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TriMet bus operator allegedly drives into people on Williams Ave, then flees – UPDATED

Posted by on June 24th, 2015 at 11:29 am


This photo shows a TriMet bus driver who drove through a crosswalk despite the presence of people walking and biking.
(Photos by Abraham Sutfin)

Last night a TriMet bus operator turned her bus directly into a group of people who were using North Williams Avenue. Witnesses reported that contact was made between the bus and a trailer attached to a man’s bicycle, but luckily there were no injuries. According to people at the scene, the bus operator forced her way through a crosswalk that was full of bikers and walkers while honking repeatedly, then fled only to stop several blocks later after people chased her down.

Ironically, the man whose trailer was allegedly hit was on the “Save The Humans” traffic safety protest ride happening as part of Pedalpalooza.

The incident happened around 7:15 pm last night at the intersection of N Williams and Fremont. A group of people were biking north on Williams when a #4 TriMet Bus (#3106) wanted to turn left. Based on photos taken at the scene there were several dozen riders already north of Fremont before the bus operator started the left turn.

Local business owner Abraham Sutfin snapped several photos from the sidewalk outside his store across the street. I’ve shared them below in chronological order:









The photo below was taken by Halley Weaver from behind the fracas south of Fremont. It shows Kathleen Youell (who was, incidentally at the Mayor’s recent safety meeting at City Hall to speak up for people who ride with familes), pedaling her kids in a cargo bike. Weaver said Youell had been, “pushed into the shoulder and hasn’t gotten back into the bike lane because the bus cut into the bike lane way back at the crosswalk where the bike lane striping began.” Also note that both the light and the walk signal are green:


Note that just prior to this intersection, the bike lane is painted solid green. Then just before Fremont it becomes striped and veers right to mark a mixing zone where vehicles who want to turn left are required cross over the bicycle lane. This location has been problematic ever since it was designed. Back in December we covered a collision here and a few months later PBOT addressed concerns by adding more green paint.

According to two witnesses who saw last night’s collision, the bus operator failed to yield to people who were in the bike lane. Cameron Schnur told us he and a few others had left the bike lane because it was full and was riding in the adjacent lane. “I look behind me, and all I see is a bus. I was riding with a trailer, which I’m not used to doing, and it still felt like this bus was pretty uncomfortably close.”

Here’s more from Schnur:

“I see the bus cut through the “merge” to the turn lane, without yielding to our cyclists who were continuing straight, next to it in the bike lane. I didn’t see what happened to those cyclists that the bus cut off; I was later told that they were forced to the curb. As far as I knew at that point, they could’ve been hit.”

Then, according to Schnur, the bus starting “honking rapidly” and continued through the crosswalk where several people on bikes and foot were using. The bus operator continued through, forcing people to get out of the way.

“It [the bus] is not slowing down. I believe Aaron [Tarfman, the man who’s trailer was allegedly hit] was on the opposite side of the bus from me (cut off by it). I am in front of the bus (it’s turning behind me). At this point, I turn and begin banging on the side of the bus with my hand to get it to stop, but it does not. It continues through the crosswalk and accelerates to the next intersection, fleeing the scene. According to Aaron/another witness, the bus clipped Aaron’s trailer on that turn. I didn’t see that, but am not at all surprised by it. From the look of that fast, honking turn through the crosswalk, I feel it’s a miracle no one was hurt.

Aaron, another cyclist or two, and I, book it down Fremont to catch up to the bus to cut it off. We pass a cop car on the way; their windows are down. I yell something about ‘this bus just tried to kill us’ but I’m not sure I’m heard.

We catch up to the bus a few blocks down, and get it to stop. Another cyclist (not sure who) shouts that the bus should call this in. We see the bus driver get on the phone. Then, a few passengers come out of the bus to tell us to move. We exchange a few words, mostly “you guys are in the way, move” and “that bus driver just tried to kill us” and within a few minutes, we move on, and let the bus go.”

Another witness confirmed Schnur’s account of the bus operator “forcing her way” through the crosswalk while it was full of people. And another source told us the ride was about 50 people strong at the time of the collision, but they were not corking (stopping cross traffic) against a light.

Shane Strudwick was on the bus when the collision occurred and shared her account of what happened on Twitter last night. From her vantage point on the right-side rear of the bus, she felt like the bike riders were “interfering with TriMet.” “I was on that bus,” she wrote, “he wasn’t hit. He slammed the side of the bus & impeded its route.” Strudwick added that in her mind, “the driver did everything she could to avoid him.”

TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch says they are aware of the incident and are currently looking into it. We’ll update this post when we know more.

UPDATE, 3:11pm: Aaron Tarfman, the man whose trailer came within a foot of the bus, just shared his account with us:

“I was preparing to leave the ride early to get back before sunset. So instead of heading straight north, I turned left on Fremont (too much traffic to make a right turn) and did a U-turn in order to go east. As I was maneuvering over towards the curb, the bus made a left turn and I started to get really scared as I saw the side of the bus keep inching towards me. At closest approach I think it was less then a foot from my face. I also was afraid that it would destroy the trailer.

With the adrenaline pumping, it was difficult to figure out how the trailer didn’t get squashed, and thankfully the side of the bus followed it’s path back into the lane.

I chased down the bus (along w/ two others) and put myself in front of it in order to address the driver. However the woman driving refused to speak to me. She did however, let off passengers ostensibly to ‘talk to me.’ I was very clear to the passengers that my beef was NOT with them and apologized to them for the inconvenience. I repeated, that I simply wanted to talk to the driver. I support transit users as they’re also helping reduce traffic and pollution.”

CLARIFICATION: This post originally stated that the bus made contact with a man’s bicycle trailer. We are working to clarify whether contact was actually made, or whether the bus merely came within inches of it. Sorry for any confusion.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Scott H June 24, 2015 at 11:35 am


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    • Scott H June 24, 2015 at 11:55 am

      To elaborate on my surprise: I cannot believe a TriMet driver would jeopardize their job like that. Very nearly every TriMet driver I encounter from day to day is extremely patient and respectful. The photos clearly depict a TriMet driver exercising disregard.

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      • Bjorn June 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        Sandi Day

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      • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

        I’m not surprised… it’s the same old driver mentality… I have yet to find a bus route that never requires a driver to break the law…

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      • Tony T
        Tony T June 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

        I have unfortunately had too many experiences with TriMet drivers who seem to think that they have the status of an emergency vehicle and bully their way around on the road. This has happened to me on my bike a number of times (once VERY dangerously), and in my car twice.

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        • Andrew N June 24, 2015 at 11:18 pm

          Hey LAB! So…is this what Platinum is all about?

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        • Tom Hardy June 25, 2015 at 9:24 am

          You Too Tony? Over the years I have been deliberately run off the road by Trimet drivers beginning in 1962. Usually at least once per year in the car and twice on the bike (per year). It is only on rare occasions that many of them use their “yield right” blinking light unless they leave it on for the whole stop while they are talking to a passenger they are dropping off.
          In a car, don’t even try to pass one on the left if they are coming off the steel bridge (at least before MAX when both lanes could turn onto the west ramp. the driver would keep you next to the driver and then take the left curb lane running you into the sidewalk with a 12 inch curb. This happened to me twice. I even tried slowing to let the bus through then speeding up before I stopped. the bus did the same but kept going. Many more! Usually on the bike, they will overtake and then head for the curb at a stop, even if there is no passenger getting off or on. I have had them pull out when I passed them on the left leaving passengers on the curb instead of letting them on. Other times they will bypass waiting passengers with kids if I am on the left.

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      • Jayson June 25, 2015 at 9:28 am

        it’s called a union.

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      • KatKamp June 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        Hahah what?? There was a grumpy old man driver in the mornings on the 57 for a while and he’d yell at anyone about anything. There ARE crappy drivers for Trimet.

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      • Dead Salmon June 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

        She will be promoted to supervisor of the department and given a raise.

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  • Kyle June 24, 2015 at 11:37 am

    ‘she felt like the bike riders were “interfering with TriMet.” “I was on that bus,” she wrote, “he wasn’t hit. He slammed the side of the bus & impeded its route.” Strudwick added that in her mind, “the driver did everything she could to avoid him.”’

    Wow. Bus driver completely violates several traffic laws while endangering several people and a rider on the bus thinks that’s okay? Clearly there’s a huge issue in Portland with the mindset of people and their ignorance of traffic laws.

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    • Kyle June 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Side note: I was there, and this was a peaceful ride with kids & such; nobody was trying to instigate a conflict nor impede the TriMet bus.

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      • PaulaF June 24, 2015 at 11:50 am

        I was there, but in the group that had already past. I suspect the bus driver, as some of the motorists who came up honking a bit later were upset because of our cross walk enforcement that took all of about 30 seconds.

        Sad, for sure. Even at our slow pace we were certainly not blocking or excessively delaying anyone.


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        • Kyle June 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

          Yeah, it’s this mentality where people completely switch into hate and anger mode “because bike.” For example: nobody will honk or pass illegally if they’re behind another driver doing 5-10 under the limit, but they’ll buzz dangerously around a cyclist doing the same. I see it with crosswalks too – if I try to legally and cautiously enter a crosswalk on my bike drivers will, at best, dangerously swerve around me at high speed. Same thing if I’m walking my bike through. If I don’t have my bike, however, they are more inclined to stop.

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          • Esther June 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

            Have to disagree on this one: dangerous drivers also treat other drivers that way. Try driving i5 to Salem- I get people tailgating, dangerously passing and merging all the time.

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            • El Biciclero June 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm

              The difference there is freeway vs. city street. Plus, even if people inside protective metal cages treat other people inside protective metal cages “the same way”, it’s still different due to protective metal cage vs. no protective metal cage.

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              • Dick Pilz June 24, 2015 at 3:16 pm

                I see it on city streets. Drivers get pissed at me all the time when I drive “only” 35 between Lincoln and Hawthorne on 50th. Only 25 on 60th. Only 25 on Division west of 60th. Only 30 on Division between 82nd and 60th.

                I don’t brake check them, but I am surprised how often my windshield needs the washers turned on.

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          • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 3:49 pm

            nobody will honk or pass illegally if they’re behind another driver doing 5-10 under the limit

            try doing the speed limit on the Morrison bridge…

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            • Scott Mizee June 24, 2015 at 5:53 pm

              Yes, the recent speed limit reduction from 35 to 25 on the Morrison does not seem logical when one is reading the road from the automobile driver seat. I’ve been consciously trying to obey the (relatively) newly flagged signs and constantly have people riding my test bumper.

