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BTA statement on 26th and Powell collision questions state priorities

Posted by on May 13th, 2015 at 11:22 am

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(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Rob Sadowsky, the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has issued a public statement about the serious injury collision that happened in southeast Portland on Sunday.

The statement lists five things Sadowsky feels need to happen in order to, “move from injuring, maiming, and killing people on the road to a place where traffic fatalities are few and far between.” The statement will be sent to BTA members later today.

I’ve shared it below in its entirety:

Imagine being a young athlete, 22 years old, on your way to visit your mother. In the blink of an eye, you get in a crash, nearly die, and lose your leg. That’s what happened to Alistair Corkett on Sunday and what sparked protests this week. Corkett’s life is changed forever, the driver who hit him will certainly carry this with him and Alistair’s mother will never think of Mothers Day in the same way.

On Monday, in response to this crash, nearly 100 people on SE 26th and Powell performed some “radical acts” as part of a protest: they rode bicycles on the street, stood next to it chatting, and walked across it confidently with their kids. These are activities that would be normal on a typical, healthy Portland street but Powell is not one of those. Despite the fact that a school and a park are along this street, we have become so used to it being dangerous that these perfectly legal activities, along with some signs, attracted police, two Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) staffers, and news helicopters.

That’s a sign that something is seriously wrong at this intersection. That’s a sign that we need to do something to allow people to walk, bike, and drive safely. It’s a sign that we must put our resources and efforts into fixing the city’s “high crash corridors” and dangerous intersections.

The fact is that this crash was entirely preventable. In fact, we believe that most crashes are preventable. Here’s what needs to be done to move from injuring, maiming, and killing people on the road to a place where traffic fatalities are few and far between:

CREATE PROTECTED BIKEWAYS AND SIGNALIZED CROSSINGS.
Sharing space works on slow, low-traffic streets like neighborhood greenways but Monday’s protest perfectly illustrated the need for separate, protected bikeways and signalized crossings on our big streets. It was remarkable to see how inefficient a busy street becomes when pedestrians cross at an unsignalized intersection and just a few bikes mix with a lot of cars in the same lane. Anyone frustrated by being stuck behind bicycles in their car should be quick to see the value of protected bikeways and signalized crossings.

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FIX HIGH CRASH CORRIDORS THAT CAUSE CONGESTION.
High Crash Corridors like Powell are streets that are disproportionately dangerous to their users. These streets essentially force people into cars. For many, the only way to cross them safely is in a car. The only way to move along them is in a car. Want to get to Cleveland High School? Get in the car. Little league practice at Powell City Park? Get in the car. The result? Lots of cars and a dangerous focus on moving those cars as quickly as possible to accommodate even more cars. If walking, biking, or taking transit were safer and more realistic options, there would be far fewer cars on the road competing for space.

BUILD POWELL-DIVISION HIGH CAPACITY TRANSIT.
We have an opportunity to fix Powell. Metro and Trimet are in the early stages of planning a high capacity transit route along inner Powell. It will likely run as far east as 82nd before turning north to run along Division. This project will include millions of dollars of improvements for walking and biking along its path but the current question is: is it worth the effort and expense to make improvements along the route itself or will improving parallel routes suffice? In other words: bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Powell…or a few blocks over? It is clear to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance that this project presents a perfect opportunity to finally make Powell safe for walking and biking.

EMBRACE VISION ZERO NOW.
We cannot wait for High Capacity Transit to addresses the current concerns at SE Powell and 26th, or on the SW Barbur Bridges, on 82nd Avenue, or any number of other High Crash Corridors. These are all places where the Oregon Department of Transportation has failed to make safety their top priority. The City of Portland is currently waiting for ODOT’s approval for a signal on SE Powell at SE 28th — two blocks west of Sunday’s crash — as part of their 20’s Bikeway project.

BUDGETS SHOULD REFLECT OUR VALUES: SAFETY AND HEALTH.
The Oregon Department of Transportation routinely states that safety is their top priority but the agency’s budget suggests otherwise. Every year, millions are spent on roadway expansion projects while high crash corridors like Powell continue to claim lives. For the amount already spent on new roadway projects like the Sunrise Corridor or planning for the failed Columbia River Crossing — projects with comparatively minimal safety benefit — ODOT could have made massive safety improvements to their most dangerous streets.  

Let’s be clear and intentional. As a city, the lesson of this one crash and this one intersection is important. The lesson is that Portland needs to be safe for kids, families, pets, people walking, people using wheelchairs, people bicycling, and people driving. And safe means you don’t take your life in your hands when you cross the street.  It is time for Vision Zero today, and that means real effort on the ground on intersections and roads like this one all across the city.

Sincerely,

Rob Sadowsky
Executive Director

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118 Comments
  • Avatar
    Who? May 13, 2015 at 11:31 am

    BTA brand of activism…

    1. Don’t ruffle any feathers, just observe what others do to make change
    2. See groups actually making things happen/ getting things done
    3. Chime in- I’m sure a letter to our members and a mention on BikePortland will do
    4. Reflect back on how the BTA is the greatest and take credit for other peoples’ work
    5. Go back to not ruffling feathers (More fundraising happening soon)

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      invisiblebikes May 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      The A in BTA does not stand for “activism” they are not an activism organization anymore.
      And that’s a good thing, to make changes cyclist need representation on both fronts, one that plays by the Politico’s rules… that is what BTA tries to do.
      And another (or 2 or 3) that rattle people’s cages and use activism tactics… that is where Portland is stagnate and lacking. We need more groups rallying more people to protest and stand up and fight. But that is not what BTA is about and it should stay that way.

      It is much more to our benefit having a voice of reason representing us to the stuffy slugs in Salem and capitol hill than the voice of crazy.

      And I disagree that BTA is chiming in or waiting for others to react, I think their approach is calculated and spot on Political tactics… let the activists stir the pot and rile up the media and then use that to move in on the political side, surrounding ODOT and law makers on both fronts placing pressure at the right time.

      I think we’re on the verge of making some big strides and now is not the time for in-fighting amongst ourselves.

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      • Tony T
        Tony T May 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm

        One person’s infighting is another person’s criticism and pressure.

        If BTA’s political equity can’t withstand some criticism and pressure, then they aren’t nearly robust enough to do the job.

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        Case May 13, 2015 at 2:09 pm

        They canned their lobbyist and stated they are no longer going to work statewide. This is a statewide issue. They don’t have a dog in this fight, because they choose not to. They are the definition of impotent.

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          Carl May 13, 2015 at 2:32 pm

          Our lobbyist is named Jonathan Manton. He’s worked for us for years. Here’s what he helped us accomplish today in Salem: https://btaoregon.org/2015/05/great-news-for-bikes-in-the-oregon-legislature/

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            Some dude May 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

            Carl, I’ve got great respect for the BTA and even more for you personally. However, your example and that bill seems a little weak compared to what’s going on in the city these days. The bill was brought by motorcycling groups and the BTA got bikes tacked on there. Is that really worth the time and money required to support that effort? How many BTA Memberships does it take to pay for Mr Manton’s work? And do you think those members know their dues are paying the salary of a for-profit political lobbyist?

