Weekender Ride

Bicycle rider ticketed for running red light and ‘careless driving’ after injury crash in Lloyd District

Posted by on May 2nd, 2016 at 1:13 pm

View southbound on 15th with eastbound Weidler traffic on the right.

Here’s something you don’t hear about very often. In fact, I don’t recall this ever happening…

According to the Portland Police Bureau 50-year-old Donna Leslie was biking south on NE 15th this morning at about 7:15 am and was involved in a collision when she attempted to cross NE Weidler (map). 49-year-old David Kennedy was driving his car eastbound and police say he had the green light prior to the crash.

Leslie, a City of Portland employee who works in the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau, was transported to the hospital via ambulance. The extent of her injuries are unknown at this time but police say they’re not expected to be life-threatening.

After hearing about this crash on Twitter, we followed up with PPB Spokesman Peter Simpson. Simpson said responding officers interviewed witnesses and conducted an investigation. “Multiple witnesses told police that Leslie was riding her bicycle southbound on 15th Avenue and failed to stop at the red light at Weidler,” Simpson shared with us via email. Based on this, officers issued two citations to Leslie: one for Careless Driving (with a crash, ORS 811.135) and one for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

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The citation come with presumptive fines of $435 and $110 respectively. If you’re curious how someone could get a “careless driving” citation while biking, check the language of the statute (emphasis mine): “A person commits the offense of careless driving if the person drives any vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.” Police cited Leslie at the scene because they don’t suspect any possible criminal charges and the case is not being forwarded to the District Attorney.

NE 15th is a key bike route through the Lloyd District that connects the Broadway corridor and northeast neighborhoods to the Lloyd District and destinations south of I-84. Just one block south of where this collision happened is where PBOT is slated to make has made major biking and walking upgrades to improve access to NE Multnomah.

It’s extremely rare for an injury collision involving a bike and auto user to result in citations for the bike rider — especially when the offending road user is also the only one that was seriously injured.

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

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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

240 Comments
  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 2, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    So, drivers who kill or maim riders don’t get a ticket (or worse), but riders do.

    Got it.

    I mean, dumb move and all, but.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      i think that’s overly simplistic Ted.

      The Police must be very certain that Leslie made a clear violation of traffic laws… so they cited her.

      You are probably thinking of cases where a person driving a car isn’t cited at the scene even though it’s pretty obvious they did something illegal. That happens often when they hit someone and the PPB decline to cite immediately because they instead refer the case the DA for possible criminal charges. Remember Alistair Corkett, the guy who leg was ripped off by a someone who turned left into him on SE Powell? That driver was cited 5 months later – after the DA concluded the investigation.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        Yeah, it’s an oversimplification. There are tons of ‘road violence’ things that seem to go away. Maybe they all get cited later.

        Certainly there seems to be very little correlation between the damage (or the physics/potential to cause harm) and the legal outcome.

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        • Dan A May 2, 2016 at 1:55 pm

          I guess she should say that she thought the light was green.

          http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/05/13/the-oregonian-run-a-red-light-and-kill-3-kids-just-a-tragic-accident/

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        • Iconoclast May 2, 2016 at 2:04 pm

          You’ve got a point. Alistair Corkett’s leg is gone and Barry Allen got off without so much as a slap on the wrist.

          I’d say, equal punishment by law enforcement for all; motorists and cyclists alike.

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          • Dan A May 2, 2016 at 5:26 pm

            I’d say proportional punishment. Shoes < bikes < cars.

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          • El Biciclero May 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm

            Didn’t Mr. Allen get a dangerous left turn citation and a careless driving with serious injury to a VRU? That last one carries a $12,000 fine, or 200 or so hours of community service to avoid license suspension. What’s interesting is that Jolene Friedow only got a “dangerous left turn” citation after killing Mark Angeles; no careless driving or community service. That sounds like even less of a slap on the wrist than Barry Allen got.

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      • Tonyt
        Tonyt May 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        I was hit by a woman who ran a red light in her car and the police not only wouldn’t cite her, but got in my face because I (while being totally civil) expressed my shock that he wouldn’t cite her. There were witnesses.

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      • Buzz May 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        I think Ted’s point is exactly spot on, the cyclist was the only injured party and gets a ticket immediately, the guy in the truck that ripped Alistair’s leg off sits and waits for five months before charges are filed. How much more of an investigation did they have to do for the latter as compared to the former?

        Most cops are motorized and have an inherent anti-cyclist bias, and even though PPB may be far from the worst public safety organization in this regard (I’m looking at you NYPD), it is still quite evident here in Portland.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 2, 2016 at 4:43 pm

          Buzz,

          In Alistair’s case, the police felt there was a chance the truck operator might have done something criminal so they did not cite until the DA could look at the case.

          In this case, there is no suspicion of criminal intent so the police made the citation decision at the scene.

          Seems very cut and dry to me.

          And I know full well that bias exists against bicycle riders in the police/legal system… But that doesn’t mean I think every single thing they do is evidence of that bias.

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          • Dan A May 2, 2016 at 5:36 pm

            It’s hard to tell when we don’t know what these drivers are ultimately charged with. For example, what happened to the FedEx driver Delman Suiter, who killed Kirke Johnson on Cornell? What happened to John Allman, who killed Ellen Dittebrandt on I-84? What happened to Fred Moore III, who killed Steven Dayley on the side of highway 18? What happened to William Wilston, who hit Keith Kerbs and Larry Hiday from behind in Battle Ground and claimed the sun was in his eyes? Last I saw, in all of these cases the investigations were ‘ongoing’.

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          • Paul Atkinson May 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

            On the one hand, I can understand that “running a stop / red light into cross traffic” could very easily be prima facae evidence of careless driving, as described in 811.135.

            On the other, I can’t recall hearing about a careless driving citation in any recent case when a driver injured a pedestrian or cyclist. That could just be an imbalance in reporting, or in my news sources, or it could be that drivers aren’t often cited for this.

            Of course no one incident is “evidence.” Evidence requires a pattern of bias shown in the data. When a road user breaks the law and the result is a collision, how often is a citation given for careless driving? Do we have any way to know that?

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  • m May 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Bicycles are considered vehicles. ORS 814.400

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    • soren May 2, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      which is completely absurd.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        considered vehicles, except when it inconveniences a driver.

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      • soren May 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        are my roller blades vehicles? my skateboard? my shoes?

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      • m May 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        It also the reason a cyclist is allowed to “take the lane”. Can’t have it both ways.

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        • soren May 2, 2016 at 2:46 pm

          Can’t have it both ways.

          which ways are those? (i personally seem to have no problem riding my bike like a bicycle.)

          the reason a cyclist is allowed to “take the lane”.

          untrue. people cycling are only allowed to ride in motorvehicle lanes under a very limited and vague set of exceptions.

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          • q May 2, 2016 at 3:43 pm

            And motor vehicles are allowed to drive in bicycle lanes and on sidewalks in far more limited ways than are bicycles. It makes sense that the rules for both are not identical, even though both are “vehicles”.

            The “can’t have it both ways” means bicycles can’t expect to have the rights of vehicles without the responsibilities. That’s not saying the mix is fair and perfect, or that creating a separate category for “bicycles” may be better, but in the meantime being considered a vehicle is a lot better than being considered say, a pedestrian or a toy.

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            • m May 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm

              “creating a separate category for “bicycles” may be better”

              If we were writing a code from scratch today, this would be the way to do it. I think they added bikes on after the fact when they realized they needed a way to treat them. Basically, bikes are vehicles unless specifically excluded or if a rule doesn’t practically apply to a bicycle.

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              • are May 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm

                if you rewrite the code from scratch you have to decide whether you want to continue to have signalized intersections. if yes, then a cyclist or a motorist who runs a red light still gets a ticket.

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              • m May 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

                Agreed. Most rules would be the same for both.

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              • Tony T
                Tony T May 2, 2016 at 5:43 pm

                There’s so reason that if we’re starting from scratch we couldn’t favor the more vulnerable road users at signalized intersections. We already have exceptions that favor vehicle operators at signalized intersections. Currently in my car I can take a right turn on red. I cannot (legally) cross the street against a “do not walk” light, even when there are NO cars anywhere in sight.

                Of course people will say taking a right turn on red is different than a person crossing on red, and I say “why?” If both maneuvers can be managed safely, why does only the vehicle operator get the convenience-based exception? An exception, I might add, that results in the deaths of many pedestrians a year.

                It’s pretty basic to me. We surrendered huge amounts of public space to the customers of an industry as a result of the lobbying force of that industry (think jaywalking laws). While in some cities we’re making progress in taking that space back, the assumption still often is, even in places where the roads predated motor vehicles, that this public space is the province of motor vehicles and any accommodation of non-vehicle users must first consider the convenience of motor vehicle users.

                If we started from scratch today, there’s no way we would surrender so much public space to motor vehicles and allow them to rule the movements of vulnerable road users under the de facto penalty of death/disfigurement.

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            • soren May 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm

              except that in oregon people cycling have most of the rights of pedestrians and few of the rights of motor vehicles. under most circumstances someone riding is legally required to ride on right hand side of the road or in a bike lane if one is present.

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      • jeff May 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        now when it comes to obeying traffic control devices, no it isn’t.
        refer to the case in point for the perfect example.

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      • jeremy myers April 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

        So you think a bicycle can’t injure someone else? Give me a break – I ended up in the hospital after being hit by a bicyclist in Mexico. You are doing exactly the us vs them thing, in reverse.

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  • Tyler Texas May 2, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Hope she gets better soon and has a full recovery.

    It would be good if she could tell us why she ran the red light. Thought there were no cars? Looking at smart phone? Thought she could make it through before it turned red?

    Too bad she got fined in addition to her injuries, but if cyclists are considered vehicles, then the law applies to them just like it does to an 18 wheeler or a Prius. And if she drives a car the tickets could affect her insurance rates.

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    • J_R May 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      I disagree with your contention that “it’s too bad she was fined in addition to her injuries.” I certainly don’t want an injury to the vehicle operator who broke the law and was careless to be justification for no fine. I’m pleased that the investigation produced an immediate citation.

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      • El Biciclero May 8, 2016 at 2:25 pm

        “I’m pleased that the investigation produced an immediate citation.”

        You mean, “citationS“. Of course she deserved a cite for running the red; most folks here might agree about that. It’s the second citation for careless driving that seems to be kind of over the top; something we don’t imagine happens to many motorists. Of course, we are imagining (maybe correctly, maybe not) that motorists who run red lights don’t always get a “careless driving” citation to go along with it—even if they end up causing a crash. Some statistics on this would be helpful—or at least some rationale for when the additional ticket is usually given (followed by some statistics to see how often that rationale is used to issue additional citations to motorists).

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    • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC May 2, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      There is a lot of stop-and-go westbound auto traffic at that location in the AM, commuters going into town. She may have been trying a European maneuver of “crossing with the traffic flow”, illegally against the light, but within the relative safety of predictable cross-traffic. Pure speculation on my part, of course.

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    • Mishka's Mom May 2, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Bicycle & Pedestrian cites are not reported to Oregon DMV.

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  • bikeninja May 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I am usually the guy that always comes down on the side of the cyclist, but crossing weidler against the light ( if true) during rush hour is both careless and stupid. I wouldn’t wish the crash or injuries on anyone and I hope they turn out to be minor. But we have to hold fellow cyclists to common sense road safety standards if we are to get any traction with the community at large.

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    • wileysiren May 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      110% agreed.

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    • soren May 2, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      But we have to hold fellow cyclists to common sense road safety standards if we are to get any traction with the community at large.

      So when a driver makes a mistake should we hold fellow drivers to common sense road safety standards in order to get traction in the community at large?