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              • Scott Mizee June 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm

                *rear bumper…not TEST bumper. 😉

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              • Eric June 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm

                pop quiz bumper

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              • Thom Batty June 25, 2015 at 8:42 am

                I kind of liked it the other way :).

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            • Matt Picio June 25, 2015 at 6:12 am

              At least on the Morrison bridge there is frequently a police radar van catching speeders.

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        • Granpa June 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm

          Crosswalk Enforcement? Would that be blocking traffic that has a green light so that cyclists can run the red light? I appreciate that the group wants to stay together but is there no legal means to do this?

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          • John Lascurettes June 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

            Posted elsewhere in the thread they said they were not corking this particular intersection. That there was a line of bikes riding in the green lane, but that the bus forced its way into the lane without yielding to the traffic already in the lane. So the driver, allegedly, was already forcing his way through bike traffic even before the intersection.

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            • Granpa June 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

              I am asking a question, Crosswalk enforcement was mentioned in the posting I am responding to as a possible cause for driver aggravation. I am not a group rider and want to know if this is what those-in-the-know call corking. If it is the case, it sounds to me to be the very thing that drivers refer to as bicyclist’s sense of entitlement.

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              • John Lascurettes June 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

                Funny that. People on foot and bicycle are literally entitled to use the roads and crosswalks. So I don’t know why it’s a “sense” of entitlement.

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              • Granpa June 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm

                If a person is just slow, and can’t make the light cycle and is in the crosswalk after the green has expired they are certainly entitled to continue crossing. If a group of people can’t all pass through during one, light cycle then I don’t see their entitlement to ignore the traffic law and block people with the green light. Sure it would be inconvenient for half the cycling group to wait (an entire light cycle) on the downstream side of the light for the rest of the group, so rather than be inconvenienced, it is rationalized that is OK to inconvenience persons going the other direction.

                OF course pedestrians have right of way, I get that. Cyclists have full right to all roads except freeways, understood. I am talking about willfully and en-mass ignoring traffic laws. And I am not victim blaming. I don’t know what actually transpired with the bus on Williams. I am just trying to understand “crosswalk enforcement” and I guess by what authority it is enforced.

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              • Chris Anderson June 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm

                I think (I wasn’t there) that in this case “crosswalk enforcement” means just using the crosswalk legally. Drivers aren’t used to this and it can upset them. Corking is different and to me most makes sense on large rides with inexperienced riders or folks new to the route where it could be dangerous to get split up.

                Busses are mostly good but dear lord the times I’ve been sitting in the back helpless as they push folks in the bike lane up onto the sidewalk… They need to have sensors and auto-correct the driver instead of letting them bully folks with the ROW. We assume TriMet is above that, at least in our Oregonian letter about the pedestrian empowerment campaign they could run:

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              • Lizbon June 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

                Hi, as leader of that ride, I can answer your question about the crosswalk enforcement action. This was part of a street safety protest ride. We did a very brief enforcement of the crosswalk at N. Williams and Ivy (1 block south of where the bus driver bullied her way through a different crosswalk filled with pedestrians).

                Our action was very brief (1 minute or less) and it simply consisted of using the crosswalk by walking in it – as we are legally entitled to do), to make the point that drivers need to obey the crosswalk laws by yielding to people walking in them – at this and every other crosswalk (marked or unmarked, by OR law – this one is marked, btw).

                I chose this particular crosswalk as the site for our enforcement action because driver compliance is consistently very bad here – so bad that the New Seasons store at that location has put out signs trying to be helpful. The crosswalk is located directly in front of the New Seasons parking lot, and at a major bicycle route crossing of Williams (Ivy, from the Rodney greenway), so it’s a very important safety issue.

                To emphasize, we kept our demonstration VERY brief, and it was completely peaceful. We just used the crosswalk for about a minute – what I estimated was the amount of time it might take an elderly or disabled person to cross.

                Sorry for the very long comment, but I wanted to clarify since you seemed to be genuinely just asking about it.

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              • Granpa June 25, 2015 at 8:08 am

                Thank you.

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              • Martin June 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm

                I’m still a little unclear. Do you mean you were walking in the crosswalk when the solid red hand was indicating “dont walk”? I’m just trying to understand what happened here because all the photos and conflicting accounts are very confusing.

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              • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 12:46 pm


                No, there is no light for the crosswalk at Ivy & Williams, so there was no red/green/amber.

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          • KristenT June 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

            No, I suspect (because I wasn’t there) they mean using the cross walk legally and possibly using their bikes as a fence to keep from getting killed as they cross with the light as per Oregon state law.

            From the pictures, cross-traffic has the red, so the people in the cross walk would have had the green light and the legal right to cross at that time.

            For the record, I will use my bike as a shield against drivers if I feel it’s needed, and it’s needed more often than not in cross walks all over the metro region.

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          • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

            That was down at Ivy. It was over. There was a regrouping and then we were getting going again, therefore, moving slowly, when this happened.

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          • Pete June 24, 2015 at 2:32 pm

            To my knowledge, crosswalk enforcement is something that Law Enforcement Officers do; I didn’t know that the general public was entitled to perform “crosswalk enforcement”… i.e., how does one facilitate the “enforcement” part?

            Our PD has very specific documented procedures, and they have crosswalk enforcement programs that they typically fund through grants. (The officer who runs them and often gets to perform this enforcement is our BPAC liaison, so has educated us on some details).

            Here’s a related guide:

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            • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 3:52 pm

              how does one facilitate the “enforcement” part?


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              • Pete June 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm


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            • Lizbon June 24, 2015 at 9:53 pm

              We are entitled to USE the crosswalk, which was all our “enforcement” consisted of. Please keep it civil here. And understand that our crosswalk action was NOT in the same location as the driver’s hostile actions.

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              • Pete July 1, 2015 at 7:02 am

                “Please keep it civil here.”

                What prompts this? The word “enforcement” is used in the comment above, and that connotes a very specific action and intent. There are many conflicting statements here, leading the reader to question whether the sidewalk was being used for the purpose of getting from point “A” to point “B”, or whether an organized protest similar to recent activities was being staged. There’s nothing uncivil about asking for clarifications, and Spiffy answered my question.

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          • PaulaF June 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm

            Hi, nope. We were using the crosswalk – walking – down at the New Seasons store. (Picture:

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      • Len June 25, 2015 at 7:22 pm

        Yes, if you watch the photo progression the bicycle rider gets across the street then purposely turns his bicycle around and rides back east toward the TriMet bus and begins banging on the bus. Obviously, he has an agenda as he is in some sort of “Human Rights Ride” and wants to create a scene. He then chases the bus down the street yelling like a crazy lunatic at the driver! By this time as far as the TriMet bus driver knows he is going to pull some sort of weapon, so she bravely lets her passengers out of the bus first, and then makes a run for it to get away from this idiot. I’m sorry, I too have experienced bad TriMet bus drivers, but I also have many acquaintances that are bus drivers that on a daily basis put up with this kind of B.S. and rightly so, come to work afraid that they will be assaulted not only verbally, but also physically! I’m surprised they don’t have more drivers with PTSD problems. I could never do their job and put up with the constant dregs of society and the non-institutionalized, unmedicated mentally ill people riding the bus. I COMMEND YOU, TriMet drivers. You do a great job!! Period….

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 24, 2015 at 11:39 am

      I can see why she says that. Imagine if you were up in that bus, you look out and all you see are excited bike activists with big signs on their bikes and you see/hear them pounding on the side. She probably thought the pounding was part of the protest and perhaps didn’t realize that the pounding came after people felt like the bus operator was driving dangerously.

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      • soren June 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm

        Strudwick’s feed after multiple people tweeted that the person biking was almost hit:

        I was on that bus #4, he wasn’t hit….

        Believe in cause, not actions of riders who feel the rules of the road don’t apply to them.

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      • Paul Souders June 24, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        Years ago I was on a bus in Austin that was involved in a left-turn accident with another car. Inside the bus we felt a small bump. It was a packed bus and only the driver knew we’d even hit anything. The other car was totaled, the front third smashed flat. (Driver was OK).

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    • Allan June 24, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Everything she could apparently didn’t involve slowing down and waiting for traffic to clear before making the turn.

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  • Michael June 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

    And if she was on the right side of the bus, she wouldn’t have seen the trailer that was hit, which was on the left side.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 24, 2015 at 11:48 am


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    • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      THANK YOU.

      Not surprisingly, when taking off from a stop I move pretty slowly. Is this why the bus driver decided to cut in front of part of the group, because there was a gap as we started going? I don’t know. What I do know is my husband, who was slightly behind me and to my right so closest to the bus’ lane, yelled out and slammed on his brakes. I immediately had to do the same and leaned the bakfiets as far as I could to the left to hopefully keep the kids away from the back of the bus because the driver was coming over. This would’ve been the back left of the bus. It felt like the bus was going to come over on top of us and I’m amazed that it didn’t. In the moment I was filled with relief and then I heard the contact with the trailer. I’m still amazed that is the only contact that happened and no one was injured.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu June 24, 2015 at 11:46 am

    That bus driver will soon no longer be a bus driver.

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    • John Lascurettes June 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      You hope.

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      • q`Tzal June 24, 2015 at 7:23 pm

        Don’t underestimate they desire of a bureaucracy to execute a scapegoat in the name of public relations.

        I’m not saying the bus driver didn’t break the law but even if the bus driver is found to not have been in a collision their face is known and TriMet’s records are public.

        Unless the driver can be blatantly absolved of any culpability they are a PR liability that will get doxxed and possibly violently confronted in public while driving a bus. This makes the driver a safety liability to the public in general.

        Basically: unless TriMet can prove the driver’s innocence they will have to remove that person from driving for TriMet.

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        • Random June 24, 2015 at 8:52 pm

          “Basically: unless TriMet can prove the driver’s innocence they will have to remove that person from driving for TriMet.”

          LOL. You don’t have a lot of experience dealing with unionized organizations, do you?

          I think that the ATU will have something to say about that, particularly when the driver can claim “harassment” by bicyclists.

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          • q`Tzal June 25, 2015 at 9:53 am

            Yes but if there is ANY verified culpability on the part of the bus driver they become a safety liability for the organization.

            Whether the bike riders were rude or not it doesn’t matter. The driver can’t honestly claim they feared for their life because they were in a position of strength with a built-in method of high speed escape.

            Quite frankly the behavior of the general public every minute of every hour of every day qualifies as “harassment” so this precipitating incident does not reach anywhere near some special legal bar. If slapping on the side of the bus is harassment then every person running to catch a bus that is starting to pull off needs to be arrested.

