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TriMet releases video, statement on Tilikum collision

Posted by on October 21st, 2015 at 4:26 pm

trimetvieeo

Image from TriMet video of serious injury collision

TriMet has just released a statement about the collision on the Tilikum Bridge on October 11th that left Carole Barkley with serious injuries.

Read the statement and watch the video below:

As the video was already processed as a Public Records Request, the video is available to be released to the media. We are releasing it to provide greater context to the incident. As the video shows, the bike light turned red several seconds before the cyclist traveled through the red light. We always look for ways to improve safety along our transit system, and we are currently looking into this incident with our partners at Portland Bureau of Transportation to review the signal timing and signal placement to see if there are ways to improve safety.

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And here’s the video showing the collision. It happens close to the top right corner of the frame, a bit after 0:40.

For additional clarity, here’s a photo of the location where the collision occcurred (sent to us by Barkley’s husband David Loftus:

tilikcrash1

And here’s another image of the signal and intersection in question that I took during a tour of the bridge:

My first walk across Tilikum Bridge-4

Stay tuned for more coverage.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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

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Jim and Becky
Guest
Jim and Becky

I gotta go with rider negligence on this.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

Like with collisions involving driver negligence, I’s prefer to see the problem addressed from two angles. First, hold the negligent party responsible. Secondly, look at the infrastructure and see whether it can be changed to make similar negligence less likely and/or damaging.

It’s obvious the rider should have seen the light and stopped. It’s also pretty clear that it would have been very difficult for the rider to see the pedestrian; all those poles and utility boxes functionally block that view, so it’s as if she stepped out from (say) behind a parked box truck. So among all the other problems, visibility may need to be addressed here.

This is why it’s important to stop for signals even if you don’t immediately see the reason you should: because sometimes there’s a reason you don’t see, and it’s your responsibility to avoid that even if you didn’t see it.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

The question here was *COULD* the cyclist see the light? Those aren’t standard sized traffic lights. They’re small, and depending on time of day, might be hard to see.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Regardless of the light, he should have seen the pedestrian. But he was hammering through that stretch.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Do you see anyone in the video between 20 and 41 seconds? He saw the pedestrian at 0:41, but it was too late to stop at the speed he was moving. Should he have stopped at the red light? Probably. Should he have approached it more slowly? Definitely. But after watching that video, I can’t say for sure that he “should have seen the pedestrian” to avoid this crash. I think it was impossible to see the pedestrian.

Gniles
Guest
Gniles

If it was impossible to see the person waiting to cross, it certainly was not impossible to see the red lights. There is absolutely no excuse for her to have been hit.

Bill Walters
Guest
Bill Walters

Agreed, no excuse. This has _also_ helped identify contributing factors for which there is “no excuse” for creating them, as well as for not fixing them.

They include the permanent fixtures that may have blocked both parties’ view of each other, and the inscrutable timing of the traffic light most directly involved along with others nearby, which can lead users to distrust them as broken/faulty/out-of-order.

Somedude
Guest
Somedude

we can all see that the cyclist is mostly at fault (Very much so), some of us see infrastructure as more of a factor than others, but out of sympathy, and believe me I share that despite the following observation; No one is acknowledging the lack of looking before stepping out, (admittedly I did not read all +200 comments). When any light changes before the impulse to move forward should be the thought “is anything else coming?” and subsequent checking to verify that it is indeed clear. For those with certain types of disabilities this is much more complicated and warrants greater attention to the details of infrastructure, hence its importance but as long as I am w/o disability, I will never put my full faith in the hands of infrastructure over patience and awareness after experiencing time and time again people trying to slip through the last seconds of Yellow lights and failing as I or many others I’ve seen, wait on the shoulder for a quick second that saves us serious injury or death. Light signals only indicate that it is my turn and SHOULD be safe to cross, only awareness and good judgment can determine that it IS safe.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I rode through there a few minutes ago at 10 mph, making note of whether or not I would be able to see a pedestrian waiting to cross. I had a green light the whole time, and I could clearly see whether there were any pedestrians in or near the crosswalk. To have been surprised I would have had to close my eyes, or have been going a ridiculously negligent speed. All of the excuses are total BS.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

Just rode through again. I stood there for about 60 seconds and in that span of time I saw a cyclist and two pedestrians ignore the signals. There needs to be some heavy enforcement immediately.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Or they need to remove the signals and the boxes.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

First view of the vid tonight, though not a really good one. Not really sure of what I can surmise of the rider’s angle of view at 41; he may have had a clear angle of view to her at that point, and it’s during this second that she seems to be moving towards the path. At 42, it looks like he’s at an unobstructed angle of view to the lady walking.

But given that the Trimet video is taken from a greater angle of view, it’s hard to certain of what he could see and when. An on the site recreation of the movement of each person could help to better reveal what angle of view to each other, both had.

Into 43, both are still moving towards each other. They collide at some point during 44.

Seems to be three seconds during which each had opportunity to see each other. With the modest quality vid download I had to look at, I could have missed something.

Terrible collision, painful to look at, let alone be injured in it. Be safe everyone.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Well, there was nothing else to look at or distract the rider, thats for sure. He just completely ignored what was in front of him!

No excuse. This guy should probably not be allowed to ride any bikes without taking riding classes.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

If can see them in the video clearly, taken from further back, then they’re not that tiny.

TOM
Guest
TOM

The whole point of erecting this bridge was to separate riders from the risk of negligence. Segregate riders from pedestrians, and pedestrians from riders, or ban one or the other, or take away the bridge.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

The point of this bridge was never, at any time, ever, to give riders their own separate idiot proof facilities where you can be as negligent as you want and not suffer the consequences.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

A good start is to cite the cyclist. Failure to stop for a signal and whatever else applies.

Gwen Boucher
Guest
Gwen Boucher

Perhaps part of the issue is the “head down” posture of many riders. I sit erect so can see well. Many riders fail to exercise due caution, thinking they can ride like they are driving a car.

jeff
Guest
jeff

funny, I raced for 8 years and have commuted for over 12. I’ve never missed a pedestrian in my way. doesn’t negate negligence on the cyclists part, no matter how many people here try to blame small signs.

Mao
Guest
Mao

“I’ve never missed a pedestrian in my way”
Sorry, but it’s funny the two ways that can be interpreted.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Perhaps part of the issue is the “head down” posture of many riders. I sit erect so can see well. …” Gwen Boucher

Gwen, on a racing, or racing style bike with drop bars, if it’s on that type of bike you’re seeing a “head down” posture”, their having their head down doesn’t inherently mean they can’t see the road.

People riding these type of bikes with their hands on the drops, are correctly and safely riding in this position with their back flat and relatively low to the bike’s top tube, and with their head tilted back to allow their eyes to see the road…obviously tilted back further than persons riding an upright riding position bike would have their head tilted back.

True though, that some people riding the drops, through fatigue probably more than any other reason, may not be keeping their head tilted back far enough (when fatigue sets in, shift to higher positions on the bars.) to allow looking far enough in the distance for hazards. Couple that mistake with allowing the eyes to be directed fixedly onto the road a rather short distance ahead of the bike, and problems could take you by surprise.

Hard to know for sure at this point, why the guy riding just kept steamrolling ahead up to the crosswalk and the red light. Fatigue could have contributed though.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Substandard tiny signal light, no signal ahead signage, non-existent sight lines, overly narrow intersection that precludes evasive action. I’m going with mostly design errors.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I could see the signal change happen from the point of view of the small camera, tucked inside the MAX platform, however many feet away it is from said signal. The video makes it pretty clear that he either he wasn’t paying attention or he intentionally chose to risk running the red light.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Sure, you could see the light. You were stationary and looking specifically for it. Human vision sees movements far better than stationary objects. That’s why it is standard to place a “signal ahead” sign prior to a traffic signal; it cues the operator of a vehicle that they need to find the signal. In the absence of this sign, especially when the signal is in a substandard location and of a substandard size, it’s hard for me to place the majority of the blame on the cyclist.

