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Why Jolene Friedow only got a traffic ticket in the collision that killed Mark Angeles

Posted by on November 9th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

SE Gladstone and 39th looking eastbound. The collision happened right where the blue car is in this Streetview image.

On Friday afternoon the Portland Police Bureau issued a statement about the crash in May that killed 23-year old Reed graduate Mark Angeles. The woman who was driving the truck at the time of the collision, 40-year old Jolene Friedow, has been given a traffic citation and will not face criminal charges for her actions.

Many people have reacted to this decision with disbelief and anger. How can someone be found guilty of a “dangerous left turn” (ORS 811.350) yet not be held criminally responsible for the consequences of that turn? Why was Friedow not cited for careless driving to a vulnerable roadway user?

“Nothing about her driving was legally sufficient to support a careless mental state.”
— Laura Rowan, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney

Since Friday I’ve reviewed the nine-page memo on this case (PDF) written by Deputy District Attorney Laura Rowan. I’ve also interviewed Rowan to try and get these questions answered.

First I’ll reset the case and then share additional details about what happened…

This collision occurred at 12:02 pm on the northeast corner of SE Gladstone and Calle Cesar Chavez. Gladstone has green painted bike lanes and bike boxes at this intersection and there is no left turn signal.

Friedow was headed eastbound toward Cesar Chavez in a Ford F450 truck that was towing a Volvo sedan. Angeles was biking westbound on a fixed-gear bike that had a front cantilever brake. To clarify, the bike’s rear sprocket was threaded onto the hub and did not have a freewheel mechanism. This means when his bike was in motion, Angeles was not able to stop pedaling. He could stop the bike one of two ways: pull on the front hand brake and/or by pushing back on the pedals to resist their forward momentum.

According to the police investigation and witnesses who were at the scene, Friedow turned left from Gladstone onto Cesar Chavez and the collision with Angeles happened in the middle of the intersection. Friedow was not on the phone and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Two cameras captured footage of the collision: one on-board the tow-truck and one from a nearby gas station. PPB officers reviewed the footage from both cameras.

Camera footage allowed police to conclusively determine what phase the signals were in when Friedow and Angeles entered the intersection. According to the report, as Friedow entered the intersection, the signal changed from green to yellow. “Her vehicle was within the intersection at the time of the light change from green to yellow.” Angeles however, entered the intersection with a yellow light.

As per ORS 811.260(4), when a yellow signal is showing you are required to stop before entering the intersection. If you cannot safely stop, you can proceed “cautiously through the intersection.”

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Two different officers who reviewed camera footage in their investigation found that it does not appear that Angeles went “cautiously” through the intersection.

“Per the Oregon Vehicle Code, Mr. Angeles’s right of way had terminated prior to him entering the intersection and MS. Friedlow’s right of way terminated as she entered the intersection.”
— From the memo written by DDA Laura Rowan

Using the camera footage and crash scene reconstruction analysis, investigators found that Angeles was 64 feet east of the intersection when the light turned yellow and he was traveling 28 mph at the time of the collision. At that speed, the light would have still been yellow when he entered the intersection. A GPS device on-board the truck revealed that Friedow was going 10 mph at the time of the collision. The posted speed limit at the intersection is 25 mph.

According to the police report, the gas station camera showed Angeles “in the bike lane at a rapid rate of speed” and as he approached the intersection, “he began to pedal faster.”

Then there’s this passage in the memo: “Officer Close reports that as the light changed to yellow, the cyclist appeared from a shadow cast by a tree (see lead photo).” Officer Close also commented that Angeles did not appear to slow down at all prior to the collision. In fact, he appeared to do the opposite: “Officer Close opined that Mr. Angeles may have seen the light change, lowered his head to pedal faster, and may not have noticed the tow truck turning.”

Another officer who reviewed the footage had a similar assessment:

“It appears that Mr. Angeles does not attempt to slow or accelerate as he approached the intersection… After watching both videos, Officer Enz reports that he did not observe any change in Mr. Angeles’s speed, direction of travel, or body posture indicating that Mr. Angeles perceived any change in the traffic signal, other vehicles, or any impending hazards as he approached the intersection.”

Since Angeles had a yellow signal, he did not have the right-of-way. This was a key finding of the investigation. Here’s how the memo sums it up:

“Per the Oregon Vehicle Code, Mr. Angeles’s right of way had terminated prior to him entering the intersection and MS. Friedlow’s right of way terminated as she entered the intersection.”

Since both vehicle operators’ right-of-way had terminated at the time of the collision, the investigation could not prove who had it.

Right-of-way aside, the evidence in this case shows that neither vehicle operator appears to have been aware of the other prior to the collision. That’s an important finding for how it relates to any consequences Friedow might face.

Friedow repeatedly told first responders at the scene, “I didn’t see him.” She was also clearly distraught at what happened:

The DA did not pursue criminal charges against Friedow because they did not feel they could prove she acted “recklessly” or “with criminal negligence.” Both of those mental states require a person to be aware of a risk and then choose to disregard that risk in a way that constitutes a “gross deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

Many people have wondered why Friedow was not cited for Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User (ORS 811.135). DDA Rowan said they consulted with the PPB about this and ultimately decided that, “Nothing about her driving was legally sufficient to support a careless mental state.”*

Put another way, the DA looks at Friedow’s conduct on a “reasonable person standard.” “Would it have been reasonable,” Rowan explained, “for a person in her situation to have done something differently.” In order to cite for Careless Driving they would have had to prove that Friedow was driving in a way that would be, “likely to endanger any person or property.”

Since the DA and the PPB believe Friedow only became aware of Angeles’s existence after the collision, they can’t prove she acted unreasonably. “Besides the horrible and tragic result,” Rowan said, “there was nothing about her driving that would be likely to endanger persons or property… She just never saw him.”

*UPDATE, 11/10 at 3:15pm: I followed up with the Portland Police Bureau to learn more about why they decided Friedow should not be charged with Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User. Here’s what I just heard back from Sgt. David Abrahamson at the PPB Traffic Division:

Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User (VRU) is a general, all-inclusive violation with which a wide range of violations may apply. However, judges have ruled differently on its interpretation, usually requiring a conglomeration of conditions; the manner in which the operator was driving; what the operator should have seen, was able to see or should have done come into consideration. Based on the video evidence, it is unclear whether or not Mrs. Friedow would have been able to clearly see Mr. Angeles approaching on his bicycle. Careless to a VRU falls under Oregon Statutes 811.135, which states: “A person commits the offense of careless driving if the person drives any vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.”

Failing to yield a left turn is not in and of itself “driv[ing] in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger” a VRU if the judge rules the VRU could not objectively be seen.

Dangerous Left Turn is specific to the violation which Mrs. Friedow committed and is more certain to be upheld by a judge than the Careless to VRU. Sub section (c) of 811.350 simply states the operator is in violation when he/she “Does not yield the right of way to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction that is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

The facts in this case do not support a charge of Careless Driving but they fully support a charge of Dangerous Left Turn, which is why that charge was issued to Mrs. Friedow.

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

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494 Comments
  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Ahhhh. That’s really helpful- not only the timing of the yellow lights, but the ROW change during a yellow.

    Also clears up the “fixie” discussion.

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    • Pete November 9, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I think the fixie plays a factor here, honestly. A few years back I was driving home from a race and waiting in a left-turn lane (in south San Jose) when my light turned green, but I noticed a young girl with a panicked look on her face barreling down the small hill leading into the intersection. Instinctively I waited, despite the honking behind me, because I could see she was trying to stop but simply couldn’t. She ended up riding around the pedestrian island and running the light that way, but I can’t help but think that a non-cycling driver might have accelerated into her as she ran the red.

      I’ve ridden fixies at Alpenrose and Hellyer so I have a feel for them, but don’t own one or ride one in traffic. I frequently ride at 25-30 MPH on a race bike with wide rims/tires and a disc brake on the front, and even with all that, panic-braking is an art that takes a little practice and experience. My opinion may not be popular here, but riding a fixed-gear bike in traffic at this speed definitely takes some control away, though as reported it seems like he didn’t even try to stop. My guess is that if he did see her (which I think is more likely than one of the officers stated), she may not have been signalling her turn. Still, this is tragic for both parties; as much as I ride and as carefully as I drive, my worst nightmare is to hit a fellow cyclist or pedestrian. That nearly happened once while driving last summer, so I can see some reality in this report.

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      • Spiffy November 9, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        Mark had a hand-brake on his bike…

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        • was carless November 10, 2015 at 10:57 am

          True, Mark had a front brake (just looked back at the cover photo from the previous article), but if you don’t actually swivel your head so that you can see where you are going…

          Unfortunately, it appears that drop bars killed Mark. Truly sad. Hopefully this means that fixies are “over.”

          For safety, keeping your head on a swivel and fingers on your brake levers is the best thing that you can do for safety while cycling. Sometimes you only have a split-second to take action (ie, door opens, car turning in front of you). You need to be AWARE and READY to take ACTION.

          If you’re looking down at your front tire…

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          • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 11:21 am

            Maybe it will inspire drivers the world over to start using turn signals. A 2006 survey said that 71% of drivers aged 18 to 24 don’t use them.

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            • Brendan Treacy November 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

              That’s a good point I haven’t seen addressed yet. Was Friedow using her turn signal?

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  • MR November 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    “Why Jolene Friedow only got a traffic ticket in the collision that killed Mark Angeles”

    Because cyclists lives don’t matter. #cyclistslivesmatter

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    • Anonymous November 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Please no. Just stop. I can’t even begin to describe why #cyclistslivesmatter is inappropriate… find a better way to state your case.

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      • kittens November 9, 2015 at 2:08 pm

        Oh my gosh, please.

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    • scott November 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Never type that hashtag again. Ever. Please. It is so far off the mark that it is thoroughly insulting.

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    • George November 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      I drive the streets of Portland everyday. From downtown to the quiet neighborhoods we all enjoy. At least once a week I have a near miss with a cyclist. As each event happens I wonder if I had done something wrong. And the answer is always no. I am obeying the speed limit as well as road and traffic condition. I am properly using my lane and signaling if I am changing lanes or turning. My brake lights are warning other drivers I am slowing or stopping. I am entering intersections when the lights tell me I am allowed to or the basic right-of-way rules apply. So what gives? Why so many close calls? Could it be 5he cyclist who on his nimble bike zipping between cars with out any form of signal? Could it be the cyclist going the wrong way in downtown PDX? Could it be the cyclist who just believes that because he/she is a cyclist owns the road because Portland wants them to feel that way. As a motorist I must obey traffic law, basic rules of the road and prove to a government entity I am fit to drive. I have been flipped off, cursed at and threatened by cyclists more than I care to remember. And each time I am following the law and basic rule. So before you crazed cyclists go off the handle and backlash my comments here. Look in your mirror and tell yourself you have never seen a cyclist do anything I descibed. Tell yourself that you have respect for the other vehicles on the roadways that are less maneuverable and cannot stop on a dime. And tell yourself oh I am not required to have nor use a mirror when riding my bicycle so I can be more aware of what is happening around me as to help prevent accidents so actually cannot look in the mirror. Get over yourselves bicyclists. You share roads that are designed for motorized vehicles. And where Portland has created bike lanes and paths use them for the majority of you trip. Not just when convenient. Stop zipping in and out of lanes. Use hand signals. Look at drivers to see if they see you. Quit assuming you are protected. When that 2k to 10k motor vehicle hits you because you are arrogant and think you own the road. More than your life will be lost but the community as a whole suffers. And the person who struck you down their life is ruined as well. Cyclists as a community needs to take their role in these tragedies more serious. Call one another out when you see another cyclist using poor judgment. Seek licensing for cyclists who want to “Share the Road”. And Police need to Crack down on cyclists who do not follow the basic rules of the road. My heart reaches out to everyone effected by this tragedy. The driver, the cyclist and the family and friends of each.

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      • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        That’s funny… all of MY near misses aren’t fatal because of my excellent reflexes and good attention on my bike. Most of the time, I notice cars exit the interaction barely aware they nearly killed me.

        #purelyanecdotalevidence

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        • soren November 12, 2015 at 7:58 am

          pink$$,

          BikeLoudPDX is organizing a protest at the Multnomah County Courthouse next Thursday focused on the lack of legal action when it comes to the killing and maiming of VRUs. We would like to connect with people at Reed. Any chance you could help me with this?

          Best,
          Soren

          Email: sorenimpey — at — gmail

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm

        I don’t drive as much as you do, but I’ve never been yelled at or flipped off by a cyclist or pedestrian.

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        • soren November 12, 2015 at 8:11 am

          To add to the anecdotes:

          I tend to drive at ~20 mph in central Portland and I cannot begin to count the number of times that other drivers have honked, cursed, or flipped me off for driving at 20 mph in a 25-35 mph speed zone. I also have never come close to hitting a vulnerable road user as a driver.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 12, 2015 at 10:48 am

            Interesting… I do the same, and I don’t think I’ve ever been honked at or flipped off, even on “bigger” streets like Clinton and 21st (or heck, even on Powell). I think in general I have had really good luck dealing with drivers whether I’m on my bike or in my car.

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      • SD November 10, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        11 years driving in Portland, maybe 3 times a close call with a cyclist and thats stretching it to be conciliatory.

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      • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        “because you are arrogant and think you own the road”

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  • Sam November 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Disappointed you chose to end the article on a ‘just didn’t see him’ note.

    Drivers need to know that bicyclists will be on the road, they need to pay attention to the existence of bike lanes on the road. This driver would have seen a car, but it didn’t occur to her to check the bike lane for oncoming traffic. Angeles might have been hard to see, but he wasn’t wearing an invisibility cloak.

    I guess buy the argument that Friedow isn’t legally culpable due to the various technicalities of right of way mentioned.

    But this kind of collision is preventable if we demand the expectation that cars look out for bike lanes in post-mortems like these.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Sam,

      My use of that quote in the last line does not reflect any sort of support or bias…. I did that because I felt it hauntingly sums up the answer to the question I pose in the headline.

      bottom line here, as in other cases I’ve covered over the years, is that the fact that Friedow claims – and the evidence backs up her claim – that she didn’t see Angeles, makes it very hard for the DA to prove any criminality.

      I don’t like that situation either, but that’s the truth about where we’re at right now. If we want this to change we have to change our culture… The laws these DAs are sworn to defend and the PPB are sworm to uphold, were designed from a motor vehicle perspective – in both the physical and mental sense. To really revamp this system we need a major change in culture… a culture where we don’t accept this type of outcome is a culture that would: spend more on safer road infrastructure, rewrite laws to create lower thresholds for guilt in injury/fatal collisions, not accept any fatalities for injuries whatsoever, and so on.

      Good news is that culture change starts with education. And some progress is happening: Like I reported after Wonk Night, the DA is already chipping away at this with an effort for a new law, Portland is one of only a few cities that has adopted Vision Zero, advocates at BTA are expanding bike safety to new geographic areas and new community partners, activists are raising awareness with bold actions and by getting out in the street on their bikes. It’s happening. Slowly, but surely.

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      • Sam November 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm

        Fair enough. I’m just frustrated.

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      • B. Carfree November 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm

        I never see what I don’t look for either. Sadly, over the years not bothering to look has come to mean the same thing as not being able to see what’s there.

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        • q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm

          The implication from the police report was that neither party was looking, neither had ROW and the only intent that could be proved was on the part of a bicycle rider to blow through a yellow like everyone else does.

          It is telling that they are not completely blaming the bicycle riders death on him entirely but acknowledging that there is blame and uncertainty to go around in spades.

          Be careful out there y`all.

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          • Stephen Keller November 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

            The take away for me on this is “pay attention to yellow lights.” I know I’ve been guilty of fudging, as have we all probably. We all, cyclists and drivers alike, have a responsibility to calm traffic.

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      • 2>4 November 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

        Woah, woah, woah. Cars do need to be aware of bicycles, but this incident points directly to the automobile side of the argument too: bicyclists need to follow the rules of the road. By your own article and statements by the DA, the truck was in the intersection when the light turned yellow and the bicyclist was *64 FEET BEFORE* the intersection when it turned yellow. That means that he blatantly tried to “beat the light”. Unfortunately this time he lost.

        As a frequent commuter by bicycle, motorcycle, car, or foot/Trimet, I see this behavior EVERY day. I did not know Angeles, nor do I know Friedlow, but his action here was clearly “f**k you I’m a bicyclist! Bow before me!”

        Whether I am on foot, on bike, or on motorcycle, I always remember 2 things my dad taught me long ago:
        1) It doesn’t matter who had right of way when you’re dead.
        2) You are sharing space with 2000lb+ bullets. You need to be aware of them at all times and where they are because the most you will do is scratch the paint.

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        • KristenT November 10, 2015 at 8:25 am

          I agree with most of what you’ve said, except the part where you assume the cyclist had a smug attitude of superiority.

          In my mind, he didn’t have that… he had the mindset of, “I can make it through this light if I hammer down” and that’s it. Not “I’m better than you because I ride a bike so get out of my way”, just a desire to make it through the intersection since he was going just over the speed limit anyway– like most people driving do, too.

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      • soren November 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm

        The laws…the PPB are sworm to uphold…

        The Portland Police are currently under a Department of Justice consent decree for systemic violation of civil rights. One of the officers involved in this scene was reprimanded by a grand jury for shooting and killing a physically-restrained unarmed person in the head (at point blank range).

        Does the PPB deserve our trust?

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      • Vina September 22, 2016 at 3:05 am

        I’ve read this article, the recent article in the Oregonian, and the nine page DA report. Nowhere does it mention whether or not the tow truck driver had her TURN SIGNAL ON indicating that she intended to make a left turn. If she didn’t have her signal on, the cyclist would have thought the truck intended to travel straight through the intersection. But if the tow truck driver did have her signal on, then the cyclist failed to keep a proper lookout before entering the intersection.

        Can someone please clarify this? Turn signal or no turn signal? It’s kind of an important detail and I’m surprised it’s not brought up in any of the articles and especially in the DA report.

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        • Dan A September 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

          Considering how often ‘failure to signal’ is a cause for collisions, it absolutely should be part of the investigation and mentioned in the report.

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        • wsbob September 22, 2016 at 11:02 am

          “I’ve read this article, the recent article in the Oregonian, and the nine page DA report. Nowhere does it mention whether or not the tow truck driver had her TURN SIGNAL ON indicating that she intended to make a left turn. If she didn’t have her signal on, …” vina

          Investigators are, I expect, relying on whatever indication they can gather, to determine details of the collision, including whether or not the person driving had their turn signal on as part of preparation for the left hand turn eventually made.

          Maybe, with this collision investigation, they were not able to determine definitely, one way or another, whether the truck’s left turn signal was on and flashing as it should have been. It doesn’t pay to assume one way or another.

          Presume for possibly helpful visualization of various scenarios of traffic situation that may have been present around the time of the collision…but let that not obscure the basic fact that in and of themselves, intersections are arguably higher risk traffic situations than most others, for all road users, but particularly for vulnerable road users.

          A motor vehicle’s left turn signal on, as the vehicle is positioned on the road in what appears to likely be preparation for a left turn..is not by itself a fully reliable indication of what the person driving is going to do, or more importantly: when. Approaching intersections and preparing to pass through them on a green light, often there will be a motor vehicle with its left turn signal on, across the intersection in a left turn prep position. Yet, also often, indications associated with the motor vehicle and actions apparent, of the person driving it, lend doubt as to whether the motor vehicle actually will stay put until I’ve safely passed through the intersection. Meaning: for me on a bike, all intersections where motor vehicles are in use, are traffic situations I feel I’ve got to handle with extreme caution…relatively much greater caution than for just riding down a straight stretch of road past driveways, for example.

          By the way…glad to note that you made the effort to read all those sources of info on this collision.

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        • Dan A September 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

          Does the report mention turn signals at all? As in, “unknown whether or not driver used turn signal”?

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          • Vina September 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm

            The report doesn’t mention turn signals at all (even by saying it’s unknown whether or not driver used signal) which is, in my opinion, an inexcusable omission for a formal legal report on a fatal accident, particularly one that seems to indicate that the deceased was the party at fault in the crash.

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            • Dan A September 22, 2016 at 2:50 pm

              Ludicrous, and not surprising at all.

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            • wsbob September 23, 2016 at 12:07 am

              “The report doesn’t mention turn signals at all (even by saying it’s unknown whether or not driver used signal) …” vina

              Have you tried writing a letter to the investigating officers, with your questions about why no mention of turn signals of the vehicle involved in the collision, was noted in the final investigation report? It may be worth your while to at least give them a chance to answer what seems to be a fair question.

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        • El Biciclero September 23, 2016 at 9:23 am

          As interesting as it may be to know whether or not a signal was in use, turn signal use is irrelevant in this case unless police wanted to add another citation to the list. The duty to yield when making a left turn is what is at issue. If I’m driving my car, and I see an oncoming car with a left turn signal blinking, its driver waiting to cross my path, I don’t stop to let them turn, I expect them to yield according to the law. If I’m riding my bike, “proper lookout” or not, I expect vehicle operators to follow the laws—especially in a situation where a collision is possible otherwise.

          The only person involved here who failed to keep a proper lookout was the driver of the tow truck; I wouldn’t expect a bicyclist to do anything differently based on whether a turn signal was used or not.

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          • Dan A September 23, 2016 at 9:54 am

            I agree with all of that. I just think it’s notable that the police seemingly didn’t even investigate this point.

            Clearly we are not using statistics to aid in traffic police work.

            The news and police report will indicate whether or not a cyclist was wearing a helmet (which is not required by law and is never to blame for a crash) but not turn signal use, which we already know is a factor in a very large percentage of crashes (a study says failure to signal is responsible for 2 MILLION crashes per year in the US).

            If we can gain one thing from all of these failures, it’s to learn what we are doing wrong and correct it. And we are completely ignoring something that should be part of every crash report.

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          • Vina September 23, 2016 at 10:02 am

            But in this instance the light was yellow when the cyclist entered the intersection. If the driver had her turn signal on in the middle of the intersection (and she entered when the light was green, BTW) and the cyclist entered the intersection while the light was yellow AND the driver had indicated via turn signal that she intended to turn left, the cyclist (sadly, the deceased) bares some blame for the collision. If, on the other hand, the motorist didn’t have her turn signal on, the cyclist would have thought the motorist intended to proceed straight through the intersection, so he proceeded forward at 28 mph in a dash to make it through the light before it turned red.

            Turn signals are incredibly important at busy intersections where there aren’t designated turn lanes or traffic signals. How many times as a driver have you been attempting to turn left at a busy intersection in Portland and had to turn quickly when the light was yellow, allowing the traffic coming from the opposite direction to heed the yellow light and STOP before entering the intersection? How many times have you NOT been able to turn at all because motorists fail to heed the yellow light, despite the fact that they (ostensively) can see your car and see that you have your turn signal on. It happens all the time in city driving.

            According to the DA report, the cyclist had his head down when he entered the intersection, and infers that he may not have seen the motorist at all, let alone her turn signal.

            The motorist was cited for failure to yield, however if she also didn’t have her signal on, she should have been cited for that because it may have contributed to the collision.