            Also, signal responsiveness is not first priority in my list by a long shot. I’ve never gotten home and thought, “Boy, those traffic signals were sure unresponsive.” Most of the time I’m counting my blessings that someone didn’t run me down while I was riding on one of Portland’s many, many streets without any space for bikes.

            It’s certain the BTA can get things done when it wants to. But the work in Salem the BTA engages in seems like it’s guided by something else than the needs of most Portlanders & Oregonians.

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              Carl May 14, 2015 at 6:01 pm

              Someone said we fired our lobbyist and no longer worked in Salem. I only brought up the day’s win on that little bill because it showed that rumors of our lobbyist’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

              We’ve got much bigger things going on in Salem. One of the biggest and most challenging is defending Connect Oregon, an important funding source for bike and ped projects including trails. These are projects that DO impact your day-to-day life and I’m glad we’ve got a professional lobbyist working to win funding for them.

              http://bikeportland.org/tag/connect-oregon

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        Eric May 13, 2015 at 7:40 pm

        “Ourselves” would like to no longer be sorted by those who chose to use a less energy-intensive, polluting, and obnoxious method of crossing the street. In the sustainable energy future, we’ll have moved pass such nonsense to form tribes by shoe size (and those with the one true foot will rule!)

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    9watts May 13, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Safety is high on ODOT’s list – if the risk it to people in cars. Matt Garrett found $7M within a month of Steve Fritz’s death on I-5 to extend those cable barriers in the median.

    ODOT needs to stop waffling with its curious metric of fatality free days
    “ODOT’s goal is to achieve 175 fatality free days in one year. Last year they had 170.” http://bikeportland.org/2014/11/12/vision-zero-coming-focus-portland-113313
    and embrace the full Vision Zero thing already.

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      Psyfalcon May 13, 2015 at 11:45 am

      That is an odd metric. Does it really matter if 200 people die one per day or over the course of a day. In one case, they fail their metric, but in the other, its a huge success.

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        paikiala May 13, 2015 at 11:53 am

        you conflate one metric with another.
        Total fatalities is different from ‘days without a fatality’.

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          9watts May 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

          But isn’t that part of the problem here? ODOT doesn’t like Vision Zero and so concocts a mysterious metric that is (a) unintuitive, and (b) easily confused or misinterpreted.

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            Adam H. May 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm

            Right, OBOT is purposefully construing the data to make it seem better than it is. “Days without a fatality” is meaningless because it specifies nothing about the total number of deaths and the frequency.

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              BikeSlobPDX May 13, 2015 at 1:06 pm

              “Days without a fatality” is meaningless because it means to ODOT, Sunday was a good day.

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              paikiala May 13, 2015 at 1:55 pm

              Days without a work injury is a common metric in the construction industry.
              Used in the Vision Zero context it is a counter to the naysayers that Vision Zero is impossible.
              Zero road deaths forever more is likely impossible, but achievable goals, like no fatalities in a month are attainable.
              Hyperbole about one death a day versus 200 in one day doesn’t move the conversation forward.
              When was the last day 200 people died on Oregon’s roads in one day?
              200 per day is the national average, but not ODOT’s responsibility.

              Seems like no matter what ODOT does, it gets criticized. I often wonder if no matter what you do, you get criticized, does it matter any more what you do?

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                Chris I May 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

                I disagree, but only in the case of roadway death statistics. You probably know as well as we do that there are several “heavy hitter” days each year: New Year’s Eve, Memorial weekend, Labor day weekend, etc. Using this statistic allows ODOT to make the problem seem smaller than it really is. Why not just list deaths per year? Or better yet, deaths per VMT?

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                paikiala May 14, 2015 at 9:45 am

                Deaths per Vehicle Miles Travelled is a very poor metric. All I have to do is have a program to increase VMT and that metric will go down. Deaths per 100k population normalizes the fatal crashes regardless of mode. ODOT would likely not count single vehicle bike fatal crashes or fatal bike-ped crashes if they occurred. DMV doesn’t enter the reports that are currently filed that don’t involve automobiles.

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                Josh Berezin May 13, 2015 at 4:31 pm

                It’s a silly metric.

                If they insist on using it, they could use it the way the construction industry does. They typically display consecutive days since the last injury. That metric, when applied to ODOT roads, would always display “0”.

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                paikiala May 14, 2015 at 9:45 am

                It’s a metric people with high school first order math can understand.

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                9watts May 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm

                “Seems like no matter what ODOT does, it gets criticized.”

                I’ll answer that one. I criticize ODOT readily when they do something that strikes me as wrongheaded, obfuscatory, deceptive, or offer lame excuses for why they’re not doing the thing for any non-car contingent that everyone is asking them to do. This fatality free days metric as a counter to Vision Zero for me captures their approach. Read the following sentence:
                “Our strategy is to do what we can to make that single fatality free day become a weekend, then a week and eventually a month – and more.”

                What kind of nonsense talk is this? Wishful, weird, vague, without any specifics or measurables. Compare that to Sweden’s Vision Zero language.

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                gutterbunnybikes May 14, 2015 at 6:14 am

                Admittingly we will likely never see 200 fatalities in one day (short of a bridge collapse), but but I recall in December of 2012 a bus crash outside of Pendleton in which there were 15 fatalities.

                For most people that would be 15 more fatalities that year.
                For ODOT just one.

                And auto collisions with multiple fatalities are not an uncommon occurrence, especially on the highways which is ODOT’s responsibility.

                ODOT’s metric is screwed up, and everyone knows it – just like the day’s without injury boards at work. No one works “safer” the next day just because no one got injured the day before.

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                paikiala May 14, 2015 at 9:50 am

                Patently false statement. It would have been a single fatal crash event, but it would have been 15 fatalities.
                And outlier examples don’t help with the goal – fewer fatal and serious injury crashes. Fatal crash events are typically random, though they tend to have common factors. It is the factors that need to be addressed, not the rare tragic events. The hyperbole distracts from the boring regular task at hand.

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                paikiala May 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

                ODOT’s annual reports report both numbers.

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          El Biciclero May 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm

          Well, if we only have 175 days without fatalities, it does imply that at least one person dies on each of the remaining 190 days of the year. That is an expectation that in a “good” year, only about 200 people will die from traffic in Oregon.

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            paikiala May 14, 2015 at 9:54 am

            A fine example of the high school math problem mentioned earlier. The average person doesn’t understand statistical analysis let alone ratios.

            A fatal crash after 175 days without one implies nothing about the future. It’s the same disclaimer – past performance does not indicate future returns – you get from people selling financial investments.

