Gresham police say 10-year-old boy’s death on Burnside is “horrible accident”

Posted by on March 29th, 2016 at 11:57 am

View of Burnside eastbound at 162nd. Shbeb was crossing from the light rail station on left when he was hit.

East Portland is once again reeling after the death of a young person who was using the street while not in an automobile. It’s already being called an accident, but there’s reason to think more deeply than that label usually allows.

Just 10 days ago 17-year-old Austin Hrynko died after being hit by a man driving drunk on SE Center Street near Powell Butte. Then yesterday afternoon just three miles north of where Hrynko was hit, 10-year-old Jaafar Shbeb was struck and killed by a woman driving a car as he tried to cross East Burnside.

Yesterday’s tragedy happened just a block or so across the Portland/Gresham border at 162nd. There’s a light rail line in the middle of Burnside at this location which makes the street relatively narrow.

Here’s the view from the crosswalk looking south:

And here’s the aerial view for context:

For the latest update, see the statement below released this morning by the Gresham Police Department:

Horrific Accident Claims Life of Young Boy

East County communities are mourning the loss of a 10-year-old boy, killed yesterday at 4:16 p.m. when he inadvertently stepped into the pathway of a vehicle on Burnside St. The crash was witnessed by a Gresham police officer who happened to be patrolling the area at that time.

Advertisement

Six weeks shy of his eleventh birthday, Jaafar Shbeb was walking south on NE 162nd Ave. with his sister and a friend. The group stopped in the middle of Burnside, in the crosswalk portion of the eastbound MAX platform. Their light was red, as was the crosswalk sign, when Shbeb started to cross the southern portion of the road.

Investigators believe Shbeb was not paying attention to the flow of traffic when he stepped into the roadway and was struck by an eastbound 2008 Nissan Rogue. The car’s driver, Deanna Kurtzbein, 59, of Gresham, had no time to stop or alter her path before hitting Shbeb. Kurtzbein remained at the scene and cooperated fully with the investigation. The crash has been ruled an accident and Kurtzbein is not facing arrest or citation.

Shbeb was attending nearby Glenfair Elementary School. Along with his family, Kurtzbein, and all who witnessed this tragedy, Glenfair is also in mourning. Working with Glenfair’s principal Lisa McDonald, Reynolds School District has extra counselors on site at multiple schools to help friends and schoolmates of Shbeb process this incident. Glenfair has brought a therapy dog to the school and will be talking with students about traffic safety as part of their healing process.

This is gut-wrenching on many levels. I have a 10-year old daughter who walks to school and hangs out on the streets in our neighborhood with her siblings and friends. This morning I watched her and my 13 and 5-year-old all walk down our street to school and my stomach churned as I thought about what Jaafar Shbeb’s family must be going through.

But my sadness won’t stop me from seeing the bigger picture.

Memorial for Jaafar.
(Photo: Cory Poole)

The activist in me cringes when authorities call this a “horrible accident.” We constantly preach around here that it’s “crash not accident.” However, I also know how dominant cultural norms work. In this case the off-duty officer who saw what happened, the media who covered it, and everyone else who responded, see the situation through the eyes of the driver, Ms. Kurtzbein. That happens because they, as people who use the roads primarily with an automobile, see themselves in her shoes. Then, when a driver is remorseful, cooperates with police and “remains at the scene,” a strong empathetic impulse takes over. Police agencies also foresee the public outcry that occurs when tragedies like this happen. The empathy combines with this public relations instinct and an inertia builds to establish a narrative that absolves everyone. The entire situation is then engulfed in the halo of sensitivity our culture gives to “horrible accidents.”

“There’s just nothing we can do about it,” is the feeling the powerful cultural norm wants you to have. Do your grieving, it demands, then go back to business as usual.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people and split-second decisions can have life-altering consequences. I get that. But if we dismiss traffic crashes like this as simply an “accident” we do an injustice to victims like Jaafar Shbeb and the others like him that we’ll mourn in the future.

Streets — especially ones with public transit stations adjacent to them! — are places. They are not solely for driving on and moving through. And they are owned by all of us — whether we’re inside or outside of a car. Speed and power does not give one road user any more right to these places than another (“might does not make right” is a phrase I often think of).

Some people are shocked when I tell them I don’t teach my children to fear the streets. Respect, yes. But fear? No. I teach my children to see streets as beautiful places where people can come together to do wonderful, life-affirming things. Yes, we often drive on them; but we also bike on them, play catch on them, do chalk art on them, have parties on them, and so on. And we should all expect that this street — this place — where Jaafar and his friends were hanging out after school should not be so inherently dangerous that a momentary lapse of attention would lead to someone’s death.

Just because we’re told this was an “accident” doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to ask questions about our transportation culture. In fact, it should cause us to ask even harder ones and demand even better answers.

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

BikePortland can’t survive without subscribers. It’s just $10 per month and you can sign up in a few minutes.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

203 Comments
  • Adam H.
    Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    That is honestly some of the worst victim-blaming drivel I have ever read in my life. Shame on Gresham Police.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Can a pedestrian ever be responsible for being hit by a car?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Adam H.
        Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        Can a gunshot victim ever be to blame for being shot?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          dwk March 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

          Ridiculous analogy, but carry on…..

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

            Why is it ridiculous? Roughly the same number of people in the US are killed per year from gun violence as from traffic violence. Many of us want harsher controls for both owning a gun as well as operating a motor vehicle. Both require a great responsibility from the owner to operate in a safe manner.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Tim March 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm

              Actually the number of vehicular deaths are far higher than gun deaths, about 25 k vs nearly 40K and over 50% of the gun deaths are suicide. Also the gun deaths are concentrated in a relatively small population related to gangs and drugs. Therefore, if you are not involved in drug dealing, gangs or an abusive relationship, your chance of being murdered is about zilch, Your chance of being killed by a driver is considerably higher.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                meh March 30, 2016 at 7:09 am

                and 85% of vehicle deaths are the occupants of the vehicles.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                paikiala March 30, 2016 at 8:58 am

                source?
                Portland data from ODOT records found the 10 year averages as:
                63% auto occupants
                31% pedestrians
                6% cyclists

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              nuovorecord March 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm

              I wasn’t aware of a spate of gunshot victims walking into the paths of speeding bullets.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Damon March 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm

              Please take a step back and gain a little perspective. Of the information that has been made available, it appears that the driver was not driving recklessly as witnessed by a law enforcement officer. The child stepped out into a roadway while facing a no walk signal. What do you expect a motorist to do in this situation? Do you have actual evidence that she did something negligent to contribute to is situation or are you assuming that since she was operating a motor vehicle that she is somehow inherently at fault? Your comparison with someone stepping in front of a bullet just show that you are not actually being serious and implying that driving a car is akin to shooting someone is pathetic. I face aggressive drivers on a daily basis, but not every motor vehicle involved collision is the drivers fault. Your comment is just as offensive as all of the dribble that gets spewed on Oregonlive by anti bike people.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm

                Of the information that has been made available, it appears that the driver was not driving recklessly as witnessed by a law enforcement officer.

                We don’t have that info so we can’t infer anything. Which is exactly the problem. The driver remained at the scene, so they are automatically absolved of blame. We have lots of info about what the victim was doing but literally one sentence about the driver.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                paikiala March 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

                BS. Gresham police reported that information in the story.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 3:38 pm

                Okay, how about some different analogies:

                If traffic violence was an infectious disease that was killing 30,000 people annually, the CDC would be frantically scrambling for a cure and issuing prevention notices.

                If a business’ product was killing 30,000 people a year, there would be massive lawsuits form OSHA and calls for the CEO and leadership team to step down.

                If any other transportation method was causing 30,000 deaths annually (say, rail) there would be calls from the FRA for a massive safely overhaul and installation of PTC nation-wide.

                If bridge collapses were killing 30,000 people a year, USDOT would be pouring billions into fixing our crumbling infrastructure.