            As for a workers’ union or a government agency bowing to public pressure: just look at the confederate flag debate going on Down South. As far as the locals are concerned h3ll has frozen over and it’s time to set up landing lights at the pig farms. The institutionalized white privilege is so pervasive down there that they didn’t even have to consider that anyone might possibly be offended; anyone who would be offended doesn’t count anyways.

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        • Random June 25, 2015 at 9:58 am

          I’d also note that suggesting that Tri Met will have to remove the driver because otherwise the driver “will get doxxed and possibly violently confronted in public while driving a bus” is a very, very bad idea.

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          • q`Tzal June 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm

            Never did I suggest that it (targeting the bus driver) should be done but that in all probability it will happen anyway.

            At least one person on the “bike” side of this equation knows the name of driver and what she looks like.
            Women are disproportionate targets of doxxing.
            Trimet has a very open personnel section on their website listing things about ALL of their employees you might think should be private.
            The ease with which the preceding information flows is amazing and rapid. I don’t know if the bus driver’s name was initially in the article but I didn’t see it this time which is good. JM should remove this sort of information from his site.

            Unfortunately Bikeportland isn’t the only place to find such information and simply saying “THAT’S BAD! DON’T DO IT!” won’t stop someone sufficiently angry from finding the info, finding the driver and confronting her in a bus, probably a bus with riders who may also be endangered by such a situation.

            But I’m sure your smug sanctimony will protect the driver from any consequences.

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            • Random June 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

              “Never did I suggest that it (targeting the bus driver) should be done but that in all probability it will happen anyway.”

              I read your statement as a threat. I suspect others would as well.

              Nice little bus you have there. Hate to see anything happen to it…

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              • q`Tzal June 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

                Discussion of an action or idea DOES NOT EQUAL commission or promotion of the idea or action.

                If I say “July 4th is coming up and someone is gonna shoot out someone else’s eye with a bottlerocket.” I’m not promoting nor advocating but warning that it very likely will (or, as history records, consistently does) happen.
                Not talking about it doesn’t prevent this or any other dangerous actions. Rational uncensored discussion allows for countermeasures and planning to prevent such bad outcomes.

                The authoritarian fantasy-land you’re living in where prohibiting thought or speech prevents criminal activity is just that: a fantasy. It doesn’t exist now nor did it ever at point in history outside of fiction.

                Squeezing your eyes shut and humming loudly won’t make the Internet go away nor the easy access to information made accessible on it.

                If you interpret discussion as a threat of violence that is your problem. There are rocks everywhere you can hide under but be prepared to stay forever; the world is full of scary ideas.

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              • Random June 26, 2015 at 9:24 pm

                For your sake, nothing had better happen to that bus driver.

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    • Jayson June 25, 2015 at 9:33 am

      you do realize this is a union position.

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      • are June 25, 2015 at 11:22 am

        i am getting a kind of anti-union vibe from some of the comments on this thread. organized labor has done a lot over the years to benefit the working class.

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  • ethan June 24, 2015 at 11:47 am

    The Williams redesign is bad. And the bus drivers seem to care more about schedule than people lately. I was on a #6 bus that nearly hit someone a few weeks ago. Rather than letting the person cross in the marked crosswalk, the bus driver sped up and intimidated the pedestrian back onto the sidewalk.

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    • Kyle June 24, 2015 at 11:49 am

      I’ve *never* had a TriMet bus operator stop for me in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Ever. And I’ve seen them blow through more blatantly red lights than I can count.

      That said, most of my interactions with TriMet buses while cycling have been fairly good – most operators have properly yielded to me in the bike lane before pulling over and they usually give me a safe amount of space.

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      • ethan June 24, 2015 at 11:59 am

        Most of my interactions have been “good” too. I’m using scare quotes, because I don’t think anyplace that’s designed to have extremely large, heavy vehicles and tiny vehicles in the same area is ever going to be actually good or safe.

        In this case (the one a few weeks ago), the person walking was well into the crosswalk and the bus driver would not stop. If the person hadn’t ran back to the curb, they would have been run over.

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      • John Lascurettes June 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

        I find TriMet drivers to be like any other road user: Some are a-holes and some are very courteous. I would say in general, the majority of TriMet drivers are very courteous – but I’ve definitely seen some that appear to deliberately make other road users’ lives more difficult and dangerous.

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        • The Duke June 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm


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        • Dan June 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

          Agreed, I have had many interactions with TriMet buses, and was only run off the road by one ONCE. So that’s pretty good I guess. It was the only time I’ve had to ride off into the dirt on Kingston Drive to avoid being smushed by a vehicle.

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      • Anne Hawley June 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        I imagine it’s my gray-haired lady special privilege, but Tri-Met drivers are generally super cautious and courteous around me when I’m on my bike. Buses are too huge for me to feel comfortable around in the streets, and I do my best to stay away, but given a choice between a Tri-Met bus and your average SUV with Washington plates, well…

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        • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

          I wish my “mom with kids on privilege” had worked. Normally it does. I just don’t get why she did this. Hurry, hurry, rush, rush. It’s a bad habit that makes drivers — and I’m sure bus drivers are under actual job performance pressure — think that a human isn’t worth waiting for.

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          • Dwaine Dibbly June 24, 2015 at 6:15 pm

            Glad you’re ok!

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      • Jayson June 25, 2015 at 9:36 am

        that’s a pretty selective memory. I don’t know how one person could see only that and yet I’ve seen quite the opposite. TriMet bus drivers are many times safer than the general public in their private autos. Buses stop for me ALL the time, particularly when I’m in a crosswalk and crossing major streets like Cesar Chavez. Private autos tend to stop for me about 60-70% of the time.

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    • Steve B June 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      If you care about bus/bike interactions, they have been virtually eliminated from the equation due to the Williams redesign. While that was not my main concern on Williams prior to the redesign, I can’t dispute that the change has been a success for reducing those conflicts. This location is the one major exception as that bus needs to cross left across the bike lane.

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    • Eric June 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      The schedules assume making no stops, travelling above the speed limit, or both?

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      • Dick Pilz June 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm

        Bus schedules assume some stops. The drivers DO have waypoints they are expected to hit NO SOONER than. They get demerits if they are early

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    • Buzz June 25, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Bus drivers care more about meeting their schedule than anything else because that is a high priority for their managers and a major part of their performance evaluation. I have regularly seen TriMet supervisors timing busses on their route at various locations around town.

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  • rachel b June 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I have to say, I would not want to be a TriMet driver for anything in the world. As a cyclist, pedestrian, bus rider and very occasional driver, I’m overwhelmingly impressed by the care TriMet drivers take around cyclists. I ride the 10 and the drivers generally queue up patiently behind bicyclists on Ladd, take huge care in crossing bike lanes on Hawthorne, and generally seem to have eyes in the back of their heads. Awful job! Sorry to hear about this incident but I hope it’s not used to demonize all TriMet drivers.

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  • Phil June 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I’ve noticed a lot of animosity between bikes and busses lately, which is a shame, since I consider them both somewhat on the same alternate-transport team, even if bikes can make a bus driver’s job much more difficult.

    Just yesterday I passed a stopped bus on the left on my bike, and when he later passed me on my left, I got a nice loud honk and finger wave. I responded with a different finger. I have no idea what the issue was; when I passed, the bus was loading and there was no left blinker on.

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    • Reza June 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      “…since I consider them both somewhat on the same alternate-transport team…”

      Ha! That’s a foreign concept to many in this community.

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    • Bald One June 24, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      To me it’s very clear that a decent number of Tri-Met operators exhibit aggressive behavior to cyclists with their bus. The most frequent example of this is which I see is failure to slow and yield when attempting to pass and squeeze their bus past a cyclist who is in the bike lane on a narrow street travelling in the same direction with the bus. This is usually when there is on-coming traffic in the opposite car lane, and so there is no place to go – these cases clearly have room for the driver to slow down, wait for the tight spot to clear, and then progress forward to pass the cyclist at a better location. The more obviously aggressive behavior is when there is no on-coming car in the opposite lane, and the bus driver still does not slow, gives no quarter, no room to the cyclist when passing. They could easily have made some room without slowing, but when they don’t, it’s aggression.

      I know it’s not an easy job to operate these buses, but taking an extra second to slow down when passing cyclists at tight spots would go a long way to promoting safety on the road. There are several notoriously tight bike lane locations that I encounter where the bus just roars on by and the passage in the bike lane is so tight that you get sucked into the air wash wake of the bus. (SE 26th; NE Interstate). It is not pleasant. Tri-met should make an effort to properly train these personnel about these types of situations and better promote safety.

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  • Michael June 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I’m still surprised this happened. I was on the ride and for the most part, even though I’m sure a number of drivers were annoyed, especially on Williams, no one really honked or tried to gun past the group. Meanwhile, absolutely no issues on Glisan, Sandy or 33rd. Too bad this incident had to leave a bad taste for what was otherwise a terrific ride.

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  • Justin Gast June 24, 2015 at 11:55 am

    The worst drivers in this city are: 1). Taxi cab drivers…BY FAR!!!! 2). Washingtonians 3).Trimet bus drivers, whether they’re operating the full-size buses or the shorter Rideshare versions. 4). Teens 5.) Assholes in big trucks.

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    • Buzz June 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      I will add many luxury car drivers, Mini Cooper drivers and Volvo drivers to your list.

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      • Anne Hawley June 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        In my former life, I was the driver of one of those luxury-type cars. The sad fact is that even way back in 2000 when mine was built, they were designed to obscure the sense of high speed and contact with the world, and put the driver in a cocoon. Once you’re in that cocoon, the desire to live the car-commercial fantasy becomes really hard to resist. High end cars have become an order of magnitude more isolating since 2000.

        Please don’t mistake this comment as excusing or justifying bad driving. It’s not. I don’t. But as we’ve repeatedly discussed around here, the higher-end and newer the car, the more it’s engineered to promote driving that’s bad for everyone else in the world except the driver.

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        • CaptainKarma June 24, 2015 at 2:28 pm

          I thought it was just me, but I always seem to have incidents with BMWs. And Dodge Neons, go figure.

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        • rachel b June 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm

          Very true! Good description, Anne. And I agree wholeheartedly with whomever was advocating a return to manual transmissions (another story, I think?). When we had cars (up ’til 2 years ago), we always had stick shifts. Automatics feel weird to me and definitely inspire a sort of flabby lassitude/zoning out. I maintain that all cars/trucks should be as uncomfortable as possible so that you have to pay attention and DRIVE.

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      • Eric Hare June 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm

        This comment pissed me off… I’m a Volvo driver and cyclist; recreational, commuting, and racing… Dude quit with the stereotypes… There are good/bad drivers just like there are good/bad cyclists regardless of what car/bike your drive/ride..

