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Left-hook collision on Williams Avenue sends woman to the hospital

Posted by on April 1st, 2016 at 11:28 am


The scene of the crash. George was taken to hospital with what police describe as “non-life-threatening” injuries.
(Photos: Josh Berezin)

Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news, but there’s been another traffic collision that sent a person to the hospital.


It happened at 4:45 pm on Thursday at the intersection of North Williams and Emerson, just one block south of Killingsworth (map). This incident has not been reported by the Portland Police Bureau but after receiving several tips from people who saw the aftermath we confirmed it with police this morning.

According to the police, 52-year-old Lisa George was riding northbound on Williams Avenue. As she approached Emerson (one block south of Killingsworth) 50-year-old Hassan Somow made a sudden left-turn into the bike lane. Somow was driving a Mazda mini-van.

First responders and police arrived on scene and tended to George’s injuries at the northwest corner of the intersection. As you can see from the photos taken at the scene by BikePortland subscriber Josh Berezin, George’s body and bike hit the front left quarter-panel of the mini-van. The impact dented the car and broke out the headlight. Somow was given a citation for Careless driving (ORS 811.135) and Failure to yield to rider on bicycle lane (ORS 811.050).

Because this crash involves a legally defined “vulnerable user of a public way” Somow will be ordered to appear in court, do 100-200 hours of community service or pay a fine of $12,500.


Somow is in green on the left. George is on the ground.


George was taken to a hospital with what police say were “non-life-threatening” injuries. We’ve heard from a source that she was taken to the Intensive Care Unit and we’re waiting for a call-back from hospital staff about her current condition. George is well-known in the community through her participation in Oregon Bicycle Racing Association events and membership on the Sweetpea Ladies Auxiliary cycling team.


Northbound on Williams just before Emerson. The bike lane is on the left.

Williams in this location is one-way and has four lanes: two auto-parking lanes, one standard lane, and one bike-only lane.

Given the time of the collision and based on what witnesses have told us, the standard lane was backed-up with bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s unknown why Somow made a careless left-turn; but as someone who rides this road weekly I often see people abruptly turn left to get out of traffic and find a quicker way to their destination by using sidestreets.

This warm and dry weather seems to have made the roads much more crowded and there are many more people riding bikes than just a few weeks ago. Please be extra careful out there.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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179 thoughts on “Left-hook collision on Williams Avenue sends woman to the hospital”

  1. Avatar Anna G says:

    Hope Lisa gets well soon and back in the saddle, in the meantime PDOT needs do something about parking on the left ( I was almost creamed by a woman looking to nab a precious open spot during rush hour), and prohibit all left turns except at stoplights. I’m sure many commuters like myself have also had several close calls with inattentive left turning drivers, I’ve given up posting them on the nearlykilledme site, since PDOT does not seem to care.

  2. Avatar Jason 2 says:

    Sorry to hear of another traffic accident. I hope Lisa gets better soon with no lasting medical problems.

    This sounds like a case of the driver not looking in the left mirror to determine if there was a bike in the bike lane; or else he looked and didn’t see the bike.

    In this case, just based on the photo, it appears that the cyclist did not take the basic precaution of dressing in high-viz so that distracted drivers (that’s an accurate description of all of them) can see them even when they aren’t really looking for them (most aren’t looking for cyclists).

    Thus, another case of not taking responsibility for their own safety.

    1. Avatar SD says:

      Is this an April 1st post done in poor taste to solicit opposing comments?

      1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

        No offense meant. Just saw the picture and it looked like the cyclist did not have attire that would stand out.

        You, and others on BP, can demean my post, and my thinking all you want. My thinking will still be correct and those who disagree will still be wrong.

        It is an unfortunate fact that drivers are not looking out for cyclists (or peds, or motorcyclists, etc). For the most part, all they are looking for is motor vehicles. However, they stand a very good chance of seeing a cyclist if they are obnoxiously visible due to high viz. It’s just a fact of life, and you can post examples of people getting killed with high viz all day, but the fact will remain that it will make you safer in most cases.

        1. Avatar J_R says:

          One of my co-workers (a surveyor working on a project along TV highway) was killed while wearing a high visibility reflective vest while on the sidewalk during daylight hours! The driver of a car pulling out of the driveway simply didn’t bother to look.

          I usually wear an orange vest with reflective stripes while cycling. It doesn’t seem to make ANY difference with regard to close calls. Why don’t you do some experiments and let us know your results?

          1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

            Actually, a very large experiment has proven my point. That experiment is called reality, aka real life. The irrefutable evidence shows without ambiguity that it is rare that you will be hit if you are obnoxiously visible. That does not mean there are no exceptions.

            1. Adam H. Adam H. says:

              Did you also ride without hi-vis and take notes? Every experiment needs a control to compare to.

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                The real life experiment had many millions of riders who were not highly visible. Of those who were hit, the vast majority were not highly visible. Comparatively few who were highly visible were hit. That’s real life. Your dislike of these facts will not change them.

              2. Avatar El Biciclero says:

                Where were these “facts” obtained? Can we see? Has someone done a comparison of percentage of bicyclists known to wear hi-viz vs. percentage of collisions experienced by those wearing hi-viz? Let’s see! To repeatedly assert something without any data other than your own “common sense” is not very convincing; it’s your own intuition.

            2. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

              Where is this “irrefutable evidence” you speak of? My real life experience shows hi-viz vests to be ineffective at getting the attention of bad drivers, hell a 100 lumen light has gone unnoticed before. J_R gave a couple of examples directly refuting the hi-viz as protective talisman trope as well.

              For the record I ride with lights (and cameras) front and rear, day and night. I’m under no illusions that those things will keep me safe from bad drivers. Some of the people on the road won’t notice anything short of incoming fire and that’s the problem.

              Robot cars can’t come a day too soon if you ask me.

              1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

                Two headlights and two taillights. Space them as far apart as possible — wider is better, run them all day and night. It’s not always a matter of seeing, but recognizing you as part of the traffic. Motorcycles have this problem too.

              2. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

                You make a very good point about being recognized as traffic Eric.

                That’s why when I’m driving I prefer that cyclists use blinking vs. solid lights ( I know I’ll catch hell for this). When I see the blinkies I think “cyclist” and I have just a little more time to make good driving decisions with the speed differential between me and the person on the bike in mind.

              3. Avatar mh says:

                Remember that we were all taught to drive defensively. In practice, that means “look for things that are bigger than you are.”

              4. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

                Except Ms. George was hit from behind based on the damage to the drivers side front quarter panel shown in the photos.

              5. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                J R may have given a couple of examples – there are exceptions to the rule. You are correct that lights and cameras will not protect you – but with enough lights you’ll have a better chance of being seen. For every example given by J R there are many times more people hit while not wearing highly visible attire.

              6. Avatar El Biciclero says:

                Are there? If so—and I’m not saying it’s so—Are they hit due to attire, or are they hit due to other behavioral reasons (e.g., driver or bicyclist operating unsafely/illegally)?

            3. Avatar El Biciclero says:

              The results of that experiment are called “anecdotes”. I’ve never once been hit by a car while wearing my lucky socks…coincidence? I’ve also never been hit while riding at night; must be safer than riding during daylight. I have been hit during daylight, while wearing hi-viz, in a marked crosswalk, with the walk signal. Let’s abolish marked crosswalks as they are obviously dangerous (this has been studied and the results suggest that on some roads, marked crosswalks increase collisions with pedestrians).

              While various commenters here will definitely be able to tell story after story about how people wearing hi-viz have been hit by drivers, how many stories can you tell about riders who were not hit due to their hi-viz apparel? How do you know they definitely would have been hit without it?

          2. Avatar Jason 2 says:


            I think you have a good point. BP should start recording the data on all crashes in the area, working with all the local police departments, and record for all collisions with motor vehicles whether the cyclist was highly visible (meaning flashing lights with High viz in the daytime and with significant reflective material at night). Include location, time of day, dark or not, other factors, etc.

            Include a separate category for peds perhaps, or maybe don’t worry about peds?

