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Man hit while bicycling near Western Oregon University is last Oregon road fatality of 2015

Posted by on January 4th, 2016 at 10:40 am

hoffmanlead

Hoffman Road near the location where John Shapley died on December 30th.
(Photo: Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

52-year-old John Shapley was biking on a road just north of Western Oregon University on December 30th when he was struck from behind by 41-year-old Daniel Major, who was driving a Mazda sedan. The impact killed Shapley. He was the 441st person to die while using Oregon roads in 2015 — an increase of 25 percent over last year and a 41 percent jump from 2013.

Shapley was killed while biking westbound on the 9000 block of Hoffman Road on the outskirts of the city of Monmouth. The roadway in that section of Hoffman is one lane in each direction with little-to-no paved shoulder. The crash happened at around 6:40 pm.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Shapley was a resident of nearby Independence, Oregon. In a post about the crash on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, Shapley’s 14-year-old daughter has reported in the comments that Major was “drunk” and that her dad had a functioning rear light. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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Shapley was killed just around the corner (less than a mile) from where former Western Oregon University professor Hank Bersani was killed while cycling in 2012. Hoffman Road, where Shapley was riding, was featured as part of the route of the 2015 Cycle Oregon Weekend ride.

“Oregon envisions no deaths or life-changing injuries on Oregon’s transportation system by 2035.”
— From vision statement in ODOT’s Traffic Safety Action Plan.

Four people have died while cycling on Oregon roads this year: Shapley, Martin Greenough and Mark Angeles of Portland, and Tara Manitsas.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Division Manager Troy Costales, this year’s four fatal bike crashes are down from seven fatalities last year*. But that’s the only stat to see a decrease.

Costales shared a breakdown of 2015 numbers and a comparison with 2014.

    — A total of 441 people died while using Oregon roads in 2015, a 25 percent increase over 2014’s 354 fatalities.

    — 76 people died while walking on Oregon roads in 2015, a 38 percent increase over 2014’s 55 fatalities.

    — 57 people died while riding a motorcycle on Oregon roads in 2015, a 24 percent increase over 2014’s 46 fatalities.

If ODOT achieves their current vision, we’re 20 years away from no traffic deaths. A committee working on an update to their Traffic Safety Action Plan has adopted the following statement: “Oregon envisions no deaths or life-changing injuries on Oregon’s transportation system by 2035.”

Speaking of which, we’ve got a great opportunity to get involved with that update. Tomorrow in Portland ODOT kicks off their first of five regional “listening sessions” on their Safety Action Plan. It will be held at their Portland headquarters (123 NW Flanders) from 10:00 am to 12 noon. Learn more here.

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

*UPDATE: There have been more than four fatalities involving bicycle riders in 2015. As a commenter points out below, there was also Austin Crenshaw (no collision, lost control of his bike), Kimberly Wyatt, and Grant Garner. We’re working to get a full accounting of the stats and will update accordingly.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Spiffy
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Spiffy

I don’t remember Tara Manitsas… but just read the article and her husband died of his injuries as well about 10 days later… so that’s actually 5 cyclist deaths…

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesmanjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=175912301

Marshall Guthrue
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Marshall Guthrue

Please change the title to Western Oregon University.

Also, tomorrow is the Monmouth City Council meeting. I am a city councilor. ODOT will be spending next summer doing construction on HWY 99 through the middle of Monmouth. I have been told that bike lanes/sharrows are not part of the plan, despite the road being more than wide enough.

City council meeting is Tuesday, 1/5, in volunteer hall on Warren St. If anyone has a ghost bike that would like to bring by, I will have it placed behind me and clearly visible on camera. There will also be opportunity for public comment.

Please contact me at government@marshallguthrie.com with any questions.

Joe
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Joe

🙁

Hazel
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Hazel

It’s a bummer that every single listening session is during the day when many people will be working. Is this done on purpose by ODOT?

Matti
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Matti

Scheduling a ‘listening session’ for 10am on a workday isn’t very useful, unless you want to listen to your engineering colleagues from down the hall.

Pete
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Pete

My sincerest condolences to Mr. Shapley’s family – what a terrible way to start a new year. 🙁

wsbob
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wsbob

It’s frustrating to see roads with wide shoulders, graveled rather than paved. The reason they’re not paved is obvious: money.

Guessing roughly by looking at the picture of Hoffman Rd at the top of this story, both graveled shoulders of the road would add about another ten or twelve feet of road width to be paved. Plus, cost of work to sufficiently stabilize the roadbed to support pavement. Tiling for the ditch, rather than a simple open drain, may also be required.