                But why are 30,000 people dying from car crashes just a cost of doing business?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                lop March 29, 2016 at 5:18 pm

                >If a business’ product was killing 30,000 people a year

                You mean like cigarettes and alcohol? I don’t see any frantic effort to reduce either. In case you or anyone else is intent on blaming the victims of addiction to substances for their death/suffering, know that second hand smoke kills 40k+ per year.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A March 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm

                You’re short 8,300 people.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Kathleen McDade March 30, 2016 at 11:22 am

                Maybe the driver was following all the rules. She might have been going 35 MPH. What if she had been required to go 20 mph instead? How might that have changed things? Even if it’s not HER fault, maybe it IS the fault of our car-centric culture, rather than just a tragic accident.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A March 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm

                Was she following Oregon’s Basic Speed Rule? Are the Gresham Police aware of the Basic Speed Rule?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Scott March 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

          Yes

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 29, 2016 at 1:08 pm

          Certainly.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          AC March 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm

          If you walk out into the middle of a rifle range, expect to be shot.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Paul Atkinson March 29, 2016 at 1:19 pm

            If you see a kid downrange, hold your fire.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm

            That’s hard not to do when there is a rifle range every 200 feet and you must cross multiple rifle ranges to get to school or work.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Tim March 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm

              good point and if this child had been shot on a gun range it would be national news. Since it was a vehicle on the street, it is so common and acceptable that it is just another page 3 accident.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              AC March 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

              That’s not hard to do when there are designated crossing points where everything stops for you to cross. It’s amazing how so many people manage to do this every day without incident.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            rick March 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm

            Gresham doesn’t need more freeways and dead-end streets.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 7:44 am

            Ah. I raised this question in a post from a while ago (can’t remember which one): To what should we compare streets in order to find an acceptable analogy that we can use to think about them? Are streets a “rifle range”? Are they more like a construction site, where heavy machinery is in use by “professionals” and everybody else had better wear hard hats and stay back? Are they like a football stadium where the “big boys” are playing football (American style) and anybody who doesn’t want to get hurt had better stay on the sidelines? Are they like a gladiatorial combat ring? A raceway? A zoo with wild animals roving about in their cages? A “shark tank”?

            We need to make streets into a different kind of place where the default activity isn’t compared to lethal arms training or mortal combat. What if streets were like parks? Like a museum? Like a playground? Like the mall?

            I don’t know what the “right” conceptualization is, but “rifle range” sounds like we could do much better.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts March 30, 2016 at 7:51 am

              The now justly famous movie made from the front of a streetcar ambling down Market St. in San Francisco just before the 1906 Earthquake gives an idea of how multimodal traffic once worked in this country (could in theory work again). It wasn’t a park or a museum, but the playground analogy might come closest. It is certainly different than what we’ve come to expect.
              Here’s the link again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q5Nur642BU

              Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      So, a trained professional is on scene and witnesses the crash, and his account not to be believed?
      What, exactly, does it take for you to consider the pedestrian to be at fault in a crash?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Alex Reedin March 29, 2016 at 1:20 pm

        The pedestrian was at fault… And also the transportation department in charge of the infrastructure that allowed driving that fast in that environment.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • John Liu
          John Liu March 29, 2016 at 4:56 pm

          You say “that fast” – what do you know about the car’s speed? I don’t see any mention of excessive speed or any speed estimate at all. If a pedestrian steps out in front of a moving car, the pedestrian can be killed even if the car is not going fast at all.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            John Lascurettes March 29, 2016 at 5:28 pm

            Define “excessive speed” because I think what’s being said here is that for the environment as designed, the posted speed limit (willing to bet it’s over 20mph) should be lower.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Stephen Keller March 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

              The speed limit along Burnside between 158th and 182nd is signed at 35 mph. That seems high for transit corridor where folks regularly exit trains in center islands and high-density housing has been developed along both sides of the street. Is Burnside still considered part of highway 30? If so, changing the speed limits may take ODOT intervention.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Middle of the Road guy March 30, 2016 at 2:20 pm

              that speed seems to work pretty well when pedestrians don’t make bad decisions.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Kathleen McDade March 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm

                The pedestrian was a child. Yes, we are supposed to teach our kids to stay out of the street. But what’s more important to us as a society? Allowing drivers to go faster, or protecting children?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A March 30, 2016 at 2:59 pm

                All speeds work great until they don’t.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Alex Reedin March 29, 2016 at 8:57 pm

            Well, I know that intersection, and I believe the speed limit on Burnside is about 35 mph there, and most people drive around the speed limit or a little faster, so that’s my guess at “that fast” without other information.

            Also, the child died, which strongly indicates that the vehicle was driven at a speed higher than 20mph. A 95% of people survive being hit by a 20mph vehicle. Almost half die if someone pilots a 30mph vehicle into them, and about 80% die if someone hits them with a 40mph vehicle.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              meh March 30, 2016 at 7:13 am

              Does that take into account that this was a child and the vehicle was an SUV, which puts grill height at head height, making it a very different collision than a car adult one, which would put the point of impact at hip level.

              An impact at the head/neck area results in more fatal injuries at lower speeds.

              So using general statistics doesn’t really work.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Alex Reedin March 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

                Hey, I’m just going with the best info I’ve got. If you have hung out at that intersection, you know that it’s likely that the car was piloted at 30mph or greater. The only time cars go slower in general is at the start of a green signal. The police officer talked about the child not paying attention to “the flow of traffic” not “the traffic signals” so it seems likely that the signal had not just turned green.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

              Alex,

              How did ‘the transportation department’ ‘allow’ the person to drive that fast?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A March 30, 2016 at 9:27 am

                How fast?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Spiffy March 30, 2016 at 1:47 pm

                multiple factors including a wide open roads capable of those speeds and speed limits allowing those speeds… it’s easy to design a road that you can’t easily go over 20-25 mph on…

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                paikiala March 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm

                out of context. Look again at *this* road. it is a one lane road with a bike lane, maybe 18 feet wide. The pedestrian only has to concentrate on one direction of traffic to find a safe gap, regardless of whether or not he had the right of way.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Alex Reedin March 31, 2016 at 9:28 pm

                The bike lane is about 5 feet wide, and the traffic lane is about 12 feet wide. The traffic lane feels wide to begin with, and the adjacent bike lane makes it feel even wider. That’s a big reason people speed on this road (certainly, there’s a huge cultural factor too).

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 31, 2016 at 10:17 pm

                On street parking opposite the bike lane would probably counteract some of that wide feeling and help slow traffic.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Mark M March 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        Bahaha… “a trained Professional” that is rich!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        B. Carfree March 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm

        Oh, I missed the part about there being a trained professional on site. I thought I read about an off-duty Gresham cop, but I guess I misread it.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Tim March 30, 2016 at 8:23 am

        I have never found placing blame effective. While identifying the child crossed against the light is factual, assigning blame to the child and exonerating the driver is neither helpful or the role of law enforcement.

        Instead of asking who is to blame, assigning punishment and moving to the next case, ask what can be done different?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Opus the Poet March 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    This was a wreck (crash, whatever) that the driver was not at fault and had no way to avoid. Sometimes pedestrians do stupid things around cars, or bicycles. Sometimes cyclists do stupid things around pedestrians or cars.

    We can’t blame drivers for the fact that cars kill, even when drivers are doing their best to not kill or injure anyone most of the time. The facts that cars are killing a larger number of pedestrians and cyclists every year means we need to do more to prevent cars from killing now that we have protected the occupants as much as is feasible.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Paul Atkinson March 29, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      While the driver has no legal fault here, could she have prevented this accident?

      For example, what if she weren’t driving as fast as she was (however fast that might have been, above or below the speed limit)? Perhaps she’d have had time to stop.

      What if she’d been more cognizant of her surroundings and seen young children on the median? Perhaps she’d have been more cautious and watched for the kind of impulsive movement made by children sometimes, and therefore been ready when that movement occurred.

      What if the street had traffic calming infrastructure that kept cars moving more slowly? Perhaps she’d have had time to stop, or at least to slow enough to injure rather than kill.

      None of this should be read as blaming the driver, but rather to suggest that we can still look to improve safety from the driver’s perspective (that is, the one who represents the lion’s share of the danger even when not at fault).

      Sometimes pedestrians do stupid things. We can work to ensure those things don’t result in drivers killing people.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts March 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

        And let’s not forget that the police exonerated Frank Bohannon in exactly the same manner when he killed Kerry Kunsman with his truck out on the Coast, saying speed was not a factor, when it clearly was a factor.

        Thank you, Jonathan, for a very thoughtful piece. I look forward to the day when we take Vision Zero seriously and recognize the hundreds of little and not so little cues that normalize this sort of thing (and which you are highlighting).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        was carless March 29, 2016 at 2:12 pm

        Certainly! Watch for kids as you drive, and if you see them, slow down and expect them (or anyone else, really) to jump out in front of your car.

        Its called “defensive driving.” Everyone should exercise it. Motorcyclists are definitely trained to ride and view the world this way… its kind of a philosophical view of life.

        Expect and prepare for the worst to happen, and act accordingly. Don’t drive like everyone is going to get out of your way.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Todd Boulanger March 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      The term would be collision…as in the pedestrian struck an automobile during this collision…better than “horrible accident” would be the term “unintentional death”. But I would wait until the evaluation is completed.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tim March 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

      I think “cars are killing” says it all. Was this one of those new self driving cars.