            Let’s get some actual, local, real world data so that we can all see it. Such data could help government agencies to formulate regulations to keep cyclists safe thru Vision Zero. That’s what we want, safer cycling, right?

            BP can provide a tally, updated daily or weekly with data from the police bureaus, and post that data so we can all see it every day when we open the BP website.

            1. Avatar Dan A says:

              Why bother? We already know drivers run people down when the fail to signal, when they fail to see them due to the existence of the sun, and when they fail to pay attention. We rarely do anything about those problems.

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:


                Why bother? So we can see WHO is getting run down. Is it mostly folks in less visible clothing? If we can show by looking at stats of actual collisions that being visible is safer – would you want to know that? Or do you prefer to just keep blaming cars even though cyclists may also be to blame? Do you believe in vision zero or do you just like arguing with people on the internet?

              2. Me with 650lumen front light and LED red rear. Heading west on Ankeny. Car heading South on 15th. Car never stopped at their stop sign. I do not have a stop. I had to skid and swerve to avoid car.

              3. Quote from an incident report on Put this in the wrong place on the thread. Sorry.

              4. Driver ran a stop sign, forcing me to hit my brakes to avoid a collision. I was running a 1000 lumen headlight, a bright tailight, and was dressed in a bright yellow bike jersey. My panniers have reflective striping, as do my shoes. There’s no way the driver couldn’t have seen me if they could just bestir themselves to obey the law.

              5. Quote from an incident report on Put this in the wrong place on the thread. Sorry.

            2. This already exists, in several places, including

              I was riding north taking the full lane on the bike route that is Broadway (why isn’t there a bike lane???). As happens on a monthly basis, a motorist started aggressively tailing me and honking even though I was going 20mph and there was a red light one block ahead. The next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital. This is VIOLENCE WITH INTENT TO KILL and a hit and run. The police response was pathetic – I was told later that *maybe* the car was frustrated with how slow I was going and was trying to go around me. NO. I have a bad head injury and have to alter my summer plans (first summer off in 8 years). PDX is NOT “bike friendly” and needs serious upgrading before I recommend that anyone bike commute here. No wonder our mode share has stagnated.

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                It certainly isn’t an excuse to hit the cyclist, but one block ahead is a long way for a car to have to go 20 mph behind a bike so it’s understandable that they’d be frustrated. Don’t know where exactly this occurred, but if the cyclist was able to move to the right of the lane so the car could squeak by, that’s what I would do if I were the cyclist. I do not ever want a car on my rear – let them go around you. I also allow cars to go around me when I’m driving a car – I pull over and let them go around. I do not want them tailgating me.

              2. Broadway and Flanders. No space to move over, because of parked cars. Speed limit is 20 mph, because it’s a business district. Even if the driver were to illegally drive 5 miles over the speed limit, it takes 6.8 seconds to travel 1 block at 20 mph and 5.5 at 25 mph. It’s outrageous to say that the privilege of getting to a red light 1.4 seconds sooner and then sitting there waiting for it to turn green is more important than someone’s life. 1.4 seconds is a “long time”? Get real.

              3. Avatar El Biciclero says:

                “…one block…is a long way for a car to have to go 20 mph behind a bike so it’s understandable that they’d be frustrated.”

                You are freaking kidding me. I don’t care if some driver has to wait for pedestrians, bicyclists, other slow cars, or a parade of elves—“frustration” is not an excuse for deliberately threatening someone with death or serious injury. Especially downtown where 20 is faster than you can usually expect to go anyway!

                I know that from a self-preservation point of view, we’re supposed to coddle these entitled babies that think we’re all here to serve them, and somehow feel justified in threatening to kill someone who legitimately may have caused them literally two seconds of delay—which is easily swamped a hundred times over by the delay they are so cruelly subjected to by signals and other drivers—but I’ll not buy any notion that it’s the duty of bicyclists and pedestrians to scamper out of the way of the almighty driver like mice, and be blamed when we can’t do it fast enough or “visibly” enough. ***last portion of comment self-edited***

            3. “I was biking SE down Ladd towards the stoplight at Division, when I heard the Suburban behind me pull around to try a pass. I was going 25 mph, and there was another car that had just turned off of Division and was heading NE in the opposing lane. Once I saw that there was oncoming traffic, I knew there was no way the Suburban could make the pass without causing a head-on collision. But he made the pass anyway! The other car had to slam on their brakes; the right taillight of the Suburban passed a foot from my handlebars.

              The stoplight at Division was red, so I caught him seconds after he passed me. I tapped on his window and said that he had passed too close. He had given me only a foot, and the minimum passing distance is my fall height (6 ft). He said that he had been “”completely in the other lane,”” and that I should ride further over. Again, I was riding 25 mph–the speed limit–and had I been riding any further over I would have risked getting doored by a person stepping out of a parked car. He then said to me:

              If you want to be a stickler for the rules, just remember that I’m driving a 7,000 pound vehicle, and you weigh maybe 180 pounds. That’s your choice.”

              1. This is an incident report I submitted to Not included in my original text, but yes, I was wearing my jacket, my reflective panniers, running my 1000 lumen headlight and bright tail light, and taking the full lane. Ladd is a sharrowed, designated bike road. This was rush hour. There were a ton of bikes on Ladd when this dude was driving there.

              2. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                How long had the SUV been on your tail? I’d let him pass if he’s too close – slow down, move to the right, let him pass, then proceed safely.

                Glad he didn’t hit you or the other car.

              3. Did you miss the part about how I was riding at the speed limit? He wasn’t on my tail at all. He was driving *way* over the speed limit. Did you miss the part about how I caught him at the light without any trouble because the light was red? He nearly killed me for the privilege of getting to a red light 2 seconds sooner and then sitting there long enough for me to catch him and have a long conversation before the light turned green.
                Move over? Where? Ladd has parked cars all along the curb. If I had been any further over I could have gotten doored? I don’t know what getting doored at 25 mph feels like, but I’m not going to find out.

              4. Or maybe you missed the part where the driver explicitly disavowed any responsibility for operating his vehicle safely. Changing lane positions would have done nothing to protect me from that psychopath.

            4. Driver tailgated me while biking 23-24mph in a 25 zone legally in the lane, all the way from Sandy to Flanders southbound on NE 28th. I stopped for pedestrians to cross in a marked crosswalk. The driver then, while pedestrians were in front of me, honked angrily, and when I turned around she threw her head out her window and shouted “Why the fuck are you stopping? Get off the road! You’re taking up the whole fucking lane!” and more obscenities. Once the pedestrians had cleared the crosswalk I continued, and the driver continued to tailgate and menacingly rev her engine all the way down 28th. She angrily sped off onto NE Couch, then flew through the Whole Foods parking lot endangering many people, sped down Burnside, and made a very dangerous turn onto NE 28th northbound. She then illegally stopped at the NE Couch intersection, got out of her car, and began freaking out before returning to her car and driving off at a high rate of speed.

            5. “Riding down Hawthorne late at night after class with lights. I need to turn left on 7th in order to get to Salmon Street Bike Boulevard so I change lanes as I usually do from the bike lane in the right to the left lane to turn. I had a clear merge so I performed it (not a lot of traffic that night). Then I notice very quickly a pair of lights are right behind me. I turn my head and a car is barrelling down on me, tailgating me. My guess is he was 5-7 feet away, which is way too close for comfort. I swerve to the left (no cars parked at this hour) and he drives by me and flips me off.

              This is already an unsafe street/intersection. I don’t know what this guys’ problem was, but it made everything much more unsafe. The intersection at 7th and Hawthorne could definitely use a turn bike box.”

            6. N bound driver near miss Left hook as she waited to turn west from 26th to Powell pre “ODOT knee jerk intersection repair”. I had 600 lumen strobe on and was 2ft from getting “allistaired”.