However, the other infrastructure issues of the the unnecessarily obstructed sight lines and the lack of width in the intersection that precludes any meaningful evasive action are far from insignificant. Taken together, this is a total failure of a build. Fire the designers and blacklist them and their supervisors.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I see what you’re saying about the infrastructure, it’s far from perfect, but blaming the designer or using a few flaws to excuse a vehicle operator from injuring a pedestrian is stooping to the level of the all-too-common motor vehicle operator who claims “I didn’t see her [and therefor it’s not my fault].”

George H.
Guest
George H.

Do you make up that many excuses for a motorist when they down a cyclist? It really sounds like you’re an apologist for the guy who deliberately ran the signal.

soren
Guest

How do you know it was deliberate?

George H.
Guest
George H.

You are just being deliberately obtuse.

ynn
Guest
ynn

Because he was out of the saddle, standing on his pedals and not doing the obvious which would be to slow to a reasonable speed for the upcoming cross walk.

Sam
Guest
Sam

But then you’ll need a “important warnining sign ahead” sign to alert people that a sign containing an important warning is coming up.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

That small one is supplementary. The regulatory ones are on the far side of the intersection and standard size. Like every other signalized intersection in the US.

Gniles
Guest
Gniles

Agreed (to a certain extent: I would say “poor design” instead of “design errors”), and the man on the bike should have slowed down to account for this poor design. It’s really is easy to slow to a pace where you don’t present a possibly fatal danger to others.

AndyCE
Guest
AndyCE

So if this were a motorist striking a cyclist and the signal size was substandard, there was no advanced signal ahead signage on the roadway, non-existent sight lines due to, say, roadside vegetation, and a narrow single lane with oncoming traffic coming the other way which would preclude evasive maneuvers, would you still feel the same way?

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

If you’re asking anyone who happens to be reading, I’d put the fault on the cyclist. Given the poor layout of the intersection I am not surprised that such a crash occurred, but in the end, there is a light, there is a crosswalk, and the crosswalk obviously has some stuff blocking your view of potential pedestrians. Therefore, not safe at full speed. I don’t forgive drivers for failure to notice that infrastructure is suboptimal, and I don’t see why cyclists should get a pass either. At the same time, I know that if I want safer roads, improved infrastructure is better than expecting humans to be adequately vigilant.

But what do *I* do in places like that? I slow down, I swerve wide of the places where I can’t see (if there is room to swerve), etc. I’ve tried to devise safety rules that ought-to-be-laws (i.e., safety rules that would actually work), I try to frame them objectively so I can tell that I am obeying them, and I try to obey them. One of those is to assume that behind any obstacle to my vision is a toddler about to step into the road.

It’s a simple, clear rule, and obeying it would have prevented this crash, even without the issue of the red light.

Nate
Guest
Nate

And yet, I could clearly see the light turn red in the video from the other end of the platform, without even making the video full screen.

The rider wasn’t paying attention. The infrastructure certainly didn’t help, but at the very least he should’ve slowed down when approaching an obstructed intersection.

VS
Guest
VS

The tiny signal is a supplement the large, standard signal above the intersection. Which was clearly red.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

other way around. the nearside bike signal is the supplementary one, i.e., not even required.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Too small a light? Funny, I could see it perfectly well on my low-definition, 3.5″ smart phone screen – taken from 200 feet away. But the cyclist couldn’t see it from 20 feet away in person?

The light is probably the same visible size mounted at street level than a full-size light on the other side of an intersection mounted on top of a light pole.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

But if it were a car, you’d blame the driver.

ynn
Guest
ynn

Cue the court case.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Suing people beats the heck out of the alternatives available around the world, like family vendettas.

Paul Wilkins
Guest
Paul Wilkins

And it’s our Constitutional right for settling civil matters. Bill of Rights! Baby!

Adam
Subscriber

I couldn’t even see the person crossing in the video until about half a second before the collision, and I was fully expecting it. The wide pole and utility boxes block sign lines, making it tricky to see people waiting to cross. Additionally, that light is frequently red even in absence of people crossing, encouraging people riding bikes to ignore it.

The person riding is certainly at fault here, since he ran the red light. However, there are definitely ways to improve this intersection from an infrastructure perspective. Mainly, move the utility boxes and ensure the bike signal is only red when there is cross traffic.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Terrible, terrible sight lines. Couldn’t the equipment be place on the “downstream” side of the intersection?

George H.
Guest
George H.

To summarize what you said: “the cyclist is at fault BUT BUT BUT….”

Design flaws are secondary here, and have no bearing on this collision. If I can see the signal change from a janky Trimet camera a far distance from the signal (and I watched it on my tiny iPhone), the cyclist has no excuse and the infrastructure has no fault in this collision.

But you spend 75% of your post harping on the engineering. I can’t help but notice that many, many of your posts are quite toxic in this nature (constant complaining and a smug sense of superiority).

soren
Guest

“many of your posts are quite toxic in this nature (constant complaining and a smug sense of superiority)”

i prefer complaints to internet stalking and personal attacks.

Adam
Subscriber

Person to person interactions don’t happen in a vacuum. To ignore the role that the surrounding environment plays in these interactions would be ignorant. Yes, we all need to pay attention, but there’s nothing wrong with asking if there is a way to improve the infrastructure to help prevent this kind of crash from happening in the future. In fact, it’s a primary component of Vision Zero.

No one here is trying to absolve the bicycle rider of blame. But it’s clear that this intersection needs improvement.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

Here’s your sentence: “Design flaws are secondary here, and have no bearing on this collision”

And the incorrect part is the part after the AND– that the design flaws had no bearing on this collision.

I (and, apparently, many others) would argue that the design flaws are, in fact, a contributing factor in this collision. That if the cyclist had been able to see the pedestrian on the sidewalk waiting for the light to change to walk, the cyclist would have been slower and possibly able to stop. That since the light is frequently red with no pedestrians or trains nearby, the light is frequently ignored as irrelevant.

I don’t see regular crosswalks where the sight of a pedestrian is completely blocked from drivers’ view. Why should this be acceptable for cycling infrastructure?

bjcefola
Guest
bjcefola

There’s also room for improvement in doctrine, riders shouldn’t run red lights even if they don’t see a pedestrian. That means accepting the need to stop even when no one crosses.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

Umm, if the red light is uncorrelated with any reason to stop, people are going to run it. The real problem to me is failure of the guy on the bike to recognize that the intersection was designed by an idiot and might have a pedestrian hidden in it.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Seriousuly? Half the intersections in Portland have poor sight lines. That does not make it an excuse.

This was an open, clear stretch of road… at the end of which was a red light. The guy screwed up, big time. Did he even brake? It seems like he expected the pedestrian to jump out of the way.

Folks, there really is no excuse for running into things that are in front of you. In broad daylight. At a light-controlled intersection. When you have a red light. And a crosswalk: its not light pedestrians jaywalking all over the place!

Sheesh, quit with the excuses.

davemess
Guest
davemess

That is really true. With our weird refusal to enforce parking right up to the intersection there are so many blind intersections in this city. I’m amazing there aren’t more crashes to be honest. Sometimes you have little choice but to just go and hope there isn’t someone coming. It’s just insane.

Jim and Becky
Guest
Jim and Becky

My feeling the boxes were installed first, then someone saw how they blocked vision, and the lights were installed. The boxes are part of the structure, with cables running under the concrete. Is it even possible to move them?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The lights are part of the future Bond street connection to the bridge.

spencer
Guest
spencer

again, what ever happened to not running into stuff? it hurts, often maims, and kills. the intersection should be raised to make cyclists slow, as should all new infrastructure in regards to cars and crosswalks. this could have been avoided by design.