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    • wsbob November 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      “…but it didn’t occur to her to check the bike lane for oncoming traffic. Angeles might have been hard to see, but he wasn’t wearing an invisibility cloak. …” Sam

      In fact, Jolene Friedow, the person driving the truck may have been checking the bike lane for oncoming traffic…had a number of good reasons as noted in this story, to be checking the road for oncoming traffic…and yet may not have seen Mark Angeles heading towards her at 28 mph on his fixed gear bike, out of the shadows cast onto the bike lane by a tree.

      People generally want to avoid any collisions….collisions with horrific consequences, especially. When it comes to assigning guilt for collisions having occurred, even when the other person involved in the collision is a vulnerable road user, I have to wonder seriously how low a threshold for guilt assigned to the person driving, people that drive, or that travel the road by other modes of travel, will be prepared to support.

      It’s not only people that drive, and their personal actions in that respect that are responsible for safe use of the road by people finding themselves to be vulnerable road users. People that are themselves vulnerable road users have also, a responsibility to personally make use of the road in ways that help ensure their safety. Where they don’t do so, no law or penalty can be relied upon very strongly to help have the road be safer for them to use.

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      • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

        “People generally want to avoid any collisions”

        Wanting and doing all you can to reduce the chances of this ever happening are at least potentially two different things, as our friend El Biciclero has I think been pointing out in the other related discussion.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 4:20 pm

          Also, people generally want to avoid collisions, but it’s less horrific for Jolene than it was for Mark. This is true both generally and specifically.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm

          “doing all you can”, in its strictest sense, would mean never leaving the house. Barring that extreme, “doing all you can” encompasses some level of risk taking. Where to draw that line is somewhat of a judgement call, no?

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          • Charley November 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

            You got that right.

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      • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        Phrases such as “may have been checking” represent conjecture, not fact — so please, in the name of sincerity, stop preceding them with “in fact.”

        In other sincerity/disingenuity news: Light waves still travel considerably faster than 28 mph and care not a whit whether a rear wheel is fixed or free. Gladstone is east/west and the time of the collision was near high noon in the summer — so any shadows cast by trees would be at or near their smallest and would be much closer to perpendicular across Gladstone than along its length — which means the rider would have been in any given tree shadow for something like a split second.

        There may be a valid rationale for distributing fault among both parties, but this is so not it.

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      • lop November 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

        >People that are themselves vulnerable road users have also, a responsibility to personally make use of the road in ways that help ensure their safety.

        There’s something to this, but remember the built environment often means that responsibility places an unreasonable demand on the VRU. Crossing the street in a marked and signalized crosswalk might be the responsible way to cross some of the city’s traffic sewers, but is using them a reasonable demand if those crossings are a half mile apart?

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    • Dead Salmon November 9, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Sam,

      If the police accounts Jonathan described in the article are correct, there are no “technicalities” involved. This incident was clearly a direct result of blatant unsafe riding, and possibly unsafe equipment, on the part of the cyclist.

      All cyclists can make this type of accident (“I didn’t see them”) a LITTLE bit less likely by only riding while wearing high-viz clothing, and using flashing lights front and rear DAY and night. However, typically when someone on this website suggests such common-sense safety measures they are immediately attacked. Those attacks show a total lack of safe-riding awareness on the part of the attackers.

      High-viz clothing is rare on Portland cyclists – it is clear they do not understand or do not care about their safety or are unwilling to make a small change that would make their ride safer. It’s sad.

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      • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 7:20 am

        High-viz.
        Of course. Why did we all not think of it!?

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      • Paul November 11, 2015 at 10:08 pm

        Agree! I always run my car headlights, and the same on a bike. If “running” lights are beneficial on a car, they should be indispensable on a bike. I’d also agree that the bike being a “fixie” may well have been a contributing factor.

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    • Mike Reams November 10, 2015 at 7:34 am

      I gather from the article that Angeles also didn’t appear to see the tow truck.

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  • lop November 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Any chance of the videos being made public?

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    • jeff November 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      you want to watch someone die?

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      • lop November 11, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        I want to know what happened. A description is less useful to me than a video. I want to know what the driver was doing. I want to know what the cyclist was doing. I want to know what to add to my list of things to look out for when cycling, and when driving. I think watching videos of crashes helps me to be safer on the road. I’ve had my share of close calls and learned much from them. A video isn’t as strong a message, but it lets me learn something without almost dying. I don’t want to kill anyone. And I don’t want anyone to kill me.

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  • EngineerScotty November 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Are you surprised?

    This seems to be consistent with the law in Oregon: Unless a motorist has criminal liability (DUI, reckless driving, etc.) that leads to a collision, they won’t be charged for manslaughter/CNH or other crimes for fatalities resulting thereof. Committing traffic infractions (ordinary speeding, illegal left turns, failure to obey a traffic control device) that themselves are not crimes, is not sufficient to produce criminal liability if a death results.

    If you think this needs to change, then advocate to get the law changed.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a belief in some quarters (and I’m not referring to anyone specifically) that rather than activists doing the (hard) work of changing motor vehicle law–something that would require either lobbying the Legislature or winning an initiative petition, that instead prosecutors should come up with novel theories of law in order to prosecute motorists in these sorts of accidents. The problem with novel theories is that judges generally are not amused by them, and throw such charges out. Quite a few prosecutors aren’t willing to stick their necks out like this; and the civil libertarian in me thinks that prosecutors coming up with novel ways to try and throw folks in jail (or at least force them to endure the expense of a criminal defense and the stress of a trial) is a bad thing, not a good one; even if it’s a class of miscreant that should probably be tossed in the pokey.

    As a better solution: Rather than using prison and the criminal justice system as the means of keeping bad drivers off the road; how about subjecting all motorists to essentially the disciplinary regimen of CDL holders–i.e. if you screw up and kill someone, even if you didn’t commit a “traffic crime”, you lose your license for a good long time? (And part of your restitution shall include purchase of a full-price annual TriMet pass as an alternative). Driving a car is a privilege, not a right; yet the law frequently acts as though it is a right that can only be forfeited under specific circumstances.

    I’d rather save space in jail for violent or non-rehabilitable offenders, not for bad drivers.

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    • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      “if you screw up and kill someone, even if you didn’t commit a “traffic crime”, you lose your license for a good long time?”

      …And if you’re caught driving within that time, you lose your car for good; confiscation and sale at auction, along with all the drug dealer cars.

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    • B. Carfree November 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Perhaps things have changed since I got my CDL, but at that time I noted that I wouldn’t lose my driving privilege until I killed for a third time. Sadly, many of my peers drove as though they had read the manual as well and considered those corpses to be merely a cost of doing business.

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    • Buzz November 10, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Brett Jarolimek was killed by a driver with a CDL license and, if I recall correctly, many violations as well, none of which precluded him from continuing to drive with his CDL.

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  • Paul Atkinson November 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    TL;DR: “She uttered the incantation ‘I didn’t see him,’ and the spell’s power released her from responsibility.”

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    • colton November 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      It’s a shame you felt compelled to comment yet didn’t read the story. It (the story) seems fair and balanced and was very insightful.

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      • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

        I read the story and think Paul, unfortunately, has a point.

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        • colton November 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

          And your comment would, therefore, have more weight (in my mind). By considering what was presented you have at least made an informed comment that was related to the story.

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      • Al Dimond November 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        “TL;DR”, followed by a short summary, usually indicates that the writer read the article and is providing a pithy summary (aka “the TL;DR version”) for those that scrolled straight to the comments.

        Because this is the Internet, typically the real purpose of such a comment is a sarcastic retort to the whole idea of a long piece, suggesting that it can be reduced to a single sentence with little informative content.

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        • Paul Atkinson November 10, 2015 at 10:24 am

          This is exactly right.

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          • are November 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm

            at least you admit it. actually there is a great deal more content here than in your sarcastic summary.

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            • Paul Atkinson November 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm

              Well excuuuuuuuuse me.

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  • SD November 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Bottom line for Friedow: “did not see” = careless

    Also, it is unreasonable to claim that Angeles did not see the truck. Often, myself included, road users will speed up going through a yellow as a courtesy to the left turning vehicle to allow the the left turning vehicle time to turn before the signal change.

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    • davemess November 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      unreasonable?

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  • jeff November 9, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    oh, for Christ sake, just stop. cyclists are not absolved of responsibility when it comes to sharing our roads.

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  • Keviniano November 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    So if I understand this right, the person riding the bike was exceeding the speed limit (going 28 in a 25 MPH zone) and accelerating while proceeding through intersection? That’s just reckless.

    I can’t see how the tow truck driver’s actions should be criminalized here.

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    • Lester Burnham November 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Agreed. Not sure why the cyclist has zero responsibility for their own safety here.

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      • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

        ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING ME? Somebody died here, the person responsible for their death is getting a traffic citation, and you’re wondering how we should hold the dead person accountable?

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        • Abraham November 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

          Actually, the person responsible for their death is dead. Read the details of the story and explain to me how this is in any way the driver’s fault.

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        • TheRealisticOne November 10, 2015 at 11:54 am

          Pink, this is a terrible situation, but, the cyclist must take some responsibility here, I know you may not like to hear this. Do you honestly think that ALL people who ride bikes are responsible cyclists? I too, am very emotional about this loss but the facts “may” show the bike rider was in the wrong.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm

            I don’t think you can really say the rider was “wrong”. I think a fairer way to state it is that all parties made errors that, in themselves, were small, but in this particular case, they came together to create a huge tragedy.

            These errors (not seeing someone, entering the intersection on a yellow, incorrectly anticipating the actions of others) are very common (I’ll bet many of you experienced at least one of these already today), and they are rarely enough to cause anything more than brief annoyance. But sometimes, the outcome is far more severe.

            The only solution I see is better driver/cyclist/pedestrian training, but even that will not eliminate these sorts of crashes.

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          • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 12:18 pm

            How do you propose the cyclist take responsibility in this scenario? It sounds absurd, unless you think the masses attributing it to him post-mortem is appropriate. I think one’s life is more than enough sacrifice for all you claiming “reckless biking behavior.” Some of you talk like you’d love to see the DA send his parents a traffic citation.

            On another note, it’s pretty disgusting what low caliber of evidence and testimony from anti-cyclist officers many of you have. And don’t get me on the collective understanding of victim-blaming here. It took many of you “yellow light” and “fixie” to decide Mark was responsible for this collision.

            You may not want to hear this, but there are a lot of reasons why Mark died and the person driving the truck that killed him is walking (driving?) away with a traffic citation. Probably the best reason is that everyone investigating and prosecuting this case upheld the low standards of due care for motor vehicle operators. I’m not saying they had a choice, but supposed allies/biking advocates should see through this and refrain from endorsing this drivers-biased investigation.

            You also have the choice to refrain from speculating that Mark was acting with reckless and irresponsible bravado. I’m asking you to make that choice because I knew Mark and I know that he didn’t make it all the way to a week past graduation making irresponsible and impulsive choices.

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        • jeff November 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm

          does not seem as though they are responsible, pink. you do get how this works right?

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      • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

        “zero responsibility”

        I don’t think anyone is saying that. To make a thought experiment, let’s use an extreme example:

        Two gangsters get into a gunfight, and one kills the other. Do we charge the “winner” of the gunfight with murder? Why would we, if the victim was also shooting guns and arguably disregarded their own safety by participating in a gun fight?

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        • dr2chase November 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm

          I think we actually do charge the winner with something more serious than a traffic ticket.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 4:35 pm

          The problem with this example is it assumes they are at the same risk. To modify that example, perhaps a gunfight where one party is wearing bulletproof clothing. That starts to give the inequality that is present in vulnerable road user situations.

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          • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

            Yeah. Don’t bring a knife…

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    • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      So is it reasonable that a car 1) accelerating through a yellow or 2) going 3 mph over the speed limit would not be considered reckless, but on a bike, it is?

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      • Keviniano November 9, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        No one said that.

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        • Psyfalcon November 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

          You said exactly that.

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          • Keviniano November 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

            No, not at all. Saying that a person on a bicycle did something reckless isn’t giving the other driver or any other road user a pass. The tow truck driver definitely made a big and tragic mistake. She’ll have to live with the effect of her error for the rest of her life, but I just don’t see it rise to the level of a felony when the other participant in the collision was acting as improperly as it appears he was.

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            • Dan November 10, 2015 at 7:42 am

              Who said felony?

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              • Keviniano November 10, 2015 at 9:05 am

                Aren’t these “criminal negligence” charges we’re talking about at a felony level?

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              • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 9:21 am

                Depends which “we” is writing. “Reckless” is a specific driving violation, so not even a misdemeanor. “Careless” is also a specific violation. Both words also have common meanings outside their respective ORS statutes.

                Many people could be much clearer in what they consider right or fair or just or desirable regarding traffic crimes (any crimes, for that matter) by using more specific terms. Crimes can be violations (called infractions in many states), misdemeanors or felonies. Violations do not carry penalty of incarceration (jail or prison) yet can still have considerable penalty (see 811.135 for example).

                Glossary for terms violation, offense, misdemeanor, and felony here: http://www.oregonlaws.org/glossary/

                http://courts.oregon.gov/Lane/CriminalandTraffic/pages/misdemean.aspx says:

                Violations are offenses for which a fine is the maximum penalty but for which there is no jail sanction. Some offenses classified as violations carry not only a maximum penalty but a mandatory minimum penalty.

                Misdemeanors are lesser criminal offenses for which the maximum penalty is a fine and/or incarceration. Misdemeanors fall into four classes and each classification carries a different maximum potential penalty:

                Misdemeanors carry the following maximum penalties:

                `A’ Misdemeanor: $6,250 and/or 1 year in jail
                `B’ Misdemeanor: $3,500 and/or 6 months in jail
                `C’ Misdemeanor: $1,250 and/or 30 days in jail
                `Unclassified’: Penalties as specified in the particular statute

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              • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

                Oops, reckless driving is a misdemeanor (still not a felony): http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.140

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              • Ian November 10, 2015 at 11:59 am

                It looks like hitting a cyclist with a car may rise to the level of felony if the driver was driving recklessly “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life” (i.e., an incident constituting second-degree assault): http://bikeportland.org/2007/08/20/da-details-charges-against-driver-4886

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              • Keviniano November 10, 2015 at 12:41 pm

                Thanks Alan, that’s really helpful. This makes me realize that I don’t yet understand what the DA or others are proposing to address this gap we’re all talking about.

                When I think about something being “criminal”, I think felony. For instance, “decriminalizing marijuana” has often meant making felony crimes into misdemeanors. So when I see terms like “criminal negligence”, I assume some felony-level offense.

                So I guess what I was trying to say was that in this case I don’t think this tragedy should result in jail or prison time for the tow truck driver.

                I’d be curious to hear what others would ideally want in terms of a conviction for the driver, with the understanding being that we still don’t have complete information about what actually happened.

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    • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      “That’s just reckless.”

      It’s also something I’ve seen countless drivers do countless times. Still “reckless”? Do you think that if Mr. Angeles had been driving a car and survived, he would be charged with “reckless” driving? Or would the outcome be pretty much the same as it was in this case?

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      • Keviniano November 9, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        Yes, that’s reckless too.

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        • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm

          Yes, but would he be charged with being reckless?

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          • Keviniano November 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm

            If he killed or seriously hurt somebody, I would hope so!

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            • Dan November 10, 2015 at 7:36 am

              The point is, it seems as if the threshold for ‘reckless cycling’ is lower than it is for ‘reckless driving’, in the eyes of the law.

              3mph over the limit on a bike? Reckless cycling!

              3mph over the limit in a car? You’re going too slow, get out of the way!

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    • soren November 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      One of the officers stated that he did not appear to accelerate.

      I did not find the officer’s statements to be convincing. The officers contradicted each other and made subjective statements that were apparently not based on the video. If Angeles did slow down while entering the intersection he would have potentially had right of way. I’d like these videos to be published.

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    • SD November 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      If you believe that going 3 mph above the speed limit is reckless, then you have an extreme and unconventional view of the term reckless. Consider the amount of reckless driving happening right now according tho this definition.

      If you believe that entering an intersection on a yellow is reckless under any circumstance, then your ideas about recklessness are unusual.

      However, I do believe that turning left across an oncoming lane of traffic without seeing what is coming toward you is reckless or at the very least careless. I also think that turning left when you see someone coming, but betting that they will stop to avoid a collision is reckless.

      There is a responsibility to look before you turn left. If there is nothing obstructing your view, then you should be able to see what is there. If you did not see anything when there was something there, then it is not safe for you to drive.

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      • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 5:36 pm

        Thank you, SD.

        To your penultimate point: “If there is nothing obstructing your view, then you should be able to see what is there. If you did not see anything when there was something there, then it is not safe for you to drive.”

        I tried to make this very point in response to Jonathan back when we were discussing the DA’s findings after the Corkett disaster on Powell at 26th. I keep coming back to the fact that cyclists are not invisible if you are paying attention. This was not a dark and rainy night, this was a (cloudless?) summer afternoon with excellent visibility.

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      • P russ November 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

        I’m not going after the bike, but since u posed:
        – yes, going over the speed limit in an intersection is reckless in my mind
        – yes, trying to rip thru an intersection on a yellow is reckless
        It is conceivable to follow traffic laws

        People make mistakes all the time…that’s why trying to shave a couple seconds here and there is reckless

        Is missing oncoming traffic reckless? I don’t know…but it happens and it Fcking blows

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      • Keviniano November 10, 2015 at 1:14 am

        OK, I’ll own it. I’m an extremist. I’m ready to take that as a badge of honor.

        Maybe I’m particularly influenced by the fact that I recently took a defensive driving class (so that I could drive those TriMet Lift-style buses). But then there is this cumulative impact of my bike commute where I deal with all the cars that use Ankeny and Couch to try to cut past the road diet on Burnside and I’m just part of their obstacle course. Then when I arrive at work my window faces NE Glisan right by I-205, where all day I get to watch and hear a substantial portion of cars going way too fast. The speed limit there is way too high to begin with, and many treat it as a drag strip with no enforcement to tell them otherwise.

        For me it’s kinda like living in a madhouse. Speeding and accelerating through yellow lights, along with all the other stuff that’s normative like following too close, weaving through traffic, passing buses, etc., is representative of a society with seriously misplaced priorities. In the inner city, I consider 20 MPH to be my absolute maximum speed on a bike in the best of conditions. I’ve long been one to believe in speed limits, but lately when driving I’ve been trying out 25 as my maximum city speed in a car. I like it.

        So yes, I think 28 MPH on bike through a busy intersection is reckless, never mind the yellow light. I can’t see any way a road user with no body armor can be safe at that speed in that setting. Going that fast, your attention will almost certainly be on the getting across the intersection, not on being in it and being capable of responding to what may happen as you’re progressing through it.

        My extreme position is that most of us really need to slow down, take stock of what’s actually important in life (or just take stock that life is important!), and be humble, defensive road users. I think driving or riding like an old lady should be considered the highest praise one can make. Car drivers especially since they can so easily kill others, but bike riders as well.

        Lately I’ve been thinking about a quote I heard years ago from a NASCAR racer who said that when he’s not racing he drives very conservatively, the implication being that he got his yayas out on the race track. It’s made me think that maybe we should have more race tracks and velodromes available for the every day road user so folks can have their time and place for feeling exhilarating speed. Then, when they get back on the road, they can focus on keeping themselves, and me, safe.

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        • SD November 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

          Thanks for responding P Russ and Keviniano. Personally, I fully agree and try to drive and cycle in the way that you describe. I think that it would be great if everyone did the same.

          There is the term reckless as it apllies to personal standards and there is the reckless that meets the standard of “reckless driving” that is illegal.

          Much of the conversation is about the legal standards of careless, reckless and negligent.

          I do not think that anyone could argue sincerely that the cyclist met the standard of “reckless driving” that is illegal. Otherwise, all speeding tickets would be “reckless driving” tickets.

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          • Keviniano November 10, 2015 at 12:30 pm

            Thanks SD. I see what you’re saying and agree.

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        • soren November 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm

          Other than your opinion you provided no evidence that people who ride fast are more likely to be injured or killed than people who ride more slowly. In fact, I would not be surprised if the opposite is true since people who ride at higher speeds tend to have more cycling experience (and experience correlates inversely with injury rates). I believe that concern with how others ride is often a form of projection — I feel unsafe at 25 mph therefore it must be unsafe for everyone.

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          • Keviniano November 10, 2015 at 5:34 pm

            You’re certainly right, neither you or I are providing evidence to support our arguments. Your point?

            I think it’s entirely appropriate to offer viewpoints in this forum without having a stockpile of research behind us.

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            • soren November 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm

              As someone who rides fast but has never caused a collision (after ~150K miles of urban riding) I’m challenge your stereotype. Moreover, since I’m not the one doing the stereotyping I’m not sure what you expect me to defend.

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              • lop November 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm

                >~150K miles of urban riding

                A lot of drivers think they’re safe because they’ve never crashed. Or they’ve never hurt anybody in a crash, just clipped a mirror or something. Sometimes it helps to keep in mind how rare crashes are.

                ~530k VMT per police reported crash, mostly property damage only.
                ~1872k VMT per police reported injury or fatality crash (not number of people injured, number of crashes)
                ~99810k VMT per police reported fatality crash. (not number of people killed, number of crashes)

                2013 crash numbers here

                http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812101.pdf

                2013 VMT here

                https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2013/vmt421c.cfm

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              • Keviniano November 11, 2015 at 11:27 pm

                I’m not asking that you defend anything, soren. I’m just sharing my viewpoint and having a conversation. In any case, I’m going to interpret what you’re saying as a request that I expand on how I have arrived at my current opinion. Here are some of the factors:

                1) The physics of speed, combined with hard-coded limits on how quickly humans can respond to stimulus. Some others have already posted some information about reaction time and braking distance. You get the idea.

                2) An ever-increasing realization on my part of how prone all we humans are to misperceive our environment and misjudge our own abilities. See this list to get an idea of what I’m talking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases. Slowing down, not following too close, etc. are simple ways to take this capacity in ourselves and others into account by giving everyone a cushion of time to make critical corrections. That’s what I mean by being humble, defensive road users.

                3) My own vision for how I would like the urban environment to be for me and my family. I think it’s commendable that you haven’t caused any accidents, but as a pedestrian I have no way of knowing that’s the kind of road user you are. I can’t tell a fast-travelling person who’s completely responsible because she has lightning-fast reflexes from a sociopath who’s only interest is to not arrive late to work. Higher speeds make for less friendly public spaces. Car drivers are especially capable of creating pedestrian-hostile spaces for all the obvious reasons, but so are people on bikes. I’ve had more than one instance where I’ve needed to cross Ankeny at rush hour and all the bike riders in a hurry seemed to have no awareness of me or their responsibility to yield to me. They didn’t cause any accidents, but that doesn’t mean they were responsible road users.

                Hope that helps clarify where I’m coming from.

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              • soren November 12, 2015 at 8:27 am

                it is insulting of you to assume that i cycle at high speeds near pedestrians. i am a very strong believer in the transportation hierarchy and a frequent pedestrian. i believe pedestrians have absolute right of way everywhere.

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              • Keviniano November 12, 2015 at 9:46 am

                soren, no offense intended. In my earlier comment, I was specifically referring to the inner urban space and said so. The inner urban space is a pedestrian space. So when you said you were a fast biker, I assumed you were referring to the same context.

                It sounds, then like we largely agree.

