Order Rev Nat's Cider Today

Fatal bicycle collision at SE 112th and Mt. Scott – UPDATED

Posted by on August 5th, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Screenshot of KOIN-TV coverage via @

Screenshot of KOIN-TV coverage via @


A woman died today while bicycling in southeast Portland.

The collision with an auto user happened around 3:00 pm at SE 112th and Mount Scott Boulevard. This location is near the entrance of Lincoln Memorial Park, a popular area for riding.

The police have not yet released details of the collision.

This is the fourth fatal bicycle collision and the 27th traffic fatality in Portland so far this year.

This is the second person to die while bicycling this week. On Saturday a Lydia Johnson was killed at SE Flavel and 82nd.

UPDATE: Here’s the latest from the police:

The bicycle rider killed on Friday afternoon has been identified as 49-year-old Karla Kalene DeBaillie of Happy Valley, Oregon.

The other driver involved in the crash was identified as 64-year-old Mary Elizabeth Dieter of Washougal, Washington. Dieter was driving a blue 1997 Dodge Ram pick-up truck. Dieter cooperated with investigators and did not display any signs of impairment or distracted driving.

Based on witness statements and evidence collected at the scene, investigators believe that DeBaillie was riding at a speed of 30-35 miles per hour down Mount Scott Boulevard (northbound) and turned left (westbound) at the interchange at 112th Avenue.

Dieter was driving eastbound on Mount Scott Boulevard and was moving to turn left onto 112th Avenue as westbound traffic stopped to allow her to turn. As Dieter crossed over the westbound lane of Mount Scott Boulevard, DeBaillie crashed into the passenger side of the pick-up truck.

The investigation is continuing and once complete it will be given to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office for review.

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

309
Leave a Reply

avatar
42 Comment threads
267 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
74 Comment authors
sorenqHello, KittysorenSD Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The lady motorist probably had the same lame excuse. “I didn’t see her until it was too late.” Broken basic rule: Driving too fast for the conditions. Not watching where she was going to find Pokemon, Texting or? Absolutely no excuse.

daisy
Guest
daisy

This is a horrible tragedy. But “lady motorist” is unnecessarily gendered language.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

what’s next? Get rid of His and Her?

9watts
Guest
Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

I don’t see the connection you are trying to make. the comments are unrelated. My second comment was gender-neutral.

Jason Borne
Guest
Jason Borne

No, the motorist was a lady. Gender is a real thing, there is nothing unnecessary about it.

q
Guest
q

You’re right. I took “lady” out of that sentence so it reads, “The motorist…” and it no longer makes any sense.

9watts
Guest
Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Confidential to 9watts: What the hell are we doing on our computers on a day like this?!?

9watts
Guest
9watts

🙂
recuperating from wearing ourselves out working outside the last few days?

Adam
Subscriber

It’s still a bit too sunny for my tastes. 🙂

lop
Guest
lop

Do you not usually post to bikeportland typing on your phone with one hand while steadying your bike with the other?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Totally irresponsible… How do you hold your beer?

lop
Guest
lop

Upright posture of biketown bikes is conducive to holding a beverage. Is there a beer and biketown ride yet? Or a morning (iced) tea/coffee and biketown ride? If not, there should be.

On a related note, my way to judge if a bike facility qualifies as 8-80/accessible for kids/inexperienced cyclists, whatever you want to call it – is it a comfortable place for me to bike while sipping iced tea/coffee and (on a separate ride) while my dog runs next to my bike? Few places pass.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Neither Waterfront Park nor the Springwater would pass that test, unless you are out very early.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Until you know ALL the details perhaps you should keep your expert assumptions to yourself.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

Channel 2 and channel 12 both said the driver was female. Sorry I did not give quotes and the reporter’s names.

q
Guest
q

Are those also your sources for already knowing it was the driver’s fault, and that she was driving too fast for the conditions, and not watching where she was going?

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The motorist left hooked the cyclist. The cyclist was in plain sight of the driver of the Pickup. There was no sunlight in the eyes of the driver of the pickup. The cyclist was the incoming traffic. The cyclist was not a bigger truck so the driver proceeded to travel across the center line to intersect the cyclist making a left hand turn with the right of way.
Therefore the motorist was driving too fast for the conditions, did not yield right of way. Because the cyclist was a hinderance to the motorist’s travel the motorized vehicle driver committed vehicular assault on the cyclist by pressing on the gas instead of the brake before crossing in front of the cyclist.
Need I say More?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yes, please say more. You describe a very deliberate decision making process. Do you really think the driver saw the cyclist, and decided killing her was preferable to a minor delay? If you are right, it suggests the driver was truly a psychopath, as well as a stupid one, since the crash caused the driver to be delayed for a very significant amount of time.

q
Guest
q

Tom–first, you’re defending your assumption you made yesterday that the driver was at fault with information that wasn’t available at the time you made it. I wasn’t saying the driver WASN’T at fault, I was saying there wasn’t yet information that the driver WAS at fault, was driving too fast, and was not paying attention.

Second, you STILL may not be right. According to Jonathan’s update, witnesses said there were cars stopped westbound while the driver turned. If that’s true, the cyclist could have been hidden from the driver behind those cars. So there is no certainty at all, as you claim, that “the cyclist was in plain sight of the driver”. There’s also no certainty that all your “therefores” (driving too fast, committing vehicular assault, etc.) are true, either.

From the witness reports, it sounds as though a possibility is that the driver waited to turn, cars approaching her westbound yielded to her (which may have been a key cause of the crash), and she saw they were yielding so proceeded to turn, not ever having a view of the cyclist passing those cars on the right until the cyclist hit the side of her car.

I’m not saying that’s what happened, I’m just saying the info in the update leaves open the possibility that your claims are not true.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

q, thank you for being sane and reasonable.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I agree, q, your observation are probably correct, given the circumstances of this poorly designed rural intersection. I’m surprised that most of the posts I’ve seen here are by cyclists who have clearly never ridden this route before. I have, both on Mt. Scott and on 112th. Both on the Google Maps air photo and on the ground, Mt. Scott (which turns into Flavel further down the hill) is the main roadway, but SE 112th is also a collector like Mt.Scott. The cyclist was doing 30-35 downhill, so it is doubtful she could have stopped in time, even if she had noticed all the cars beside her had stopped (and given her speed and the intensity of going down such a steep slope on a narrow road, she might not have; I doubt if I would.) 112th is even steeper and more dangerous. There are no signals at this intersection, just some stop signs, and no signs at all on Mt. Scott. The cyclist probably felt she had the right-of-way as she was flying down the hill (there was nothing to tell her to stop, no signage anyway, except the “courtesy” of other drivers allowing a driver to turn.)

Jonathan, I would strongly urge you to include an air photo of this intersection for this story as you did for 82nd & Flavel.

soren
Guest
soren

The collision occurred in the midst of a 90 degree turn so the idea that Karla was traveling at 30-35 mph is simply not credible:

http://katu.com/news/local/pedestrian-struck-killed-on-mt-scott-boulevard

It’s human nature for the motorist witnesses, who stopped to let the pickup driver cross, to blame the speeding cyclist “other” rather than acknowledge their own dangerous (but fairly common) driving behavior. Moreover, the fact that the police felt the need to include this information in their police report is pathetic. If someone driving was killed and was traveling under the speed limit would the police have felt the need to comment on their speed?

q
Guest
q

soren–I don’t see that there was a 90-degree turn involved. My understanding is the cyclist was coming down a curving downhill street, so easily could have been going at least quite fast, if not necessarily 30-35.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

>>> If someone driving was killed and was traveling under the speed limit would the police have felt the need to comment on their speed? <<<

I would sure hope so. The speed of all participants in a collision is certainly relevant.

Spiffy
Subscriber

“soren–I don’t see that there was a 90-degree turn involved. My understanding is the cyclist was coming down a curving downhill street, so easily could have been going at least quite fast, if not necessarily 30-35.”

this was a previously 90° turn that has been rounded to facilitate faster speeds on the road… it’s an advised 20 mph coming down that outer lane (but not up the sharper inner lane for some reason and there’s a 35 mph sign in the middle of that turn)…

if there was stopped traffic and the cyclist was coming down in the shoulder I don’t know if they could have been going that fast due to lack of room to lean over into the lane without hitting cars…

they could have easily been going 25 mph though… no matter as they were under the 35 mph speed limit…

Lester Luallin
Guest
Lester Luallin

It’s a 90 degree turn alright, but looks to be approx 200′ radius at the centerline, so not difficult to take the outside lane at 30-35 mph

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

Soren, I’m guessing you haven’t been to this intersection before?

Ryan W.
Guest
Ryan W.

I must admit, I’ve never gone down this road on my bike before, only gone up (I’m afraid of being further down the hill and someone not seeing me from one of the side roads), but I would also be surprised at the cyclist going that fast at this point of the road. I’ve never looked that hard at the shoulder on the other side of the road, but while going up the shoulder squeezes down a bit (it’s not very wide for the majority of that road as it is). I’m not saying it didn’t happen, it just would surprise me that she’d be going that fast around cars at this spot, unless she was keeping pace with a car in the lane and that car suddenly stopped to allow the truck to turn and she wasn’t able to brake quickly enough.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Soren, thank you for providing the tv link – it was very helpful. Judging from PBOT stats that 20 mph crashes are rarely fatal, and that this one was, and that the mountainbike/hybrid fork was bent in and the front wheel tacoed with the tire peeled off, I’d say the impact was at least 25-30 mph, if not higher.

soren
Subscriber

with all due respect, David, two moving objects hitting each other is a completely different scenario from a motor vehicle hitting a pedestrian.

“and the front wheel tacoed with the tire peeled off, I’d say the impact was at least 25-30 mph, if not higher.”

I’d like to see your two-dimensional partially-inelastic collision math before I accept your speed estimate. (Both objects were moving in space.)

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Judging from the (minimal) impact on the blue SUV, the SUV was hit on the side by the bike, near the rear wheel of the SUV. Given that the SUV was making a roughly 75 degree turn from a full stop, it was probably moving at less than 10 mph. The impact was deflected rather than head-on, from the SUV driver’s point of view. It was however head-on for the bike, or nearly so.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

I went to the site and looked at the entire scene after the police left. The skid marks were still there from the bike. The reason the other cars were stopped on the westbound stretch when the pickup went straight (turned left) in front of the cyclist is because they stopped to let the cyclist through the intersection since she had the right of way. The Pickup disregarded the oncoming traffic and drove in front of the cyclist.
Lame excuse! “OH my I didn’t see her”

q
Guest
q

No, that’s not what the article said.

Paul Z
Guest
Paul Z

Your assessment makes no sense.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

Speculation– you don’t know that the cyclist was in plain site of the driver. Unless you happened to be at that location both before and during the incident.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Considering the angle, I think it’s extremely unlikely the driver saw the cyclist at all. Any stopped vehicles in the oncoming lane would have blocked her from sight.

Ryan W.
Guest
Ryan W.

Very possible, even from a raised vehicle like a pickup. This corner slopes fairly steep, so even small vehicles coming from the south (east) could obscure visibility.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The stopped traffic was oncoming to where the truck was going toward, not on the curve. They were stopped for the cyclist to go by.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I think you misread the story.

q
Guest
q

Tom–the story says, “westbound traffic stopped to allow her to turn”, not “stopped for the cyclist to go by”. The only place westbound traffic would need to stop to allow the driver to turn would be if the westbound traffic were on the curve.