VS
Guest
VS

This could have been avoided by obeying the red signal. Or at least slowing.

spencer
Guest
spencer

I agree the cyclist is at fault 100%. It boggles my mind that people ride, walk, and drive, without the clear intent to not bang into SH!#. Riding a bike is not an excuse to be a belligerent anarchist A hole disregarding the laws of the road.
Perhaps a cyclocross barrier would slow the patheletes to prevent this from happening. That intersection is a SH!# show, and now we are reaping the benefits. I wish a quick recovery to both involved in the collision.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Rider was going way too fast for an iffy area.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Too fast for not looking where he was going maybe.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Where else would he have been looking?

redtech116
Guest
redtech116

I am going with bad design in this area…no reason for the poles/taffic control boxes to be there…they should be moved to the outter edge of the bridge…at least all the max overhead line poles..and why have any of those control boxes on the bridge..should all be housed next to the bridge someplace…poor planning…
bad tiny bike signal, going to fast, not looking both ways before you cross the road …

Ben
Guest
Ben

Regarding the design question, isn’t it kind of weird to have a crosswalk there at all? You can’t exit the bridge that far up, so why not direct all transit riders to walk to the end of the block?

osmill
Guest
osmill

No, it’s not weird. It’s the logical pedestrian path from the south walkway of the bridge to the Collaborative Life Sciences Building. Eventually, assuming the area continues to be developed, that’s the intersection with SW Bond.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Also for people who just exited a train/bus and want to go east on the bridge on the south side.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Keep your head on a swivel, always be scanning ahead for vulnerable road users, and don’t run red lights — applies just as true on a bike as in a car. There is no perfect design that is going to account for inattentive operating.

mw
Guest
mw

I know this will be an unpopular opinion, but this probably could have also been prevented if the pedestrian looked both ways before crossing. Definitely does not excuse the cyclist not seeing her though.

John Liu
Subscriber

Traffic light was red even before the cyclist enters the frame. Stayed red for 12 seconds before he ran it and hit the lady. Both the bike signal on the pole, and the large signal on the other side of the intersection, were red. There were no other bikes, vehicles, or pedestrians around to distract. This cyclist ran a clear and obvious red light, at pretty high speed (for a cyclist). That’s proof of the cyclist’s negligence right there. Don’t need any more.

Yes, the lady could have looked for cyclists about to run the red light. Yes, the pole and utility box could have been placed elsewhere. Both of those factors are minor, at best secondary.

To show that, suppose instead of showing a cyclist, the video showed a driver in a car, blowing that red light at high speed and hitting the lady. Who among us would now be saying it wasn’t entirely, or almost entirely, the driver’s fault?. Who would be trying to excuse the driver by saying the signal wasn’t big enough, the box obscured his view, the lady should have looked?

Some cyclists habitually run red lights. The justification is usually that “bikes can’t hurt anyone”. Think again. At least – slow and look carefully before easing through the red light.

The victim here appears to be an older woman. Her injuries would be significant even for a young person. For an older person, they are serious. I hope she recovers fully and without too much pain.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I may not get to where I can watch the video for awhile. If you carefully watched the video and counted the seconds the light shone red before the guy riding, rolled through, at 12 seconds, Trimet is being conservative in their statement saying the red was lit for several seconds before he rolled through.

Major boo-boo on the part of the guy riding. Though pictures and people’s first hand consideration of the situation, makes it quite clear that Trimet has got to do something to allow people biking on the bridges bike lanes, to have unobstructed views of people waiting to cross the bike lane.

was carless
Guest
was carless

The light turns red at 35 seconds, the collision happens at 44 seconds. So 9 seconds between them.

In fact, the cyclist isn’t even on the block when the light change happens. He comes into view at around 36 seconds… giving roughly 8 seconds to travel a half a block. I’m going to estimate that his speed is roughly 17 mph.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

If you check out the other thread on this you’d see we figured it that he was traveling likely between 23-25 mph.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Why are so many other cyclists able to navigate this intersection without incident?

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Not to mention the cyclists didn’t even attempt to evade (brake or swerve) the collision at the time. I suspect he wasn’t paying any attention at all.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

He did swerve to the left and appeared to be braking hard as well. Take another look. He did what he could in that small space once he realized he had a problem; there just wasn’t enough space to work with.

davemess
Guest
davemess

because he was going way too fast for that area.

Sigma
Guest
Sigma

Comment of the week.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

All true, except that long red is part of the problem.

Why do we have such a long red phase with no one crossing? It habituates people into not stopping.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Why do we have such a long red phase with no one crossing?…” Psyfalcon

That’s a very important question to have answered. If there is no good reason for the light on the bike to be red if there isn’t someone to the side of the bike lane ready to cross, or in the process of crossing, it should be a simple matter of adjusting the timing of the signal phase.

I can’t think of what it may be, but possibly, Trimet has some good reason for the signal being as it is, and the transportation agency should explain what the reason is, if it hasn’t already.

Something for certain, is that people biking on the bike lane, should not be rolling or blowing the red light, whether or not it appears to them in their approach, that a person is at the crossing.

It’s this fact that underscores the argument in favor of the stop sign law, and against the Idaho Stop. The reason for stopping at stop signs and stop lights is to afford an opportunity to check for cross traffic that variations of rolling stops cannot equally provide.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

A single incident does not represent even the ghost of a shadow of an argument against the Idaho Stop (or any other policy change); remember, the plural of anecdote is not data. When discussing policy we need to look at larger patterns.

If this is a regular occurrence then there will be data to show it’s not safe. If the data don’t show a pattern of danger there’s no argument.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Start asking some of the many hundreds of thousands of road users across the country, whether they agree with ideas suggesting that rolling stop signs and stop lights is a safe thing to do.

There’s not even a need to ask in order to know, by simple, plain evidence that no other state in the country has adopted the Idaho Stop, that the majority answer is obviously, ‘no’…people don’t believe rolling stop signs is wise procedure.

Traffic encounters related to this one having occurred on the bridge, are the kind of thing that happens often on the road, between people on bikes and people driving, a key difference being that in those situations, the person driving is the vulnerable road user.

Spiffy
Subscriber

it looks like the crosswalk has a beg button, so the bike lane should only be red when somebody is crossing…

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Not sure what you consider the phrase ‘beg button’ to refer to, or what type of crosswalk signal phase you consider them to provide, if crosswalk signal buttons are to what you’re ‘beg button’ to refer to.

Crosswalk signal buttons out on regular street intersections, bring a crosswalk phase into the intersection light signal cycle. In other words, the person pushing the button, often has to wait some time before the signal phase for the other lanes has expired. Once the light is activated, persons waiting may be there and proceeding to cross, but not necessarily; they may either have crossed, leaving the crosswalk empty with time still left on the crossing cycle. Or they may changed their mind and decided not to cross at all, with the red light holding back traffic, still activated.

Either way, road users stopped at the red light, are not allowed to proceed straight through the red light whether having stopped first or not.

With the flashing yellow pedestrian activated beacons that seem to be coming into more use at some pedestrian road crossings today, the light starts flashing almost immediately after the button is pushed.

mw
Guest
mw

I don’t really think it’s fair to compare this to a car running a red light. Traffic signals for cars are ubiquitous – everyone knows where to look for them and how to act. The signal the cyclist ran was minuscule and present at maybe a handful of places in the city let alone country. Most commenters on here agree this is a horrible signal design, so again not a fair comparison.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Then apparently the cyclist was not paying enough attention to his surroundings.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Go up to the top of this article and look at the pictures Jonathan has posted again. It’s not just that little signal.

Endo
Guest
Endo

IMO the cyclist isn’t at fault because the infrastructure is substandard (which is no surprise, because TriMet built it). If they can’t see the pedestrian they can’t know that they need to stop at the light. They need to either fix the infrastructure or get rid of the crosswalk, otherwise someone else is going to get hit.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

The fact that the light was red was a pretty good clue to stop.

jeff
Guest
jeff

then, well, you’d be wrong.

Nate
Guest
Nate

Replace “cyclist” with “motorist” and “pedestrian” with “cyclist.”

Is the motorist still not at fault for running a red light and hitting the cyclist? Or is the infrastructure still to blame?

The design is obviously not ideal, but don’t twist yourself into knots to excuse the guy who ran a red light and struck someone in the crosswalk.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Violation of basic speed rule.