      By assigning responsibility to an inanimate object we don’t need to change our behavior as drivers.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Brad March 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Based on the known facts of the investigation, this is a terrible tragedy and the death is accidental. The kid crossed when he didn’t have the signal and the driver didn’t have time or space to alter her path. I understand your emotion but I get the sense that you want to place blame on something or someone other than accept that the victim was inattentive and/or made a poor choice. Traffic culture? Seriously?

    Why must we always find a scapegoat? Mourn the victim and wish healing for his family, the driver that must live with this memory, and those traumatized by witnessing such a horrible demise. Sometimes, bad stuff just happens.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Adam H.
      Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      The press release is just awful:

      They call it an “accident”. He “stepped into the pathway of a vehicle” (blaming the victim for encroaching on auto space). He was “not paying attention”. Was the driver paying attention? How fast was she driving? We have none of this info, other than she stayed at the scene, as if that absolves her of blame.

      He was “was struck by an eastbound 2008 Nissan Rogue”. No, he was struck by a PERSON driving a car. Cars don’t drive themselves.

      Gresham Police will be “talking with students about traffic safety”, effectively victim-blaming the entire school. Why not talk to drivers instead and tell them to watch out for kids?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        paikiala March 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        Adam
        All great questions, but it seems to me you have made opposite conclusions based on the same lack of information you criticize others for doing.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        dwk March 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        As Usual, you are hysterical.
        Discussing traffic safety with kids is “victim blaming”?
        Geez…….

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Paul Atkinson March 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

          Discussing it with kids *but not with drivers* is unbalanced in favor of putting more responsibility on the victim. While the driver was operating her vehicle within the law, she (and other drivers) are the ones with the deadly weapons; should no education be pointed their way in response to this fatal crash? None? Keep doing what you’ve been doing?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            dwk March 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

            Of course drivers need the same discussions, but kids are kids and I wish to god this one had remembered to “look both ways”

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Adam H.
              Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 1:17 pm

              Kids will be kids. That’s why it’s imperative to drive and ride around them with extreme caution.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                dwk March 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

                And it is also imperative that 10 year olds learn to be cautious and attentive around traffic. This is not “victim blaming”, it is education.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                matheas michaels March 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

                Actually, that is the just about as close to the definition of victim blaming as you can get. Telling people how not to get hit by cars because their safety is their responsibility and their responsibility only instead of telling people in cars not to run people over is absolutely victim blaming. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for education programs promoting safety and teaching kids to use crosswalk signals and all that, but the group that could reduce traffic deaths the most is not pedestrians, it’s people driving cars. Our society is big on victim blaming, because it’s generally the dominant culture/ideology that is marginalizing a less dominant group, and they need justification of that marginalization. That is why women get blamed for being sexually assaulted, and little kids get blamed for being killed by someone in a car. Plus it’s way easier to point the finger at an individual than to demand systemic change.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks Brad. I hear you. Like I said I have mixed feelings. Part of me wants to do what you prescribe, part of me wants to find a scapegoat.

      I’m still trying to find some clarity. In the meantime, I thought it was important to share my thoughts on this and I hope you’ll give me the space to do that.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      It also feels a bit phony to me to have all these electeds and advocates shouting Vision Zero! There are no accidents! All crashes are preventable! And then there’s silence when there’s a crash like this one on Burnside.

      Do we accept traffic accidents or not? That’s the question I’m thinking about it. My gut says no. To accept one is to accept all. Can’t have it both ways.

      And refusal to accept accidents doesn’t mean that someone involved in the collision must be to blame. I’m way beyond making this a personal attack situation. What if sometimes the system is more to blame than either party in a collision? I’m looking at the system overall. There is blame in the system. Finding it and fixing it is how fewer people will die.

      UPDATE: And here’s the language from PBOT’s Vision Zero FAQ page:

      Vision Zero is a traffic safety philosophy that rejects the notion that traffic crashes are simply “accidents” but instead preventable incidents that can and must be systematically addressed.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Adam H.
        Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        This crash occurred in Gresham. What is PBOT supposed to do here? While I’d like to see them condemn this crash, it is technically out of their jurisdiction.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 29, 2016 at 12:37 pm

          i’m commenting on VZ and activism in general Adam. I know this is not in PBOT’s jurisdiction and I’m not criticizing them for this crash.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm

            Fair enough. FWIW, I do think there are Vision Zero implications for this crash. Every crash is preventable and there are certainly things that could be done to this intersection to make it safer.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              gutterbunnybikes March 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm

              No! not every collision is preventable. The vast majority of them are. Driver or bicycle rider has a stroke, heart attack, seizure etc… while operating a vehicle. Mechanical failures of equipment – which though is mostly preventable with regular maintenance, however – there are instances where manufacturers have left faulty parts in cars because it’s cheaper to settle than to recall or there are occasional faulty parts not caught in the manufacturing process.

              And that doesn’t even get into things like intentional incidents like suicides, road rage, or people throwing themselves into traffic way to make some money on insurance claims and court costs (happens much more often than most of you think – taxis and delivery vehicles are often targets because it is known they have insurance for bigger and faster payouts).

              It isn’t nearly as simple you portray it. Every collision has a story and they aren’t all the same.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Paul March 29, 2016 at 5:21 pm

                A self-driving car would probably have been able to avoid this collision, given their much faster reflexes and indefatigable attentiveness. So in the future, this kind of collision will be avoided.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              JeffS March 29, 2016 at 11:47 pm

              See, you’ve gone too far now.

              Statements like “every crash is preventable” make us all yearn for a mute button.

              You can argue a fringe position. You can camp out on the fringe 99% of the time. But when you appear to lose touch with reality, you lose all credibility. Is this hyperbole, or a serious argument? I can never tell.

              You ask somewhere else why we’ve accepted deaths as the cost of doing business. It’s because that’s exactly what our society considers it. The cost of doing business. The business of selling gas; selling cars, selling houses; supporting a Walmart in the burbs, shoes on alder; or wings on division.

              Even the most extreme advocates on bikeportland start every road plan with an assumption of on-street parking. Some even go so far as to argue that blocking sight lines of both motorists and pedestrians is an act of safety.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            paikiala March 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

            Common misperceptions about VZ and crashes.
            Not every crash is an accident, but some are. They are just so rare that the use of the word in the media and everyday discussion is illogical and excuses the events as unavoidable.

            Every crash is not preventable in that our society would not accept the limitations on freedom required to make every crash preventable.

            Gates at dangerous crossings…nope.
            Blanket 20 mph speed in the city…nope.
            Percent of income scaled penalties for moving violations…nope.
            Federally mandated speed governors controlled by external transponders…nope.
            Four hour license exams…nope.
            Forfeiture laws for negligent driving…nope.
            Zero tolerance for drunk driving…nope.
            Free transit…nope.
            Removal of parking for safety projects….nope.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

              Thanks paikiala.

              I appreciate your insights and perspective on this topic. Very helpful.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts March 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm

              Why leave it up to a popular vote whether license exams should take four hours? Do you think other countries flipped a coin or took a poll when deciding that driving privileges should be hard and expensive to acquire?

              I couldn’t care less whether some of those things on your list are ‘popular’. Why is that even the relevant measure? Who is in charge here?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                are March 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm

                apparently we cannot achieve everything we want if we are hobbled by this whole mass democracy anachronism

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 29, 2016 at 9:03 pm

                Vote Trump!

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts March 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

                Are you suggesting that in countries where licenses are much harder to acquire they have less democracy than we here do?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                rachel b March 29, 2016 at 10:03 pm

                Har! Kitty. 🙂

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              SD March 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm

              Equating speed with freedom. This is a triumph of the automobile industry and is absolutely ridiculous.

              Common misperceptions about VZ: There are mindsets in “our society” that are immutable.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Robert Chapman March 29, 2016 at 6:58 pm

              Personally I would support most if not all of the ideas on your list paikiala.

              This horrific incident supports the notion of Vision Zero requiring a multi-pronged approach. If you keep reminding us, it will sink in eventually.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 30, 2016 at 12:49 am

                Swing gates at the crossing!

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Alex Reedin March 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

              I know that politics is THE barrier to transportation departments addressing these issues, and that citizen activism and gaining of political power is 90% of the solution. But, I wonder if more could be done from the inside as well. Can’t the employees and directors do something to influence the politics that requires them to allow dozens of people to be killed annually on their watch, and probably thousands more to die early because of insufficient exercise partially because of bad biking and walking conditions?