            7. Driver did not stop at two way stop @ rhone and 28th, nearly sideswiped me. I was forced to jump on sidewalk to avoid getting hit. I had ROW with 600 lumen flasher on

            8. I was biking west on the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. I stopped at the red light at Sunset Blvd. When the light turned green, I proceeded into the intersection. Without warning, a driver in an old pickup truck turned from the eastbound lane into the gas station on the NW corner of the intersection. He explained that he had been waiting for several cycles and gotten impatient, and didn’t see me even though my bike was equipped with a 1000 lumen headlamp and I was wearing a bright yellow Endura jacket as I always do at that time of year.

            9. I was biking north on Williams when a driver ran a stop sign and almost t-boned me. They saw me and hit their brakes at the last second. I have a 1000 lumen headlight–there’s no way they couldn’t see me.

            10. “Driver almost runs me over after blowing through a stop sign.

              I have a 1000 lumen headlight and always wear a bright, reflective, neon yellow jacket when biking at night. There’s no way the driver wouldn’t have seen me if they had actually bothered to stop.”

            11. I was on bike (reflective gear, 300 lumens front lamp flashing) going WB on SE Lincoln and stopped at 60th waiting to traffic to clear. 71 bus was stopped going opposite way, ready to turn NB on 60th. Way was clear and I continued straight on SE Lincoln. 71 turned in front of me and almost struck me. I barely got in front of its turn. I clearly had right of way (both stopped, I was going straight and bus was turning in front on me). Driver was not paying attention.

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                Many buses have big mirrors in the front so they can see the rear of their vehicle and so they can see their rear wheels to make sure they don’t run over something since the rear wheels do not follow the same path as the front wheels.

                A bike is small and is hard enough to see even with no obstructions but those big mirrors could hide a bike (or even a car).

                Fear buses. Stay away from them.

            12. The light turned green. A car on Division blew through the red light and barely missed running me over. I have a 1000 lumen headlight, a bright yellow Endura jacket. My light had been green for ~3 seconds. There’s simply no excuse for what this driver did. She just felt the rules don’t apply to her.

            13. “I was biking south on 65th Ave and nearly run over by a driver on the wrong side of the road. Despite there being no cars parked on the northbound side, the car going north was driving 8 ft away from the northbound curb. 65th is very narrow, only 27 ft from curb to curb, so because the southbound side was an unbroken line of parked cars I had only 3 ft *total* of usable space, with the driver coming at me at 25 mph.
              I ride in a bright yellow Endura jacket and run a 1000 lumen headlamp. There is no way the driver didn’t see me coming.”

            14. “I was biking south on 65th Ave and nearly run over by a driver going the other direction. SE 65th Ave is very narrow, only 27 ft from curb to curb, and there were cars parked in an unbroken line on both sides of the street. When cars are parked on both sides of the street, the usable roadspace is only 11-15 ft wide, making it too narrow for bidirectional traffic at the speed limit. In sections this narrow, speeds of 10-15 mph are much more advisable.

              I was almost clear of the section where cars were parked on both sides, but a car coming up from the south refused to wait for me to clear the narrow section and just kept barreling right at me at about 25 mph. There’s no way they didn’t see me: I run a 1000 lumen headlamp and bike in a bright yellow Endura jacket.”

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                I agree speeds of 25 mph on streets like that are too fast. I live on a similar street. 15 mph would be more reasonable.

            15. When I was biking on the Everett St. bicycle road (close to 50th) early yesterday evening, before dusk, someone in a big black SUV turned in, almost hitting me, driving too quickly and not minding whether they turned into me. They definitely saw me with my white jacket and bike lights. There was that momentary hesitation and then they continued turning and barreling ahead, their vehicle taking up most of the road. They saw me but didn’t stop. I’ve decided to start noting the license plates of people who drive recklessly on bicycle roads like this. Their license plate number is YRV651

            16. “I was riding my bicycle westbound on SE Gladstone Street in the bicycle lane. As I approached the intersection of SE 26th Avenue bus #2203 turned on its right turn signal when it was several vehicles back in line. As I began to pass the bus in the bicycle lane the bus operator suddenly moved the bus into the bicycle lane and I was forced to brake sufficiently hard to skid to a stop in order to not be forced to the curb. The bus operator then drove in the bicycle lane until it reached the stop sign and then turned right. There was no reason for the bus operator to operate in the bicycle lane because it did not stop at the stop at that location.

              I had a bright front white light and a red jacket on.”

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                I think the moral to the story is: You better get a car before your bike gets you killed.

              2. I’ve flagged my reports. The one’s I haven’t flagged as me other people submitting reports to I’m frankly disturbed that your response to a series of stories of drivers refusing to obey the law and basic common sense is to blame people who were doing everything right.

                Who’s going to pay for my car? You? It costs $11/day to park in the garage above my office. Are you going to pay for that? It takes twice as long to drive to my office as it does to bike there. Will you be paying me for the lost time? Get real.

        2. Avatar tee says:

          This is not relevant to her situation. Anecdotally, my fiance and I (and our other runner and cyclist friends) have had many close calls while dressed up like glow sticks. In fact, my fiance last year was rear-ended while stopped at a stop sign (he was biking) by a car. He was wearing a neon yellow jacket with 3M reflective material, pants with reflective stripes, and daytime running lights on (it was light out). Didn’t matter. Some people either don’t pay attention or know what to look for when driving around bikes. That is the real problem.

          1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

            t said: “Some people either don’t pay attention or know what to look for when driving around bikes. That is the real problem.”

            You are exactly right, so give yourself every advantage to help them see you.

            1. It’s perfectly clear that what you call “every advantage” was not enough.

              1. Avatar Jason 2 says:


                doesn’t appear she used every advantage. so how was it “not enough”?

              2. “He was wearing a neon yellow jacket with 3M reflective material, pants with reflective stripes, and daytime running lights on (it was light out)”

        3. Avatar resopmok says:

          It must be nice to be always right and never wrong. This seems to be the case of all opinions, according to the latest scientific evidence.

          1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

            Yes; can we have a show of hands from all those who hold wrong opinions…?

        4. Avatar LB says:

          **Comment deleted by request of author.**

          1. Avatar mh says:

            Oh no – at best, a body cast for however long. I hope she suffered no major nerve damage. I am so sorry.

          2. Avatar Jason 2 says:

            Reflective stuff provides little help in the day time. I hope she gets better.

            1. Avatar are says:

              if you acknowledge it does not apply here, why are you repeatedly posting on that subject

              1. Avatar lyle w. says:

                Hate to break it to you– you’re not gonna get through to this guy no matter what you say.
                People like him have one goal… victim-blaming and deflection. Logic and objectivity mean nothing.

              2. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                There is a difference between high-viz attire and reflective attire? Reflective attire reflects light from headlights at night – it does little in the daytime. High-viz is typically fluorescent yellow or orange that stands out like a sore thumb during daylight hours. It needs some reflective material to make you visible at night. The daughter said she was wearing reflective material – that will help at night, not during the day. This accident occurred during the day.

            2. Avatar El Biciclero says:

              Wow. So this is the response when your answer is the wrong answer? Now what should she have done? I know—read the mind of the driver and anticipated a dumbass move. No, wait—she must have been going too fast. Or no, I’ve got it—she should have recognized the moment she entered the driver’s blind spot as he overtook her and immediately stopped. No. Wait. She should have had a really loud air horn and a policy of sounding it any time a motor vehicle begins to overtake her. Or, oh, darn it—I know: should have used another route since this one is obviously too dangerous; I know I would never ride on this street.

              This is the problem with victim-blaming: no matter what the victim did, it was “obviously” not enough because they were still victimized. The blame here resides 100% with the driver who failed to look, failed to signal, failed to yield, plain old FAILED.

            3. Avatar wsbob says:

              “Reflective stuff provides little help in the day time. …” jason 2

              In addition to the reflective materials,I believe hi-vis gear includes the neon intensity pink, green and yellow colors…and lighting as well.

              Increasingly, it seems people riding bikes, are running lights in the daytime. Some people say they feel the flashing headlights are irritating, maybe even harmful to other road uses having to see the lights operating. I think there’s some truth to that. It’s a judgment call as to when and where to use the flashing lights.

              Used during the day, I would think any irritation level would be less, and what I’m noticing, is that flashing daytime running lights definitely have people using them on their bikes, being more visible than someone not using them. Again, a judgment call, made on the specific traffic and lighting conditions the person is riding in.