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              9watts May 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

              But, Mr. paikiala, look at the back and forth that ODOT’s mysterious metric has engendered here: muddle, misgivings, mistrust. What were they thinking? Why did they assume their metric was better than the alternative(s)? What were they hoping to achieve? Sometimes simpler is better. Just compare what ODOT is saying to this:
              http://www.visionzeroinitiative.com/en/Concept/The-human-factor/

              A clear, honest exploration of the difficulties we face in eliminating fatalities, but no mush-mouthing, no wishful nonsense. How hard can it be?

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                paikiala May 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm

                The zero fatal crashes in a week, a month, a year, was an anecdote shared by the lead speaker at the bike summit, something a Swedish engineer said to him in response to the push back about vision zero not being achievable.

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              9watts May 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

              And more –
              (Can you imagine ODOT putting this out in a press release?! Ha!)

              “Transport systems are traditionally designed for maximum capacity and mobility, not safety. This means road users are held responsible for their own safety. The Vision Zero Initiative takes the opposite approach. We place the main burden for safety on system design because we recognise human weaknesses and low tolerance to mechanical force. Ultimately, no one should die or suffer serious injury in traffic.”

              http://www.visionzeroinitiative.com/en/Concept/The-vision-zero/

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                paikiala May 14, 2015 at 3:45 pm

                I don’t believe the first statement to be true. Road systems are designed to attempt to maximize capacity, mobility and safety. This is the problem, the attempt to treat them equally and not putting safety ahead of all others.

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                9watts May 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm

                You cannot maximize two variables simultaneously.

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                paikiala May 15, 2015 at 10:04 am

                Math again. You can maximize two or more variables at the same time, you just can’t get them above a ceiling affected by the other variable. The maximum x can achieve when tied to y maybe less than when uncoupled, but it is still a maximum.

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                9watts May 16, 2015 at 7:15 pm

                We’re really getting into the weeds here, but if we are talking about surface streets, for instance, capacity (lots of cars, speed) is going to be anathema to safety (absence of bloody crashes) then the attempt to maximize both variables* is going to be very frustrating and ultimately fairly meaningless.

                * not that ODOT is trying to do this, but you were suggesting they could.

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    Adam H. May 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    ODOT cares about your safety but only while you’re in a car.

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    • Tony T
      Tony T May 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      I think they care more about general convenience than your safety when you’re in a car. Barbur Blvd is killing people in cars too and they won’t do anything that might slow it down.

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      paikiala May 15, 2015 at 10:12 am

      In terms ODOT can understand, it is the Life Cycle Cost Analysis, LCCA, that is or is not performed for each project, and the attributes that are used to evaluate two comparable projects, that is missing from their project evaluations.

      Many jurisdictions do a Benefit Cost Analysis, BCA, that considers first, or capital costs, along with expected changes in crashes, often using low valuations for crash type, and not considering net present value, NPV.
      An LCCA approach sets a specific common multiple service life for evaluation (10 or 20 years), and evaluates not only capital costs, but NPV of maintenance, expected crashes, fuel consumption, user delay, and pollution generated.
      An apples to apples comparison of not only what it costs to build, but what it costs all of us to own, is how projects should be evaluated.

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    PeeJay May 13, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I didn’t see any BTA involvement with Monday’s action until it was all over. But now they get to claim it as their own?

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      Carl May 13, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      This statement references an event on Sunday (a terrible crash) and on Monday (a well-organized protest). By referencing them, the BTA is not claiming them as their own. Know your enemies, PJ.

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        Peejay May 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        I don’t view the BTA as an enemy, not in the least. I (and many other current and former members) do wish that the BTA would not shy away from more direct activism however. Maybe that’s an unrealistic goal.

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        Peejay May 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm

        I’m sorry I mischaracterized the intent of the BTA here. I know they (and you) do great work we don’t even hear about. We are all so frustrated with the lack of progress and the dangers we are forced to accept that we sometimes take it out on our allies, just because their methods are different. This is why we need a diversity of groups, each doing what they do best.

        Again, apologies.

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    9watts May 13, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    ODOT:
    “In 2010, we had 175 fatality-free days, and we expect the number to be very close to that for 2011,” said Troy E. Costales, division administrator. “Our strategy is to do what we can to make that single fatality free day become a weekend, then a week and eventually a month – and more.”

    next paragraph:
    “Bicycle fatalities did not go down in 2011; in fact, bicycle fatalities resulting from car crashes more than doubled from 2010 to 2011 (from 7 to 15*), and local governments are already doing more to improve safety, such as adding dedicated, green-painted bicycle lanes. Still, increased awareness on the parts of both drivers and riders is critical. ODOT’s Safety Division is supporting a “Lighten Up… And Be Seen At Night” campaign to remind bicyclists how important it is to use lights and wear bright, reflective clothing.”

    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/GOVREL/pages/news/031912a.aspx

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  • Tony T
    Tony T May 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    ODOD – Oregon Department Of Driving

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    RM Hampel May 13, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Be careful what you wish for on SE Powell. If you make it perceptively slower for automobile traffic by whatever means, drivers will divert to other routes from outer SE to inner SE/Downtown. Look at what has and is happening on Division and Clinton streets: the city made Division less desirable/slower for inbound auto traffic (in the morning rush hour) resulting in many drivers switching to coming in on the Clinton St bikeway. Drivers will ALWAYS take the fastest route (or what they perceive as fastest) and cyclists and other vulnerable road users may suffer.

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      Chris I May 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      So making Powell faster should make the other streets safer, then? You are ignoring the macro effect of changes like this. Powell is one of the last streets in that area that functions as an expressway. I know, because I often use it when I-84 is a parking lot. If you slow down Powell, some people will shift to neighborhood streets, but other people will shift to transit, and other people will shift to bikes. As the time difference between driving and other alternatives gets smaller, the incentive to drive continues to decrease. I am not aware of any examples of cities that have managed to increase transit and cycling modal share while also making driving more convenient.

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        Paul Souders May 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm

        “I am not aware of any examples of cities that have managed to increase transit and cycling modal share while also making driving more convenient.”

        Singapore does this, sort of. Most of its streets are either divided/limited access OR residential-speed surface streets. For such a small & crowded place it is a surprisingly great place to drive AND walk/take transit. (it is *meh* on a bike, it’s hard to cross the island for example)

        OTOH: Singapore. It is not an easy/cheap place to get & own a car (or license) and they are not light on traffic violators.

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      Paul in the 'Couve May 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      You forgetting about the other end of that metric which we have now. If most people don’t feel safe walking or biking to close by destinations a few blocks down Powell or just across Powell then the will drive those trip, adding more traffic and congestion and risk to Powell, taking up parking, and making it more unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians. The through traffic then rushes to buzz around the right turning and left turning cars, weaves in and out of slower local traffic, and causes more risk and danger for everyone. Meanwhile traffic backs up at side street lights and drivers are impatient trying to turn right or left on to Powell.