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      • q May 2, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        Yes.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 2, 2016 at 2:35 pm

          Great. When do we start?

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          • soren May 2, 2016 at 2:55 pm

            i don’t think i have ever heard anyone refer to the “driving community” or the “walker community”. imo, the idea of a “cycling community” is rooted in the othering of people who cycle — and often in bias.

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            • q May 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm

              Yes, many non-cyclists DO lump all cyclists into one pot, so if they see bad behavior by some, they’ll assume all are like that. Majority groups have always done that to minority groups. It’s not fair, but that’s how it is. Which is exactly why bikeninja is right–that “we have to hold fellow cyclists to common sense road safety standards if we are to get any traction with the community at large”. That shouldn’t be how it is, but it is how it is.

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              • soren May 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm

                “so if they see bad behavior by some, they’ll assume all are like that.”

                i disagree.
                my neighborhood has always been chock full of scofflaws and ninjas but driver tolerance is very high. i think this video exploration of amsterdam’s scofflaw cycling culture explains why:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XypDTdd4qr0

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              • q May 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm

                I assumed you’d disagree when I wrote it.

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              • Peter Noone May 3, 2016 at 9:22 pm

                You think that holding people riding bicycles to a different, presumably higher standard is going to bring about equality? That notion is essentially self-contradictory. The only way to bring about equality is to get people to realize that there’s no real difference between “them” and “us”. Chastising people and self-righteous self-policing probably isn’t going to make much of a difference there.

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              • q May 3, 2016 at 9:53 pm

                “Common sense standards” to me (and I presume to the person I was quoting) means “common sense standards”, not “higher standards”, and there’s nothing self-contradictory about that.

                However, if as you say, “The only way to bring about equality is to get people to realize that there’s no real difference between ‘them’ and ‘us’ “, then being critical of bad behavior– regardless of whether it’s by cyclists or drivers–seems like a valid strategy. Giving cyclists passes on bad behavior while criticizing drivers for it does not.

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              • soren May 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm

                “bad behavior”

                many people (even cycling advocates) view riding in a traffic lane as bad behavior. if we are going to achieve more widespread acceptance of cycling as a bonafide transportation mode then we need to push against this car-centric perception of what is “bad”.

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          • Tyler Texas May 2, 2016 at 9:22 pm

            TT,
            Ask those who are in jail for doing something stupid in their car or who got large fines for doing something stupid in their car. I think they’d say we have already started. 😉

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      • bikeninja May 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm

        I used the word common sense to exclude the concept of the idaho stop at low traffic stop signs, sorry for not being more specific. Because of the greater danger posed by automobiles they should by held to the letter of the law and punishment should be swift and harsh.

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        • soren May 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

          ah…thanks for clarifying. we agree.

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  • Champs May 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Dura lex, sed lex.

    Metro’s Bike There, the city’s bike map, and Google Maps all label that block between Broadway & Weidler as a bike route. The city map even claims to have a bike lane. A five month old Street View disagrees and I certainly don’t remember one as of this past weekend.

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    • Iconoclast May 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      What’s this got to do with the price of fish? Technically, a cyclist can ride on pretty much any road in Portland. Varying degrees of sanity (or lack thereof) required.

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      • Champs May 3, 2016 at 11:50 am

        Of course they can ride where they please. That block of NE 15th just doesn’t seem like the place where anyone ought to be directed.

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    • Tony T
      Tony T May 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Irrelevant.

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    • lop May 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      One problem with bike maps is they don’t generally differentiate between a bike lane in one direction on a two way street and a bike lane in both directions.

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  • Bjorn May 2, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I wonder if she was still at the scene when the cops went to investigate. It wouldn’t be the first time that blame was wrongly attached to a cyclist who was unable to speak for themselves. http://sfist.com/2015/01/15/truck_driver_who_killed_cyclist_ame.php

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    • Iconoclast May 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Am I missing something? The article you linked seems to counter your statement. At least in the first few lines, it says that the driver was at fault.

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      • Bjorn May 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        Note that SFPD initially took the driver’s word for it and blamed her, it was only through the SF bicycle coalition finding surveillance video that the cops didn’t bother to look for that it was shown that the driver was absolutely at fault. She wasn’t able to provide her version of what happened because she was dead. Too often the cops just take the word of the driver because the injured vulnerable roadway user is unable to speak for themselves.

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      • Bjorn May 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

        I never said that, what I said was that if someone is hurt badly enough that they are in shock and have to go to the hospital and are therefore unable to speak up for themselves that I have seen many cases where the cops just checked to see if the driver was sober and if they are then they write up the driver’s version of events as fact. It is a serious problem that the injured party often can’t speak for themselves.

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        • Tyler Texas May 2, 2016 at 9:28 pm

          Did someone say she couldn’t speak for herself?

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          • Bjorn May 3, 2016 at 11:53 am

            She was quickly transported because she was injured badly enough to need to go to the hospital. The police mention talking to witnesses but not to her. Even if they did speak to her momentarily as she was being carted off by the ambulance she was in shock after being hit by a car. It might have been her fault, but there are certainly many cases where the police take the statement from the driver and go with it because the victim is no longer present due to being hospitalized or is dead.

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    • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

      I wonder if the sun reflected off of a tinfoil hat and blinded her. Just as likely scenario.

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  • Jolly Dodger May 2, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Been rolling in Portland a while…for money and/or fun. Red light or stop sign running is inexcusable, if you want to stay alive. Assuming your vulnerability will cause drivers to either a(see you in time) and b(have time to stop) is disregarding basic laws of physics and relativity. I’ve managed to stay mostly out of harm’s way being ‘that guy’…you know…the one that ALWAYS signals intent and calls out audible passings. And never fails to stop when obligated.
    Please ride safe out there. Cars kill. Bikes work.

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    • soren May 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Red light or stop sign running is inexcusable, if you want to stay alive.

      Running a signal when there is oncoming traffic is obiously a bad idea* but do you have *ANY* evidence to support your statement?

      Idaho legalized the running of stop signs and red lights by people cycling decades ago and, if anything, safety statistics improved.

      https://meggsreport.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/idaho-law-jasonmeggs-2010version.pdf

      Idaho presents a natural experiment to test the safety of relaxing requirements due to its state law allowing cyclists to yield rather than come to a hard stop. Comparison cities lacking the law were sought
      and Idaho fared best for overall bicycle safety, 30.4% better than the closest match. Bicycle injuries declined 14.5% the year after adoption of the law.

      *and something that is incredibly rare in my experience.

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      • dwk May 2, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        Yes to this…
        I was pulled over on my bike a month ago at 6 am for running red lights at both Broadway & Weidler on 21st.
        I told the cop that I ran them because with zero traffic at that time in the morning there was no reason to stop. He replied that I at needed to come to a full stop before going through, so at least some cops get it……
        He just gave me a warning.

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      • Jim May 2, 2016 at 5:24 pm

        Oh I wish people would stop bringing up the “Idaho Stop.” That might work fine in a state whose population density is 20.2 people per square mile, but is not a good idea for cities with much higher population densities like Portland at 4375 people per square mile.

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        • El Biciclero May 2, 2016 at 9:30 pm

          Why does population density make a difference? Paris passed a very similar law a year or so ago; what are their density numbers?

          The “Idaho Stop” law does not compel bicyclists to run every stop light and stop sign, it merely de-infractionalizes doing so under some pretty specific conditions. Any bicyclist who deems it unsafe to proceed through a controlled intersection may wait as long as they want for it to be comfortably safe for them. My guess is that if the same law went into effect in Oregon tomorrow, you’d witness very little change in behavior.

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          • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 7:15 am

            I would ride differently. Right now I frequently come to a complete stop in places where it’s absurd for me to do so, and wait at red lights when there is nobody around.

            Right now my commute takes me 15 blocks eastward on Couch in downtown, at about 6am. There are 8 stop signs and 7 signaled intersections (this is supposed to be a bike route!), all of which seemed to be timed to give me a red — it’s very rare when I roll up to one and it’s green. So then I sit at each red and wait 15 or 20 seconds. There is rarely any cross traffic at all, but I sit there like a doofus, fulfilling my legal obligation, but providing no benefit to anyone at all.

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            • El Biciclero May 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm

              “I would ride differently.”

              Yes, but would anyone witness it?

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              • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:15 am

                same logic works for cars. If I am at a red light in my car and there is no other traffic, why should I wait?

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              • Dan A May 4, 2016 at 4:33 pm

                The Idaho Stop law doesn’t work for cars because 1) speed 2) A pillars.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 2, 2016 at 9:37 pm

          that’s a weird comparison- one state’s density to a city’s density.

          a better comparison is that Idaho’s density is ~20/mi, Oregon is 40/mi. Boise is ~2000/mi, Portland is 4000/mi.

          That’s better than comparing 20 to 4000.

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        • bjorn May 2, 2016 at 9:41 pm

          Boise would be the second largest city in oregon, your argument is a red herring.

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      • Mark S May 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        I was under the impression that the “Idaho Stop Law” treats red lights like stop signs (come to a complete stop, if no traffic, proceed) & stop signs like yield signs (slow down, look for traffic, proceed if no traffic, stop if traffic).

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        • El Biciclero May 2, 2016 at 9:26 pm

          I believe this is basically correct.

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      • 9watts May 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm

        “Idaho legalized the running of stop signs and red lights by people cycling decades ago and, if anything, safety statistics improved.”

        Not correct.
        Treating stop signs as yields is not the same thing as running a stop sign. This is a persistent and unhelpful fiction.

        If the person in this story had done the Idaho thing she would not have been hit (from the information we have).

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        • soren May 2, 2016 at 6:57 pm

          Treating a red signal as a stop sign is running it! I chose my words carefully. Interestingly, the original Idaho stop law allowed red lights to be treated as yields.

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          • bjorn May 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

            That is not true. The original Idaho style law only dealt with stop signs. Then a republican legislator and a state trooper got together and added a provision that you could treat red lights as stop signs. This is becoming more common nationally for motorcycles.

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            • soren May 2, 2016 at 9:57 pm

              i based that statement on wikipedia:

              In 2006, the law was modified to specify that cyclists must stop on red lights and yield before proceeding straight through the intersection, and before turning left at an intersection.

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              • bjorn May 2, 2016 at 10:11 pm

                Idaho has had the stop as yield law since 1982, and there is no evidence that it has had any impact on safety. Stop lights were added later through legislative activity at the request of Idaho state police who wanted to clarify what was allowed.

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              • wsbob May 3, 2016 at 1:33 am

                “Idaho has had the stop as yield law since 1982, and there is no evidence that it has had any impact on safety. Stop lights were added later through legislative activity at the request of Idaho state police who wanted to clarify what was allowed.” bjorn

                Idaho made its bed…it can lie in it.

                Here in Oregon, word of mouth expressed concern by many people using the road with motor vehicles, and with bikes, about road use safety negatively affected by people not stopping for stop lights and stop signs, is very common. Road users essentially relieved of having to stop for stop signs and stop lights, definitely can, and apparently does have a negative bearing on road safety.

                People in Oregon, and every other state in the country, except Idaho, have enough problems already, with road users not stopping at stop signs and stop lights. It’s highly doubtful to me, that they would invite more of the same by relieving people that are road users whether traveling by bike, or by motor vehicle, of having to stop at stop signs and stop lights. And please don’t respond back with that notion that a bill for the Idaho Stop in Oregon Legislature nearly passed into law, because it didn’t.