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              • soren November 12, 2015 at 8:18 am

                lop, with due respect your statistics are comical. as a driver, i have has many fender benders and crashes with moderate injuries (e.g. whiplash). none of these were reported in the nhtsa and/or FARS data bases.

                i have never collided with any person or vehicle on a bike (except while riding for sport) and i typically ride at higher speeds than i drive.

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          • eddie November 11, 2015 at 12:57 am

            In the 90s I was a college kid cycling all over Portland. I used to bike like that kid – fast as possible, stoked on my ability to weave through traffic – but then I grew up an slowed down.

            Now I’m twice his age, with about his lifetime’s worth cycling experience, and I learned to chill out and JUST SLOW DOWN, and hence I’m here today.

            Some of these lessons you learn the hard way, or you get killed and don’t learn them at all…

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        • Opus the Poet November 10, 2015 at 7:19 pm

          Back when I drove I also raced SCCA Solo events in everything from stock Chevettes to fire-breathing specials with no restrictions other than mandatory safety equipment. I found that my driving was much better, calmer, and safer, for the next two weeks after a race in spite of the fact that the courses we raced on would not even allow doing 60 MPH in any vehicle. And the faster class of vehicle I drove the longer this effect lasted, by a couple of days. So for speed-crazed drivers I say your suggestion has merit.

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    • tnash November 9, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Give up, the cause (cycling advocacy) is more important than the truth (don’t bomb down hills through a yellow and assume the car will see you). Cycling advocates will see the truth when hell freezes over.

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      • Keviniano November 10, 2015 at 1:16 am

        Well, except I’m a cycling advocate. 🙂

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  • Mike Quiglery November 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    This probably has more to do with Portland’s overcrowded jails and overworked, understaffed prosecutorial system than much else. Low on the priority totem pole. You get what you (don’t) pay for.

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  • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Great article, Jonathan!

    I really think these forensics are immensely valuable.

    I still hope one day to get a reprise of whatever happened in the case of Chris-teen Osborn

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  • Ben November 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    What this case really underlines for me is that the state and city should be culpable for not installing left-turn signals where designated bikeways intersect with busy roads. If more than 25 percent of auto traffic is turning left, the street should be required to have a signal.

    Gladstone also needs a diverter to make it a less attractive cut-through between 26th and 39th at rush hour. Maybe at 30th.

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    • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      The addition of a dedicated turn lane in a retrofit of older arterials with bike lanes often require the removal of on-street parking lane(s)…something that many jurisdictions are historically hesitant to do except for adding more arterial vehicle capacity (more travel lanes).

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      • q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 5:22 pm

        I’m sold.

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  • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Is it not possible that in a whole variety of situations, perhaps including this one, ‘did not see’ is code for ‘did not look’ or ‘did not anticipate anyone other than an automobile approaching at this angle/from this direction right then’?

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  • Pat Lowell November 9, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I know the “did not see” justification is way overused, but it is in fact possible to “not see” someone. The human visual system is not infallible (see: optical illusions), and we don’t always have control over its imperfections.

    We do, on the other hand, have complete control over the decision to accelerate through a yellow light.

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    • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Well if we’re going to split hairs…

      Light waves do unquestionably reflect off the rider, then pass through the windshield and into the driver’s eyes. If the driver’s eyes, nerves and brain then fail to process those light waves — that is, if the driver truly “does not see” — then how is such a functionally blind driver fit to drive?

      Also, this assumption of acceleration would seem to directly conflict with the testimony of Officer Enz, who “did not observe any change in Mr. Angeles’s speed.”

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      • Ian November 10, 2015 at 12:10 pm

        Your retina captures millions of photons every second that go unrecognized by your conscious brain. Does this mean you’re “functionally blind”? No, it means you’re a human who can’t possibly process all sensory inputs at once.

        Should Friedow have seen Angeles coming and yielded appropriately? Of course. But I for one believe that she truly didn’t see him until the collision, and I don’t think that momentary blind spot rises to the level of “functional blindness” or criminal negligence.

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    • ED November 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

      So by your logic, no one should ever proceed through a yellow light just in case the oncoming traffic might not see them? (I’m not advocating running a yellow or red light, but the law does allow you to proceed if you don’t have time to stop.) I’m not sure how to approach traveling around town on any vehicle, car or bike or on foot, if I have to constantly account for the possibility that another road user might not be able to see me.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

        You should always account for the possibility other road users don’t see you. As a pedestrian, don’t step in front of a car until you are certain it is stopping (even if you have a walk signal). Be careful about right and left hooks when you are cycling. Don’t pass on the right, and slow down when you are driving.

        When entering an intersection, proceed with caution in case a vehicle turns in front of you. Anticipating that someone doesn’t see you might save your life.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Jonathan – thank you for including the “crash memo”, as I found it very interesting in what it spent extra detail on AND what it was silent on.

    The memo, as far as I can tell, did not mention or investigate whether or not the professional vehicle operator had used her turn signal in making this turn. Was it in use and if it was was it on long enough to warn approaching vehicles of her intent to turn. I reread the memo to see if any of the witnesses mentioned it, or if the analysis of the CCTV footage or truck cam audio included it. In could not see any discussion of it. One would expect it to come up if it was in use (or not in use).

    Additionally, did the PPB inspection of the tow truck check the condition/ functionality of the truck’s safety equipment, transmission (slippage causing a low speed lurch), windshield condition (clean, dirty, cracked, dash covered in papers or blocked by any computer console, etc.) and importantly if the truck’s turn signals were fully functioning (tested with AND without the tow wiring harness hooked up). The later is key as adding a tow vehicle’s additional lights may negatively effect the operation of the truck’s turn lights. As this is a professional truck, were there any documentation of any pre trip safety check (of lights and mirrors etc.) by the operator or fleet manager or a recent mechanical inspection?

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    • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      And as for operational practices…I assume the tow truck operator has a current CDL for this type of vehicle.

      And does her tow company have an operations policy or training policy allowing left turns at similar intersections when towing a vehicle or does it recommend doing “UPS Left Turns” etc.?

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      • Psyfalcon November 9, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        No CDL required for a tow truck unless its over 26k lbs. One used for towing cars is not.

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        • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          Thanks for the info.

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          • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm

            I then have over assumed how much training tow truck drivers [in Oregon] might have at minimum or be required to have. [Perhaps this is an opportunity for the CoP or State to work on?]

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            • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

              You should trust a tow truck driver about as much as you trust a cab driver.

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              • Tom Hardy November 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm

                What I cannot figure is the police and the driver said Angeles was in a shadow from the tree “at 12:02?”Maybe at 3:00 or at 10AM but there is no tree shadow on the bike lane at 12:02 PM. The shadow was figment of the tow truck driver’s imagination.

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    • are November 9, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      turn signal excellent question, todd. could have affected mr. angeles’ decision to go through.

      jon, any chance we can get the d.a. to comment on that? the texaco camera should have caught this info.

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      • are November 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

        that said, it is not a good idea to maintain twenty plus mph through a stale green, or to depend on motorists to signal turns.

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      • Buzz November 10, 2015 at 11:41 am

        My one bicycle crash involving a motor vehicle in Portland was with a driver who turned left in front of me without signalling. Luckily I was not injured but from the cyclists perspective in this situation, I know that I would have made other choices if the driver had used their turn signal.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks for bringing up the turn signal Todd. I’ve asked the DA and will report back.

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      • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 7:31 pm

        Thx. t

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  • John Liu
    John Liu November 9, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Sounds like the cyclist was trying to beat the red light, didn’t notice the tow truck (unlikely) or saw it but didn’t think about the possibility that it would turn (more likely).

    Sounds like the driver didn’t notice the bike as she made her turn.

    In other words, sounds like errors were made by both parties. I don’t think the driver’s actions amount to criminal conduct, at least not under current law.

    One lesson to learn from this very sad case. In Portland, drivers are used to looking for cyclists, but most cyclists travel rather slowly (10-15 mph) and so that what the typical driver is used to. A bike that is at a distance, that puts it well out of the way if traveling at 15 mph, can often be overlooked. The driver’s eyes may “see” the cyclist (meaning, light rays from his body enter the eye and reach the retina), but the brain doesn’t “process” the object (meaning, the combination of conscious and reflex processes, that enables us to drive a car, overlooks the cyclist) because it is too far away to be relevant.

    But if the cyclist is actually moving at 30 mph, this can lead to tragedy.

    In general, if you are riding that fast in a city, you really need to look out for yourself, because many people are processing information as I’ve described above. Not just drivers. Pedestrians will often step out in front of you. Other cyclists will often ride into your path.

    Unfortunately, you are less able to look out for yourself, because you are going fast and working hard, heart pounding, getting that tunnel vision that often comes with speed.

    Slow down. Not everywhere – it’s fun to ride fast, after all – but at least at higher risk points like intersections.

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    • Steve Scarich November 9, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      I have noticed that most of my close calls are probably the result of my riding a lot faster than driver’s expect. I raced for years and still go 20+mph on flat ground and much faster downhill. I constantly see drivers act surprised when they start to pull out, and I am right on top of them. Several of my friends have had serious accidents when they were going downhill at 40+mph and a car pulled out in front of them. What I do now is assume that drivers are not ‘programmed’ that a cyclist is doing as fast as me, and I act accordingly. I slow down on descents, I hand-signal a lot, even just to let people know that I am there. A cyclist going 28mph through a city intersection is just not in mind of most city drivers. btw, I am not blaming Mr. Angeles, just stating my observation.

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    • Tom Hardy November 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      With the tow truck pulling a Volvo wagon, the intersection would have been blocked for a fairly long time, maybe 4 seconds. If Mark would have been slower he would have hit the Volvo and the tow truck would have continued until stopped by someone else. The net result would have been the same.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm

        Or, going slower, he would have had more time to react, perhaps being able to turn or slow further. An impact would be less severe. Of course it is speculation, but in almost every respect, slower is safer.

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  • Chris I November 9, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    This is a hard lesson. We have to be hyper-vigilant at intersections, particularly when there is no dedicated left-turn phase. I think it is reckless for anyone to travel into a busy intersection like this above the speed limit, whether in a car or on a bike. This is a sad story, but it could have been prevented if one of them had made different decisions. Pushing a yellow at 28mph at this intersection is a really bad idea.

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    • Spiffy November 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      until bicycles are legally required to have speedometers how can we expect that bicycles will obey speed limits?

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      • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 6:33 pm

        Is this missing a sarcasm tag?

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      • Eric Leifsdad November 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        Inaccuracies in a vehicle’s speedometer don’t exempt it from speed limits (despite what some might get away with in traffic court.) Learn your gearing/cadence and do the math, or use a gps.

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      • eddie November 11, 2015 at 5:20 am

        I think it’s pretty easy to tell whether or not you’re cycling at a safe and manageable speed. Just as with the guy who mangled that lady at Tillucum Crossing, this kid was clearly putting the hammer down. The actual speed limit isn’t all that relevant, it’s more a matter of “safe under the circumstances”.

        I’m not victim blaming here, I think it was contributory negligence, but knowing the exact speed limit is less important IMHO than just being sensible. Especially on a bike, where anything over 20 mph is without a doubt “cranking it” and therefore having less control. Especially on a fixie.

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  • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I notice what appear to be a few inconsistencies between the citation received, the wording of the law, and the statements of the DDA. I am not a lawyer, but…

    Regarding right-of-way, if neither person had the right-of-way, then how could a citation that is defined by failing to yield the right-of-way be issued? Shouldn’t the citation instead have been for failure to obey a traffic control device? The nature of the citation seems to imply the bicyclist did have the right-of-way, but the prosecutor’s comments state that neither person had right-of-way.

    “A person commits the offense of careless driving if the person drives any vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.”

    —Paragraph (1) of ORS 811.135 (my emphasis)

    “Nothing about her driving was legally sufficient to support a careless mental state.”

    —DDA Laura Rowan (my emphasis)

    The wording of the law makes no requirement of a “careless mental state“, it merely requires that the manner of driving be likely to endanger. There is no requirement for awareness of risk, or disregarding risk that a reasonable person would recognize, it merely requires the manner of driving to be observably “likely to endanger”. So again, how can a citation for a “dangerous” (implying that some degree of endangerment is involved) left turn be issued if the manner of driving did not endanger anyone? If we admit that a “dangerous” left turn does indeed “endanger” some person or property (which in this case it clearly did), how can the driver in this incident not be classified as “careless”?

    As an admitted non-lawyer, it still seems to this layperson that implying that some “mental state” is necessary to show carelessness is a misinterpretation of the law as written. I have to wonder whether such apparent misinterpretations are a) made innocently out of subconscious empathy for the driver, b) made by applying some legal principle that conflicts with the written law, but is nevertheless common practice, c) done to intentionally avoid more severe penalties for drivers because someone just feels it isn’t fair or necessary, or d) some combination of all of the above. We should change the wording in the definition of “careless driving” if we are going to start evaluating mental state and making it a condition of being considered careless. Then we’ll have to invent a new category, maybe something along the lines of “spaced out” driving, or “absentminded” driving, that carries no responsibility on the part of the driver.

    “Sorry, officer, I must have spaced out there for a second.”
    “Oh, OK. No problem.”
    “I can be so absentminded sometimes!”
    “Oh, I know—I said it’s no problem. Have a nice day!”

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    • Gary B November 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      You are correct, the statute requires simply “likely to endanger.” That in itself is a pretty high bar. But It is safe to assume there is loads of case law that sorted through what exactly is meant by “likely” and they arrived at a careless state of mind as the requirement (careless state of mind is a common criminal standard and the offense is called careless driving; likely to endanger is abnormal in my experience).

      And you can’t equate “dangerous left turn” as careless. She may or may not have been careless–I have no idea. But she *in theory* can have careful intent, but still perform a dangerous action.

      (Note, I am a lawyer but most definitely not a criminal one.)

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      • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        Ah. I don’t have access to or time to peruse case law, which may be the source of some of the applied principles. I was attempting to apply semantic logic given the wording of the laws as written. I would think we wouldn’t need to be quite so careful about deeming “carelessness”, since “careless driving” is not a crime, but a traffic violation.

        Thanks for the insight.

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  • lahar November 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    It is good to read this and to remind myself that I need to strive to be visible while riding and to not try to run yellows. I get too comfortable riding and I should not be. Just as drivers get too comfortable driving and not looking well enough.

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  • soren November 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    >Friedow repeatedly told first responders at the scene,

    Officer Balzer? I’m sure the motorcycle officer infamous for ticketing cyclists during pedalpalooza rides, on the Springwater, and at Ladd’s addition has no bias against people cycling! Someone who has exercised a one-man vendetta against cyclists is just the person to set the scene!

    “Officer Close opined that Mr. Angeles may have seen the light change, lowered his head to pedal faster, and may not have noticed the tow truck turning.”

    Does Officer Close post on the Oregonian?

    Another officer who reviewed the footage had a similar assessment:

    Except that one officer claimed that Angeles was accelerating while the other claimed that he did not accelerate.

    This crash analysis comes across as a joke. Both officers appear to hand-wave in an attempt to exonerate the driver. Based on the contradictions and speculation I doubt the videos are conclusive.

    I wonder if we could get access to the videos as a FOIA request.

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  • alankessler November 9, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    It seems like the memo is designed to push blame onto Angeles (he ran the yellow light!). This article and the comments I’ve read don’t seem to be challenging that point of view.

    The memo states that Angeles traveled the 64.20 feet in 1.56 seconds. What is a typical driver/cyclist reaction time? I did a little Googling and was coming up with as much as 2 seconds. Even if the reaction time is shorter than 1.56 seconds, how much time does it take to safely stop a bicycle from the 25 mph speed limit? Could Mark have done that in the balance of the second-and-a-half that he had?

    It seems from the memo that Angeles would have cleared the intersection before the yellow ended had he not collided with the truck.

    I’m not convinced that Mark had any safe choice but to proceed through the intersection. It’s possible that he did not do so “cautiously,” but that’s quite an ambiguous standard. What should he have done to be more cautious in the intersection, and how would that have prevented the crash?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      It would have been more cautious to slow down. It may or may not have prevented the collision, but it likely would have reduced its severity.

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  • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Also, I have a quibble with the wording of reports like this in one particular aspect: “high rate of speed”. Can we please refrain from using this phrase with respect to bicyclist speed estimates? Let’s just make an estimation: “the cyclist appeared to be traveling about 30 mph” conveys all anyone could possibly want to know. The “high rate of speed” (or “rapid rate of speed” used here) phrase has a very similar effect to “the bicyclist, who was not wearing a helmet…” At least the helmet factoid is binary enough to be accurate, whereas “high rate of speed” creates a biased, bat-out-of-hades image of a bicyclist based on pure subjectivity.

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    • Pete November 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Scorchers! (http://scorcher.org)

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      FWIW, the analysis also says “Neither [jolene or mark] were traveling at excessive speed”.

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      • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 6:16 pm

        Yeah, later. Same as saying, “The cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, died when he collided with the turning car. The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield to a bicyclist in a bike lane.” The haters quit reading after the first sentence.

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  • Adam Herstein
    Adam Herstein November 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    The traffic laws in this country have been systematically written to protect the interests of car drivers above all else. Any investigation will go though every possible reason why it was not the driver’s fault until a suitable excuse is found. However, when someone riding a bike commits a crime, that person is assumed guilty and a witch hunt ensues. Calls to license bike riders and remove bike lanes make the news. All people who ride bikes are called “scofflaws” regardless of their actual actions or behaviours. Death threats to cyclicts are ignored by the police.

    Is it any wonder why most people in this country choose to drive?

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  • Todd Boulanger November 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I was surprised that the memo reported the rider riding as fast as 28 mph…this is very fast for most urban riders on “flat” roads.

    Does this speed fit what most cyclists experience on this route? (I do not have direct experience riding on this road).

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    • Spiffy November 9, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      according to portlandmaps.com the 85th percentile speed is 30-33 mph for that stretch of 25 mph road… I know that when I’m driving 25 mph on Gladstone the cars pile up behind me rather quickly…

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    • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      When I used to commute on that stretch, I could do low 20s easy enough. But as sporty/racy riders know, the curve of effort needed to go ever faster isn’t exactly linear. Going a legitimate 28 on the same stretch would take extraordinary output — unless there was a hell of a tailwind.

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      • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

        And with a single set of gears…

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        • Steve Scarich November 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

          Not really. A lot of fixie riders will use a 75 inch or bigger gear, grind it going uphill, spin it going downhill. Without doing a calculation, sounds like 130 rpms or thereabout, not a big deal for a training fixie rider, for a few seconds.

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          • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm

            Agreed, rpm would not necessarily be a limiting factor. But it would still take some watts.

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    • tnash November 9, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      I take this route every day, and he was coming down a big long hill (in a bike lane, on a street that isn’t busy) that gradually tapers off, and in the middle of the taper-off is an intersection through a busy road (so the light that you catch is a long one). I’ve seen cyclists pedaling like hell to make that light. Not sure about fixies, but 28 seems about right

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      • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm

        If that part of Gladstone seems like a “big long hill” to you, you must be from Kansas. There’s a dogleg at 42nd, so the length of the uninterrupted descent is about three blocks. The grade is considerably less steep than the Tilikum bridge. I’d estimate 3 or 4 percent.

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    • jeff November 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      28mph is pretty quick on a flat for most riders who don’t race or train with any regularity, but I believe this portion of road is slightly downhill.

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  • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    What was a tow truck doing on Gladstone anyway? And at a signal that has a timed pedestrian crossing, was it really all that safe for her to enter the intersection after that “don’t begin crossing” cue? Was initiating a turn on a yellow light, towing a vehicle, her only, safest option?

    It sounds like a decision that, in many stages, wasn’t necessarily reckless, but was not well-calculated. I think I recall somewhere in the Oregon driving manual about only executing left turns when you can be sure the intersection is absolutely clear. Sometimes that means waiting until the red, especially if you are a vehicle that is MUCH taller than a bike on a road with and crossing the bike lane.

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    • are November 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      the pickup was at gladstone and 26th. the choice to take gladstone as far as cesar chavez rather than simply going north on 26th is maybe questionable. might depend on what the destination was.

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      • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm

        In my opinion, Powell is still a wiser choice for 26th to Chavez for the tow truck. Towards which they were clearly headed in taking a left on 39th anyway. Talk about easy decisions that would have prevented this tragedy.

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    • Birke November 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      According to the article, she initiated the turn on a green light. Also, I thought Joe Rose explained some time ago that the pedestrian warning countdown is supposed to give drivers a chance to turn without hitting anyone.

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      • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

        Actually, the countdown doesn’t mean pedestrians won’t be in the crosswalk, just that they shouldn’t begin crossing. If there was any chance that Jolene couldn’t see something Mark’s height approaching her, it would have been prudent to wait for the red.

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        • Jenn November 10, 2015 at 11:10 pm

          If the tow truck began her turn during the green phase, she was clearly beginning a left turn that would cut off the cyclist during his green phase. No way the tow truck knew the light would be going yellow before the bike entered the intersection.

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  • mark November 9, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    In this case, I feel there was a thorough investigation. If the facts hold up and are consistent, the rider owns the fact that he was accelerating through an intersection on a yellow light. This is a civil matter and it could be said, the PPB did their due diligence. Far more than other agencies in many cases.

    A sad, sad event. I see no malice or agenda here.

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    • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      Except the rider can’t own the fact he was accelerating through the yellow because he’s DEAD.

      And as others have noted, the facts DON’T really hold up and AREN’T consistent, yet we already have a thread of people MOSTLY endorsing the narrative of “but, but a fixie and, well, how reckless, and he pedaled faster through the light.”

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        Well, there’s a lot of video. The PDF gives a lot of information, I’d suggest reading that. Using the frame-by-frame analysis plus a couple hundred survey points, they noted he went 158 feet in 3.8 seconds. Wolfram Alpha says that’s 28.3mph.
        http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=158+feet+in+3.8+seconds+in+mph

        28mph is easy to hit with a 52×16 gear combo. That’s “only” 110rpm. Sure, 110rpm is really fast for cruising, but it’s safe to assume he had it cranked up to be going 28mph, right? I mean, we’re looking for the maximum sane speed, not a good cruising speed. I need someone to give a more sane set of gears though, I don’t know what the common ratios are.

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        • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 5:26 pm

          “I need someone to give a more sane set of gears though, I don’t know what the common ratios are.”

          I suspect all kinds of things may have changed in the last twenty five years, but when I set up my bike as a single speed I used very close to a 2:1 ratio. At the time this seemed pretty standard fare.

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          • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm

            Thanks. With a 2:1 there is certainly no way to go 28mph on a relatively flat road; that would take a 180rpm cadence.

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            • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 5:31 pm

              It should be quite easy (in principle) to ascertain from the late Mark Angeles’s buddies or family what the gears on his bike were.

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              • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 5:35 pm

                “Hi, parents of Mark? He’s dead but…”

                Yeah, I don’t see any way I’d ask such a thing.

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              • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm

                Not that way, of course.
                But he had a bunch of Reed buddies with whom he biked who I’m sure could easily offer up this kind of detail if we knew how to get hold of them. Or they could run the interference as a friend of the family’s in a way we would be less well positioned to do. Of course the police might have thought to ask themselves this very question and find out what the gears were to check their speed claim….