Adam
Guest
Adam

“If they can’t see the pedestrian they can’t know that they need to stop at the light…”

Um! I *think* that the red light lets them know they need to stop at the light. Just an idea!

eddie
Guest
eddie

Yeah but it’s in a sketchy area, you NEVER KNOW when someone might step out in front of you, there is so little lateral space to dodge or steer clear. I sometimes use red lights as stop signs, but I do pause to make sure the field is completely clear of obstructions – and cops. The cyclist is probably not very experienced at in city riding. I feel bad for all concerned.

Lester Luallin
Guest
Lester Luallin

Well, the cyclist is at fault BUT imagine if this were a mid-block crosswalk on a road. There would be MUCH better signage.

Start with a couple of these:

Some contrasting color in the crosswalk would help, also. Red brick molded concrete, for instance.

Lester Luallin
Guest
Lester Luallin

Oof, I guess pic posting is blocked, at least via img html tag???

How about a couple of standard pedestrian crossing signs there? A midblock crossing marked this poorly on a road would be a bloodbath,

http://www.memphisflyer.com/blogimages/2011/05/24/1306263993-pedestrian-crossing.jpg

maybe bbcode works?

[img]http://www.memphisflyer.com/blogimages/2011/05/24/1306263993-pedestrian-crossing.jpg[/img]

was carless
Guest
was carless

This is not a midblock crossing. This is an intersection, and thousands of pedestrians cross the street from the south-side bus and streetcar stop to access the health building and across the street.

This is a future street intersection with Bond ave.

Lester Luallin
Guest
Lester Luallin

For current conditions, I’d treat it like a mid-block crosswalk. As things are, the crosswalk just kinda blends in with the rest of the bridge.

was carless
Guest
was carless

This is a great argument for requiring bicyclists to have a formal riding education or licensing! Thanks for your opinion, bud.

mark
Guest
mark

Bottom line-he is at fault. Hope he has liability insurance. If not…screwed..unless the lady chooses not to sue. Even then, her health insurance may.

Anyhow, this is the epitome of horrible design. Almost as if Trimet sat around and said “how can we make this intersection the most dangerous?”. Where are the hordes that believe putting the bike lane on the right side of cars is dangerous. They should be here demanding Trimet remove those boxes. The whole thing is horrible. She can’t see him…he can’t see her…nothing.

Yes, he is at fault…but it makes humans far too dependent on technology and not their own eyes. Way to go Trimet. You have created the best blind intersection. However, you really messed up when you didn’t put spike on the opposing side of the crosswalk to skewer and falling riders. Get with the program!

It’s good to be immune from lawsuits. Right trimet?

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

It’s even better when, if you are sued and lose, you just make the taxpayers pay the bill.

Spiffy
Subscriber

just read this on O’live…

“Barkley said the cyclist behaved responsibly by remaining at the scene and providing contact information, and she said his homeowner’s insurance may cover some medical costs.”

Souk
Guest
Souk

The rider is going way too. Does it look like the rider is out of the saddle and sprinting?

Clearly the rider is at fault.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

Cyclist at fault if he had a red light (could not tell from the video). Speed may have been a factor – not sure. However, pedestrian at fault for stepping into the bike lane without looking. When I was a child we were taught to look both ways before stepping into the traffic lane. THAT would have prevented this accident even though the cyclist behavior was negligent.

Safest plan is to approach intersections slowly and be ready to stop.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

AH HA, I could see the red on HD resolution. Had it on 360 before. Both at fault, but cyclist far more at fault for speed, running the light, speeding thru a low visibility narrow intersection, etc. Poor design did contribute to the accident.

Commonly on BP, we see calls for criminal charges, prison time, etc when a car hits a cyclist. Anyone calling for those in this case? I’m not. Cyclist was negligent, but he did not hit her on purpose – it was an accident and that’s part of life. Make him pay for damages? I’m OK with that if his insurance doesn’t pay.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

When is a red light not a red light?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Sorry, meant to post at the bottom.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

When your going so fast doppler shift makes it look green!

Spiffy
Subscriber

I’m calling for the cyclist to face all appropriate charges… their negligence caused great bodily harm to a vulnerable user… ORS 811.135 Careless driving, if that can be applied to a cyclist as a “driver of a vehicle”…

meh
Guest
meh

Huh? Pedestrian at fault for having the right of way??

BeavertonRider
Guest
BeavertonRider

It has to be repeated over and over – that cyclist was going way too fast. That is so clear from the video. As soon as the cyclist came into view that was my instant thought – wow he’s moving fast.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

It did look like it in the video for sure, but if the camera has a wide angle lens it might make the speed look faster than it really was.

hotrodder
Subscriber
hotrodder

He was standing on the pedals. The guy was really booking, there is no question about it.

lop
Guest
lop

Did he even try to swerve? Was he riding with his head down or something?

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Would someone ‘smart’ run the numbers …based on the assumed distance of 200 to 250 feet and the 12 seconds it took to cover the it before the collision?

The cyclist could have been doing 11 to 15 mph…this is a speed within the range of speed to expect on a flattish MUP with commuter bike traffic…except in this case it was too fast for this cyclist to stop in practice (all discussed before).

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

[Would someone also go out there and measure it based in the POV of the CCTV camera vs. my guesstimate using Google Earth. This will help to tighten the min max speed using the Trimet time.]

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Google Maps put the distance between crosswalks for the station at about 330 feet. Cyclist enters the screen at the 36 second mark, collision at 44 so it was 8 seconds.

28 mph = 41 feet a second or 328 feet in 8 seconds.

http://www.calculateme.com/Speed/MilesperHour/ToFeetperSecond.htm

lop
Guest
lop

The bike enters the frame a decent bit past the first crosswalk. I figure ~240 feet. You see in the video how you can see all three light poles, the first tree on the moody side of the near light pole? You can’t see the second tree. But look at the railing between the bike and transit lanes. It’s not a continuous piece, that helps narrow down where the cyclist enters the shot, probably aligned with the second tree, or a bit before it (because of the angle it wouldn’t be in the frame).

http://i.imgur.com/TuFNrNz.jpg

That gives about 20 mph average speed, maybe closer to 23-25 mph at the time of the collision.

Spiffy
Subscriber

I get 270 feet from google maps… 8 seconds… 33.75 feet per second… 23 mph…

believable since they’re pedaling hard and they tuck down before the light… probably trying to gain some easy speed before the incline…

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Hard to tell exactly where the field of view cuts off. I assumed the camera was back aways because it looks like it’s a wide angle or slightly fish eyed lens. Which makes determining the cameras location difficult.

Damon Quade
Guest
Damon Quade

Frankly, speed is irrelevant in determining fault as he failed to stop at the bike red light or larger red light for the intersection that he was attempting to run. If we, as cyclists, want motorists held accountable for illegal and dangerous actions, we need to demand the same of all road users or else we are just a bunch of self-serving hypocrites.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

I agree that speed is irrelevant to the liability of the rider. But the fact that he was very likely traveling in excess of 20 mph (though I suspect more like 24-25) on this stretch does call into question his ability to judge how to safely navigate a bicycle – in any space.

There is much more to this story than collision liability and lacking/improving infrastructure. It’s about self control and adjusting your riding to the environment you are in – you know basic don’t be an A-hole, common courtesy type of stuff (which unfortunately is lacking on the roads and trails these days).

Imagine if the collision was on the other side of the bridge where it is entirely possible (and I’d guess very likely in this person’s case) that he could have been easily traveling 40 -50 mph. There is a good chance at that speed we’d be talking of two funerals instead of one person with several servel injuries (as if that isn’t bad enough).

I don’t care how good a cyclist you are, or more likely how good of cyclist you think you are -those kind of travel speeds are completely inappropriate for anywhere on the Tilikum.

was carless
Guest
was carless

I posted above, but I’m guessing ~17 mph. It appears we can see less than half the block, which he travels around 100′ in about 8 seconds.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

the distance was likely 260 feet (my initial post was from crosswalk to crosswalk the 260 is from just before the the triangle on the tracks – or the westernmost part of the station) you can check distances on Google Maps in satellite view, which is what we did in the posts above (I can’t speak for all the posts above).

