The white bicycle memorial to recent Reed College graduate Mark Angeles, 22, was wrecked late Monday or early Tuesday, apparently by the wheel of a motor vehicle.
The collision tore through the flower bouquets that had been piled on the bicycle at the corner of Southeast Gladstone Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard, leaving piles of stems and pedals behind.
Photos after the collision were shared by Josh Chernoff on his Twitter feed Tuesday morning. Chernoff said he lives next door.
“It would’ve been somebody going south on 39th and turning east on the Gladstone crossing over oncoming traffic,” Chernoff wrote in response to our questions. “I hate to say but it looks intentional. … It’s kind of hard to tell.”
According to the City of Portland’s online map of traffic injuries, that intersection saw 30 reported traffic injuries between 2004 and 2013: 19 of people driving, including one serious injury; five of people biking, including one serious injury; and six of people walking, including one serious injury.
The death of Angeles was one in a string of bike-related collisions that have led Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick to organize a meeting and press conference on the subject this afternoon.
In February the city transportation department announced a plan, known as Vision Zero, to set a date for the elimination of traffic deaths and major injuries.
That action has been driven by Transportation Director Leah Treat and signed off on by her elected supervisors, but neither Hales or Novick has announced any coordinated effort that would include other city bureaus.
Update 7:40 p.m.: In the comments below, Chernoff adds:
I talked to the worker at Plaid Pantry and he told me it was a truck turning off of gladstone on to 39th. He does not think it was intentional.
Sorry for the assumption. It was difficult to assess because of the direction the wheel and handle bars bent would have implied it was coming from the opposite direction. Regardless its still carelessness and its coming at the cost of our communities. Even more that was my bike and so I am a bit emotionally attached and its hard not to be angry.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.