continued riding onto westbound Killingsworth, where he struck a 2013 Dodge Dart traveling westbound, driven by 64-year-old Cheryl Sellars. …” PPB update excerpt posted to this bikeportland story

    Michael, thanks for keeping on top of the police investigation updates. Traveling at a high rate of speed and cutting through the convenience store parking lot as a means of crossing Killingsworth, instead of riding in the lanes of the street for travel, and waiting as required for the traffic signal lights to clear the intersection for a relatively safer turn from Cully, seems to have been a mistake made by the person riding.

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  • Chris I March 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Wow, if that police report is true, that sounds like really reckless behavior.

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  • Lynne March 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    “high rate of speed”… was the cyclist exceeding the speed limit? was the cyclist going faster than the prevailing speed of traffic?

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    • JV March 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Yeah, by bypassing a traffic light by cutting into a parking lot it is likely he was travelling faster than the prevailing traffic, which may have been stopped. Pure reckless, self-endangering behavior is to blame here.

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  • was carless March 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    How does a cyclist end up running into the side of a car? Obviously not a lot of info on this one yet, but sounds like a bad decision was made.

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  • PNP March 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    And here I was happy to read a report that didn’t include the obligatory comments about whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet.

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    • Paul Atkinson March 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      I’m torn between genuine curiosity (1) and pure snark (2).

      As a good friend says, “embrace the power of And.”

      1) He sustained significant head injury, and bike helmets are commonly used to prevent that. Why would you think it’s irrelevant here?

      2) Oh, don’t worry, *you’re* a great rider. It won’t happen to *you.* Besides, his head trauma would have been worse with the helmet on, because of reasons.

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      • gutterbunny March 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        First of all i want to express my best wishes to the driver and the rider. Thank you to the driver for sticking around, and I hope for a quick and full recovery of the rider.

        Now to respond to your post.

        Because there isn’t a single piece of evidence that helmets actually prevent anything more than bumps, bruises, and scrapes at low speeds. More than that and it’s all speculation and confessional evidence. There really isn’t a good study on either side of the debate. The data is too poor to make a definitive answer one way or another.

        And in this case thus far the rider has survived without wearing helmet in a high speed crash, which evidently looks to be a result of his reckless behavior. Helmets aren’t going to save you from your own bad decisions.

        Mind you “head injury” could just as easily be face injury as well, The account here is the bike hitting the side of a moving vehicle, the head injury could be and most likely is a face plant into the side of the vehicle, helmet wouldn’t have helped this at all.

        Evidence on either side of the helmet issue is at best speculative. I'[m not taking a stand either way, other than to say that the information of helmet use in traffic collisions is nothing more than reinforcement of the bicycle being an unsafe transportation option to the public at large, which it really isn’t. And that it also is a form of victim blaming by the press (this one included) and individual statements (this one included too). Both of these things I do object to.

        Was the driver wearing her seatbelt? Was the driver wearing a helmet? There are vastly more head injuries even with seat belts and air bags in automobile users than bicycle riders. Why when we when driving an automobile not required to wear a helmet? It would save more lives and injuries than it would on bicycle riders.

        The ONLY thing that has been proven to increase safety on the roads for bicycle riders are more bicycle riders.

        Other than that I don’t care, wear what you want to.

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        • JEFF BERNARDS March 29, 2014 at 3:45 am

          Climate Change is just a rumor too. I’ve had 2 bike accidents in 50 years of riding, the helmet saved my “brain” both times. Please have insurance and thanks for artificially raising the cost of insurance. Any and all preventive measures you can take benefits the whole of society, not just your bruised ego having to wear a helmet.

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          • gutterbunny March 29, 2014 at 8:34 am

            Surviving a collision with a helmet on and giving it credit for “saving your brain” is like winning the National Spelling Bee and giving credit to the mismatched “lucky”socks you wore.

            BTW I’ve got about nearly 40 years of helmetless riding behind me. I too have been in two auto collisions- survived just fine without a helmet. Unlike you I can safely say that wearing a helmet didn’t affect the outcome of my collisions.

            I’m not by any means saying I’m proof if they are effective or not, I’m just making the point that confessional (your post and mine) evidence isn’t anything but talk, unless you went out a recreated the crash without a helmet and in that way learned that the helmet did in fact save your brain. Which is ridiculous.