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              • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm

                Wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the respondents to the scene? And anyone who investigated it afterward? Shouldn’t that bike be somewhere in evidence right now?

                Mark was in my cohort at Reed (a year younger) in both chem and the bike co-op. I can think of only maybe one person who would know the gear ratio on his bike. And that would even be a stretch. But I think maybe the cops and the DA in this case could have done their homework more thoroughly.

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              • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 6:48 pm

                “I can think of only maybe one person who would know the gear ratio on his bike.”

                OK, I should perhaps have phrased my query better: Some of the claims about his speed I think presume a decidedly un-common gear ratio for a fixed gear bike (if I have that right). Thus my question to anyone who biked with Mark would be whether his bike for whatever reason evidenced this oddball gear ratio? If you biked with someone who had a fixed gear like what folks here have calculated I think it would be hard *not* to notice. Like, he would have not been able to ascend Woodstock Blvd up to Chavez on a bike with that gear ratio, that sort of thing.

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              • Mike November 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

                But how else will the internet be able to ascertain blame?!

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              • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 6:50 pm

                (can’t reply any deeper in this nested convo) Even without knowing his ratio, we should get some responses that indicate a common *range* of gear ratios. We can rule out the lowest of gears, but what are common ratios at the high end?

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              • Stephen Keller November 9, 2015 at 8:56 pm

                Assuming Mark was riding the bike shown in this photo: http://www.oregonherald.com/oregon/images/9087a.jpg, then the ratio looks to be about 48:16. That a swag based on rough pixel counts in the image, so there is probably a fairly wide range of error here.

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          • Skid November 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

            2:1 is singlespeed mountain bike gearing. It is around 52 gear inches. Nobody runs a gear that low on a street fixed gear. Most of them come with 48 x 16 which is good for a novice at the track but a bit too tall for the street. Most of the riders I know run 48 x 17 or 48 x18.

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            • GlowBoy November 10, 2015 at 6:58 am

              What Skid said. 2:1 is common for mountain bikes in not-too-mountainous areas. Even beach cruisers are geared a bit higher than 2:1. Almost no one runs 2:1 on the street, even on a freewheeling singlespeed, let alone on a fixie (generally geared higher than freewheeling singlespeeds).

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            • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 7:17 am

              Yep; that was me.
              Thanks for explaining the difference.

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            • B. Carfree November 10, 2015 at 11:02 am

              For many years (from ~1986-2001) I rode a 2:1 ratio fixed as my town bike, so I wouldn’t say that no one does that. In fact, several of my friends from that time continue to do so.’

              In fairness, we also used these bikes for bike polo (the original version of the game, played on grass like in the 1908 Olympics, not that panty-waist version that’s played today). Our tight maneuvers made it advantageous to use a low gear. Also, several of us were living in a city with a >60% bike modal share where speed on the road in town wasn’t as important as in low-cycling cities like pdx.

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              • GlowBoy November 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

                Just to be clear, I said “almost no one.” Nothing wrong with being an outlier.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu November 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

          700×23 tires, 48T chainring, 16T sprocket, 120 rpm is 28 mph.

          48×16 is a common gearing for fixies.

          120 rpm is not a high cadence, for a short period.

          He was riding down a slight downhill.

          He was probably a strong rider.

          28 mph is very believable.

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        • soren November 9, 2015 at 7:01 pm

          It’s a grainy gas station security video, not a high-speed motion capture video. I wonder how many pixels Angeles covered when they assessed his position to 3 inches.

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          • TonyJ November 9, 2015 at 10:06 pm

            Excellent point here in regards to the claimed precision.

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            • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 7:47 am

              They go to great lengths to determine the exact speed of the bicycle, yet completely ignore obvious things like the actual presence of shadows and turn signal usage.

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              • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 7:52 am

                I think this is where the rubber meets the road, where, by looking closely at the micro-priorities of investigations like this, we can catch whiffs of Car-Head.

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  • Harald November 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    If you want to see a disturbing video of a very similar type of crash: http://www.channel3000.com/watch-truck-strikes-bicyclist-in-university-ave-intersection/35751956

    Person on bike runs yellow, person in car turns left and hits the person on the bike. Both parties were cited; fortunately nobody is dead.

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  • LC November 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    “This means when his bike was in motion, Angeles was not able to stop pedaling. He could stop the bike one of two ways: pull on the front hand brake and/or by pushing back on the pedals to resist their forward momentum.”

    In other words the only way he could have stopped was by braking. Like any other vehicle on the road, except this is worded to somehow blame the victim.

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    • Chris I November 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      A fixed gear bike cannot stop as fast as a bike with a free wheel. Even if you start resisting with your legs and slamming on the front brake, you still have a lot of kinetic energy in the wheel and drivetrain. I think it is moot, though. Was there any evidence of him attempting to stop?

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      • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm

        Ye gods, man, wise up. “Fixed gear” means a directly connected rear cog, no coasting — and that’s ALL it means. A fixed-gear bike can have a lever-operated brake on the front wheel … and even on the rear wheel. So … how was Angeles’s bike equipped? How do you know?

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        • Bill Walters November 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

          I’m taking part of that back with apologies: The original post specifies a brake on the front wheel only. But still, it assumes too much to make a blanket declaration that a non-fixed bike stops faster; the factors involved are many. (BTW, I don’t ride fixed.)

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      • Skid November 10, 2015 at 12:06 am

        Not true. Most of your stopping power is in your front brake. Resisting the forward motion of the pedals plus a rear brake can mean skidding unexpectedly if you apply the same pressure to both brakes.

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  • dr2chase November 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    It would be nice if the speed analysis could also include the pedal RPM and gearing, just as a sanity check on the calculated 28mph. For a fixie that is not a track bike, in a town with hills, that seems like a very high speed. That is, the gearing that would make it easy to hit that speed would make it very hard to climb hills.

    So I often I see even less tethered claims of “cyclists going eleventy-bazillion miles per hour” when in fact I know (from measurement and observation) that almost all of them are almost always going less than 20mph.

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  • scott November 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    If Balzer was the responding officer he most likely wanted to give the driver an award for gallant citizenry. That copper hates bikes and fixies are at the top of his pyramid of cycle hate.

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  • Spiffy November 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    1) negligence is not seeing something that’s there and then hitting it… if you didn’t see something that was there then you were negligent in your safety check… people should agree that negligent driving is careless driving…

    2) if the driver was in the intersection after the light turned yellow then they were most likely stopped illegally in the intersection during much of the yellow or at 10 mph they would have likely cleared the intersection before the cyclist went 70 feet…

    3) if the cyclist was going 25 mph (+/- 3 mph) then it would take 75-85 feet to stop and therefore the safest thing to do would be to hurry up and get across the intersection so you’re not stuck in the middle when it changes…

    4) you don’t illegally stop forward cycling momentum because you live in fear that a turning driver doesn’t see you and is about to turn into you… you assume that the driver will obey the law and give the right of way to the forward-moving non-turning vehicle…

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    • oregon111 November 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      it does NOT take 85 feet to stop a bicycle — it takes about 10 feet to stop a bicycle

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      • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 6:08 pm

        Don’t you think that would depend, crucially, on the speed, the road surface, and the brakes?

        If I said “it does NOT take 275 feet to stop a car— it takes about 100 feet to stop a car,” wouldn’t you think that rather presumptuous?

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      • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

        Your analysis is laughable. It only takes 6 inches to stop a car—if I’m going 3mph.

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      • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 6:33 pm

        How many feet would it take you to stop commenting on BP articles?

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      • John Lascurettes November 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm

        You’re also not taking into account reaction time. How many feet did he travel at 28mph when the light turned yellow (had he seen it the moment it did). Partial answer: he was going 41.07 feet per second.
        This page rates very good reaction time at less than a second and other driver times at up to 3.5 seconds. According to the page, 90% of vehicle operators can react in less than 2.5 second and that is what traffic engineering is designed to. So, let’s be generous and say that he had a much better than average reaction time of 1.5 seconds.

        1.5 seconds * 41.07 feet/second = 61 feet before he could even START braking, which leaves him 3 feet before he’s in the intersection (64 feet was where he was at when he light changed).

        Now, while I doubt that at 28 mph anyone could stop in 10 feet, even if he could, he would have been several feet into the intersection before he came to a stop. I’ve got hydraulic disc brakes front and back and I don’t have faith that I could stop in 10 feet from a 28 mph speed on dry ground. I’m pretty sure it would take more.

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        • John Lascurettes November 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm

          Oh LOOK! 🙂 Here’s a handy dandy little calculator for you. At 28 mph on a bicycle, it would take roughly 30 feet to stop a bicycle on dry pavement – minimum: https://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/brakes2.html

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          • John Lascurettes November 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

            So let’s add that up: 60 feet travelled in the reaction time + 30 feet to stop the bicycle under the best of braking conditions = 90 feet.

            90 feet is a whole lot greater than the 64 feet the investigators said he was form the intersection when the light turned yellow.

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        • Ian November 10, 2015 at 12:31 pm

          1.5 seconds is “generous”? If I’m approaching a stale green light as a cyclist, there’s no way it takes me 1.5 seconds to process the fact that the light just turned yellow. With respect to reaction time generally, I think there’s a big difference between a driver (or cyclist) reacting to an unexpected event and responding to an event that they’re anticipating.

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          • Dead Salmon November 11, 2015 at 1:06 am

            Ian,
            Exactly. Typically in these types of calculations for cars, 3/4 second is allotted for reaction time. However, when approaching an intersection at high speed on a bike, I’d think you would be anticipating a potential problem, and the reaction time would be even less. BUT in this case, did the cyclist even try to stop?

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            • El Biciclero November 12, 2015 at 10:37 am

              If you don’t think you can “stop in safety” before proceeding through a yellow, why would you try? If you believe it is safer to proceed, why would you (not knowing, of course, that your path was about to be terminated) take the risk of attempting a full emergency stop to avoid a yellow signal? Even with only .75 seconds of reaction time, a full emergency stop would have put Mark right at the edge of the intersection; did he believe he had the skill to stop that quickly?

              Perhaps a more relevant question has been asked elsewhere on this thread: at what point did Mark realize the truck was definitely going to block his path? By that time, did he still have 64 feet? Was the truck driver signaling a left turn? Was the turn signal working? If we assume the “dent” mentioned in the memo was about 5 feet back from the front bumper, and that the truck was indeed going 10mph, then it would have taken .34 seconds for the truck to travel the five feet it would take to change Mark’s path from “clear” to “blocked-by-five-feet-of-truck”. Even from a stopped, waiting position, it would only take about a second for the truck to cover 14 feet. So of the 1.5 seconds Mark supposedly took to cover the 64 feet between him and the truck, he possibly used a half second covering the first 20 feet, and then had only 44 feet to realize the truck was making a move and to attempt to stop prior to hitting it. In 3/4 of a second of reaction time, he would have traveled another 30 feet, leaving only 10 feet to actually stop from 28.

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      • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm

        It takes about 10 feet to stop a jogger.

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        • Alan 1.0 November 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm

          No matter how fast I run, it always takes me two feet to stop.

          (Unless I fall down.)

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    • wsbob November 9, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      “…you assume that the driver will obey the law and give the right of way to the forward-moving non-turning vehicle…” spiffy

      I assume no such thing, whether I’m driving or riding, about people driving and waiting to turn left across my straight through direction of travel. I hope…actually, even pray a bit, that they’ll grant right of way, but there’s really little way of keeping them from turning if for whatever reason, they decide to do so.

      Best reasonable strategy for reducing chance of collisions in that situation, I can think of to use, is to slow down and cover the brakes in approaching the intersection, keep peripheral vision pealed for any movement of the vehicle whatsoever, be prepared to swing wide if any movement commences.

      Intersections with motor vehicles prepared to turn left, are extremely dangerous for people biking…but just try get that across to people intent on selling the idea that where motor vehicles are in use, biking is not dangerous.

      At twenty-three years of age, Mark Angeles was not very old. Despite his passion for biking, and apparently some experience biking in traffic, I have to wonder, as he cruised towards the intersection where the collision occurred, how well he had been prepared with opportunities for him to have thought through and understand the potential danger that lurks in that particular type traffic situation: the motor vehicle turning left across through traffic.

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      • Dead Salmon November 11, 2015 at 1:19 am

        wsbob,
        At age 23 I would not have given it much thought. You do gain some wisdom with experience. How does that old saying go? Good Judgment Comes with Experience, But Experience Comes from Bad Judgment. Very true.

        OR, the other saying: There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are very few old, bold pilots.

        The refusal of many on this site to take responsibility for their safety, and their apparent lack of any awareness that they could, or should, has made me realize how lucky we are that they hate cars so much – it’s a blessing that they don’t drive!

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        • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

          “The refusal of many on this site to take responsibility for their safety, and their apparent lack of any awareness that they could, or should…”

          I’ll bet you’d be surprised if you met some of the people who comment here about where the lion’s share of responsibility for safe operation lies. There are many who would protest against mandatory helmet laws, yet won’t go for a ride without choosing to wear theirs. I’ll bet some of those who express concern that “safety” campaigns—such as the Tri-met “Be Seen, Be Safe” campaign, are placing too much of an expectation on pedestrians and bicyclists to go above and beyond the law to stay alive, while simultaneously tacitly allowing motorists to get away with the bare minimum (or less)—would be easy to pick out in a crowd because they’d be wearing garish, reflective, flashing gear.

          I would also bet that those who object to creating expectations for VRUs to go above and beyond the law, and who are also drivers, will put their driving behaviors where their mouths are and be on an extra lookout for VRUs—regardless of what they may or may not be wearing—because they know the real onus of safety, morally speaking, is on the person who decides that rushing around on shared streets in a 6000-lb. vehicle is the best way to get where they’re going.

          It seems there is some projection or mis-attribution of motives and attitudes going on.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm

            The onus of safety is on everyone.

            When I ride through Ladd’s on a dark, rainy night, I am thankful when a pedestrian is wearing something that glows. Sure, it’s my responsibility not to hit them, but it’s a lot easier to fulfill my responsibility when I can actually see them.

            When I wear my yellow jacket, I am not blaming the victim. I am not kowtowing to the man. I am becoming subservient to the dominant paradigm. I’m just exercising common sense.

            Why is that so divisive?

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            • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 6:34 pm

              It’s only divisive because people don’t understand what other people are talking about. I wear my reflecto-gear and make sure my 800-lumen headlight and rear pulsing light are charged and ready any time I head out—I even use my lights during the daytime. That has not prevented drivers not seeing me and hitting me as a result.

              Speaking only for myself, my only objection is to creating the expectation among drivers and the public at large that cyclists must go above and beyond the law (how far is far enough? Who knows!) by wearing some degree of bright or reflective clothing, having a certain type or brightness of light (which is specified in the law: white, visible for 500 feet—but we already have some question about what “visible” means), or otherwise “be seen” if they don’t want to get run over. “Be seen” in itself is an asinine, nonsense command that typifies the attitude that I am against, which is that if someone didn’t see me, it’s my own fault for not being “visible” enough. The victim blaming comes into the picture after the fact, when rather than say, “that driver should have had their eyes open”, we say, “that bicyclist should have been wearing brighter colors and using a daytime light”, and deem that he “could not ‘objectively’ be seen”. Meanwhile, we don’t provide any helpful hints to drivers to watch for small things, look before you turn, take note of anything that temporarily blocks other lights by passing in front of them, pay extra attention to shadowed areas, or otherwise do anything but try to notice people dressed as traffic cones.

              I do lots of things to “help” drivers see me, because I know where they are typically not looking, so I try to move to where they are looking so they can see me coming. At night, I use lights and reflectivity and, again, road position to aid the poor drivers who are operating above their competence level. When I drive, I also do lots of things to help myself “see” pedestrians and bicyclists, and I do what I can to aid them in getting where they are going in one piece. I let cyclists merge into my lane if they need to, I look for bicyclists in bike lanes before I cross them, I don’t use the bike lane as a bypass to get to the front of the queue to make a right on red; in the event I ever make a right on red, I look to the right before I drive to the right, all kinds of things.That’s all I ask of any driver: look for me and treat me like any other slow-moving (or sometimes, not-so-slow-moving) traffic and not aggressively try to cut me off or edge me out. Why do we only focus safety campaigns on what bicyclists or pedestrians must do to avoid the unstoppable force of renegade drivers, rather than on what drivers must do to avoid running over people?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm

                And yet… if we all followed your example, we’d be creating just that expectation, no?

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              • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm

                No. We create the expectation when official or public channels: Civic leadership, Tri-Met, Police, District Attorneys, etc. go around a) telling people that the only way to be safe is for vulnerable users to take extreme measures, while telling drivers, “keep your eyes open, I guess”, and b) after a crash, emphasize the lack of extreme measures taken by vulnerable victims of motor vehicle operators, and search exhaustively for—even bend the intent of laws to find—excuses for the actions of drivers in crashes with VRUs, using phrases like “could not ‘objectively’ be seen”.

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              • Bill Walters November 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm

                No. If you followed that example you would decide personally to use as much gear as you feel is appropriate for your situation — but you would not proselytize for others to choose gear beyond what public law requires, and you would expect the same restraint from publicly funded institutions such as TriMet.

                Instead, you might sooner proselytize for people to _raise their standards up_ to what the law requires for driving (that is, when they weigh two tons and need to take responsibility for it), which includes, for example, headlights “sufficient to reveal persons and vehicles upon a street or highway at a distance of at least 200 feet ahead” ( http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/816.050 ) — and so could institutions such as TriMet.

                Hint: Car headlight lenses oxidize with age and need special scrubbing. Pay attention during the day and you’ll see tons of cars with foggy old, unscrubbed lenses that likely don’t meet the standard of the law. That’s why the headlights often seem so much brighter when driving a new or rental car.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm

                Are we as a community setting the expectation that if you don’t use a U-lock, you should expect your bike to be stolen? Does the message get worse if the police and other officials repeat that message?

                I agree we don’t want to create the situation where someone is deemed partly responsible for a crash solely because they were not wearing reflective clothing (which is what I think your main point is). Equally, we don’t want to create the situation where someone who locked their bike with a cable lock (or even left it unlocked) is deemed partially responsible for the inevitable theft.

                Is there a difference between these two situations?

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              • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 9:35 pm

                “Is there a difference between these two situations?”

                Stealing a bike is “objectively” illegal. Killing a cyclist with your car…not so much.

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              • El Biciclero November 12, 2015 at 1:05 pm

                …meaning, if someone steals your bike, they are guilty, regardless of how you locked it. If someone runs over you, nyeeaahhh…how bright was your reflective vest and light? Were there shadows? Were you traveling at a “high rate of speed”? Any of those might mean the driver is no longer responsible.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm

                The lack of ambiguity in the situation would seem to make victim blaming even less appropriate in the case of bike theft.

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              • El Biciclero November 12, 2015 at 3:21 pm

                Exactly. Imagine catching a thief in possession of your bike and having the cops ask whether you used a cable or U-lock. Did you leave it in a well-lit area? How long were you away from your bike? Did you actually thread the lock through your frame and wheels? Then imagine the thief being able to contradict any of your statements and be believed over you, and then imagine the cop “concluding” that you must have left it overnight in a dark area with a cable lock around the top tube only (even though your story is that you did use a U-lock, under a street light, and were gone for 15 minutes—as if any of that should make a difference anyway), and letting the thief go as long as he gives your stripped frame back to you.

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  • SEPDXRider November 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    lahar
    It is good to read this and to remind myself that I need to strive to be visible while riding and to not try to run yellows. I get too comfortable riding and I should not be. Just as drivers get too comfortable driving and not looking well enough.Recommended 5

    It’s the decisions we make as cyclists and drivers before we even climb onto the saddle or slide behind the wheel that impact the overall safety of our trips the most.

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  • not that Mark November 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    When I was that age I would have done what the young man did with the same results. I’m middle aged now and it was only maybe ten years ago that I stopped trying to beat a yellow light. I would put my head down and pedal harder.

    Now I’m older, have taken two motorcycle riders safety classes and numerous drivers safety classes, and it seems so clear:

    1. Assume I can’t be seen, even on a summer afternoon.
    2. Slow down when approaching intersections with cars around.

    But if I went back in time and told my young self that, I wouldn’t have listened.

    A fundamental part of a defensive driver/rider philosophy is to accept the world for what it is. It takes some of the fun out of riding downhill on a nice day. But it can prevent alot of grief.

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    • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Unfortunately, there isn’t much that will save you if a truck turns into you without signaling. We have no idea whether Friedow signaled, but we do know that ~25% of drivers don’t signal when turning.

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      • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

        Kind of makes you wonder why there is no mention of turn signal use in the entire report. Studies have indicated that failing to signal is twice as common in crashes as distracted driving. Did they even ask her if she signaled? Or look for it in the video?

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      • meh November 10, 2015 at 10:18 am

        How did the truck “turn into” Angeles?

        The truck was in the intersection when Angeles ran into the side of the truck.

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        • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

          I never said that the truck turned into Angeles. Re-read.

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          • meh November 10, 2015 at 12:41 pm

            “there isn’t much that will save you if a truck turns into you without signaling.” You as much said so, since this is in reference to the specific incident, they implication is that you did so state.

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            • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 12:57 pm

              I responded to some general tips in the comment above mine:

              “1. Assume I can’t be seen, even on a summer afternoon.
              2. Slow down when approaching intersections with cars around.”

              with a general caveat that if a truck turns into you, those tips aren’t going to help you.

              I can see that you inferred I was talking about Angeles, but I was not. I would describe this scenario as a truck turning into the path of the cyclist, not turning into the cyclist, though in this case the result is the same.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

                Those tips will not always prevent a crash, and may not have done so in this case, but in general, they absolutely will reduce the risk of a bad outcome when a truck turns into your path, whether on a bike or in a car.

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      • was carless November 10, 2015 at 12:05 pm

        Thats the entire point of “defensive riding.” Be prepared to stop for anything, anytime, anywhere. High noon on a highway in the desert? What would happen if a cow suddenly wandered onto the road.

        This is literally what they teach motorcycle riders: every car on the road is trying to kill you. Have a way out, be alert and be prepared to stop/bail at anytime.

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        • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm

          And it still won’t always save you. Pretty sure Kerry Kunsman and Kirke Johnson were well-prepared.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 1:03 pm

            Nothing will always save you, but there’s lots you can do to improve the odds.

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            • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm

              I agree with that.

              Would you agree that even if you do everything correctly, people will still appear afterwards to assign you blame?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm

                Of course! Look around… everyone likes to second guess!

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    • VTRC November 12, 2015 at 10:17 am

      I’ve spent some time thinking about this after reading the PDF, and it seems to be more of a very common motorcycle crash than the typical bike crash.

      I’ve also got my motorcycle endorsement and done my MSF classes, and the oncoming left turn… well you place yourself prominently in the lane, you make eye contact, and hope they don’t turn into you. There are places and times, particularly around some light timings, when you just don’t have many escape routes.

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  • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Huh. I just read the entire memo, and find the final paragraph interesting:

    “To prove criminally negligent homicide the state must prove that Ms. Friedow failed to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. Even if the state could prove that Ms. Friedow failed to be aware of the substantial and unjustifiable risk that her left turn would result in the death of Mr. Angeles, the state would also have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that her failure to be aware of that risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. Based on all the evidence in this case, the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Friedow failed to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk and that her failure to be aware of that substantial and unjustifiable risk was a gross deviation from the reasonable standard of care.”