James
Guest
James

I hope you understand that, by feeling the need to include “lady” in your description, you are reinforcing the idea that “motorist”, or “cyclist” for that matter, is default male unless otherwise specified.

If it sounds totally ridiculous to say “that gentleman motorist”, then “that lady motorist” is just as poor a choice of words.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

I wish more people would say “gentleman motorist”… Our discourse needs more class.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I wish more of the males who drive would behave like gentlemen when behind the wheel instead of doing their best imitation of Disney’s Mr. Wheeler (Goofy, of course).

James
Guest
James

This is heart-breaking. I hope our city officials are paying attention. SE Portland, past the 50s, and especially past 82nd, desperately needs improved biking infrastructure.

There are wide roads out there with little-used side-street parking that could cheaply and quickly be converted to life-saving buffered bike lanes.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Compared to what?

I live around 39th and I see the majority of “infrastructure” when I ride east.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

I don’t argue that E Portland needs more and better cycling infrastructure. However, I don’t think a buffered bike lane would have prevented this death. That intersection could use a roundabout.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

It is standard practice to list gender and age of involved people when reporting. However, such information was not provided in any of the news reports I’ve seen yet, and it is not in this post.

Until some facts are out, it is best not to assume what happened. The location of the tragedy indicated in the media is such that while it is possible the driver is responsible, it is also possible that the driver was neither inattentive nor committed any error.

Redhippie
Guest
Redhippie

It used to be standard practice to describe the individuals involved. Now we are politically correct enough to not indicate race. Now the pressure is to not include gender because of discrimination of gender identity. Tomorrow the pressure will be not to include age due to ageism. The concern is the future story will be to the effect “someone hurt someone else at an undisclosed location. End of story.”

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Saying prayers for the cyclist, her friends, and family, and all involved.

Too many lives being taken on the streets.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

True K’Tesh.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Is this the tipping point? Is this when our elected officials finally take Vision Zero seriously? We are about to find out.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Only if the victim was related to one of the officials.

Adam
Subscriber

Short answer? No.

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Much like the homeless problem, unless it directly impacts them there isn’t much urgency.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Haven’t ridden here personally, but from Google, it looks like a really poorly designed intersection. Steep terrain and bad intersecting angles. My guess is that the rider was descending, and the car pulled out in front, leaving no time to stop. This seems like an ideal location for a traffic circle.

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

Traffic circles are no panacea unless people know how to use them, and few around here seem to possess that ability. I was nearly killed in a flat, open one yesterday evening on Brookwood in Hillsboro. I was already in the circle and a zoned out driver (in a convertible with unrestricted visibility!) flew into it without yielding, looking or even slowing down. If I hadn’t been tracking him as his approach speed was suspiciously high, and already given myself an out, I surely would have been another tragic story here. I yelled Hey! at him and he was completely startled and totally oblivious. I frequently see the same lack of understanding to yield on entering at other traffic circles in Wa Co. People just seem to be too stupid, or at least too self-important to share them correctly.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Traffic circles are proven to improve safety. Slip turns should not exist in an urban environment.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

BS.

I don’t care what statistics your’e quoting. If they “improve safety” it’s only because they force vulnerable users to actively avoid being hit by incoming traffic.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/benefits.htm

Signalized intersections allow for high-speed side impact crashes, which are very deadly. Traffic circles slow down all incoming traffic, so if crashes do occur, they happen at lower speeds. It’s logical, and the data supports this. Your personal experience might be different, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I encourage you to try and find statistics that show that traffic circles are more dangerous (ie: injury and death) than signalized intersections.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I think there is a confusion of terms here. A traffic circle (as on Clinton or on NE 24th) is a small 10-12 ft round thing that replaces stop signs at low volume intersections. A roundabout replaces signals at 1-2 lane intersections with moderate urban traffic, and are usually about 25-50 feet in diameter, with traffic slowing down to about 25 mph, such as at Glisan & 39th/Chevas, common throughout Europe and parts of the US. A rotary is much larger, with traffic moving at 40-65 mph, with diameters of over 200 feet (and sometimes as large as a quarter mile or 1,320 ft), replacing or as part of an interchange. Boston, for example, has a few rotaries. They are very common in UK & France, but rare in Germany for example.

bendite
Guest
bendite

Roundabouts definitely require extra focus for cyclists. I get really far inside, leaving a cushion of space between me and the incoming driver. Then I gauge if they see me based on their speed. Occasionally they just use peripheral vision because they’re just thinking about cars on the road and fly though, looking straight ahead. This technique saves me from getting killed 2 or 3 times a year (I probably go through about 5000+/yr)

Adam
Subscriber

Good roundabouts are designed with cycling in mind. Look up roundabout design in the Netherlands – the cycle track is maintained at the outside of the car area. In America, sometimes the bike lane directs cyclists into the sidewalk via a concrete ramp. This design is okay, but could be better.

bendite
Guest
bendite

They have ramps on all the roundabouts here connected by crosswalks across the vehicle lanes. I prefer just taking the lane.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Those designs are horrific.

Honesty, would you want to travel around a roundabout (in this country) by making 90 degree crosses with traffic? No signals, no signage… just trust that someone isn’t going to run you over?

Those designs only work because motorists defer to cyclists. It’s the behavior of the people, not the infrastructure that is working.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

At low speeds, a single lane roundabout is fine to ride in; they suck for pedestrians, though, generally requiring a long walk to traverse.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

I don’t know what you consider low speeds, or a roundabout for that matter.

I do know that I used to live in a neighborhood with multiple single lane roundabouts and it was, without question, the most dangerous part of my daily commute. It was actually a little easier on a bike because I could just stay left and not worry about getting hit by the cars who didn’t yield.

I always used to joke that I was going to go buy an old beater and just circle it so I could hit everyone who entered on top of me.

Roundabouts exist to increase throughput. I’ve never heard anyone describe them as safety devices before this thread.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

A roundabout on a 25MPH street would meet my criteria. Take the lane; no one should pass in a roundabout, so there should be no problem.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

We’re talking about different things then.

I couldn’t care less about people passing. Obviously nobody’s going to pass me. It’s the people entering that are going to run you over.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If people don’t yield, I agree that is a problem.

Adam
Subscriber

Roundabouts improve safety by reducing the amount of conflict points over a signallized intersection. Of course, if they are only designed for cars, then they only improve safety for drivers. It is possible, however, to design roundabouts to accommodate cycling.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Given the roadway geometry and steep slope at this site, I would not recommend a roundabout, but instead a series of small triangular one-way diverters at each of the three main intersections, and a much larger triangle in the center, forcing all users to make immediate right turns when they get to the intersection, but allowing for left-turns at the second intersection they get to. I’ve seen this intersection type far more often than roundabouts throughout Europe, including in countries where roundabouts are popular, usually at less-busy intersections in rural or suburban areas.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Here’s one in The Dalles where they could have done that, but instead the bicyclist is forced to merge with traffic (with no warning signs or sharrows). I take the lane here (usually at speed) and have found drivers to be mostly courteous (probably cuz I’m not slowing them down; may be different for a slower rider as you often point out) and familiar with the process, but to your point, definitely a design focused on the car.

https://goo.gl/maps/YyBotcS6GbU2

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

Yep, that was pretty much the exact maneuver I had to make to escape my close-call, moving to the inside to increase the buffer (after I had already taken the middle of the lane upon entering at the previous “in” to the circle). Most traffic circles have a raised, but still paved center. After taking the lane, I’m always prepared to hop the curb into that “shelter” if need be. But those are CX skills I realize not everyone has. The designs need to be safer for everyone, and the written and practical driving tests need to address proper usage better.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Sunnyvale, CA has removed a few slip lanes already due to pedestrian incidents. California is full of them – more than I’ve seen anywhere else in the US or world. It’s my humble theory that generations of drivers accustomed to slip lanes and right-turn-on-red laws have resulted in increased pedestrian fatalities, but again, JMHO.

It boggles my mind to see a lane with the design goal of letting a car carry speed through it, intersected by a (usually faded) crosswalk, protected (at best) by a yellow yield sign, and used by drivers who must keep their attention focused to their left in order to merge with upcoming traffic. Yeah, that’ll work…

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

This is completely anecdotal but I noticed when going to the Clatsop county fairgrounds for the Halloween cross crusade race a few years back, that everyone who had bikes on their cars negotiated the roundabout easily and efficiently.

But two cars who did not had obvious problems understanding it.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Roundabouts generally work best when the volumes from each approach are fairly similar. That doesn’t appear to be the case here. Also, traffic circles are difficult to place on sloping terrain, which is a problem in this location. Problems include sight distance and drainage.

Others have already pointed out that pedestrian accessibility is difficult at roundabouts. At least one study that I’ve seen indicates motorists entering the roundabout are pretty good about yielding to pedestrians, but motorists exiting roundabouts fail to yield most of the time.

Roundabouts are not a clear choice for this location.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

This is literally down the same road from the 82nd Ave & Flavel intersection. Flavel becomes Mt. Scott Blvd as it turns underneath I-205 just past 92nd Ave. What happened today is just 30 additional blocks down the same road where Johnson was killed one week ago. It is one of the few available routes for cyclists to Happy Valley et al from middle Southeast Portland.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

“Up the road”, actually, up the hill.

Carrie
Subscriber

I’m flabbergasted, and yet at this point so not surprised. I was nearly right hooked by a driver in a car with “Share the Road” plates going SB on SW Terwilleger Weds afternoon (3:30 pm). There was road construction and car traffic was stop and go and the driver did NOT look over their shoulder to see if the [bike] lane was clear before turning (from nearly a dead stop due to slow car traffic). I only managed to avoid it because a) I wasn’t riding as fast as normal down the hill because of the construction and b) I just happened to see the turn signal on the rear view mirror that was flipped on a second before they started to turn. The ONLY thing that could have prevented this interaction was the driver doing what they were supposed to do — LOOK before turning — not assume that there was no one there because there was no one there 5 minutes ago.

I love riding my bike. I love riding Terwilleger. I’m not going to stop doing either. But damn I wish I could ride as fast as I want there without being hyper villigant Every SIngle Time.

I love all you bike riders out there on the road!

rick
Guest
rick

I avoid SW Terwilliger north-bound. I even carry by bike on the trails from Barbur to Terwilliger to eventually travel south-bound. Removal of dozens of car parking spots are needed on Terwilliger to make protected bike lanes in certain places.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

It’s never wise to have your safety predicated entirely on drivers doing what they should since all humans mess up at least occasionally.

Basic drivers ed teaches that you should never trust a blinker (or lack there of) even if they can be helpful. That principle does not change when you switch from a car to a bike.

Rather than assume that a driver will look behind, the better assumption is that they will hook you at every intersection. You’ll be wrong more than 99.9% of the time, but when you’re right, it can be the difference between a total nonissue and something very serious.

And yes, you must be hypervigilant every single time. That’s why riding in the sticks is way more fun than urban areas.*

* You only get to worry less about cars. Animals are dangerous (even chipmunks can represent a serious threat on high speed descents) plus road conditions and equipment failure is always a possibility. The faster you go, the faster you’re trusting that things won’t change.