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            • JEFF BERNARDS March 29, 2014 at 10:27 am

              Yea, and some smokers live to be 80 years old, that doesn’t mean smoking isn’t dangerous.

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              • 9watts April 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

                Smoking is understood to be an activity that harms both the person doing it (even if they live to be 80), as well as those around them. In fact more people die of smoking related issues than from “alcohol, AIDS, car accidents (sic), illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined.”*
                Bicycling without a helmet doesn’t fit either of those criteria as far as I know. Funny, but a reach in my view.


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            • davemess March 29, 2014 at 11:54 am


              I’m sure you’ve seen this one. What are your criticisms?

              And I’m with Jeff, I had a crash about 10 years ago where my head when straight into a car’s windshield (shattering it) at 25 mph. Even with a helmet, I had a pretty serious concussion and was in and out of consciousness for about 2 hours. Amazingly, I walked away with just the confusion and a cut on my chin. Nothing broken. I shutter to even think of what that would have been like without the helmet.

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            • Terry D March 30, 2014 at 8:46 pm

              I was riding down Barbur in 2000 while a dead tree limb had fallen over the roadside barricade at head height if you were on a bike. I did not see it in the darkly lit narrow bike lane until my head made contact with it and I ended up on the ground in the travel lane.

              The helmet was cracked…..but I was not even stunned and manged to grab my bike and get out of the lane with only seconds to spare before the car coming around the blind curve would have run me over.

              My pants were torn to the point of uselessness and the next few days I was sore as hell….Without a helmet I am convinced I would have been killed by either the knock out or by being run over.

              Now, I personally blame the inferior bike lane over my riding “too fast for conditions”…but the point remains. From a purely economic standpoint the co-pays of even a small hospitalization would have paid for all of my helmets over the past 30 years….and I was not insured then.

              Overall you may be right that the evidence is not perfect, but sometimes they do work.

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        • El Biciclero March 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

          It also depends on what kind of riding you do. I generally like to go as fast as possible (30 – 40 down hills, 20 on flats) without endangering others. I get slower every year, but because I favor high-speed riding when possible, I usually wear my helmet. I once encountered a low-visibility, low-angle-of-incidence, low-friction situation in which I was tossed off my bike and I am positive that my helmet prevented me from getting a scrape on my forehead (I was able to get up and finish riding home with just a sore pinkie, a sore shin, and a displaced brake lever). When I inspected my helmet later, it took a while, but I located some small scratches on the corner of my visor and on the helmet shell itself about an inch from where the visor attaches. I assume it was not much of an impact because my breakaway visor didn’t even begin to break away.

          The only other time I have fallen over while wearing a helmet, the helmet was unbuckled because I was walking my bike and I somehow entered an alternative gravity vortex that pulled my bike away from me, and instead of having the sense to just drop it into the bushes where it was headed, I planked along with it. My helmet comically flounced off my head and rolled over once.

          Other times my helmet has saved me from injury when standing up underneath the edge of a road sign or riding past low-hanging blackberry vines/tree branches, and prevented me from hitting my head on the door frame of my car–wait, no, I think it caused me to hit the door frame of my car due to making my head so much bigger.

          I think the most reliable “protection” I get from my helmet is the smidge of extra visibility I get from its day-glo color and reflective bits. Although I often imagine my helmet would give me some kind of advantage if I were ever accosted by street youths or other ne’er-do-wells. As a non-fighter, I might be able to lead with my head if I ever had to fend off an attack.

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      • Chris Anderson March 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        It’s like a vaccine: I have a different balance of risks without a helmet but I think it’s worth it for the societal benefit of making riding more appealing. (Getting more people on the road matters more than much else. If you get enough people on the road you’ll end up building expectations that make riding safer for everyone.) When you look at it that way it can be easy to feel critical of the helmeted but everyone has their own balance of risks and comfort. Personally I get unsettled on occasions I have to don a seatbelt and dodge tailgaters at freeway speeds.

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  • wsbob March 28, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    “…That behavior works really well in an urban environment 99% of the time. …” pdx2wheeler

    Towards avoiding collisions and close calls, most other road users that have to watch out for guys that do what this one is reported to have done did, would probably not agree that this type of riding behavior supports safe, collision free travel.

    In countries known for using the principle of Strict Liability to determine how responsibility for consequences of collisions should be assigned, I wonder how liability would be applied to people involved in a collision like this one. Would the 64 year old lady driving her 2013 Dodge Dart, and T-boned past the intersection by this guy on his bike, be found liable to some extent for not having avoided the collision?