                The collision this bikeportland story covers, involving someone, a vulnerable road user, that failed to stop at a stop light, is just a very small example of traffic situations road users frequently have to deal with. If when a road user fails to stop at a stop light or stop sign, and as a result, another nearby road user consequently has to take evasive action to avoid a collision or close call, can it be fairly said that road safety has not been negatively affected by the error in judgment of the person proceeding through the stop sign without stopping, or against a red light? I don’t think so, and my hunch is that most Oregonians using the road, think similarly.

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              • 9watts May 3, 2016 at 7:20 pm

                “People in Oregon, and every other state in the country, except Idaho, have enough problems already, with road users not stopping at stop signs and stop lights.”

                The Idaho stop law doesn’t say what you persistently claim it does. Perhaps you are aware of the difference between a yield sign and no sign? The former is a useful traffic control device with a specific set of meanings, not a license to ignore anything and everything around you.

                “The collision this bikeportland story covers, involving someone, a vulnerable road user, that failed to stop at a stop light, is just a very small example of traffic situations road users frequently have to deal with.”

                But your persistence in lumping the *ignoring of a stop sign or red light* with the Idaho situation is, frankly, getting old.

                What some of us have tried to point out is that it obviously works there; you, by contrast, focus not on whether it works but reinterpret the unwillingness of other states to adopt it as prima facie evidence that it is foolish and couldn’t possibly work. Your perspective reminds me of the folks who persist in claiming that Oregon’s vote by mail system is unworkable, would destroy democracy, increase fraud, and who knows what else. All the while it very clearly works works just fine. And we all presumably know that there is nothing special about our ability to vote that way that couldn’t be simply and cheaply copied in any other state, tomorrow.

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              • El Biciclero May 3, 2016 at 9:09 pm

                “If when a road user fails to stop at a stop light or stop sign, and as a result, another nearby road user consequently has to take evasive action to avoid a collision or close call, can it be fairly said that road safety has not been negatively affected by the error in judgment of the person proceeding through the stop sign without stopping, or against a red light?”

                Road safety is constantly affected by errors in judgment, regardless of the law. It appears as though, even with the “Oregon stop law”, errors in judgment happen. Would this crash have been worse somehow if the “Idaho” stop law had been in effect? You sound like you would expect the numbers of this type of crash to explode should Oregon adopt a law similar to Idaho’s. We don’t know whether the bicyclist in this story even ran the red light intentionally; if she didn’t, the law would make absolutely no difference.

                As a counterpoint, just this morning I took advantage of one of Oregon’s newest laws, which we know affectionately as the “dead red” law. I made a left turn across five lanes (six if you count a bike lane) of Cornell Road, and here I am typing about it. Nobody screeched to a stop, I didn’t get run over, I doubt whether anyone even saw me do it. Was that an error in judgment? I’ve done the same thing even before Oregon changed its law, was it an error in judgment then? Was it any safer or more dangerous before or after the law changed?

                “Idaho made its bed…it can lie in it.”

                Sounds comfortable.

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              • bjorn May 5, 2016 at 9:57 pm

                Again bob Idaho has studied the results of their law and it has had no impact on safety so there is no “bed to lie in” the law simply works with no ill effects. Also you don’t agree with idaho style stop legislation, that is fine, but stop rewriting history. Idaho Style legislation has passed in the Oregon House with more than 80% of the vote, Lars Larson succeeded in making it a partisan issue but it had a good chance of passing and has also come close in other states. I think that eventually most of the US will allow it, the opposition isn’t rooted in data it is rooted in anti bike sentiment and hopefully at some point that will die down.

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              • wsbob May 6, 2016 at 9:10 pm

                “…Again bob Idaho has studied the results of their law and it has had no impact on safety so there is no “bed to lie in” the law simply works with no ill effects. …” bjorn

                bjorn…sorry, but I can’t and won’t take for granted, whatever it is you casually refer to as results you say Idaho has studied related to the bike stop law they implemented. If the Idaho Stop works for Idahoans, more power to them. The example that state has presented, again, has not persuaded residents of any other state in the nation, to adopt that law for their own state.

                I’d be more inclined to seriously consider word of mouth, first hand reports,many of them, offered by ordinary citizens that drive, as to their feelings about their experiences with people biking by the Idaho Stop law, than I would, studies some people like referring to.

                It’s not hardly like I’m the only person not enthusiastic about the Idaho Stop law, the rejection of which in states other than Idaho, is massive. Pick a more productive objective, is what I encourage, rather than expending energy wastefully on hopes of getting the Idaho Stop in Portland.

                …Like for example, at least some basic, formalized and officially state sanctioned, certifiable bike in traffic education for people doing that type of riding. I think we all could benefit from having more details reported, should the person riding want to talk about it at some point, as to why it was she reportedly ran a red light when a motor vehicle apparently was entering the intersection at the same time as she. If that collision had something to do with lack of experience or training in riding a bike in the traffic conditions in which the collision occurred, that would be an example of a situation some improvement might reasonably be expected from a state mandated bike in traffic training and testing program.

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              • wsbob May 10, 2016 at 12:33 am

                “…Idaho Style legislation has passed in the Oregon House with more than 80% of the vote, …” bjorn

                bjorn…the bill to which you refer, that at one time was worked on in the Oregon’s legislature, never made it through the senate, and obviously didn’t make it to the Governor for his final vote to make the bill law…both potentially major hurdles to overcome.

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            • soren May 3, 2016 at 9:46 am

              oregon now has a stale red law that allows me to run a red light under many circumstances since my commuter does not trigger inductive loops:

              the party line votes for this law show how politically polarized cycling has become in oregon:

              http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2015/SB533/

              (every republican voted against. and every democrat voted for.)

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              • Bjorn May 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

                Again I wouldn’t call that running a red light any more than I would call it running a red light when a car stops at a red light yields to other road users and then makes a right on red, which is legal in oregon unless prohibited by signage.

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              • soren May 3, 2016 at 12:08 pm

                bjorn, you make a good point. i will avoid using “run” in this context.

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      • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:13 am

        weren’t there several eyewitnesses that stated she did just that?

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  • Lester Burnham May 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Sounds fair. Share the road share the rules.

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  • El Biciclero May 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    OK, now I don’t understand why all citations for failure to obey a traffic control device don’t automatically come with a “careless driving” citation as well. Every failure to yield citation should come with one, too.

    I mean, I can certainly see the FTO citation for running the red, but why does this particular one come with an additional “careless driving” citation? Was Ms. Leslie one of the interviewed witnesses and did she admit intentionally running the light? Then shouldn’t she have received a “reckless driving” citation? Was it because an actual collision resulted? Then shouldn’t all citations issued at collision scenes include a bonus “careless driving” ticket? Did the witness statements tell a story of heavy cross traffic that even a bicyclist attempting to disregard the signal should have seen? Was it because she was injured? Because the other operator’s car was damaged?

    I really don’t understand the criteria here. In comparing two other somewhat recent cases, those of Jolene Friedow and Barry Allen, Ms. Friedow received a citation for “dangerous left turn” after killing Mark Angeles, whereas Mr. Allen received citations for both “dangerous left turn” and “careless driving” for the collision that amputated Alistair Corkett’s leg. What was the difference? In this current case, although I am admittedly biased, it really appears that Law Enforcement is being as heavy-handed as possible against a bicyclist who, although she broke the law, only ended up injuring herself. If the additional citation is some attempt to “teach her a lesson” about what can happen when you run a red light, I’m guessing she’s already going to think twice about that in the future.

    Can anyone explain the rationale for the additional citation without admitting a double standard?

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    • 9watts May 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      El Biciclero for DA!
      A very nice bit of analysis there. I hope we get some answers.

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    • wsbob May 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      I’d guess that the police, in their interview of witnesses, couldn’t determine that the person riding, deliberately ran the red light, though she may have.

      In the absence of being able to establish intent, which, had that been the case, likely would have justified a ‘reckless driving’ citation…the police apparently did know with some certainty that the person rode through a red light, which is an indication of careless driving; for language, ‘careless operation of a vehicle’ might be more appropo.

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      • El Biciclero May 2, 2016 at 8:10 pm

        Yes, but reasoning as you do, every driver who has ever run a red light ought to have also received a “careless driving” ticket, since if you fail to stop for a red, you’re obviously being careless. Since that doesn’t usually happen, then why in this case?

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        • wsbob May 3, 2016 at 12:50 am

          “Yes, but reasoning as you do, every driver who has ever run a red light ought to have also received a “careless driving” ticket, since if you fail to stop for a red, you’re obviously being careless. …” bic

          I wouldn’t say ‘Every person that has ever run a red light, was operating their vehicle carelessly.’

          Even though by most state’s law, it’s illegal to do so, it’s possible to run a red light, or a stop sign, with care, or, in other words, not carelessly, as regards avoiding a close call or a collision. The problem is, outside of the instance of a collision, leading up to which the person operating a vehicle either did or didn’t proceed through the traffic control device with care…it can be very hard to tell whether or not they did so with care.

          The person riding the bike, and who was involved in this collision: witnesses says she didn’t stop for the light…what else may they have observed about the person riding that either did or didn’t indicate the person used some care in proceeding against the traffic control device? for example: visible turning of the head left to right, braking, etc.

          If it should happen that the person riding, recovers, and words they have to say about whether or not they thought they had proceeded through this intersection with care…become available to the public…I wonder what the person will have to say.

          I think laws related to stop signs and stop lights, obliging people using the road with vehicles…are stop-gap measures. Such laws reduce what chance there may be that road users, in handling intersections with stop sign and stop light traffic control devices, will make mistakes that lead to collisions and close calls.

          Elimination of that stop-gap measure is the big flaw in the so called Idaho Stop law, and I think it’s likely why no residents of any other state in the union have through their government, implemented such a law in their own states.

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          • El Biciclero May 3, 2016 at 12:59 pm

            You said, “…the person rode through a red light, which is an indication of careless driving…”, which seems to imply that running a red is careless.

            Perhaps you meant “possible indication of careless driving, subject to the judgment of the officer(s) at the scene”.

            However, my question doesn’t just pertain to Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device citations. Is it possible to “carefully” fail to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk? Is it possible to “carefully” fail to yield to a rider upon a bicycle lane? Is it possible to “carefully” open your car door into a bicyclist’s path? If not, then why isn’t the commission of any of these infractions considered “prima facie” evidence of careless driving and cited as such?

            This may well be a case where, in the officer’s judgment, the bicycle operator was indeed operating “carelessly” in a way that just doesn’t ever seem to apply to motor vehicle drivers, but to my eye,
            * Failure to obey traffic control device: earned
            * Careless Driving: gratuitous additional punishment not applied to very many motorists even when they cause crashes by running red lights.

            You seem to have a belief that officers of the law do not make mistakes, and that anything they determine to be true must be true. I don’t think that’s the case.

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            • wsbob May 6, 2016 at 9:33 pm

              I wrote that: “…the police apparently did know with some certainty that the person rode through a red light, which is an indication of careless driving; …” wsbob

              I wrote “indication of careless driving”, rather than ‘is’ careless driving, because neither the police officer issuing the citation, the people involved in the collision or the people having witnessed it, are the final word on whether the driving, or biking was careless or reckless. Unless of course, the person issued the citation chooses to accept and not contest it.

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            • wsbob May 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm

              Maus…I see you haven’t posted my comment below, emphasizing there is a difference in determination of violation associated with officer stops and citations, and the same, as well as guilt that a judge in the courtroom may determine, if the person receiving the citation does go to court to get that higher level of consideration through the judicial system.

              This is a distinction I think many people may not be very well aware of, and is something they should be aware of. That was my reasoning in posting the response I did to bic’s claim that I’m of the opinion that any running of a stop sign or red light, is unequivocally, ‘careless driving (biking, as well).