At 260 feet a second comes to 22 mph, however this is only an average travel speed, it’s pretty clear that he is accelerating (or at least trying to) throughout the whole stretch which means at the time on impact he was likely riding faster than 22 mph, just as at the beginning of the video he might have been traveling less than 22.

And yes you are right that it is about one block, which in Portland is almost universally 1/20th of a mile (can set your odometer to it), or 264 feet. But he clearly was riding in excess of 20 mph at the time of impact.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

20+ mph through that section is profoundly negligent. It would be criminally negligent if I had any say in it.

bendite
Guest
bendite

I don’t buy the “I didn’t see it” from drivers, so I won’t buy it in this situation, either.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Or it could be that the drivers really didn’t see it…and the cyclist didn’t either.

J_R
Guest
J_R

If the operator couldn’t see it; he/she doesn’t belong on the road or path. Couldn’t see it = should not be on the facility. We have video evidence in this case that the bicyclist should have seen it. Cite him!

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

It’s shameful that it had to come to this. I hope to see officers stationed there soon, handing out tickets to anyone ignoring the signals.

jeff
Guest
jeff

wait until someone blows a signal and collides with a streetcar or MAX ..

mark
Guest
mark

And pulling resources away from cars killing people/cyclists? That sounds like a prudent use of police resources. Maybe they could rescue some cats up a tree while they are at it?

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

It looks like you missed the part where a woman was sent to the hospital with broken ribs and vertebrae. Preventing a horrific accident like that seems like a pretty good use of police resources. Are you saying that because she wasn’t hit by a car means the police should just tell her better luck next time? Maybe rethink our priorities.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

The infrastructure needs to be fixed. Period. Not for the sake of cyclists, but for the sake of the pedestrians, so they can see if someone is coming and is not going to stop. I wouldn’t accept a crosswalk where I couldn’t see if autos had stopped, and I think this is no better.

Zaphod
Guest

Visibility makes this dangerous but cyclist 100% in error for blowing the red. Very unfortunate timing for the pedestrian. I’m sure the thought bubble for the cyclist was, “Not a soul in sight, I’m going to fly through this!” I hope all are ok.

stephen salter
Guest
stephen salter

A perfect storm. the cyclist was out of the saddle trying to build speed before “the hill” that is tilikum crossing. he sees the red light , but no reason to stop because the one pedestrian is hidden behind huge metal boxes, so decides to run it. Dealing with all the delaying and convoluted infra around this bridge is annoying at best and i can understand why he didnt want to stop at the light. with that being said of course he should have stopped. he made a choice that all of us road users make multiple times every time we take to the roads, and he chose wrong, and he almost ended someones life. We all fume when drivers do not appreciate the power they wield over more vulnerable road users and this cyclist clearly didn’t either. Bad design + irresponsible and selfish human (cyclist)= vulnerable road user is badly injured. I for one am really disappointed with this whole situation. I wish her a speedy recovery and that the cyclist learned a powerful lesson.

tnash
Guest
tnash

like I said a few days ago: Portland pedestrians refuse to even glance at oncoming traffic to see if it’s stopped, and Portland bikers who bomb around at 25mph. Two idiotic Portland behaviors.

Spiffy
Subscriber

I don’t turn my head to look at traffic… I sneak a peak… I don’t want them thinking I see them and am going to stop… I want them to know they have to stop not only because of the law but because they think I’m not paying attention and they will run me over…

if there’s a parking lane I don’t pause when I step off the curb… I keep up my pace and come to an abrupt halt at the edge of the traffic lane… this causes cars to actually stop for you because they don’t think you see them…

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I have to admit, the first time I rode through this spot, I almost blew this very same red light while accelerating towards the uphill section. A pedestrian moved towards the crossing and I made a quick stop just before the light and apologized. Being new to the route, I wasn’t expecting a light here, and was more focused on the rest of the bridge. And to be perfectly honest, the pedestrian was completely blocked by the pole, with no one else visible.

It’s quite scary how similar the situation was. I guess I was just lucky that I saw them early enough to stop. Is a signal really needed here? Why can’t this just be a standard crosswalk?

Spiffy
Subscriber

the signal is needed for the reason you stated: you can’t see the pedestrian…

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

So, bandaid on a bad design. Check.

Spiffy
Subscriber

exactly… there doesn’t seem to be a ton of traffic, which usually is the reason, so it’s seemingly only there due to lack of visibility…

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Hoping for speedy healing, Carole Barkley. All best wishes.

Moleskin
Guest
Moleskin

The first time I came across that light, I did think “that’s weird”. A crossing is definitely sensible at that end of the platform, but the light seems like counterproductive overkill. Wouldn’t a standard striped crossing with the usual (large) accompanying pedestrian crossing sign be more familiar and therefore do the job better, as well as not making people wait for nothing part of the time? (Accompanied by improved visibility). Pedestrians can cross Max lines elsewhere without the aid of crossing lights, and the crossings between the streetcar stops and sidewalk over bike lanes on Moody seem to work out ok-ish.

Best wishes to the injured lady for a speedy recovery; that cannot have been much fun.

eddie
Guest
eddie

I think I disagree. Obviously the light isn’t overkill, seeing as the bridge hasn’t been open for that long and we already have a near fatality from someone disobeying that one signal.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Had there been no signal, she would have crossed 10 seconds before he arrived. With a signal, everybody has to stop for nothing and nobody is looking around?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Watch the video again. This incident occurred because of the light. Had there been no light, the pedestrian would have yielded to the cyclist and checked before crossing. This crossing would still be sketchy, even without a signal, as the sight lines are horrible.

Endo
Guest
Endo

EXACTLY! The pedestrian *should* be yielding in this situation but the light gives them the impression that they can just step out into the street without looking. I’m not blaming the pedestrian in this case, it’s the infrastructure that creates that impression.

J_R
Guest
J_R

No. You ARE blaming the pedestrian. When I have a “green” as a motorist, bicyclist, or as a pedestrian I not only have the “impression” that I can proceed, I have the legal right of way. That doesn’t mean I’m not cautious and do not insist on my right if it puts me in harms way. You ARE blaming the pedestrian.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Since when does the motorist/cyclist have right of way in a crosswalk without a light? The law states that if a pedestrian steps off the curb at a crosswalk , marked or not, they get right of way. Looks like people need to brush up on the right of way laws.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Had there been no light, the pedestrian would have yielded to the cyclist and checked before crossing. …” Chris I

Is it clearly apparent from the video that she didn’t look down the bike lane before starting to step across the bike lane? She may indeed have checked, but perhaps not well enough what with the potential existing for fast moving riders, and the conglomeration of poles and power boxes obstructing the view angle.

That’s a mistake, even though she had the crosswalk light in her favor. These kind of situations in crossing streets, for people on foot aren’t uncommon, and do oblige an extra level of personal judgment and caution everyone should learn well. Such as pausing at the curb and leaning the body out for an unimpeded look down the road or bike lane, without actually stepping into it.

davemess
Guest
davemess

That was my thought. Look at some of the MAX stations next to the 205 path. There aren’t any special treatments. Path users and MAX users know to look for one another (although this isn’t always followed).

eddie
Guest
eddie

This video scared the hell out of me – hitting a pedestrian like that is a total nightmare for all concerned, and I think the more cyclists see the video the better. I keep telling other cyclists that we’re not on a racetrack here, the city isn’t designed for all- out speed riding.

Spiffy
Subscriber

many cyclist commute on race bikes…

I don’t see a lot of drivers in Formula 1 cars though…

cycle slower…

J_R
Guest
J_R

I wonder if the vulnerable road user provisions of ORS 811.135 will apply. The collision occurred on public right of way and the injury was clearly a serious physical injury.

If it were a pedestrian struck by a motorist who ran a red light (like the pick-up truck driver in Springfield who killed three kids), I’d be asking the same question. I thought it was outrageous when the pick-up truck driver got off with a $420 fine and surrendered his license instead of going to jail.

