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Speeding driver kills teenage girl who was crossing SE Hawthorne

Posted by on August 20th, 2016 at 8:57 am

Hawthorne Blvd approaching 43rd.

Hawthorne Blvd approaching 43rd.

Yesterday afternoon a man was driving his Lexus SUV recklessly down SE Hawthorne Blvd and his behavior led him to strike and kill a teenage girl. First responders were unable to revive her and she died on the scene as her family grieved just feet away from her.

The man, 20-year-old Abdulrahman Noorah — who was driving with a suspended license — originally fled the scene of his crime and later returned. He has been arrested by the Portland Police Bureau and has been charged with Manslaughter II, Felony Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (hit and run) and Reckless Driving.

The crash happened at the intersection of SE Hawthorne and 43rd at about 3:50 pm. Here are the details via the police:

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…Noorah was traveling westbound on S.E. Hawthorne at approximately 55 to 60 mile per hour from S.E. 46th. The vehicle, a gold Lexus, approached S.E. 43rd ave. was rapidly passing vehicles while traveling in the center lane and nearly colliding with several vehicles near S.E. 44th.

At the northeast corner of S.E. 43rd ave and Hawthorne the victim, a juvenile female teenager, began crossing S.E. Hawthorne headed southbound in an unmarked crosswalk. As she crossed the victim was struck by Noorah. Witnesses stated the vehicle continued westbound at a high rate of speed, after colliding with the victim, and made no attempt to stop.

This girl is the 29th 30th person who has died on Portland’s streets this year.

It happened while Portland city planners and staff were touting our streets at an international conference at Portland State University. The police had to pull officers from two safety-related events they were working on — a bike safety fiesta in north Portland and a crosswalk enforcement action on NW 23rd.

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

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Racer XOregonJellyTed Timmons (Contributor)Hello, KittyAdam H. Recent comment authors
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Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

I just…

My sorrow meter is broken.

Andrea Capp
Guest
Andrea Capp

Mine too.

Adam
Subscriber

Hawthorne Boulevard is so broken. It’s supposed to be a pedestrian-friendly drag, but the sidewalks are tiny compared to the amount of space given over to cars. Will the city fix this intersection, or is Vision Zero just another one of their unfunded feel-good plans?

Random
Guest
Random

Well, we could start by actually punishing people who drive with suspended licenses, rather than treating it as a victimless crime.

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

Seems like they’re treating it more as a “crimeless victim”. Though at least someone’s talking manslaughter and recklessness charges.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Vehicle forfeiture

J_R
Guest
J_R

I don’t think a 20 year old driving a Lexus would care about vehicle forfeiture. There are probably plenty more in the family garages.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’m suggesting that all people caught driving vehicles without a valid license ought to forfeit the vehicle. Not just this dummy.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

My understanding is that vehicle forfeiture is nearly impossible due to court rulings. I am not big on incarceration, but the only way to stop people who drive on suspended licenses is to lock them in a place with no cars.

Pete
Guest
Pete

It slays me that this is nearly impossible for courts to do to drivers that deserve it, but property forfeiture (including cars) is not uncommon for drug dealers.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

No means are in place currently, to guarantee people with suspended licenses won’t drive anyway. Neither is seizing the vehicle of people with suspended licenses, a guarantee they won’t drive anyway.

What will more information, hopefully reported in future, about the person driving and involved in this collision, reveal about opportunities available to him to drive motor vehicles, despite his license have been suspended?

Random
Guest
Random

“Will the city fix this intersection.”

I’m not sure what level of “fix” will correct for a driver like this:

“Noorah was traveling westbound on S.E. Hawthorne at approximately 55 to 60 mile per hour from S.E. 46th. The vehicle, a gold Lexus, approached S.E. 43rd ave. was rapidly passing vehicles while traveling in the center lane and nearly colliding with several vehicles near S.E. 44th.”

Adam
Subscriber

Get rid of that center turn lane. Widen the sidewalks. Install raised crosswalks. Plenty of things to do over what’s currently done which is absolutely nothing.

Barbara
Guest

That center turn lane is also used by delivery trucks for the businesses that make upper Hawthorne so walkable: no alleys, side streets too narrow. Center delivery vehicle parking is also safer for bicyclists than side parking. The 4 bus is irreplaceable to many who live here. Raised crosswalks would eliminate it. If you don’t know our neighborhood, please educate yourself before you try to “improve” it. Upper Hawthorne is crowded but it works. I cross exactly there many times per week, most drivers stop like the first one did. Criminal acts are the sole cause of this death—60mph, suspended license, left scene, maybe intoxicated. The problem isn’t the street or the girl, it’s Noorah having the keys.