    —memo by DDA Laura Rowan [emphasis mine]

    The section that I bolded in this quoted paragraph almost seems to imply something insidious and disturbing: even if not seeing a bicyclist is deemed a “failure to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk”, it would be unlikely that this would be seen as a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe. This almost seems to imply that looking for and seeing bicyclists is outside the realm of what we can expect from “reasonable” persons.

    Does this mean that we truly just don’t expect “reasonable people” to be aware of bicyclists? Is the “standard of care” really so low that looking for bicyclists isn’t considered necessary?

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    • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Yikes!
      Jonathan, I wonder if we could we get a comment from the DDA (I thought we were talking about DAs – what is a DDA?) on El Biciclero’s question?

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      • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

        DDA = Deputy District Attorney, I believe.

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        • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 6:13 pm

          Thanks. My googling didn’t yield that, though it did yield some other interesting phrases.

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          • Alan 1.0 November 9, 2015 at 6:17 pm

            There are 70 DDA in Multnomah County, appointed, not elected. http://mcda.us/

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    • SD November 9, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Much of the commentary here and elsewhere supports the idea you have brought up. Not seeing cyclists is normal and expected behavior and requires extraordinary efforts from the motor vehicle operator or from the cyclist to avoid collisions.

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    • Dan A November 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Yes, you must be unreasonably cautious to avoid running people over.

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  • SEPDXRider November 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Todd Boulanger
    I was surprised that the memo reported the rider riding as fast as 28 mph…this is very fast for most urban riders on “flat” roads.Does this speed fit what most cyclists experience on this route? (I do not have direct experience riding on this road).Recommended 0

    I have noticed this as well. Speeds always seem ridiculously high. 28. Really. That’s a frothing, spitting, unable to speak pace on a geared bike…

    And what kind of FIXED GEAR does 28mph!?!?!

    No way. The standard get around cog tops out at 24mph and I look like a ridiculous dervish. It’s not safe at that speed unless I can vibrate my feet.

    I am CERTAIN. He was NOT, I repeat NOT going 28 mph on FIXED gear unless he was using a ridiculous metric, which in Portland, no one would do for very long. Even little guys like me would struggle on the most benign of hills.

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    • HJ November 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      I strongly disagree. 28mph can be easily attained with even a slight downhill assistance. It’s not a crazy speed. I’ve had sprints out at PIR (dead flat) that were over 40MPH and I’m female. Men can go faster still. And before you try to claim such I can assure you that while I’m not a total slouch I’m far from the fastest rider around.

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      • Psyfalcon November 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm

        But geared so he can also go back up the hill?

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

          it may not be geared for hill climbing at all.

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          • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

            Possible but I’d consider that highly unlikely. As a former Reedie, having a bike that won’t get you up the hill to the Safeway on Woodstock is not worth a whole heck of a lot.

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            • John Liu
              John Liu November 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

              A strong rider can climb a decent hill in 48 x 16, which is a common fixie gearing.

              I’m not familiar with riding up to the Safeway there.

              But I do laps up Mt Tabor in 52 x 19, which is similar gearing to 48 x 16. And Mark was young and, I suspect, strong.

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      • SEPDXRider November 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        Then my speedometer is off by about 4mph. And remember we are talking about what is likely a Standard fixed gear bicycle unless he was into small cog riding and whatnot.

        OR the measurement for cyclists on their geared racing machines is historically inflated which I think it is a lot even on a race course. People like to feel good.

        Direct experience – over 10 years on fixed: Unless I move my feet at ridiculous rate I am not getting above 24mph very long. FIXED. The pedals have to keep moving.

        Get on a fixed and go down Belmont and try it. It sucks big time. Almost hurts.

        Also…when a fixed rider gets up out of the seat to “bear down” – they are not necessarily accelerating… rather, attempting to slow down. You see?

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      • SEPDXRider November 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        You can sprint like that on a geared bicycle. No one is saying it’s impossible to go that fast, just that it may be very likely he wasn’t due to the configuration of his gears. Or better yet, we are saying one could easily check by checking the bike set up…

        And it didn’t happen. The report doesn’t describe the officers verifying the lad’s speed by checking his bike.

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    • El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Huh. If I do some quick calcs, 158 feet in 3.8 seconds is about 360 rpm for a 700c wheel with a circumference of 83-ish inches. If we assume a gear ratio of 44:16, that’s a cadence of 131. I’m figuring 360 x 16 / 44 = cadence. Does that sound a) correct, and b) reasonable? Fixie riders can estimate a range of reasonable gear ratios.

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    • Skid November 9, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      On the track fixed gear bikes are going around 40 mph. They are geared a but higher.

      25-30 is easily do-able on a fixed gear especially downhill.

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    • was carless November 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      I’ve gone almost 50 mph going downhill before. That was coasting…

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  • q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Todd Boulanger
    The addition of a dedicated turn lane in a retrofit of older arterials with bike lanes often require the removal of on-street parking lane(s)…

    Ok, I’m sold.
    Less parking means driving is less convenient,
    Less convenient driving means less traffic,
    Less traffic means safer roads.

    See ODOT & PBOT, Vision Zero is easy: no parking on arterial roads. They are far too valuable of a public resource to waste on the storage of private property.

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    • Ian November 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I own a car, but biking is (happily) more convenient for most of my travel around Portland, so my car spends the vast majority of the time parked on the street. People aren’t making decisions to buy or sell their cars based on how much parking happens to be available in their neighborhoods; if we do away with parking on arterial roads, that’s just going to push the parking congestion elsewhere, not remove cars from the road.

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      • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        Are we assuming that we will continue to give away free parking on the roads?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm

          I think the availability of unpaid street parking has very little bearing on his comment.

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        • Ian November 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

          I’m not really sure what you’re getting at; all I’m saying is that charging for street parking or getting rid of it in some areas isn’t going to change the total number of vehicles that need a place to park. I understand that it’s economics 101 that people respond to incentives, but making it more difficult to park one’s car isn’t going to cause people to stop having cars. And speaking as someone who has a car but gets around primarily by bike, the idea of removing street parking from the streets I live and park on to “punish” drivers seems to miss the mark a bit. (And for what it’s worth, I would happily pay for the street parking or for a reasonably located garage, as long as it’s a good bit less expensive than the $175/month my apartment building charges for secured parking.)

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          • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm

            It works as a deterrent in New York City.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 3:09 pm

              This isn’t New York, thank god!

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  • B. Carfree November 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    It looks like the DA needs an arithmetic lesson. Given the speed (28 mph) and distance from the intersection when the light went yellow (64 feet) and the normal, accepted human reaction time (1.5 seconds), the now-deceased cyclist would have been two feet from the intersection as he began applying his brakes. Under the law noted, he had every right to continue through the intersection on the yellow since it would not be physically possible to stop in two feet. I find the DA’s “blame the victim” offensive as (expletive deleted).

    Driving without looking endangers people. It’s a shame that our police and district attorneys don’t see it that way.

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    • soren November 9, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      I really doubt that a frame by frame analysis based on low resolution gas station security video provided accurate time and space information. The precision of the numbers (hundreds of milliseconds and inches) and the lack of error estimation is simply not credible. Moreover, the use of a 158 foot span to estimate Angeles speed in the intersection is absolutely ridiculous.

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      • lop November 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm

        The DDA memo said the tow truck camera captured the light as it turned green to yellow. At that frame the investigator noticed that Angeles was next to a red parked car. That car was there during the crash scene investigation. They used a ‘trimble machine’ to obtain datapoints for the crash scene diagram. I assume that refers to this sort of survey device.

        http://trl.trimble.com/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-421859/

        I’m guessing the measurement into the hundreds of feet is the resolution of the survey equipment. Seems sloppy to give that. The truck was ~100 feet away from Angeles when the light turned yellow. Seems unrealistic to expect any sort of HD dash cam to offer a freeze frame measurement down to the tenths of an inch from 100 feet off.

        >Moreover, the use of a 158 foot span to estimate Angeles speed in the intersection is absolutely ridiculous.

        Why?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 10:04 pm

          Assuming no post-processing or RTK signal correction, one of those Trimble units should be accurate to within 1m from the true location. Maybe a little less accurate if they data was collected quickly, or if trees or nearby objects reflected or blocked the signal.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 10, 2015 at 8:35 am

          The specs on the Trimble 5800 (listed in the link you gave) are .25 meters in one mode and 10mm in another mode. It’d be absurd to use something that had “hundreds of feet” of resolution for accident reconstruction.

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    • Tom Hardy November 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      And apparently our local judges don’t either.

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    • Ian November 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      1.5 seconds might be an “accepted” reaction time for an unexpected event, but no cyclist or driver approaching a stale green light should take 1.5 seconds to process the fact that the light has turned from green to yellow.

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  • HJ November 9, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I find myself feeling the need to question if because the driver in this case was a “professional” the DA automatically erred in her favor? This is the 2nd case in less than a year with that symptom. The other being the semi truck that ran over Kirke Johnson in Washington County last November. The driver was only cited with failure to yield to a bike in a bike lane despite admitting to having seen him when he passed him heading into a red light.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      was there video in the semi truck case?

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    • Abraham November 10, 2015 at 11:11 am

      I think it has more to do with her making a legal left turn and him trying to enter an intersection illegally.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

        “Enter an intersection illegally” is incorrect, both technically and practically. Her “legal left turn” is only legal when ROW is clear.

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  • Pete November 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I’m willing to bet it’s harder to be strapped into a fixie and bring it from 28 to 0 than it is a ‘normal’ bike with front and rear brakes, is all I’m saying. (I did see the brake in the photos and remember that debate; and yes, I’ve ridden with experienced track riders who can do it exceptionally well).

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    • John Lascurettes November 9, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Even on a “normal bike” under the best of conditions and reaction times, it would have taken him around 90 feet to come to a stop if he was indeed doing 28 mph. It’s unreasonable for the investigators to rule that he could have stopped safely and prudently after the yellow.

      http://bikeportland.org/2015/11/09/why-jolene-friedow-only-got-a-traffic-ticket-in-the-collision-that-killed-mark-angeles-167881#comment-6586268

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      • Mike November 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

        So he was going too fast for the conditions?

        If I am unable to stop my Dodge Ram in time for the light, am I absolved of responsibility? Even if I was going over the speed limit?
        How far over the speed limit can I go before this is no longer true?

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        • John Lascurettes November 10, 2015 at 11:49 am

          No, the conditions were sunny and dry. And he was within a reasonable margin of error on speed (if he was indeed going 28) for someone without a speedometer.

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        • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm

          “So he was going too fast for the conditions?

          If I am unable to stop my Dodge Ram in time for the light, am I absolved of responsibility? Even if I was going over the speed limit?
          How far over the speed limit can I go before this is no longer true?”

          Which conditions? Do you mean the condition of the light being yellow? How close do you have to be to a yellow before you can no longer “stop in safety”, and must instead proceed through it? If you are driving your Dodge Ram at 35 in a 40 zone, and the light turns yellow when you are 25 feet from the intersection, are you able to stop? If not, were you driving too fast?

          Further, as someone turning left, you must yield to oncoming traffic, regardless of how fast they are going.

          I think sometimes the conclusion of “too fast for conditions” is tossed out prematurely. If everyone drove or rode at a speed that anticipated every possible change in conditions at every moment, we’d all go about 5mph. After all, you never know when someone is going to veer over into your lane, or a dog might run out into the street, or a tree might fall over into the road, or a sinkhole might open up in front of you—you have to be able to stop for every unexpected intrusion into your path, no matter how sudden, or you’re going “too fast for conditions”.

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      • was carless November 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        He should have been able to stop within 55 feet from the time he applied the brakes, at max braking acceleration of .5 of a g. Which is likely around the width of the intersection.

        However, not paying attention to obstacles in your path…

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        • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 1:04 pm

          Do we know how long the truck was in his path before he hit it? It could have been out of the way and then turned in front of him immediately before the collision, in which case seeing and braking are pretty much moot.

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          • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm

            This is a good point. Regardless of when the light changed, when did Mr. Angeles’ path become impassible? How far from the truck was he when it moved into his path?

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    • Skid November 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      You can stop just as easily if the fixed gear bike has a front brake.

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      • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 12:57 pm

        I know one recommendation for true emergency stops on a “regular” bike is to throw your rear to the rear (off behind the saddle) as you jam the front brake as hard as you can. Can you do such a thing on a fixed bike, or would you be required to stay in the saddle? If you stay in the saddle, more of your weight is forward making the bike more likely to flip sooner than it would under hard braking with your weight all the way back.

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  • oregon111 November 9, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    the biker should be issued a ticket for entering an intersection on a yellow light with ample opportunity to stop before the light…

    that is the LAW

    but the law ONLY applies to drivers — bikers can and do whatever makes them feel good

    which is why we MUST get all bikes off the road — bikers are terrorists and a menace to society

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    • 9watts November 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      Hilarious. Are you running for office?

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      • q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm

        Obvious tr0ll is obvious

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    • pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      SPAM.

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    oregon111
    it does NOT take 85 feet to stop a bicycle — it takes about 10 feet to stop a bicycle

    Please show your work.

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  • Eric Leifsdad November 9, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    He “appeared from a shadow cast by a tree” — daytime running lights are a good way to avoid that invisibility. I think we must have a lot of drivers who haven’t ever ridden a bike because it seems like they can’t fathom a bike moving faster than 8mph. If you’re going over 20, bet that you need to take measures to be seen — lights, weaving, etc because drivers are not looking for bikes. (Lacking a speedometer, 20 is about when the wind gets noisy in your ears.)

    That said, 28mph on a fixed gear would be 120rpm cadence with a rather high (50/17) gear, so I would think that amount of feet movement would be pretty visible.

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    • B. Carfree November 9, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      This is one of the many situations where Oregon’s absurd mandatory use law comes into play. A cyclist riding at 28 mph (assuming this is accurate) is going pretty close to the speed of the motorized traffic in a 25 mph zone. It would be much safer for such a cyclist to be out in the travel lane, away from the landscaping and its shadows, so they can be seen better by motorists. Unfortunately, if he had been riding in the travel lane, he would probably have been considered at fault for being in the “wrong” place.

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      • soren November 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        also the as far right as practicable statute.

        when i ride at or near the speed limit i almost never ride near the edge of the road. i also believe the VC recommendation that cyclists with a 1.5 foot’ cross-section should behave like a “vehicle” to be very dangerous.
        i avoid “riding predictably” and rarely hold my line when i ride in the lane. experience has taught me that drivers see movement and people in the wrong place much better than “rules of the road” vehicular cyclists.

        imo, every person who rides in the lane should learn the smidsy:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqQBubilSXU

        and the counter-steering quick turn
        http://www.terrycolon.com/1features/counter-steering.html

        (i countersteer before entering an intersection out of habit and this has saved me from injury on multiple occasions.)

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Starting un-nested because the conversations are getting too deep. A friend rides around town on a 48/16, he can climb up to a short 5% grade (like the bridges), and I’ve followed him on some of the normal sharrow climbs- though certainly not up to Skyline or Mt. Tabor.

    Anyhow, with 48/16, 28mph is only 120rpm.

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    • dr2chase November 9, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      It’s possible he was going 28mph, I have certainly gone that fast on a geared bike, and there was a time when I could pedal at a blurry speed, but it’s disappointing that the police didn’t say “whoa, that’s a high speed for a street fixie” and look at the second way of measuring speed. If you had a bias towards blaming the bicycle, you might be more willing to accept a 28mph estimate without double-checking it.

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  • J_R November 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you, Jonathan, for having done the follow-up on this and posting the DDA’s report. It’s unfortunate that this information became available at an inconvenient time and that speculation ran rampant over the last several days. I admit to having speculated more than was justified because I was operating on incomplete information.

    I am begrudgingly ready to conclude that in this particular case a criminal charge may not be warranted against the truck driver. It’s not that I want vengeance against the motor vehicle driver. What frustrates me is that the amount of care that we as a society demand of motor vehicle operators is really low. Every time we excuse any vehicle operator (motorist or bicyclist) due to some flimsy excuse (“I didn’t see him.” “I had a medical event.”), it allows the next operator to continue to operate with that very low bar related to exercising care.

    I am still less than satisfied with the result and have several quibbles with the PPB and DDA’s work and conclusions.

    Like others, I am concerned that the investigating officers appear may have been biased against bicyclists.

    Quoting from the DDA’s memo “It appeared to Officer Close that as Mr. Angeles approached the intersection he began to pedal faster.” And “Officer Close opined that Mr. Angeles may have seen the light change, lowered his head to pedal faster, and may not have noticed the tow truck turning.” Given that it was a fixed gear bike, an increase in cadence does NOT necessarily mean that the cyclist was pedaling harder; he was on a downhill and may, in fact, have been soft pedaling or even exerting some resistance in an effort to slow. It is all speculation. I don’t ride a fixed gear bike and I doubt the investigating officers do.

    After reading the comments by those familiar with fixed gear bikes, I think the estimate of Mr. Angeles’ speed may have been over estimated.

    The estimate by the PPB is that Mr. Angeles was 64 feet from the intersection when the light turned to yellow. Again, it appears that there may be a bit of an anti-bike bias. Would PPB also expect a motorist traveling at the posted speed (25 mph) to stop if the light turned yellow if a car were 64 feet from the intersection. I think not. If one assumes a one-second reaction time, the vehicle will travel 35 feet. That leaves only 30 feet to bring the vehicle to a stop. That’s pretty much a lock-up the brakes, panic stop. I don’t think that’s reasonable.

    I also take exception to the DDA’s interpretation of ORS 811.260(4). “A driver facing a steady yellow circular signal is thereby warned that the related right of way is being terminated and that a red or flashing red light will be shown immediately.” Note that the statue says “IS BEING” terminated. It does not say “HAS BEEN” terminated. However, the DDA specifically states “Mr. Angeles’ right of way had terminated when he entered the intersection.” Maybe there is case law that makes the DDA’s interpretation correct, but it seems a peculiar reading of the statue.

    I’m very sorry for Mr. Angeles’ death. I’m sorry, too, for the guilt that Ms. Friedow will experience. I appreciate the investigative efforts undertaken by PPB and the DA’s office. I’m frustrated, however, that once again, we have had a horrendous crash and that nothing will change. I’m frustrated that the Mayor’s office, the transportation commissioner’s office, PPB and the DA’s office don’t seem to be able to use the results to improve safety for vulnerable users. The “I didn’t see him” the “not a carless state of mind” defense gets reinforced once again. There is no recognition that more care must be taken by all users.

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    • Alan 1.0 November 9, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      “Officer Close opined that Mr. Angeles may have seen the light change, lowered his head to pedal faster…”

      How does Officer Close know that’s the reason Mr. Angeles lowered his head? I am extremely skeptical that videos such as those involved have sufficient resolution to detect slight and gradual changes in cadence when the rider’s feet are already a blur. (At that pace, cadence changes are not dramatically sudden.)

      “Would PPB also expect a motorist traveling at the posted speed (25 mph) to stop if the light turned yellow if a car were 64 feet from the intersection. I think not.”

      And would Ms. Friedow attempt an “I didn’t see it” excuse if the oncoming vehicle were a car or truck? Would PPB find that excusable? Even if the oncoming vehicle were going 30-33mph? (80th percentile speed for that street) That’s the part which really gets me…it wasn’t just the tree shadow or the last 64 feet or the ~28mph. There is excellent visibility up Gladstone for hundreds of feet, and Mr. Angeles was coming down it that whole time that Ms. Friedow was approaching the intersection. Did she look up that street at all? Why did she fail to see the bicyclist? Is that failure something society will continue to accept as normal?

      “The “I didn’t see him” the “not a carless state of mind” defense gets reinforced once again. There is no recognition that more care must be taken by all users.”

      Yeah, and, well, I think it’s maybe worse than that. Let me quote DDA Laura Rowan from El Biciclero’s post above:

      …the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Friedow failed to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk and that her failure to be aware of that substantial and unjustifiable risk was a gross deviation from the reasonable standard of care.”

      And then El Biciclero’s words:

      “The section that I bolded in this quoted paragraph almost seems to imply something insidious and disturbing: even if not seeing a bicyclist is deemed a “failure to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk”, it would be unlikely that this would be seen as a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe. This almost seems to imply that looking for and seeing bicyclists is outside the realm of what we can expect from “reasonable” persons.

      “Does this mean that we truly just don’t expect “reasonable people” to be aware of bicyclists? Is the “standard of care” really so low that looking for bicyclists isn’t considered necessary?”

      So, decision after decision after decision says to drivers that little errors are forgivable, even if the results are catastrophic. That process, repeated over and over, is exactly what has eroded the liability of automobile operators from being responsible for damages they cause up to and including the taking of lives. Each such decision makes the next error that much easier to forgive, and the erosion of liability upon the motor vehicle operator continues ad infinitum. Sound familiar? Like what we’ve witnessed over many decades of motor-mode dominance? “Car head?” And here’s the scary part: It’s a process so it’s ongoing, continuing, it won’t get better and it will inherently erode further and further into non-motor modes’ rights to exist on public streets. Only active, intentional intervention will prevent ever-increasing tolerance of destructive traffic behavior.

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      • soren November 10, 2015 at 11:19 am

        “How does Officer Close know that’s the reason Mr. Angeles lowered his head?”

        I think that the position of Angeles’ head was also a conjecture by Close.

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        • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm

          That could very well be. Both videos should be released.

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      • SEPDXRider November 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm

        I lower my head and raise up to SLOW DOWN when I ride fixed…

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  • Mark November 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Many don’t realize that most peoe drive on the bleeding edge of their abilities and often far beyond them. I realized this and slowed down. I started looking twice before turning. Turning my head behind me before backing…etc.

    Driving UNDER the speed limit. Crazy…I know.

    Regardless of the police report, the driver and the rider were going faster than they should. The driver should not have even gone through the yellow. But…she did and we do.

    Until we truly slow down….people will continue to die so we can get home 5 minutes faster.

    While some never so.

    Start driving 20 in a residential all the time.
    Drive 25 in a 30.
    Drive 30 in a 40.
    Drive max 55.

    A whole new world will open up.

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    • Pete November 9, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      It’s ironic; I drive in a similar manner (not over-accelerating, actually obeying speed limits, though admittedly not always so very much under them)… and I piss off drivers by driving legally far, far more than I do by taking the lane on bike as much as I tend to. (But then again, it doesn’t take much to piss off a Californian driver).

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    • meh November 10, 2015 at 10:24 am

      The truck was going 10mph per the article. How is that too fast?

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      • J_R November 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

        When you drive your 40-foot-long, 3+ ton rig into the path of someone who either has the right-of-way or at least did have the right-of-way two seconds before you started moving forward.

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    • joel November 10, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      yeah but on neighborhood greenways bikes go faster than 20. im a biker but i see other bikers going too fast. i see undafe passes by bikes everyday cutting off other bikes. its not the mode its the mindset

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    • Todd Boulanger November 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Here is a slogan I thought up years ago for the scenario you suggest:

      “Shift down when in town.”

      As Dab Burden has long said: when in the city slow down, since you have “arrived” at a place vs. just driving “through” it.

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  • OnTheRoad November 9, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    What I must have missed in the story was the small detail — did he hit her or did she hit him?