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        • Mike June 25, 2015 at 8:34 am

          Sorry Eric, but it’s true. If you drive a vehicle with a current value of over $40k, you are a terrible driver.
          Just as if you have Washington plates, even if you just moved there from Portland, you are a terrible driver.
          Stereotypes are awesome! Need proof? Read through these comments. Need more, go read the O. Same BS, different perspective.

          Hyperbole is awesome too! ‘this bus just tried to kill us’ and “that bus driver just tried to kill us”.
          Really? The bus tried to kill you? Like in Maximum Overdrive? Or the bus driver was trying to kill you? I imagine if she was trying, she wouldn’t have used the horn and just mowed you all down.

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        • Buzz June 25, 2015 at 11:44 am

          IMO, Volvo drivers are repeatedly told that their cars are the safest in the world, which often times translates into an attitude that is not conducive to the safety of other road users.

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        • Oregon Mamacita June 26, 2015 at 11:03 am

          There’s a lot of “group think” on this blog, and your comments are falling on deaf ears- except for mine. Stereotypes are part of group think- and they fact that you don’t “fit” their stereotype of people who happen to own a Swedish car is something the group-thinkers must deal with by either fallacy (no true biker would own a car) or unsupported “facts.”

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    • Dan June 24, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Tow truck drivers. Unless it’s coincidental.

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      • Caesar June 24, 2015 at 10:38 pm

        Drivers wearing hats. The worst.

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  • James June 24, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I was on that ride, and would like to corroborate a few of the points made by other riders:

    1. Although we had corked previous intersections during the ride, we were neither corking that intersection nor blocking that crosswalk. At the time of the incident, we were moving at a steady group-ride speed and would have all been able to clear that intersection during the green light.

    2. The bus driver wedged their way into the turn lane while it was full of cyclists. Myself and others were forced to the edge of the road because of how close the bus got to us.

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    • Josh Chernoff June 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      I can confirm this too. Bus was unnecessarily aggressive considering the volume of people at the intersection at the time the bus forced its way into the group.

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      • Rob Chapman June 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

        Not bus, bus driver (ex-bus driver if there is justice in this world).

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  • soren June 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Last year TriMet bus 33 veered deeply into the east bound bike lane that leads to the Hawthorne bridge MUP and came within inches of hitting me (TriMet Employee Complaint Ref 457 090). Based on the circumstances I strongly believe the manoeuvre was intentional.

    TriMet promised an email from the supervisor of the driver but I never received this email.

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    • Buzz June 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Good luck with that, my experience is that TriMet does not share the results of disciplinary actions with the complainant.

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I’ve complained a few times and only got contacted by a supervisor once… it has to be pretty blatant and obvious of an infraction for them to call you and apologize…

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  • Lester Burnham June 24, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Sorry these photos makes the cyclists like antagonists.

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    • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      In what way? We were a large group proceeding through the intersection on our green light. The stopped bikes you see happened *after* the bus cut half of us off and we started yelling. Perhaps if you could see through the bus to me & my kids, my husband, and others who had to slam on our brakes and lean for the curb to avoid getting plowed over by the back of the bus you would not feel this way.

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      • Craig Harlow June 25, 2015 at 10:09 am

        Kath, I agree, the photos don’t seem to me to match the account. For example, the only bike trailer in the eastbound lane is well ahead of the stop line and turned sideways — that doesn’t match the account of having first turned left onto Fremont then making a U in order to proceed east.

        I’m not backing the driver, just questioning the veracity of some statemetns.

        The photos don’t depict normal use of crosswalks and and intersection stops — they only seem to show people corking.

        I am in favor of corking. I’m not in favor of exaggerating or even falsifying statements in order to arificially add drama and possibly elevate consequences that are undue. Again, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what really happened, but the photos just don’t back up all of the victim accounts, and that is a problem for me.

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        • Craig Harlow June 25, 2015 at 10:54 am

          Let me rephrase: The photos conflict directly with some victim accounts.

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        • Celeste June 25, 2015 at 9:55 pm

          Craig, I was one of the passengers in the bus. I agree with Shane, another passenger, that they “were interfering with Trimet.” I also have photo of a man in a helmet blocking the Trimet bus on the middle of the road.

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          • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm

            Then explain to me, Celeste, why the bus was on the green paint of the bike lane on N Williams before the mixing area so that we had to get out of it’s way? How was my forward progress in a bike lane interfering with TriMet or that bus or that driver or any of the passengers?

            Craig, the photos started after we were cut off. If you were riding in a big group and knew I wasn’t far behind you but then heard a bus *right* behind you, wouldn’t you look back, maybe even stop to do so? I think you would. If someone snapped a photo at that moment then you’d look like you were corking too. All said with bikey love and friendship, because I really do think that you would’ve wondered, “What the hell???” and stopped.

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            • lop June 30, 2015 at 11:36 am

              Buses aren’t as maneuverable as cars are they? Is the transition zone painted to accommodate movement by trucks and buses at anything other than a crawl? And if you paint it as large as you need to accommodate them does it provoke bad behavior from car drivers?

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      I agree, but that’s because they’re all “after” photos… without the story it looks like people on bikes trying to hinder the bus…

      but with the story you realize it’s people trying to catch a hit and run driver…

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    • BIKELEPTIC June 24, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Would you suggest cyclists only go through red lights instead?

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  • Aaron June 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Is the guy pulling the trailer with the signs the person that was hit? In one image he is going in the same direction as the bus. In other images it shows him turned around going in the opposite direction. In others he has his feet on the ground. It appears that he could have easily avoided this. I’d go as far to say he did this purposefully.

    Ultimately, the bus driver should have kept their cool and waited for the intersection to clear, but I’m have a tough time placing 100% fault on the driver.

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    • Michael June 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      No, the person whose trailer was hit is on the left side of the bus. You can see him in the first five images, then he’s obscured by the bus.

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      • Aaron June 24, 2015 at 1:14 pm

        The guy straddling his bike in the intersection blocking traffic? IMO, the pictures depict the cyclists as the antagonists.

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        • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm

          There was more than one trailer on the ride. The white Bullitt was not corking or blocking, but stopping because part of the group was clearly not behind him anymore, the bus was. The photos start after we were cut off on N Williams. In the first photo the rider on the far left was probably looking because we were yelling. As stated before, there were several on the ride that were helping to make sure that my slow bike and my kids were safe.

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        • ethan June 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm

          How does crossing the street in a crosswalk, with the light equate to “blocking traffic?”

          I think you are mistaking the large bus for the bike riders. Clearly, the large bus was blocking the bike traffic, and not the other way around. Bikes have the right of way here. Bus driver should have patiently waited.

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          • paikiala June 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm

            In the 2nd, 4th and 5th photo the cyclists with trailer is not in the crosswalk. He is between the crosswalk and the eastbound stop bar(the white bike in the 2nd photo is in the crosswalk). In the 5th photo it appears he has gone backwards from the 4th photo. In the 6th photo he has turned around. In photos 2-5 he is not making progress through the intersection, therefore he is blocking left turning traffic.

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      In one image he is going in the same direction as the bus. In other images it shows him turned around going in the opposite direction. In others he has his feet on the ground. It appears that he could have easily avoided this. I’d go as far to say he did this purposefully.

      you’re talking about “bike lanes are not enough” guy…

      yeah, I had the same initial confusion…

      he actually turned around to help with the bus debacle… he was going along just fine in the first photo and then the bus driver pulled that move so he turned around to help…

      I’d like to see his helmet cam footage…

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  • Jon June 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    What I see in the series of picture is someone on a bike stopped in the middle of an intersection blocking other road users from taking a right turn. I see other bikers going the wrong way on the street. This is a very good way to alienate other road users and make us bicyclist look like a bunch of arrogant road hogs that can’t play well with others. Sharing the road is a two way street.

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    • Scott H June 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      It doesn’t look like anyone was going the wrong way, the guy that looks like he’s going the wrong way at first glance actually seems to have turned around once the altercation began, if you follow the photos closely. It’s likely the altercation started just before the photos, based on the witness accounts. That would explain why a couple of people are standing still and staring at the bus.

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      • Jon June 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        The guy with the “bike lanes are not enough” trailer is clearly traveling against traffic. He has made u-turn in the series of pictures. The guy in the black t-shirt is blocking the intersection so that other traffic users cannot make a right turn in all the pictures.

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        • Scott H June 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm

          Yes, like I said, they stopped and turned around after the incident started.

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        • The Duke June 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

          There are no right turns allowed at that intersection, Williams is a One Way North and Fremont is Two way East/West none of the lanes can “right turn”
          The Bus has clearly done multiple things wrong;
          1) She made an unsafe lane change through a mixing zone by not safely waiting for a clear opening from the bicycle lane road users (making a gap in a group of road users is illegal merge)
          2) she then made an illegal left turn by not stopping and staying stopped for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
          3) she exacerbated her negligence by proceeding when she should have stopped. If there are pedestrians in a cross walk you must stop and stay stopped until they are Clear for the driver to make a safe turn.
          4) after hitting another road user she then left the scene of a collision, that’s a felony!

          Why? why is this up for debate?! it does not matter if the cyclist’s “seemed” antagonistic or “seemed” to be “Corking” the intersection. None of this gives any driver the right to bully their way through an intersection. That. is the difference between aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and simple negligence!

          The bus driver broke multiple traffic laws, its that simple! And she should be fired, license revoked and made an example of publicly!
          She is lucky she didn’t hurt or kill someone!

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    • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      The series starts AFTER the bus encroached and forced us to the side of N. Williams. You are seeing a response by some to that, while others were going up N Williams because they didn’t hear, in the first photo.

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    • ethan June 24, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      I think your eyes may be flipped. The bus driver is clearly trying to make a LEFT turn. However, if you know that intersection, you would know that the left lane is for bikes. Any person in a motorized vehicle must wait for the people on bikes to pass before merging into the left lane to make the left turn.

      To me, it looks like all the cyclists are going North (the correct direction), until the bus driver hits the trailer. Then you see one person going the wrong way to get the attention of the bus driver.

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  • babygorilla June 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    You can see in the progression of the photos that the person on foot has cleared the crosswalk, but the person with the black shirt seems to be intentionally impeding the bus from making a left turn.I guess the person in the black shirt could also be waiting at the light to travel east on Freemont, but the person’s position on the roadway (beyond the stop bar and seemingly pointed north) doesn’t imply that.

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    • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Because the first photo is after the bus encroached and there was shouting about it. The first photo is not before things started happening.