              As a citizen the way I understand the system to work, the cop should write out the citation if, based on what he can learn about the incident he’s called to, there is indication that a violation occurred. If the recipient believes one didn’t occur, they can have someone higher in the judicial system, like a judge…review all the evidence and check what all parties involved have to say, including the officer, people involved in the collision, and that of any witnesses.

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              • El Biciclero May 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm

                “As a citizen the way I understand the system to work, the cop should write out the citation if, based on what he can learn about the incident he’s called to, there is indication that a violation occurred. If the recipient believes one didn’t occur, they can have someone higher in the judicial system, like a judge…review all the evidence and check what all parties involved have to say, including the officer, people involved in the collision, and that of any witnesses.”

                That is how the system is supposed to work. In traffic citations, however, we have created almost a “guilty until proven innocent” subsystem. Once the officer writes the ticket, the burden of proof seems to shift to the recipient to show that they didn’t commit the offense. Often the only “evidence” is what the officer says he/she saw (although video seems to be used if an officer is on a concentrated “enforcement action” looking for specific violations). Unless one can hire a lawyer or otherwise compel witnesses of a traffic violation to testify in court weeks later, there is very little that can practically be done to “prove” one’s innocence. Proving one’s innocence is even more difficult after receiving a citation based entirely on an officer’s subjective judgement, such as “careless driving”.

                By writing a citation, an officer nearly guarantees that the recipient will be found guilty unless the recipient is willing to hire a lawyer, which would likely cost more than just paying the fine. If an officer makes a mistake in a case like this, there is not much the average bicycling citizen is likely to be able to do to avail themselves of fair treatment by a higher level of justice.

                Now we might also consider the “opposite” mistake that an officer could make and think about how that affects people as well. Let’s say a motorist ran a red light and caused a crash just like this. Would it be a mistake to not cite such a driver for “careless driving”? Whichever action might be a mistake (either citing or not citing), it can set up very different circumstances that aren’t likely to be changed much by going to court.

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        • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 7:17 am

          I assume that’s rhetorical, but will answer anyway: it’s up to the officer.

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    • Bald One May 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Cops still should not have given her a citation, I think officers frequently use field judgement to decide that a person “has suffered enough already” and doesn’t need a ticket on top of injury. By issuing these citations, it does demonstrate the anti-bike mentality. Cops use that decision power in the field all the time.

      What did the cops say about that person who drove their car up the sidewalk on the new Sellwood bridge a couple of months ago until it was lodged in the concrete – that they already got enough damage and humiliation, so there was no need to ticket them?

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm

        Investigating police located and spoke to the driver, who said she left the pickup truck parked overnight, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, police spokesman.

        “Her car is likely totaled, so the officer felt as though that was probably enough punishment than to write a citation for parking on the sidewalk,” said Simpson. “Since no driving was observed, there aren’t a lot of other options.”

        per O

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        • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 7:04 pm

          Wow.

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  • Eric Leifsdad May 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Adding literal insult to literal injury hardly sounds like vision zero. I could hand out about 10 careless driving citations per mile to drivers who probably think they are “not breaking any law”.

    If this were standard procedure for every collision, PPB wouldn’t look like such paternalistic **** ********* in this case. “Drive a Car” — yep we read you loud and clear there. Happy Bike Month.

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  • Jason May 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I’m sorry for her injuries. I am not sorry she is getting a ticket.

    When I was in my late teens, growing up in Eugene I was ticketed three times for running stop signs on my bicycle. The third and final time it happened, the officer issuing the ticket said (and I’ll never forget this), “you cyclists want to have the respect of motorists and share the road, but you don’t obey the basic traffic laws. If you don’t obey basic traffic laws, how can you expect motorists to respect your rights on the road?”

    At times, cyclists in Portland are… feral, un-housebroken mongrels. I’d like to see more cyclists get tickets for traffic infractions, but I know it’s not likely to happen.

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    • Eric Leifsdad May 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Ah, the old “you cyclists blah blah blah respect” bit. The respect of drivers who are tearing around at 10mph over the posted speed? Note well the respect “cyclists” get when said drivers are jogging on a path with a “10mph” speed posted and a bike goes by at 20mph.

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      • Mike 2 May 3, 2016 at 9:42 am

        Ah, the old “drivers break the laws, co why shouldn’t cyclists” bit.

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        • 9watts May 3, 2016 at 2:42 pm

          “Ah, the old ‘drivers break the laws, co why shouldn’t cyclists’ bit.”

          I don’t think you have that quite right. I think it is more like:

          Ah, the old “drivers break the laws and are basically never cited, so why should cyclists be cited” bit.

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          • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:19 am

            drivers get cited all the time…where do you think all the ticket revenue comes from?

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        • El Biciclero May 3, 2016 at 9:13 pm

          I think of this more along the lines of “everybody breaks the law, so why only get outraged about cyclists doing it?”

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    • bendite May 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      I’d say the rate that drivers break the law is greater than cyclists, whether it’s measured as violations per mile, or minute. Obviously, to potential consequences of poor driving is also much greater. That we need to earn the respect of drivers screams of bias.

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      • Tyler Texas May 2, 2016 at 9:34 pm

        If you can provide a study on your claim, I might buy it, otherwise you can’t make the claim and expect any one to believe it. I drive and bike, and I violate the law doing both.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 3, 2016 at 9:31 am

          There was a study out of PSU.

          And in any case, the multiplier of risk/physics makes the equation really clear.

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          • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:19 am

            the multiplier doesn’t matter at all. We are talking frequency.

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            • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

              we’re also talking about risk: “Obviously, to potential consequences of poor driving is also much greater.”

              comparing speed compliance of drivers on local streets to red light compliance of cyclists shows nearly an order of magnitude difference.

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    • Pete May 3, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      I got pulled over a few months ago on I-84 heading to The Dalles for dinner. I was driving my Audi S4 at~70 mph or so, and though I was passing people I certainly wasn’t the fastest on the road. As I was coming upon a truck I noticed headlights in the passing lane coming up fairly quickly, so I slowed and waited for them to pass (out of courtesy). They slowed and just sat there, so after a reasonable wait I signaled and pulled out and accelerated to pass the truck… and an S4 will get you out of the way pretty quickly, by the way. After passing safely and signalling and pulling back over, the unmarked Dodge Charger then came flying up behind me with blue lights flashing in the grill.

      The officer got out to tell me rather politely that 75 was a little fast (we were heading into a 55 limit in TD by then). He asked where we were going and my wife said we were heading to The Taproom to have dinner and see Tony Smiley play. He asked if we’d had anything to drink already and we said no. He then checked my insurance and ran my Oregon plate and my California license, without even asking why I’d have a CA license while driving a car registered in Oregon. He came back and apologized for the delay and said to go a little easy in the rain because it could be slick, and to drink responsibly and drive more carefully on the way back.

      I didn’t receive a ticket (which I assumed I’d get because I deserved it), nor did I receive a lecture about earning the respect of my fellow motorists or road users. I’ve never received a ticket while cycling, probably because I never (knowingly) break laws while doing so, but I have had far less pleasant interactions with police officers when on a bike (in three different states). I definitely break the law frequently while keeping with (or exceeding) the speed of traffic on interstates, and I rarely get pulled over but am always treated with respect while doing so (even by the cop who jokingly said “Audios” after writing me a ticket on I-84 in Gresham after I first got the evil S4 years ago).

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      • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 7:09 pm

        Note: the officer was clearly speeding without lights on. Like every police car I see on the highway. There used to be a time when they would ‘set the pace’ (ie., drive the legal limit to encourage others to do so). Now they speed with regularity.

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      • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:21 am

        Why would a state cop have any experience with cyclists?

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        • El Biciclero May 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm

          What kind of cop isn’t really the issue. Cops of all kinds who have pulled me over while driving are always respectful and, dare I say, friendly throughout the encounter. The one time I was pulled over while riding my bike (for cutting through a city park after dark) I was immediately threatened with arrest. No “hey, where ya’ headed at this time of night?” introduction with a polite explanation that the park closes at sunset, but instead (and this is a quote that is burned into my memory due to its [likely intended] shock value), “The park is closed, you’re trespassing and subject to be arrested right now!”

          The only other interaction I’ve had with police while riding was on my way home from work a year or two ago. I rolled through a stop sign (after slowing) to make a right turn into a bike lane (i.e., could not interfere with the right-of-way of any cross traffic, but I still checked carefully as I approached). From a parking lot some distance away, I heard “Bicyclist! You have to stop just like everyone else!” It had come from a police car sitting across the parking lot. Sure, I broke the law by running the STOP, but were the cops blaring a paternal “tsk, tsk” at all the motorists who did the exact same thing as me? I watched a couple of cars ahead of me roll the same stop sign but didn’t hear any “Motorist! You have to stop just like everyone else!” announcements.

          The issue is that many (I won’t claim all) police officers assume the inferiority of bicyclists to the point where we aren’t even worthy of professionalism, let alone respect.

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        • Pete May 5, 2016 at 11:15 am

          Not sure how your question relates to my post, but El B’s experience echoes my own, pretty much anywhere I’ve lived/traveled. Also, in addition to I-84, OSP occasionally patrols highways 30, 35, and 197 in the gorge, all of which I both drive an ride my bicycle often (yes, on I-84 sometimes, unfortunately).

          Once I screamed “Watch it!!” to a driver who cut across three lanes in construction and nearly hit me, and it startled and caught the attention of the cop who was controlling traffic. He came over and laid into me, and literally apologized to the driver. He didn’t even see what happened, and wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say, simply saying that I was “speeding” through the traffic (in a marked bike lane, mind you). My GPS showed that I had not exceeded 7 MPH in that stretch, and cars were whizzing by him much faster than I was, so I have no idea what I did wrong to this day (other than being on a bike).

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      • wsbob May 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm

        An Audi S4…lucky you. Interesting traffic stop though. I’ve got a suspicion the cop wasn’t stopping you because you were over the speed limit. Maybe there was a call out to look for and stop cars meeting the description of the one you were driving. All the better reason to be very careful in driving outside the law wherever there may be an officer ready to get busy.

        Just imagine if when you rolled down your window, a strong whiff of something green had come rolling out the window. Or alcohol, or if you were dressed in various ways that can prompt suspicion. Be careful out there.

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        • Pete May 7, 2016 at 10:35 pm

          “An Audi S4…lucky you.”

          No, my mechanic is the lucky one, but that’s another story.

          I suspect given the time of night that he was heading back to the station in The Dalles for a shift change and happened to catch up with me and watch me for a little while. Traffic was very light, and I hadn’t driven that car in a while and wasn’t necessarily driving like granny. I have a love/hate relationship with that damned car.

          “…a strong whiff of something green had come rolling out the window. Or alcohol…”

          That wouldn’t be me, but of course that’s what they’re always looking for.

          “or if you were dressed in various ways that can prompt suspicion.”

          Like in lycra? 😉

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          • wsbob May 9, 2016 at 1:07 pm

            “…Like in lycra? ;-)” pete

            Hah! That’s funny.

            Seriously though, I was thinking more in terms of being dressed in ways that might prompt suspicion according to profiling.

            Over a long period of time, by various means, I came to realize that police may look at everything they have opportunity for, when they do traffic stops. The person they stop, is under the microscope, so to speak.

            They don’t necessarily just, ‘duh-h’, stop a person for having a tail light not working, and simply write out a ticket. They can and do use the traffic stops for all kinds of snooping, if they feel they have cause to do so. Little infractions can lead to big trouble. I don’t think there’s much question about this. I guess I could reasonably say I have an under the radar type appearance and demeanor, but if I didn’t, I’d surely be doing even more than I do now when I’m on the road, to avoid any traffic stops.