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    • J_R November 9, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      They were both moving. Given that she was turning across his straight, direct line travel, I’d conclude she hit him. Others will have different opinions. Does it make any difference?

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      She was turning left across his path, and he collided with her passenger side front fender, just behind the front tire.

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  • Andy K November 9, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for the post Jonathan – great details in the follow-up. I ride a similar bike, 48×17.

    When your cadence is 120+ and you’re descending towards a yellow or red light, its scary as hell. I’ve done it too many times. You’re focusing on your pedal stroke and simultaneously looking as far to the left and right for the cars that will soon be crossing.

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    • Skid November 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      48 x 17 at 120 RPM is 27 mph. But that really doesn’t matter with a front brake.

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  • Dead Salmon November 9, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    JM,

    Well written description. It is clear that she did not deserve any kind of “punishment”. The cyclist was negligent, and, sadly, he paid with his life. I’m not even sure why she deserved ANY traffic ticket – sounds like she followed the rules. Only way I can see that she might have done better would be if her lane had a green arrow she could have waited another light-cycle for the green arrow; but if it did not have an arrow, then she is in the clear.

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  • Skid November 9, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Just to clarify stopping a fixed gear bike with a front handbrake:

    The majority of your stopping power is your front brake. When you apply the front brake, slowing down the rear wheel by slowing down your pedaling is really easy. A rear brake is superfluous, and can easily cause you to unexpectedly skid under heavy braking.

    Nonetheless, Mark Angeles Should not have needed to stop, because he was going straight and the truck was turning left. He had the right of way.

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    • Pete November 10, 2015 at 10:57 am

      I use a disc brake on the front of my non-fixed bike and a carbon rim brake on the back, and have found that the back braking contributes very little. In fact, I recently swapped in an alloy rim and find myself having to be careful not to skid. But I wasn’t sure how much the momentum of your legs in motion contributed to continuing to put in power as you were trying to stop, whereas with a freehub it’s zero. I know when you’re braking with legs alone it’s not terribly easy. Thanks for the education.

      You’re right; it’s a moot point, though, because as John L points out he likely couldn’t have stopped before the intersection. I truly believe she didn’t see him, but I’m also willing to bet she didn’t signal her turn so Mark didn’t recognize her as a threat. I just lectured a woman for cutting me off without blinking two days ago, and explained that by not signalling turns she is actually signalling that she’s going straight. She said she didn’t see me, but of course that was because she didn’t look. (Ironically, this was directly across the street from Ethan Wong’s ghost bike on McClellan in Cupertino, CA).

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  • Skid November 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    And we all know what a fan of fixed gears Officer Balzer is.

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  • younggods November 10, 2015 at 12:14 am

    My takeaway from this is:
    Cyclist ran the yellow light -> He is at fault
    Driver didn’t see the cyclist -> absolved of any wrongdoing

    Portland needs to have it’s platinum rating taken away immediately.

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  • John November 10, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Sheldon Brown’s succinct explanation of fixed gear braking:

    “You really should have a front brake. A front brake, all by itself, will stop a bicycle as fast as it is possible to stop. This is true because when you are applying the front brake to the maximum, there is no weight on the rear wheel, so it has no traction.

    One of the wonderful things about fixed-gear riding is that the direct feel you get for rear-wheel traction teaches you exactly how hard you can apply the front brake without quite lifting the rear wheel off of the ground.”

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html

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    • wsbob November 10, 2015 at 8:33 am

      No disrespect to Sheldon’s vast knowledge intended, but I disagree with his idea that “A front brake, all by itself, will stop a bicycle as fast as it is possible to stop…”. Applying the rear and the front brakes together, can do much better in bringing the bike’s speed down, than can applying only the front brake.

      In applying only the front brake, inertia wants to throw the ride’s body weight forward laterally in relation to the frame, causing the rear of the bike to want to rise, losing some of the rear wheel’s traction. Application of the rear brake produces less of this affect; the rider’s body weight is more easily able to be kept over the rear wheel. In some situations, when possible, it helps also for the rider to physically push their body back towards the rear of the bike a little, when starting to brake.

      In practice, the rear brake should be doing most of the work in slowing and stopping. The front brake supplements slowing and stopping action of the rear brake, helping keep it from having to do so much work that it locks the rear wheel up, causing it to skid, thereby losing traction, steering control, and slowing power.

      A downside of braking the front wheel, is that it messes with the bike’s ability to be steered.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        I would add that by using two brakes, there is a greater tolerance for error; how many riders can truly get the front brake to its theoretical optimal threshold in an emergency situation without risking an endo?

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      • Nick November 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

        Oh golly. The “Front brake only vs Front and Rear Brakes” can of worms…

        https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/how-to-brake-on-a-bicycle/

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 4:26 pm

          That was a great article. I’m going to have to test it myself at some point. The methodology seemed sound.

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        • Pete November 16, 2015 at 12:30 pm

          Good writeup, thanks! Twice I’ve been right-hooked to where I’ve needed to panic-brake. At Murray and Allen in Beaverton a Ford Ranger took the right without signalling or looking, and I locked the (crappy V) brakes pretty hard on my hardtail MTB (with slicks). Despite throwing my butt back, I did a nose-wheelie in the process, but I suspect it was due to the front shocks compressing too. I’ve retrofit that boat anchor as my grocery-getter with a disc front fork; I’ve always hated V brakes, mainly because they seem to change alignment on their own, and don’t seem to modulate well in general.

          On a different occasion I was heading downhill (at over 30 MPH) on Foothill Expressway in Palo Alto when a BMW took an unsignalled and illegal right turn because they were lost. That was on my race bike (25c tires) with TRP Hy/Rd disc on the front, and it bled speed very quickly. I had my stomach on the seat and was leaning into the right turn with the car, skidding the back wheel in a controlled manner with brake pressure (caliper brake on alloy wheel). I avoided the collision (and falling) but it even seemed as if I bounced off of the guy’s back wheel with my own!

          I highly recommend practicing panic-braking on increasingly steeper hills, such as what’s shown in the video Nick posted. You will learn how your bike feels with your body on it, and feel out the limits of both your equipment and your performance (which will improve to where reaction to a real-life scenario becomes instinctive). Thanks again Nick.

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      • davemess November 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        I’d almost say the fact that it was a canti brake (compared to another type) might be more of a factor than lack of a back brake. Canti’s are notorious for having weak stopping power compared to there types of brakes.

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        • Dan A November 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm

          Except that it was probably a caliper.

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    • are November 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      i no longer ride fixed, but i heartily endorse sheldon brown’s take — “coasting is bad for you” –, and i would hope we eventually see no more comments on these boards disparaging the fixie as such.

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  • GlowBoy November 10, 2015 at 7:08 am

    The fact that the bike was a fixie is completely irrelevant. A fixie with a front brake can stop as fast as a freewheeler with two brakes. Full stop. End of discussion.

    As for the ROW issue, I’m not convinced 68 feet was an excessive distance for him to try to continue through the light. It might sound like a lot, but it isn’t. Way less than the width of Cesar Chavez, well under the width of two standard house frontages along the street, less than 10 bike lengths. At 28mph (NOT an excessive speed!) he would have been covering 41 feet per second, and eaten up those 68 feet in a second and a half, which is less than the standard reaction time assumed by traffic engineers.

    It’s disturbing to me that Oregon law removes any legal right of way protection against vehicles turning left across your path the very instant the light turns yellow, even if you couldn’t possibly have stopped for it.

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  • joel November 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

    jonathan- very even handed article. thank you for all the detail especially including noting the cameras, drivers response, light timing, and brake detail.

    thanks-joel

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  • Paul Cone November 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Jonathan, there aren’t any SE 39TH AVE signs at that intersection anymoe. Old habits die hard, I know.

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  • Tyler November 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

    “…there was nothing about her driving that would be likely to endanger persons or property… She just never saw him.”

    What I can’t understand here is, the fact that she ‘never saw him” is not considered reckless or negligent. Do we now have no standard of care required to operate a motor vehicle? Are we now not required to ‘see’ others?

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    • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 9:35 am

      A bunch of smart, articulate people have now all asked essentially this question here. I will die happy if I feel like we got a good answer to this. Anyone? Jonathan?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

      I hear this question and am in the process of getting some official response about it. However, I’ll add what I know/think now: Context is important. I know “I never saw him” is a convenient soundbite for us to grab and get upset about; but it’s not the final word in the case. In other words, yes that’s what Friedow says in this case, but the DA/PPB also took into account her actions before/during/after the collision. And they also live and work in a particular cultural milieu that influences their perspectives (like we all do).

      If Friedow would have done something else to show that she was careless/negligent besides “not seeing Angeles”, her claims of innocence would not carry so much weight.

      I know it’s hard to swallow, but I think what’s going on here is a manifestation of a broad cultural acceptance that people can’t possibly be aware of every hazard around them when they are operating their vehicles and that sometimes that lack of awareness will result in a collision and sometimes that collision will result in an injury or even a death.

      Since our starting assumption is that it’s impossible to be aware of everything when we’re driving, it follows that we as a society can’t prosecute someone whose lack of awareness results in injury or death — especially when that person was not breaking the law, under the influence of drugs, had no prior record, showed extreme remorse, and so on.

      And it’s different than a gun. A gun is made to kill and injure, a car is not.

      I’ve been deeply disturbed by this stuff for many years (ever since that guy turned right over Tracey Sparling and was not found to be negligent) and I’m still trying to figure it all out.

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      • Justin November 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

        I appreciate your putting it all out there, Jonathan. It’s really hard and you’re doing a service by being so thoughtful. I’ve replayed these facts in my head, imagining both vehicles as autos, both vehicles as bikes or reversing the auto and bike to see if that changes my thinking. And I come out about the same way you did here: disturbed but not certain.

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      • SD November 10, 2015 at 10:53 am

        Being aware of “every hazard around them” is a very different standard than being aware of oncoming traffic in a lane that you are crossing.
        This logical discrepancy is simply due to bias.

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      • Dan F November 10, 2015 at 11:01 am

        You do a good job of identifying the assumptions that inform the legal decisions around these types of accidents, Jonathan. One could also say (though I’m not sure you would go this far) that these assumptions are just a recognition of the inherent limitations of our motor vehicle technology…and even further, that these machines are going to cause a certain number of injuries and fatalities. As a society I think we have pretty much accepted this, “vision zero” rhetoric notwithstanding.

        I’m not saying this is a good thing (or something we should accept), but given the technology and the transit infrastructure we’ve got, drivers are never going to be fully aware of all hazards to themselves and others. You or I might be more aware of cyclists on the road when we’re behind the wheel, but we could hit someone, someday – it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility.

        Cyclists who don’t recognize this inherent limitation – whether from naivete or some ideological position – are probably more likely to be involved in an accident. I’ve been naive, and ideological, and foolish in a lot of ways, and had more than one accident on a bike, but I’ve also been really lucky so far.

        I’m sorry this young guy wasn’t so lucky. May he Rest in Peace.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

          Thank you — this is what I wanted to say, but was having difficulty articulating.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 10, 2015 at 12:11 pm

          Dan F.

          You’ve nailed a bunch of things in your comment. absolutely this has a lot to do with our built environment/transportation infrastructure and our acceptance of using certain types of motorized vehicles to navigate through it.

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        • Todd Boulanger November 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

          Please (all posters) refrain from the use of the word “accident” …

          and instead use terms such as: event, crash, incident, collision etc….these are more neutral terms vs. accident which implies nothing could be done by the participants to avoid the outcome (and thus no blame can be given).

          {Accident as a term should rarely if ever used in engineering or transportation circles.]

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        • Justin November 12, 2015 at 10:21 am

          We have accepted a lot of tradeoffs that increase the risk of killing a vulnerable road user. Right turn on red. Permissive left turns. Right turns against a walk signal. Right turns across a bike lane. Driving faster than 25 mph on any street. These are things most people accept because the risk of killing is small. But if your vision is zero, not “a little,” it’s not acceptable to wink at that risk. So you embrace VZ or you don’t. But I don’t think you have those (and other) things and still claim to embrace VZ.

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      • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

        Yet a bicyclist is expected to be perfectly aware of every detail of every hazard and every law or suffer the consequences—sometimes legal, sometimes physical.

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      • Bill Walters November 10, 2015 at 11:59 am

        What is additionally disturbing is that over the past few months you’ve begun to take up language such as “can’t possibly be aware of every hazard” — the shrugging, falsely equivalent, apologist language of the broken system — when in reality, being aware of oncoming traffic is a basic, crucial element of making a left turn. It doesn’t even require a mirror check!

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        • Pete November 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm

          I don’t think this is a fair allegation. Humans can’t possibly be aware of every possible hazard, which is why we’re supposed to mitigate that risk by not distracting ourselves with phones, food, and radios; why we’re supposed to signal our turns and stop (before stop lines) at signals, and not drive too fast for conditions.

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          • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm

            But remember the context: In both the Corkett and Angeles situations the thing that needed (but didn’t get) the driver’s attention was pretty much right in front of them. So focusing on “all possible hazards” could be seen (and I think this was part of Bill Walters’ point) as (perhaps unintentionally) obfuscatory.

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      • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 9:58 pm

        “If Friedow would have done something else to show that she was careless/negligent besides ‘not seeing Angeles’, her claims of innocence would not carry so much weight.”

        I’m troubled by this. Isn’t this just smoke and mirrors?

        Isn’t the crux her I didn’t see him statement, which those in power quite predictably accept not only as a statement of fact but as the lynch pin of their finding in this case? I am not in a position to cast doubt on whether she herself believes her own statement, but I do feel that this is as good a case as any to highlight that this–accepting on face value what a driver says about her not seeing—which curiously the officer then, implicitly, twisted into couldn’t objectively see—is no way to make law or policy.

        In the Corkett case, and again here, the DAs have not as far as I know troubled themselves to articulate HOW it was that Mr. Allen or Ms. Friedow were not able to—or able not to—see Mr. Corkett or Mr. Angeles approaching. This to me is another smoking gun. Is it just so obvious to everyone in the legal profession that, of course, he/she didn’t see him, so we don’t need to belabor the point, check the facts, compare her statement to what the camera on the dashboard of her truck apparently registered of Mr. Angeles’s movements?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 10:05 am

      The reverse is also true. He didn’t see her (presumably). That makes him equally negligent and reckless by your standard (but not mine).

      The truth is human perception is not always perfect, and those flaws have nothing to do with being reckless or negligent. Sometimes people just don’t see something that’s right in front of them.

      To me, negligence would be not looking, and recklessness would be seeing the cyclist and moving into his path anyway. Looking but not seeing is human fallibility.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 10:05 am

        Ooops… that was a reply to Tyler

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

        I’ve seen this said a couple of times, but.. I suspect he did see her and assumed she wasn’t going to turn.

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        • VTRC November 10, 2015 at 10:34 am

          It’s super easy to do. I’m heading forwards through the intersection, I have the right of way, they’re already stopped, everyone has done this a million times…

          My last real close call was this as I rolled up to a light that had just turned green, and the guy turning left towards me was waved through or decided to just beat the first stopped car.

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          • lahar November 10, 2015 at 11:43 am

            Not if everyone is running the yellow. Everyone assumes someone is going to be stopping because yellow turns RED.

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        • Psyfalcon November 10, 2015 at 10:35 am

          If I was in a car, and unable to stop for a yellow I would not expect that car to turn left. Waiting for a left, yellow does not mean all other traffic stops instantly.

          If the light turned yellow two seconds later does the truck still turn in front of him?

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          • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 10, 2015 at 10:40 am

            Right. But note this is totally different than “well, he didn’t see her” that some commenters are saying. He saw her, he assumed she wasn’t going to turn, because we all make assumptions to move through life. We assume the light will turn red after it turns yellow, for instance.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 11:13 am

          I guess for me the takeaway is what can I learn from this situation to make sure it never happens to me. The answer seems to be to anticipate what might happen if a driver does not see me, and slow down to a speed that I can react if need be. I already do this when there is a danger of right hooks. I probably need to add this situation to my list of “things that can go wrong”.

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          • davemess November 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm

            I think it all just comes down to riding defensively.

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            • pink$$ November 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

              Does anyone here believe that by riding defensively, they’ve eliminated all risk on the road? Is there any way to ride defensively in situations where drivers suddenly lose consciousness? Or when you are momentarily in a shadow just before a driver decides to turn left?

              I think the real troubling point here is that many seem to believe there’s nothing Jolene could’ve done to avoid what happened. Which is pretty sad, since most people recognize this is a reasonable scenario of something that could happen. Should we just call for more defensive walking or cycling every time someone dies on the road?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 2:27 pm

                There is absolutely nothing you can do to eliminate all risk on the road, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, or driver. We have an inherently dangerous system. It’s a system that none of us would choose, but it’s what we’ve got, and collectively, we have decided that the advantages (in terms of vastly increased mobility) are worth the costs.

                There are things we can do to make the system safer — better road design, higher standards of driver training, safer vehicles, reduce vehicle trips. All of these are expensive and long-term solutions, and even in places where they’ve taken all those steps there are still plenty of deadly crashes. That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, but it does suggest that there are inherent limits to the safety we can achieve without a fundamental change in the way we get around.

                Nailing Jolene to a cross is not going to fix our system.

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              • pink$$ November 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

                A traffic citation with a max fine of $260 is a far cry from nailing someone to a cross. As in, there are a lot of intermediate rulings that could have better fit the consequences… whether or not Jolene’s not seeing Mark was criminally reckless is not the point. We are upholding an INCREDIBLY low standard of reasonable care for drivers if perfect sightlines/road conditions suggest oncoming traffic POSSIBLY couldn’t be seen, so dangerous left turn is the best we can do.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm

                > A traffic citation with a max fine of $260 is a far cry from nailing someone to a cross.

                I agree.

                My point is that we won’t get the outcome we want if we focus on sporadic severe punishment, especially when a driver’s behavior is within the norms society has established. We need to focus on the longer-term factors that will change those norms, such as driver training, education, and consistent enforcement, or mitigate them, such as engineering.

                Just so we don’t have a misunderstanding: I think the norms need to be changed; that will result in a safer (but not safe) system.

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      • SD November 10, 2015 at 10:48 am

        There is very little evidence that he did not see the truck and this is highly unlikely. This supposition by the police undermines their credibility.

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    • wsbob November 10, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Sorry…I neglected to end the statement of Tyler’s that I quoted, with a quote mark, and his name:

      “…What I can’t understand here is, the fact that she ‘never saw him” is not considered reckless or negligent. …” Tyler

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  • mark November 10, 2015 at 10:37 am

    meh
    The truck was going 10mph per the article. How is that too fast?Recommended 0

    It’s a simple principle. She was going too fast for conditions. She didn’t have the whole picture looking up the road…she was in a hurry to get through the light and made a dash for it.

    Focusing on just one factor of speed is why this whole situation occurred.

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    • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

      “…in a hurry to get through the light and made a dash for it.”

      This is a HUGE issue that I see in modern, congested traffic combined with assumptions that motor vehicles are the only vehicles present. I have been cut off numerous times in recent months by drivers darting out from my right because they see a tiny gap in auto traffic, and don’t see me in the bike lane (yes, I would prefer to be farther left in such situations, and am when traffic permits, but many times I just cannot find a gap to insert myself into a 35 mph traffic stream). Other times, a driver going the same direction on my left will stop and wave another driver through, either from the left or right, and the wavee will see only the gap and the “nice” driver waving, and they will chirp tire to shoot through the narrow window before it closes, never seeing anything else, such as a pedestrian crossing or a bicyclist approaching.

      I don’t know what the psychological term would be but drivers in these situations appear to be influenced by three factors, in this order:
      1) Fear of getting creamed by oncoming traffic (the only reason to stop and wait in the first place)
      2) Fear of missing an opportunity to proceed and getting “stuck” for another signal cycle or waiting longer for another opportunity.
      3) Fear of angering other drivers who might be waiting behind them

      Really, the fear of missing out or drawing ire of other motorists seems to trump all else in non-signalized situations where a driver must wait for a gap to proceed.

      In light of the comments by Jonathan above regarding the “can’t be aware of everything” principle, I would hope that we could define certain things in certain places that ALL drivers should be expected to be aware of. Sure, we can’t necessarily be aware of an airplane falling from the sky or a kid dashing out from behind a parked car until it’s too late, but it just seems that ALL drivers should be expected to be aware of what is presently in, is entering, or might enter their intended path before proceeding. There is a certain amount of scanning technique that can be learned/taught, and ought to be expected. If the “standard of care” doesn’t include looking/scanning/squinting/perceiving/observing/processing/thinking about/being aware of anything smaller than a Suburban, I’m moving to Canada.

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      • Brendan Treacy November 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm

        ‘Pay better attention’ is a good idea but not really an effective policy change. More cyclists on the road will get people to pay attention better. A cultural shift towards patience where people are mocked for being in a hurry and speeding etc. But just saying people should pay attention doesn’t move the dial in the real world, in my opinion.

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        • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 1:40 pm

          “…just saying people should pay attention doesn’t move the dial in the real world…”

          That’s why in other comments, I don’t just say that, I also say that driver training needs to be turned up about nine notches to include actual instruction by someone other than your cool cousin or your parents. Drivers wanting a license should be required to show proof of passing a course offered by an accredited driving school. To be accredited, part of the driving school’s curriculum must include instruction regarding the limitations of human vision and attention and how to overcome them through better scanning techniques. It should also include simulations of the impairment suffered by txtrs and phone users while driving, and simulations of emergencies to allow students to “practice” maneuvers they might never use in real life, but need to know. Drivers in the U.S. don’t even know what they don’t know, because they were never taught—because they were never required to be taught…

          We should treat getting a license the same way we should treat the responsibility of driving: as a Big Deal.

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          • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm

            I agree. I have only recently learned, 25+ years after ‘earning’ my license, what a bad driving instructor my mom was.

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        • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 2:59 pm

          Also, people could be held accountable for not paying better attention. The “I didn’t see him” excuse should be abolished in favor of establishing a “standard of care” that expects drivers to see anything in or approaching their own path that isn’t currently hidden behind another object, and anticipate certain things that might be currently hidden.

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  • Dabby McCrashalot November 10, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I have not read the comments yet, have not commented here for a year. Here is mine…
    This is the handy work of the well known ” Barnum amd Balzer Circus”.
    The fixed gear means nothing here.
    But, just to clarify, in reality this fixed gear had a perfectly good mechanical brake on the rear ( the drivetrain) and a perfectly good brake on the front.
    Cyclist entered the intersection in a green.
    Legal. Totally legal entry into intersection on a totally legal, totally stoppable bicycle.
    Light changed to yellow while in it.

    The driver turned in front of the cyclist.
    The driver did not have the right of way.
    The cyclist does not have to prove the ability to stop as it was the cyclists right of way.
    Driver 100% at fault.

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    • John Lascurettes November 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Actually light changed yellow before he was in the intersection, but as many have calculated out, it was not a reasonable stopping distance for him to stop safely at his estimated speed. It was appropriate per ORS to ride through the light.

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      • Dabby November 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

        It states that the light changed from green tobyellow as he entered the intersection.
        100% legal and legitimate.

        None of the drivers actions were legal with oncoming traffic ( the cyclist).