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      the person in the black shirt was not in the legal path of the bus… any turning vehicle needs to be to the right of the center-line, and the bus clearly cut the corner too short and impeded into the oncoming lane…

      it doesn’t matter why they were there, there’s no way any traffic could legally hit them…

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      • NC June 25, 2015 at 10:52 am

        The centre line doesn’t start until after the stop-line that the bike rider is clearly in front of. The stop-line is farther back than the crosswalk lines for this very reason; to allow buses to turn. A perfectly legal turn by the bus. The bus has to be a lane away minimum from pedestrians in the crosswalk, but the bike rider is not in the crosswalk. No harm, no foul.

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        • LESTER June 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm

          Yep, both users are failing to “color within the lines”.

          Bus driver cut that corner WAY too tight. Black T-shirt cyclist facing east on Fremont is well in front of stop bar.

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  • KYouell June 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I’d like to re-iterate that the first photo was taken AFTER the bus driver moved her vehicle into the lane, cutting off a portion of the group, including my family. Any stopping by bikes in the intersection that you see is because for the entire ride they were making sure that me and my slow bakfiets made it through the intersections and we were clearly not behind them now that the bus was. This intersection was NOT being corked though others were in an effort to keep us all safe.

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    • Eric June 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      I think it is clear from all of the pictures that the bus had no right-of-way to be where it was. Taken in isolation, the second picture might show a law-abiding bus driver waiting for the crosswalk to clear. Even the guy with the “bike lanes are not enough” trailer (reacting) appears to be rightfully in the crosswalk. I’m glad nobody got hurt.

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  • kittens June 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    As a victim of TriMet bus driver bullying, I could easily imagine this happening. In fact the only really remarkable thing about this is that someone had the foresight to document it. Not all bus drivers are bad but when they are… whoa, that is a scary place to be.

    Like police officers, we can and must hold them to a higher standard.

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  • KristenT June 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I looked at all the pictures full size, and I’m not seeing the person who was hit.

    The in-sequence ones show a person on a bike at the beginning of the crosswalk/first third of the crosswalk standing, both feet flat on the ground. It’s not clear if he has a trailer, if he does it is behind him as if he came towards us. Throughout the sequence, he stands with both feet on the ground, so I’m not sure if he’s the one who was hit or not.

    Both the other two gentlemen (bike lanes are not enough and the guy with the speakers) are both past the bus, and the one with the big sign and flags turns back.

    I’m just not seeing what was described, in these pictures.

    I do think the bus driver should have just waited, with their turn signal on, for it to be clear, but that last picture shows the bike lane to the right of the turn lane, so in theory there should have been no bikes to have a conflict with.

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  • Cycledadpdx June 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Trimet: Sorry about this incident. We have alerted the shift supervisor. (actual reply)

    You should see how they treat pedestrian at Gateway in the crosswalk of the transit mall (hint: it is about the same as the above story…only the Transit Supervisors stand around and chat with each other).

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  • babygorilla June 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    It seems like the person operating the bus made an inconsiderate or unsafe lane change well before before the intersection. Then, after that, the person in the black t-shirt and the person on the extra long cargo bike, who were not affected by or involved in the inconsiderate or unsafe lane change, intentionally blocked the intersection (where the bike lane is to the right of the left turn lane so there is no need to “cork”). Then,the person operating the bus laid on the horn. Then, one other person on a bike turned around and started attacking the bus. Then, the bus operator proceeded through the intersection and clipped the trailer connected to the bike of the person in the black t-shirt.

    KYouell has a legit gripe with the bus operator’s actions for the lane change. Everyone else unnecessarily escalated the situation.

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      if somebody pointed a gun and shot towards you a foot from your head would you want bystanders to stop the shooter?

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    • BIKELEPTIC June 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Except we were headed straight through the intersection; with the crosswalk light – and the bus driver turned left and laid on the horn, which is apparently magic and makes bikes disappear from crosswalks (which we had the right of way in)

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      • Karla June 25, 2015 at 3:05 pm

        You did not have the right of way while you were on your bike. You want right of way in an intersection with your bike? Get off it and WALK. Pedestrian is defined by using your FEET as mode of transportation….not a bicycle. Re-read your bike laws if you have questions.

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        • soren June 25, 2015 at 11:00 pm


          ORS 811.028-4

          For the purposes of this section, a pedestrian is crossing the roadway in a crosswalk when any part or extension of the pedestrian, including but not limited to any part of the pedestrians body, wheelchair, cane, crutch or bicycle, moves onto the roadway in a crosswalk with the intent to proceed.

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        • Craig Harlow June 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

          Karla, in Oregon all crosswalk users enjoy the same rights–bikes and skateboards same as those walking–as long as they enter the crosswalk at a “walking speed”. Nobody has to dismount and walk their bike to obtain status in the crosswalk, despite the wisdom that we were taught as children.

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  • AndyC of Linnton June 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Williams! Yeah! Keep on keepin’ on, little buddy.
    Can’t wait for what you have in store for us next week, but I’m sure you won’t disappoint!

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  • Jon June 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    From the description and pictures it sounds like the bus driver was annoyed by bicycle riding all over the road an honked its horn. The guy in the black t-shirt then decided to stop in the middle of an intersection to block the bus from making a left turn since while all the other bikes clear the intersection he is blocking it in every picture. Each party chose to escalate the confrontation and luckily nobody was injured. I would say each party shares the blame 50/50 and each showed the maturity of a child in grade school. The bus driver gives Trimet a black eye and the cyclist makes all of us riders look bad. I would like to thank both parties for helping to widen the gulf between motorized vehicles and bicycles. We definitely need more reasons for motorized vehicle users and bikes to hate each other because that will surely lead to safer streets.

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      The guy in the black t-shirt then decided to stop in the middle of an intersection to block the bus from making a left turn

      I’m not sure what pictures you’re looking at but in the ones I see the guy in the black shirt is to the left of the center line in the opposite lane, where nobody should ever be while making a left… the bus turns too tight and forces him into the opposite lane’s curb, even father away from where anybody turning left off Williams should be…

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  • John Liu
    John Liu June 24, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    TriMet buses are covered with cameras, so there will be plenty of video of the incident.

    (Example of bus cam coverage is here )

    I find TriMet bus drivers courteous and patient, when I’m riding around them. This driver makes the rest look bad, and should be severely punished.

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    • CaptainKarma June 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Yes, still photos can be spun many ways, as is obvious here. But of course, we must be sure we see ALL the trimet video, which should be a public record (but is it?). Please all rides should have a go-pro along, it seems to have come to that.

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      • Craig Harlow June 25, 2015 at 10:58 am

        Jonathan, I hope you’ll be following up this story with TriMet’s on-board videos.

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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      I’m still waiting for the Richard Krebs video…

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  • ShaneS June 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I must apologize for my erroneous accounting of what initially happened regarding this situation. From my vantage point being on the right side of the bus I could not see if someone was hit/grazed/almost hit by the bus as described here. No one sitting on the left side did either. Not saying it didn’t happen, but no one on the bus thought we had come into any contact with a rider.

    My comment about the person hitting the bus is referring to the gent with the trailer who, in his own accounting, was hitting the bus to convince it to stop. He too couldn’t see if anyone had made contact with the bus.

    What I did see clearly was Aaron and Chris ride into the opposite lane passing the bus on the left, getting in front of the bus, coming to a complete stop and impeding the bus from continuing on its route – ironic since this was a ‘peaceful safety protest’.

    I’ve said all along that I agree with the cause, not the actions. I have two daughters who ride their bikes throughout our neighborhood. And I ride my bike along Vancouver / Williams to and from work frequently.

    To me the bigger issue in that area are the number of apartments that are being built with no parking. I believe it will only make the area worse and more incidences like this are bound to happen.

    I agree with most of you in this thread. I wish this thread didn’t exist and the incident had not happened.

    KYouell I hope trimet resolves your situation, I don’t believe it was the intent of the driver to cause you anxiety or put you or your child at risk.

    Stay safe out there.

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  • al m June 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Burn the witch!
    Burn em!

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  • Jess June 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I had an encounter with a TriMet bus a this intersection back in February. I was riding north on N. Williams in the bike lane and was approaching Fremont when a #4 bus pulled along side me on my right and started merging left into the bike lane (while I was in it). To avoid getting hit, I merged left into the left turn lane at New Seasons. When the driver came to a stop at the red light, he was completely straddling the bike lane with his left blinker on. I complained to TriMet and they responded with an apology but wouldn’t tell me what the resolution was. All of this is to say, if this is what happened in this incident, it isn’t the first time and Trimet is (or should be) aware it is a problem. Also, for me this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I finally bought a GoPro camera for my handlebars.

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  • chasing backon June 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I witnessed this incident and the driver made a left through the intersection while the walk signal was open for pedestrians on fremont and people were in the intersection, most notably, white cargo bike person and a pedestrian. Also, the bus did in fact strike the trailer.

    I believe making the conversion while pedestrians are in the crosswalk is illegal. Also, I understand a pedestrian can be in the crosswalk with the signal as long as necessary, so impeding traffic is an incorrect judgement call.

    I feel this was a dangerous maneuver by the trimet driver and luckily no one was hurt. As a cyclist and pedestrian, it would be comforting to hear trimet takes corrective action.

    Finally, in general, my experiences with trimet drivers has been favorable.

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    • chasing backon June 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Let me amend that, It appeared the bus struck the trailer.

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  • NC June 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    The guy on the black bike wearing the black tee-shirt is not even in the walkway. He is however ahead of the Stop line. If he also made an illegal u-turn so to go back across N. Williams I can see how this could cause an accident to occur.

    I do not see any Pedestrians in the Crosswalk as the bus enters the Crosswalk either, the only person in the Crosswalk is on the Cargo bike with his foot down causing a stoppage.


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    • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      If he also made an illegal u-turn so to go back across N. Williams

      it’s called a Copenhagen right, and the city has many intersections that encourage it… if it’s illegal then ticket the city for creating it…

      I do not see any Pedestrians in the Crosswalk as the bus enters the Crosswalk

      picture 4-2, white shirt, black capris, black purse, brown shopping bag… bus is in the crosswalk, ped is in the crosswalk…

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      • Spiffy June 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        there’s also a pedestrian on a white cargo bike in the middle of the crosswalk… kind of hard to miss seeing them since they’re in almost every photo…

        and even though you’re considered a pedestrian while biking in a crosswalk I initially provided you with a true pedestrian example so as not to have this argument…

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    • Mike June 25, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Agreed. I see cyclists standing in the cross walk blocking the road. Then in the 3rd picture, there is a pedestrian. Question for me is how long were the cyclists just standing there blocking the lane, and for what reason?