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    • Alan 1.0 March 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Under Dutch law, Sellars’ insurance might still have to pay half the damages even if Egge’s actions were as negligent as the PPD update makes them sound, unless it could be showed that he intentionally crashed into her car. In any case, for more on Dutch ‘strict liability’ see:

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      • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 12:55 am

        “…even if Egge’s actions were as negligent as the PPD update makes them sound, …” Alan 1.0

        Whether his actions were negligent, and how negligent they were, is yet to be determined.

        Could the person driving that was involved in this collision have reasonably been able to do something to avoid the collision? I’m not sure, but with the Strict Liability system, it could be that people are considered liable, unless they can prove their involvement was not reasonably avoidable. Besides being able to say ‘They ran into my car, I didn’t run into their bike.’, which may be required, it could be difficult for people to prove they couldn’t avoid being collided with.

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  • Psyfalcon March 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    How fast was a high rate of speed? Well, fast enough to not miss the side of a car.

    Pretty lucky an eastbound car wasn’t coming, that building is right on the street.

    Car had its lights on? Getting pretty dark then. I just can’t figure out how you hit the side of the car on the opposite side of the street.

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  • dwainedibbly March 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I have, in the past, done stupid things. I probably will in the future. For those reasons I won’t criticize the cyclist. I hope he makes a full recovery.

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    • q`Tzal March 30, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Truly the feature that unifies all humanity: the propensity for moronic behavior no matter what the IQ.
      Let’s all join hands and proclaim “I too have been a bonehead!”

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  • Opus the Poet March 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    The picture of the wreck on KOIN did not show a bike that ran into the side of any vehicle unless it was travelling backwards at a high rate of speed. http://koin.com/2014/03/27/bicyclist-injured-collision-car/ The front of the bike is pristine and there were no visible dents in the driver’s side of the car which appears to be the make and model of the motor vehicle described in the narrative. The back wheel of the bike appears to be missing along with the right rear dropout… I’m reminded of The Bard’s comment of the state of the art for the preservation of fish in Denmark.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 28, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Photo is not clear at all. Could be damage to left rear door, odd reflection there. Left front fender not shown forward of front wheel. Bike seems to have a Headshok type fork, may be a Cannondale MTB. Rear derailleur may be the dark thing at the right rear dropout area. Where are rear brake calipers? No lights on bike.

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    • Opus the Poet March 28, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Still from the narrative you would expect at least a pringled front wheel, but nothing of the kind is visible. Also where is the rear wheel? Did someone steal it as the cyclist was on the ground injured? Like I said the damages to the bike don’t match the narrative. And BTW you can see the brake arms hanging off the pivots, it looks like the brake noodle came out of the socket during the wreck. Or maybe when the rear wheel was taken. 😛

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      • davemess March 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm

        yes super weird all around.

        And MTBs are made more take vertical hits than horizontal ones. I’ve run into a car head on like this and the front end completely crumpled (granted a road bike) back about 3-5 inches. Oddly enough the front wheel was still true, but the tire exploded (and again a road wheel). The downtube just folded right behind the headset though. I would have expected to see at least something like that here.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 29, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Headshok front end is hella stout, so is an MTB wheel, takes a lot to do obvious damage. Impact may not have been hard, may have been at an angle, rider may have led with his head, head injury may have resulted simply from falling to the pavement – unprotected head is quite vulnerable.

    Rear wheel missing is puzzling. Maybe rider laid bike down, or went into a skid, and bike slid into the car, rear leading. Maybe he tried to cut in front of the car and the car struck his rear wheel (then how does bike end up on the left of the car). Maybe bike had a secondary impact – fell to the ground and the car ran over the rear wheel, etc. Maybe rear QR was loose.

    The exact mechanics of the accident are just speculation – too little information to go on.

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    • Opus the Poet March 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Zoom is your friend here. Besides the rear wheel the right rear dropout and the rear derailler cable are both missing, but the cable housing is still there at the front of the bike. The damages to the bike are less and less supportive of the narrative.

      Don’t forget what we learned from CSI: the physical evidence can’t lie. If the physical evidence can be fitted into the narrative then the narrative is good, but this physical evidence flat out contradicts the narrative. I’m not saying that any of the witnesses are lying, just that their interpretations of what happened are at odds with the physical evidence.