              The Portland Police Bureau and union make overt attempts to influence the discourse and funding. Labeling so many incidents “gang violence” with no strong evidence thereof. Union-funded ads (out-of-touch as some are). I see nothing of the sort from PBOT. Where is the report from the director’s office spelling out how Vision Zero can only be achieved with willingness to do the things you’ve laid out? Where are the political machinations from the employees’ unions to finally get sufficient funding for the bureau? Can the grassroots get a little help here from the people whose life work this is?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC March 29, 2016 at 1:42 pm

            Actually, the west side of the intersection is, in fact, in Portland and managed jointly by PBOT & Trimet. True, the child was killed on the East Side, but PBOT could do something about it, such as downgrade the street to allow speed bumps, put in 20 mph limit signs, etc. In fact the driver was in PBOT-land just prior to hitting the child.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:09 am

              False. The city boundary, per GIS, is midblock between 160th and 162nd, there is no 161st. This puts the intersection midpoint 330 feet east of the city boundary.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Tim March 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm

            Isn’t there an Oregonian law concerning vehicles responsibility to stop when a pedestrian appears to be attempting to cross at an intersection, regardless of traffic control?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:10 am

              As well as a pedestrian not stepping out in front of a vehicle with no time to stop and obeying a traffic control device (pedestrian signal).

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 2:20 pm

              No. Legally, it doesn’t matter what a pedestrian appears to intend to do; they must place some “part or extension of the pedestrian, including but not limited to any part of the pedestrians body, wheelchair, cane, crutch or bicycle,…onto the roadway”.

              The law also states that a pedestrian must not leave a place of safety and enter the path of a motor vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. The only way any vehicle can stop instantly is to run into a brick wall or an oncoming, larger vehicle—the law can’t place all blame on drivers who might truly be unable to stop in time. Although we could require irrefutable proof of the impossibility of stopping in time before we automatically let drivers off the hook…

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A March 30, 2016 at 3:06 pm

                Right. Maybe she actually couldn’t have stopped on time. Maybe he was hidden behind a pole until the last possible second. But I have a hard time taking the word of the police in these matters when they just say ‘she couldn’t avoid him’. Recent history leads me to believe that they are very skilled at finding reasons to exonerate drivers who just weren’t driving carefully enough.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Glen March 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

        Design and engineering for safety and shared use is sorely needed all over the region. Like you, my kids of similar age walk to school. At least part of their journey is on a collector level street in SW Portland with ZERO sidewalks. I worry every day as I ride or drive by and see kids walking the shoulder. They should be free to laugh and joke as they walk, not having to worry about a distracted driver wandering onto the shoulder.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Paul Atkinson March 29, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      I have hope and belief that this kind of crash is preventable if people of good will and competence get together and decide to stop it from happening. That attitude is theoretically encapsulated in Vision Zero, though I’ve seen too little action on that.

      I won’t retype my response just above (to Opus the Poet), but it could as easily have been a response to your own comment. That the driver has no legal responsibility for this crash is without doubt; that more could be done to make driving safer, and potentially prevent these crashes in the future, is also not in doubt.

      We’re not looking for a scapegoat. We’re looking for a solution.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      SD March 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Evaluating a tragic event for contributing factors is not scapegoating, it is the way we make roads safer. There are many examples of poorly designed infrastructure next to Trimet facilities and I am curious if improvements could be made at this cross walk. Are pedestrian and driver sight lines blocked by the light poles? Is the speed limit too high for this area? Are the walk signals clear?

      “Inattentiveness and poor decisions” is a normal state of affairs for a 10 year old. Our facilities should be designed to accommodate children and adults who make mistakes. The “traffic-culture” perspective would be to walk away from this event thinking that occasional deaths are a valid price to pay for fast driving. And, while “bad stuff happens” is the official slogan of ODOT, it is not a way to eliminate traffic deaths. It is mental laziness. Of course, traffic deaths will always be possible, but we shouldn’t confuse possible with our current tolerance for the death and suffering of vulnerable road users.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts March 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        Well said!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Dan A March 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

        Exactly why this story is so frustrating. It’s like they’ve already decided that nothing is wrong, and nothing can be done!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      El Biciclero March 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      No doubt this was an unintentional incident, but as Jonathan notes, to say that there’s nothing we can do about it smacks of a “force of nature” attitude toward streets and car traffic, when in fact, the entire system was designed by conscious humans and its motorized users make conscious—and hopefully moral—decisions about how they use it. Just looking at the street view map, I see there are a lot of things that would hide a kid waiting in the center MAX platform there: signage, a railing, fat bollards, a lamp post on a brick podium. That brick-based lamp post looks to be less than a kid-stride from the edge of the pavement; a kid couldn’t take one step out from behind there without just about being in the roadway. Could visibility be improved? Could this (or any) driver have even seen that there were squirrelly kids about to cross here until they were in the road? Could Jaafar have paid better attention to the flow of traffic if he could have seen better what was coming? What if that lamp post was moved closer to the center of Burnside? What if the second lamp post had a light-colored—or even retro-reflective or illuminated—area that might serve as a higher-contrast backdrop for waiting pedestrians (especially small ones)? The speed limit on this narrow, narrow lane squeezed between MAX tracks and a bike lane appears to be 35 mph. As others have questioned, is 35mph appropriate adjacent to transit facilities where pedestrian traffic is likely to be high? I don’t know what the signal timings are here, but might the wait to cross exhaust the patience of a 10-year-old? Would signal timings encourage speeding in any way (not to say the driver was speeding)?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Dan A March 29, 2016 at 5:58 pm

        Not sure I’ve ever driven Burnside that far east, but just following google street view along it, 35mph appears to be way too fast.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          SE March 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm

          I frequently ride Burnside as I consider it very safe. It is one lane in each direction, divided by MAX. The bike lane is fairly wide.

          Cars do NOT seem to be driving that fast -35- …I’d estimate the vast majority at 20-25mph

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm

            Well then, it seems the 85th %ile speed ought to be lower. Sounds like many drivers accept the “design speed” of Burnside to be 20-25, yet any driver there has a license to exceed that safe speed by up to 25 extra MPH (assuming 20 is safe, but 45 would be allowed under the 10-over blanket dispensation). That’s a virtual free pass to go 225% of the “safe” speed.

            If most drivers are already going slower, then let’s lower the posted limit.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Adam March 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Speed limit should be 20 everywhere within city limits. If bikes can get around at 12mph, no reason cars can’t get around at 20mph.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      John Lascurettes March 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Or at least next to MAX stations where the sidewalk is separated from the train platform like this. Those should definitely be 20 MPH zones because one can always expect a lot of pedestrian crossing there by necessity.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam March 29, 2016 at 3:09 pm

        Well, no. My point was, 20mph EVERYWHERE. It’s plenty. It’s double the speed your average cyclist biking to work does.

        Really. It’s plenty. Who decided 35mph is standard?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Mark S March 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      I live on the N Concord Ave bike blvd/greenway, with a posted speed limit of 20 mph. Every day, I witness numerous individuals driving their motorized vehicles way above that posted speed limit. These individuals just don’t care. Until you can get them to care & actually follow the law, they will continue to drive faster than 20 mph. Vision Zero is a joke & will not happen in my lifetime.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam March 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Time to put out a few traffic cones on Concord!!!!!!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:12 am

        Mark,
        Your attitude is part of the problem.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Cory P March 29, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I’m with Jonathan, Our road systems are designed, and right now they are designed for this kind of tragedy to happen. How many times can we use the term ‘unpreventable accident’ before we accept that it is completely preventable and that we choose to accept this outcome as a byproduct of car accessibility. Should this driver be locked up? I say no. Should we close burnside to car traffic? Again I say no. But we owe it to Jaafar and all of the other victims on our roadways to make real and hard change. Even if it’s expensive. Even if it’s difficult. Even if it’s politically unpopular. The victims at the very least deserve our effort.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 29, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Great words, but no actual proposals that might have prevented this crash. Start there.
      We’re listening…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Adam H.
        Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

        Get rid of the cars.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          BB March 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm

          Get rid of car ubiquity. If automobile usage were 1% of what it is now, these types of incidents would be rare.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

            Yes, this is what I mean when I say “get rid of the cars”. Make it so that you can drive in a city if you really have to, but you’re going to have to drive super slowly, yield to all other road user modes at all times, drive an indirect route to your destination, and there will likely be no where to park when you arrive.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:14 am

              Engineers in Sweden would disagree with you. They consider automobiles a social good. They just manage them differently than in the U.S.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 30, 2016 at 9:32 am

                Note that I’m specifically referring to car usage in dense, walkable cities. There is no need for the current amount of car usage in inner Portland. If we work to remove parking and travel lanes while improving public transport and bike infra, we can reduce VMT and improve safety for everyone – including those that still need to drive. People should see driving as optional, not required for every trip.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Eric Leifsdad March 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

                “Get rid of the cars.” might seem like an extreme position, but that’s a reaction to the status-quo where we allow cars to go as fast as possible everywhere, then tell people who are not speeding around in cars to “watch out, dress like a road cone, and maybe if you get a petition with 1000 signatures maybe we’ll use some of your money to install a beg button so you can stand around like a third-class citizen waiting for all of those people in cars to speed past and hopefully not hit you unless you fall or the driver wants to eat a donut right now. No petition? We’ll just build parking spots and fill potholes with your money.”