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          • wsbob May 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

            Oh…and by the way…if you want to drive fast sometimes…and I can’t fault you for that, it’s probably fun…you ought to consider taking your car out to PIR. I used to know a guy that took his subie sedan daily driver out there on special nights ordinary civilians, can run their cars. He was into all kinds of hi-tech stuff, was a developer, etc.

            Showed me the video footage from a camera mounted inside the car, of him in his car going down the track at 120mph. I thought he was nuts to be running his little sedan that hard. But subarus can be hot, he had the money, was having fun, and most important of all, because his outlet was on the track, he said he wasn’t pulling that crap on the road.

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            • Pete May 9, 2016 at 9:51 pm

              PIR… one of the reasons I got that car in the first place. 🙂

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  • Todd Boulanger May 2, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Not questioning if she is at fault or not of the failure to obey a traffic control device…I would question the other ticket concerning careless driving since as a bicyclist she was not performing the act of “driving” a vehicle…but instead she was bicycling or “operating” a vehicle.

    The Webster dictionary define a driver as ” a person who drives a car, truck, etc.”

    Perhaps the code language needs to be updated or an alternative fine for careless bicycling needs to be added (along with a likely lower penalty due to the typically lower ramifications for a bicycle caused collision.) to bring it in line with the intended outcome when this fine was established/ updated.

    Or is there Oregon case law that has clarified this point: bicyclist as driver vs. bicyclist? [Recent Oregon laws for the safety of bicyclists in traffic generally describe bicyclists as operators.]

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    • El Biciclero May 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      The ORS says “drives any vehicle”. I think the lack of “motor” as a description of the vehicle causes it to apply to bicycles, regardless of the verb.

      What I wonder is that if she got a “careless” citation for endangering herself, will the VRU section also apply, since she was a vulnerable road user? Or was the “careless driving” citation issued because she endangered “property” (the other person’s car)? Or is it that the VRU section was intended only to apply to drivers of cars? If so, then your observation becomes a question again: can a bicycle “driver” be cited for careless “driving”?

      The second citation is inconsistent from a few different viewpoints.

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  • Beeblebrox May 2, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Jonathan, the major upgrades you refer to have already been implented. Check them out sometime!

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    • Beeblebrox May 2, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      *implemented*

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  • Marshall Guthrie May 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve started riding with a rear facing action cam on loop mode. I’ve added a USB battery backup for longer rides. I plan on adding a front facing camera as well. I strongly recommend that those with the means do the same and follow up with video proof when violations occur.

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    • Ian May 2, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      I’ve been riding with a front-facing camera for years and also encourage more people to use them. Out of curiosity, why do you feel that a rear-facing camera is more valuable than a front-facing camera? Especially given the case at hand, I think the ability to prove the state of a traffic control signal is a notable vote for the front-facing camp.

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      • Tyler Texas May 2, 2016 at 9:36 pm

        Can either of you provide a link to a good camera for cyclists?

        Better yet, can you both provide links to the cameras you use and tell us the pros/cons?

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        • dan May 3, 2016 at 2:42 am

          This! Would love to hear about the specific cameras you use. And, for a front camera, are you using a handlebar mount or helmet mount? Pros/cons?

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          • Pdx2wheeler May 3, 2016 at 8:03 am

            I can’t speak for what these riders are using. However, I ride with front and rear RidEye cameras. 1080p HD, built in crash detection, rolling recording loop that never stops, super long battery life, 100% waterproof. http://Www.rideye.com. It’s a black box for your bike!

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        • Ian May 3, 2016 at 11:13 am

          Sure! I ride with a Contour ROAM3 ($90 on Amazon) mounted to my handlebars with a generic handlebar camera mount, and I really like it. Waterproof, 1080p at 30 fps/720p at 60 fps, rotating lens, versatile mounting options, looks like a bike light (less conspicuous than a GoPro), and considerably improved low-light performance relative to the Countour ROAM2 I replaced when the battery conked out after a few years. I just wish it had a looping/auto-overwrite recording functionality, but it’s not that big a hassle to clear the memory card once or twice a week (especially given that high-capacity memory cards are so cheap these days).

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          • Ted Timmons (Contributor) May 3, 2016 at 11:43 am

            I think I threw away my ContourGPS because it just didn’t work anymore.

            I am running a gopro with a battery backpack on the front, have a Fly12 on order, so the gopro will move to a seatmount. I have an experimental helmet cam that is meant for hockey goalies. Haven’t used it enough to have an opinion on it.

            I probably make a “shitty driver” vid out of every third ride that I’m on.

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  • Mike Reams May 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    The citation might also have something to do with insurance if the car was damaged.

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    • Gary B May 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      I was thinking the same. But then just give her the FTOTCD ticket, that would settle it for insurance reasons. The careless driving is just gratuitous.

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    • Oliver May 3, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Agree.

      I often argue that the reason why driver licenses in general and insurance coverage in particular are required is to protect the interests of the finance companies who underwrite the output of the auto industry. (and to a lesser extent the hospital industry)

      And the lack of commonly occurring high value crashes are the primary reason why bicycle riders are not currently required to carry insurance.

      If the finance industry wanted that to change, change it would.

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  • Tad May 2, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    soren

    Can’t have it both ways.

    which ways are those? (i personally seem to have no problem riding my bike like a bicycle.)

    the reason a cyclist is allowed to “take the lane”.

    untrue. people cycling are only allowed to ride in motorvehicle lanes under a very limited and vague set of exceptions.
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    Doesn’t seem too vague to me:
    From the Oregon bike manual: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/bike_manual.pdf

    > If there is no shoulder or bike lane, and the travel lane is narrow, ride
    closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing
    you when there isn’t room. You should also take the lane when you’re
    traveling at the same speed as traffic. This will keep you out of motorists’
    blind spots and reduce conflicts with right-turning traffic.

    Also:

    > In Oregon, a bicycle is a vehicle by law. When riding your bike on a
    road, you have the same rights and duties as other road users. With a few
    exceptions, the rules of the road for drivers apply to you. Consult the
    Oregon Driver’s Manual to become familiar with these rules.

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  • AEG May 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I hope her injuries are not serious. I also hope it’ll be a cautionary tale to everyone who blithely runs stops and red lights. FWIW I’ve been hit on my bike at a four way when an inattentive driver proceeded into the intersection without looking both ways. I’ve also had many experiences as I’m riding into an intersection where I have the row and have to brake to avoid a fellow cyclist who is running the stop or the light. Its always a degradation of the social fabric when you refuse to yield to my row and it creates a sense of unpredictability for everyone else. And it is dangerous.
    If you’d like to get where you are going more quickly, get in shape and learn to ride faster. Think of those stops as training opportunities.

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  • pdx2wheeler May 2, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I would so much rather wait for a green light than wait for an ambulance.

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  • Pete May 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    It’d be good to know if the police asked neighboring businesses for video, like they did in Alistair’s case (before citing the driver). Seems curious to me that someone who knows the lay of the land as a seasoned commuter would take a risk like that, but who knows.

    I’m also curious about the yellow light duration. Not long ago in Sunnyvale an older man was killed on his bike in the middle of an intersection and the police report said that witnesses said he ran the red light. As a fairly fast and strong rider I’ve been caught in the same intersection simply because the yellow light timing is only 3 seconds; the minimum allowed by California law. On that 5-lane road it’s hard enough for me to make it all the way across sometimes, even starting on a fresh green with only one or two cars on the loop sensors (which is how the green duration seems to be determined).

    Anyway, hope the injured parties recover from their wounds. And no, I’m not assigning either blame or innocence to either party, so don’t bother…

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  • Spiffy May 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    does this mean we’re finally getting enough mode share to start being noticed?

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  • q May 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Tony T
    There’s so reason that if we’re starting from scratch we couldn’t favor the more vulnerable road users at signalized intersections. We already have exceptions that favor vehicle operators at signalized intersections. Currently in my car I can take a right turn on red. I cannot (legally) cross the street against a “do not walk” light, even when there are NO cars anywhere in sight.
    Of course people will say taking a right turn on red is different than a person crossing on red, and I say “why?” If both maneuvers can be managed safely, why does only the vehicle operator get the convenience-based exception? An exception, I might add, that results in the deaths of many pedestrians a year.
    It’s pretty basic to me. We surrendered huge amounts of public space to the customers of an industry as a result of the lobbying force of that industry (think jaywalking laws). While in some cities we’re making progress in taking that space back, the assumption still often is, even in places where the roads predated motor vehicles, that this public space is the province of motor vehicles and any accommodation of non-vehicle users must first consider the convenience of motor vehicle users.
    If we started from scratch today, there’s no way we would surrender so much public space to motor vehicles and allow them to rule the movements of vulnerable road users under the de facto penalty of death/disfigurement.
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    Tony–great post, and your right turn/crossing on red comparison is brilliant.

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    • Tyler Texas May 2, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Quote:
      “If we started from scratch today, there’s no way we would surrender so much public space to motor vehicles and allow them to rule the movements of vulnerable road users under the de facto penalty of death/disfigurement.”

      Actually, this statement can be tested by actual real world experience. All around the world, towns are being created every single day, from scratch. In almost every case motorized vehicles are the primary mode of transportation that is assumed when the town is started. Because, hauling refrigerators, furnaces, concrete, etc is hard to do on a bicycle.

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      • q May 4, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        The whole quote was about starting from scratch in regard not just to building new streets, but to traffic laws. Building new towns is not starting from scratch in regard to traffic laws and transportation systems, it’s just building more under the same old systems and thinking.

        And nobody is trying to claim that a new system would be so extreme that it would have people hauling refrigerators, etc. on bicycles.

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  • Adam Leyrer May 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Operating motor vehicles in their current form in a city is an absurd consequence of economic and cultural inertia; it is inefficient, dangerous, stressful, and taxes human coordination and attention beyond capacity.

    It is precisely this philosophy that compels me to insist that cyclists behave predictably, respectfully, even deferentially. We are all inheritors of an economy that is incompatible with our transportation infrastructure, and as a result nearly everyone on the road is making some compromise of their values regarding money, time, environment, and mental well-being. A city road is not the place to grind the axes of cultural identity and group loyalty; the daily commute is a common tragedy, like sickness and death and the 40+ hour work week, that requires solidarity and offers fleeting opportunities for demonstrations of grace.

    The experience of nearly killing someone through no fault of one’s own is not a mark in the “win” column in the sport of Car vs. Bike; it is an injury to mind and dignity just as profound as the countless near-misses that we cyclists experience at the hands of inattentive drivers: “Why is it necessary that every commute be a frightening emergency? Am I invisible? Don’t these people think about anyone other than themselves?” It is good and right for a cyclist running a red light to be held legally accountable whether or not a frightened driver stops in time, collides with the cyclist, or steers into a tree to avoid killing them.

    The main reason I operate solely by bicycle and support all measures to transition toward bicycling and walking infrastructure and away from cars is that the speed, scale, and resource demands of cars makes human beings feel invisible in their own cities. I have no wish to add to this crisis of invisibility by treating car-drivers like the borg. I read cyclists on this board objecting to the proposal “if you want to be treated with respect, you have to follow the same rules”. Well it’s much worse than that I’m afraid: If by chance you want to treat others with respect, you have to follow the same rules.

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    • soren May 2, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      respectfully, even deferentially

      when i walk to the store i do not ponder how i can be more “respectful” or “deferential”. i just walk to the store. similarly, when i ride my bike i do not spend a single second worrying about how i can be more deferential or respectful. civility does not require deference. respect does not require an assumption of inferiority.