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        • John Lascurettes November 10, 2015 at 5:16 pm

          Read it again. It said the light would have still been yellow (as in it already changed from green to yellow) when he entered the intersection. Here’s the pertinent paragraph from the story which is a quote of the investigators’ findings:

          Using the camera footage and crash scene reconstruction analysis, investigators found that Angeles was 64 feet east of the intersection when the light turned yellow and he was traveling 28 mph at the time of the collision. At that speed, the light would have still been yellow when he entered the intersection.

          The light turned yellow when he was 64 feet (estimated) from the intersection while traveling 28 MPH (estimated). Based on those points of data, many feel he wouldn’t have had time to stop safely before entering the intersection.

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    • Pete November 10, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Please share the videos that you must have seen (as I assume you weren’t there or you likely would have commented on the previous articles). A bunch of us are dying to know whether she was using her blinker or not…

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  • are November 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    something i was expecting to see in the police report but did not see was the presence and location of other automobiles near the intersection.

    in particular i had supposed there might have been a car in the westbound travel lane that mr. angeles might have been passing on the right. if not, both he and ms. friedow should have had clear sightlines to see each other, and if there was also no one behind ms. friedow in the eastbound travel lane, mr. angeles might have had a route of escape, albeit requiring a rather hard left turn.

    again, jon, can you confirm with the d.a. — or actually, the police report itself should have this kind of detail — whether in fact there were no other vehicles in either the westbound or eastbound travel lanes?

    on reflection, it does seem likely this was the case, as we do not see any witness statements from operators of any such vehicles.

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  • TheRealisticOne November 10, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    A co-worker(in the bike industry) was stopped at an intersection and was hit by a hipster riding a fixed gear bike because he couldn’t stop. Now, the co-worker laughed and said, “good job buddy, maybe you shouldn’t ride that bike in traffic”…I’ve been in the industry for decades, fixed gear bikes are track bikes, on the track nobody is starting or stopping fast, if you do, you likely crash. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t work well in traffic, outside of the “track” environment. Go ahead and argue that point, but not with me. What are the differences between a “person who rides a bike” and a “cyclist”?
    Honestly, and from an emotional standpoint, I almost always want to blame the car for the problem, which is usually the case. But, I may have to change my viewpoint on this, with the evidence provided, I may have to fault the guy riding the bike this time. I know it’s unpopular so please don’t tar and feather me.
    As a “cyclist” and a driver, here’s an example of what some car drivers see;
    I was a block off of MLK and noticed a guy riding a black bike, black clothes, no helmet and no lights blowing through stop signs. At the time that I saw this, he blew the stop sign and the van who had the right of way slammed on the brakes to keep from hitting the bike. The guy riding the bike didn’t seem to care that he just about got hit. I hope that we can get to the point where we can talk realistically about the need for people that ride bikes to take responsibility for their actions.

    Now, don’t pick my words apart, just read the “message” behind the words. I really don’t like the petty back and forth that goes on.

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    • John Lascurettes November 10, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      He had caliper brakes on the front.

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      • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        The story indicates a front cantilever, but I think you’re right that it was probably a front caliper brake, based on images of Mark on his bike (if that’s the same bike he was on). Calipers are much more effective than cantis.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

          More effective from what point-of-view? Both brakes can lock the wheel, and both have the ability to apply a range of force to the brakes. I’ve heard this before, but don’t understand what makes one more effective than the other.

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          • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm

            Mz Kitty: braking causes weight to shift forward. That’s why it’s possible to “endo”, as there’s no weight on the rear of the bike. When there’s no weight on the rear, the rear brake is useless.

            Think about that “endo”. Your maximum braking occurs just shy of that maneuver. Your rear tire is just about to come off the ground. In that situation you are still using zero rear brake.

            That’s somewhat theoretical. In reality using the rear brake stops the momentum of the rear wheel/drivetrain/your legs, while the front brake actually stops you.

            What about skidding? That means you are applying more braking than available traction. On the rear wheel, it it can happen from “grabbing” the brake or from continuing to hold down on the brake as the weight transfers forward. On the front wheel, it can happen from “grabbing” the brake before the weight has transferred forward (that additional weight gives your front wheel more traction, which means more stopping power).

            So, optimum brake usage is done by squeezing progressively on the front lever while decreasing rear brake pressure.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

              In real life situations, I am sure the rear brake does more than stop the momentum of the wheel itself. I’ve heard the front typically provides 80% of stopping power, the rear 20%, because it is very difficult to get right to the edge of endo without, you know, endoing.

              But why would a caliper brake work better than a cantilever?

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              • davemess November 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

                More pressure on the rim.
                Canti’s have weaker braking power.

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          • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

            Have you used both? Not being facetious, this is an honest question.

            I have used Avid cantis on a commuter bike, and hated them. Terrible in the rain, and not a lot of leverage. I replaced the front brake with a v-brake as soon as I was able, which gives enough clearance for the large tires but is considerably more powerful. But the caliper brakes on my regular road bike are better than that — power and modulation that suits sudden stops much better. I don’t want to lock up the front wheel, I want to slow as quick as possible. Maybe that’s why the pros use them……

            Ted, this isn’t about front vs rear, I assume you misread the first post.

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            • Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm

              Ugh, you’re right. I conflated a few comments.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 12:10 am

              I have two bikes, one with each type of brakes. I’ve never noticed a difference, but then I’ve never really thought about it beyond noting that my caliper brakes keep getting out of adjustment. They are very different rides, so I’m not sure I would notice even if I were thinking about it.

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          • B. Carfree November 10, 2015 at 8:15 pm

            With most cantilever brakes, as one increases the pull on the lever the mechanical advantage drops by a noticeable percentage (the lever arms get closer to the center on the brakes), so the derivative of the braking power goes down as one pulls harder; the braking force still increases, but by less and less. (Note: there are cantilever brakes designed to deal with this, but they are a speciality item made in Seattle.)

            To further complicate things, unless the front forks are quite rigid, the braking action with cantilever brakes pushes the fork blades apart. Not by much, but just enough to often lead to really lousy modulation. This is exactly what you don’t want in a panic stop (not that a panic stop was going down in this case).

            Caliper brakes don’t suffer from these design defects, so they are generally more effective. Still, a skilled rider with cantilevers is likely to stop better than a clueless cyclist with calipers, so the difference isn’t all that extreme.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 12:15 am

              The reducing braking power-to-pull ratio actually strikes me as an advantage, as I am somewhat paranoid about locking my front wheel under a heavy braking scenario. But like I said above, I have bikes with both, and have never noticed a difference, aside from maintenance issues.

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              • Pete November 11, 2015 at 8:08 pm

                The locking of your front wheel also depends on pavement, tires, wetness, etc. Also depends if your comparison is made on a dry, flat street versus a long, steep descent (Montebello Road in Saratoga, CA, is my go-to training hill). B.’s analysis makes a lot of sense to me; I switched from canti’s to calipers to Shimano’s newer calipers (different pull angle combined with double-pivot) and 160mm TRP Hy/Rd disc (front only). I have felt a little bit of improvement with this progression; the discs primarily better in the rain. (The cantis I’ve always hated, mainly because of adjustability). I’ve also progressed from 23c tires on 18mm rims to 25c and 28c on 23mm rims, and that seems to be more of a noticeable difference, both in road feel and braking.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm

                Where do you think V-brakes fit into the lineup?

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              • Opus the Poet November 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm

                Well since I have crushed a rim with V-brakes I would put them on a par with hydraulic rim brakes. Modulation really depends on the quality of the brake pads and where used. I find that here in TX KoolStop black compound works best, but the salmon compound works best in the rainy conditions you guys get.

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  • Ted Buehler November 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Lots of good discussion here.

    How about finding a pickup truck and a 48×16 fixie with front brakes and do a few tests at Gladstone and Chavez?

    Ted Buehler

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    • Nick November 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Ouf, that’s dark.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I followed up with the Portland Police Bureau to learn more about why they decided Friedow should not be charged with Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User.

    Here’s what I just heard back from Sgt. David Abrahamson at the PPB Traffic Division:

    Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User (VRU) is a general, all-inclusive violation with which a wide range of violations may apply. However, judges have ruled differently on its interpretation, usually requiring a conglomeration of conditions; the manner in which the operator was driving; what the operator should have seen, was able to see or should have done come into consideration. Based on the video evidence, it is unclear whether or not Mrs. Friedow would have been able to clearly see Mr. Angeles approaching on his bicycle. Careless to a VRU falls under Oregon Statutes 811.135, which states: “A person commits the offense of careless driving if the person drives any vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.”

    Failing to yield a left turn is not in and of itself “driv[ing] in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger” a VRU if the judge rules the VRU could not objectively be seen.

    Dangerous Left Turn is specific to the violation which Mrs. Friedow committed and is more certain to be upheld by a judge than the Careless to VRU. Sub section (c) of 811.350 simply states the operator is in violation when he/she “Does not yield the right of way to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction that is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

    The facts in this case do not support a charge of Careless Driving but they fully support a charge of Dangerous Left Turn, which is why that charge was issued to Mrs. Friedow.

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    • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Hm. So now “I didn’t see” implies “could not be seen”? Or was the “could not objectively be seen” determination made from security footage from the camera across the street, or from the truck’s dashcam footage? I know from my own experience that things I see clearly on my rides cannot be made out later when I review my HD video footage, so “could not objectively be seen [in video footage of unknown quality]” does not mean anything.

      The example has been raised before, but does this mean that if the sun is in my eyes, I can run red lights or crash into anything I want because it could not objectively be seen? I could even provide video that shows nothing but lens flare as “proof”. Or is that case different, because even if I can’t see, I should expect, or perhaps anticipate that the light might be red or that something might be in my path and do everything I can to determine the actual conditions before proceeding?

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    • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Would they be able to test her ability to see him by driving a similar truck to that intersection at the same time of day and looking out the windshield as a cyclist approaches from the opposite side?

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      • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm

        Not this time of year…

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

        It frankly doesn’t matter if he was theoretically seeable, or if you could see a cyclist in the same place under similar conditions. All that matters is whether the driver actually saw him, which is something unprovable, but all evidence suggests she didn’t. People can look right at something and not see it, a common experience that we’ve all had.

        If you were to go stand in the middle of the intersection, and a cyclist approached the intersection, say 30 ft away, and you could see her clearly (which, of course you would), what new information would that provide?

        We’re dealing with the human perception system, something known to be flawed. We should be talking about ways to compensate for that, rather than repeating the statement that it should not have failed, which is what about half of the comments here seem to be stating.

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        • are November 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

          exactly. and that is why the discussion should be focused on forbidding left turns at certain intersections unless you can dedicate a left turn lane with a left arrow signal. for example. and other fixes where the infrastructure itself appears to have been a contributing factor.

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          • lop November 10, 2015 at 9:15 pm

            You can work without a left turn lane in some cases. You would set up a split phase signal. Eastbound traffic would get a green, including to turn left while westbound traffic turning or going straight has a red. Then the reverse. Then N/S gets their turn. It would lead to additional delays at the signal, if traffic levels are too high it wouldn’t work well.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 12:22 am

              I believe Milwaukee works this way when it intersects Powell, so it can work on even fairly high-volume streets.

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        • El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 4:48 pm

          “We should be talking about ways to compensate for that…”

          There are ways to compensate for that, but they involve additional training. Fortunately, such training can be self-imposed, if one knows what behavior to change. For example, to effectively scan, one must do two things: Keep a mental checklist of things to look for (and where to look for them), and intentionally control one’s eye movements so as not to miss anything on that checklist.

          Unfortunately, “bikes” are not on most people’s mental checklist, and most people don’t know about “saccades”. Human eyes are not video cameras; when they move, they “shut down” to avoid confusing input to the brain. Watch anyone reading a book, and their eyes will not move smoothly back and forth, they will “jerk” from one stopping point to the next. The areas that your eyes skip over while moving are “saccades”. What this means is that I can be looking at one side of the road, then move my eyes to look at the other side of the road and, while I have clearly seen what was on both sides of the road, I have largely missed everything in the middle, except for anything that my peripheral vision happened to catch (which is usually only large things, not bikes). To effectively “see” everything, I must have a mental checklist that includes pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, parked cars, moving cars, etc., and I must stop my eyes at any point where one of those things might be present. So when scanning across the entire road, I would intentionally look at (by stopping my eyes) the sidewalk on my right, the parking lane/bike lane area on my right, the right-hand traffic lanes, the left-hand traffic lanes, the bike lane/parking lane on the left, and the sidewalk on the left. At each point I would look for the things I might expect to find there. By doing this, I am unlikely to look-at-but-not-see anything. A lot of people might think that sounds like a lot of intentional thought and time to take merely to scan a roadway, but with practice, it doesn’t take any longer than what drivers do now in glancing across a wide arc, focusing on areas where cars might be, and assuming there will be nothing in between. Try it some time and note the difference.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm

            I totally agree with this comment. Unfortunately, as we both know, such training can only be practical with the next generation of drivers — I see no possibility of mandating a mass retraining of existing drivers.

            In the meantime, we can also try to educate cyclists to be aware of the limitations of others they share the road with, and remind folks to ride defensively (though don’t we all already “know” this?)

            At the risk of sounding like a futurist, I think the real solution will be robot cars — they don’t need to be perfect, just better than the current lot of drivers.

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            • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 8:16 pm

              Yes, training…
              But in the meantime we have our legal system saying quite clearly ONE MORE TIME that I didn’t see him is a perfectly adequate get out of jail free card, even when your actions-that-followed-from-your-not-seeing/not-looking-for-someone-on-a-bike caused you to kill another human being!

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              • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 11:12 am

                I wonder whether people would be motivated to train themselves to look if it were no longer an excuse.

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            • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 11:18 am

              Well, I wouldn’t consider myself part of the “next” generation, but I managed to upgrade my looking ability long after I finished driver’s ed.

              Also there is a certain way to make sure current drivers get additional training and updated education: require it for a license renewal. But I suppose you and I both know that would be politically unfeasible for this generation—or the next. So what do we do just dress like traffic cones, roll the dice and wait for robot cars?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 11:28 am

                There’s obviously a wide spectrum of driver abilities out there. Many drivers are quite good. Others… less so. But making yourself visible and riding defensively seem like smart moves regardless of the quality of our driver training. Interacting with traffic is and always will be a roll of the dice, so better to stack the odds in your favor.

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        • Dan A November 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm

          According to Sgt. David Abrahamson, it matters when applying the VRU law:

          “…what the operator SHOULD have seen, was able to see or should have done come into consideration. Based on the video evidence, it is unclear whether or not Mrs. Friedow WOULD have been able to clearly see Mr. Angeles approaching on his bicycle.

          Failing to yield a left turn is not in and of itself “driv[ing] in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger” a VRU if the judge rules the VRU could not OBJECTIVELY be seen.”

          Considering that this collision happened in the middle of a sunny day and the victim was almost directly in front of Friedow, do you think it’s fairly safe to presume that, objectively, she probably SHOULD have been able to see him?

          Apparently they have NO WAY of finding out if a driver at that intersection should be able to see a cyclist traveling in the opposite direction in broad daylight. SMH.

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        • SD November 10, 2015 at 10:29 pm

          Or, she saw him, misjudged his speed and did what Trimet bus drivers do regularly: drive into his path assuming that he will slow down to avoid a collision.

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    • Paul Atkinson November 10, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      This smacks a bit of tautology. She didn’t see him, *therefore* he couldn’t be seen, so the VRU law does not apply.

      Under what circumstance would it apply? Apparently only deliberate murder…right? “I did see him, and I hit him on purpose” would trigger VRU (among other charges that would dwarf it), but “I didn’t see him” is enough to presume “I couldn’t have been expected to see him.”

      I’m angry.

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  • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Now remains the question: how believable is it that in this case—clear, sunny midday skies with no traffic obscuring Mark—the VRU could not objectively not be seen? Presumably Mark shows up somewhere on these videos… what proves that he was invisible to her for the duration of these clips? That sounds like something the videos themselves might clear up. If there’s any doubt of his visibility in the videos, how could officers conclude such precise information about his speed, stance, and cadence?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      What does “objectively be seen” even mean? By a robot, or by this particular human perception system in this specific time and place?

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      • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 6:29 pm

        As many others have noted, it’s possible Friedow didn’t see Mark/perceive any moving body that could intercept her path because she hasn’t TRAINED herself to see bicycles on roads traveling as fast as cars.

        What can be legally pursued as careless or negligent is deciding Friedow should have reasonably been able to see Mark. With a team of investigators who would sympathize with her, it’s no surprise they decided he was invisible to all opposing traffic.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 12:45 am

          I certainly sympathize with the driver. I mean, who wouldn’t?

          (To be clear, I also have great sympathy for Mark and his family — I don’t see this story as an issue where I need to take sides.)

          (And I think you have mischaracterized what the investigators concluded.)

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          • pink$$ November 11, 2015 at 1:08 am

            I don’t sympathize with her.

            And I’m curious how you think I mischaracterized their final judgment. Insisting Mark was obscured by a tree shadow during the time Jolene would be looking for oncoming traffic is pretty much saying he was invisible to her and excusing any choices she made based on her shoddy collection of visual information.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 11, 2015 at 1:29 am

              They didn’t conclude he was invisible to all oncoming traffic. Only that she didn’t see him, which is a very different thing.

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              • Dan A November 11, 2015 at 6:55 am

                They also concluded that they couldn’t tell whether he should have been seen, which is malarkey.

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    • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      “how believable is it that in this case—clear, sunny midday skies with no traffic obscuring Mark—the VRU could not objectively not be seen? Presumably Mark shows up somewhere on these videos

      Ding Ding! We have a winner!!

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  • oregon111 November 10, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    has anyone considered that the car going 10 mph was in the clear to make the left turn on yellow because it was in the intersection waiting to turn and would be stuck there if the light turned red

    and that the bike was so far away and that the biker could clearly see that the car was turning –but the biker being a militant natsi, made a decision to run the yellow light and cause his own death?

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    • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Godwin’s Law

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      • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        But he wrote natsi; I think that triggers Gudvin’s Law.

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        • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 8:33 pm

          iit stll menes seh lots teh aarghoomunt.

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    • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Have you considered redirecting yourself to oregonlive.com?

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    • B. Carfree November 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      Look upthread. Many of us considered this but discarded it because the normal reaction time of a human would place the cyclist two feet from the intersection by the time he registered the yellow light. Oregon law does not terminate his right of way to proceed under that circumstance, thus he had the right of way over any left turning motorist in the oncoming direction and realistically had no choice but to proceed.

      The motorist, on the other hand, had merely to drive in a somewhat normal fashion and yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. She failed to do so, likely because she couldn’t be bothered to look for traffic that didn’t pose a threat to her (ie, cyclists).

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      • GlowBoy November 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm

        Exactly, B. Carfree!

        28mph = 41 feet per second

        68 feet at 41 fps = 1.66 seconds.

        Standard reaction time = 1.5 seconds.

        NOT ENOUGH TIME TO STOP! If there were any justice at all to this case, Mr. Angeles should still be considered to have had the right of way over an oncoming, left-turning vehicle.

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    • Chris I November 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Yes, he clearly chose to end his life to make a point, you freaking genius.

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    • younggods November 11, 2015 at 12:20 am

      In case it isn’t clear to you… if you’re in the intersection waiting to turn left, and the light turns yellow, open your eyes and look what’s coming before turning. You know, follow the law and yield to oncoming traffic. If you can’t be bothered to do that turn in your keys before you hurt someone.

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    • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      “…it was in the intersection waiting to turn…”

      Well, that’s a bad idea. Committing yourself to a turn before you know you can make it? Stopping in the middle of an intersection without a clear exit? Both of those things are borderline illegal, and discouraged in the driver’s manual, but you consider the truck driver’s behavior perfectly rational?

      Let’s imagine the reverse. Pretend the bicyclist was waiting in the intersection to make a left, and a tow truck was approaching at 28 mph, and the light turned yellow after it would have been safe for the truck to stop. Who would be doing the wrong thing in this scenario: truck driver who proceeds through on the yellow because they can’t safely stop, or a bicyclist who attempts to squeeze a turn in because they don’t want to be stuck in the intersection? Where would the blame lie then?

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    • Pete November 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      “the biker could clearly see that the car was turning”

      Again, can you confirm that the driver was using her turn signal? I can’t count how many times its been asked upthread, but reading goes faster when you don’t sweat comprehension. When you don’t signal that you’re turning left or right, you signal that you’re going straight, and that may be what the biker saw.

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  • Opus the Poet November 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    OK I’m still trying to wrap my head around why “I didn’t see him” was not taken as an admission of guilt when the cyclist died. In the Netherlands “not seeing” a cyclist puts a driver at fault both civilly and criminally. We should have the same standard here.

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    • 9watts November 10, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      Isn’t it interesting.
      Now at least a dozen of bikeportland’s most articulate commenters have all flagged this ‘I didn’t see him‘ exoneration, each in his or her own words and emphasizing different pieces of this legal finding. Is this case any more complicated than this? Is there anything else we need to know to make sense of this? The cops, the DDA, everyone who matters hears this statement and then gives it a little spin: “could not objectively be seen” WTF?

      Why is this so lopsided? Why are all the smart people who comment on bikeportland saying in unison: this is a farce – how can you base this case, this exoneration on those four words, when this is just not good enough, not circumspect enough, not even remotely fair to anyone who happens to share the road with people piloting these machines?

      Let’s pause for just a moment and imagine this had occurred on a rainy night (Brett Lewis?). If Ms. Friedow is free to go on a sunny afternoon with good sight lines in the relevant directions, what possible chance do any of us have to ever get justice when most situations are going to involve poorer visibility?

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      • SD November 10, 2015 at 10:38 pm

        I propose a 4th category to add to reckless, negligent or careless;
        incompetent. Drivers that demonstrate that they are unable to see opposing traffic are incompetent and are liberated from driving.

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        • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 9:16 pm

          Perfect. It doesn’t even have to be a crime; you’re just disqualified. Please leave your keys with the officer at the front desk.

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      • lop November 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Turning into a bike or pedestrian that you didn’t see isn’t a felony on its own. Look at the sort of cases that get prosecuted as crimes. The driver is often doing something to reduce their ability to drive safely. Inebriated. Texting. Off their meds etc…The general public has been convinced that if they do something to reduce their capability to drive safely and hit someone that they have committed a crime. Average joe can respond to that and not take a call when driving. He can say no to that beer. He can stay on his anti-seizure pills. If we’re being honest, I think you, me and even average joe know that even with training he won’t be as good a driver as he should be if he’s going to drive half as much as he does. How should he respond to that? Right now most people not on this site just pretend it isn’t true/accept the inevitable deadly crashes and hope the victim is someone other than them and the people they care about. Because joe wants to pick up his kid at soccer practice, visit his sick aunt, go to work, and pick up groceries all on the same day. He can’t do that where he lives, where the soccer field is, which hospital his aunt is at, where his job is, and where the grocery store is without a car.

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      • Skid November 14, 2015 at 12:46 pm

        “I didn’t see him.” is an admission of negligence.

        There should be some kind of penalty for this if it causes you to injure or kill someone you hit with your car/truck.

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  • BeavertonRider November 10, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    “How can someone be found guilty of a “dangerous left turn” (ORS 811.350) yet not be held criminally responsible for the consequences of that turn? Why was Friedow not cited for careless driving to a vulnerable roadway user?”