                What if we started from a different position? Let’s acknowledge that the most important thing for people is the right to walk or bike and to cross the street safely. If serving those priorities is somehow difficult, closing the street to auto traffic should be our default position. We’ve got plenty of freeways where drivers can use their cars to move fast and far.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 30, 2016 at 10:02 am

                Yes, this exactly. Note that I don’t literally mean that we should get rid of all cars everywhere. But since unfettered car access to every corner of our city is part of the problem, then the solution should be to limit this use and provite viable alternatives to driving everywhere. This does include some car-free streets. E Burnside would be a fantastic candidate to ban driving on and turn the roadway into a bike-only street. This also includes people-priority streets (i.e. woonerfs) where people driving must act like guests.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          nuovorecord March 29, 2016 at 2:05 pm

          So if the kid was hit by a bus or MAX, we should get rid of those too?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 2:11 pm

            Buses and MAX vehicles are operated by trained professionals. Cars are not.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              nuovorecord March 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

              Like this trained pro? http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/08/trimet_fires_bus_driver_who_hi.html

              Just simply saying “get rid of cars” might score you points on BP, but out in the real world, it’s simplistic and childish. Most people driving cars don’t want to hurt anyone. They’re simply trying to get from Point A to B, using the world as it’s been created. Making that world safer for everyone using it – on a bike, on foot or by car – should be the goal. Alienating 90 percent of the public with over-the-top rhetoric doesn’t accomplish anything towards that.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

                A single counter-example does not prove a point.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 10:27 am

                “…simplistic and childish…”

                Simplistic, maybe, but “childish” sound a lot like basic name-calling…

                I might also call demands that everybody stay out my way so I can drive fast everywhere pretty childish.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Mao March 30, 2016 at 7:45 pm

                I want skateboards out of my bike lane so I can go fast.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Craig Gifen March 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

              You keep digging yourself deeper, holy cow.

              Does this include drunk pedestrians? Is it still not their fault? If a pedestrian ignores the safety rules, is it still not their fault?

              MAX kills woman illegally crossing tracks:
              http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/11/orange_line_max_strikes_pedest.html

              Max train kills a guy in Hillsboro who tripped:
              http://katu.com/news/local/pedestrian-fatally-struck-by-max-train-in-hillsboro

              MAX train kills guy in East Portland
              http://legacy.kgw.com/story/news/local/2014/10/10/pedestrian-hit-killed-max-portland/17071327/

              Tri Met bus hitting a drunk pedestrian:
              http://katu.com/news/local/trimet-bus-hits-pedestrian-on-west-burnside

              Tri Met bus kills a woman in NW Portland:
              http://koin.com/2014/06/08/bus-hits-kills-1-person-in-nw-portland/

              Bus made “improper turn” and killed a father and his daughter:
              http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/01/27/man-killed-woman-injured-metro-bus-hyde-park/79436620/

              I could burn up the rest of my afternoon pasting in links where the bus/train driver was at fault (or in your case, were at fault because they were the one in a motor vehicle regardless of the circumstances), but this just depresses me.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              ed March 29, 2016 at 4:54 pm

              “Buses and MAX vehicles are operated by “trained professionals”. That description of the witness cop was treated derisively when used by another to describe him. Your definition of trained professional is conveniently flexible eh? Regardless, the laws of physics for cars and buses are the same for both! Adam I really see your side but have been in situations on foot, on bike and in vehicles where poor judgment was made and no amount of evasive maneuvers or quick reaction time will avoid a mash up. I hit a ped on the Esplanade awhile back (despite riding slowly, carefully and with a lifetime of cycling experience) because the pod-plugged (voluntarily rendered deaf) jogger simply and instantly veered left to attempt a 180 without so much as a glance back and stepped into me Both hit pavement; only I was hurt. I hit them, so by your logic being the bigger, faster vehicle it was my fault despite no possibility of avoidance right? Tragic this child stepped against a red light… into moving vehicle traffic with the presumed right of way. And more info might reveal the motorist was oblivious, or speeding; we don’t know from what we see here do we? And your presumption of blame here is really, really misplaced other than totally omitting the obvious error in judgement of the ped. Yet you keep repeating it. Why? Does this motorist automatically have to be negligent here? If you don’t intend to imply that please make it clear, because it’s not now.

              I witnessed a fatal ped accident in Amsterdam when a they stepped in front of a tram… driven no doubt by a “trained professional”. Who’s fault, tell us please; you have the answers it seems.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

                When I took Driver’s Ed in high school, I was taught that “the pedestrian always has the right of way” even when crossing against the light. As a driver, you must assume that people will be disobeying the ped signal and drive accordingly – especially when it’s a kid.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          J_R March 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm

          Adam, I appreciate your enthusiasm and idealism, but I’m getting tired of your solution. It appears you have little to offer other than “no cars, anywhere, ever.”

          You may be at a stage in your life where you could actually accomplish that. I used to be many years ago, but I am no longer. I drive far less than the average motorist, but I do drive. I drive more than I bike or walk.

          I think you’ll be happier if you move to Venice or maybe Mackinac Island. Those are the only places I can think of that would meet your standards.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

            Better stick to Venice.

            http://eupnews.com/woman-tangled-in-horse-reins-is-trampled-on-mackinac-island/

            (you have to click on the PDF icon to see the article for some reason)

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

            I never said that. But we do need to severely limit and restrict the use of private automobiles. There is overwhelming evidence pointing to them being incompatible with cities where people are walking and cycling. The Netherlands seems to have done away with the majority of motor traffic in their cities and they enjoy some of the safest streets in the world. There are many car-free streets that work very well (Times Square, any number of European squares, and even Pioneer Courthouse Square used to be a parking lot).

            Any solution to traffic violence that does not include reducing or eliminating private automobiles is a just a band-aid. For any other problem, we would be talking about removing the thing causing the problem. Why can’t we have the same conversation for cars?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              lop March 29, 2016 at 8:28 pm

              In the Netherlands per capita VMT is about half what it is in the US, right?

              Yet you posted above that what you mean by “Get rid of the cars.” is to cut usage by 99%. Why so extreme? A more moderate position can achieve most of your ends, would be much more palatable to the general public, and more likely to be enacted.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 30, 2016 at 9:21 am

                I never said cut car usage 99%, that was another commenter. We do, however, need to recognize that cars are incompatible with walkable cities and do everything we can to discourage their use. Especially in areas with heavy foot traffic (e.g. near light rail stations).

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                paikiala March 30, 2016 at 11:13 am

                True, you wrote:
                “Get rid of the cars.”

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 30, 2016 at 11:21 am

                As I explained before, that was not to be taken literally, but as an oversimplification of a goal (vision perhaps) of vastly reducing car usage in cities. “Get rid of the cars” means we need to get to a point where driving is not the default option that all other modes must work around. It means giving our spaces back to people rather than just using them as car sewers. Overuse of cars is the problem, so the solution must be cutting their use.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                paikiala March 30, 2016 at 3:17 pm

                My mom used to tell us ‘say what you mean, or mean what you say’. Because, you know, we can’t read your mind.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                lop March 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm

                >I never said cut car usage 99%, that was another commenter.