          3. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

            Best wishes to you and your Mom. Please let us know if there is some way to help offset her medical expenses.

            1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

              The best way would be to send money.

              1. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

                Where smartass?

              2. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                To her mailing address or bank account.

          4. Avatar soren says:

            Leila, I am very sorry this happened to your mother and my fervent best wishes for her recovery.

          5. Leila: I’m so sorry and I wish Lisa the very best of health as she recovers from her injury. Like Rob said, I would be happy to send some money to help with medical bills. A GoFundMe like for Alistair Campbell would be a good place.

        5. Avatar PC says:

          Please dont blame the victim,Lisa is a street savvy, seasoned cyclist who is anything but careless. Yes we all know brighter is good but that just does not excuse a car driver from not looking. If the bright vs dark thing were so critical then cars wouldnt be available in any color other than orange or yellow…ohh but thats different isnt it?

          1. Avatar lyle w. says:

            I remember the time I got lectured to by someone in a huge truck for having the temerity to wear a black coat while cycling up SE LINCOLN… in the middle of the day. It was so important to him that he pulled up and rolled down his window while riding about two feet off my shoulder.

            Guess what color his truck was… which I realized as he pull off and began to cuss me out.

            What I would give to go back in time and drop ‘So, you’re driving to Maaco to get your truck painted neon yellow now?’

            I’d give… three tamales, yes I would.

        6. Avatar Pete says:

          I’m not sure if your understand how “Hi Viz” clothing works, but mine is actually black. Bright colors, on the other hand, are a different beast, and we frequently dispel how effective they are with lighting workshops that we do each fall. Also, to be seen, one must actually look…

          1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

            That’s the point of bright colors. Drivers almost never look for cyclists. The bright colors (that’s what I call High-viz; typically fluorescent yellow or orange) will be seen in most cases even when the driver is highly distracted.

            Your black clothing probably has reflective “stuff” on it, right? That stuff works at night, but does not help in the bright daytime. I refer to that type of attire as “reflective”, not “high viz”.

            Perhaps we have a terminology problem here. The daughter of the cyclist said her mom was wearing lots of reflective stuff – that does not help in the bright daytime. Agreed?

            1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

              It’s also possible that a rightly upset and angry family member would have the same terminology issue, not caring about the difference between “hi-viz” and “reflective”. I know a lot of my reflective stuff is also very obnoxiously yellow, so sometimes it can serve double-duty.

      2. Avatar SD says:

        Jason 2,

        I guess you sincerely feel that riding a bicycle without wearing “obnoxiously visible” clothing is irresponsible; the risk of riding a bicycle while wearing normal clothes is so great that people who are injured, despite the circumstances, are partially to blame for their injuries; and the protection provided by hi-viz clothing is so great that efforts to decrease illegal driving practices that cause harm are comparatively futile and instead of changing culture or infrastructure, all cyclists should just wear bright clothes. This is probably an oversimplification of your opinions, but even if this is accurate, I am in full support of your pursuit to develop a rational argument that would convince the 99% of Portlanders who cycle in normal clothes to change their ways.

        What I don’t understand is how you see a story about a woman who just experienced a life-changing traumatic event, clearly caused by driver negligence, as an opportunity to publicly question her “taking responsibility for her own safety.” There is absolutely nothing in this story that suggests the cyclist was not doing everything a reasonable person would do to be safe and responsible.

        The people who are injured while riding deserve our support, full stop. The circumstances of the injuries deserve a thoughtful consideration of changes that could prevent further injuries. Casting doubt on the individual who is injured accomplishes neither of these and is simply a d**k move. It may be that blog comments appear to be a chance for an impersonal free-for-all opinion-fest, but I think it is safe to say that many of us who read and comment on bikeportland read stories like this thinking “do I know her, have we been on a ride together or did we meet at an OBRA event?” We also know that this could have been us or someone close to us.

        1. Riding a bicycle doesn’t require special clothes. And quite frankly shouldn’t.

          There are numerous thing I do every day that doesn’t require a costume change for safety’s sake. Many of which are just as dangerous if not more so than riding a bicycle. like cooking, showering, sleeping, and eating.

          Mother nature is just as likely to kill me with lightning bolts, wolves , or killer bees than if I’m riding my bicycle. Should I wear a bee keepers outfit over an attack dog training suit while making sure I’m properly grounded every time I walk outside. And if I do will I be able to swim when the flood waters come?

          1. Avatar SD says:

            Although I doubt bright clothes are significantly protective, I am trying to stay open to the possibility that there may be a measurable amount of risk reduction afforded by eye-catching clothes. However, the fantasy of the mass-adoption of bike safety uniforms quickly falls apart when considering its practical implementation. Like others have mentioned, the bright clothes argument is one item on a long list of “shoulds” that have little to no data showing efficacy and shift blame and responsibility for crashes onto the people riding bikes.
            Often, it appears that the fanatical insistence on cyclists adhering to this list comes from people who have no experience cycling and feel that cyclists are interfering with their driving. It is more interesting when someone who cycles regularly fixates on something like bright clothes as a panacea for safety.
            In many bike safety discussions there appears to be a fetish for individual culpability that results in a tedious analysis of the bike rider until a possible flaw can be found and the cyclist can be dismissed as irresponsible. There are some realities that are hard to accept, including “bad things happen to good people” and “cars hit people on bikes even when the cyclist was doing everything correctly.” Ultimately, I think this pointing of fingers is a mechanism of coping with the fear that every road user faces. It is easy to believe that you are more responsible than others and protected by your magic safety cape of personal responsibility and skill until a car takes you out.

        2. Avatar Jason 2 says:


          You said: ” There is absolutely nothing in this story that suggests the cyclist was not doing everything a reasonable person would do to be safe and responsible. ”

          If you will read my original comment (right now it’s the 2nd comment), you will notice that I clearly stated that “just based on the photo” it appears she was not wearing high viz clothing. In case there is any confusion I am referring to bright colors like fluorescent yellow or orange. In the photo she appears to be wearing black clothing top and bottom. If that is the case, then yes, she could have taken better safety precautions. Maybe she was wearing bright colors and they don’t show in the photo or maybe the removed them to provide medical care. My comment was based on the photo provided as I said.

          You also said: “The circumstances of the injuries deserve a thoughtful consideration of changes that could prevent further injuries.”

          I have proposed thoughtful changes that might have prevented this accident. Because of this, I have been attacked as if I hit her on purpose in my car! Talk about a bunch of d**ks!

          1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

            “I have proposed thoughtful changes that might have prevented this accident.”

            The questionable word here is “thoughtful”. You are commenting on this forum among folks who have literally hundreds of years of combined cycling experience in just about every conceivable environment from country roads to high-traffic urban areas to mountainsides and everywhere in between. They ride during the day, at night, during summer, fall, winter, and spring; in every kind of weather from 100-degree heat to near-zero winter cold. From sun to rain to hail to snow—even ice with the right tires. They have had every single kind, shape, and form of interaction with other road or trail users from porcupines to 16-wheelers, from angry drivers yelling and passing too close to literally being killed by the carelessness of drivers, thus sadly ending their commenting days. Needless to say, among the commenters here, there are volumes untold of careful thought.

            The suggestion that someone who got run over by a careless driver might not have been if only they had had the common sense to dress in the appropriate manner to leave home on (*gasp*) a bicycle, is what we call “knee-jerk”, not “thoughtful”. You and countless politicians looking to score points among the “safety” crowd all have the same ideas: “make those cyclists wear helmets at all times!” “Make ‘hi-viz’ apparel mandatory!” “Require a 15-foot high orange flag on all bicycles!” “Ban bicycles from certain roads—for their own safety!” “Ban children from being passengers on parents’ bikes!”