      I don’t know what happened, all I know is what didn’t happen.

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      • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        police report excerpts from this bikeportland story:

        “…when he struck the side of the westbound vehicle…”

        “…where he struck a 2013 Dodge Dart…”

        No witnesses have been quoted. There’s just a police statement, which some news organizations have borrowed from almost directly. What about the ‘narrative’, are you disputing?

        I tend to think that if he hadn’t somehow struck her car, the lady driving may not have had a reason to stop her vehicle. Nothing has been reported specifically about how he happened to struck the car, except that he did do so.

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        • Opus the Poet March 29, 2014 at 5:15 pm

          OK since you persist in being dense the “narrative” is the written description of the events in order as they transpired in the wreck. It is composed of witness statements and descriptions of speed and direction derived from measurement of skid marks and other tire tracks.

          I tend to fall into technical terms because I have been reading police reports about bike wrecks since 11/2006 (Oh my Goddess! has it been that long?) I stopped counting the number of reports after I passed 3000 some time in early 2010. There may be someone out there who has read more of these reports than I have, but that person has not made him or herself known to me.

          And all I’m saying is the written description published in the media does not match the damages visible on the bike and the car in the only published picture of the wreck site and vehicles.

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          • John Liu
            John Liu March 29, 2014 at 5:38 pm

            From the single poor quality photo, you cannot know what happened, and cannot say if the photo is or isn’t consistent with the cursory description of the accident in the article.

            The article simply says the bike hit the car. Not what part of the car was struck, at what angle the bike hit, how fast the bike was going, whether the bike was upright or sliding at impact, what happened to the bike after impact, etc.

            For example: suppose the bike crossed the Killingsworth E/B lane and turned W/B onto the Killingsworth W/B lane, the car was driving W/B, the right side of the bike/rider collides with the left side of the car, not necessarily a hard impact, enough for bike and rider to go down, bike’s rear wheel goes under car’s wheel and is torn off the dropout. I don’t know if that happened. But it is one of the possible scenarios consistent with both the photo and the article’s description.

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          • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm

            Please excuse my ‘density’. You seem to believe you’ve read witness statements in the brief, preliminary, publicly released police investigation description of the collision. No such statements appear to be included in this story or comments to it. If you have a link to where they’ve been posted, please either copy and paste the witness statements in a comment here, or post the link.

            You and some others reading this comment section, seem, on the very brief descriptions of the collision included in this story, to be making the assumption that a particular type of impact occurred, that included the bicycle and the car. There’s been no statement that the bike struck the car. There has been a statement that the person riding struck the car.

            That is, some part of his body may have struck the car, but the bike may not have. The impact from his body striking the car may not have damaged the car. His head may have become injured through an impact with the pavement, or a fixed, immovable part of the car such as the door post.

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            • John Liu
              John Liu March 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

              Ah, good reading. Yes, I interpreted the article as saying the bike hit the car, you are right that it is ambiguous as to whether bike or rider or both hit the car. “He” could, in normal English, refer to either.

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  • q`Tzal March 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    “…private…” q`Tzal
    …the owner isn’t likely obliged to allow the public to use his parking lot for a cut-through, danger posed by such action likely being the general underlying reason.

    Oh, I’m definitely not suggesting that any private property owner bears any culpability for what a 3rd party does transiting through their publicly accessible private property.

    Even if the law did not require stopping completely before entering a public road from private property there is the issue of right of way.
    A road user in a lane that is continuing in that lane has right of way in that lane.
    If I start to change lanes I maintain ROW in my lane until my vehicle enters the next lane at which point I lose ROW for both lanes until completely establish my vehicle path in the new lane.
    If I enter a road it is my duty to yield to all vehicles in the road that currently have ROW.

    While it may be normal for people to exit driveways at high rates of speed it is still incumbent upon them to yield to vehicles in the road they are entering.

    It is starting to sound more like this situation is an role reversed left hook. Normally the bike is established in the travel lane and the automobile hits the bike; this seems to be a situation where the cyclist would claim to have not seen the auto. This can not be a common bike vs car crash.

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    • wsbob March 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      “…While it may be normal for people to exit driveways at high rates of speed…” q`Tzal

      Not responsibly, commonly or legally.

      Unless it’s specifically assigned that function, private property being publicly accessible does not oblige that property to serve as a public road exclusive to the private property owners business on the property.