                To whom you replied

                >Yes, this is what I mean when I say “get rid of the cars”.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm

                One reason VMT is so low in Holland is that it is a teeny tiny little place and everything is so scrunched together. It is also harder to drive wearing those cute wooden shoes.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Cory P March 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        An easy start would be to decrease the speed to 20mph. Another easy change would be make the intersection a flashing red four way stop before and after trains stop.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:16 am

          That is an intriguing idea.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

          Hm. Yes, very interesting. It doesn’t sound like Master Shbeb had just disembarked from a train, but tweaking the signal cycles immediately temporally adjacent to a train stopping would be a neat experiment. Have an extra-long pedestrian crossing signal after a train unloads, perhaps with additional flashers of some kind for the 30 seconds to a minute after a train departs from a middle-of-the-street stop like this. Maybe have an all-red phase after a train stop to let pedestrians clear the station as fast as possible in any direction… There would seem to be several possibilities.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Mao March 30, 2016 at 7:47 pm

            That would be cool. I assume we’ve all been at the Rose Quarter when after max lets off a huge crowd and everyone crosses the streets once they are clear enough.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            paikiala March 31, 2016 at 9:46 am

            Cory,
            The signal modification/operation change would not work as a flashing red in all directions since the trains might overlap from two directions and not arrive coincidentally. But, N-S + left turn red, like it is now when a train approaches, with flashing red for the E-W through traffic might help both those leaving a train and those trying to get to one. I’m sure we’ve all seen that desperate person itching to get to the platform before the train arrives/leaves.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    CaptainKarma March 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I believe 20 through transit stations is plenty, and during busy times 15 would be even better. I don’t know if it would have helped this young man, but I do know the car driver might have been able to stop or avoid better, the boy’s siblings might have been able to yank him back in, and if nothing else, the impact might have been below the threshold of killing him. A lot of “mights”, but any one of them would have made a life and death difference. Drive slow and aware!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tom March 29, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Faded double line crosswalk markings are being replaced by proper bold zebra stipes, even in LA. Are we really getting behind LA? At least make a major high use crosswalk like this look like a real crosswalk that commands attention and respect.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tim March 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      In SA they have the humped zebra crossing and warning signs saying humped zebra crossing – gets your attention. They also have robot ahead signs.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Howard Draper March 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      ^^ This.

      Things I would change about that intersection:

      Paint zebra stripes, lay down raised bricks, set a 20mph speed limit, install bike lane bollards, move those stylish light poles out of the line of sight, add a pedestrian island on the right, move the crosswalk sign out of the shadows and onto the island, move the light mast and/or crosswalk beacon to the roadside.

      On the topic of just the zebra stripes, I’m often surprised we don’t see them everywhere around here. Even looking down at the infamous Barnes Dance intersection in the Pearl, I see we just have the two outer stripes on each quadrant.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    spencer March 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Reduced speed is key to prevent these collisions. I drive,. Do I speed around children? Of course not. Kids are unpredictable. So I drive slowly around them. The speed was too high to avoid the pedestrian, period.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Alex Reedin March 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Also the speed made this crash much worse than it would have been at say 15 or 20 mph.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rachel b March 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    “That happens because they, as people who use the roads primarily with an automobile, see themselves in her shoes. Then, when a driver is remorseful, cooperates with police and “remains at the scene,” a strong empathetic impulse takes over. Police agencies also foresee the public outcry that occurs when tragedies like this happen. The empathy combines with this public relations instinct and an inertia builds to establish a narrative that absolves everyone. The entire situation is then engulfed in the halo of sensitivity our culture gives to “horrible accidents.””

    Well said, Jonathan. The “narrative that absolves everyone” is an exceedingly strong force in modern culture. And the “halo of sensitivity” an especially tempting grab in Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Champs March 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    And down that rabbit hole were wrung hands and recriminations. If this isn’t the bottom I might have to peace out.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rick March 29, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Where is the land use zoning on Burnside in Gresham to allow mixed-use?

    It was a crash.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rick March 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Metal studded tires on cars don’t help to stop in normal weather.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 30, 2016 at 12:51 am

      Spiked tires might have helped.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I ride past the MAX stations at 122nd and also 102nd frequently. It is VERY common to see peds completely ignoring their safety to run to catch the train. Almost every time I pass there.
    They don’t look at traffic, just run. Red light don’t slow them down. OR have their noses buried so deep in their smart phones that they are unaware of surroundings and are essentially blind.

    I don’t know about this specific incident and am not blaming the victim, but am amazed that there are NOT more of these fatalities around the train stops.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tim March 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Child runs into the street:
    At 20 MPH driver stops – child gets a fright
    At 25 MPH driver hits child at 5 MPH – Child runs home crying
    At 30 MPH driver hits child at 15 sending the child to the hospital
    At 40 MPH driver hits child at 35 and can tell the parents that they are sorry for the loss of your child…
    – but you can’t expect me to drive slower
    – but it was a very important text
    – I’m just too busy and important to slow down

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Dan A March 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I want facts, and the news story has very few. How are we supposed to know that the driver truly had no way to avoid him?

    I was driving in my neighborhood two days ago when I came upon a couple of boys wearing baseball gloves and looking across the road. I slowed WAY down (~5mph), and as I approached them I saw that there was a 7-year-old boy on the other side of the road behind a truck, retrieving their baseball. If I had just driven along with the mindset that kids are responsible for their own lives and I have the right to drive the speed limit at all times, I might well have hit and killed him. But I saw kids playing at the edge of the road, and knew that it was dangerous to continue driving at a normal speed, oblivious to the risk.

    Suppose you’re driving through this intersection here:

    https://goo.gl/maps/WNK7UTkJwgo

    and you see some elementary-school kids walking left to right through that island in the middle of the road.

    Do you slow down? Or continue on at 35mph, the posted speed limit? How fast was this driver going? What safety measures can we hold drivers to in this situation?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Robert Chapman March 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you for driving mindfully Dan A. I try to drive the same way. It’s a serious responsibility.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tim March 30, 2016 at 8:38 am

      It is about decision sight distance – do you have room to stop for the unexpected?

      I learned about this on a bike when I came around a corner on a fast descent to find a car driving at a reasonable speed in my lane. Down I went and there went a lot of skin. Still have the scars and the lesson.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Alan 1.0 March 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Jonathan, your paragraph starting “The activist in me cringes…” speaks volumes to me, helps me understand not only your view but cultural paradigm.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bikeninja March 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    The automobile is like a parasite. Over the last 100 years this parasite has taken over the brains of the host ( humans). In the natural world a parasite often affects the brain of the host creature so that it can feed on them and the host believes that it is good and beneficial. Our automobile parasite has most of us believing that we can’t live without it, that we must allow it in to every nook and crany of our society traveling at any speed it desires. This parasite feeds on our young, our vulnerable , our open space, our climate and ultimatly on our future but we seem unable to shake ourselves free of its tenticles. When will we shake off this beast?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dave March 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Comment of the week, right here!!!!!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rick March 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      I know people who can barely walk yet they have a tight grip on the steering wheel. Gas was “cheap” in the 1950s.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Road engineers in Sweden would disagree with you.

      http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/11/the-swedish-approach-to-road-safety-the-accident-is-not-the-major-problem/382995/

      2nd to last paragraph:

      “So it’s not a war between unprotected road user and protected road user. Here we need to have a more holistic perspective. Where we need cars because they are good for society, we should use them. But in places where we don’t need them, we shouldn’t use them as much as we do.”

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 10:55 am

        Maybe the real point is more subtle. It may well not be a choice between “all cars” and “no cars”; leeches were once used for medical treatment, but they were used consciously, if misguidedly, rather than wantonly by default by everyone for everything. Maybe it is more like an addiction. Some people can use a smartphone for necessary communication or business and put it down when there are other things to do; some people just. can’t. put. it. down. Some folks can enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or a celebratory drink on occasion or a beer with friends and do it responsibly, others must. drink. constantly.

        So maybe for those individuals—or even a society like ours in the U.S.—cars and driving have become an addiction that we can’t shake. The occasional “drink” (car trip) would be fine and manageable if we could limit ourselves to that, but here in the U.S., all the stores are liquor stores and most folks feel a need to down the whole bottle at once.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          paikiala March 30, 2016 at 11:11 am

          BTW, leeches are still used. They have enzymes that prevent blood clots from forming.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm

            Well, see, there you go. Beneficial, responsible use of parasites.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Mao March 30, 2016 at 7:51 pm

            They keep the blood flowing and fall off once full. Sterilized leeches are a thing that hospitals buy!

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    AJ_Bikes March 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Was the driver going above the posted speed limit? Was the driver using their phone at the time of the collision? Was the driver in any other way distracted? Was the driver so focused on other things that she failed to even see the children at the edge of the crossing? Or did the driver see them and ignore the possibility that they might fall or otherwise move into the roadway, continuing on their speedy way? If we cannot answer an emphatic “NO!” to every single one of those questions, then the driver is at least partially to blame.