Carrie
Subscriber

Thanks for mansplaining Kyle.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Thanks for the sexism!

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

insert comment with word for aggressively female here ___________ .

Please leave that on Tumblr.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Since a bunch of other people liked your admonishment, could someone tell me how I could have replied better?

I stand by my premise that assuming drivers will do the right thing is very dangerous. No one has a greater interest in your safety than you do, so why would you expect a driver to take measures for your safety that you aren’t willing to take yourself?

I am unclear how dismissing someone’s ideas with a sexist term encourages understanding in any way.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Your reply was fine and helpful. Carrie just had a chance to use a newer snarky internet chat room put down and jumped at the chance. How clever….

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

Kyle,

I should not have posted what I did. I made an assumption and I do apologize for that.

I did take offense at the assumption that I was not riding defensively and assuming that the driver was going to turn right. I DID assume that, which is why I noticed the turn signal, the turning front wheels, and avoided a collision (I did not find the reply helpful, dwk). I did feel like I was being lectured at something I practice when I ride regularly and I took offense at that (which, at it’s heart, is the definition of mansplaining, but this isn’t the thread for that). I should have posted what I found annoying, and not labeled it. Again, I am truly sorry for the label.

Carrie.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

No harm, no foul, and I appreciate you returning to say exactly what I did so I can keep it in mind for future.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

So if a man has an opinion or comment, it’s ‘mansplaining’? Equality would suggest we all get to comment without judgment.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Thanks for womansnarking Carrie!

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Yes, “cover your brake levers and know how to stop fast” should be somewhere in or before the first day of driver’s ed. We do give people lessons on how to ride a bike before we let them drive a car on the street, don’t we? If this was a left cross, I’m not sure how much time anyone would have had to stop or decide to steer left.

Sad. But I’m also angry knowing that for every deadly bike crash, there are dozens of near misses which are only survived with luck and/or vigilance by our “fearless” or “confident” riders. Portland needs to do more to tame its streets — the mayor asking everyone to “please slow down” every 3rd or 5th time someone is killed won’t get it done.

The reckless, impaired street-racer crashing into multiple cars on Barbur Blvd around 5pm last Wed. could have been yet another tragedy if ODOT didn’t go to such lengths to ensure that most people won’t bike on Barbur. The freeways are designed to move cars quickly and be forgiving of errors at high speeds, so they are closed to non-motorized traffic — every other street in the city isn’t. We need streets which physically constrain motorized traffic and are less forgiving of high speeds or operator error with many more inanimate obstacles.

There’s always enough money for a “road closed to thru traffic” barricade. I don’t think anybody needs to die to make driving cars more convenient, but that is the conversation which many assume we’re not even going to consider.

Spiffy
Subscriber

the freeways are only closed to bikes is the metro areas… people can still use them to walk… the freeway shoulders are always packed with families walking to rivers in Oregon City during the summer…

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Get out of the bike lane and ride as fast as you want to.

You’ll never be right hooked by the car that’s behind you. Works for me at least. I have little use for a bike lane, or the people who advocate for them.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

As a vulnerable road user, I think being hyper-vigilant is a good approach. One should not abdicate their safety to the decision making of others.

jeff
Guest
jeff

pretty much. I don’t trust a single damn person on my 11 mile commute. ever, regardless of what they’re traveling in.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

My safety acronym is ‘APP’:

Always be

Assertive
Predictable
Paranoid

Catherine Feta-Cheese
Guest
Catherine Feta-Cheese

I have a safety acronym too! It is the tequila plant AGAVE: Always Get a Visual Estimate. Reminding me to keep looking around all the time, everywhere.

Kristi Finney Dunn
Guest

Vision Zero is in the final stages of decision-making in Portland. It is not yet implemented, pending fine-tuning by the Task Force and then approval by City Council. This should be soon… not soon enough, but it is coming along.

rick
Guest
rick

This is very sad. Thank you for being a leader and reaching out to other families !

soren
Guest
soren

I thank you once again for your amazing and passionate advocacy work. I vehemently believe the city council needs to show their resolve not just by passing a resolution but by committing significant additional funding to safety. Without funding, Vision Zero is just another aspirational Portland plan — like our faltering and failing Bike Plan.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Does not VZ have to go before its Executive Committee before it gets to City Council?

pdxhobbitmom
Subscriber
pdxhobbitmom

From the photo on KATU it looks like the bicyclist was coming downhill around a curve when a Dodge Ram turned left across her path. However, that left turn was actually straight ahead for the Ram, so there was less incentive to stop or slow down. It does seem like a dangerous intersection designed to keep traffic moving fast on Mt. Scott Blvd.
http://katu.com/news/local/pedestrian-struck-killed-on-mt-scott-boulevard

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

That appears likely. Hopefully the investigation will be able to determine exactly what happened.

One challenge of riding in this area is that there are many intersections with weird angles that make it harder to read intent and which encourage/facilitate very dangerous maneuvers.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

This was my thought as well. This intersection design is terrible. Visibility is poor, and the roads come in at bad angles. Combine that with a steep hill and inattentive drivers, and you have a recipe for death.

The cheapest change would be to remove the curved section of Mt. Scott blvd, and have it terminate into SE 112th at an intersection. The safest solution would be a traffic circle, but that would require the use of some adjacent private land.

Note that the intersection just to the south of this one at SE Cemetery Rd is also very poor. Shame on the city/county for prioritizing vehicle speed over safety on this road.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Intersections like this should be improved whenever possible, but there are enough of them that we’ll all be long gone before they are.

One thing that doesn’t help is that even when motorists see cyclists, it somehow doesn’t register that they have to do anything because they think of cyclists like peds and bikes like toys. Even when it does, many don’t realize how fast some bikes move on flats, let alone on descents.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Many drivers are under the impression that, in order to make driving safer, they need the largest vehicle possible.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

A great many.

I’ve lost track of the number of men who have told me they “bought their wife” a big SUV to keep her safe because she didn’t drive very well.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

And SUVs have a higher death rate when compares to minivans and cars, because of the propensity to roll in crashes. They are more likely to be involved in crashes due to poor handling and visibility, and more likely to roll and injure occupants when they do crash.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

We need to rebuild the road because it’s asking too much to ask motorists to look before making a left turn?

My position: Hit someone with your vehicle, go to jail.
We have known for a century that people can’t be trusted to do the right thing. The only thing that infuriates me more than incompetent and inattentive road users are the people that try to blame the behavior on the road.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Might as well just declare that people can’t drive to an acceptable standard, and shut the roadway down to motor vehicles. People aren’t robots, they make mistakes. Jailing people for driving errors is unjust.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

No. Killing someone with your vehicle is unjust.

Some people simply cannot function without a deterrent. I realize you relish the opportunity to be the incompetent motorist apologist, so I’m not going to engage further.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

All drivers are incompetent when held to a standard where an error leads to imprisonment. It’s just not a realistic standard. I was serious when I wrote better to just eliminate driving across the board.

J_R
Guest
J_R

We don’t have to go to a standard of perfect, but the standard of care has been continuously driven down by the media, law enforcement, the judiciary, and the legislature. We have been by the use of the word “accident” and a definition of “carelessness” that has become to mean “not intentional.” We need to raise the standard. The number one job of the driver should be to DRIVE. Other stuff, like communicating, eating, navigation, etc should be much lower on the list. Unfortunately, we have come to accept that as long as the driver spends at least 20 percent of his/her cognative ability on driving, it’s considered acceptable. I find that unacceptable; let’s raise the bar.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“All drivers are incompetent when held to a standard where an error leads to imprisonment.”

Come again?
What does the consequence have to do with determining competence? J_R is right; people need to (and can) hold themselves/be held to a higher standard than we’ve grown accustomed. Deterrence may or may not work as expected, but we know one thing and that is that what we have now most assuredly does not work for those of us not habitually in cars.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I believe that, for most people, it is impossible to perform a task that is at once boring and cognitively difficult without a lapse of attention/zoning out/distraction/etc. for any length of time. Holding people to an impossible standard is doomed to fail.

Our choices seem to be to make our roads more fault tolerant, accept a high level of mayhem, or end (human) driving altogether. My preference would be for that third option, but it’s not really a viable choice at the moment.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

This mostly makes me concerned with your driving ability.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Holding people to an impossible standard is doomed to fail.”

I agree with much of what you say there, Hello, Kitty, but let’s not forget that other countries have managed to improve on our statistics with techniques and strategies we here in Portland have professed to endorse. Vision Zero is not hand waving, and variations on it are conceivable. Airline pilots are often mentioned comparatively in this context. Training, higher standards, real consequences for lapses, not to mention better infrastructure all could go a long way; but we seem to have the most difficulty with societal re-prioritizing that would remind us that driving is a privilege not an automatically granted right.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I assume HK is terrified of flying.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I totally support the goals behind VZ, and even though I know they will never be achieved, I think working towards them is critical to making our streets safer. Better driver training will certainly help, but that is a long game, as it will take decades for drivers we start training better today to replace the majority of lesser trained drivers on the road. And, as you know, I believe technology will make these issues moot sooner than that can happen.

Things like better intersection design, lower urban speed limits, more strictly graduated licenses, and better transportation options can start helping today.

q
Guest
q

I’d rather be alive, than dying but knowing the person who hit me would be going to jail.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Sounds like that logic might apply to cyclists also. There are a lot of people who blame infrastructure here for their behaviors.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Stiff penalties for crashes would only have a marginal effect on road safety, because it would only eliminate the crashes from repeat offenders. The issue with auto safety in the US is one of perceived risk. Even though it is the mostly likely cause of injury and death for most adults, no one thinks of it that way, because people commonly drive for thousands of hours before being involved in a minor fender bender. Even if your average driver knows they will go to jail if they kill someone, they won’t change their habits, because they can’t imagine that happening to them.

People drive 70+ on 2-lane roads every day in this state, and think nothing of it, because they feel safe. They don’t realize that this is the most dangerous activity they participate in. If they won’t slow down for their own safety, you expect them to slow down because they might go to jail if they get in a crash, a crash that they don’t think will ever happen?

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

That’s why we need real penalties for infractions, not just crashes. If we had actual (hopefully automated) traffic law enforcement that raised the odds of being cited, then we could change driving behavior. Even small penalties with high probabilities of being assessed should reap substantial rewards, if the work of game theory is to be believed (and ime, it is).

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Agreed. Consistent enforcement of infractions would do a lot to improve safety. We have the technology, we just need the legal authority and will to implement them.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

There are many intersections, and roads and streets in general, with weird, poor visibility angles and fast traffic in many places, not just in the Mt Scott area, but throughout much of Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

…actually, almost anywhere people may need or want to ride a bike, with the possible exception of some of Downtown Portland’s and the city’s close-in neighborhoods where gradually, the city is experimenting with and introducing infrastructure specifically designed to counter mistakes and errors by road users resulting in hazardous traffic situations particularly for vulnerable road users.

And there’s plenty of people, way too many, inattentively riding their bikes in traffic where motor vehicles are in use. Efforts to cast blame for collisions and close calls involving people on bikes and people driving motor vehicles, predominantly on old, unsophisticated street infrastructure and the driving characteristics of people operating motor vehicles, really does very little to help reduce potential for collisions in the here and now.