            The sad, sad fact is that—as you have noted—drivers are distracted nearly all the time. They are not looking, which means they will not see anything of any color in front of them. Worse, there are many drivers, such as the guy who tore down my street today going probably 60 mph in a 25-mph residential neighborhood, passing adult and child bicyclists, squealing tires around blind bends in the road—who just couldn’t give a fraction of a hint of a crap about anybody. He didn’t care what anybody was wearing. Drivers easily fixate, as I imagine this one did, on all the other car traffic and on any possible escape route they can find to get out of it. They make desperate, last-second, sudden accelerations toward whatever gap they are zoned in on without looking for a single other thing, regardless of what color it is.

            Wearing hi-viz, reflective, lit-up gimcrackery all over one’s bike and person—which I would bet many of the people disagreeing with you do—will perhaps do one thing: help drivers who are already looking, in which case they would likely have seen you anyway. The only time it makes a real difference is when using or not using lights at night. Comment number two on an article about someone who was hit by a careless, inattentive driver is not the place to say “ooooooooh! You weren’t wearing your hi-viz, at least according to the picture, which might not show the whole picture, but still—you probably got run over cuz you weren’t taking responsibility for your own safety.” That isn’t thoughtful no matter how you slice it.

            1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

              Many of these folks have almost no experience. Sure there are a lot of them so their meager number of years adds up, but a person with say 5 years on the road is a newbie with much to learn, so their opinions are questionable at best.

          2. Bright clothes probably wouldn’t have helped in this case. The human eye doesn’t detect color in the periphery (you start losing color detection at about 20 -25 degrees from the center of focus). After that point, you only see various shades of light and dark. It’s all about the placement of the rods and cones in your eyes. Effective human eyesight is extremely narrow, and only gets worse when one is upset or moving fast (it narrows dramatically the faster you travel).

            In bright daylight, black clothes will actually make you stand out more than light and bright clothing from the “corner of your eyes”. (rare case of my art school education paying off – learned a lot about optics and how the eyes work as a fine arts major feel free to check the info on optometrists sites- if I’m off it ain’t by much.).

            Looking at the location of the damage of the car, it looks like the driver didn’t check their mirror before cutting her off.

            1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

              Very possible the driver just didn’t look in his mirror as you indicate. I see no buildings or trees along this section of the street that would have cast a shadow, hiding a dark-clothed cyclist, in the afternoon sun, so that is probably what happened – didn’t look.

              However, if he had looked in his mirror, that may not be “peripheral” vision. The mirror could easily be in his central vision and color perception would not be affected.

    2. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

      Having almost been run down halfway across a marked crosswalk in broad daylight while wearing a chartreuse reflective vest, I call bullshit on the so called efficacy of “hi-viz” clothing.

      Get well soon Lisa.

    3. Adam H. Adam H. says:

      Stop blaming the victim by critiquing her choice of clothing. Thanks.

      1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

        Not blaming. Just pointing out the facts of the incident. Sorry if the facts offend you. I like to learn from the mistakes of others and knowing the facts of their accidents makes learning the lessons easier. If I am so unfortunate to have a similar accident I hope that others might learn how to help prevent it happening to them. Agreed?

        1. Avatar are says:

          be sure and report back if you have incidents with motorists despite taking whatever precautions you think someone else did not take.

          just to be clear, jason, it is not as though i have not posted on other threads about vehicular strategies a cyclist might have taken that would have led to a different result.

          but in this situation, in broad daylight, with the cyclist positioned pretty much where the painted infrastructure told her to be, and with people who know her saying she has had plenty of experience on the roads, and with the motorist having obviously made a stupid and illegal move, i really do not understand why you have to go on and on about yellow clothing.

          the motorist had opportunities to see what was going on and ignored them, period. there is only so much anyone can do if a motorist is determined to screw up.

          it may be that the left side placement of the bike lane was a factor here. when this was in the design phase, i spoke against this more than once. but the poor design does not absolve the motorist of responsibility to see what is outside his cocoon he might hit.

          1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

            What about before or after this particular location where there are buildings or trees that would cast dark shadows, making a cyclist in dark attire difficult to see – perhaps even more difficult if the driver was wearing sunglasses on a sunny afternoon. What if she had been hit in such a location? Are you still going to blame it all on the driver? Are you going to claim there is no way that having bright colored attire would have made a difference? In this case, it does appear that the driver probably didn’t look in their mirror since there should not have been shadows to make a cyclist harder to see, but a block or so either direction may have been a different story – the combination of dark clothing and dark shadows could make her visibility more difficult. Do you believe that?

            1. Avatar Dan A says:

              Yes, still driver’s fault.

    4. Avatar Robert Ping says:

      Yes, you are right, the van should have had a hi-vis coating on it so that the bicyclist could see that it was about to suddenly turn into her legal right of way…and where is the drivers helmet? Was he wearing one? Head injuries are the primary injury inside cars.

    5. I’m skeptical at best about the notion that cyclists need to wear high visibility clothing just to traverse the neighborhoods they live in… and even more so in the daytime. This crash happened at 4:45 pm.

      1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

        Drivers are inattentive only during certain times of the day. The times of the day they are inattentive are when they are driving. Thus, they are always inattentive. It’s a fact of life that no amount of preaching by politicians, hand wringing, safety programs (Vision Zero), weeping and wailing or gnashing of teeth, will change. After all the finger pointing, mad posts, indignant cyclists, new vulnerable road user laws, stiffer penalties, etc YOU must take responsibility for being seen when you are on the street; unless you are willing to be hit.

        1. Avatar El Biciclero says:

          “…YOU must take responsibility for being seen…”

          You might as well tell restaurant customers that “only YOU can be responsible for avoiding food-borne illness!” I can wash my hands, avoid restaurants that have low health inspection ratings, observe whether the food-handlers (that I can see) are wearing gloves or not, but there is NO WAY I can force employees to wash their own hands, or not touch contaminated surfaces, or even ensure they haven’t sneezed on my burger.

          In the same way, I can cower on the far right, use all my lights and reflective, hi-viz apparel, whatever I want while I’m riding my bike, but nothing is going to get a driver’s eyes off their phone if they aren’t already watching the road and looking for me.

        2. I wear a neon yellow Endura jacket with reflective markings. My pants have reflective markings. I run a 1000 lumen headlight, and a bright red tail light at all times of day. I was stopped at a stop sign on a designated, sharrowed bike road in broad daylight. I was taking the lane. A driver coming up on the stop sign wasn’t paying attention and plowed right in to me. Less likelihood of being hit didn’t make my injuries heal faster. Less likelihood of being hit didn’t help me feel better when I was laying on the asphalt. Less likelihood of being hit didn’t give me $600 to pay for repairs to my bicycle. No amount of so-called “personal responsibility” would have saved me from a driver who was so distracted (looking at his phone) that he would have blown right through the stop sign if I wasn’t there.

          1. Avatar lyle w. says:

            Sorry to hear that happened. I worry about this exact scenario at all times when I’m waiting at a crowded intersection with space behind me.

            How are you doing now? And what ended up happening to that guy.

          2. Avatar Jason 2 says:


            glad to see you are able to tell us about your most unfortunate accident. hope you had a full recovery. hope the car driver was punished according to the law.

            were you wearing a backpack or anything to obscure the back of the jacket?

            kind of amazing – that appears to be a very visible jacket.

            1. At least you had the decency to wish me a good health, but seriously! Are you really going to try to find any possible loophole to say that this my responsibility? For what it’s worth, no, I was not wearing a backpack, I bike with Ortlieb panniers–you may have seen them, they’re the kind with the giant reflective patches. Not that this matters, at all. The only thing that would have prevented the collision was for the driver to keep his eyes on the road, seen the stop sign (and me stopped at it), and stopped as he was legally obligated to do.
              I’m sorry if my tone is intemperate, but throughout this thread you’ve been blowing off experiences like mine as “rare” or “exceptions.” Do you have any idea how little comfort that gives me? Do you think it makes me feel safer when I stop at a stop sign and see a car coming up behind me?

              1. Avatar JL says:

                I got hit in front of OMSI by a guy pulling into the drop off area. It was right hook and it was as he was passing me.
                I thought my light might not have been working but when I asked he said that he saw me, just wasn’t thinking.

                No amount of anything is going to get some of these drivers to pay attention, and they have been absolutely horrible lately.