      If by chance you want to treat others with respect, you have to follow the same rules.

      that is certainly the authoritarian point of view. i personally believe that ignoring and/or opposing rules that have no discernible public benefit is the epitome of respect.

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      • prss May 3, 2016 at 7:12 am

        You CAN be respectful/deferential without having to cower in “inferiority.”

        My family and I spend alot of time in asia (china/taipei/tokyo)….and while i’m not pitching some quixotic view that one culture is better than another, their attitude is clearly a deferential acknowledgement that society > individual. this conversation doesnt explode with “we’ve ceded too much land to cars” or the application of idaho stop, this conversation ends with “she ran a red light” individuals follow laws not because they are weak, not because the rationale for the law seems readily apparent each time (red light on an empty street), but rather b/c individuals following laws is better for the overall functioning of society.

        Each area has its own traffic issues, and its been an eye opener for my kids to be in a place where the pedestrian RARELY has the right of way on roads (china), but so many of our issues revolve around individual > “the other guy” here….from the bike that doesnt want to stop on a red or the driver who can’t follow a speed limit…both of whom deem what they are doing to be “safe for them” at that point in time.

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        • soren May 3, 2016 at 8:35 am

          i have absolutely no problem with respect based on equity but i do have a problem with the assumption that someone walking or riding should defer to someone driving. i also gotta say that th idea that i should show others traffic deference in the class-based manner of asian societies is truly bizarre. and especially so given ubiquitous scofflaw behavior by people walking and biking in many asian nations.

          but rather b/c individuals following laws is better for the overall functioning of society

          i’m curious … how exactly does my decision to safely jaywalk or jaywalk worsen society?

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          • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:25 am

            do you really want to abdicate your safety to the decision making of others?

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      • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 7:34 am

        Soren, I’d be astonished if you didn’t pause before narrowing sidewalks or hedges to allow strollers or wheelchairs through, or move to the grass for someone carrying awkward groceries or leading excited dogs. At human speeds and human scale, our emotional intelligence kicks in. The only people who regularly fail these brief tests of humanity are fragile egos posturing for position, usually young men who haven’t yet figured out that deference is a responsibility of strength, not a sign of weakness.

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        • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 9:31 am

          Indeed, my elementary-aged kids have learned that they must ride through the mud to school in order to leave the walking path for pedestrians.

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        • soren May 3, 2016 at 10:18 am

          I believe that people cycling or driving should give way to people walking regardless of the circumstances or legality. For example, I will almost always come to a halt to allow jaywalkers to cross even with car traffic breathing down my back.

          The only people who regularly fail these brief tests of humanity are fragile egos posturing for position, usually young men who haven’t yet figured out that deference is a responsibility of strength, not a sign of weakness.

          I’m not a fan of absolutism, freud, or generalizations about people.

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          • prss May 3, 2016 at 2:55 pm

            file this in the “to each his own” category…but after moving here a pet peeve of my wife and i were people who would cede right of way to let us jaywalk. it never made sense to us and made us feel like our midblock crossing was suddenly creating more havoc than needed.

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            • Mao May 3, 2016 at 5:39 pm

              I have a friend who has a thing about people stopping to let him cross the street. Marked or unmarked, he will pretend to use him phone until it’s clear enough to cross without interrupting anything.

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              • El Biciclero May 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

                But if it’s a crosswalk, then they are right in stopping, so your friend is the one being “unpredictable”.

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        • El Biciclero May 4, 2016 at 10:11 am

          “deference is a responsibility of strength, not a sign of weakness.”

          That sounds like “deference” (“respect and esteem due a superior or an elder”, according to Merriam-Webster) is an even bigger responsibility for drivers of motor vehicles, as they have the greatest “strength” on the roads. I think your choice of “deference” as a description for our attitude toward drivers connotes something other than you may have intended. The dictionary definition tells us that “deference” implies a superior/inferior dynamic, not an attitude of mutual respect.

          I like to think of roadway interactions from a perspective of cooperation vs. competition. We need more cooperation and less competition. When I am riding on a shared path and I slow (way) down because I see a toddler wobbling along next to their parent, I am showing a certain amount of respect, I guess, but not because I think that parent or toddler is superior to me. I slow down because I don’t want to scare anyone (or worse, run down a toddler), and I imagine I am acting cooperatively by doing my part to afford all of us some reasonably safe utility from the provided resource (the path). I give up some of my efficiency (speed) in order to increase the amount of perceived safety experienced by other path users. Many times, when pedestrians see or hear me coming, they move to one side, possibly out of fear, but possibly to act more cooperatively and give me room to pass. I use as much of that room as possible to, again, attempt to increase the level of safety perceived by pedestrians. There is give and take, not outright abdication of rights or position in “deference” to someone else.

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    • SD May 3, 2016 at 10:46 am

      The absence of deference to cars dominating public space is the foundation of urban cycling in Portland. The safety and comfort Portland cyclists enjoy today is built on the backs of people who took risks by sharing space with cars and asserting their right to ride on the street.

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      • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm

        SD, we all make limited, calculated deferrals. There is no fair reading of my statement or sincerely curious reading of its context that suggests I believe cyclists ought to abandon the roads to our superior car-driving neighbors or to do anything to any degree in kind.

        We don’t defer to “cars dominating public space.” Those cars have humans in them, humans that get duped, trapped, tricked, cajoled into traveling long distances in short times just to keep a roof over their head and feed themselves, so they engage in an expensive behavior that they aren’t very good at. Creative people on the margins have been respectfully but assertively introducing alternate solutions to the problem and are gaining ground. All power to them, except the power to break traffic laws whenever they think it’s best.

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        • SD May 3, 2016 at 1:36 pm

          “SD, we all make limited, calculated deferrals.”
          -Nice way to make “deferential” more nuanced. I thought you were using the term as it is commonly used with its usual implications.

          “There is no fair reading of my statement or sincerely curious reading of its context that suggests I believe cyclists ought to abandon the roads to our superior car-driving neighbors or to do anything to any degree in kind.”
          -I agree.

          “All power to them, except the power to break traffic laws whenever they think it’s best.”
          -IMO. The most fruitful parts of this comment thread are the consideration of what the best laws would be and whether “careless driving” tickets are being applied equally to cyclists and motorists on top of their original offense.
          Is your main point that people on bikes should follow the letter of the law under all circumstances? (btw, this is not a trap :), just curious.

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          • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 2:05 pm

            SD, I think terms commonly have whatever implications the words in front and behind them give the term. Your focus on the word deference was, in my opinion, an overreaction to a perceived insult to cycling dignity, not an interpretation of my meaning.

            Yes, I believe cyclists ought to follow every traffic law, because I place a premium on predictability, and I don’t want to have to calculate which fellow cyclist is likely to be liberated from the irrational bonds of vehicle laws and which ones are not. When I’m timing my pedaling I just want to be able to assume that all people will stop at stop signs, pass on the traffic side and not the curb side, and not be forced to make adjustments because other people are choosing what is optimal instead of what is expected.

            For the same reason, I dislike car drivers stopping when they have the right of way to allow me to proceed through a stop sign. Unless they make eye contact, was it their intention that I go, or did they spill a soda on their lap? Will the person behind them swing around them? Are my feet on the pedals or did I relax to wait my turn? I’d prefer everyone behave predictably in order so there’s less confusion and subsequently less danger.

            Ultimately I think obeying every traffic law is an easy way to communicate to everyone else on the road that we don’t consider ourselves superior to them. It is the low-hanging-fruit of treating people with dignity. For the same reason that most murders between strangers are not over money or bigotry of ideology but rather over casual social slights, I think the most dangerous commute is one where everyone is constantly offending one another’s sense of dignity.

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            • SD May 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

              “SD, I think terms commonly have whatever implications the words in front and behind them give the term. Your focus on the word deference was, in my opinion, an overreaction to a perceived insult to cycling dignity, not an interpretation of my meaning.”

              -If you have the time, maybe in a few days, I would like you reflect on this statement and consider its meaning and intent.

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              • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

                SD, you’ve added condescension to your previous sarcasm and initial willful misunderstanding. I’m not sure what your goals for communication have been in that regard, other than to embarrass and to win, but I charitably answered your question and my opinion stands ready for your inquisition or refutation if you’d care to concede that you misinterpreted my use of the word deferentially and move on.

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              • SD May 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm

                A bit off topic… But, I enjoyed and appreciated your contribution to this thread and I don’t want you to feel like you have been belittled. I want you to feel good. I can honestly say that I was not being sarcastic, condescending or willfully misinterpreting your words. Your comment caught my attention because I don’t remember hearing anyone insist that cyclists behave deferentially. Imagine that behind my reply is someone who is genuinely interested in what you have to say. : )

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              • soren May 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

                “inquisition”

                i don’t think sd’s comments merit such drama.

                i also think you will find that no one, including yourself, follows the letter of the law when cycling. we all choose how and when to violate laws — mostly because cycling-related laws are made for and by drivers and often have little bearing on safety.

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              • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

                Soren, I didn’t say Spanish Inquisition, did I? That would be dramatic. I meant inquisition like “ask me more questions.” Clearly we are all having difficult interpreting one another’s tone.

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              • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm

                Well SD, I wrote a long post about how cars are utterly wrong for cities, how people are biologically incapable of being good drivers, how everyone hates commuting yet must suffer through it together, and therefore the more nimble transportation could stand to show extra respect to people stuck in cars through whatever bad choices of theirs, and all you found interesting seemed to be “this person is consenting to our domination by cars”. I can’t confess to thinking uncharitably by reading that response and thinking it was combative and unproductive and making little attempt to listen to what I was trying to work through.

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  • Mark smith May 3, 2016 at 1:08 am

    It’s pretty obvious this is political. There is a ton oh bike lash against supposed ed light runners in portland. This was a cop or cops who felt backed by this anger and meted out some justice on an injured person who was riding s bike.

    How things have changed with the ppd. Ignore no insurance, no lovense5, 9 kids not in car seats….but bust the cyclist who bumped a car. Red light ticket? Sure. Careless? No. That’s crap.

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  • Observant Newcomer May 3, 2016 at 1:48 am

    I have to admit, after moving here last year from NY, I was flabbergasted at Portland bicyclists’ behavior. Stopping for stop signs, red lights, yielding to pedestrians is literally the rare exception here, not the rule. After reading the convoluted self-righteous rationalizations here, I see why. As long as operators of any kind of vehicle incorrectly believe they are so smart or so entitled that they can ignore the law, accidents will happen because of their irresponsibility. And when that happens, tickets are highly appropriate. If you want to pretend that you are “above” stopping for stop signs and red lights, that fantasy should end when a police sees you do it.

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  • David Kaye May 3, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Simple.. .she ran a red. To applaud the citation is not “anti bike”, it’s anti idiocy. The perceived “anti biker” attitude is well earned. Note it’s anti “rider” and not anti “machine”. Fact is, with all the funding set aside to increase the numbers on the streets etc, encouraging a license, insurance (liability as a minimum) and registration requirement would go far in gaining respect and acceptance. Education, tesponsibility, accountability…and pitching in for the costs of street and pathways.

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    • Pete May 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      “…a license, insurance (liability as a minimum) and registration requirement would go far in gaining respect and acceptance.”

      That’s worked well for me when I have to drive in traffic with other motorists – everyone always treats me with the utmost respect and never cuts me off, especially without signalling. Driving is such a pleasure as a result. Your idea would have such a sweeping effect on bicyclists, because it’s so measurably effective on drivers. Adding more bureaucracy would clearly be a win, and may have even saved this poor woman from injury. Simple!

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    • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      BINGO! I’ve got BINGO!