Given the immense number of reports of close calls, and periodic collisions, I have to question whether people that either are biking, or are considering biking for both recreation and practical travel, are personally doing all that they can to equip themselves with the knowledge and skill in riding a bike in traffic, that could help them reduce the likelihood of their being involved in collisions and close calls.

RushHourAlleycat
Guest

For folks using this or any tragedy to further an agenda or narrative. Maybe don’t.

soren
Guest
soren

My agenda is that I want to see fewer people dying on our roads.

RushHourAlleycat
Guest

Specifically completely unrelated ones. Sorry you felt it was directed at you.

soren
Guest
soren

The 82nd Avenue of Death Ride and Protest will stop at the location of this second tragedy to protest another unnecessary death on our roads.

The ride starts at 5 pm at Woodstock Park and will stop at SE 82nd and Flavel at 6 pm.

Woodstock Park
SE 47th Street, Portland, Oregon 97206

https://www.facebook.com/events/1430777176948183/

kittens
Guest
kittens

So she was descending at 30-35 in the bike lane? I would definitely advise taking the lane in this instance. Don’t be shy people, your life may depend on it.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Indeed. Is that a bike lane or a shoulder? It’s about a 10% grade? Where did they get this 30+mph and is it at impact or before braking? Why did westbound traffic stop?

What role did the 19 bus have in the intersection design?

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

There are no bike lanes on any of these roads. a foot or two of shoulder in some spots. It’s very easy to get up to 30+ mph on that section going downhill.
It’s a VERY wonky intersection. I always take it with a lot of caution and slow down a good bit.

Based on the description, the cyclist was overtaking stopped traffic from the right side?

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

If she “took the lane”, then she would have had to suddenly stop in back of all the other stopped cars, who were waiting for an oncoming car driven by Dieter to turn left. Clearly, she didn’t (or wasn’t able to?), and proceeded on the right of all the stopped cars, at 30-35 mph, apparently without braking. This is probably one of those cases where the other cars were engaged in a courteous act towards another user that was ultimately dangerous for traffic further behind. Technically, there was only one lane in each direction, but the shoulder widens near the intersection, and Mt. Scott has a marked bike lane west of 112th.

q
Guest
q

Yes, it’s quite possible this crash wouldn’t have happened if the downhill drivers hadn’t yielded out of courtesy. They and the cyclist would have simply traveled past the turning driver, who then would turn when all was clear. The timing is ironic, since this was a big issue discussed in the recent article about PBOT’s new “crossbike” crossings, which are designed to create ambiguity, and encourage drivers to yield when they don’t have to.

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

Does anyone else find the estimated speed to be a bit suspect? I doubt most causal observers are good at estimating the speed of a cyclist (think of how often people are accused of “speeding” on their bikes on flat ground).

This rider was a middle aged person on a bike with straight bars. I’m not saying she couldn’t have been going 35, but I often top out around 35 on wide open descents out in the foothills on my road bike… maybe I’m just slow, but I think this is making excuses.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Agreed. I didn’t comment on this because I am not familiar with the area at all. I don’t think I own a bike on which I could achieve those claimed speeds.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

It’s pretty easy to get 35 at that location. A very nice long decent.

Tony Jordan (Contributor)
Subscriber

On a non-road frame? Look at the bike in this photo: http://koin.com/2016/08/05/pedestrian-hit-and-killed-by-car-on-mt-scott-blvd/

I don’t mean to do too much Monday morning quarterbacking, but this bike appears to be in some of the lowest gears (on the small front chainring), has a kickstand, and straight bars.

Obviously she wasn’t going “slow” or she’d probably be alive today, but I often think the speed of cyclists is overestimated and used to excuse other behavior.

Never mind that 25-35 feels pretty “slow” in a car. When people hear about a cyclist going that “fast” they think they are Evel Knievel.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Related quote in that story:

“I know the bike riders, when I see them, are going awfully fast,” Worthington said. “because they’re going downhill and they’re keeping up with traffic at 40 mph.”

So 40mph car traffic is normal, but if you’re on a bike it’s “awfully fast”.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Especially when traveling down hill, a car going 40mph would be able to stop in a shorter distance. A cyclist is limited by the physics of weight distribution (ie: you can’t use your front brakes to full effect because you will go over the bars).

It should be obvious from this video that this intersection is terribly designed. And at least one crash per month? Clearly this needs to be completely rebuilt.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

you can use the front brake to the point of a skid without going over the bars

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

And the easiest way to find that point is to gently squeeze the brakes until you are flying through the air… then back off a little.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Aside from the braking issue, I find it ironic that a 6000lb F350 going 40 through a neighborhood is normal, but a 20lb bike going 40 is ‘awfully fast’. What do they call it, Stockholm Syndrome?

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

Heavier bikes go downhill faster.
I agree that most people have issues estimating speed when they’re stopped, but it’s very plausible that a cyclist was going 30-35mph at this site.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

People’s perception of the speed of a vehicle is skewed by the length of the vehicle, with longer vehicles appearing to be going slower than they actually are and shorter vehicles, like cyclists, appearing to be going faster. Add in the fact that any speed over a walking speed is interpretted as very fast for a cyclist by motorists, and it’s no surprise that they come up with some wildly high estimate.

Locally, we had a cop deal with a salmon ninja one evening and his report referred to the rider as “riding very fast”. He was on a beater bike on an absolutely flat roadway with a 20 mph speed limit that there is no way he reached. Meanwhile, the same cop won’t cite motorists for going 30 mph on that street.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Yeah. She would have been alongside or passing a line of cars coming down the hill (unless they were speeding), then applied no brakes when they all stopped?

As for the speed, theoretically a 10% downhill grade with no headwind would allow even 110lb of bike+rider to coast at 35mph with straight bars, no tuck, lycra, or skinny tires (not tested or measured, assumptions for air and rolling resistance coefficients.) 30 is way too exciting for the shoulder and I’ve never gotten above 25 without at least laying fingers on the brake lever to be sure it was there!

What’s the minimum stopping distance for a bike from 35mph on dry pavement? (50fps -> 75ft?) Was there gravel and debris scattered on the shoulder? Is it a bike lane if there is an 8in stripe at the other side of this intersection?

Would the stopped vehicles have been able to block both the drivers view of the rider and the rider’s view of the truck?

SD
Guest
SD

If I killed someone while driving my car I would easily perceive that they were going 30 mph at least to convince myself that there was nothing that I could have done differently.
Unless they were standing still. In that case, I would fixate on how difficult it was to see them because they were camouflaged by their stealth motionlessness.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I’ve always believed that rationalization was one of the skills we humans developed to put us at the top of the food chain, probably at the cost of a better-honed intuition. I think your comment nails it!

Asher Atkinson
Guest
Asher Atkinson

As the facts of this tragedy emerge it becomes harder for me to find obvious fault and simple remedies.

Assuming I reconstructed the situation accurately, the cyclist was moving at 30 to 35 mph around a left sweeping curve with a posted speed limit of 20 mph. Additionally, the cyclist passed a car that was stopped to allow an oncoming car to turn in front of it. Again, assuming I’ve reconstructed the situation accurately, two factors stand out.

One, while the stopped car had no legal obligation to yield to the left turning car, it likely did so out of courtesy. And it’s this type of courtesy that can leave the impression that it is safe for an oncoming car to proceed when it is not. The ‘no, you go ahead’ gesture disrupts predictability on the road and can lead to disastrous results. That said, had the car been stopped for a pedestrian, and assuming that the crossing to the island between 112th and Mt Scott is technically a crosswalk, then it would have been illegal for the cyclist to pass the stopped car.

Two, passing a car that is stopped, or moving at a much slower rate, is an inherently dangerous maneuver, and can be illegal. In situations like this, extreme caution is warranted, though often discounted or ignored.

These factors – the unpredictability of road users, and the misjudgment of risk – are both understandable human factors that are difficult to design against with infrastructure and laws. I hope we all can take lessons away from this tragedy and apply them to our behavior on the road immediately.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

There is an advisory speed of 20. The posted speed is 35, I believe.

Spiffy
Subscriber

and oddly that advisory speed is only on the downhill outer lane and switches to 35 mph halfway through the turn… the inner sharper lane should have a slower advisory speed… but I think at this point they’re just trying to calm motor vehicles racing down the hill so the residents don’t end up with cars in their yards…

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Aside from becoming aware of how cycling can be more safe, I hope one of these lessons is that systematically demonizing drivers, especially before the facts are in, is unproductive.

soren
Subscriber

These tragedies have taught me to systemically demonize unsafe driving. The comments on bike portland; however, have taught me to categorically ignore “experienced” cyclists who use a tragedy as an opportunity to expound on their favorite anecdotal safety techniques.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

I’m unclear how demonization contributes anything to safety.

But I agree, there are a lot of bogus practices people advocate that do not contribute to safety — or worse yet, undermine it.

Since you have the experience to identify these shills, how about calling out some of these practices people expound upon so we can all be safer?

soren
Subscriber

just about anything anyone says about how one ought to ride a bike is mostly anecdote. it would not surprise me if many of the techniques that some “experienced” cyclists claim are important (e.g. taking the lane, lane control, signaling, holding a line, avoiding sidewalks, avoiding riding the wrong way etc) have little impact on risk.

my favorite example of this is the oft-repeated claim that following “the rules of the road” increases safety. well…idaho performed a natural experiment and found that many of “the rules of the road” had no measurable impact on safety.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The Idaho Stop (which I assume is what you are referring to) is probably not the best example. I think the idea behind “following the rules” is that your actions are predictable. Stopping, or not, when no one else is at an intersection is not really relevant to that conversation.

I think that experienced riders have learned something about road safety over the years, and I’m not sure why you would think they haven’t.

Why is taking the lane, avoiding sidewalks, and not riding the wrong way bad advice?

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

I’ve seen a (slightly tongue in cheek) argument against being predictable- if you are unpredictable, drivers will see you and/or slow down/give you more space.

9watts
Guest
9watts

= Hans Monderman.
He was quite serious, too.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Being unpredictable is not as effective as being invisible. If they can’t see you, they can’t hit you.

Adam
Subscriber

The “rules of the road” were written for cars.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Probably best to disregard them, then.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Expect the family of the cyclist to sue the pickup driver and the car that stopped to let them turn.

35mph is about the top speed I will ever go on my road bike, and that is on open roads that I am familiar with. Passing slowing or stopped vehicles on the right at this speed is a very bad idea.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I agree with this assessment. If you are travelling the same speed as cars, it’s much safer to be in the middle of the lane. Even on an open road with no other traffic, once you get over 25 or so you really should get out of the bike lane to give yourself room to avoid obstacles.

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

I’ve raced road bikes for many years. There have been many times that I’ve come up on a car so fast that the only option was to pass on the shoulder. Yes, I was riding too fast for the conditions, but it happens frequently as bikes can descend far faster than cars. This loss of life just sucks.

Spiffy
Subscriber

my assumption when I read the update was that the cars weren’t stopped specifically to let somebody turn because those cars don’t have a clear view that somebody is even approaching… rather they were likely stopped due to traffic in front of them that wasn’t moving…

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

A simple remedy would be to lower speed limits and/or close intersections. There are many simple remedies which would be safer, but with less fast and free movement of heavy vehicles. Allowing 46mph traffic with no access control and no mode separation shouldn’t be the norm (where’s the sidewalk?)

rick
Guest
rick

The nearbyh Willamette National Cemetery does not allow “runners.”