    For me, the scariest thing of all is that (with very rare exceptions), people who kill others with their vehicles get off with a slap on the wrist (if that), and then they’re back on the streets. This woman (and others who have killed with their vehicles, intentionally or through negligence) could drive past you, me, or any of our children at any time, and we can do nothing but hope against hope that this truly was a freak occurrence and that she does not drive in a manner which could lead to this happening again.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    B. Carfree March 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    When I was taught how to drive, many, many decades ago, I was taught that if there is any sign of children I should reduce my speed to a level that would allow me to not hit them if they strayed into the road and to scan the area with extreme focus to locate the little darlings. Surely we all were shown that famous bouncing ball video?

    Anyhoo, if I had struck a child in a crosswalk that connects a Max station to an apartment complex I might just commit suicide before the day was out. It doesn’t matter that the child had a red light (especially a male, who has an 8% probability of being red/green color blind), a motorist should expect children to behave like children. There is really no excuse for such cars first, cars last, cars only approaches to road use.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Adam H.
      Adam H. March 29, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      I don’t drive, but when I’m cycling, if I see a kid, I slow way down and give them plenty of room. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        matheas michaels March 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

        Pretty much exactly.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Andy March 29, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    We live near a high school and at night the students come sprinting across the street from behind some trees with no warning. They do not use the crosswalk signal which was installed for their use. My wife and I drive 10 mph there and, even then, have activated the ABS. So if a driver is going 20 mph, below the speed limit, is alert and competent, yet hits one of these kids, who is to blame? How are drivers who aren’t familiar with this street to know that even 10 mph is sometimes too fast? The same thing is true in a local park where the school track team trains. The posted speed limit of 15 mph is too fast for the conditions, given the fact that the kids are utterly oblivious, running out into the street without a glance. You cannot absolve pedestrians from all responsibility. The same goes for cyclists who make dangerous, illegal and irresponsible maneuvers. That said, all of us have a duty when driving a car to drive in a way that does not depend on vulnerable road users using good judgment. I’d rather go slow than hurt or kill someone. Sometimes even that isn’t enough though.

    My question is whether the design of that intersection in Gresham is appropriate. I think the light rail configuration may be an issue.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      9watts March 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      “So if a driver is going 20 mph, below the speed limit, is alert and competent, yet hits one of these kids, who is to blame?”

      I suspect you will find that the driving style you are describing makes actually hitting much less killing ‘one of these kids’ highly improbable. I’d be surprised if you could point to anyone driving the way you characterized and killing another person. It may sound silly, but I bet it works really well.

      Enough driver attention and throttled speed, and everyone gets home alive.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rick March 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      a subway line is needed for the rest of the Orange Line max.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Jonathan/ Michael – it may be an opportune time (sunny weather and this tragic event) to link to any past discussion of the ability of kid’s developing brains/ senses to perceive and react to fast objects such as vehicles.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    J_R March 29, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I hope we have a thorough investigation that tells us exactly what speed the motorist was driving. We have plenty of people on this forum who are absolutely convinced that she was going way too fast. Remember the statistics on crash survivorship are averages. Not everyone who gets hit at 15 mph survives. Just because the pedestrian died, we should not assume the driver was going 40 mph.

    I slow down when I’m in areas of pedestrian activity and give bicyclists a wide berth and I’m frustrated and even angry when motorists don’t do the same for me.

    What travel speed do people on this forum believe is appropriate for a motorist passing a bus stop where not everyone is maintaining eye contact with motorists? Seriously. Is it ok to drive past at 20 or do you think it warrants 15, or 10, or 5 mph? Is it different during day or night? Does it depend on the age of those on the sidewalk?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Gresham Rider March 29, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I was at the Wilkes East neighborhood association meeting last night, located a few blocks from the crash site on the gresham/pdx border on 162nd. This news had not yet been reported when an older woman chimed in with a comment to a Reynolds School District official. The gist of her comment was “When I drive past the schools, there are all of these signs telling me to slow down. Why don’t they teach these kids to be responsible and stay out of the street?”

    As I was wrestling with how to respond, the district superintendent sitting behind me chimed in with the fact that they just lost another one of theirs, referring to Jaafar, and to me that sadly but succinctly highlighted the problem with the perspective the woman in the crowd shared, namely that streets belong to cars, not communities.

    My heart goes out to Jaafar’s family, teachers, and classmates, as well as to any future families destined to suffer yet another preventable loss like this one. This should not be.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Adam H.
    That is honestly some of the worst victim-blaming drivel I have ever read in my life. Shame on Gresham Police.
    Recommended 10

    Adam: I think you need your own blog. constant posting shows that a job or something away from a keyboard may be beneficial. (unless your objective is to set some kind of record)

    Beautiful weather, get out & ride. 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    gutterbunnybikes March 29, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Just wondering why we’re not also talking about this one:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/03/man_struck_killed_crossing_fre.html#incart_river_index

    or this one:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/index.ssf/2016/03/gresham_driver_accused_of_mowi.html#incart_river_index

    Why don’t stories like these come up in these VZ discussions?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    younggods March 29, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Those roads are very narrow. I normally have to step into a crosswalk to get drivers to even consider stopping, but I would never do that here for fear of being hit.

    When a road is so narrow you cannot take the first step into a crosswalk, then it’s obvious the speed limit needs to be low enough to compensate.

    Personally I agree with many others here that there should be a city wide speed limit of 20-25mph.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 29, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Alan 1.0
    Jonathan, your paragraph starting “The activist in me cringes…” speaks volumes to me, helps me understand not only your view but cultural paradigm.
    Recommended 3

    the word “cringe” , brought up an old story from my past.

    I was working retail. Sold a bunch of stuff to a nice old (80’s ?) lady. She asked if I could take it all out to her car ? Sure, no problem. She had a walker.
    So she opens the door and sits in …asks if I could put her legs in ? OKAY, I guess 🙁 , then asks me to place the R foot on the gas, L foot on the brake. I’m getting nervous.
    I ask how she does it ? “Oh simple …I just push on my R knee to go, L knee to stop”
    Nobody has addressed it yet, and I don’t think it pertains to this incident, BUT ….we need to drop the age where re-testing is needed to obtain a new license.

    cringe ?? darned right, but I was young and didn’t know what else to do ?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Sam March 29, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    This is a fair point to some degree, but it’s talking past the goal of Vision Zero as applied here in two ways:

    1) The attitude that all crashes are preventable is designed to clarify thinking in the post-crash analysis, to push traffic design towards root causes. If someone’s car is struck by lightning as they have a stroke, but their car ran into a crowded market because they were on a weirdly placed freeway, we wouldn’t shrug at the randomness of it all, we would ask why freeway-speed vehicles that lost control could plow into a market.

    2) The real goal (as I see it) of Vision Zero is actually to take as much human fault out of the equation as possible. It doesn’t matter that the driver wasn’t at fault: the traffic engineering creates normal behaviors and she was operating within that normal behavior.

    Kids bolting across a street is a normal human behavior. Our traffic system has to account for that. If there are kids on foot nearby, maybe we should be questioning our precious 25+ MPH zones–the equivalent of a freeway near a market. (And I realize now and admit I have no idea what the speed limit of the road in question is, but 20 mph is, IMO, plenty fast for urban driving.)

    A system that includes acts of God will always suffer faliure conditions. On a freeway if someone dies at the wheel of a heart attack, their car will zoom out of control within the parameters of a freeway, which are designed to protect pedestrians and bicyclists by keeping them well outside the area!

    But you know what, let’s take a look at that freeway death. Would a doctor say that a heart attack was unpreventable in a well designed healthcare system? Or would the doctor say:

    1) Good screening should minimize the number of people at risk for a heart attack who don’t know about it, who should therefore not be operating a motor vehicle at high speeds!
    2) There are a lot of risk factors for heart attacks that could be greatly reduced if we took healthcare seriously in this country. If we reduce the overall number of heart attacks, the number of ‘unpreventable’ traffic incidents will also be reduced.

    A doctor would look at your example and our health care system and say “This was preventable!”

    It’s not that you’re wrong, technically, that there are unpreventable events. But this is a problem of systemic design, and Vision Zero is about establishing a very simple and very robust approach to designing traffic systems.

    And again, in some sense it’s about escaping this idea of blame and fault. You can sigh and say bad things will always happen, but in a certain sense they stop being unpreventable once we have witnessed them, if we’re paying attention.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan A March 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      The speed limit there is 35mph, right next to a MAX stop.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 30, 2016 at 8:05 am

    SD
    Equating speed with freedom. This is a triumph of the automobile industry and is absolutely ridiculous.
    Recommended 2

    This is one thing that fries me. Car TV ads. The two worst offenders seem to be N*ssan & D*dge.
    Barely a mention of : price, reliability, quality, fuel consumption , etc.

    It’s all about POWER. Racing through the streets, doing burnouts, doughnuts and smoking the tires ..etc.