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        Brian May 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

        Perfect example. There was no parking at HUB so we had to park on the street next to the bowling alley, across the street. I had two children under age 5 with me. We used the crosswalk next to the bowling alley. I had to step into the street to force cars to stop, and then have my wife and the two children step out behind me when it was safe. I am a fearless cyclist (I actually enjoy the excitement of riding downtown) and I was nervous just walking on the sidewalk with two children. I held their hands. Tight. The entire time. The speeds are absolutely asinine. All it takes is one stupid lane change with a car in the blind spot, and you have the next ped fatality. I believe one reason it is difficult to find a parking spot at HUB (besides the delicious beer, of course) is because so many of us are nervous to ride there with children. Being fearful to bike to a restaurant pisses me off. Citizens should never have to live in a culture of fear to walk or ride a bike anywhere. Period.

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          Oregon Mamacita May 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

          Not all streets can be on a road diet. Maybe the problem is HUB’s decision to reap the benefits of cheap real estate with the trade off that the site faces a state highway. While I am sorry that drivers did not honor your family’s right to cross the street safely (I would have stopped and put on my flashers for you) I think folks have expectations for Powell and Foster that are unreasonable. The trucks that carry HUB beer have to travel somewhere.

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            davemess May 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm

            I have always thought that location for HUB (a business that markets it’s self as the ultimate bike bar/beer) was incredibly odd.

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    Andyc of Linnton May 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    BTA, are you ready to take on ODOT over the St. John’s Bridge again or was that one attempt 10 years ago all we’ll ever see? I’d honestly like to know if this is also still on your radar. Thanks.

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      Panda May 13, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      I will second this! There is no reason for Portland’s most beautiful bridge to have no safe access for bikes and pedestrians

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    Kyle May 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    “Sharing space works on slow, low-traffic streets like neighborhood greenways”

    I can’t think of a greenway in Portland that would seriously qualify as low-traffic anymore. Especially in inner SE and NE Portland, where I’m constantly dodging not only cut-through traffic but speeding and distracted cross traffic as well. I witness hurried drivers crossing SE Ankeny, for example, failing to look both ways and cutting in front of bicyclists 5-10 times TWICE DAILY on my commutes. This is unacceptable. I feel like cyclists are being herded off to side streets so we don’t “slow down” car traffic, and then the car traffic is overrunning the side streets.

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      Chris I May 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Tillamook? I think?

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        Kyle May 14, 2015 at 6:32 am

        Not in my experience. At the very least there’s a ton of cross traffic throughout, and the sections just east and west of MLK see a LOT of cut-through traffic thanks to the light there and lack of diverters.

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          paikiala May 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

          Kyle,
          Can you name the greenways that have been improved to current standards?

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            Chris Anderson May 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

            I know NE Going is widely held out as exemplary by PBOT staff, when in reality it is so bad that I don’t recommend the other parents in my pre-school start biking. Issue is mostly cross street stop sign runners.

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      Paul Souders May 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Well said.

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    Kelly Francois May 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Are NE Broadway and NE Weidler ODOT operated roads? There is no way anyone can say those thoroughfares are safe for vulnerable road users. Living in Sullivan’s Gulch, I frequently see my elderly neighbors scurrying across these multi-lane highways. The speeding is insane, and just try crossing at an unmarked crosswalk. It is ridiculous.

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      Zan May 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      No, they are city streets.

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        Kelly Francois May 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        That’s even worse! So we are protesting for PBOT to take over Powell when these ‘highways’ (NE Broadway and NE Wiedler) are allowed by PBOT to exist as they are?! Why are we taking ODOT to task, when locally we aren’t doing it better?

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          Alex Reed May 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm

          PBOT is not perfect, just better. Witness the road diet going in on Foster ( similar traffic volumes to Powell -24,000 vs 26,000). I think we’ll still have to push for what we want from PBOT, but it’ll be a lot faster than with ODOT.

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            Adam H. May 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm

            You mean the road diet that includes door-zone lanes instead of protected ones and a refusal to remove underutilized car parking?

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              davemess May 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm

              Yes, one and the same. Whether you believe so or not the proposed changes are a huge win for everyone, and will drastically improve that road.

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          paikiala May 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

          How long have you been here? Curious what your perspective is on how bad Broadway/Weidler is.

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            Kelly Francois May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

            I’ve been here almost exactly a year. I moved here from Baton Rouge, LA for a more active lifestyle. We are a car free family with 2 teens and a tween, so most of our family trips are either on foot or by public transit. When I’m alone, I travel almost exclusively by bike. I was shocked by the crossings of NE Broadway and NE Wiedler, they are like the roads in Baton Rouge! Although the bike lanes at first seemed amazing to me at first, I quickly realized they were extremely unsafe and that I never would want my kids to ride their bikes on them. I feel like the NE Broadway/NE Wiedler corridor is unfortunately car centric and hurts the commercial businesses on Broadway. The good news is that it’s kept the property value relatively low – bc the most walkable areas are the most desirable. Who wants a speeding 3 lane highway through their neighborhood?

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              paikiala May 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

              So you don’t know what it was like before the recent changes?
              Which crossings?
              Are you familiar with the parallel neighborhood greenway?

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                Kelly Francois May 14, 2015 at 6:42 pm

                Yes, I use the parallel Greenway all the time. All through Irvington is beautiful and stress free. The crossings I’m referring to are the unmarked ones, at 17th and 22nd are the ones I use frequently. When I’m on my bike going North, I leave my neighborhood via 16th, where there are signaled crossings, into Irvington via the Greenways. When I’m on foot, however, it’s quite a pain to go a few blocks out of my way for safe crossings to go to my neighborhood destinations. And the traffic on Weidler/Broadway does NOT treat unmarked crosswalks legally. Where most people stop when I cross NE 21st at unmarked crosswalks, cars rarely stop for me on Wiedler/Broadway. Both streets are just too much like freeways. And between the lights on 16th and 21st, people build up immense speed, and through the curve on Weidler that leads back onto Broadway, most people FLY down that part.

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                paikiala May 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

                ‘like freeways’ 50-60 miles per hour? you’ve tried crossing a freeway?
                ‘immense speed’ in a curve? like 25 mph or 35?
                ‘FLY’ flying cars?
                So you intend to state that motorists on an intentionally high volume major city traffic street through a commercial district speed, and that you feel unsafe crossing the street. But the words you use, the hyperbole, degrades your message.

                Please contact 823-SAFE and request a crosswalk study at the crossings of concern using NCHRP 562 and a crosswalk enforcement action as well.

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    CaptainKarma May 13, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    How could you possibly have high speed/high capacity transit on Division now?

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      Adam H. May 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Division above 82nd has plenty of room. Four car lanes, two parking lanes and a center turn lane.

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        davemess May 15, 2015 at 7:19 am

        And bike lanes going both ways.

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      paikiala May 14, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Outer Division is only part of the proposed BRT route. Last I saw the route shifted to Powell closer in.

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      hat May 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      The Metro planning process pretty much excluded MAX as a possibility for any part of the corridor despite evidence that half the people who were interested supported it. So what we are stuck with is low speed, medium capacity transit, certainly better than the current state, but far from persuading people to leave their cars at home.