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

I agree entirely but feel in practice it can be very difficult to put this into effect. For example, when I’ve ridden on side roads in the 70+ Aves past Tabor on a downslope, it is easy to reach 25mph on bicycle yet the operators of cars will nonetheless try zipping around. Even as they continuously brake for speed bumps and stop signs without ever easily getting ahead in a meaningful way. Anyways, I agree that once you’re in the 25+ mph rate of velocity, leaving the bike lane makes sense but car operators will nonetheless feel the “need” to slip by the “slower” vehicle (which is going the posted speed). :-/ I suppose how car operators react to taking the lane is its own issue that does not detract from the validity and purpose of your statement but is highly related to general safety and maneuverability.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

Whoops. This was in reply to Dan A’s post which was just above this one originally from a different branch of the discussion.

http://bikeportland.org/2016/08/05/fatal-bicycle-collision-at-se-112th-and-mt-scott-188979#comment-6690086

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

If you’re in the middle of the lane when they pass, at least you still have the option of moving right. But if you’re in the bike lane at 30mph when someone is passing and you’ve got an obstacle in your path, you’re pretty much screwed.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

It is true some cars do this. I’ve had cars attempt passes on blind curves when I was going 45 in a 35 (I realize my own admitted speed brings my judgment into question).

But it is still safer to take the lane for visibility (yours and everyone else’s) and to create more options if something goes wrong. There are places where I’ve broken 50mph, but I *never* pass vehicles on the right at speed.

Speaking of which, you should not go faster than you’re willing to crash because someday you will. Tires can go down, animals big and small can jump out into the road, you might lose control during a “death wobble” (harmonic vibration of the bars at high speed), you could kick a piece of gravel, you might round a curve to find your path blocked by someone or something, you might find suddenly find yourself on a slick surface deep into a curve, etc.

If you ride at high speed, you need to acknowledge the inherent risks and take responsibility for them. Expecting others to look out for you and get out of your way is dangerous for everyone. Drivers who do this are rightly considered irresponsible, even if they are on only two wheels.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“Drivers who do this are rightly considered irresponsible”

I wish that were true. We’ve seen numerous stories here over the years where drivers run over things in the middle of the road because they were going too fast and it’s just written off as an act-of-god accident.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

It is true that many people accept that an “accident” is unavoidable so long as the driver was going anywhere near the speed limit.

I have personally witnessed many avoidable accidents over the years and ridden with people who hit things/animals that should have been avoided.

It is still bad driving. Good drivers are ready to respond when things go wrong. The same can be said of cyclists.

SD
Guest
SD

“you should not go faster than you’re willing to crash”
Interesting aphorism, but not applicable.

Similar to “if anything bad happens to you while you are moving it is your fault, because you could always be going slower.”

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

It has nothing to do with fault. Rather it has everything to do with the simple fact that if you take risks for a long enough period of time, the math eventually catches up with you.

Are you trying to suggest that the examples I brought out earlier in the thread are not real threats? I’ve have personally experienced *all* of them as well as others at speeds over 40mph. Amazingly, none of them except washing out on a curve have resulted in crashes (knock on wood).

There is no consolation in being “dead right,” so being safe requires riding for conditions as they are rather than conditions as the should be.

SD
Guest
SD

Just saying it sounds good but not applicable.

Spiffy
Subscriber

no matter the vehicle never go faster than you can react…

when driving I’m always timing myself for braking distance and often go under the speed limit around corners that are signed too fast…

CarsAreFunToo
Guest
CarsAreFunToo

Interesting. I usually go faster than the posted (yellow sign) advisory speeds because they’re way slower than the corner allows (and we’re not even talking about trying to be fast, just comfortable cruising). Are you driving a semi or a large box truck? For the most part, any passenger car from the last 30 years can go faster than the posted advisory speed, even in the rain. If you’re not driving a semi, the next time you’re tooling around and come up to one of those corners you’re uncomfortable with, try looking ahead through the turn and maintaining speed. Maybe think about a performance driving school, too. That might help you become more comfortable with your car and the posted speed limits.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Everything’s awesome until it isn’t.

pruss2ny
Guest
pruss2ny

is this for real, or just baiting?
yes, on a closed race track today’s cars handle fantastically…but for all the variables listed above (increased congestion, hidden driveways, “polite” drivers stopping unexpectedly, distracted driving) and then some, its not about how your car handles…its about accepting that posted
speeds probably need to come down

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

I am not certain but I think the yellow advisory speed is posted for icy roads and zero side thrust in a motor vehicle in the middle of the lane. I know I have gone off the road, on the inside, at below the advisory speed on curves on ice.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Not really.

If you actually want to know about posting of advisory speeds on Oregon roads, go to:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/Pages/nr16050501.aspx

New procedures from the Federal Highway Administration are found at:

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt/ref_mats/fhwasa1122/

Pete
Guest
Pete

Definitely agree that racing schools and track experience makes for better driving skills on road*, but a car’s capabilities and a driver’s responsibilities are two different things entirely. Posted speed limits are maximums based on road designs, urban density, sight lines, and area usages, not suggestions based on how fast your vehicle can handle its turns.

Or maybe I misread your point?

*As a graduate of Skip Barber’s classes with racing experience at PIR, Watkins Glen, and (my favorite) Lime Rock Park.

Spiffy
Subscriber

you missed the key part of my statement: corners that are signed too fast…

yes, the majority of advisory signs are below the comfortable limit and are easily exceeded…

but I was saying that I’m also judging the road separate from the signs and sometimes the corners speeds, advisory or not, are too fast…

EPO Rider
Guest
EPO Rider

It’s unclear… how is the cyclist moving Northbound on Mt. Scott, while the truck driver is moving Eastbound!?!?!

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

Mt Scott Blvd makes a 90 degree turn at the intersection with 112th Ave. It’s a funky intersection, left over from when that area was largely rural.

Adam
Subscriber

That slip lane needs to go away.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Disagreed.

Removing that lane would make a left turn from Mt Scott onto 112th substantially more dangerous because someone turning left (possibly even a cyclist) would have to wait for oncoming traffic while vehicles coming around a sharp curve approached from behind. Waiting vehicles would not see approaching ones in mirrors pointed straight back, and approaching vehicles would have more difficulty recognizing threats around the curve, especially in bad conditions.

To substantially improve that intersection, a different design would be necessary.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Removing the slip lane would create a simple, 4-way intersection. It would need to have stop signs, or would be signalized. No waiting for oncoming traffic to turn, just wait your turn. It would create a slight delay for people driving on Mt. Scott Blvd, which is why the city will never do it.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps I have a bias because of the many decades I lived and rode in a rural area with a one-mile grid of roads, almost none of which had slip lanes, but there’s just no need to try to make every road into an expressway.

Bad traffic engineer. No coffee for him/her.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

B,
The one from 1940?

SD
Guest
SD

Would be interested to know how they came up with 30-35 mph. We tend to overestimate the ability of police to determine “facts” that become fixed once they appear in a police report.

I am trying to figure out how dangerous this intersection is. Hard to blame the intersection for a car stopping innapropriately (if I read the report correctly.)

This highlights one of the black boxes of right sided bike lanes. Right turning cars must stop to yield the ROW to bikes passing on the right before the car turns, but they could also be stopping for other reasons. If I stopped every time a car stopped to allow me to pass before they make a turn, it would be confusing and frustrating for everyone. I typically wait for a car to be at a full stop for 1-2 secs before I assume they have seen me. The lack of a turn signal is not unusual enough to set off alarms.

dan
Guest
dan

This intersection is clearly dangerous. In fact, one of the last times I rode Mt. Scott, I had a hairy encounter with a car that was trying to figure out if they could pull out of 112th (they had a stop sign) before I arrived. I would have signaled left to make it obvious I was “turning left” (technically staying on Mt. Scott), but I needed both hands on the handlebars there because it is very steep, and I was likely pushing 40 mph. At those speeds, I think it’s mandatory to take the lane…passing stopped cars on the right at that speed (bike lane or not), is not being cautious.

SD
Guest
SD

Thanks. I haven’t ridden this road much. And I am a fan of taking the lane, but I also know that sometimes that is easier said than done. As far as passing on the right, a person on a bike could slow to 15 and still be killed by a moving vehicle.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

You have to be very, very careful anytime you see a car pulled up to a road when you are moving at speed — even if you clearly have full right of way on a through road and they’re on a tiny driveway. Even if they’re at a red light and you have green (if they’re turning right).

Vehicles can and sometimes will pull right in front of you as if you don’t exist. Or it will appear they do see you, but pull out so slowly that drastic braking and/or evasive action is necessary. Some drivers don’t think, some don’t look, some don’t do either. They will be at fault, but you’ll be the one who suffers.

BTW, I have noticed that running daytime flashers in front seems to reduce the number of vehicles who pull in front of me or execute hooking maneuvers.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps I have a bias because of the many decades I lived and rode in a rural area with a one-mile grid of roads, almost none of which had slip lanes, but there’s just no need to try to make every road into an expressway.

Bad traffic engineer. No coffee for him/her.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Oops, that was meant as a reply to Adam H who said the slip lane needs to go away.

David Lewis
Guest

Yielding one’s own right of way, and accepting that yielded right of way are common causes for collisions like this. If I were in charge, these would be criminal acts. There are no accidents.

Driving is not a passive activity; it is both a privilege and a responsibility to know and follow traffic laws. Cooperating with police after the fact does not vindicate.

I agree with Tom Hardy that all acts while driving are deliberate.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Are all acts while cycling also deliberate? How about while walking?

lop
Guest
lop

>Yielding one’s own right of way, and accepting that yielded right of way are common causes for collisions like this.

Kind of like this one.

http://bikeportland.org/2015/07/24/woman-sues-for-over-670000-after-collision-caused-serious-injuries-151177

Spiffy
Subscriber

disclaimer: I am not a lawyer…

legally, this will be the cyclist’s fault… they were riding on the shoulder, which is legally considered a sidewalk (and why we’re allowed to bike on it)…

as a sidewalk rider you are required to enter the crosswalk at a walking speed when there is a pending conflict with a motor vehicle…

per witness statements the rider did not slow down to a walking speed (~4 mph) before entering the unmarked crosswalk and thus did not leave enough time for the driver to react…

unfortunate, but that is my take from a legal standpoint…

moral take-away: when passing cars to the right of the white line you’re on an unmarked sidewalk so be sure to slow when there are cars turning across that shoulder…

SD
Guest
SD

Sincere question: Is this really an unmarked cross walk?

Spiffy
Subscriber

it’s an intersection so it has to be… it’s an extension of the unmarked sidewalk on the shoulder…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Thank goodness you are not a lawyer.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Let me put it another way. Suppose you’re riding on a rural highway with no bike lane and just a shoulder. It sounds like you’re suggesting that somebody riding 25mph on the shoulder of the highway would need to slow to walking speed every time the highway intersects with another road, in order to continue legally and with the right of way. But I don’t think you actually believe that.

Spiffy
Subscriber

not every time it intersects… you only have to slow if there’s going to be a conflict with a motor vehicle…

yes, it sounds ridiculous, but that’s how it reads in the ORS…

I don’t think I want to be riding on the shoulder/sidewalk any more…

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Completely wrong, from a legal standpoint.