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      • El Biciclero May 4, 2016 at 8:50 pm

        Oh dearie me. I’m glad I’m not at work right now. Also that I didn’t have a mouth full of coffee.

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  • Donaleen Kohn May 3, 2016 at 8:46 am

    about time. As a pedestrian, I have many more close calls with bicycles than cars. Bicycles do not want to stop. I think it is a flaw in bicycle design. Too hard to start and stop.

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    • Dan A May 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Since we’re sharing anecdotal evidence, let me provide a counterpoint:

      As a driver and a cyclist, I have had many more pedestrians endanger themselves (and me) by their behavior when I’m on my bike than when I’m behind the wheel. I’m happy to give ROW to pedestrians in crosswalks (marked and unmarked), but I’m surprised at how often they just casually step out into my path and pretend not to see me, or step off the curb directly in front of me when I’m halfway through an intersection. This doesn’t happen when I’m behind the wheel.

      Also, many pedestrians have no idea how to share a multi-use path with bikes. Perhaps we ought to have arrows and dividing lines painted on them to make it more obvious.

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      • Eric Leifsdad May 3, 2016 at 10:13 am

        I’ll share some anecdotal instances of careless driving I saw on my 3 mile school run today: 1. SUV driving on the wrong side of the street because parking on the wrong side of the street — acting like she had the right-of-way. 2. SUV passing a pickup over a crest (because the pickup wasn’t sufficiently speeding?). 3. Car passing me over a crest into oncoming traffic. 4. Car from that oncoming traffic turning left in front of my right-of-way. 5. Car passing me into a blind curve.

        Ignoring what looked like a follow-the-leader pass toward oncoming motorcycle — I’ll assume that case was careful driving left-of-center which did not interfere with the operation of the motorcycle.

        Yesterday, there were two close passes between my bike and an oncoming bike (riding too far to the right between parked cars IMO.)

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      • Mao May 3, 2016 at 5:42 pm

        Number of people who stepped in front of me when I had the right of way today: 5, all of which never looked in my direction.

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      • lop May 5, 2016 at 1:16 am

        >pretend not to see me,

        What makes you think they’re pretending?

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  • prss May 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

    soren
    i have absolutely no problem with respect based on equity but i do have a problem with the assumption that someone walking or riding should defer to someone driving.”

    again…its cultural/generational attitude rather than an absolute truth. in other parts of the world (not just asia) the idea of protecting VRUs wud be absurd, and certainly low on the importance totem. i think its fortunate we have these conversations frankly.

    how does “your decision to safely jaywalk” worsen society? any time rules are interpreted at the individual level on a situational basis, then social interaction based on rules has the chance to break down…and what is road use except for social interaction framed by rules? I’ve seen a bike holding at a red light in downtown pdx at 4:05am on a weds, and thot it was absurd or brilliant..not sure which. But the more likely case is someone deciding that a car or a bike 1/2 a block away is plenty of time to “safely” jaywalk…the car or bike user might disagree….

    We are walking observational and interactional beings that are hardwired to make mistakes. i believe most accidents arent sociopaths wreaking havoc, but people believing that they were proceeding safely (in their opinion, at the time). road users don’t blow stop signs and speed because they are a-holes…they do it b/c they think they’ve got it “under control” until they don’t.

    i think the general road rule is to proceed in a safe manner as conditions warrant at the time or something like that, but i think that assumes that speed limits are the limit and stop signs are stop signs, and that posted road rules are not subject to interpretation.

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    • soren May 3, 2016 at 11:48 am

      society and it’s social fabric is not static and cycling as a transportation mode is transitioning from an oddball activity to a societal norm. i’m committed to hastening that transition so i enthusiastically support safe jaybiking under the belief that it will eventually become as widely accepted as safe jaywalking.

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      • prss May 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        i would love to see biking become a more relevant means of transport, even some hybrid bike/ride. Just not sure how…and with the previous post that <3% of trips are made by bike, and generally rage filled comments here, the current formula doesnt seem to be working.

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        • Pete May 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

          Ironically, with as many miles/hours as I’ve spent biking through the years, almost all the rage I’ve ever seen (directed towards me as a cyclist) is in comments on the Internet. Go figure!

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  • PdxMark May 3, 2016 at 9:26 am

    This crash is sad, and it sounds very strange.

    As a 50-something guy with many 50-something woman cycling friends, running a stop light is not a common characteristic among 50-something cycling women. On top of that, Weidler is a fairly wide fast street and only the second light after Broadway going south, so it’s not part of a long stretch of lights block after block like in downtown. The ease and motivation of running the light at Weidler both seem pretty low. We’re all our own selves, of course, or we are sometimes distracted, but the explanation of this crash sounds very strange to me.

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    • paikiala May 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Agreed.
      I am very curious what the cyclist’s side of the story is.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 3, 2016 at 12:29 pm

        me too!

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        • q May 8, 2016 at 9:00 pm

          A theory until more answers come in–the photo above makes visibility heading southbound on 15th into the Weidler intersection look great. But (on google street views) if you move back and closer to the curb, your vision of the closest eastbound lane on Weidler is obscured.

          So if you were southbound on 15th, approaching the intersection going fast, and saw the light turn yellow, and forgot Weidler was one way, you might glance left (east) and see no cars heading west, then glance right, and see no cars heading east that were close, then go ahead, and get hit immediately by an unseen eastbound car in the northmost, closest lane.

          Even if you didn’t forget Weidler was one way, the landscaping that looks like it obscures views of the northmost eastbound land on Weidler could have been a factor. That landscaping also could have obscured the driver’s view of her until she was right in front of him, especially if he was in the northmost (curb) lane.

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      • wsbob May 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm

        I as well. Because she’s not a spring chicken…has a little life experience in years…and working for the parks bureau, sounds like she’ may have a job requiring her to act responsibility, I don’t like having to think that didn’t count for much, and that somehow nevertheless, she behaved like a loopy-doop in blowing a red light in conditions, seeming to generally amount to overwhelming odds against her.

        Late at night, early-early in the morning, when it seems nobody is around, no cars on the road, maybe you can get away with this kind of stuff. Outside of those hours of the day, better be very careful…pulling that stuff can leave you dead.

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    • Bald One May 3, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Yes, it’s sad, and weird. I speculate that perhaps a driver pulled away from the curb or out of a driveway after being parked – looking at nothing other than the traffic signal, and so was not there seconds earlier when cyclist decided to cross the intersection. If this was a pedestrian crossing against the signal, there would have been a different outcome. Maybe driver was crossing over in the 3 lanes of one-way there. This area has coffee shops and restaurants on the corner and lots of ped traffic, so drivers must pay attention. Distracted driving?

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      • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:30 am

        I speculate it was aliens.

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  • esther2 May 3, 2016 at 9:59 am

    couldn’t she have just said “i didn’t see the light” or the sun was in my eyes. Seems to work for drivers when they cream someone.

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    • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:31 am

      And then we can say “well she was biking too fast for conditions if she wasn’t able to control her vehicle safely.”

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  • craig harlow May 3, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Liuba was cited for careless driving, based only on the testimony of the driver who hit her and his passenger. That driver was unlicensed and the car was unregistered and uninsured. The physical conditions make it impossible for Liuba to have committed that offence.

    Liuba suffered a massive concussion, major head trauma and underwent emergency reconstructive surgery to her face. She was unable to walk unassisted for almost a month.

    This should have triggered a Major Crash Team investigation. Instead…

    A second officer (not the one who was on scene) served Liuba her citation ten minutes after she emerged from surgery, layng on the gurney covered in stitches and dried bood, her face bashed and frighteningly swolen. He proceeded to inform her that she was at fault because of her dangerously fast riding speed when rounding the corner at NE 27th & Everett (with cars parked on both sides of the street leaving about nine feet of naviagable road width, the fastest speed that anyone could take that corner is about 12 mph). She challenged the citation, and neither the citing officer nor the driver appeared and it was dropped.

    She’ll suffer the effects for the rest of her life, but hey, the PPB knows best.

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    • craig harlow May 3, 2016 at 10:43 am

      I neglected to mention that Liuba was on her bicycle.

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      • prss May 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

        i don’t understand the comment…what was the accident? did she have right of way or did she take a right turn without stopping b/c she thot it was clear but instead got hit by traffic?

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        • craig harlow May 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm

          She had no stop sign — it’s an uncontrolled intersection.

          She turned right (north) from Everett onto 27th. She would have slowed to near walking speed just to make the turn, due to how tight it is with cars parked there. She saw a car coming up fast–not stopping and not slowing. She had nowhere to go to avoid them, and the car hit her about 10 feet after her turn, apparently head-on.

          The conditions there warrant an actual driving speed of maybe 12 mph because space is so tight and visibility so limited. If an investigation had occurred, the evidence would have demonstrated that the car was driving too fast for conditions. Their combined opposing speeds were sufficient to (1) cave in the car windshield, and (2) leave her entire face looking as though she’d been sucker-punched by the Hulk.

          Police didn’t wait to take her statement before issuing her the citation. They just took the driver and his passenger’s word for it at the scene, as Liuba lay motionless and unconscious in a puddle of blood. The driver had every incentive to lie, not knowing whether Liuba would live or die, being an unlicensed diver in an unregistered and uninsured car. The PPB officer made his call, and everybody just moved on, despite department policy to send out their Major Crash Team each time there’s a serious injury collision.

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          • prss May 4, 2016 at 6:41 am

            thanks for response

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  • jssmiley May 3, 2016 at 10:23 am

    42 years ago I was bicycling to work in Washington DC. The route took me down a hill past the freight entrance to the Washington Hilton (the one where Reagan would be shot a few years later). There was a wide open lane on the right, since there was no parking. I came up on the right beside a car that I assumed was going straight.

    You guessed it. Right hook. I swerved right but must have been clipped by the car, which stopped, and the driver said she had used her turn signal. I hadn’t seen it. Police came and took notes. As they were leaving, I pointed to my wildly distorted left wrist, hiding under a sleeve, which had begun to throb. They asked if I wanted to go to a hospital (duh), called an ambulance, and I rode to George Washington University hospital, where they offered me a stretcher and a splint.

    I lived alone, and no one was there with me in the emergency room, so I was delighted to see the officer who had been on the scene walk into the E.R. and up to my cot. I thought he had come to make sure I was OK. No….again, you guessed it ….he had come to write me a ticket for passing on the right, $200 fine.

    A few weeks later, with my wrist still in a cast, and with–believe it or not–a D.C. volunteer bike lawyer by my side, in 1974–we argued my case in front of a District official, who said I was guilty but because I had “suffered enough,” he waived the fine.

    In retrospect, the broken wrist was a small price to pay for learning an invaluable lesson that stuck with me through decades of bike commuting….always watch for and be ready to avoid right-turning cars.

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  • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 11:00 am

    “I’m not a fan of absolutism, freud, or generalizations about people.”

    Absolutism, authoritarianism, frued. I think vague generalizations about ideas, particularly generalizing language with moral weight attached, is far more insidious to good reasoning than the observation that failing to yield for another person is an error of pride, not a virtue of dignity. I’m not a fan of meta-arguments.

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    • soren May 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Adam, I did not mean to offend but you did make an absolute statement (“the only people”), referred to “fragile egos”, and made another hard to follow generalization (“usually young men”). As a utilitarian, I’m all for arguments based on reason (harm/benefit) but I am disinterested in value judgments (respect, deference, strength, weakness, good, bad) that mean different things to different people.