    It’s not really hard when you think. If you let your emotions and hatred for cars and those who drive them rule your mind, then, of course, you have intense emotion reactions to such things.

    Perhaps now, with a reasonable explanation in front of them, those people ruled by emotions will think.

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    • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      That’s if you consider the explanation reasonable. Why is there a law that describes a particular behavior as “dangerous”, yet is not considered to “endanger” anyone, especially when it clearly did endanger someone? The law as written does not consider state of mind when describing what constitutes “careless” driving, yet “case law” of some dubious nature must somehow come into play to excuse the driver’s dangerous (yet not likely to endanger) maneuver.

      Don’t ascribe “hatred” and hysteria as everyone’s motivation here when we are attempting to figure out the standards by which operation of dangerous machinery will be judged. I personally don’t care whether or not this particular driver gets cited with one offense or another; what I care about is the shifting definition of what constitutes a “standard of care” that a reasonable person would apply. What are drivers expected to be aware of? What kind of sun-in-my-eyes, looked-at-my-radio, just-didn’t-see excuses are allowed, and when does it encroach into the realm of “carelessness”? Many of us believe that any attention away from the road, or failure to be aware of things approaching your path—things that are visible, regardless of faraway video “evidence”—ought to be considered “careless”—especially if they have such catastrophic consequences.

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      • Alan 1.0 November 12, 2015 at 11:12 am

        I personally don’t care whether or not this particular driver gets cited with one offense or another; what I care about is the shifting definition of what constitutes a “standard of care” that a reasonable person would apply.

        concisely! me too! and, of course, seeing that change propogate through our world into safer streets for everyone.

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  • pink$$ November 10, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Okay, then I guess the real last question is: what about this case is different from Barry Allen’s? He claimed he didn’t see Corkett. There were lots of eye witnesses; some who supported that claim, some who didn’t. What triggered the citation for careless driving to a VRU? I thought the DA bought the possibility that Corkett could’ve been invisible.

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    • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      Allen had priors for careless driving. (not disagreeing with your point, just pointing out things the legal system may look at)

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    • SD November 10, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Corset’s living friend made eye contact with the driver?

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      • SD November 10, 2015 at 10:42 pm

        “Corkett’s”

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  • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    quoting “Keviniano”…

    Thanks Alan, that’s really helpful. This makes me realize that I don’t yet understand what the DA or others are proposing to address this gap we’re all talking about.

    Thank you, too, for your thoughtful posts.

    DA Underhill mentioned that gap in the context of Alistair Corkett’s case. I guess the DA must see any number of other cases which also seem egregious but don’t meet the criteria which existing statutes require for prosecution. This case, Mark Angeles, may not even be among that set of cases that Underhill feels deserve stronger statutes (or it may; I don’t know).

    When I think about something being “criminal”, I think felony. For instance, “decriminalizing marijuana” has often meant making felony crimes into misdemeanors. So when I see terms like “criminal negligence”, I assume some felony-level offense.

    Yes, there’s a lot of that, and I appreciate those who make an effort to be clear and specific about what they mean when they say “crime” or “criminal.”

    (posting “error,” continued below)

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    • Alan 1.0 November 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      So I guess what I was trying to say was that in this case I don’t think this tragedy should result in jail or prison time for the tow truck driver.

      I’d be curious to hear what others would ideally want in terms of a conviction for the driver, with the understanding being that we still don’t have complete information about what actually happened.

      I agree about not sending Friedow to jail or prison. I would like her to complete a comprehensive safe driving class before she continues driving. Every driver should have such a class anyway, periodically even, and anyone who’s work involves driving should have even more training (so, wider range of jobs than current “CDL” reqs). Monetary and/or license suspension penalties might also be appropriate, and I think the traffic safety community service requirement of 811.135 might (or could) have the most long-term effect on careless drivers.

      In general, if a violator had already done that or if she had a bad driving history, then full revocation of driving privileges is probably in order. Continued driving after that…incarceration might eventually be needed. I think that’s the legal gap that DA Underhill was talking about, where chronic traffic violators fail to respond to penalties including suspension, yet the DA doesn’t have laws to pursue bigger penalties.

      I’d also like Friedow’s driving record to reflect more than simply “dangerous left turn” (that sounds like an aggro scooter rider made a cop spill his coffee) so that anyone glancing at it knows she’s had a severe traffic collision, probably even that a fatality was involved. I have concerns over how public those records should be, but some who may have a need-to-know include police in real-time, insurance agents, employers if driving is involved, and car rental services.

      And then – this is where things get complicated – I’d like society at large to stop excusing drivers who crash, and especially those crashes which injure other people. The hypothetical penalties for those crashes seem like enough to make most drivers think twice (see VRU 811.135 Careless Driving penalties, for example), to begin changing perception and culture of road use, but often the laws are not applied. Those laws need consistent and widespread use. The people who wrote the VRU law are smart and legally savvy, and they wrote it to cover many cases such have been discussed on BikePortland, and yet it’s still not widely applied. It was not applied in this case. The words seem to apply, literally, yet due to various legal practices and precedents, and possibly bias, simple ignorance and systematic inertia, it isn’t used as widely as I – and I think the law’s authors – would like. For example, in Jonathan’s post above, Sgt. David Abrahamson of PPB Traffic Division says, “Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User (VRU) is a general, all-inclusive violation with which a wide range of violations may apply. However, judges have ruled differently on its interpretation…” That’s where I think the barrier is, presently, and I think it’s going to take a groundswell of advocacy to move public policy to something safer than what it is now. As I mentioned in another post, presently the process is actually slowly eroding protections of non-motor mode road users. I’ll believe it as I see it actually unfold, but maybe the Vision Zero campaign will turn out to be enough of a movement to make that kind of groundswell progress. And finally, if you haven’t already, read around about strict liability; Wikipedia is a good starting point.

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      • BeavertonRider November 10, 2015 at 11:27 pm

        “And then – this is where things get complicated – I’d like society at large to stop excusing drivers who crash, and especially those crashes which injure other people.”

        Who is or has been dong this “excusing”?

        “The words seem to apply, literally, yet due to various legal practices and precedents, and possibly bias, simple ignorance and systematic inertia, it isn’t used as widely as I – and I think the law’s authors – would like”

        Right. Just because you don’t agree with the outcome, then it must be someone else’s ignorance, bias, or bureaucratic inertia? Perhaps you’d consider that you lack the legal training and discipline to apply laws as they are written? Perhaps you’d consider that it is you that is ignorant or biased?

        Seriously, what’s happening here? When I don’t understand something, I don’t claim that the other person is ignorant, biased, or otherwise defective so that I can rationalize my inability to understand.

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        • are November 11, 2015 at 9:20 am

          what alan said was, “due to various legal practices and precedents, and possibly bias, simple ignorance and systematic inertia.” you zero in on “ignorance,” but that is third on the list, after the word “possibly.”

          what alan is asking for is a shift in cultural norms. it is not as though cultural norms have never shifted in the past, or are not shifting all the time. it was not so long ago automobiles were seen as an unwelcome threat on public roadways. obviously something has shifted.

          ultimately the problem is this. we have finite public space, and multiple modes trying to share it. the [momentarily] existing cultural norms favor the motorized user over all others. this does have to change, and it will change. the question is when, how, and in what directions.

          in theory, we as citizens and users of the commons will participate in those decisions. it probably will not be helpful, going forward, to frame the arguments in terms of “us versus them.”

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        • Chris I November 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

          Pot calling the kettle black.

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      • wsbob November 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm

        A problem that may arise, if it were proposed that Oregon’s VRU (vulnerable road user law, which actually, is an addition to the state’s ‘Careless Driving’ law.) become more exacting in holding responsible, people that drive, for any collision they are involved in and in which the other vehicle was a bike being ridden by someone…is that its expectations could exceed what can be reasonably expected of average persons.

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        • El Biciclero November 11, 2015 at 1:31 pm

          “…expectations could exceed what can be reasonably expected of average persons.”

          Ah. Well, then, that would show that the “average person” is not competent enough to drive. We should perhaps only allow “above average” persons to operate motor vehicles…?

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      • Keviniano November 11, 2015 at 11:44 pm

        Thanks Alan, some great specifics here. I’m totally on board with the safe driving class as a bare minimum, and that the citation she got makes the accident seem trivial when of course it wasn’t. The other options you lay out also make sense to me as tools that may or may not fit here exactly, but should be readily available to the DA.

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  • Dead Salmon November 11, 2015 at 1:46 am

    As I’ve indicated above it sounds like the truck driver is not at fault, or has very little fault compared to the cyclist, BUT, I’d like to see the video from the truck camera and we should know where the camera is mounted on the truck in relation to the driver. That should give an indication as to whether she could see the cyclist or not. HOWEVER, if she was wearing sun glasses she may not have been able to see “into” the tree shadow. IF her truck had a cracked windshield, then perhaps a sun reflection blinded her – no mention of any such thing, but could be a factor; as could a reflection off the trucks engine hood or a reflection off of another vehicle. Those things happen in bright sunlight.

    Were there other vehicles that had stopped at the light that the cyclist was whizzing past in the bike lane? Those could hide him from view.

    Videos please.

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  • David Lewis November 11, 2015 at 2:04 am

    One of the many ridiculous ways American laws are written and interpreted is the idea of the imperative to look versus absolute confirmation of a clear path. In my personal opinion it is criminal to casually disregard absolute confirmation in favor of a quick nod left and right, but time and again this is not how our laws are interpreted. It’s America, and that’s how we do it here.

    Insurance is the fleece blanket that insulates us all from the consequences of taking risks, and for some reason the government has joined the party. With so much death and destruction on our roads, WHY?

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    • 9watts November 11, 2015 at 6:27 am

      “the imperative to look versus absolute confirmation of a clear path”

      Nice!

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  • Sean R-M November 11, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Can someone cite the statute where neither party has right of way? I remember learning in drivers ed that a left turn always has to yield, even if you have to wait until after the light is red to finish the left turn. I think the question about whether the light was yellow long enough to safely stop is a separate issue from right of way. In my opinion the person traveling straight always had row over left turn even if that person enters the intersection late. thanks

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    • Dan A November 11, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Which person is in a motor vehicle?

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  • Scott Kocher November 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

    NYC stats:
    5% of drivers causing pedestrian deaths arrested
    1,300 road deaths, 66 arrests (2008-2012)
    Bellevue Hospital trauma admissions 25% peds, 10% bikes
    67% of peds report having ROW and struck by turning vehicle
    http://freakonomics.com/2014/05/01/the-perfect-crime-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

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  • estherc November 11, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Do I understand that the trucks camera captured the cyclist 100 ft before he entered the intersection but for some reason the driver couldnt see him? I don’t understand that.

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    • Dan A November 11, 2015 at 11:23 am

      What do you mean by ‘see’?

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    • Pat Lowell November 11, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      A human is not a camera. What’s not to understand?

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    • Dan A November 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Apparently it’s really difficult to locate human-sized objects travelling towards you in the 11 o’clock position in the middle of a sunny day. We’re not even sure if it’s objectively possible for an average person to do so.

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  • J_R November 11, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I attended the Wonk Night session with the DA and was really pleased that he offered up a legislative solution that would have allowed a criminal charge in the event of a recurrence of the collision in which Allister Crockett lost his leg. I was ready to put some effort into helping to push that legislation. Now, I’m so discouraged I’ve lost all enthusiasm for spending any time on the issue at the legislature.

    It seems the DA’s office and, especially, the PPB are looking for every possible means of excusing drivers for any incident.

    For the VRU statute to apply, it’s not enough to be careless, but there’s an even higher standard that has to apply to the driver it’s the “careless mental state.” What’s the next interpretation going to be “an intentional careless mental state?”

    We apparently also have a different standard when it comes to vision, recognition and action. Based on the DA’s report, we apparently expect the bicyclist to see and recognize a yellow signal and stop (or at least proceed cautiously through the intersection) in less than two seconds from a distance of 64 feet. For the motorist, we have a much different standard. We apparently excuse the motorist of even having to see the cyclist 64 feet away because we cannot prove that the “VRU could objectively be seen.”

    If we can’t conclude that a motorist should have seen an on-coming cyclist in a bike lane at a signalized intersection at noon in May, we don’t even need a VRU statute.

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    • soren November 12, 2015 at 8:03 am

      In my opinion, the proposed law was of such limited scope that it was akin to a slap in the face.

      Oregon needs a “vehicular assault” law.

      Washington’s Vehicular Assault Law.

      http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.522

      (1) A person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle:

      (a) In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or

      (b) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502, and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or

      (c) With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.

      (2) Vehicular assault is a class B felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

      (3) As used in this section, “substantial bodily harm” has the same meaning as in RCW 9A.04.110.

      [(b) “Substantial bodily harm” means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part;]

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      • El Biciclero November 12, 2015 at 11:17 am

        ORS 811.060
        Vehicular assault of bicyclist or pedestrian

        (1) For the purposes of this section, recklessly has the meaning given that term in ORS 161.085 (Definitions with respect to culpability).

        (2) A person commits the offense of vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian if:

        (a) The person recklessly operates a vehicle upon a highway in a manner that results in contact between the persons vehicle and a bicycle operated by a person, a person operating a bicycle or a pedestrian; and

        (b) The contact causes physical injury to the person operating a bicycle or the pedestrian.

        (3) The offense described in this section, vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian, is a Class A misdemeanor. [2001 c.635 §5]

        Neither of these laws could possibly have been applied in this case, because they involve the prerequisite of “recklessness”, which I don’t think was present here. “Careless”, I would argue for here, but not “reckless”.

        I do have an issue with the wording of Oregon’s version of the law, which I quoted above, and that is that it seemingly cannot be considered Vehicular Assault unless the driver’s action results in contact. Unless there is another hidden cache of “case law” to bring to bear on this statute, a driver may recklessly force a bicyclist to take evasive action which, while avoiding contact with the driver’s vehicle, may result in the bicyclist crashing into something else, or “merely” falling and being injured or having their bike damaged. If a rider is forced to crash by a reckless driver, but the driver’s vehicle never made contact with the bicycle, is it “Vehicular Assault”? Not according to the wording here.

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        • soren November 12, 2015 at 11:29 am

          El Biciclero, The washington law does not require the “reckless” standard. Please note the use of “or” in the text.

          (c) With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.

          Even better, the washington law uses a far more permissive standard when it comes to harm:

          “Substantial bodily harm” means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part

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          • El Biciclero November 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

            Hm. That’s a category we don’t appear to have on our Oregon scale of severity. So “recklessness” would not be required in WA, just to show the driver “disregarded the safety of others”. I wonder how hard that is to show in comparison to Oregon’s “careless”?

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    • wsbob November 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Neither the police or the DA’s office “…excused…” Friedow of not having seeing Angeles on his bike, approaching the intersection. The police investigation sought to determine whether she was reckless or careless in her driving, and found that the evidence indicated she wasn’t either, as specified in Oregon law.

      They looked at the situation from a (quoting DDA Rowan from this story.) “reasonable person standard” and concluded that a reasonable person would not likely have done something different under the circumstances.

      The DA’s office’s feeling about how a judge may decide whether recklessness or carelessness characterized a person’s driving, factored also into the DA’s office deciding not to go to court. That’s where questions about whether a reasonable person, under the circumstances, could have seen someone approaching on a bike, entered into the decision not to pursue.

      They thought a judge may have come to the conclusion that a reasonable person would not have been able to see the approaching bike. To be more certain of what a judge would decide about the circumstances of this collision, maybe the DA’s office, despite their doubts, should have taken the case forward.

      From certain comments to this story, it’s hard to escape thinking that there are people that don’t care whether or not a reasonable person in the situation Friedow was in, could see the approaching bike and rider. Maybe they believe a huge penalty will scare people that drive, into somehow becoming better drivers…assuming that being the case, would have prevented a collision like this one from happening.

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      • SD November 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        Would you like the standard of “what a reasonable person can see” to exclude people on bikes?

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      • El Biciclero November 12, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        If “officer Enz was able to determine that Mr. Angeles traveled 158 feet in 3.8 seconds” by watching the video, it means that Ms. Friedow certainly could have seen him 158 feet away, unless she has vision problems, and had almost four seconds in which to notice him. At the stated 10mph speed (14 fps), it would have taken about a second to cross the oncoming lane and bike lane, and only about a third of that second to move the five feet across Mark’s path that the dent in the truck indicates she did. So depending on when she actually started to accelerate to make the turn, we could almost surmise that she had 3.8 – .34 = three and a half seconds to notice Mr. Angeles and stop prior to encroaching into his path. That’s a long time to have to look around and notice things—things that were visible in the video, which is almost guaranteed to have worse resolution that a human eye (again, unless she has vision problems). Had she noticed him at the last second and stopped a half-second sooner, she likely would not have been blocking the bike lane.

        Stop and count to four, and note how long that takes. Do we really want to hold drivers to such a low “standard of care” that it is unreasonable to expect them to see a clearly visible bicyclist (if video is to be believed) when given a four-count to do it?

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  • soren November 12, 2015 at 11:35 am

    pink$$,

    BikeLoudPDX is organizing a protest at the Multnomah County Courthouse next Thursday focused on the lack of legal action when it comes to the killing and maiming of VRUs. We would like to connect with people at Reed. Any chance you could help me with this?

    Best,
    Soren

    Email: sorenimpey — at — gmail

    (Re-posted at the end of the thread to be more visible.)

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  • Todd Boulanger November 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Perhaps this case will move the discussion forward on two points:
    – if the motor vehicle operator fails to signal their intent to turn (turn signal turned on for a minimum acceptable time period) and also causes injury to a vulnerable roadway user by turning into their pathway should it not rise to the “reckless” threshold? ; and
    – the need to adopt Netherlands style “fault” for motor vehicle operators’ actions when vulnerable roadway users are injured?

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    • Todd Boulanger November 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Perhaps the civil case will investigate whether or not this “professional” motor vehicle operator routinely fails to use (chooses not to use) their traffic signals appropriately or knew that the equipment was faulty (etc.)…

      The ORS defines “reckless” as:

      “Recklessly, when used with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, means that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

      http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.085

      The PPB/DA’s Question should have been: Would not turning left without signalling during a “yellow” unprotected phase from an unprotected lane with a long trailer rise to “reckless” behaviour for a ‘professional’ truck driver?

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    • soren November 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      “– the need to adopt Netherlands style “fault” for motor vehicle operators’ actions when vulnerable roadway users are injured?”

      this is exactly what we need but it probably won’t happen without increased support from the general population (e.g. higher mode share).

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        It’s not reasonable to expect adoption of “Netherlands style fault” without first introducing Netherlands style driver training and licensing standards.

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        • Alan 1.0 November 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

          Gordian solution to chicken-and-egg problem, to make an omelette out of mixed metaphors.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm

            Gordium makes the best chicken omelettes!

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        • Todd Boulanger November 12, 2015 at 2:46 pm

          Yes there would be many steps between those two points…and the adoption [and then active enforcement] of a Vision Zero policy is one of the important first steps.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Also did the PPB fine the driver for not signalling (yet)? under 811.335¹ Unlawful or unsignaled turn penalty. In addition to the other ticket?

    Unlawful or unsignaled turn penalty:
    A person commits the offense of making an unlawful or unsignaled turn if the person is operating a vehicle upon a highway and the person turns the vehicle right or left when:

    (a) The movement cannot be made with reasonable safety; or
    (b) The person fails to give an appropriate signal continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

    (2) Appropriate signals for use while turning are as designated under ORS 811.395 (Appropriate signals for stopping, turning, changing lanes and decelerating) and 811.400 (Failure to use appropriate signal for turn, lane change, stop or exit from roundabout).

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    • 9watts November 12, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Wait, has it been determined that Ms. Friedow did not use her turn signal? I realize several folks have been asking about this and speculating but if there was an answer to this question, I missed it. Anyone?

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      • pink$$ November 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

        http://koin.com/2015/11/06/no-charges-in-crash-that-killed-reed-college-graduate/

        From the KOIN report: “Police and prosecutors also reviewed video from Friedow’s tow truck that recorded the crash. Investigators determined that Friedow legally stopped and executed her left hand turn.”

        Upon first reading this, I decided that “legally stopped and executed her left hand turn” informed us that Friedow used her signal. After reading the DA’s report, I think that understanding is just conjecture. So it still seems like a reasonable question—Jonathan, have you heard anything from any officials about the state of the turn signal for the duration of the incident?

        Also—reading the memo more closely, the witness stopped at Gladstone in the southbound lane noted that Friedow began her turn after all the westbound cars he saw cleared the intersection. Does that suggest to anyone else who read the memo that she assumed the path was clear because she was most likely looking only for motorized vehicle traffic?

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 12, 2015 at 2:25 pm

          I’ve still not heard back on my question to the PPB about her turn signal.

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          • Todd Boulanger November 12, 2015 at 2:50 pm

            Thanks…I was just about to ring you about this.

            If this wait continues past next week…we may have to begin to assume that the PPB does not have an answer to this question (or one they want to share with the general public, if it was an oversight).

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        • are November 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

          anything is of course possible, but it would be fairly unusual for someone stopped in the only through lane waiting to make a left to fail to throw at least an untimely signal. and if all westbound traffic had cleared, ms. friedow would have had a clear view. i am not about punishing people, but it does increasingly appear the d.a. undercharged this.

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  • peter haas November 14, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    “I didn’t see him” seems likely and believable. It’s just sad and unfortunate. Billions spent on stealth technology but apparently all you need is a bike.

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    • pink$$ November 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      What are you even trying to say?

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      • peter haas November 14, 2015 at 9:52 pm

        All to often bike riders don’t even register on car drivers radar (vision)…it’s as if they are present but for some odd reason drivers can’t see them. I don’t know why this is. Maybe it’s because drivers encounter more cars than bikes so they just aren’t looking hard enough. Maybe it’s because there’s basically zero consequence for their actions if they collide with a bike rider and cause serious injury or death. Maybe they are distracted or under the influence. Maybe it’s the sun or shade. I don’t know. But it seems to be a truth. A truth that get’s reinforced every time someone says “I didn’t see them” and lawmakers/juries/DA’s/police/general public says “I believe you.” For me, that’s sad and unfortunate. I wish it wasn’t that way. I often think that if there was more serious consequences that it would sharpen drivers vision…make the “invisible” more visible. My comment about stealth technology is merely a wisecrack to this phenomenon…that the pentagon spends a lot of money trying to create this same cloak of invisibility as a means of delivering death when perhaps all they need is a few hundred dollar bikes.

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        • tedder November 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

          All to[sic] often bike riders don’t even register on car drivers radar (vision)…it’s as if they are present but for some odd reason drivers can’t see them. I don’t know why this is.

          It’s because they aren’t looking for them. They are looking for a car-shaped object.

          Again, this:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

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          • peter haas November 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

            It’s an interesting video. I would find it even more interesting if, on multiple viewings, sometimes I saw the gorilla and sometimes I didn’t. Once I saw the gorilla it was hard to miss it on all subsequent viewings. My guess is Mark Angeles wasn’t the first bike rider Jolene Friedow ever encountered. I’ll even go so far as to guess she has encountered other bike riders numerous times without incident. And yet this encounter had a tragic outcome. This bike rider invisibility phenomenon seems random and unpredictable and I’m still left wondering why.

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