Subscriber Post by Carrie on February 26th, 2016 at 3:12 pm
The Tilikum Crossing is not a normal route for me, though I do ride through the 11th/12th/Gideon area daily. However yesterday I rode from inner SE across the Tilikum and then back again to attend a meeting at PSU. One the West side of the bridge, I nearly hit two pedestrians, once on the way there and once on the way back.
The first person was walking in the sidewalk next to the Moody cycle track and then turned to cross the cycle track (and eventually Moody). This person was intently staring at their smartphone and had earphones in both ears and did not look up as he started walking into the cycle track. Despite my repeated verbal warnings that I was approaching, he did not look up until I was swerving around him (and then he did promptly apologize and realize what he had done).
The second person was walking on the separated walkway at the foot of bridge as I was riding on the green cycle lane headed East. I had the green light as the person approached the crosswalk. The person moved to step into the bikeway with his back to me and luckily jumped out of the way as I went past with a verbal warning (there were at least 2 other cyclists right behind me). This person was also wearing earbuds, if that matters.
These interactions have me thinking about interactions with other users and infrastructure. Was I going to fast? I’m a fast-ish cyclist, but in both cases the walkers walked right into ‘my’ lane without even looking to see if it was clear, and I’m definitely not fastest cyclist on my commute route. How could infrastructure have prevented this – both of these interactions occurred in one of the most painted/signaled/delineated areas of Portland? Really the only conclusion that I came up with is that we need to get our heads out of the clouds/phones/distractions and pay attention to each other as humans.