    And you know what ? It works.

    D*dge/R*m is one of the best selling trucks, BUT makes the bottom 5 list of WORST vehicles for sale in the US.

    Niss*n on the other hand can’t seem to make cars in any other color besides RED. Besides making smoke circles, they love to skid in as close as possible to the spokesperson.

    IMHO, those 2 (and more) contribute to the mindset of excessive speed (on the streets & roads )

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan A March 30, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Am I remembering this wrong, or did drivers of large pickup trucks once drive our roads with an appropriate level of care? I saw two HD pickups this morning doing some pretty serious tailgating and swerving through traffic like they were trying to win a race.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      El Biciclero March 30, 2016 at 11:09 am

      I like the campaigns now by Toy owe-ya, Outie, and Foured that try to show either that their cars will make errands as exciting as an off-road rally by sliding into a parking space at the cleaners, or else show that their electrics/hybrids are “just as cool” as the all-gas models by flooring it through the neighborhood and sliding into the driveway like Starsky & Hutch, then flipping open the charger plug door. Outie is especially terrible as they show a woman on a bike just about to swoon over how cool the male driver of their car is right after he almost takes her out on his rampage through the neighborhood. Oh, and don’t forget MerHades telling us that you can drive so fast in their cars that you’ll make it home before the ice cream cone melts.

      Dodge is indeed about the worst, showing their cars “hunting” in a “pack” like wolves, or just looking like Batman villains while kicking up smoke and dust—“You’re not driving too fast, you’re flying too low”. B.S.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    brian March 30, 2016 at 8:22 am

    The driver does not even need to hire a lawyer with Gresham PD working pro bono on her behalf.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Dan A
    Am I remembering this wrong, or did drivers of large pickup trucks once drive our roads with an appropriate level of care? I saw two HD pickups this morning doing some pretty serious tailgating and swerving through traffic like they were trying to win a race.
    Recommended 0

    I’m on SE main at 142nd . 3 weeks ago two 18 y.o. immigrant (I have the police report) kids racing (tailgating) down our street collided when the lead one hit the brakes to mess with the tailing one.
    After rear ending the lead, he turned and went through my chain link fence into the yard.
    Tried to back out and run, but car wouldn’t start. $1,600 damage to my fence/yard.

    We have kids playing the street quite often.

    I have reported these problems to COP and the answer ? “We have aerial surveillance of your street, and nobody has ever been over 35mph there”

    In other words “screw off, we don’t care”

    It’s just a matter of time before a fatality. wish I could sue City Haul.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 30, 2016 at 9:39 am

      BS. Traffic counts are snapshots. A day or two of information and a known incomplete picture. No one at the City would say such a thing, and if they did you should request to speak to their supervisor. Confusing the 85th percentile speed – the standard of measure of speeding severity – with the highest recorded speed is just sloppy. Did you request a copy of the data?

      10/3/2013 count east of 140th found 85th percentile speeds of 31-32 mph in a 25 mph zone. 4%-7% of the traffic was measured going faster than 35 mph, concentrated around 11 AM to 5 PM. 1100 trips were counted. Have you requested enforcement?

      What was it you expected the person on the phone to do?
      Have you voiced your concerns to your elected officials that control budgets? Maybe suggest restoring funding for a traffic calming program?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        SE March 30, 2016 at 9:53 am

        well, maybe I’ll try again and this time use your suggestions, but the vibe that CoP projects is that THEY DON’T CARE.

        I asked about a stop sign. NO, nobody has ever been killed there and anyway we’d need to do expensive studies.

        then asked about speed bumps: We CAN do that but you’d have to fork over $800 per.

        Main is flat and straight from 139th to 148th. A natural drag strip , and the H*ndas & Ac*ras with the horn tailpipes know that. 🙁

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          paikiala March 30, 2016 at 11:09 am

          So it seems your story is from years ago, since the subsidy that allowed residents to contribute only $800 per bump has been gone for several years, maybe five. There is currently no city funding for traffic calming specific projects.
          Stop signs for no reason is something PBOT doesn’t believe in. Stop signs for no reason communicates that stop signs are installed for no reason. PBOT would prefer people driving around believe a stop sign is there for an important reason.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        gutterbunnybikes March 30, 2016 at 7:35 pm

        You don’t need to request a copy, Portland Maps has it all on there.

        Of course not every street has information, doesn’t have the neighborhood streets but as far as I can tell it’s got all the neighborhood collectors on up (or least everywhere near me that I’ve looked).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          paikiala March 31, 2016 at 9:36 am

          it should have everything that’s been counted, but there is also likely a cut-off for age of the count.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matthew B March 30, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Adam H.
    Okay, how about some different analogies:
    If traffic violence was an infectious disease that was killing 30,000 people annually, the CDC would be frantically scrambling for a cure and issuing prevention notices.
    If a business’ product was killing 30,000 people a year, there would be massive lawsuits form OSHA and calls for the CEO and leadership team to step down.
    If any other transportation method was causing 30,000 deaths annually (say, rail) there would be calls from the FRA for a massive safely overhaul and installation of PTC nation-wide.
    If bridge collapses were killing 30,000 people a year, USDOT would be pouring billions into fixing our crumbling infrastructure.
    But why are 30,000 people dying from car crashes just a cost of doing business?
    Recommended 3

    Obesity, cigarettes, alcohol and firearms kill a lot of people every year. The processed and fast food industries, tobacco industry, alcohol industry, firearms industry and automobile industry spend a lot of lobbying dollars and form power PACs to ensure that the legal environment remains favorable to their products. Further, the firearms lobby has persuaded Congress to pass laws prohibiting the CDC from investigating firearms deaths in any meaningful way, and inhibiting those injured through use of their products to file product liability lawsuits. Welcome to America, this is business as usual. I for one, will not hear one word against our politicians and law enforcement officials, they’re the best money can buy.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bikeninja March 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Here is an interesting comparison to think about. If you were an employee driving a forklift at Lowes or Ikea and you accidentally hit and killed a customer because they unexpectedly stepped out in front of you while you were rushing from one side of the warehouse to the other. Would you be in big trouble? Would you be fired? Would you be criminaly and civily charged ? Would the managers of the store be making excuses as to why it was the customers fault? Why is our standard for care and driver responsibility around pedestrians so much different on our public streets?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 30, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Have you actually witnessed how fork lifts move around inside those stores? They have a flagger walk in front of them.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 30, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Adam H.
    When I took Driver’s Ed in high school, I was taught that “the pedestrian always has the right of way” even when crossing against the light. As a driver, you must assume that people will be disobeying the ped signal and drive accordingly – especially when it’s a kid.
    Recommended 0

    I agree , BUT Portland has been installing signaled crosswalks up & down 122nd.
    I watch people running across , through traffic …within 50 feet of those marked crossings. I stop for them, but cringe as they play a dangerous Frogger game.
    The homeless on their mtn. bikes do the same thing , run reds, cross anywhere. sometimes it seems like they have a “death wish”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    KristenT March 30, 2016 at 10:44 am

    In this case, “incident” is a better word than “accident”.

    It doesn’t minimize the happening, or the tragedy, but doesn’t give the same air of “no one could have done anything to stop it from happening” that seems to excuse some of these crashes.

    All collisions and crashes come from a series of decisions; except in the case of meteorite, earthquake, volcano or weather, there are no true “accidents” in this world.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe March 30, 2016 at 10:48 am

    always driver was not charged or sighted. WTF? so you can just run ppl down and have a police officer right it off?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe Mac March 30, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Perhaps raised crosswalks would be a good start.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    are March 31, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    9watts
    Are you suggesting that in countries where licenses are much harder to acquire they have less democracy than we here do?

    i had assumed you were responding to paikiala’s comment as to what is politically possible. your response was in effect who cares what the people think.

    i also think it should be much harder to obtain and much easier to lose the privilege of operating an automobile. but there are only a couple of ways of implementing this. probably it would be better to somehow alter the cultural mindset. but imposing the desired result by force is also possible, i guess.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      9watts March 31, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      “but imposing the desired result by force is also possible, i guess.”

      Perhaps this is a subtle point, but to me asserting a principle* (by elected officials, by staff with the backing of their elected bosses) is not fairly captured by your phrase ‘imposing by force.’

      Where I saw paikiala’s list going was that because we can imagine some popular pushback to those things they will never happen. This to me is a static and also a defeatist way of looking at this issue. It also fails to take seriously those who find the status quo unacceptable by privileging the (imagined) objectors. Not helpful.

      *that driving is a privilege not a right, and that we must take certain steps to make sure it is granted only to those we deem eligible to exercise it with the proper training

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar