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People in Portland are driving cars where they don’t belong

Posted by on October 28th, 2015 at 1:58 pm

carsinbadplaceslead

What’s wrong with this picture?
(Photo by Howrad on Twitter)

Is it the full moon? Or maybe Halloween? For some reason there have been three incidents in the past three days where someone drove their car into a place usually reserved for other types of vehicles.

I know what you’re thinking: “People constantly drive their cars into places they don’t belong, like bike lanes, sidewalks, buildings.” That’s true. For some reason (distracted perhaps?) many of us who drive seem to be having trouble these days keeping our cars on the road where they should be.

But these three incidents I’m thinking of are different. They all feature people trying to drive their cars in places specifically set aside for either transit, walking or biking.

I figured I should share them all together here on the Front Page so we can get in front of any serious trend that might be forming. And maybe we can do something about it before it gets out of hand (like the cars-into-buildings thing).

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The first one we heard about was on Monday when someone managed to drive up onto the big curbs that protect the streetcar right-of-way on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (over I-84 south of the Convention Center):

Then on Tuesday there was a (uncomfirmed) report of someone trying to drive their car across the Tilikum Bridge:

And then today around noon someone driving a small SUV jumped the curb on the Hawthorne Bridge and got themselves right up on the biking and walking path:

Sheesh. Sometimes I wonder if we humans should really have ever been given the ability to operate these cumbersome personal motor vehicles.

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

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q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

<insert profanity here>

Because really…. it’s the most productive and cathartic response to these superb examples of humanity not being measurably smarter than wild animals.

Fat Spandex Dude
Guest
Fat Spandex Dude

I bet if these poor confused souls had bikes they’d try riding on the Willamette. I hope that nobody got hurt!

alankessler
Subscriber
alankessler

It’s pretty rude to leave the door open like that.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

How much weight can the pedestrian decks on the Hawthorne even hold? The lift section seems to have thin composite panels of some kind. I could see that ending very badly.

Emily G
Guest
Emily G

I saw someone driving into Peninsula Park the other week- they just drove up and over the corner cut and onto the gravel path by the rose garden. I was pretty flabbergasted. That can’t be legal, right?

Dan G
Guest
Dan G

I’m wondering if the car on Tillikum was a Trimet security vehicle. I’ve seen them crossing Tillikum a couple times.

onegearsnear
Guest
onegearsnear

People can be clueless unfortunately like the time I encountered a car on the I-205 bike path… 🙂 http://bikeportland.org/2013/04/22/riders-discover-woman-driving-car-on-glenn-jackson-bridge-bike-path-85780

PNP
Subscriber

“Small SUV.” Now there’s an oxymoron if there ever was one.

Snark aside, I wonder if this is a combination of motorhead entitlement and a lack of attention.

Yeah, I’m in a crabby mood today.

Kristi Finney Dunn
Guest
Kristi Finney Dunn

At the very least (where I’m concerned), there should be continuing education. Teachers, construction workers, medical personnel, even restaurant workers have that requirement. It’s ridiculous you can get your license at 16 and never have to do anything else unless you get caught doing something wrong and by then it’s often too late.

Spiffy
Subscriber

a Chevy Suburban is a small SUV? looks like a huge station wagon to me… but people can call it an SUV if it makes them feel better…

rick
Guest
rick

It is far to easy to get and obtain and driver’s licence in the usa.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

I love when we have pictures of these events- it shows how inattentive/clueless/WTF the drivers must be.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

I don’t know if it’s a new kind of very fast, very aggressive damn-the-torpedoes-I-AM-a-torpedo! driver surging into town or if it’s just existing drivers here flipping their lids and becoming increasingly impatient as traffic thickens and sickens…but I feel more and more like they see me as one of those water-filled barriers and less and less as something that can be hurt by them crashing into me. One thing I’m noticing more is cut-through drivers speeding at me—never letting up on the gas–as I cross the (inner neighborhood) street in front of them. Like they’re thinking “She’ll make it. No need for me to slow down even a notch.” I turn my head and scowl directly at these drivers and that usually makes them slow. At least for now.