Adam
Subscriber

I do happen to live in this neighborhood and frequent upper Hawthorne often. Hawthorne is not very walkable. The sidewalks are tiny and crowd easily. Raised crosswalks do not interfere with bus service any more than speed bumps do, which buses can handle easily. I’m not sure how a center turn lane enables delivery trucks, but that problem can be solved by designating loading zones in the existing parking lanes. I’m assuming you meant the #14 bus, not the #4 bus; I happen to also take the #14 at least a few times a week. I know the area well. Crossing Hawthorne on foot sucks, crossing by bike sucks. It’s simply a road designed primarily for car throughout, and it’s time we change that.

Dick Pilz
Guest
Dick Pilz

Several of the delivery trucks I have seen are semi-trailer types. It is very difficult to park at the side with such a vehicle. Off loading to shorter trucks adds to the cost of delivery.

So, keep the center lane, but add locking bollards. The establishments requiring longer trucks can keep sets of keys for these. Where such trucks are not needed, have permanent bollards.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

Safety for the community is the cost of doing business.

Adam
Subscriber

Semi-trailers have no place in our walkable communities. We need to pass laws to mandate the use of smaller trucks.

9watts
Guest
9watts

You like to propose passing laws (all day long). I prefer to ask why we have so many trucks everywhere, whether we (consumers) might have something to do with this. We could stop buying crap all day long.

Rebalancing fleets for bikeshare, anyone?

Adam
Subscriber

Sure, that sounds good, but I happen to think it would be easier get the city to ban large trucks that it would be to get everyone to stop buying so much crap.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Ha – that’s funny. You and Hello, Kitty agree!

I find it troubling that we keep saying this: it is easier to pass a law or rely on technology than to engage people, explore how behavior change could come about. Why have we given up on people?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Since you invoked my name, I’ll add that there may be less radical fixes for the street, such as installing more median islands like the one at 45thish. I actually do agree with Adam H. that the street is no optimally designed, but I agree with others that changing it will have all sorts of unintended consequences; part of the problem is the number of people using the street. More people means more buying crap (or eating in restaurants) which means more trucks. And I agree with 9watts that we would all be better off with less crap. But it’s a human drive to collect and acquire, so I’m not sure how to make that work in practice.

Brighton West
Guest

I would love if we consumed less stuff, but I have a soft spot in my heart for semi-trailers. Inside that big box you find lots of stuff that can’t drive itself. Toilet paper, food, trinkets. So I feel like semis should be given much higher priority than vehicles that are only transporting people (or more often, one person) – who could be getting around in any number of other fashions that are more community friendly.

Adron @ Transit Sleuth
Guest

Hawthorne really doesn’t rate as very walkable. The street needs a diet in a number of places, extended sidewalks, and multi-modal facilities. It’s hard for the bus drivers, reckless for the drivers, and generally (especially in the area this occurred) catastrophically poorly designed – as in evidence from this event.

As Adam says, there are a ton of things we could do to improve the design and in many places remove the possibility reckless individuals like this can cause this level of harm. Currently, again as Adam says, we are effectively doing nothing to fix most of these harmful streets. Don’t even get me started on the ODOT streets, which regularly have these occurrences. 🙁

ShelleyS
Guest
ShelleyS

I agree, and I live in the neighborhood as well. Upper Hawthorne needs to be revamped for pedestrians and bikes. It is difficult, at best, to cross the street between 41st and 47th. With the recent sewer improvement projects and new apartment buildings in the works, it has worsened. Division isn’t any better. Drivers, bikers and walkers are also distracted. We need improved crosswalks, road lines, signage and education throughout the city. “Every intersection is a crosswalk”, drivers just don’t get that.