Spiffy
Subscriber

as long as a cyclist is considered a “driver of a vehicle” then it applies…

eddie
Guest
eddie

Why are some people on this forum so into throwing people in jail? I’ve never seen so many call outs for imprisonment.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

How about a big curved mirror or 2 at this intersection so peds can see approaching cyclists, and cyclists can see peds hiding around the corner?

AND some warning signs for both peds and cyclists.

Lester Luallin
Guest
Lester Luallin

A standard yellow crosswalk sign or two would help. At this crosswalk maybe an audible “crosswalk in use” notification device might be in order.

SD
Guest
SD

I encourage everyone who is interested to ride this section of the bridge again with this event in mind. I did this today after work and was impressed with how the signal is obscured, the boxes block vision of the crosswalk and the lack of visual delineation of the cross walk.
Attention has been focused on the cyclist, but the larger more actionable question is “did the conditions at the crosswalk contribute and could the conditions be changed to prevent this from happening again?”

I stop at stop lights. I stop at the the bike lights on the bridge because it is a relatively new area with a lot going on. However, the bike stop lights on this bridge and the associated cycling infrastructure have changed my appreciation of red lights and I am considering running some of these lights. Actually, I run the red bike light at harbor that cuts across the right turn only lane, as does everyone else, when there are no cars turning right. I have come to view bike lights like the harbor light, and the light where bikes cross over Moody to the tram /center for health and healing as more like cross walk signals than the red lights that are on the street. And, some times I walk across the street towards the blinking red hand on a traffic device when there are no cars or bikes around.

If I was going to run one of the bridge lights, I would do it carefully and would slow down considerably if there were other people around. But, if it was a time, like a weekend morning, where there was very little traffic or pedestrians and I didn’t see anyone around I might feel that it is ok to treat the third or fourth red bike light that I come to as a yield sign.

It would be nice to simply say that stopping at a red bike light is the end of the story and will prevent all future bike accidents, but I believe there has been a significant loss of faith in these lights. I expect that more and more people will run them.

The impression I have is that some of these bike lights are band aids for poor initial design. This unfortunate collision is a perfect example. The boxes block the view of approaching pedestrians, much like vans or trucks parked next to crosswalks and a bike light is thrown up as a remedy. We can hope that there is something unique about the cyclist who rode through the red light, but it is more likely that he acted in an ordinary way. I would much rather have full visualization of the cross walk than a signal.

Under the current conditions, I could feel fully entitled to proceed with a green bike light and an impulsive child or capybara could emerge instantly and be seriously injured. If the cyclist had a normal view of the crosswalk, the kind of view that is designed into car traffic intersections this would not have happened. Many many more cyclists would stop at a red bike light where they see a pedestrian, as opposed to one where they don’t see anyone.

meh
Guest
meh

There’s a difference between running, and stopping/slowing and making sure it is safe to ignore the signal. This rider ran the light, he didn’t slow and verify it was safe to ignore the signal.

SD
Subscriber

Sure, there is a difference. Maybe 5 mph slower would have prevented this.
But, this collision was more about the time from when the pedestrian and the cyclists first began traveling on the bridge, than the 1 or 2 seconds prior to impact. I imagine that both of them did not see each other approaching.
I had something similar happen when another cyclist and I were traveling toward each other and there was a large concrete pole in between us. We each traveled 300 to 400 feet toward without seeing each other, and because it was early in the morning and there was no one else around we were traveling at a normal pace. When we both became visible at the same time, about 20 ft and less than one second between us, it was mostly luck that kept us from crashing.

It would be normal human behavior for both the pedestrian and the cyclist to assume that there was no one coming because they had been looking in that direction during their approach and had not seen anyone. Yes, the cyclist is at fault, but the conditions at a cross walk should optimize safety. This cross walk should be enshrined as an example of poor design.
There is a reason that we have standardized traffic lights, cross walks and intersections for cars. There is a reason for http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.550 17) Don’t park within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection. There should be standards for bike/ ped infrastructure that are equivalent to automobile infrastructure that are built into design and not added ad hoc.

Many of the bike elements on the TCx fail with regards to efficiency and safety. However, the huge engineering success that is evident in this design is that there will always be someone to blame besides the people who designed and approved it.

dwk
Guest
dwk

The bridge is not designed for bicycle transportation, but simply for recreation and sightseeing. I would never ride across that bridge as part of a commute where I needed to actually get someplace in a reasonable time such as going to work.
Sorry, no one who actually commutes or uses a bicycle for transportation would have come up with the pedestrian/bicycle flow on the bridge.

James
Guest
James

I use it daily commuting to PSU from Woodstock. With heavy traffic and red light luck its still 3 minutes faster than riding thru Ladd and over Hawthorn. Smooth sailing its 8 minutes faster. Even if it was 5 minutes slower I’m happy to have options that reduce my exposure to automobile traffic and the inevitable.

Dillon
Guest
Dillon

I have to agree. I commute from 56th and Powell-ish to the Tram and was very excited for the new bridge to open. I rode it for a week before I went back to crossing on the Ross Island. The route is just way too convoluted with multiple additional stops to make it worth while.

Charley
Guest
Charley

Hasn’t worked for me yet (Gladstone to South Park Blocks).

Kittens
Guest
Kittens

You guys are so odly rigid!

Yes it is possible for the cyclist to be a fault AND for most of that fault to lay with the design flaws baked-in to the bridge. I have a hard time imagining he woke up that day and decided to maim a lady ped.

In an ideal world we all follow the law and are diligent 100% of the time. The role of a designer is to minimize the probability and effects of what happens when they don’t. We should demand better functional design in future projects and try to fix what we can on the bridge so it doesn’t fuel the “bike war” further.

JF
Guest
JF

Look, the guy was flying, head down, and ran a red light that had changed 3 seconds before he hit it. There is no debate. He is at fault. Not saying the design couldn’t be improved, but he is responsible for this.

Having said that though, if I always relied on crossing signals as a pedestrian, without looking both ways first to make sure no traffic was going to run the light, I would be dead now. The pedestrian is not at fault, but if she looked to her left and saw this bike bomb coming towards her, she would not be in the hospital.

caesar
Guest
caesar

I suppose the pedestrian could also have avoided injury had she just stayed in bed that day too, yes? Despite your qualifying statements, you are still victim blaming.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Well, sometimes people become victims as a result of their own decision making processes.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

I hope for the sake of everyone that the cyclist was a licensed and insured MV operator. Weirdly, cycling is so safe, _statistically_ , that there’s no legal, social, or market pressure for bike rider liability insurance to even exist. Yet, with tens of thousands of riders, an aggressive riding culture (you know who you are) and fallible infrastructure design, crashes will happen. Bikers will be at fault. It could happen to me.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

Thinking about this renewed my old interest in bike insurance. Check out Velosurance. However if you are a bike messenger at work, fuhgedaboutit. They tried, couldn’t do it.

John Liu
Subscriber

This sort of videotaped cyclist behaviour may not help convince TriMet that manual gates or zig-zags/chicanes aren’t needed at cycle/rail crossings.

Riding slowly through red lights is one thing, blowing through them at high speed is another, and blowing through at high speed when you don’t know if there are pedestrians (cars, trains?) approaching is yet another.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Sadly this story made it to KATU with a headline of “cyclist riding through red light, striking pedestrian”. Feeding more fuel to the cyclists are scofflaws fire.

John Liu
Subscriber

That is a very accurate summary of the accident.

Spiffy
Subscriber

that is a very accurate summary of the collision…

ynn
Guest
ynn

We know the name of the pedestrian that was hit. What is the cyclists’s name?

Al M
Guest

The entire platform is deserted except these two people and they end up colliding?