      In general, cut-through’s are bad practice. People cutting through parking lots for little reason other than to try shave travel time, isn’t just a liability issue. It’s dangerous for everyone…other people on the private property, people on the street, sidewalks, and so on.

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      • q`Tzal March 29, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        I’m not disagreeing with anything you’ve said but my diverse experience in bad teenage driving habits and employment as an Oregon licensed unarmed security guard gives me a different perspective on this.

        Every reasonable permutation of this collision comes back to “it could have easily been avoided if the vehicle exiting private property had slowed down, stopped, payed more attention or any combination of the 3”. It really doesn’t matter what the vehicle was.

        The private property issue is somewhat complicated. Similarly to corporate entities needing to forcefully prosecute even the tiniest infringement of their intellectual property so too must private property owners take reasonable steps to restrict public access if they don’t want the public to access their property. A fence, wall or barrier of almost any kind would legally qualify in this situation.

        But the property owner bears no responsibility for the cut through nor the collision off the property. Also, public accessibility does not make their property a public throughway but there is a reasonable assumption that is particularly risky behavior will occur. Humans in transit are much like lightning: while most will follow the path of least resistance some branch off in inexplicable directions terminating just as inexplicably.

        As for “Not responsibly, commonly or legally.
        Definitely not responsibly
        Almost certainly not legally,
        But non-compliance with the law is so far beyond common as to be the majority behavior.
        I’m not going to pretend that most drivers zip out of drive ways at 55mph but over 90% of drivers do not come to a full and complete stop at driveway exits unless there is traffic they would have directly collided with. When there is minimal traff more than 50% won’t bother to slow down any more than is required to may their turn without losing control of their vehicles.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 29, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Drivers are required to stop when exiting a driveway onto a roadway. Exiting at speed is illegal. I presume that would be so for a cyclist too.


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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm


    Sorry, need the last digit

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  • jim March 29, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    The problems I have seen in this area has not been the fault of the infrastructure rather than it is the fault of people riding bikes in an insane fashion, much more so than in any other part of town. I saw a guy ride right out across a red light on his bike with no headlight at night right in front of a police car. There are numerous people trying to get from the trailer park to the Plaid pantry also. Those same people would still be just as dangerous walking though.

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    • spare_wheel March 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Pedestrians are dangerous? Talk about cognitive dissonance.

      The *only* significant danger on our roads are the hominids driving heavy machinery at speeds that can instantly maim or kill other hominids.

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      • John Liu
        John Liu March 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm

        Danger to themselves, I suppose.

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  • Smarty99 March 30, 2014 at 9:32 am

    The cyclist is my cousin. He is in very bad shape and in a coma. I am just praying that he has a full recovery. That’s all that really matters to me.

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    • Pete March 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Regardless of all the banter here, our thoughts and prayers are with him for a full and speedy recovery!!

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  • q`Tzal March 30, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Opus the Poet
    Cyclist making a left turn gets in the turn lane, driver takes umbrage at the cyclist not being in the bike lane and moves into the cyclist and the now out-of-control ballistic mess that is the cyclist hits the vehicle in the cross street. Of course the wreck did not happen in TX but I have been “herded” by drivers who didn’t think I belonged in the turn lane. his could have just been a slightly more violent version of that.

    The left turn conundrum, to me, speaks to the root cause of this collision. Sure the cyclist irresponsibly/illegally cut through the parking lot to make that left.
    Why? Because it is usually easier, quicker and safer.
    Quicker is hard to argue with.
    Easier is a function of breaking one maneuver in two seemingly simpler ones: this is apparently deceptive.
    Safer is an indicator of what Opus describes above. I’m almost certainly in that “fearless” category. I’ve been cycling by necessity for over 20 years. I refuse to get muscled out of where I’m legally supposed to be. Despite this legal left turns from a multi-lane road are problematic.

    For this left turn scenario:
    Where exactly is a bicycle supposed to be positioned in the left lane when there is just 2 lanes?
    How about a dedicated left turn lane?
    How about 2 dedicated left turn lanes?
    Sure we need to be in the same lane as if we were driving a motor vehicle but WHERE in the lane?
    This would be the best time, Vehicular Cycling-wise, to position yourself right in the middle of the turn lane but the law is mostly silent. As far to the right as practicable is dangerous when you aren’t in the right lane; it confuses auto drivers and angers the ones behind you that have no clue what you are doing.