And then…even were all that work to be done, a simple painted line designated bike lane so provided, would not be able to prevent DUI motor vehicle users from veering into the bike lane and colliding with people on bikes or on foot.

It still would be very worthwhile to look into the expense involved in providing nice wide paved bike lanes onto wide gravel shoulders of roads that have them.

Marshall Guthrie
Guest

wsbob
It still would be very worthwhile to look into the expense involved in providing nice wide paved bike lanes onto wide gravel shoulders of roads that have them.Recommended 0

I regularly ride this road. It’s the easiest way to get from Monmouth to North Independence. I agree that a little extra space on the shoulders won’t stop every driver, but my perspective is that drivers here rarely leave their lane, to the left or right. I think a big part of this is that the vast minority of auto drivers have ever cycled those same street. I’ve been passed on, the regular, very closely despite not having any vehicle in the adjacent lane that a driver could pass into. They don’t feel anything, safe in their autos, when passing a bike at 40 mph and less than 24 inches, where the cyclist has a near-death experience. It’s simply a lack of understanding. This is why I often ride well in the lane when there is no/insufficient space on the shoulder for the safe passage of a cyclist or pedestrian. This forces the auto driver to slow or pass using the open lane rather than brushing me at full speed.

Knowing this road, this accident was a combination of driver neglect/lawlessness and poor infrastructure including pavement, marking, and lighting. It’s a damn travesty and I’m sorry sorry for John’s family and friends. I hope that our government, federal and state, will do something about it.

soren
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soren

If you do not have time to attend the ODOT Open House please comment on their woefully inadequate Ped/Bike Plan.

http://odotbikepedplan.publicmeeting.info/

My take:

The draft plan does not adequately develop infrastructure guidelines/recommendations, does not adequately address funding, and does not develop a comprehensive vision zero plan. In particular, the plan should specifically outline safety and multi-modal level of service requirements based on road design and road speed.

9watts
Subscriber

The photo of the car with the crushed bike demands, I think, a bit more explanation. The bike’s front wheel is under the car’s front left wheel – not a particularly common scenario, or?

so...
Guest
so...

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/01/portlands_2015_homicide_list_g.html

Yet 34 people were killed last year and no one on this site cares.

Linda
Guest
Linda

“an increase of 25 percent over last year and a 41 percent jump from 2013”
This is not Vision Zero. This is Vision Gain, and should be unacceptable.

Marshall Guthrie
Guest

Less than a week ago, on December 30, a member of our community, John Shapley, was killed on Hoffman Road while cycling after being struck from behind by the driver of an automobile. I would ask everyone to keep John Shapley, and the family and friends who mourn his death, in their thoughts.
Last night, I spoke as a cyclist, citizen, and Monmouth City Councilor about what we can do to make our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Below is a video of my statement, and the ensuing conversation. I will uphold the three principles outlined, and not back down when issues of safety are de-prioritized.

Video: https://youtu.be/4tAtqdLWDuA?t=34m30s

Written Statement: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gW7OSJuJU_P5vYewE0ZvlpQua9PFDDuihvXavhdWX6I/edit?usp=sharing

I’ve also been in contact with a reader from Corvallis who coordinates a local Ride of Silence. We will be stationing a ghost bike at various spots in town and the next council meeting, to draw attention to the death of John Shapley and others, rally for better cycling infrastructure, and promote the Ride of Silence on May 18th.

rain waters
Guest
rain waters

Although land is generally flat here in the Willamete valley, shoulders have deep ditches to accomodate heavy runoff. Sometimes challenging with no bike lane and steadily increasing HEAVY truck traffic moving tons of hay for export. Corvallis is an oasis of sane cycling surrounded by a proportional measure of ‘murican dream insanity. Take care out there.

Marshall Guthrie
Guest

The Ghost bike is up in front of City Hall: https://goo.gl/photos/QN9h7o1jwMesFdhf8

For at least the next 7 days, the bike will be moved to high-visibility locations and locations of significance for cyclists. This will culminate with its final appearance at the January 19 council meeting at 7pm in Volunteer Hall behind City Hall in Monmouth.

On February 2, council is scheduled to hear a presentation from ODOT detailing the work to be done in Summer 2017 on Hwy 99. I’m hoping that we might be able to have the bike at that meeting as well.

Again, a huge thank you to Ray in Corvallis. I won’t clog the comments with updates. For daily pictures, and to engage, go to facebook.com/marshalljguthrie, or communicate directly with the cities of Monmouth and Independence, Polk County, and ODOT.