              2. I run my lights even during the daytime because a randomized, controlled trial in Denmark showed a 47% decrease in multiparty accidents with injuries to the cyclist. Fat lot of good that 47% decrease did for you and me.

                Despite my ridiculously visible gear I’ve had multiple near-right hooks in broad daylight on Hawthorne by drivers who pass me and then turn right in front of me. I ride just a few inches inside of the paint to make myself more visible (and to avoid being doored). You would think that the jacket, the tail light, the lane position, and the fact that I’m in front of them, and the very good lighting conditions would be enough to make my presence known. If I didn’t have a car horn on my bike to make my presence known I would have been run over.

                Link to Danish study: By the way, Jason, this is vastly better evidence than *anything* you’ve presented in the thread.

              3. Not a single one of those drivers used a turn signal, of course.

              4. Avatar Jason 2 says:

                I’ve been hit from the rear in my car, much less on a bike. I suspect the person was looking at their phone. Fortunately no damage but if I’d been on my bike I’d probably had injuries.

              5. Gosh, maybe if you had the foresight to buy a neon car you wouldn’t have been rear-ended.

              6. Avatar Dan A says:

                Were you driving in the shadows? Was the other driver wearing sunglasses? Perhaps it wasn’t their fault.

      2. Avatar wsbob says:

        ” I’m skeptical…” maccoinnich

        Rather than a quiet neighborhood street, Williams Ave is a very busy thoroughfare. This time of year, at 4:45, when the sun is out, which, can’t remember, but think that day it was…there’s lots of daylight. Although on a north-south street like this one, anyplace there are tall buildings, trees, etc on the west side of the street, daylight is reduced, and accordingly, so may be ability of people driving, to visually detect people riding.

        With this, and the general details available about the traffic situation this particular collision occurred in, I may be inclined to say h-vis gear would help people in the main lane, detect more readily, people riding in the adjacent bike lane. Not guarantee, of course, that everyone driving, would see, but I think that in traffic situations like this one, hi-vis gear can help.

    6. Avatar Carl says:

      Or perhaps it was the driver’s fault for not painting his minivan dayglo orange?

    7. Avatar JeffS says:

      Don’t believe you. I think you’re happy for a chance to display your smugness. Repeatedly.

    8. Avatar Ron says:

      Wow, can’t argue with the reality-is-my-evidence experiment. So, professed Jason 2, someone riding lawfully who is hit by a distracted/careless driver was not taking responsibility for her own safety. Got it. Thanks. I hope you aren’t injured by a falling piano some day because you weren’t taking responsibility for looking up.

    9. Avatar PC says:

      If what you say is true that visibility is a major factor in accidents..because drivers cant see darker objects..then..the data would show that autos of darker color must be involved in more accidents than brightly colored ones. No? not true? hmmm..I wonder why..hmm indeed. Visibility is a good extra precaution (my bike is lit up like a neon disco dance hall) but the fact that cars of darker color are not in any more accidents than brighter colored ones tells us that visibility isnt the true cause. Car drivers dont CARE TO LOOK for both cyclists and pedestrians, it is simply too much effort for them. Quite simply 80-95% of auto drivers know full well they wont be charged with any crime for running over a cyclist..they need only exclaim..”I didnt see him/her officer, he just came out of nowhere” and presto! no charges filed. The driving public knows this and uses it as an excuse for inattentive homicidal driving habits.

      Why should the cycling public shoulder all the load when it comes to safe street usage? Auto drivers are the ones operating potentially deadly weapons… no different than a handgun.
      Why do police shrug and allow auto drivers to use the “out of nowhere” excuse? If you were driving your car and you hit another car and claimed in court..”I didnt see him, he just came out of nowhere” or “the other car was dark grey so naturally I didnt see it” you would first be laughed out of court, secondly made to PROVE that vehicles simply appear out of thin air..good luck with that. But when it comes to bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians its OK to run one down as long one claims that the cyclist was at fault for not being visible enough.
      Lisa is a seasoned, rational and street savvy rider, I trust that she was in full compliance of the law. In broad daylight there is no basis whatsoever for an auto operator to claim the Non Viz factor.

      1. Avatar Jason 2 says:


        Perhaps you did not notice that a car is quite a bit larger than a bicycle and is thus more visible? And, FYI, some studies indicate that black cars are involved in more accidents than cars of more visible colors. 3 examples:

        You said: ” But when it comes to bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians its OK to run one down as long one claims that the cyclist was at fault for not being visible enough.”

        No one said it was OK. It’s not OK. But it happens and as a cyclist you can make it less likely by being very visible day and night. If you are going to use the road as a cyclist you have a responsibility to all other road users to make yourself visible. You even admitted you are lit up like a neon disco dance hall. Why? Do you just like wasting batteries?

  3. Avatar jeff says:

    damn, been a lot of collisions going on the past few weeks.

  4. Avatar SD says:

    One month ago, I was on the receiving end of a left hook on Williams when it was low traffic, the weather was clear and the driver passed me immediately before making the turn.
    This experience as well as many years of commuting on Williams has made me consider if many of the cross streets between Vancouver and Williams should be one way to the East, decreasing the number of left turns.

  5. Avatar Ben F. says:

    This is probably one of the most compelling cases for how a protected bike lane would have prevented injury. I hope Lisa gets well soon.

    1. Avatar J_R says:

      So, will a protected bike lane not have any places where a car can cross it? The motorist was clearly to blame, but unless the protected bike lane you promote doesn’t allow cars to cross it, how will a protected bike lane help in this case?

      Maybe I simply don’t understand your definition of a protected bike lane.

        1. Avatar J_R says:

          What about unsignalized intersections? You’re mixing protected bike lane and protected intersection.

        2. Avatar B. Carfree says:

          And even if a so-called protected intersection was put in place, motorists are still free to left-hook cyclists. In fact, by pushing cyclists even further out of the “attention zone”, it may well be a much more frequent occurrence in such a construct.

        3. Avatar are says:

          how does that design apply to this intersection, adam?

  6. Adam H. Adam H. says:

    Rip out that ridiculous left-hand bike lane and make it a right-side protected bike lane with floating bus stops. Absolutely unbelievable that this wasn’t done correctly in the first place.

    1. Avatar soren says:

      Trimet rejected that design. This begs the question as to why Trimet gets a veto on how Portland reconfigures its streets.

      1. Adam H. Adam H. says:

        But somehow TriMet was okay with floating bus stops for for the streetcar in South Waterfront.

        1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

          Streetcar is not run by Trimet.

          1. Adam H. Adam H. says:

            The City of Portland owns the Streetcar, but TriMet still operates and maintains it.

    2. Avatar lop says:

      Other than anecdotes like this or theoretical arguments do you have any hard data that would show that left hand bike lanes are so dangerous? Ideally an analysis based on lanes in Portland, or at least this country to avoid issues of different culture? (i.e. a country with slower riders and bus passengers more used to looking for cyclists than what exists in Portland would reduce conflict and not necessarily be applicable)

      1. Avatar mh says:

        Every time I ride Williams I consider installing a second handlebar mirror – one on the right to match the one on the left that I check all the time.

        1. Avatar lop says:

          I prefer helmet mounted mirrors, and have one on each side. Plenty of one way streets that are easier to ride in the left lane in Portland. Also helps on multi use paths where some cyclists just do not get or care that I am trying to give a wide berth for the comfort of the pedestrian I am passing, not so there’s room for a cyclist to pass between us.

    3. Avatar JeffS says:

      Go ahead. Tell us how walling yourself in (except at an intersection) prevents a hook. I’m all ears. And when you redirect to a protected intersection, be sure to explain how that prevents a hook. And when you redirect to dedicated signals, remember that they had nothing to do with the first two proposals.

      You know what prevents a hook? Being in front of the car behind you.

      1. Avatar soren says:

        A protected intersection “walls in” motor-vehicles and prevents them from making an immediate hard right (or left) into vulnerable traffic. Another key feature is that vulnerable traffic typically stops well in advance of car traffic. Can you please explain why you find this idea objectionable?