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        davemess May 15, 2015 at 7:18 am

        That survey process was pretty shady. They gave you the option to say “I want MAX”, right as they were telling you that they didn’t have anything close to the money to put in MAX.

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    Michael May 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    It feels like a nice and very safe statement from Mr.Sadowsky. Unfortunately it is not very specific when it comes to actual asks or demands.

    For just one example – the paragraph on “build powell-division high capacity transit.” As he points out, this is already being looked at. What specific features does BTA want to see in light of the crash that just happened “to make Powell safe for walking and biking”? Unfortunately, we don’t know because they are not provided. it seems a missed opportunity – which is in line with people’s frustration about BTA.

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    Andyc of Linnton May 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I’m going to volunteer with the BTA next week to meet some folks in person. Maybe this is an avenue to discuss things with the organization.

    https://btaoregon.org/join/#volunteer

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    Paul May 13, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I’m not sure what is meant by “signalized” crossings. In this instance, a red light/green light left turn arrow may have prevented the collision. However, more left turn arrows are going to flashing yellow, so that wouldn’t have necessarily made any difference.

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      paikiala May 14, 2015 at 10:03 am

      probably means more signalized crossings – an increased number – adding delay to Powell (and often attracting cut-through traffic or local users to use)

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    Mark May 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I would like to see the BTA pressure legislators to provide *real* penalties for driving with a suspended license and for driving without insurance. The jackhole that severed Alistair’s leg was driving without insurance, something he’s been cited for previously.

    How about that DUI driver, Jonathan Flesey, that had his license revoked *for life* ? He gets out of prison, and what does he do? DUI again. The judge went super easy on him because it wasn’t clear if he’d had the necessary diversion treatment, but the fact that he was driving at all was apparently no big deal.

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    Cervelo May 13, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Haven’t read all of the articles on the 26th/Powell collision, but did it say anywhere if the truck hit the bike; or did the truck turn in front of the bike resulting in the bike hitting the truck? If the bike hit the truck, where did the bike contact the truck – front half, back half, head on, etc. If the truck hit the bike, what part of the truck contacted the bike? Just trying to get a better picture of what actually occurred.
    .
    One other thing, were they both in the intersection when the collision occurred? The truck must have had one of those “green ball” left turn signals that doesn’t have a green arrow? Those are extremely dangerous because when a distracted driver sees a green light they think “It’s green, I can go” but for a left turn that isn’t the case – they must yield to opposing traffic.
    .
    Did the cyclist say why he thought the collision occurred? Was his bike not very visible because, for example, he was being passed by a southbound car on his left, making him invisible to the truck driver?
    .
    Also, did it say anywhere if the cyclist was wearing high visibility clothing? And did it say if he was wearing a helmet? Just trying to figure out HIS attitude toward his own safety.
    .
    A person running for office was quoted in the May 10th BP article as saying: “…….. Fragile human bodies stand no chance when they come in contact with metal machines weighing in at thousands of pounds and moving fast. Helmets and reflective clothing won’t change this reality….”
    .
    Once the collision is under way that quote is correct, but the FACT is that high visibility clothing can help prevent the collision from happening in the first place. Any attempt at achieving VISION ZERO must address this or it cannot be taken seriously. Protective infrastructure is great when it is FINALLY installed, but in the mean time, those who value their own safety will decide to do everything they can to be seen by drivers of motor vehicles.

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      gutterbunnybikes May 14, 2015 at 6:36 am

      The driver of the truck didn’t have insurance. Thus legally the liability of the accident is automatically his fault. Because he shouldn’t have been on the road to begin with.

      Helmets or hi-viz are not required to be worn. And please show me any shred of evidence that hi-viz helps visibility and reduces collision incidents for bicyclists? (BTW- I’ve looked and there is none).

      You’re attempts at victim blaming (see my first sentence) is merely an attempt to change the subject.

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        davemess May 14, 2015 at 9:32 am

        Where did you see that the driver has no insurance? Didn’t see that mentioned in any of the previous articles. And he wasn’t cited for driving without insurance (at least not according to Jonathan), which I would assume would be the easiest ticket for the police to issue on site.

        There seem to be a lot of details of this crash that have been either not reported or ignored.

        I don’t view this as victim blaming as much as just getting to bottom of what actually happened (there were reports on this site form witnesses that said the cyclist ran a yellow and hit the back of the truck which was already mostly done wit his left turn). These are important facts, if the BTA and other bike advocates are going to use this crash a big example of driver error/unsafe facilities/etc.

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        Mike May 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

        Just because someone asks questions doesn’t mean that person is “victim blaming”.
        What is so wrong with finding out the facts and details BEFORE lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks?

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          Bill Walters May 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm

          Mike, a couple of your questions *are* sharpened pitchforks. Helmets and high-viz gear are not legal requirements and irrelevant in the context of a broad-daylight crash with no head trauma. You might just as well ask if the victim beats his dog. Or maybe at least ask if the driver kept his windshield and headlight lenses clean.

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          gutterbunnybikes May 14, 2015 at 4:13 pm

          I’m not bring out the pitchforks and torches. The post in which this a reply is clearly an attempt to blame the bicycle rider for the incident.

          First point, the Cervelo excuses the driver by saying they were forced into a high risk maneuver, which isn’t true. The maneuver as Cervelo describes, was against the law to begin with. Legally you should not enter the intersection unless you can clear it. Do most drivers do this, hardly. But that doesn’t mean that nosing out into the intersection to gun it for a too small gap in opposing traffic or to run a yellow or red on left hand turn make it legal. It is still illegal. Yes, legally you might have to sit through a green light…or two.

          The rest is all questions of the bicycle rider. With a plea in the last paragraph that high viz should be worm. By the way, helmets and high viz are not required by law, and thus have absolutely no bearing on the outcome or questions of liability in this incident.

          Also, please note, the bicycle rider lost a leg. Helmet use would have had no impact on results of a leg injury.

          The entirety of Curvelos comment is clearing an attempt to blame the bicycle rider, who is the victim and is paying the price of this instance regardless of legal liability.

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            gutterbunnybikes May 14, 2015 at 4:20 pm

            I should also say, that EVERY SINGLE bicycle helmet manufactured warns that they ARE NOT protection in collisions with automobiles. That is because they are designed to protect you from falls, not high impact collisions.

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              wsbob May 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm

              Falling off bikes can occur by way of collisions with motor vehicles, accounting for the advisable use of bike helmets to help counter the consequences of a person riding a bike, and having their head impact a hard surface, due to such a collision.

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            davemess May 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm

            “Legally you should not enter the intersection unless you can clear it.”

            We have no way of knowing if this happened or not in this situation. The eye witnesses claim that the truck was mostly through it’s turn when the light was yellow and the cyclist entered.