    The lack of clear guidance and education has made using the legal left system at least feel more dangerous if not actually more dangerous. Because of this people on bikes feel compelled to make up their own routine for left turns. Inevitability this ends up being more deadly over time and even more confusing for drivers because they can’t legally be required to intuit the eccentricities of every cyclists’ left turn routine.

    This is just messy. There’s just too much blame for all of us. Except for maybe the individual driver in this singular case.

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    • wsbob April 1, 2014 at 11:23 am

      “…Where exactly is a bicycle supposed to be positioned in the left lane when there is just 2 lanes? …” q`Tzal

      The center of the lane, of course. I don’t believe there’s any suggestion whatsoever in Oregon’s statutes, that people traveling by bike are required to travel far to the right side of the left lanes of roads with two or more lanes for a single direction.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 30, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Dedicated left turn lanes ( pockets) are usually no problem.

    When there is no pocket, either (a) arrive at the intersection when there is no oncoming traffic and make the left turn, or (b) stand out in the lane signaling left until you can make the turn, or (c) go into pedestrian mode and use the crosswalk. (a) is a matter of lucky timing and (b) can be dicey, especially if it is dark and you are riding without lights. In that case, (c) always works and is obviously preferable to (d) cut through a parking lot and land in the hospital.

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  • jim March 31, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    It would probably be better if bikes didn’t ride on the Portland Highway.

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    • El Biciclero April 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      It would probably be better if cars didn’t drive in school zones…

      Who’s riding on the Portland Highway? The parties in this collision were both on Killingsworth west of where it joins the PH, heading west away from the PH.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 2, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Jim, there is no reason for cyclists to avoid that intersection. There are left turn pockets and bike lanes on both Killingsworth and Cully. The problem here was, assuming the article is correct, the cyclist’s own behavior.

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  • Dena Egge April 3, 2014 at 1:46 am

    So theres alot I can say being his big sister but fyi ppl ive seen both the police report an the trauma surgeon’s report from the first surgery. YES he should have been wearing a helmet but he didnt hit her and HIS TOX REPORT WAS CLEAN. Hes still in critical condition an may never awake from his coma. Im pointing no fingers but please when sitting there judging knkw hes fighting for his life an was proven he broke no traffic laws.

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    • wsbob April 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Hey Dena…sorry to hear your brother’s injury turned out to have been so traumatic. It’s an inescapable reality, that even activities that should be relatively danger free, can turn out to be very dangerous. I hope, somehow, he’s can summon the life energy to come around and be healthy again.

      You say you’ve read the police report. If you’re willing to offer more thoughts about the situation, can you explain what you thought from reading the report, that may have led you to say “…he didnt hit her…”. Thanks.

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  • Dena Egge April 3, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Hes not a cyclist either just a young guy riding up from Killingworth to the store do his girlfriend and got hit.

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  • Dena Egge April 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    The bike is mangled and back tire missing if anything sheer dynamics an physics prove his skull fractures are from a forcefl trauma of being hit from behind and landing on his face. (Surgeons words.)

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    • spare_wheel April 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

      thanks for taking the time to update us, dena. i really hope your brother wakes up soon.
      best wishes,

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  • jessica jade May 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    sorry about the loss of your brother I can only imagine how you’re feeling because I know how I’m feeling completely depressed he was my ex boyfriend we broke up in January stupid bullshit drama and there’s not a second of any day that I don’t think about him and wish that things could have ended differently, love him until the day he died.

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  • Dena Egge May 13, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Its public, I need everyone on here that’s criticizing to go read the damn police reports there’s 11. I could care less honestly at this point who’s fault it is. His memorial is on the corner he died 2 wks ago today an layed in agony the last 2wks of his life as he came out of a coma an passed away. He cried and cried but couldn’t speak. I wouldn’t wish this pain upon anyone an ask people to be considerate when speaking about him. You didnt know my baby brother.

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    • spare_wheel May 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      I’m sorry for your loss and I apologize that you had to see the above classless internet debate.

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    • wsbob May 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Tragic, heartbreaking, and a continuing mystery as to what all led to the collision your brother was involved in. Unless there is something in the police reports, which I have not read, that does satisfactorily explain why the collision occurred. An important point of discussion about collisions, is, or should be, first learning perhaps, reasons they occur, so as to help keep them from happening again.

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