Todd Shank
Guest

I saw that today expecting to see the driver cuffed for being inebriated as we passed over the bridge. You could see where they drove over the curb.

Adam
Subscriber

The reason? 20% stupidity and 80% selfishness.

J_R
Guest
J_R

These wouldn’t have happened if they’d been licensed and insured. Oh, wait, wrong website. Time for some enforcement action in Ladd’s Addition.

Endo
Guest
Endo

The real question is why we let cars drive anywhere at all. The streets are meant for the public, but the public can’t be in the streets because we allow murder machines nearly exclusive access to them. This is totally backwards. There should be specific infrastructure just for cars, and the remainder (and vast majority!) of our streets should be left for bikes and peds.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

Yesterday, Tuesday, two white utility vans were crawling down the Eastbank Esplanade. It appeared they were driving down the MUP to access the ramp that spirals up to the Morrison bridge. Why.. I couldn’t tell you.

Kittens
Guest
Kittens

Pretty sure some of these are not accidental. More like a dare or something. I know because I used to do such things when I was a dumb kid

peter haas
Guest
peter haas

I wonder if any of these clowns were drinking soda pop? You know you can choke on that sometimes.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I love hearing complaints about cyclists not ‘staying in their lanes’.

Meanwhile drivers, even with stripes, planters, bollards, armadillos, railings, fences, curbs, rumble strips, stability control and lane departure warning systems are unable to stay on the road itself.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I would call it Darwinism if not for the potential for collateral damage.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

If only there were some way to make bad drivers pay increased insurance premiums. We might have to setup some kind of policing force to spot risky behavior and record the license and registration info.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Throw these examples up on the latest Oregonian rant.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

How the *eff* does someone even get their car on the Hawthorne Bridge path?

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I wonder where @timetscanner gets their info. Emergency vehicles and just about any police department vehicle is allowed to use the Tilikum aren’t they?

Mollie
Guest
Mollie

Something in the air indeed… today on SW Broadway, between Burnside and Taylor, three vehicles at three separate intersections decided to use the bike lane as their right turn lane. At SW Oak the biker in front of me stayed in the bike lane to go around the car on its right side and potentially put himself in the path of the vehicle. I opted to veer left into the car lane, having checked first for cars behind me.

At SW Taylor, a right turning car (red hatchback Subaru, new-ish) almost swiped the same biker in front of me (shout-out if you read this, I noticed your BTA sticker!). We both saw it coming; I yelled “watch out!” and fortunately he was able to avoid a collision. I wonder if a less experienced commuter would have been so watchful.

Broadway is notoriously dangerous, but one of the few direct southbound bike routes. I’ve experienced and witnessed many similar instances on Broadway, but today definitely took the cake for the sheer number of instances of vehicular ignorance and/or endangerment.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
KristenT
Guest
KristenT

“Sheesh. Sometimes I wonder if we humans should really have ever been given the ability to operate these cumbersome personal motor vehicles.”

I think the problem these days is that people are too impatient, too distracted, and just don’t pay attention.

As an example, when someone misplaces something here at our office and claims to have looked for it “everywhere”– but dollars to donuts, I’ll find it usually someplace obvious, like on their desk, or something got put on top of it (works best with file folders). We call it “looking like a teenager” (looks in two in-sight spots without lifting up anything and throws up their hands “it’s lost” “I’ve looked EVERYWHERE”).

Now, as a human who drives, I have very minimal distractions– I listen to music, but I don’t look at my cell phone, I don’t eat, I don’t drink, I don’t put on makeup or read a book or look through my purse. I drive. Because that’s what you do when you get behind the wheel.