            Again, without a decent account of what actually happened (which I haven’t seen on this site, and please correct me if I’m wrong), we’re all just partaking in a bunch of blame and conjecture.

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        Cervelo May 14, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        The truck driver may have been driving illegally – I didn’t say he wasn’t – I’m wondering what, physically, contributed to the crash – driving without insurance does not contribute to crashes.
        .
        No one suggested that High Viz clothes or helmets are required -we all know they are not required, but smart people use them, because there are MANY studies that show they save lives – ODOT workers, fire fighters, and most industrial workers use high visibility clothing BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SEEN SO THEY CAN GO HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES AT NIGHT.
        .
        I am not blaming anyone, I am trying to determine what happened, what may have contributed to the crash, etc.
        .
        Based on other comments, it sounds like the bike hit the rear of the truck – if so it is clearly the cyclists fault. Yes – even if the truck driver was drunk, had no license, and was getting a BJ at the time – if the cyclist hit the rear of his truck as he made the turn then the cyclist is at fault. Sorry.
        .
        And for your safety I found a good use for your bicycles:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqSzrS6ksUM

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          Bill Walters May 15, 2015 at 8:52 am

          If there are “many studies” demonstrating the efficacy of high-viz gear in broad daylight, it should be easy for you to cite some (or one?) Please do.

          The presence/absence of a helmet didn’t contribute to the crash any more than the presence/absence of insurance. But the insurance issue does help define a person’s attitude toward compliance with law, while helmet choice does not.

          This was a left-cross situation (driver’s left turn across someone proceeding straight, thus usurping right-of-way), so “rear” doesn’t mean square on the rear bumper. It means something closer to the rear quarter panel or side of the rear bumper. Unless the driver spun out in a 180, which you must admit would have its own implications.

          Your last paragraph would seem to reveal a lot about the true spirit of your engagement here, which likely has little to do with establishing what really happened.

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            Cervelo May 16, 2015 at 12:03 am

            Bill, yes, studies supporting my claim are plentiful and easy to find if you have Google – here are a few studies and articles and you can find a lot of opposing evidence also. I’ll do what I can to be visible to car drivers, however, if you don’t want to that’s OK with me.

            http://goarticles.com/article/Bicycle-Safety-Invest-In-Some-High-Visibility-Safety-Gear/9320686/

            http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Bicycle/

            Go to page 9-5 in this PDF by the NHTSA: (It says to reduce collisions with cyclists “make cyclists more conspicuous”.) That means wear High Viz clothing for you folks in Rio Linda: 😉
            http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhtsa.gov%2Fstaticfiles%2Fnti%2Fpdf%2F811727.pdf&ei=qeJWVcv8EsyBygSMgYHIBg&usg=AFQjCNHbqpoHXfbfgZvFYi0iPqgoYegnHw

            See page 2 (on the left) in this NHTSA article:
            http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811624.pdf

            We all know that reflective clothing and lights makes you safer at night (especially if the reflective stuff is on a moving part):
            http://road.cc/content/news/95353-study-says-cyclists-should-make-themselves-seen-reflective-clothing-not-hi-vis

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              Bill Walters May 18, 2015 at 11:10 am

              Remember the challenge is to cite a study showing that the use of high-viz gear in broad daylight saves lives. All of your links fail that challenge. Feel free to try again. Warning to all: The rest of this gets pretty “inside baseball.”

              Some of your links lead to studies and all of them _mention_ high-viz gear in some context, but none of them _show_ , through reporting and analysis of data, that its daytime use saves lives. Taking them one by one:

              The goarticles.com link leads to an article that is not even remotely a study; it describes no collected data, and therefore no analysis, but only makes unsupported assertions. It then swings into a broad product round-up, and ends conveniently with a plug for the author’s product.

              The cdc.gov link leads to an article that is mostly a collection of bullet points. Most of the bullet points are followed by a reference number that correlates with one of several studies or other sources listed at the end. The use of high-viz gear in daytime is mentioned under the heading “Active lighting and rider visibility.” Under that heading, the other bullet points have reference number 7, but the one about high-viz in daytime _has no reference number_. This suggests the author was not confident that the source made any case about high-viz in daytime. And it means that bullet point is no more than an unsupported assertion.

              Page 9-5 in the NHTSA PDF cites no studies, collected data or analysis to support its suggestion to “Increase the conspicuity of bicyclists.” Note that the document _does_ cite studies for many other topics, even on the same page. Also note that the wording of the suggestion is so vague that any conclusions about when (broad daylight?) and how (high-viz gear?) to “increase conspicuity” would just be guesses.

              The other NHTSA article reports data about cycling fatalities. It covers location, time of day, age, gender and alcohol involvement. It reports _no data at all_ about how the killed riders were attired or equipped. The last paragraph in the sidebar on page 2 does include an admonition to use high-viz gear in the daytime, but it offers no data or source in support.

              So: We want to believe that high-viz in the daytime will keep us safe, and we repeatedly hear and read such assertions — so we start to accept it. And if assertion and belief are enough, then high-viz in broad daylight belongs in the same category with, say, a St. Christopher’s medal.

              Meanwhile, back at Powell and 26th: Was the victim wearing a St. Christopher’s medal? Because apparently that could help define the victim’s attitude toward his own safety.

              Finally: As a Sacramento native, I recognize the Rio Linda reference from decades ago when Rush Limbaugh broke out. (Sorry, world, on behalf of all Sacramentans.) And that’s all I will say about that.

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                Cervelo May 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

                I can cite MANY fatal car/bike wrecks in the metro area where the person was not wearing high visibility clothing.

                How many can you cite where the person was wearing high viz clothing? Not many I’ll bet.

                The proof is in the pudding.

                BUT you do what you want – if a car hits you I will not feel it.

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                Bill Walters May 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm

                Please leave the goalposts where they are. You still need to find a study to cite.

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                Cervelo May 18, 2015 at 6:38 pm

                Real life study Bill: Cite all the incidents you can where cyclists were hit by motor vehicles during daylight hours while wearing fluorescent orange or yellow tops, or where they were hit at night while wearing reflective clothing and while using flashing lights front and rear. Doubt you can do it. Fact is, if it had EVER occurred the comments on this website would have shut the website down due to heavy traffic.

                If no one is keeping track of this data, it’s time it was collected and made available to the public (including past years).

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                Bill Walters May 18, 2015 at 10:49 pm

                “…but smart people use them, because there are MANY studies that show they save lives…”

                Again, leave the goalposts where they are. If you are unable to cite any studies, it’s time to admit you were wrong about their existence — or at least their ubiquity. Maybe then it would be appropriate to take up other angles.

                Remember how this started. It has to do with imposing one’s belief, like Job’s false friends, as judgment on a person for his own grave condition — thus implying superiority, and thus exemption from fear of the same fate. But what does it say about the propriety of such a cruel coping mechanism if you’re now having to backpedal from what you so confidently professed?