    4. John Liu John Liu says:

      Then you’d get right hooks.

      Whenever there is an intersection, there is the potential for hooking accidents (and other accidents). Intersection design cannot and will not eliminate those risks.

      1. Avatar are says:

        you can only be hooked if you are inside someone’s turning radius.

  7. Avatar JT says:

    I work on Williams very close to this intersection and witness countless instances of illegal and dangerous driving every day from my office window, particularly during rush hour. The Killingsworth/Williams Intersection is a mess and enforcement is non-existent.

    Many drivers seem unaware or uncaring that they are not supposed to drive in the bike lane and will frequently whip into the bike lane suddenly drive up and turn into the salvation army parking lot or queue illegally in the bike lane to make a left turn onto Killingsworth, making the intersection dangerous for both people on bikes and drivers who are obeying the law and trying to move left at the designated cross-over point. This section of the Williams bike lane would benefit greatly from the removal of the under-used left hand parking lane and placement of bollards or some other physical separation to keep cars from entering the bike land where it is not appropriate.

    1. Avatar B. Carfree says:

      As you note, enforcement is non-existent. Perhaps the best way to fix this intersection is to massively increase enforcement of our traffic laws. That would have the benefit of improving conditions at every other intersection as well.

    2. This reminds me of the bus that cut us off on a Pedapalooza ride last year. (Nothing came of that, btw.)

      1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

        Buses have very large blind spots on the front right and front left due to their large mirrors. Stay as far from buses as you can.

        1. Avatar J_R says:

          But what if you wear high visibility gear? I thought you said that was the be all and end all of being safe.

          1. Avatar Jason 2 says:


            I think your mom has your bath water ready.

  8. Avatar Jacob says:

    This is what happens when you ignore best practice design (protected bike lanes + protected intersections) and make up a new design for political expediency: people get hurt.

  9. Avatar redtech116 says:

    All cars/vehicles should come with some form of radar and auto breaking system, and BAC ignition interlocks….

    1. Avatar J_R says:

      Auto braking? Or auto breaking?

    2. Avatar still riding after all that says:

      NO. I don’t drink alcohol at all, and I don’t smoke pot or use any other recreational drugs, so I shouldn’t have to pay for an ignition interlock in my vehicle. You have fallen into the trap of punishing the innocent instead of focusing the blame on the guilty.

      And BTW, it’s “auto braking system,” not “breaking.” The words BRAKE, BRAKING and BREAK, BREAKING mean different things.

      1. Avatar Tim says:

        “BRAKE, BRAKING and BREAK, BREAKING mean different things”, but auto breaking is ironically appropriate.

        1. Avatar rachel b says:

          Yes. I would like to have an auto breaking system. 🙂

      2. Avatar J_R says:

        Installed on all vehicles an ignition interlock with blood alcohol measuring capability would be pretty cheap if installed on all vehicles. I’d rather we allowed and encouraged random sobriety stops, but that would apparently require a constitutional amendment. You are paying the price for drunk driving right now; it’s reflected in your insurance premiums (auto, health, disability, life, workers’ compensation).

        I object to having to pay $5 for every airline ticket and having to go through TSA screening since I’m not a terrorist, but that’s a societal decision.

    3. Avatar PC says:

      Auto Breaking…sounds like a great video game idea.

  10. Avatar daisy says:

    Best wishes to Lisa on her recovery!

    Can someone explain why the person in this car was issued a citation immediately but not one to the driver when Brian Duncan was hit by the 84 year old man? The news item from the other day says,

    “As is standard practice, the police did not issue any citations or make an arrest at the scene because the investigation is ongoing and the case is in the hands of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. Once the DA has determined whether or not there is any criminal wrongdoing on the part of Hellbusch, they will return the case to the police so they can decide whether or not to cite.”

    But running a red light is a pretty big deal. Why wouldn’t they issue a citation for that and then keep going?

    1. Avatar Paul Atkinson says:

      Seconded…I’m really curious about the answer to this. Also why this case invoked the Vulnerable User clause but others have not. Any insight?

      1. Avatar Bjorn says:

        One issue with the VRU law is that because it is still fairly new many officers do not know about it. I know that Ray Thomas has been working with LE to get the word out but continuing to spread the word to everyone will help with enforcement in my opinion.

    2. daisy, i’m not a lawyer but here’s my best guess.

      The police did not issue a citation in the Brian Duncan collision on Rosa Parks because they felt given the evidence (blatant red light running) and seriousness of the injury that there was a chance that criminal charges might be possible. For reasons explained above they are simply deferring the citation decision until a later date.

      The police issued a citation immediately here on Williams because there was also clear evidence of a violation, but unlike the Rosa Parks case the police do not feel the actions of the mini-van driver have any chance of rising to the legal threshold of “criminal” and so the Police finish up the case by giving the citations.

      There are degrees of mistakes and each case is different and the police and legal response reacts accordingly.

      1. I think, too, that a lot of it depends on what police officer responds to the scene. Different officers have different understandings of the law and some will consult the DA about citing on the scene or charging a crime or waiting. Some officers do not consult the DA and just issue the citation (or decide not to issue the citation) per their investigation. I don’t know what the threshold is where a consultation with the DA is required.

      2. Avatar JeffS says:

        I suspect you’re overthinking this.

        Attributing a decision made by one officer to departmental level strategy is a huge leap.

        Every single citation is a judgement call. It’s like asking a DA why he charged one person with manslaughter and let the next walk.

        Because one was pretty, one smelled bad, caseload was high, hates going to court, son of an important person, friend of the mayor, looks like that kid who beat him up in high school…

  11. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

    Additionally this the start of a work zone…

    Has PBoT or the contractor fixed the WZ deficiencies many of us pointed out over a month ago?

  12. Avatar Christopher Jones says:

    I hope Lisa heals quickly. The city needs to improve safety here.

  13. Avatar Andrea says:

    Would it be outlandish to suggest temporarily suspending licenses in cases like this where negligence is involved? Let’s say, 3 month suspensions and give an option for receiving a loaner bike & gear (or a bike share membership?) in addition to a class on biking in Portland for the interim. Would it make people take driving more seriously? It certainly could provide some perspective if they picked the cycling option.

    1. Avatar Bjorn says:

      Glad to see the PPB using the VRU provision without having to be prompted. If the driver does not complete the drivers training and community service their license will be suspended for one year in addition to the fine.

      1. Avatar soren says:

        Thank you for your advocacy, Bjorn!

    2. Avatar JeffS says:

      No, that’s mild. IMO, realistic would be mandatory jail time, loss of license and a fine of about 50% of a year’s wages.

      Outlandish would be something beyond that.

      You can’t legislate consideration and you certainly can’t build it with asphalt, concrete or paint. If you’re not willing to criminalize negligence then you simply don’t care.

      If that’s the case, let’s stop pretending that we do.

    3. Avatar PC says:

      Not outlandish at all, in fact very appropriate.

    4. Avatar lyle w. says:

      That would be a reasonable, fair and equitable use of the justice system… so yeah, totally outlandish.

  14. Avatar Jonathan says:

    We’ve all seen it: frustrated drivers in rush hour saying “fuck this” to themselves and abruptly deciding to try their luck on a side street. Impulsive maneuvers, high risk of injury.

  15. Avatar El Biciclero says:

    “…the standard lane was backed-up with bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s unknown why Somow made a careless left-turn…”

    It’s known to me, I’ve seen it many times. “Can’t…stand…to…wait…behind…all…these…cars…ahhhhgh-get-me-outta-here!!!!!” Followed immediately by careless turn (left or right).

  16. Avatar Hazel says:

    The Williams re-design has been a disaster from the start. Spend an hour during rush hour observing traffic and you’ll see so much messed up behavior. I’ve watched cars completely jump into the bike lane for blocks to pass stopped traffic, tons of people using their cell phones and lost of near miss left hooks. It’s a shame that there doesn’t seem to have been any review of how the redesign has changed traffic. It’s all only going to get worse once all the new apartments open. I’m also terrified of what’s going to happen when the left turn option becomes available at the light just before New Season’s. Lot’s of people will use it to get to the freeway so my guess is close calls and left hooks will increase.