Spiffy
Subscriber

ok, but where am I failing to make the connection?

using ORS 801.480 shoulder and 801.485 sidewalk definitions combined with 801.220 crosswalk this looks like it’s clearly a case of a cyclist in a crosswalk… 814.410 states you have to enter that crosswalk at a walking pace if a motor vehicle is approaching…

what did I miss?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

A shoulder is never a crosswalk. There are no sidewalks where this incident occurred, so how can there be a crosswalk? Similarly, the cyclist was proceeding with the right-of way. The road curves, so she was essentially going straight on the road.

When you are riding on the shoulder of a country road, do you slow down to a walking pace every time you pass a side road?

Spiffy
Subscriber

a shoulder is an assumed sidewalk… thus when you cross a street from shoulder to shoulder you’re in an assumed crosswalk… and that transition is when you have to slow to a walking speed…

I’ve never slowed down like that, but I’m now changing my riding style in light of this research…

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Jonathan: I would recommend the terminology “motor vehicle operator” and not “auto user”.

In the future the term “auto user” may be better a description for a person inside a self driving car where they have final authority to cease operations or set the “avoidance” threshold for self preservation…and they are in a crash/ collision.

Pat Lowell
Guest
Pat Lowell

To all those who are saying that this may be the fault of drivers who had “courtesy stopped” in the road to let the truck driver turn — what if they had stopped for a pedestrian? It’s an intersection, therefore an unmarked crosswalk, so cars would be required to stop for peds. A cyclist flying down the hill at 30-35 mph could easily have taken out that ped in addition to themselves. I know that wasn’t the case here, just saying that we cyclists are just as responsible for those around us as drivers are. If cars are stopped in the middle of the road, best to slow down and figure out why.

q
Guest
q

I’m not sure anyone said it was their “fault” entirely. I know I did say it may never have happened if they hadn’t yielded. But once they did, it still wouldn’t have happened without the cyclist passing them.

But you’re exactly right with your point–if the cars had stopped for a pedestrian, it could have been a bike/pedestrian crash, with the biker doing the equivalent dangerous move of drivers who swoop around cars stopped for pedestrians at crossings. You really do have to figure out why they’re stopped before passing, as you said.

SD
Guest
SD

At this interchange, the most likely reason for a car to be stopped in this situation is that they are waiting for you to pass so that they can turn right or park.
Pedestrian crossing is a stretch of the imagination given that there is nothing on the west shoulder to go to or come from.

q
Guest
q

I think Pat’s point remains valid, though–it’s not a good idea to pass stopped cars, whether you’re biking or driving, without slowing down until you know why they’re stopped.

SD
Guest
SD

Sure, slow down figure it out. At some point you keep rolling. For all we know the person on the bike did slow down and their attention was drawn to the right because they were looking for possible pedestrians, stray dogs, etc. (Coming down the hill it would have been clear that there were none on the left because it is a clear area where someone walking would have been unusual and stood out.)
Maybe they were running through the bike portland safety committee check list of all the things one must do to be a responsible cyclist worthy of living another day.
Equating this event with not stopping for a pedestrian is the usual contrived speculation wherein every possible imagined cycling mistake is tallied against the rider.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m shocked… SHOCKED to learn there’s contrived speculation on Bikeportland!

q
Guest
q

From the description in the article, one possibility is that she passed stopped cars without knowing what was ahead of them, and going too fast to stop if there was something in the way. There’s nothing wrong with bringing that up in the discussion, especially when one of the reasons it got brought up was because others were claiming the driver had to have had a clear view of the cyclist.

Of course another possibility is she had slowed down, had seen the driver waiting to turn, and judged it was safe to proceed, only to have the driver suddenly turn in front of her, so she had no time to react. Saying one is possible isn’t saying the other isn’t also possible, or that anyone is trying to dredge up every possible way to blame the victim.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The cyclist did not pass the stopped cars. The stopped cars were stopped waiting for the cyclist to pass. the stopped cars were to the right of where the cyclist was trying to go.
Kapeesh?

q
Guest
q

It sounds like you’re thinking the stopped cars were on the straight section of Mt. Scott Blvd., heading westbound, because that would put them to the cyclist’s right, and yes, they would have to stop (at the stop sign) waiting for her to pass, and if they were there, she would not be overtaking and passing them.

I’m thinking they were stopped on the curved, main section of Mt. Scott Blvd. as they were heading down the hill and heading westbound, which means they were at the same location she was, in the lane and to her left as she overtook and passed them on the shoulder or bike lane.

The article says they were stopped to allow the driver to turn. That makes sense if they were where I’m assuming they were. It doesn’t make sense if they were behind the stop sign on the small straight stretch, because at that location, they wouldn’t be in the way of the turning driver even if they didn’t stop.

bendite
Guest
bendite

Adam H.
Roundabouts improve safety by reducing the amount of conflict points over a signallized intersection. Of course, if they are only designed for cars, then they only improve safety for drivers. It is possible, however, to design roundabouts to accommodate cycling.
Recommended 1

I can tell when someone is about to blow the yield in a roundabout. If someone is blowing the stop on a 4 way stop, I’m a sitting duck by the time I realize it.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I’m a hill cyclist, but have never biked to the top of Mt Scott, despite it being one of the biggest hills in the area.

I considered doing it for the first time only last week as it happens, and was pouring over Google maps trying to find the best way up.

You know when you use the word “pouring” over a map, it is not going to end well.

It is a suburban hellhole out there on the hill.

I could not find any direct way to the top that did not involve biking on, for all intents and purposes, freeways part of the way up, including Mt Scott Blvd. There is little to no connectivity, because all of the subdivisions meander about forever, before abruptly dead-ending. You can see the road 30 feet higher up the hill you want to get to, but you are in a culdesac with no way of getting there.

After pouring over the map for 5 minutes I gave up, and Mt Scott remained unbiked by me.

I suspect this lady was trying to do the same thing I was doing. For those saying she shouldn’t have been biking on a busy street, I would come back at them by saying, there are no other streets that will get you anywhere on that hill. They are all dead-ends.

Depressing as hell. Who gave planning permission for this sh***y piece of suburbia?

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

>>> You know when you use the word “pouring” over a map, it is not going to end well. <<<

Especially if you don't want the map you're poring over to get wet!

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

pore, verb: “look over carefully”

http://grammarist.com/spelling/pore-over-pour-over/

(just an interesting learning opportunity/chance for tedder to be pedantic)

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

You should check out Johnson Creek (separated MUP to bike lanes) to Qual Ridge Drive (gated, very low traffic road).

https://ridewithgps.com/ambassador_routes/210-la-doyenne-de-ronde-van-oost-portlandia

This ride has tons of tough climbs in this area.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Another Good Samaritan Death Trap sadly claims another victim. This particular road design, referred to in the police report as an “interchange,” not an intersection, is an unusual and inviting set-up for such a trap. I can’t imagine this is the only collision which that design has contributed to. Is Portland or Clackamas responsible for that road? (It’s right on the city limit border.)

Adam
Guest
Adam

I’m also curious – is this Clackalacky, or Portland that has jurisdiction over it?

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Portland has jurisdiction over the road. It is partly in Multnomah County and partly within the City of Portland, but all of the Multnomah “county pockets” next to Portland are within the “Portland Urban Service District” and regulated by the city. Clackamas County begins about a quarter mile south of the intersection, at Clatsop.

matt picio
Guest
matt picio

David Hampsten
Judging from PBOT stats that 20 mph crashes are rarely fatal, and that this one was, and that the mountainbike/hybrid fork was bent in and the front wheel tacoed with the tire peeled off, I’d say the impact was at least 25-30 mph, if not higher.
Recommended 0

Chance of death @ 20mph impact speed: 20%
Chance of death @ 40mph impact speed: 80%

There’s a high likelihood that the cyclist’s speed was no more than 25mph. The motorist would have accelerated to roughly 15mph to clear the intersection, making the impact speed around 40 mph. (depending on the impact angle and other factors)

soren
Guest
soren

There were two moving objects, the angle of collision was shallow, and the collision was largely inelastic. In other words, any extrapolation from the pedestrian fatality “data” PBOT uses is not even wrong.

q
Guest
q

Coincidentally, I was on a highway in Washington last weekend where two of these same conditions within a few hundred yards of each other are being removed, because they are unsafe. If you’re making the “turn” the driver was making, you’re not really turning, you’re going straight, so almost head-on into oncoming traffic. If you’re doing the opposite–in this case heading westbound, and entering Mt. Scott Blvd. at the base of the hill from the small straight stretch that the driver was turning onto, you’re having to look way behind over your shoulder as you drive forward. That’s probably even more dangerous. And all that’s just for drivers, without considering safety of anyone else.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Bingo. Roads should never meet this way. This is just a terrible design all around. It consumes a lot of space, and creates several dangerous intersections.

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

I’ve ridden this many times and am wondering if “westbound traffic stopping to allow her to turn” is being misinterpreted. I cannot imagine making this “turn” at 30 mph without taking the lane. It’s fast but completely navigable with the lane. It’s not feasible to me to do so without taking the lane… at least not near that speed, which is easily attained, and so this part of the reporting confuses me.

What I know is that there is a lot to navigate there. First, approaching at 30-35mph is easy because it’s in the middle of a long descent. Cars routinely travel that stretch at 35+. As you head down Mt. Scott Blvd toward 112th, there is traffic coming toward you on Mt Scott Blvd with a stop sign for them at the “intersection”. I hand signal to indicate I’m going left in front of them (you can also go straight on Mt. Scott and much of the traffic does), but signaling for any length of time is difficult because you need to brake for the turn…not easy to brake 1-handed going downhill, so the signal is brief.

At the same time you have to look left to see if someone is coming up 112th who may cross your lane in front of you (as happened here) to go east on 112th. There’s no stop or yield sign for them, but they are crossing your ROW. Finally, you may have a westbound car on 112th entering your lane to head downhill on 112th. There’s a stop sign for them, but we know how that can work. Just watch the car(s) blow thru that one on the KOIN report.

This is a fun road and dangerous descent. I had a close call similar to what happened to Ms DeBaillie. An eastbound car on 112th cut in front of me as I descended. I was lucky. I had a car at the stop sign facing southbound on Mt. Scott Blvd pull out as I was crossing (with the ROW) in front of him. I had signaled and thought I had made eye contact…not hardly.

I’ve taken this descent more carefully since the close calls and I’ll take it even more carefully now. But I understand the ease with which a bike can go 30+ around this bend. And how that intersection depends on too many drivers yielding the ROW and staying stopped at stop signs.

I don’t know what my narration can add to this. I’m lucky not to have had the same thing happen to me. I think the traffic control there needs to change. Sadly it will not help protect Ms. DeBaillie. My condolences to her family.

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

There’s one other element I’d like to add to this and that is that as you head down Mount Scott Boulevard toward 112th, cars are often on your tail going 35 to 40 mph, some of which turn but many of which go straight, creating another source of pressure from behind. At a bare minimum, signs saying that bikes may use the entire road should go up ASAP.

kittens
Guest
kittens

looks like the bike was pretty well in the traffic lane on the decent. how else would it have ended up there?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Wow, good point.