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                Paul in the 'Couve May 18, 2015 at 11:19 pm

                MIke Cooley, Interstate Ave, June 15, 2013 – riding at night, wearing reflective vest and running 3 tail lights and a headlight and multiple reflective patches on his bike – hit and run. Search the Bikeportland archives. There is one. off the top of my head. Another, the young child hit at the intersection of 50th??? and Division?? sitting in a bike trailer (a big bright yellow box) with a flashing light – hit while at a stop light behind another car, stopped at a red light.

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                Bill Walters May 18, 2015 at 11:49 pm

                BTW: A while back, another BP commenter posted a link to a British study on high-viz in daylight — not exhaustive, only covering being passed from behind: http://bikeportland.org/2015/02/27/oregon-lawmaker-wants-punish-people-bike-without-hi-viz-clothing-135100#comment-6218281

                In that same comment thread, you can find several anecdotes of incidents meeting your latest criteria.

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                El Biciclero May 22, 2015 at 8:54 am

                Christeen Osborn, Siobhan Doyle, Kirke Johnson, I’m sure there are others; I was hit (not seriously) by a driver making a right on red while I was crossing with the signal in a crosswalk that is part of a MUP—while wearing bright orange and using flashing lights at 9 am.

                The “efficacy” of hi-viz gear is only as good as a driver’s attention. Just as reflectors “don’t work unless headlights are already pointed at you”, hi-viz doesn’t work unless a driver’s eyes are pointed in your direction and the driver isn’t “attention-blind”, and the driver is not making assumptions about your speed or lane position.

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                Alan 1.0 May 22, 2015 at 8:25 pm

                Kerry Kunsman – reflectors, light and hi-viz triangle: http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/kunsmanrear.jpg

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              wsbob May 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm

              There is far too much of an inclination on the part of some people, to rely on ‘studies’ to take a stand whether use of safety gear such as hi-vis and helmets use by people biking, are beneficial to avoiding close calls and collisions, and consequences of them.

              Hi-vis gear, meaning bright colors, reflective material and lighting, can indisputably aid people driving responsibly, in visually detecting people walking and biking on the road; the degree of aid able to be presented, can be of course, variable relative to specific conditions of each given traffic situation. Nevertheless, use of hi-vis gear by people biking is a definite improvement to chances of avoiding close calls and collisions with other road users.

              Making as criteria for use of such safety gear, the requirement that use of the gear totally eliminate close calls and collisions, is effectively an attack on common sense inclination to take advantage of safety benefits, use of the gear has to offer.

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                Bill Walters May 22, 2015 at 11:30 pm

                In this context, those aren’t the issues. Trace this thread upstream. It has to do with rather ghoulishly insinuating fault on the maimed crash victim for presumed choices outside the scope of the law — rather than focus within the law, such as right-of-way (left turn vs. straight).

                But OK: Without the collection and analysis of data (that is, studies), on what basis do you claim “indisputable”? After all, you need look no further than this thread to find quite a lot of apparent dispute. Faith might be an acceptable answer, in that the function of something like a St. Christopher’s medal is beyond analysis and thus beyond dispute.

                Not that I’m *opposed* to high-viz in broad daylight; I use a bright green backpack on a “can’t hurt” basis — just like I would wear a St. Christopher’s medal. But the shark-jumping occurs in passing judgment on others for *not* choosing to wear the stuff. It veers toward religious intolerance.

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                wsbob May 23, 2015 at 12:33 am

                “…insinuating fault on the maimed crash victim for presumed choices outside the scope of the law…” walters

                A conclusion it appears you and some other people commenting to this discussion section, presume on the part of Cervelo because that person presents a different perspective on road use practices by people biking, than you would prefer.

                I read through Cervelo’s comments, and did not find that this person was faulting the person on the bike for the collision. Definitely though, in any collision, it’s worthwhile to consider as many possible factors contributing to the collision as is reasonable; and visibility to each other, of the people involved in the collision to each other, are among those factors. Cervelo has made that consideration, and is due respect for having done so.

                Use of hi-vis gear can make improvements in visibility of road users to each other, that’s indisputable. Ask the people driving motor vehicles, that are responsible drivers, and that recognize their responsibility to watch for the presence of vulnerable road users and avoid collisions and close calls with them, whether use of hi-vis gear by vulnerable road users, helps them to more readily see people biking, walking, etc. I believe most will tell you from first hand experience, that use of the gear by vulnerable road users, does help them find vulnerable road users to be more readily visible.

                You and some others here may not find such first person experience to be indisputable verification of the effectiveness of use of hi-vis by vulnerable road users. It seems you’ and some others here, are more inclined and comfortable relying on a verification posed by some study or another. Believe what you feel obliged to believe. If a study does that for you, and you think that’s the right direction, go with it.

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                Bill Walters May 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

                “I believe….”

                Yep, faith. Got it. Just don’t pass judgment or insinuate fault on others for not sharing it.

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                El Biciclero May 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

                “Hi-vis gear, meaning bright colors, reflective material and lighting, can indisputably aid people driving responsibly, in visually detecting people walking and biking on the road…”

                Maybe so, but if a bicyclist is complying with current law, and the motorist is truly “driving responsibly”, that’s all we really need. I think many who are promoting some kind of requirement to “be more visible”, either legally, or back-handedly by assigning some degree of blame to anyone not deemed “visible enough”, are imagining that some segment of irresponsible drivers will be forced into greater responsibility because “not seeing” some vulnerable road user will be impossible, or at least very difficult. This sounds very similar to the argument that some like to make that if we only forced cyclists to get licenses and register their bikes, they’d all suddenly quit running STOP signs.

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            Cervelo May 16, 2015 at 12:47 am

            Bill, wearing a helmet helps define your attitude toward taking responsibility for your own safety – ditto for high visibility clothing – neither is required by law.

            Bill, per Oregonian article, May 15, page A4, the cyclist hit the rear bumper on the passenger side of the vehicle. I did not think he hit the actual back of the vehicle, just the rearward part of the right side, as you indicated. No, I did not think the truck spun out while making the turn – that would be bad news for the truck driver as you imply, BUT it could have happened if he saw the cyclist and skidded to stop. The evidence that the cyclist hit the very last part of the vehicle as it passed is not good for the cyclist – it means he had more time to see the truck and stop – but whether it was enough time depends on the speed of both vehicles and other factors as well. Looks like this one will be decided by the courts unless someone admits fault.

            Does lane the truck was turning from get a green arrow, or is it just green ball and he has to yield. I HATE those green ball left turn lanes – extremely dangerous.

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              Bill Walters May 17, 2015 at 12:11 am

              That’s much closer to clear expression of clear thinking.

              Yes, the signal there is only a green ball. But you seem to be assuming that the driver began the turn legally and predictably from the turn lane, and I don’t recall that being established.

              Or that the driver had signaled, or that the signal bulb was not burned out and in need of replacement.