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  • babygorilla June 24, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    if somebody pointed a gun and shot towards you a foot from your head would you want bystanders to stop the shooter?Recommended 0

    I’m not sure. If they could do so safely and without potentially risking harm to themselves or others, maybe.

    If someone made an improper lane change in front of me, I wouldn’t want any civilian bystander to intervene. When they do, it seems like you get exactly what happened here – an escalation where everyone probably thinks they are right. I definitely wouldn’t want a bystander to start pounding on the side of a vehicle carrying passengers who have no involvement whatsoever in what may have happened between vehicle operators in which the bystander had no part.

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  • daisy June 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    This intersection isn’t working for folks in cars or bikes. I live just south of here and walk, drive, and bike through here fairly often. When there’s any traffic, it’s tough if you’re in a car and trying to figure out if you can merge left. When you’re on a bike, it’s tough to know if a car on your right is going to stay straight or merge left into you.

    I wonder if this intersection needs a bike signal separate from the existing signals, like on N Broadway at Williams. I’s nice when bikes and cars can move forward together, but are there enough bikes that it’d make sense to create a separate signal? Or perhaps there needs to be a left turn signal times so that folks in cars can move left?

    The reality of this intersection is that lots of cars are turning left to get onto the Fremont Bridge while cyclists are more likely to go straight, and this conflict could be improved with infrastructure, I think.

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    • Lizbon June 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      I agree. I think this is an accurate assessment of this intersection. I’ve stood and watched and filmed many times at this location, and there is a constant stream of near-misses between bicyclists proceeding straight and drivers cutting across them to turn left. Sometimes drivers are yielding as they are supposed to, sometimes not, but it’s always hairy, and it’s because the design is inadequate. A separate bicycle signal phase is required, and I’ve specifically written to PBOT asking for one – not that that seems to be doing any good, since their response was just…more green paint.

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    • Eric June 24, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      It sounds like waiting would solve the problem. Maybe a leading pedestrian (and bike) interval would help, but unless they closed the left turns, there will be mixing.

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  • wsbob June 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Is there any point during the green light phase of the Williams Ave traffic signal, in which the Fremont crosswalk signal is yellow or red, stopping people on foot from crossing Fremont to help Williams Ave traffic to turn left onto Fremont, free of crosswalk traffic? If so, for how many seconds does the signal hold pedestrian traffic back.

    Another question: Did the person driving the Trimet bus, drive left across the Fremont crosswalk on the first Williams green light cycle, or due to people constantly using the crosswalk, had it already waited through one or more Williams Ave traffic signal cycles?

    I’m asking because I’m wondering whether the decision of the person driving, to take the bus across the crosswalk during a time when there were people in the crosswalk, may have had something to do with there possibly not having been an opportunity to drive the bus across the crosswalk when it was free of people using the crosswalk

    Apparently, this incident occurred outside of a normal street use situation, which was that a street use demonstration was occurring at that time, putting on this crosswalk, possibly a greater than usual number of people.

    I think these are some things Trimet officials are going to be considering as they try sort out all that went on, related to this incident.

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    • Lizbon June 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Let me reiterate: The “demonstration” to which you are referring was NOT outside of normal street use. All we did was ride in the bike lane, stop for < 1 minute, and walk across the crosswalk, all of which is well within normal use.

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      • wsbob June 25, 2015 at 1:07 am

        “…The “demonstration” to which you are referring was NOT outside of normal street use. All we did was ride in the bike lane, stop for < 1 minute, and walk across the crosswalk, all of which is well within normal use." Lizbon

        Demonstrating would seem to fall in the category of 'special event', I would think. And while special events happen in many places, they're generally not normal street use of crosswalks. Normal use of a crosswalk, is people that have somewhere to go, such as from the store after having shopped, or from work or school, and then using the crosswalk to cross the street on their way home or elsewhere.

        The pictures accompanying this story show people with bikes, some with trailers displaying banners announcing issues that tend to verify the people there were conducting a demonstration in the crosswalk. Which would be generally alright, except if the intent of their presence in the crosswalk was to deliberately and arbitrarily prevent or impede the bus from making a left turn.

        By way of the pictures and various descriptions of the incident in comments to this story, it sounds as though there may have been an effort to keep the crosswalk occupied by people during the green traffic light signal of Williams Ave, and the 'walk' signal of the crosswalk across Fremont, to present difficulty to the bus operator in making the left turn from Williams onto Fremont.

        The pictures seem to show the guy with the bike and biker trailer with the banner reading 'bike lanes are not enough', making a u-turn and heading back in the crosswalk, approaching the bus, after the bus has already begun making its left turn. By the time he reaches the bus, the bus is midway through the turn.

        This bikeportland story's headline reports, the bus operator "…allegedly…" drove into people. A study of the pictures doesn't support such an allegation.

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      • PaulaF June 25, 2015 at 7:43 am

        . . . and as has been reiterated, the demonstration was earlier – not at this intersection.

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        • wsbob June 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm

          “…the demonstration was earlier – not at this intersection.” PaulaF

          Despite what Lizbon and yourself have reiterated, the middle seven pictures in this story, show some activity on the part of three guys on bikes, that looks to be demonstration related. Two of the guys are in the intersection on Williams; one with trailer, in the bike lane, one in the crosswalk, both northbound. The third guy is at the intersection on Fremont, positioned across the east bound lane, but not in the bike lane.

          Notice the guy in the crosswalk with the long wheelbase bike; before the bus commences turning, this guy is in the crosswalk midway across the street. As the bus begins to turn this guy appears to be slowly moving northbound, but doesn’t proceed directly across to the other side of the street, so the bus may have full use of the travel lane; for whatever reason, he lingers in the crosswalk.

          The person driving the bus likely would have been watching the guy in the bike lane, and the guy positioned crossways across the east bound lane of Fremont, to try be certain they would not be in the path of the bus, or suddenly move so as to put themselves unsafely near or in the path of the bus.

          Relative to movement of the bus, the actions of the guy with the trailer displaying the ‘bike lanes are not enough’ banner, are interesting to note; he actually rides in the crosswalk toward the bus as the bus makes its turn, comes very close to the bus and astride his bike, appears to lean towards the bus. And in the same picture, there’s the guy with the long wheelbase bike still positioned in the crosswalk, looking east, apparently stationary.

          Here’s a link to text of the Oregon statute that details conditions in which a motor vehicle may be driven across crosswalks when people are using the crosswalk. (1)(E) looks to be most relevant:

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          • BIKELEPTIC June 28, 2015 at 6:31 pm

            the “action” you’re referring to that you see in the photos of the men on the bikes with the trailers is all after the bus driver has plowed through the group and they’re trying to get the driver’s attention that she has done something incredibly wrong while at the same time trying to assess the situation, check on their equipment and the safety of their friends.

            Not a demonstration. Aftermath of a collision. When you throw a rock in a bowl of water, there’s going to be water that splashes all over the table top. When you drive a bus through a crowd of people, there are going to be people, bikes and trailers flailed all over the intersection.

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            • wsbob June 29, 2015 at 12:02 am

              “…the photos of the men on the bikes with the trailers is all after the bus driver has plowed through the group and they’re trying to get the driver’s attention that she has done something incredibly wrong while at the same time trying to assess the situation, check on their equipment and the safety of their friends. …” BIKELEPTIC

              Varying and inconsistent reports about the traffic incident occurring at and leading up to the Williams-Fremont intersection, have made it difficult to know what basically happened there. The report from bikeportland seemed to suggest the major point of traffic conflict between the bus and people on bikes, was at the crosswalk on the west side of the intersection.

              A number of people saying they were among the people riding in the group of people on bikes, and affected by the actions of the person driving the bus, have commented in this comment section, that there was a traffic conflict on Williams somewhat back from the intersection. They’ve made claims that the bus did not yield to people on bikes using the bike lane, and so on.

              Apparently, a big initial conflict occurred back from the intersection where, as reported in this story

              “…Note that just prior to this intersection, the bike lane is painted solid green. Then just before Fremont it becomes striped and veers right to mark a mixing zone where vehicles who want to turn left are required cross over the bicycle lane. This location has been problematic ever since it was designed. …” bikeportland

              The above description of the bike lane transition doesn’t jive well with the description given by Hally Weaver, describing the bottom photo which she snapped:

              “…It shows Kathleen Youell (who was, incidentally at the Mayor’s recent safety meeting at City Hall to speak up for people who ride with familes), pedaling her kids in a cargo bike. Weaver said Youell had been, “pushed into the shoulder and hasn’t gotten back into the bike lane because the bus cut into the bike lane way back at the crosswalk where the bike lane striping began.”

              Oregon law generally prohibits people from driving motor vehicles in the bike lane. Typically for making turns at intersections, they’re required to wait until arriving at the intersection before crossing over the bike lane. This bike lane is different in that it is located to the right of a left turn lane. As bikeportland’s story describes it:

              “…Note that just prior to this intersection, the bike lane is painted solid green. Then just before Fremont it becomes striped and veers right to mark a mixing zone where vehicles who want to turn left are required cross over the bicycle lane. …” bikeportland

              Meaning that people with motor vehicles preparing to make left turns at the intersection, must cross the bike lane and into the left turn lane before the intersection. And in this situation people riding bikes in the bike lane have an obligation to reasonably yield to people driving motor vehicles needing to make the transition across the bike lane into the left turn lane.

              Who, of the people involved in this incident, met their respective responsibility to help this traffic infrastructure work as it is should, is at this point, hard to say.

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              • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 1:11 pm

                So being in front of the bus I was supposed to know it was behind me and yield to it? That’s not what I learned in drivers’ ed. You merge like a zipper, but you don’t race ahead to go out of turn. And you damn well yield to the more vulnerable road users. The bus was behind us, but traveling at a faster speed, overtook us and cut in front. Traveling at a faster speed is the problem. We were in front, we had a green, BOOM bus. Yes, obviously we yielded at that point, but the bus did not have the right of way until it took it from us.

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              • wsbob June 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm

                “So being in front of the bus I was supposed to know it was behind me and yield to it?…” KYouell

                Depending on various factors, with this unusual type of bike lane with this type intersection configuration, people riding bikes in it may be obliged to yield to faster road users once they are passed by the faster road user. Traffic needing to make left turns, has to be able to get across the bike lane and into the left turn lane before arriving at the intersection for its turn.

                Examples (jumbled together, sorry.): How fast the bike traffic is traveling, how fast the faster vehicle is traveling, at what point relative to the intended turn does the faster vehicle prepare to transition across the bike lane for that turn…is the faster vehicle signaling…does the vehicle operator allow sufficient distance from bike traffic (say, a car length.) before crossing the bike lane.