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

It bounced off the side of the truck and landed there?
Based on the bike’s placement on the road and the angle of the truck (which would deflect the bike towards the lane) it looks pretty obvious to me that the cyclist was on the shoulder. That makes sense given reports that cars were in the lane, stopped to allow the truck to make a left turn.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Last minute swerve in attempt to avoid the crash? Bike slams into car and deflects several feet? The bike’s resting point in the traffic lane doesn’t indicate that the cyclist was traveling in the traffic lane when she approached the intersection.

Spiffy
Subscriber

good point!

so were they proper in the lane, or passing on the left?

the addition in the report saying there were westbound cars waiting for the driver to turn is even more confusing at this point… if the cyclist was in the lane where were those waiting cars?

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

She was going 30-35 mph. The bike would have moved upon impact.
And as a medic, the first thing I would have done when responding to this would have been to move the bike out of the way so I could assess and treat.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Other than a few comments there isn’t a lot of skewering of the driver and I am not sure why this case is so different than other bike vs car news posted here. Even a few anti car voices seem to be silent. Just an observation.

TJ
Guest
TJ

Should we call out PBOT, ODOT and PPB? If TriMet had daily crashes with way to frequent injuries and fatalities, there would be hysteria and calls for heads.

Is there a sense both the driver and cyclist are victims of design and culture? Two things the three agencies above could do a great deal more to improve.

SD
Guest
SD

Ideally, the driver who inappropriately stops to wave the eastbound driver through also takes responsibility for seeing that there is no one approaching on their right. Since it appears that we don’t expect this level of proficiency from drivers, we either have to penalize/ discourage drivers from inappropriate road use, redesign intersections to minimize this danger or admit that we prefer death and tragedy over change/ inconvenience.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

With a curving road, seeing back far enough to spot a cyclist approaching at speed would have been difficult.

SD
Guest
SD

Agreed. Another reason why it was bad for the driver to encourage the truck to cross the intersection.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I agree, but since we’re not going to be able to stop this behavior, we should probably look at how we can improve the intersection.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Exactly. Speculating on the exact speed and details are rearranging the deck chairs. It appears to be a dangerous intersection, period.

SD
Guest
SD

Of course, fixing this and all dangerous intersections is the priority. Hopefully this is done proactively instead of waiting for tragic events to reveal them. I guess it would include removing right turns left curves.
However, I think there is a role for driver education and culture change. This is not the only incidence of a driver causing serious harm by waving another vehicle into the path of a cyclist. The other one that comes to mind was near hwy 30. That incident received a lot of attention after the driver was found to be responsible for the injury.
The act of stopping in the road in an unpredictable manner takes effort and if the idea that it is unnecessarily dangerous rather than courteous is discussed broadly it could decrease this behavior.
There is very little difference between the driver waving someone through not knowing what is on their right and hitting someone with a right hook.
This could be included in any PBOT safety message of “a driver is responsible for knowing what is happening on the right of their vehicle.”

SD
Guest
SD

“right turns off of left curves”

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’m not sure what the driver could have done here. Sounds like they were waiting to turn, then all oncoming traffic stopped (as far as they could tell, assuming the cyclist was out of view, which I am), and so they proceeded. Then the cyclist hit the side of their vehicle, at a good rate of speed. Even if the driver was just slowly inching forward, they might have been in the cyclist’s path before they could see her.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

This is my current understanding of the most likely scenario as well. My main take away is to be very cautious when passing on the right; it’s always a bit dicey, and doing so at speed especially so. This horrible crash shows why.

There may be some intersection improvements that would help prevent this sort of thing in future; I don’t know what the traffic flow are like, so it’s hard for me to know what might work best, but I hope the city (or whomever has jurisdiction) will take a look and see what improvements can be made.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

The newscast video at http://koin.com/2016/08/05/pedestrian-hit-and-killed-by-car-on-mt-scott-blvd/ (thx, TonyJ) includes a neighbor, Shannon, who says, “At least one accident a month if not more. In the summer time there could be 3, 4 easily in a month. Everybody speeds.” Yes, so far it seems it is PBOT’s jurisdiction, and a known problem.

As for the truck creeping forward, that at least would have given Karla more time to see it moving east and change her course, maybe avoiding collision.

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

I don’t think she was intentionally passing on the right.

Cars going downhill on Mt. Scott have the ROW going straight (north) and going left (west). A cyclist has to take the lane to go left. Otherwise you may get “right hooked” by cars continuing straight. That’s independent of speed.

Only if you intend to go straight can you stay in the bike lane. If you’re turning, you take the lane far enough in advance to make the turn. All at speed on a downhill grade, while trying to signal, sometimes with cars behind.

The account given makes sense if Ms DeBaillie was behind a car going down Mt. Scott, turning left, that stopped such that Ms DeBaillie had no choice but to avoid it by then trying to make a pass on the right.

If there was traffic behind her, the effect would have been to inhibit a lot of slowing prior to this, which would further reduce any chance at stopping.

Spiffy
Subscriber

the article was originally posted with no information about how the incident happened…

when the update came out it seemed like the cyclist could be the one at fault for their speed entering the intersection from the shoulder…

however, the photo from the scene seems to indicate the rider wasn’t on the shoulder, so now we’re confused as to what really happened and where those cars were at while waiting for the driver to turn…

about all we really know is that it’s a very poorly designed intersection…

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

I don’t think she was intentionally passing on the right.

Cars going downhill on Mt. Scott have the ROW going straight (north) and going left (west). A cyclist has to take the lane to go left. Otherwise you may get “right hooked” by cars continuing straight. That’s independent of speed.

Only if you intend to go straight can you stay in the bike lane. If you’re turning, you take the lane far enough in advance to make the turn. All at speed on a downhill grade, while trying to signal, sometimes with cars behind.

The account given makes sense if Ms DeBaillie was behind a car going down Mt. Scott, turning left, that stopped such that Ms DeBaillie had no choice but to avoid it by then trying to make a pass on the right.

If there was traffic behind her, the effect would have been to inhibit a lot of slowing prior to this, which would further reduce any chance at stopping.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If, as you have speculated, the cyclist was going too fast to avoid colliding with the rear of the car in front of her, and thus had to take evasive action by traveling to the right of the vehicle(s) ahead, she was probably going too fast for conditions.

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

I understand your point, but this may be crossing a line I don’t want to go over. She did avoid the car in front of her, apparently by using the bike lane to the right, which is permissible. It’s the car that then violated her ROW that she could not avoid.

Spiffy
Subscriber

there’s no bike lane here…

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

That isn’t bike lane to the right, it’s an intermittent shoulder.

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

Perhaps so. On the straightaway, I’ve used it as a bike lane at times before taking the full lane. Usually I just keep the full lane all the way. To your point, further behind and before the prior curve, it’s not even a shoulder.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t believe the shoulder there is an official bike lane, and it is unclear to me if it was legal in that situation to use the shoulder to pass on the right; the law says you can do so only if it is safe. It obviously wasn’t, but that may not have been apparent to the cyclist, and retroactively defining “safe” is problematic.

I am not trying to lay blame; I have no idea who or what is at fault. There were probably multiple factors.

My hope is that we can learn from this crash, and are able encourage the city to address what seems to be a dangerous road, either by reducing speeds, changing the intersection geometry, or, perhaps, both.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

If the car you were passing had the right of way over turning traffic, why would it be unsafe to pass? i.e. she had the right of way as soon as the pass was completed. If coming around a box truck or otherwise completely obscured, the speed could come into question, but not whether it was safe to pass. If I ride on the right past stopped traffic with a driver preparing to turn left across my path, I know that is a dangerous moment so I do it carefully for my own sake, but I still expect the turning driver to follow law.

Absent a caravan of box trucks or at least tightly packed minivans, I’m not willing to accept “I didn’t see her” because it’s far more likely that the driver saw, but didn’t identify her as traffic.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Given the way the road curves, if there were more than a couple of vehicles in the lane, they would have at least partially blocked the driver’s view of the cyclist. I am relatively confident that the driver did not see (or at least perceive) the cyclist; whether she should have is a different question, and probably not one we can answer without reconstructing the scene.

“You should have seen me” is not comforting to the dead.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

What is safe for the rider to do is independent of whether the drivers followed the law. Cover your brakes, be careful, etc etc. I still have my doubts about her speed being more than 15mph at the moment of impact because the claimed 30-35 seems to assume zero braking and I would expect the bike and rider to have been 20-30ft farther southwest.

I think many drivers could and/or did see her and at least two of them share blame.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I think many drivers would find it counter-intuitive that they should look behind them before stopping to let someone turn; and that if a cyclist is approaching from behind on the right (even in the absence of a bike lane) they must not stop their vehicle. And further, that this level of responsibility only exists if you are stopping for a vehicle, not a crossing pedestrian or cyclist (unless the cyclist is entering the crosswalk faster than walking speed, or you are not passing a corner where an unmarked crosswalk may exist), in which case you must stop, nor if the turning vehicle is “forcing” the issue by nosing into your lane or turning in front of you, and you feel it might be safer to let them go rather than assert your right-of-way (which defensive drivers know is bad practice).

Saying “multiple drivers share blame” is predicated on a general agreement of a very complex set of rules and conditions that may not be well understood by people outside this forum, and is extremely difficult to fully assess in real time.

lop
Guest
lop

How about don’t stop to let someone go when it isn’t their turn whether or not there’s a bike behind you?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m mostly down with that; however, would you say this is a law, a custom, a good practice, or just something that would have (possibly) protected the cyclist in this case?

I’ve done some googling, and have found no clear statement from the state or other driving authority that says you should not yield right of way when you don’t have to. Has anyone seen one? Mostly I’ve seen advice saying never insist on the ROW, be courteous, etc.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

And be very careful if someone appears to be stopping for no reason, to the point of refusing to be waved through when you shouldn’t (as I and many riders often do when facing a stop sign and a misplaced courtesy from a driver with the right of way.)

q
Guest
q

HK–this doesn’t answer your question, but I live in a neighborhood that at busy times of day is not accessible by car unless people yield their right of way to let me into their lane. However, where it occurs is when they’re approaching a stoplight, so almost stopped themselves (as are the people approaching behind them).

There are lots of situations where traffic would be a much bigger mess if people did not give up their r.o.w. So I can’t believe there would be a law saying you should not yield when you the r.o.w. is yours. That’s not to say that it can be a completely wrong thing to do in many situations, or perhaps be illegal in those situations.

q
Guest
q

HK–again this isn’t a direct answer to your yielding question, but the recent article about “cross bikes” included an educational diagram by PBOT stating that drivers are not required to stop for bikers, but advised, “What if drivers do stop? Cool, give them a wave and ride on.”

I’d think (hope) that PBOT would not have written that advice if there was any law or official policy that drivers shouldn’t yield when not required to. In fact, I got the impression (maybe wrong) from the article that PBOT would view drivers yielding when not required to as a positive thing.

Aside–how ironic that so many people commented that PBOT’s cross-bikes will create danger because their ambiguity will lead drivers who have the legal right of way to yield it, then only days later we have this case where drivers doing exactly that may have set this whole fatal crash into motion.