              Or that the driver had daytime running lights (DRLs), or simulated them by having his headlights turned on during daytime — of course, to help take responsibility for his safety _and others’_, given that he had *chosen* to pilot a craft with around 20 times the destructive force of a rider or walker at the same speed (and nearly four times that number with each doubling of speed).

              Or that the driver had polished the oxidation off the headlight lenses if the truck was old enough for that, for the same reasons.

              Or that the driver was wearing a seat belt, for the same reasons.

              Or that the driver had prevented his vision from being impaired by a sun visor that wouldn’t stay up, a cap brim that was too low, or a windshield or eyeglasses that needed cleaning or repair. All for the same reasons.

              Or that the driver had resisted distraction from messing with messaging/music-playing devices, food, drink, tobacco, etc. Again, for the same reasons.

              That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure we can crowd-source quite a few more.

              Yes, it might somehow be comforting if we could establish that the victim was doing something “wrong” that we are not, so we could more credibly convince ourselves that it couldn’t happen to us when we ride. But that comfort would be false, because so much of the calculus lies outside our control.

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                Cervelo May 18, 2015 at 1:14 pm

                It believe it has been established that the truck had mostly completed the turn on yellow when he was hit by the cyclist – I think that was in another post and I think that was reported by witnesses.

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                Bill Walters May 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

                Agreed. But did the driver *begin* the turn from the turn lane? Or did the driver maintain straight-line speed to beat the yellow, and swerve into a left turn from the straight lane at the last possible second? AFAIK, the lane of the turn’s origin hasn’t been established. And it’s a factor, along with displaying a turn signal, in whether the driver was identifying/identifiable as someone turning left.

                I actually don’t think it’s likely that the driver turned from the straight lane — but hell, it’s at least as important an item to question as the presence of high-viz gear in broad daylight.

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                esther2 May 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm

                one witness. do some research on the reliability of eye witness testimony

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          gutterbunnybikes May 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm

          Driving without insurance does have a huge potential impact on road safety. And if this uninsured driver was acting legally, this incident most likely wouldn’t have happened.

          If you do not have insurance you are not allowed to drive, how much less traffic would there be if everyone without insurance didn’t drive, as they are suppose to? It’s estimated that 9% of Oregon drivers, and 16% of Washington drivers don’t have insurance. http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/uninsured-motorists

          That’s is enough drivers if taken off the street, as they should be would not only make the streets safer, but would do wonders for relieving a significant amount congestion on the streets.

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            Cervelo May 16, 2015 at 12:56 am

            Sure, if he wasn’t on the road, the accident would not have occurred. Can’t argue with that, but since he was on the road, his driving skill is what determines his safety – not the pieces of paper or plastic in his wallet. Some excellent drivers probably do not have insurance because they can’t afford it. (Not many I suspect, and yes driving without insurance is stupid, but life happens.)

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      Kelly Francois May 14, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Three experienced bike riders, wearing bright reflective clothing, as well as highly visible lighting on all three bikes were assaulted by a motor vehicle last week in Baton Rouge, LA. One of the riders was seriously injured with a smashed skull. Bike riders, even with every precaution, are still vulnerable road users, and the onus is on the operators of the motorized deadly weapons. Stop blaming the victims, stop regulating the behavior of the vulnerable road user. If you don’t see a bike rider here in Portland, where they are EVERYWHERE, then you are negligently driving and shouldn’t be operating a deadly weapon.

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        Cervelo May 16, 2015 at 1:11 am

        No one is blaming any one. We would like to know the facts.

        Please give a link to the article indicating they wore bright reflective clothing and highly visible lighting. I found one that said their bikes had lights and reflectors, but did not say anything about clothing. It did not indicate if the lights were on or where the reflectors were located. The accident occurred at 9pm – no doubt dark at that latitude a few weeks ago.

        http://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-road-safety/

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          Bill Walters May 25, 2015 at 12:36 am

          “The group, adorned with flashing lights and wearing helmets plus bright-colored clothing….” http://theadvocate.com/news/12287882-123/3-cyclists-injured-in-hit-and-run

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          9watts May 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm

          “No one is blaming any one. We would like to know the facts.”

          “I found one that said their bikes had lights and reflectors, but did not say anything about clothing.”

          QED

          This is exactly why all this recent talk of fluorescent clothing is so wrongheaded. It gives people who hold views like yours the idea that the absence of such clothing is suddenly all-important; can be used against those who were just run over. Nice!

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    paul g. May 15, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I just got back into town and read about this tragic incident. Sadly, I’m not surprised, and I hope this can finally spur the city and state into action.

    I have crossed this intersection a LOT over the years as a cyclist and driver, as a SE resident and parent of now my third child at Cleveland. I don’t want to quibble with the BTA but they are missing the boat on a lot of the problems with this intersection, in my view. This is not about high capacity transit (there are already multiple bus lines that cross the intersection) nor about making *Powell* safe for biking.

    This is about making 26th safe for biking and walking while acknowledging that this will be a very congested multi-modal crossing, and the cure for this intersection goes far beyond the ODOT and PDOT.

    There are many moving parts in this intersection, and the problems are created by more than just Powell and 26th.

    Among the other agencies, policies, and institutions that need to be considered:

    1) PPS. Because we do not provide school buses at the HS level in Portland, 1200 high schoolers arrive from 7:30-8:15 and depart from 2:45-3:15. I don’t have statistics on this, but my experience over 8 years is that well over half, maybe 75% do so by single occupancy vehicles.

    Cleveland is very poorly situated for this kind of drop off and pickup, as anyone who has tried to bicycle along 26th around those times of day knows (many cars stop right in the bike lanes; the TriMet buses block the bus lanes going south on 26th).

    2) Fred Meyer. There is a major FM corporate office and warehouse facility on this street.

    3) Freight. There are only two river crossings for large vehicles from the SE: Holgate and Powell. Only Powell provides direct access to I-5 going south.

    4) SEIU: has a building just to the south on 26th with a driveway on 26th.

    Among the various things I would suggest:

    – Ban large trucks from 26th street between Gladstone and Division. Divert large trucks down Gladstone around 22nd. Signalize 22nd. Ban street parking on 22nd between Bush and Powell to allow space for the large trucks to maneuver.

    – Expand the left turn lanes going both north and south on 26th. Consider lengthening the left turn signals at keys times of day when there is heavy traffic on N/S 26th.

    – Work with the principal and PTA at Cleveland to enforce the ban on parking in the bike lane in front of Cleveland on 26th. Put school administrators out there every morning and afternoon is necessary to enforce the ban. There is “5 minute” parking allowed about 200 feet beyond the intersection this is routinely ignored by parents.
    Relatedly, remove some of the street parking along Franklin Street–this should be the “kiss and go” zone but it is far too narrow to accommodate cars parked on both sides and two lanes of traffic.

    – Ask SEIU to close off the 26th driveway; all traffic can enter on 25th.

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      paikiala May 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Holgate crosses the river?

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    paul g. May 16, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Holgate crosses the train tracks–sorry thats the barrier, not the river.

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