                Also, some buses have a rather small bus specific left turn yellow flashing light and triangle with text stating that traffic must yield to the bus; I’m wondering if this bus had that equipment and whether it was activated.

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              • BIKELEPTIC June 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

                (Also, some buses have a rather small bus specific left turn yellow flashing light and triangle with text stating that traffic must yield to the bus; I’m wondering if this bus had that equipment and whether it was activated. -wsbob)

                Ummm. . . . WSBOB, just because she’s a mom doesn’t mean she has eyes on the back of her head. What you are not fathoming is that the bus was behind the entire group and CUT US OFF. Cut through the lane of our travel. She did not yield to forward moving traffic before changing lanes. Did not signal. She cut us off. If we had been driving cars, we would have blared our horns, gave her the bird, all that typical behavior. Instead, because of being on bikes, we frantically attempted not to get run over and veered/braked being pushed out of the green paint and into the left turn lane.

                So instead of digging yourself a hole in this losing battle, just accept that you weren’t there and that this intersection is crap – and guess what? Sometimes people are telling the truth and not just being whiny over reactive cyclists.

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              • wsbob June 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm

                “…the bus was behind the entire group and CUT US OFF. …” BIKELEPTIC

                You may want to rephrase that statement, because as is, it makes no sense. If you’re group was ahead of the bus, the bus could not have cut you off. And spare everyone here your temper…just try accurately lay out what you remember happening with a minimum of emotion.

                If in fact the person driving the bus didn’t signal in preparation for and when making the transition from the main lane, across the bike lane to the left turn lane, that’s important for everyone to know and something for Trimet to hear about. Signaling by the vehicle in the main lane needing to cross left over the bike lane, is essential so people in the bike lane can have that information about the operators intentions and make adjustments of their own as necessary to allow the vehicle to cross over.

                People in the bike lane behind the bus need to keep their distance from the back of the bus until the transition is made. The bus has to wait for people in the bike lane and alongside the bus, to move ahead until there’s sufficient space for the bus to slip across the bike lane and into the left turn lane before arriving at the intersection.

                As for the somewhat unusual bike lane-left lane infrastructure on this block, and how well it does or doesn’t work, there apparently was a lot of thought given to its design by officials and community people as well in preparing and leading up to approval of the design…and came up lacking for a better idea. Maybe incidents like this one will prompt some changes to it, if a better design can be conceived. Until then, this is what road users have to work with, so they’d better learn how to properly use it.

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              • wsbob July 3, 2015 at 10:15 am

                “… Did not signal. …” BIKELEPTIC

                Nobody else commenting here has remarked as to whether they remember seeing the bus having signaled for the transition across the bike lane, or its left turn. While it’s not absolute proof one way or the other, a couple of the pictures showing the rear lights of the bus, taken at different locations, do not show any of them illuminated.

                While it’s possible that the camera’s shutter activated during the ‘flash off’ of the turn signal, that it didn’t catch the flash in either of the two photos, lends some credence to your claim that the bus operator didn’t signal.

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              • lop June 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

                Oregon’s yield to bus law does not apply here.


                It only applies to buses pulling out of transit stops. Not to buses already in a travel lane merging across another one.

                Bike riders have no legal obligation to yield to motor vehicles, bus or car, merging across the bike lane. It’s the other way around.

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              • wsbob July 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

                The bike lane in this particular block is not a standard bike lane. It’s a kind of hybrid, a merge lane serving to facilitate a left turn lane. I think people riding bikes in this type bike lane may have some obligation to yield to all vehicle operators needing to merge across it…not only those operating buses.

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              • wsbob July 2, 2015 at 8:30 am

                “The bike lane in this particular block is not a standard bike lane. It’s a kind of hybrid, a merge lane serving to facilitate a left turn lane. …” wsbob

                That is to say this particular type of bike lane used in the block between Fremont, and what on the map looks to be Ivy, is both a bike lane and a merge lane for everyone using vehicles on the street.

                As people riding in the bike lane approach the point in the block where the crossover of the bike lane from main lane to left turn lane begins, they definitely need to be aware of traffic possibly approaching them from the rear to their right in preparation for a left turn merge across the bike lane…and help them to make that merge.

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              • lop July 2, 2015 at 10:05 am

                Cyclists should be aware of motorists making conflicting movements. No question about that. Because that helps them stay safe when motorists do illegal things. Cyclists have absolutely zero legal obligation to yield to motorists crossing over the bike lane there. None at all. Doesn’t matter how much of a rush you are in when you’re driving.

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              • wsbob July 2, 2015 at 6:27 pm

                “…Cyclists have absolutely zero legal obligation to yield to motorists crossing over the bike lane there. None at all. …” lop

                Yet people riding in this bike lane nevertheless do have some obligation, as I’ve already written, to help road users needing to cross over this particular type bike lane/merge lane, from the main lane to the left turn lane.

                Some people riding and approaching this bike lane, can choose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to that obligation, but the obligation is there, for their own safety and the functionality of the road, whether codified in law or not.

                Approaching the block where this bike lane/merge lane exists, it’s obvious that the bike lane there is not a standard type bike lane; it goes from being aligned parallel with the road, to jogging left away from the curb, away from where the left turn lane is.

                Recognizing this to be the case and adjusting for it as called for, is part of the obligation of people riding bikes as safe, competent road users. Apparently, some of people riding in the bike lane with the post-demonstration group, for whatever reason, did not make adjustments as needed, for this particular bike lane/merge lane.

                At least one of them commenting to this discussion, has said something to the effect they may not have been aware of the bus approaching behind them as they rode into the block with this bike lane/merge lane. It’s a mistake for people riding and approaching the point where the bike lane jogs to the left, not to check over their shoulder to the rear for approaching traffic possibly preparing to cross over the bike lane/merge lane and then into the left turn lane.

                There may have been more than one person in the group riding that night, that did not well understand their obligation with respect to using the unusual type bike lane in this block. It seems likely this may have been the main reason this traffic incident happened at all.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu June 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      7 pm on a weeknight on Williams, the bus would have had plenty of opportunity to turn left after this group of cyclists had passed. This isn’t Times Square.

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    • soren June 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      i’m trying to find the exception in the statute that lets a bus driver decide to not follow the law because it’s quote unquote “outside of a normal street use situation”.

      i should note that based on your logic pbot’s crosswalk enforcement actions are not legal.

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  • Lizbon June 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Oy, reading through these comments I’m reminded why I usually never get involved in any website comments. However, I want to go “on record” here to say that most of my experiences with Trimet bus drivers have been quite good. I usually feel more comfortable riding my bike around them than around other drivers. I think this particular driver was terrible, but I do not feel that this is the norm for Trimet. Credit where it’s due, etc.

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    • Celeste June 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Please do not say that the Trimet driver in the bus mentioned was bad. I was a passenger in that bus and the driver was doing her best. My opinion is those bikers and people on the intersection were “interfering with Trimet” as mentioned on the above article by Shane. I heard one passenger in the bus say that “those people are staging something so they will be in the news.”

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      • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 1:14 pm

        No. I was proceeding forward, I didn’t interfere with the bus or the driver. She cut us off. I wasn’t going super fast and trying to pass her on the left, I had just gotten started and since my average speed is 4 mph, I wasn’t going too fast for conditions and trying to make trouble. I realize that culturally it’s the default to assume that the Portlanders on a Pedalpalooza ride were trying to make trouble for the poor woman just trying to do her job, but you are mistaken in my case.

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  • Lizbon June 24, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    It should also be noted that the ride included a section of Sandy Blvd., on which we had ZERO problems. N. Williams is meant to be a major bike route. There is no excuse for driving aggressively there, failing to yield, or for the rampant speeding. Period.

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    • Celeste June 25, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      I was a passenger in the mentioned bus and I observed that the driver was not driving aggressively. She honked, she stopped and slowly turned left. She was paying attention to her driving. I would like to add she is very courteous.

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      • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm

        I’ve had plenty of drivers be courteous to us as riders and then make horrible comments about people on bikes. One does not mean the other. I’m going to continue to say that she cut us off illegally just as you continue to say she did nothing wrong.

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  • Rob Chapman June 24, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Agreed, most Trimet bus drivers are great in my experience. That’s why this incident stands out so boldly. I wouldn’t want this driver behind the wheel of anything bigger than a lawnmower if she was my employee.

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  • Patrick June 25, 2015 at 9:00 am

    One of the basic rules of Critical Mass and all protest rides is not to mess with public transportation.

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  • Jonathan Radmacher June 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Torfman’s comments, from the update, appear to be directly contradicted by the photos…the bus was already turning and he moved his bike toward the side of it, right?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Jonathan and others…

      From my experience, it’s very difficult to know what actually happened in situations like this until a full investigation has been done. The people involved are all extremely biased both mentally and often physically. Your brain does strange things when you are under stress and/or if you have strong internal biases around certain people or situations.

      just keep that in mind as you try to dissect exactly what happened here.

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  • BIKELEPTIC June 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    (better late than never)

    I finally had time to write a ride report as (NOT THE LEADER) but just someone who was along for the ride and had no prior interest or involvement in bikeloudpdx or this new activist group. (though I have been involved in various different advocacy and funtivist projects in the past) – on this particular pedalpalooza ride, I was simply interested in the fact that it was flat, family-friendly, and the route was convenient for me (and when my partner got off work)

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  • Karla June 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    1) I support TriMet and the drivers. I am friends with a few of them. I am a bike rider myself and know the law. You are not considered a pedestrian unless you are walking your bike through a crosswalk. That said, I cannot condone this driver’s actions. Nor will I condone the actions of the riders and pedestrians continuing through an intersection in which a bus was already determined (allegedly) to get through. The driver should have yielded to a REASONABLE number of riders and pedestrians AND they should have been courteous enough to yield to the bus.

    2) Was this an organized ride? If so, where was Portland PD? The police should have been stationed at major intersections, and ESPECIALLY intersections which have been troublesome in the past.

    EVERYONE dropped the ball here. EVERYONE’S got something they could have done and SHOULD HAVE DONE which would have avoided the entire incident. Grow up, Portanders. Aren’t we supposed to be the bike riding capital? Where are basic manners and courtesies? We need to lead by example. Is this the example you want the world to see of us?

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    • John Lascurettes June 25, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      You are not considered a pedestrian unless you are walking your bike through a crosswalk

      Incorrect. While true in California, not true in Oregon. Here is the pertinent part of the ORS that states a cyclist in violation of the law if:

      Operates the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp. This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles at places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic.

      Nowhere does the law require one to dismount to bike through a crosswalk, simply that you have to slow to no faster than a “normal walking speed” before entering it.