Freak accident

Lester Luallin
Guest
Lester Luallin

That probably exacerbated things. Looking up the bridge you see absolutely nothing, so you put the hammer down. Carole was well hidden by two control boxes and a catenary wire pole.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Exactly. When I recall my time in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, the absurdity of the collision is abundantly clear. Every day in those cities you have thousands of people mixing it up in unsignalized shared spaces with very few conflicts. We have a $200 million bridge with 3 visible users in a two minute period, and two of them collide. #Fail.

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

#notPlatinum

eddie
Guest
eddie

The Dutch and Danes bike really slowly. On slow bikes. In cities which have separate bike lanes everywhere. Masses of people cycling at manageable speeds.

People really have to chill. Slow down for gosh’s sake. There are choke points like this all over Portland, and the solution to navigating them is… S L O W D O W N .

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

I agree…. but. I can imagine that the Danes and Dutch sometimes ride fast, but they don’t do it in crowded areas and around pedestrians. But look at this video. I don’t exonerate the cyclists, but it’s a quiet morning with very little activity. Although we can just barely see Carole approaching the crosswalk in the video around the corner of the electrical box, from the viewpoint of the cyclist she is either completely or very nearly completely blocked from his view. So although he is riding too fast, because there is a red light, a cross walk, and a narrow riding space with objects blocking his view…. he is wrong… but he also couldn’t see any pedestrians. The cyclist sees a long straight stretch of empty bike path with no trains, and not pedestrians. It looks like a bicycle freeway with no traffic and there is a crosswalk in the middle of it.

In one sense, this is pretty simple. They couldn’t see each other. The cyclist was wrong, but we can assume by his stopping and not being a complete sociopath, that he would have slowed or avoided a pedestrian if he had known she was present. The pedestrian was not at fault, was being reasonable, but we can also assume she wouldn’t have stepped in front of a speeding bike if she had seen him. Clear line of sight and this accident is avoided.

eddie
Guest
eddie

The thing is, there’s not always a clean line of sight and it’s unrealistic to expect one to be there at all times. So slow down and be ready for someone to hop out at you from behind some unexpected obstacle! It’s really the only solution. The Dutch and Danes would ride like bats out of hell if they could, it’s just that they live somewhere with infrastructure which only really lets them crawl around at the same speed as everyone else.

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

But what we have here is a brand spanking new, should be state of the art facility expressly built for multimode cyclists and pedestrians that takes a long straight stretch of cycle way with few obvious natural cues of an intersection and builds in a huge blind spot tto hide pedestrians right where they step out to cross cycle traffic. Of course we cannot expect open lines of sight everywhere, but we can certainly demand it when the obstruction is stupid and on a brand new project the purpose of which is a safe cycling and walking corridor.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I recall getting passed by a few roadies and even gas-powered mopeds on cycle tracks in Amsterdam. Passed really close, and they were moving very fast. But yes, as a whole, people move more slowly over there.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Yes the Dutch and the Danes ride really slowly on bikes (speed is just as much about the rider as the bike), and yes they have extensive bike lanes, but they also ride a lot (if not more so) on roads with cars.

There is more to the Dutch equation than just infrastructure, including an emphasis on transportation education which starts in elementary school, enforcement and investigation of collisions, lower speed limits, and street routes that make automobile use inconvenient.

Infrastructure is but one (and I suspect actually pretty small) part of the puzzle.

soren
Guest

the dutch ride on roads with few or very few cars.

spencer
Guest
spencer

I agree, what in the heck is causing us to be lemmings? The Amsterdamers keep it upright, why cant we?

eddie
Guest
eddie

NOT a freak accident. Not at all. It’s gonna happen again, mark my words. The area has only been open a few weeks.

Randall S.
Guest
Randall S.

I had a hard time seeing in the video, but was the pedestrian wearing a helmet? Sure, he may have had right-of-way, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot to the concrete. Pedestrians need to take personal responsibility when crossing vehicle lanes.

(All comments adapted from cyclist-MV interaction comments)

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

Now there is double Irony for you. Tri-Met and PDOT are fond of their regular “safety” campaigns for pedestrians and cyclists and yet, here we have a facility that they have designed perfectly so that Pedestrians preparing to cross a cycling path are completely hidden by a stupid huge box and pole and 100% dependent on signal compliance from cyclists. Be INVISIBLE!!! Hide behind a wall, and jump out into traffic. It’s the new fluorescent yellow / safety cone fashion.

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

Clear line of sight and this accident is avoided.

They couldn’t see each other. The cyclist was wrong, but we can assume by his stopping and not being a complete sociopath, that he would have slowed or avoided a pedestrian if he had known she was present. The pedestrian was not at fault, was being reasonable, but we can also assume she wouldn’t have stepped in front of a speeding bike if she had seen him.

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

And yes… the red signal was the cyclist’s notice of a pedestrian crossing. But relying on 100% of signal compliance is not a proper design principle.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Yet that has been our transportation MO for almost 100 years.
You can’t separate and protect every lane/user/direction from each other everywhere.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

The sad irony here is that one of those giant boxes obscuring the view of the waiting pedestrian is probably equipment for the bike-only signal.

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

There are a plethora of standards regarding visibility and obstructions at intersection and over the past couple of decades cities have systematically improved nearly all intersections to minimize exactly this sort of issue on sight lines. Not to mention design standards that call for removing strret trees and moving telephone poles so cars can’t crash into them…

But I agree with an aspect of the point you are making. Signalizing and traffic control has been the primary MO of our system and it hasn’t worked very well. In fact one aspect of the problem of tge signal at this intersection is that both cyclists and pedestrians are conditioned by how frequently signals either are actually unsafe even when obeyed, or very inconvenient with little percieved added safety. And in rare, but spectacular instances following the signal can be more dangerous than cautiously disregarding.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Are we as a community ABLE to admit that we (bicycle riders) can ride just as distractedly and unobservantly as automobile drivers?

Are we able to admit that a bicycle rider (vehicle operator under ORS code) is 100% to blame for an incident but that roadway environment design factors (obstructions, too many things to list) did contribute and will continue to contribute to a future increased hazard?

Are we willing to make the same concessions for automobile drivers (also vehicle operators under ORS) that blame may be on the driver but the environment needs to be changed?

We seem to get stuck arguing one philosophical extreme or the other and we forget that PEOPLE ARE DYING!
Attack the problem from all sides simultaneously.
Attack the weak points.
Hold the strong points under siege.
Create new avenues of attack and subversion.

The only thing you stand to lose is the egomaniacal satisfaction that your chosen philosophy is right and that your “opponent” was wrong.
Sacrifice your ego so that we can save people.

eddie
Guest
eddie

As distractedly and onobservantly as automobile drivers? No, actually. Cars have massive blind spots, stereos, passengers, comfy seats, very little engagement with the world around them, unsafe speeds, scary amounts of power, etc. whereas on bikes we’re way less liable to be distracted and make last minute mistakes which can easily kill multiple people.

The rest of your post I agree with. But cycles and automobiles are worlds apart when it comes to distraction and danger.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Exactly. If she had been hit by a car going the same speed, there is a reasonable chance that she would have been killed.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Please go explain to the nice lady how she was fortunate to have only the injuries she has instead of being kill if she had been hit by a car on that new car free bridge.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

If hit by a car at that speed she might have been knocked over the rail into the river! Now THAT would get some views on youtube……..

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

you did not answer the second and third questions.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

An’ misunderstood the one ‘e answered ta boot.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

The faster you go the narrower your visual focus, it’s well documented for automobile users and it applies to bicycle riders as well – and it is likely worse since for fast bicycle riders since they are focusing much closer to themselves for hazardous debris and other obstacles in the road which cars need not worry about.

I got a comfy seat (beautifully broken in Brooks) on my bicycle, I can put in earbuds, I can even ride no handed and play air guitar, flap my wings, do the sprinkler or check my email down the street if I wanted to. Having been a near daily rider for almost 40 years I can go fast. I have even taken passengers on my rear rack and handlebars. As for engagement with your surroundings there is little difference in engagement between car and bicycle when you’re going as fast you can with your head down, and likewise you have just as many blind spots when doing so.