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      • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm

        No worries, Soren, I’m not offended. I respect that a utilitarian and an Evo-psych traditionalist won’t have much common ground for discussion (though I think a utilitarian ought to know one’s enemy; Freud is almost a century out of date). I am confused why a utilitarian would pick at an argument over the social meaning of violating established social contracts; I’m not sure your objection to my original post about empathy, respect and deference is relevant or meaningful, if you don’t believe that these three are fundamental values of human social economy.

        Running a red light isn’t maximizing utils if the primate on the other end of the social interaction receives the message “I am running this red light because I am the alpha and I walk and do as I please. You don’t matter.” Hold a stranger’s gaze for too long, they’ll interpret it as a threat; don’t want them to be afraid, don’t stare too long. Commuters are just primates in various machines. Idaho stops seem fundamentally unfair to car drivers with limited experience bicycling and little empathy for bicyclists; how emotionally disjointed can the reasonable choice make them before it ceases to be the reasonable choice? My bicycling commute isn’t easier or safer if I’m surrounded by other primates with chips on their shoulders. Good traffic engineers have to be psychologists, not just programmers.

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      • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Soren, I’d also like to point out that a, strictly speaking, absolute statement, one that was phrased in a way to give you credit for being unlikely to shove past a person in a wheelchair, is not something commonly equated with “absolutism”, which is any number of ideologies, all terrible and historically murderous. Between that and the charge of authoritarianism, you were drawing dangerous close to implying “You know who else wanted bicyclists to stop at red lights? Hitler!” 😉

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        • soren May 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm

          with all due respect, your take on this still comes across as a “we must respect the status quo” position. as a utilitarian i naturally lean towards anarchism in that i would never violate preference (utility) if there were no aggregate benefit. and as a utilitarian who emphasizes priority i naturally weight the preferences of the minority (people walking and cycling) more than the majority.

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          • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm

            Soren, I understand. Frankly I think your utilitarian proposal is a wonderful model for our artificially intelligent robot future. I don’t think it makes sense for primates. But I’m not Edmund Burke here arguing for the preservation of the monarchy; I’m a cyclist encouraging other cyclists to stop at stop signs so that other people can predict our movement and as a gesture of respect in a stressful environment. Surely there is daylight between anarchy and the status quo; I’m somewhere in there.

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          • Adam Leyrer May 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

            Also Soren, a common thread in both your and SD’s criticism seems to be accusing me of respecting rules, laws, cars, society. I think I’ve been very clear that I’m insistent upon respecting other humans, and what I encourage I do for that reason. I think depersonalizing the issue makes it murky.

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          • soren May 4, 2016 at 1:04 pm

            adam, i think we will have to agree to disagree at this point. it was an interesting discussion.
            s

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  • Scott Alder May 3, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Question and I really am asking out of ignorance. I am both a driver and a rider. I’ll use the case of Broadway as my example. When I am driving south on Broadway that has no clearly marked bike lane, is it alright for a rider to be on my right side? Again, I am really asking out of ignorance if this is allowed as many times as I have started to make a right turn and look back to my right there is a rider there in my mirrors blind spot. I brake and let the rider pass and have had mixed responses both a handwave and thank you as they ride by as well as the single finger salute.

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    • esther2 May 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      If there is no bike lane you do not have the right of way over a car turning right.

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      • soren May 10, 2016 at 1:57 pm

        yielding to motorvehicles in this context often makes sense but the right of way issue is not that simple. in OR people cycling have the legal right to ride in the same lane as a motorvehicle on the right-hand side of the road (or on the left hand side of the road on a one way).

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      • El Biciclero May 11, 2016 at 4:40 pm

        There is also the problem that the law requires bicyclists to ride as far right as practicable, and the problem that many fearful bicyclists hug the right-hand edge of the usable roadway even when they are allowed to take a more assertive position. Riding on the extreme right allows and may encourage motorists to overtake when they really shouldn’t. The position in which a bicyclist can often find himself is one in which he is overtaken by a driver who immediately makes an unsignaled right turn, running over or cutting off the bicyclist and causing a collision. I would hate to think that in this kind of situation the bicyclist would be held legally liable for some kind of failure to yield, but I can definitely imagine a scenario in which an unconscious bicyclist is being loaded into an ambulance while the driver explains to the officer present that the bicyclist had “just come out of nowhere”.

        “Would you say he was overtaking you on the right?”, asks the officer. “Well, he must have been because I just didn’t see him until he was right there!”, the motorist replies. Says the officer, “Yeah, there’s a lot of that that goes on in this town; I’ll follow the ambulance and have a little talk with him at the hospital, if he pulls through”.

        At the hospital, the bicyclist then gets a paternal lecture about “see what can happen when you think your too good to follow the rules?” And a citation for “unsafe passing on the right”.

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    • q May 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Good question. I wonder (honestly, not sarcastically) why a cyclist would be unhappy that you waited until they passed before you turned right. I assume it’s because they thought you should have turned instead of yielding, so by yielding, you made them slow down until they could be sure you were in fact going to let them pass you, thus costing them a couple seconds?

      It seems the right thing to do, if you’re the driver making a right turn, is to turn if the rider is well behind you, or to wait/yield if they’re close enough that turning in front of them could require them to brake or slow down.

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      • prss May 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

        far too logical 🙂

        unfortunately if the driver has signaled a right turn yet miscalculates the speed of the biker squeezing thru on the right, then it will spawn blogs demanding that it be called a collision not an accident and that the driver should go to jail …

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    • El Biciclero May 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Where can you drive south on Broadway in a location that has no clearly marked bike lane? Isn’t there a lane striped all the way from the bridge down to the 5th/6th split south of PSU?

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  • Robert Burchett May 3, 2016 at 11:29 am

    There an asymmetry in this situation. Police officer calls foul(s) on injured cyclist, but in another case with a m.v. operator _clearly_ at fault, the officer decides not to ‘tie the hands’ of the District Attorney. So, if the D.A. sees an unwinnable case (how many daily bike riders will be on that jury?) what is the chance that the erring driver will be cited weeks after the fact?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      It’s a good question Robert.

      And there’s no question in my mind that the system – the police, the courts, the general public – is biased against the bicycle rider in most cases. That’s just where our culture is at this point.

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    • wsbob May 6, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      “…So, if the D.A. sees an unwinnable case (how many daily bike riders will be on that jury?) what is the chance that the erring driver will be cited weeks after the fact?” burchett

      Judges, play key roles in enforcement of the law. The cop issuing the citation, isn’t necessarily the last word on guilt or innocence unless the person having been charged, decides not to take it to court. Some people like to take the easy route and generally say there’s bias against this or that, without offering real indication of where bias has figured into a particular decision made.

      Was there bias against people traveling by bike, on the part of the officer that responding to the scene of this collision? Bias that may have led the officer to issue citations to the person riding the bike and involved in this collision? Whether or not the officer had any such bias, apparently the officer also had witnesses to this collision whose statements in part, gave him grounds to issue citations to the person riding the bike.

      Whether there’s bias, widespread bias among the general public against people that bike, to the extent that people biking generally don’t get a fair shake when questions about what is legal and acceptable road use for people biking…is a bigger story than speculation about factors that did and didn’t lead to the person riding a bike and involved in this collision, having received citations from a police officer.

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  • still riding after all that May 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    At the risk of dragging this thread back to the original topic, do we have any update on the condition of Donna Leslie, the injured rider? Is she okay?

    Just wondering… Will any of us on BikePortland be doing anything to help her, like a GoFundMe to offset her medical bills, or is it our collective will to ignore her (very possibly self-caused) plight? Do we see her as “bad” and unworthy of our caring, and if so, do we believe that we are somehow better than she is because, after all, none of us have ever fudged a little on a red light or rolled thru a stop sign. Right?

    I’m not advocating one way or the other, not condemning anyone, just trying to get a feel for how connected and empathetic we are. A donation to the Lisa George recovery fund (yes I did, though I don’t know her) was an easy choice to make, since her injuries were totally the fault of bad driving by a motorist. Perhaps support for Donna Leslie is the difficult choice at the other end of the spectrum.

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    • Lester Burnham May 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Nobody is saying she’s bad. She made a mistake and is probably well aware of it. Let’s move on.

      And there is no need for the digital begging everybody seems to be doing these days.

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  • Bicyclist Bias May 3, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    This entire thread and the response from bikeportland community is a precise example of why there’s so much hate for the bicyclist community.

    Everyone preaches “vulnerable road user” and yet, when something like this happens – you still find a way to point back to cars. This was severe neglect of the bicyclist, whom put themselves in a bad situation. Instead of this forum talking about better ways to encourage other bicyclists from getting into the same situations, it’s back to pointing at those big-bad-ugly cars. If your message is safety, promoting awareness and everything else – why do you deviate with a bicyclist is at fault?

    For those griping about being considered a “vehicle” on the road….. seriously? You want to be a vehicle, because that’s what helps you get infrastructure on the ROADS. That’s what helps you get funding. That’s what helps you get protection. However, the moment it DOESN’T benefit your best interest (tickets) it’s all-of-a-sudden a bad thing to be considered a vehicle. You want the best of the best and avoidance of any sort of responsibility.

    If I were a frequent bicyclist or even an activist for bicycling, the significant majority of responses in this thread would be an absolute embarrassment to the bicyclist community. (It makes us all start to sound like the Portlandia bicycle rights guy.)

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    • Dan A May 4, 2016 at 6:57 am

      I guess you didn’t read all of the comments in the thread. You certainly missed many of the points that were made.

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    • Pete May 4, 2016 at 7:49 am

      “…there’s so much hate for the bicyclist community.”

      And there you have it: acknowledgement of the status quo. And you wonder why there even is a Portlandia bicycle rights guy?

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    • dwk May 4, 2016 at 8:05 am

      “If I were a frequent bicyclist or even an activist for bicycling”…

      Since you are not, and you obviously did not really read the comments, just shut up……

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      • middle of the road guy May 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

        perhaps it affords the person a certain level of objectivity that is lost on people who are subjective.

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        • Dan A May 4, 2016 at 10:58 am

          People who don’t ride bikes are objective about people who ride bikes? That’s news to me.

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          • middle of the road guy May 6, 2016 at 11:04 am

            Yes…sometimes distance from something allows a certain level of objectivity that an activist lacks because of their immersion in the topic.

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            • Pete May 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

              objectivity =/= opinion

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            • Dan A May 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm

              First I think you’d have to find someone who hasn’t been immersed in car culture from the minute they were born.

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            • jeremy myers April 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm

              Well said. Not everybody is automatically a fan boy or anti-fan boy. I see a lot of “bikers are always right” attitude in this board.

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    • prss May 4, 2016 at 9:13 am

      you lost me at “entire”

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  • Matt S. May 4, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Cyclists break the rules all the time (including myself) and one finally got caught. Sucks…

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  • q May 4, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    soren

    “bad behavior”

    many people (even cycling advocates) view riding in a traffic lane as bad behavior. if we are going to achieve more widespread acceptance of cycling as a bonafide transportation mode then we need to push against this car-centric perception of what is “bad”.
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    That’s not what I meant by “bad behavior”. But yes, if people define bad behavior as behavior that really isn’t really bad–and I agree many people do–then we should push against that perception of what is bad. In the meantime, we should be critical of bad behavior (that really is bad) by cyclists.

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  • jeremy myers April 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I am surprised at people complaining about this citation. It seems super clear. She ran the red light, caused an accident, unfortunately got injured (glad it was not super serious). Who should have been cited?

    I live in SE Portland near Hawthorne and so many times I prefer walking to cycling or driving. Bicyclists in my area seem much more militant and entitled and many times either me or other pedestrians barely escaped being hit by them at marked, valid cross walked, only to be flipped off. I hope that more people ride bikes, but we also need to weed out the aholes who feel like they can do anything because there are no license plates attached.

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