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      • John Lascurettes June 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

        PS: you’d know this if you took one of Ray Thomas’s free legal clinics:

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      • John Lascurettes June 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

        And for the record, the crosswalk laws in WA state are very similar to Oregon’s for bicycles (they also do not require a dismount) but a little less objective about the speed the bike may enter the crosswalk at:

        Correction to myself: it is legal to bike in a crosswalk in California as it is a legal extension of the sidewalk. This is dependent on it being a municipality that allows sidewalk riding, as that can change from city to city in California. Source:

        In Portland, the only no-sidewalk zone in the city for bicycles is west of Naito and east of 14th ave, south of Hoyt and north of Jefferson.

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        • Pete July 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm

          It’s a confusing one, that difference between CA and OR. When I was in LCI training in CA, I was caught riding across a (very short) crosswalk (at even less than walking speed – I was actually pushing and not clipped in). Man, did I get in trouble! I was made an example to the class, that we are to teach bicyclists to dismount and walk bikes in crosswalks and not ride across them. My partner, a deputy sheriff, explained that it technically is not specifically illegal, but instead changes the outcome of an investigation if an incident occurs. Basically, if you’re riding a bike in a crosswalk in California and something happens, you’re deemed much more at fault than if you were walking the bike, and you are NOT considered a pedestrian by definition. Now, if you’re riding at the same pace in the roadway next to the crosswalk, you’re technically riding with traffic as a bicyclist. Dismount the bike and voila, you’re a ped.

          (And some people wonder why I say we could use national standards).

          I’m still a little confused by the explanations I was given, but I just know not to do it when taking the LCI exam. 😉

          Simple solution: take the lane for intersections instead! 🙂

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      • Martin June 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

        I’m curious what the law states about jogging or running through a crosswalk on foot. That is obviously not at walking sped.

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        • John Lascurettes June 26, 2015 at 1:27 pm

          There’s nothing that I can find that defines the speed of a pedestrian and the word “jogger” or “runner” doesn’t even get a hit on The closest thing is this (

          Suddenly leaves a curb or other place of safety and moves into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

          … which is pretty open to subjective interpretation as to whether or not a runner entered a crosswalk “too fast” or not.

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        • Craig Harlow June 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

          If I remember correctly after attending several times, Attorney Ray Thomas teaches in his ped/walk legal classes that the legal precedent has been established that anything in the reasonable range of foot speed is accepted for the standard of crosswalk entry–since “walking” speed is not absolute but variable for different people and different forms of walking–up to around 10 mph, I think.

          Can someone confirm? I don’t want to misquote Mr. Thomas — this is just my recollection from repeated attendance of his classes.

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          • John Lascurettes June 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm

            My recollection from his workshop was that it was around 3-4 mph since it is defined as “walking” speed. But yeah, it’s pretty ambiguous. It’s been about 6 or 7 years since I’ve taken that legal clinic. Perhaps it’s time for a refresher. There was an article on this on BP not too long ago too.

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            • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

              This is good to know! Since I average 4 mph and am frequently passed by runners when I’m in 4th gear, I’m quite sure I’m doing less than that when using a crosswalk.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Well it will make interesting viewing once the press gets a copy of the bus camera footage (exterior front view and the interior view of the operator.)

    As for Williams…I thought Trimet was supposed to stay on “their” (right) side of the road and leave the cyclists alone on the left side? This kinda interaction was supported to stop…so now instead of the kinder gentler “leap frogging” on the right we now have a Trimet Bus battering ram out of the movie “Speed”. ;-0 [Typed with Irony]

    For the “kids” out their too young to remember this 90s classic:

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    • John Liu
      John Liu June 25, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      This is one of the few places on Williams where buses have to turn left. Bus-bike conflict has been greatly decreased, it cannot be eliminated. A phased bike signal here would make sense.

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      • Craig Harlow June 26, 2015 at 1:49 pm

        Moving the bus turning point forward from Fremont and up to Beech Street might help by eliminating bus turns from this very high-stress / high-use intersection.

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  • Celeste June 25, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I was a passenger in the mentioned bus. I believe like the other passenger, Shane Strudwick, that the bikers/people near the intersection were “interfering with Trimet.” The driver was doing the best she could. She honked to let the people know of the bus’s presence. She stopped and slowly maneuvered to turn left. I believe we should follow the traffic rules and extend courtesy to each other. So why did the bikers/people staying on that narrow intersection when there was a bus approaching? Let’s use common sense if we like to be safe. I also took a photo from the bus of the man wearing a helmet on the middle of the road who blocked the bus carrying a sign. By the way, I sensed that most of the passengers in the bus thought that the bus driver was not at fault.

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    • soren June 25, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Appeals to entirely subjective “common sense” and make believe violations (interfering with trimet) are not statuatory law in Oregon.


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    • PaulaF June 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Common sense? Or are you saying we vulnerable peoples should halt our progression because the driver and passengers sitting nicely inside a big huge metal box have priority, that their travel and destination is more important?

      Sorry, but our group had full, legal right of way to proceed on green without being impeded by a potentially deadly weapon.

      When you get off the bus and walk to your final destination, do you happily concede your right of way to motor vehicles when in the middle of a cross walk/intersection?

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      • wsbob June 26, 2015 at 9:18 am

        “…Sorry, but our group had full, legal right of way to proceed on green…” PaulaF

        As shown in the pictures accompanying this story, what appears to be two, possibly three of your group did not use the road legally with consideration for other road users; they lingered in the crosswalk and crosswise on the east bound lane of Fremont, unnecessarily constricting the width of the road needed by the bus to make a safe turn.

        People on foot do have a legal right to use the street to cross from one side to another whether a traffic signal exists on the street for that purpose, or not. What they don’t have a legal right to do, outside of a specific exercise of freedom of speech, is unnecessarily occupy the street.

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        • PaulaF June 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

          wsbob, the pictures are all after the incident occurred and shows people trying to get the bus driver to stop after she forced her way through the middle of our group that was going straight.

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          • wsbob June 27, 2015 at 12:27 am

            At roughly what point on the street relative to the Fremont-Williams intersection, do you believe the bus operator forced or started forcing its way through your group? Which crosswalk was your group using?

            Are you claiming the bus forced its way through your group as your group made its way east-west across Williams? Or, as info in this bikeportland story and comments to it report, and which seems more likely: north-south across the west side of the Fremont-Williams intersection?

            The picture sequence starts out showing the bus positioned in a straight ahead direction, northward on Williams; before the bus has commenced to turn left…west onto Fremont. The sequence then proceeds to show the bus gradually turning left. The pictures show the bus before, and during its turn, rather than after. And except for the three guys on bikes, your group of people on bikes appears to be long gone.

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            • wsbob June 27, 2015 at 12:39 am

              Let me just add:

              “And except for the three guys on bikes, your group of people on bikes appears to have been long gone before the bus commenced to begin turning left.

              This is part of the reason I asked in my initial comment to this story, the amount of time the people in your group, crossing the street, obliged the bus to wait to turn; part of one light signal cycle? Or one or more full light signal cycles?

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              • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

                One light signal, if that, as the bus came from behind us after the light turned green.

                The bus driver forced her way through between the crosswalk at Ivy and the mixing area. I had to pull to the curb and wait before the green paint ended and the mixing area starts. You can see in the last photo that I was again on my way & away from the curb by the time I got to the mixing area.

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              • wsbob June 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

                “One light signal, if that, as the bus came from behind us after the light turned green. …” KYouell

                Okay…so the bus wasn’t kept waiting by bike lane traffic through more than one traffic light, to cross over the bike lane into the left turn lane. Main lane traffic wouldn’t have been held back unreasonably behind the bus. The person driving the bus wouldn’t have had cause to feel impatient and be inclined to abruptly move across the bike lane.

                As the bus began to move from the main lane, left across the bike lane, was there any people on bikes in the bike lane, midways alongside the bus? Get the situation I’m asking about? Before the bus started to move left, there should not have been any bike traffic along its left side in the bike lane. Fore and aft of the bus, some bikes present may have been okay, if they were say, a car length away, but closer than that would seem to me to be cutting it close.

                Looks like the blocks are roughly 200′ long.

                Also, as I asked bikeleptic earlier, do you recall if the bus operator signaled for a turn, and when?

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    • Oregon Mamacita June 26, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Celeste- your post rings true.

      In my professional experience with labor/employment issues- the bus driver would have been out of her mind (out of a job, out of pension and health care benefits) to do anything but her best around the cyclists. Her finances, career and health depend on reasonable behavior on the job.

      At intersections- when in my car- I sometimes have to back up to let that big bus take a narrow turn. Sounds like the bikes may have played “chicken” and lost.

      But, in typical BP fashion we must call for the vehicle to be banned.

      No more busses!

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      • soren June 26, 2015 at 11:42 am

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the only call for vehicles and buses to be banned was in your comment.

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        • Oregon Mamacita June 26, 2015 at 12:44 pm

          I was joking, Soren. Making fun of certain reactionary bloggers.

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          • KYouell June 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

            I live near 26th & Clinton and have no problem getting out of the way and far to the right of the straight-through lane when I’m eastbound and the westbound 10 makes a right from 26th to Clinton. I have no problem giving a bus and the many passengers that are not in personal vehicles the room they need to make a safe turn. What I have a problem with is a bus driver not paying attention to where the rear of her vehicle is and moving over into a bike lane with people riding in it.

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  • Sho June 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    The photos might be doing more harm than help to the cyclists as it makes them appear to not be moving but blocking the flow of traffic therefore either instigating or making the situation worse. Nor do the photos reinforce some of the eye witness statements. Hopefully details are clarified better prior to making conclusions and posting such news stories next time.

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  • Ward June 28, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    The increasingly entitled/rude/confrontational/self-absorbed behavior of my fellow cyclists in “nu-Portland” make it pretty hard for me to feel any solidarity with them.

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  • Andrew July 1, 2015 at 12:48 am

    I was at the SW corner of Williams/Fremont on the sidewalk after my partner and I stopped to use the New Seasons bike pump for her tire that had a slow leak. We were about to rejoin the ride when the bus took the intersection and starting laying into its horn forcing Aaron to retreat as it entered into the eastbound lane. As the bus continued its turn it came further into Aaron’s path and as he continued to back up his trailer and bike jackknifed and he could not back up further creating a horrifying scene as he could not back up any further as the bus continued to accelerate past him. I am amazed his trailer is ok considering how loud the sound was of the contact with the bus as it clipped him. There is nothing alleged about the contact though folks in the bus might not have heard it.

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  • Aaron July 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Also I would like to clarify that despite filing a report with Trimet. There has been NO contact from them. I have heard of no recriminatory action as yet.

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