I can be as aware or as distracted as I want to be, in either a car, bicycle, or Oxfords and in any case it’s my decision on how distracted I let myself get.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Didn’t say anything about danger or potential for harm.
I was speaking ONLY to culpability and how philosophical polarization prevents each extreme from even ACKNOWLEDGING the valid points and solutions the other side(s) offer.

Some people are so in love with their ideology that, far and above being willing to chop off their nose to spite their face, they want to nuke the ground to glass before admitting that their opposite might have been right in even the tiniest way.

THIS must end.

Spiffy
Subscriber

are bicycle riders able to admit that they can ride just as distractedly and unobservant as automobile drivers?

yes, almost… we’re not quite as distracted from our surroundings since we’re not in an isolated enclosure, but we can certainly tune things out or daydream…

are we able to admit that a bicycle rider is 100% to blame for an incident but that roadway environment design factors also?

yes… but don’t let the environment distract from fault or dilute the seriousness of the victim’s injuries…

are we willing to make the same concessions for automobile drivers that blame may be on the driver but the environment needs to be changed?

yes… we all know that the environment for drivers needs to change…

LC
Guest
LC

Throw the book at the bicycle operator in this situation, then apply that standard to every incident in which a motor vehicle operator injures another person with their method of conveyance.

Brian
Guest
Brian

From the video, it looks like both the cyclist and pedestrian weren’t paying enough attention. Maybe a warning sign about the crosswalk and/or rumble strip for bikers and a sign to remind pedestrians to look both ways might improve things? I doubt a bigger light would have made any difference and it would cost a fortune to move the electrical boxes now. Anyway, I wish this woman a speedy recovery.

J_R
Guest
J_R

People on this forum went ballistic when rumble strips were installed on the approach to the Hawthorne Bridge to warn of the need to slow for a high conflict area with pedestrians. From all the comments you’d have thought the world was coming to an end.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

J_R and Brian…reflecting on the overwhelming past reception to rumble strips here at bikeportland, a future of greater pedestrian safety with help from pavement rumble strips, from people biking and not stopping at the stop lights on the new Tillikum bridge, does not look good.

Apparently hundreds, perhaps thousands of people riding over those rumble strips, sustained severe jarring to their pelvis, backbone, forearms and hands, resulting in long lasting post ride residual discomfort. And mental distress. Fortunately for them, bikeportland was able to offer aid in seeking recourse to their distress, get the word out to city, or was it the county dept of transportation, and finally have the fiendish rumble strips removed and dispatched to where they could cause no further harm.

Just sheer luck it must have been, that apparently far more hundreds or thousands of people including myself, on numerous occasions, were able to ride over the rumble strips with absolutely no problem whatsoever short term or long term. As most likely would be the case at the Tillikum, if they were used on this bridge.

soren
Guest

Nice try but those were defective speed bumps installed by a rogue maintenance person without approval.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Nice try but those were defective speed bumps …” soren

They were rumble strips, definitely not speed bumps…and they were not defective (if they had been defective, you most likely would have explained what the defect was.)…they provided a low level vibration that was helpful in reminding people riding that they were approaching a point on the bridge ramp requiring a heightened level of awareness to people waiting at the bus stop.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

Add a mirror or 2 at the intersection to improve visibility.

Spiffy
Subscriber

rumble strip? it’s already bad enough having to go over the pavement joints at each end that it makes me want to avoid the bridge…

lop
Guest
lop

A lot of comments about moving signal boxes and visibility.

Visibility will be much worse when a MAX is stopped. I see cyclists and drivers blow through marked and signed but unsignalized crosswalks with pedestrians in them but hidden behind transit vehicles every day. Everyone always seems surprised to see someone crossing. You’d think the transit vehicle stopped to let people out would be a hint though. And crossing from the other side of the street a lot of people are in a rush to make the bus, few perk up enough to that possibility. Why would this spot be different? Signs asking cyclists to ride slow and yield to pedestrians don’t have good compliance anywhere in Portland. Would the warning signs some call for help? How much of the failure here is that the design is objectively ‘bad’? How much is just a mismatch between design and culture?

When I try to cross SW Yamhill at 9th it’s very rare that a car doesn’t stop for me. Visibility is bad. Lots of trees, way finding signs, poles etc…blocking views. But drivers are slowing down for a stop sign that’s only there because when a MAX is stopped visibility would be so much worse. I’ve biked over the new bridge many times, and I have no idea what people mean when they say they can’t see the light or that you can’t see if someone is crossing. Unless you’re riding full out and have your head down. If that’s how people ride…is there any feasible design to match that culture that gives pedestrians the right of way and a comfortable crossing? Some big obnoxious speed bumps?

JJJJ
Guest

This intersection would fail a road safety audit because the pole and the cabinets completely block the view of cross traffic (ie, the pedestrian).

How on earth is this new build?

LC
Guest
LC

Really have to wonder about the quality of the education of people responsible for designing road systems. Engineering ability of all types in this country has really taken a nosedive in the past twenty years or so.

bikeslobpdx
Guest
bikeslobpdx

I know just what you mean. The other day, I dropped my iPhone in a parking lot and the screen shattered. The cell phone I had 20 years ago would have made a divot in the tarmac. They just don’t build stuff the same any more…

Pete
Guest
Pete

It did what it was designed to do: cause you to go buy a new one.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

In general, all of the talented engineers have higher paying jobs at private businesses. In some countries it’s considered downright prestigious to hold a position of public service, but this is not one of those countries and our public services suffer for it.

lop
Guest
lop

Why the hate for government employed engineers?

http://www.hntb.com/Projects/Tilikum-Crossing

These guys did the bridge with those spikes posters here hate so much, did they design the crossings just past the bridge? Or maybe a different private firm?

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

Perhaps there wasn’t enough coordination between design disciplines. Maybe the electrical engineer who drew the electrical boxes on his drawings did not know much about traffic safety; or maybe he let a designer do the layout of conduits, lights, electrical boxes, etc. Then, in the review meeting when it’s the electrical’s turn to show their work, a bunch of people like architects and structurals decide they don’t need to review electrical stuff so they leave the meeting. Just a guess…………

Pete
Guest
Pete

I’ve heard the same said of DAs…

Seriously, though, I think it’s too broad a generalization. The true problem lies in using design guides that are old, don’t address all possible perspectives (i.e. took an act of Congress to get ADA compliance built in), and can’t possibly consider every design scenario. I’ve had a fair amount of experience working with city planners and engineers down here in silly valley (as an ‘advocate’, not a professional) and in general they’ve been very receptive but they really don’t know what they don’t know. The only city engineers I know who ride bikes live in Beaverton, and the design goals of one city down here are to keep bike lanes “a consistent width” (which happens to be 5′) – I am not joking.

If you have people involved that have never ridden a bike in a disappearing bike lane filled with trash cans and leaves next to gutter seams, or been right-hooked by a car that a MUP spit you out next to, or had a car stop in front of you in the bike lane they used as a continuance of the slip lane they barely slowed down for, or had a pedestrian step out from behind something in front of you while amber-gambling, then all of the Master’s degrees in the world won’t give you optimal bike lanes or sight lines.

And I’m just talking about my ride yesterday alone (no lie!)…

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

Actually government engineers wages are pretty close to private sector wages, or in some cases slightly higher (link below). But their total compensation package is much more generous – so much so that many local and state governments are on the verge of bankruptcy. And wages + compensation for government employees in general (not just engineers) is far higher than for the private sector. I think this article is only for federal employees:

http://ballotpedia.org/Public_v._private_sector_salaries

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Bear in mind this intersection might have been built with the future road in mind and not with the current (temporary) layout in mind. So it might not be optimal now and under current uses, but it may be a better layout once the future road is in place.

kittens
Guest
kittens

Maybe people wouldn’t be ignoring reds if they had signals which actually made sense! The area is littered with stupid signals and warnings.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

apparently they aren’t so stupid.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

They are if they teach people to ignore them.

Bb
Guest
Bb

They should put a red pedestrian on the silver metal box with the word stop. Diy

That should take about two hours to create.