Spiffy
Subscriber

HK, here’s an article about why you should not yield the right of way when you don’t have to… you create ambiguous and dangerous situations as well as breaking the law…

http://bikeportland.org/2012/08/29/ray-thomas-on-the-unintended-consequences-of-ambiguous-intersections-76698

soren
Guest
soren

I’ve come to believe that people cycling are pedestrians on wheels, not 4000-10000 lb vehicles. I’m personally willing to ride slowly and cautiously if it means discarding the bullying associated with vehicularist law and vehicularist behavior. Vulnerable traffic should always have priority over vehicles.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Oh, I agree it’s bad practice.

An overly broad reading of ORS 811.550 would outlaw lots of obviously good behavior, like stopping to avoid hitting an animal, for example. For me to accept Thomas’ interpretation (and it sounds like even he is unwilling to fully commit), I’d want to see a judge rule it was correct.

q
Guest
q

The Ray Thomas article was great. And how sad, that years later, PBOT came out with its “cross-bike” crossings that repeat everything that Thomas complained was done wrong on MLK years ago.

However, while Thomas criticized the intersection design’s ambiguity, and pointed out the dangers and possible illegality of yielding the r.o.w., I don’t see him as advocating against NEVER yielding the r.o.w. Traffic flow just wouldn’t work if people didn’t regularly yield it. And many cyclists and pedestrians would be dead many times over if they didn’t yield their r.o.w. when they weren’t required to.

SD
Guest
SD

I think it is fairly simple. “Stop for pedestrians. Don’t stop for cars.”

q
Guest
q

It’s not quite that simple.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Eric,
It’s illegal to pass a vehicle stopped at a legal crossing.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Does it matter why the vehicle stopped?

q
Guest
q

It seems like it has to be a bit more complicated than that. Examples–I used to drive often through a 4-way stop intersection where the bus stop (as typical) was at the intersection. The bus would often stop for several minutes there, in the road. Drivers had to pass it. Or, a car stops at the crossing/intersection trying to decide which way they need to turn, and waves you past them. Or, an intersection with two lanes each direction instead of one, and a stopped car in the outside lane, stopped until it becomes clear for them to make a right turn…

SD
Guest
SD

Sorry to keep bringing this up. But, since you are the expert… If a car is stopped because they are going to turn but they are yielding to a cyclist in the bike lane, is it illegal for the cyclist to pass them? I imagine that all of the places where this would happen would also be crosswalks.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.020 “to permit a pedestrian to cross” is very specific about when that applies.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Given the way the road curves, if there were more than a couple of vehicles in the lane, they would have at least partially blocked the driver’s view of the cyclist. …” h kitty

Could have. Definitely a common, potential type of hazard to someone on a bike and passing stopped cars at intersections, even intersections like this one which was sort of a ‘T’ intersection. Split seconds often factor into decision making by road users, in terms of what they can and cannot see, and the time they have to move ahead or stay put.

The police report update, saying: “…As Dieter crossed over the westbound lane of Mount Scott Boulevard, DeBaillie crashed into the passenger side of the pick-up truck. …”. leads me to question what the person driving the truck, saw or didn’t see, approaching the intersection. For whatever reason, the person driving turned, apparently leaving not enough time and distance for the person riding to avoid crashing into the truck.

Naturally, lots of people want to know whether road users in this type situation, are looking for approaching traffic, and if they are doing so, whether they can well see approaching traffic. Especially in the case of a vulnerable road user, how can they be sure that’s happening? Answer, to my thinking: they can’t be absolutely sure. They can take precautions, which maybe the person riding in this situation, did or didn’t take; whose to say? Generally though, I think the best that vulnerable road users can do, is err on the side of caution. Even then, they might fall victim to some mistake.

q
Guest
q

To me, who has the right of way isn’t particularly relevant to safety when it comes to passing stopped cars. Neither is whether the cars should have stopped. If you’re passing them, you have to slow down enough so you can stop if something reveals itself to be in your path.

Of course this is a great example of the problems you create when you stop when you have the right of way, because people behind you are not expecting you to stop. The cyclist certainly can’t be blamed for not planning that those people would be stopping, perhaps suddenly, in front of her.

Death by Hook
Guest
Death by Hook

Hooking a biker with your SUV is apparently perfectly legal in Eugene, especially if you are a judge.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/34619371-75/man-sues-lane-circuit-judge-mcalpin-over-bicycle-suv-accident.html.csp

Eugene police claim that after passing the cyclist “the judge ‘did not make an unsafe turn. I determined McAlpin did not cause the crash and that it would have been impossible to determine the high rate of speed of the approaching bicycle in his side-view mirror.'”

TAJ
Guest
TAJ

Agree, Kitty

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Chris,
Read the law. A crosswalk doesn’t require a sidewalk. It is a legal space, not a marking.

Jason Borne
Guest
Jason Borne

It’s amazing to see how much people can get wrong and infer things that didn’t happen simply from reading an article. Most of you are wrong. BTW, that is my motorcycle, in the pictures, next to the truck. I was 10 feet behind the truck when the crash occurred. I witnessed the entire thing, I performed CPR on the bicyclist.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Most of you are wrong. BTW”

Instead of berating folks, why not just set us straight?

SD
Subscriber

Sounds like you have something more valuable to say than “people are wrong.”

Jason Borne
Guest
Jason Borne

You’re right, here are my observations of this message board:

Tom Hardy wrote: “Because the cyclist was a hinderance (spelled: hindrance) to the motorist’s travel the motorized vehicle driver committed vehicular assault on the cyclist by pressing on the gas instead of the brake before crossing in front of the cyclist.” This is the most asinine thing I’ve heard. As if the evil driver had some vendetta against bicyclists and took one out to prove a point. Folks, the lady who turned in front of the bike rider and caused this crash (yes, she was at fault) was absolutely devastated. That’s not to take away from the fact that someone was killed and what her family is going through, and the pain caused there, but don’t believe for one nano-second that the driver was carefree and happy go-lucky at what had transpired; her heart was completely broken at what she’d done.

Soren wrote: “The collision occurred in the midst of a 90 degree turn so the idea that Karla was traveling at 30-35 mph is simply not credible” It’s in the middle of a wide, long turn and cars travel at that speed there all the time. I can assure you, it is possible and she was traveling that fast.

Back to Tom Hardy: “The reason the other cars were stopped on the westbound stretch when the pickup went straight (turned left) in front of the cyclist is because they stopped to let the cyclist through the intersection since she had the right of way. The Pickup disregarded the oncoming traffic and drove in front of the cyclist.” I am not sure where this nugget started but there were no “stopped westbound traffic” Other than the bicyclist, there were no other cars between the truck and the bike. They may have meant traffic from 112th feeder road onto Mt. Scott Blvd was stopped, but there were no cars on Mt. Scott Blvd stopped or otherwise.

Then there was some weird “Gender” thing happening, who cares? I digress.

Kyle Banerjee made some excellent points.

Pdxhobbitmom wrote: “From the photo on KATU it looks like the bicyclist was coming downhill around a curve when a Dodge Ram turned left across her path. However, that left turn was actually straight ahead for the Ram, so there was less incentive to stop or slow down.” The truck was going about 10-15 mph so about 25-20mph under the speed limit. She was not traveling fast at all.

wsbob wrote: “Witness impressions aren’t exact. I say that, with some question in mind as to how close to the mark their estimation was, of the mph speed of the person riding the bike. I’m saying I think there’s definitely a possibility the witnesses may have overestimated the mph speed.” And TonyJ wrote: Does anyone else find the estimated speed to be a bit suspect? I doubt most causal observers are good at estimating the speed of a cyclist (think of how often people are accused of “speeding” on their bikes on flat ground). I can tell you with certainty that the speed estimation is fairly accurate. Not only am I a motorcycle rider, and a very vigilant one at that, but I am also a Police Officer and have been for about 10 years. I am trained in speed estimation and do it on a pretty regular basis as part of my job. I fairly certain of the bicyclist’s speed.

Dan A wrote: “There is an advisory speed of 20. The posted speed is 35, I believe.” This is correct, it is not posted 20 mph.

Spiffy wrote: “legally, this will be the cyclist’s fault… they were riding on the shoulder, which is legally considered a sidewalk (and why we’re allowed to bike on it)… per witness statements the rider did not slow down to a walking speed (~4 mph) before entering the unmarked crosswalk and thus did not leave enough time for the driver to react…” Um, no… Good thing you’re not a lawyer. The bicyclist was not on the shoulder, she was in the motor vehicle lane of travel. The driver made a left turn in front of her. The driver, is the at fault party here.

Side note: SD wrote: “Sincere question: Is this really an unmarked cross walk?” Yes, ORS defines a crosswalk existence as any place where two streets intersect.

Chris I wrote, in regard to Spiffy: “Completely wrong, from a legal standpoint.” Yes, yes he is.

q wrote: “It sounds like you’re thinking the stopped cars were on the straight section of Mt. Scott Blvd., heading westbound, because that would put them to the cyclist’s right, and yes, they would have to stop (at the stop sign) waiting for her to pass, and if they were there, she would not be overtaking and passing them.” You’re assessment is correct, well said

SE Rider wrote: “It bounced off the side of the truck and landed there?
Based on the bike’s placement on the road and the angle of the truck (which would deflect the bike towards the lane) it looks pretty obvious to me that the cyclist was on the shoulder. That makes sense given reports that cars were in the lane, stopped to allow the truck to make a left turn.” The point of impact was the passenger-side headlight. The rider came to an almost instantaneous stop and the bike went past on the passenger side and the rider bounced off the truck and came to rest in front of the truck.

Spiffy wrote: “the article was originally posted with no information about how the incident happened… when the update came out it seemed like the cyclist could be the one at fault for their speed entering the intersection from the shoulder… however, the photo from the scene seems to indicate the rider wasn’t on the shoulder, so now we’re confused as to what really happened and where those cars were at while waiting for the driver to turn…”

In a nutshell, here is what happened. The truck was traveling east on Mt. Scott Blvd with me behind it. As we approached the feeder road (the road where the police van is in the photo), the truck driver turned on her signal to turn left (actually go straight, but still considered a left turn), and I did the same thing. I looked up the hill, and saw the bicyclist coming at a good rate of speed, down the hill, in the lane of travel, as the truck driver made the turn. I heard the bicyclist scream in an attempt to alert the driver, and attempt to stop her bike. However, the speed she was traveling (measure the skid mark, that may give you some insight into her speed), she was unable to stop in time and crashed into the truck that was traveling about 10-15mph. This was a combined speed of approximately 40-50mph. I also know this based on the amount of and types of injuries the rider sustained (I won’t go into detail). The rider was screaming in pain for about 15 seconds before she lost consciousness and quit breathing about 30 seconds after that (which tells me she sustained substantial internal injuries, due to the mechanism of the crash). I attempted CPR for several minutes before medics arrived.

My take away is this. As a motorcyclist I understand how drivers often aren’t alert enough to notice me riding; as a bicyclist, you are even less noticeable. There have been several occasions where I have almost been struck by a less than vigilant driver. That’s an unfortunate reality of how motorists drive, they simply may not see us, even though they should. This was the case here, the driver simply didn’t see the bicyclist and inappropriately made a left turn. As I said at the beginning, she was devastated at what she’d done, and she has to live with the fact that her actions took a life. If you are, in fact, a compassionate person, you should have some compassion for her too. She is not the devil, this was not on purpose, this is not an act of war against bicyclists. A driver made a bad choice and a bad thing happened. Period.