  17. I wish nothing but the best for Lisa George.

    I know it seems like this is happening more frequently, but if we are using the bridge tallies as any indication of ridership, ridership is up by about or over 50% this year lately.

    Hawthorne bridge is up to typical numbers (around 5000 yesterday) before the Tilikum, and the TIlikum has added an additional 3000.

    Anecdotally I’ve noticed that there are lots more riders in the middle east side.

    So yes the overall numbers of bicycle incidents are up, but if we’re jumping from 8 to 12+% so fast more collisions are expected. It is the safety in numbers at play.

  18. Avatar wsbob says:

    “…Hassan Somow made a sudden left-turn into the bike lane. Somow was driving a Mazda mini-van. …

    …based on what witnesses have told us, the standard lane was backed-up with bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s unknown why Somow made a careless left-turn; but as someone who rides this road weekly I often see people abruptly turn left to get out of traffic and find a quicker way to their destination by using sidestreets. …” maus/bikeportland

    Bumper to bumper traffic on a thoroughfare like Williams, often means stop and go traffic, people under stress, and impatient to keep moving even if doing so is a matter of diverting from their intended route. Congestion has them in their vehicles sometimes creeping along at a walking pace, if not entirely stopped, even when the signal far ahead is green.

    Under those circumstances, some people, as they slowly approach an intersection, will have this little debate with themselves: ‘Should I turn off onto this side street, or not?’. The may not be able to decide until they’re at the intersection and about to lose the opportunity to make a decision to turn, so at the last second…they yank the wheel over to be on their way.

    Wouldn’t be a surprise if the person driving, didn’t signal at all, or if they did signal, did so simultaneously with starting to turn and advance the vehicle. Vehicles in that situation not signaling for some time before the actual turn, puts any traffic in the bike lane at a serious disadvantage…as does sudden turns of vehicles from the main lane, across the bike lane. It’s really a seriously difficult and risk prone maneuver, bike lane or not. Based on my own experience riding, I feel it’s very difficult for someone riding in the bike lane, to be certain someone driving won’t try the risky maneuver the person driving and involved in this collision did.

    A hard collision by the look of the damage to the motor vehicle’s left front fender, and by the comment posted by the daughter of the person riding the bike, here:

    The injury description “non-life-threatening”, doesn’t mean the injury isn’t severe or traumatic. A broken spine sounds like a very serious injury…hopefully not paralysis or less than full healing to complete mobility.

    1. Avatar Dan A says:

      2012 study indicated failure to signal results in twice as many crashes as distracted driving:

      I have no idea why our law enforcement is not guided by statistics.

      1. Avatar Jason 2 says:

        Not enough cops to catch a significant fraction of offenses. For every ticket given, probably 1,000,000 offenses are never seen. If everyone got a ticket every time they committed a traffic violation every one of us would have our license removed within 2 months of it being issued.

        Not only are there too few cops, but when they ride around in marked cars, everyone is on their best behavior as long as they are near that car. Get rid of marked cop cars. Driver behavior will improve quite a bit.

        Cyclists can help the car drivers out – be seen from a very, very long distance.

        1. Avatar Dan A says:

          I was passed by 6 sheriffs between Salem and Portland this afternoon. Every one of them was driving at least 10 miles over the speed limit. They could start by setting a good example.

        2. Avatar wsbob says:

          “Not enough cops to catch a significant fraction of offenses. …” jason 2

          That’s basic reality of road use, and why defensive road use is so important. What I can gather from the description of the collision here in this story though, it sounds like this was just one of those days when Lisa George’s defensive riding, wouldn’t have been enough to prevent the collision. From the details offered about her in this story and in comments, I’m going to presume she has considerable experience riding in traffic, and does so defensively.

          Wishing not to be, or sound critical, I would be interested to hear from her, what was the speed of both traffic in the main lane, and of herself on her bike in the adjacent bike lane. If main lane traffic was moving very slow, or stopped, and she happened to have the bike lane open, and was moving comparatively fast ( how fast?), that factors into the ability of people operating motor vehicles, to detect traffic approaching to their side from behind.

          More likely than not, people in motor vehicles that are checking for such traffic…and hopefully, they are….are looking for it using their side view mirrors. When a fast moving rider is approaching, the opportunity for a motor vehicle operator to detect them using side view mirrors, may be very brief, much more so than when speed of both main lane and bike lane traffic is somewhat close to each other.

          That minimal ability for someone in a motor vehicle in such a traffic situation as this one may have been, to detect rear approaching bikes in the bike lane, is, I think, is an extremely important thing for people riding in traffic, to keep in mind. In such a traffic situation, a low speed approaching and riding through the intersection may help to lessen people’s injuries if a collision occurs. Even that’s not certain. And it can be very difficult for someone riding, to tell by being conscious of the vehicles they’re approaching and riding alongside in the main lane, which of the people operating them may abruptly decide to lurch across the bike lane and onto a cross street.

    2. Avatar Jason 2 says:


      I thought the same thing about the damage to the car. Looks like a big dent. I hit a deer going 55 and it did not do that much damage to an even smaller car.

  19. Avatar Doug says:

    Reading this blog makes me thank the good lord I don’t live or ride in Portland. The worst ride I can think of is from the 205 bridge to Woodstock, crossing all those east west thoroughfares with no light and no damned thru streets going south. The only other rides I’ve done in Portland are the finish of a few STPs (yuck),. Why on earth is Portland considered good for cycling? Or bike friendly for that mattered. If I lived in Portland I wouldn’t ride a bicycle, I’d drive to Troutdale and start away from Portland, heck I’d drive to Maupin. I’ve climbed Mount Rainier and felt much safer. You people sound like the frog in the in the kettle waiting to boil. Crock crock … That’s your common sense telling you it’s too dangerous to ride in Portland. Hell I don’t even want to visit in a car.

    1. Avatar JeffS says:

      People who are going to mention common sense should do so in the first sentence so we’ll know to stop reading.

    2. Avatar lyle w. says:

      That’s funny, I’ve been riding non stop for five years back and forth from one end of the city to the next, and haven’t been injured once. Well, I’ve wiped out a few times, but they were totally my fault. Trying to eat an energy gel while descending, and so forth.

      You should get out more and release some anxiety. I promise you that you’ll feel better.

  20. Avatar lyle w. says:

    Sorry to hear about this crash… hope the lady is gonna recover fully.

    Nearly been right hooked about six or seven times in the last three days riding.

    In other words… same story it’s always been.

    Keep your heads on a swivel at all times, guys.

  21. Avatar bikeninja says:

    I think that our approach to automobiles in society needs to change. The unstated goal put in place over the last 100 years by the auto, construction, petroleum and real estate industry is that we need to get and keep as many people in cars as possible. If we could change our underlying goal to be getting as many people out of cars as possible perhaps things would change. This would benefit, pollution, overcrowded roads, climate change, oil extraction destruction and need for war. From what I have seen at least 25% of the people in autos on the road should not be there from a safety standpoint. If our road law enforcement goal is to get that 25% off the road then things will be simplified. So lets get this guy off the road!

  22. I was bicycling west after dark in the bike lane on Capitol Highway. I stopped for the red light at Sunset Ave. When the light turned green I crossed the intersection. A woman in a dark burgundy mini-van was next to me in the left of two travel lanes. She decided, after the intersection, and at the last second, to enter the gas station on my right. She crossed the right travel lane and the bike lane, cutting me off so that I had to brake hard and swerve to not be hit by her. I had a flashing red tail light and a flashing white head light on my bike and was wearing plenty of brightly colored and reflective clothing.

    1. Quote from an incident reported on I put this in the wrong location on the thread. Mea culpa.

      1. Avatar F says:

        It’s called “feeding the troll”.. And my hat is off to your attempt, but as usual it has had the opposite intended effect. Welcome to the internet sir.

  23. Turning comments off on this post because I’m pretty disappointed in the direction and tone. Come on folks. Let’s do better next time.

Comments are closed.