Robert L
Guest
Robert L

Thankfully that “small SUV” didn’t injure anyone on the Hawthorne.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

1/2 dozen cars where they aren’t supposed to be. 2,000,000 where they are supposed to be. Not an issue.

dbrunker
Guest
dbrunker

Here’s another one for your article
https://twitter.com/dbrunker/status/589201787950739456

Duncan Watson
Guest
Duncan Watson

rachel b
I don’t know if it’s a new kind of very fast, very aggressive damn-the-torpedoes-I-AM-a-torpedo! driver surging into town or if it’s just existing drivers here flipping their lids and becoming increasingly impatient as traffic thickens and sickens…but I feel more and more like they see me as one of those water-filled barriers and less and less as something that can be hurt by them crashing into me. One thing I’m noticing more is cut-through drivers speeding at me—never letting up on the gas–as I cross the (inner neighborhood) street in front of them. Like they’re thinking “She’ll make it. No need for me to slow down even a notch.” I turn my head and scowl directly at these drivers and that usually makes them slow. At least for now.Recommended 4

My standard thing in this case is to make noise. “HELLoo”, emphasis on the HELL, long O. Or I say “Please don’t kill me” I also run with a camera on about 50% of the time.

Tony
Guest
Tony

It’s not just in Portland. This happened last year in SF:
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/3192543-181/man-drives-into-golden-gate

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

I think it’s one thing to make fun of people’s foibles, but I have a friend who was seriously injured when he crashed after driving off the road just blocks from his own house (very recently). He can’t remember what happened because of crash-induced amnesia, there seems to be no one who saw it happen, and his phone record is clean. He is frankly very lucky to have survived. The point is, accidents _do_ happen, even to those whose judgements and skills we generally trust. Some of the above were not really accidents, but I think it’s important to keep a compassionate heart within reach as we laugh at what we perceive as stupidities.

Mike Reams
Guest
Mike Reams

I’m just curious, all the calls for banning cars, calling them the most horrible thing mankind has ever created, questioning whether they should even exist. Are these serious comments or, just frustrated hyperbole?

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

Several cars now driving and parking with regularity on the bike path on N. Greeley by Interstate. These are not “full moon” events, but people associated with the growing homeless camp there at the Greeley Forest Garden (Near the Interstate Ave and I-5 ramps intersections) just parking their cars there on the bike path and driving on it.

peejay
Guest
peejay

If cars were a new product in the market, they’d be banned and recalled when their danger became apparent. People would shake their heads and say “What were they thinking?”

9watts
Subscriber

Dan A wins the cookie for best riposte!

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Actually I give the Hawthorne Bridge “Parker” extra credit for planning ahead and bringing a traffic cone to put out (perhaps event 2 if there is one in front). As this is so rarely done for some smaller work zones and other illegal double parking / loading events. Safety first!

was carless
Guest
was carless

Around circa 2005-ish, I saw a car that had crashed on the stairs of the Portland State University Urban Plaza.

I thought it was hilarious at the time. Apparently handrails meant something else to the driver, who was an utterly confused elderly.

Joe
Guest
Joe

on your left.

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

A hundred years ago car makers said they’d be a boon to society. No one would ever be killed by a team of runaway horses again; because automobiles would always be under the complete control of rational human beings.

Well, I haven’t heard of anyone being killed by a team of runaway horses in any U.S. cities recently. Now about the other half of that…

estherc
Guest
estherc

Driving onto the Max tracks at the Kenton stop seems to be a daily occurrence but its such a weird intersection its almost understandable.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

It was clearly deficient infrastructure. You can’t blame the driver.

Ben
Guest
Ben

These events are amusing (and frightening), but the half-dozen cars I saw on a recent drive from Seattle that had obviously been driven right off the road and into barriers by distracted drivers were really unsettling. If they aren’t paying enough attention to stay on an eight-lane freeway, they surely aren’t watching for cyclists.

Kevin Wagoner
Guest
Kevin Wagoner

How do I get it to stop on SW Spring Garden St? UPS and Fedex continue to park on our sidewalk creating a dangerous situation for anyone trying to walk around here. I’ve called the city lots and opened up several complaints at UPS.

9watts
Subscriber

JRB
Because the vast majority of people still travel by motor vehicle. Until more people walk and bike, saying we should substantially reduce the public space where cars are king is fruitless handwaving.Recommended 1

Your proposal seems kind of backwards to me. If everyone’s (a lot more people have) already jettisoned the car for something else what would be the point of making that suggestion?