Spiffy
Subscriber

the entire street needs help… lower Hawthorne is a lot harder to cross than the upper section… the majority of people are speeding… the rest are distracted trying to park after their drive across town…

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Adam,
Center turn lanes have multiple benefits.
the space for turning vehicles gets them out of the through lane, reducing rear-end collisions and helping reduce delay. congestion is one factor that many residents cite as a reason for cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods. The space also reduces the likelihood of head on collisions, as well as providing space to install refuge islands – one of the safer ways to enhance a crosswalk.
Add to this that Hawthorne is a primary emergency response route, and Portland has no officially approved calming device for such roads.
The intersection at 43rd is offset, so it could be interpreted to have 3 legal crosswalks at this location, but none are marked.

as an aside, why wasn’t the driver charged with passing a vehicle stopped at a legal crosswalk?

Spiffy
Subscriber

“That center turn lane is also used by delivery trucks for the businesses that make upper Hawthorne so walkable”

it’s also illegal to park in the center lane and I wish they’d get a ticket every time they did it…

Evan
Guest
Evan

Good point about the function of the center turn lane. We still need load/unload space in the absence of smaller/more efficient freight vehicles. And given spatial constraints, this street cannot be all things to all users. Some level of mode priority is needed (autos are the default priority in the absence of good policy), but what you never do is sacrifice pedestrian safety. Hawthorne’s current design is not ideally for a pedestrian-focused place.

On a side note, making sweeping, factually incorrect statements on blogs bothers me like no other. I’m not saying raised crosswalks are the right solution, but how would raised crosswalks or a raised intersection for that matter eliminate the possibility of bus service on the street? Please explain this for us. I have personally designed this kind of solution on several frequent transit streets throughout the US and transit agencies are open to this. Minneapolis is moving forward with this at six intersectuons on Nicollet Mall, one of the most important transit and pedestrian circulation streets in the city. You’re statement is a feeling, not a fact.

Matt Meskill
Subscriber
Matt Meskill

Center delivery parking is illegal and causes huge blindspots and makes crossing very dangerous.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

It’s interesting how accommodating the 1% of traffic (freight) is allowed to justify things.

There are plenty of other options. It isn’t unreasonable to imagine Hawthorne- and most of any city- to not be traversable by huge trucks. UPS seems to handle transloading just fine- and figures out how to remove almost all left turns.

poncho
Guest
poncho

Making Hawthorne 1 lane each way would have prevented this, more constraint and friction that it wouldn’t be possible to go so fast and zigzag between lanes.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

You cannot state this with certainty.

Mr Noorah may have been just as willing to pass in the oncoming lane as they were in the turn lane.

Barbara Kilts
Guest
Barbara Kilts

Hawthorne is single lane each direction where this crash occurred. It has a center turning lane. Drivers going the speed limit are fine here. What this driver did was beyond the pale…

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

A median refuge island every three or four blocks might also have discouraged such behavior.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

There is such an island just a couple of blocks to the east. Maybe there needs to be on every block?

johnr
Guest
johnr

This should have been done long ago and studies show in won’t impede traffic…however the perception is different and we have commissioners who are whining about being delayed a few moments in traffic.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

What studies? provide a citation.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

And that would prevent someone from speeding how? You can try to blame infrastructure all you want…but this person made a choice to behave selfishly in the given infrastructure. Why do you think different infrastructure would result in a different behavior? There are some people who clearly do not obey laws and behave selfishly. Infrastructure will not change that. How well did “no means no” work to prevent rape?

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

The three lane cross section east of 39th is ostensibly a safer design than the four lane cross section west of 39th.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Or drive responsibly.

Champs
Guest
Champs

Some way, somehow, Vision Zero will solve homicidal recklessness.

But still, ask yourself if Hawthorne is everything it could be. Too many people are afraid to exercise their rights at a crosswalk. It is systematic intimidation.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Could you make it through an 8ft wide gap at 60mph while weaving through 15mph traffic? We could make it harder to drive drunk or stupid by simply making it harder to drive.

Steel bollards with 8ft between them at every intersection (padded and high-viz, plus a helmet for safety of course.) Maybe 9ft spacing and/or retractable bollards on arterials. Freeways don’t have crosswalks.

People shouldn’t need to carry armor to get around, and driving through a crosswalk needs to be at least half as intimidating as walking in one.

So sad.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…We could make it harder to drive drunk or stupid by simply making it harder to drive. …” leifsdad

Should society and community and people living responsibly within it, have to impose such a measure upon themselves to prevent people lacking the disposition or other conditions necessary to drive responsibly?

I suppose Portland could pile a lot of infrastructure onto Hawthorne to make this street a cumbersome chicane-like course in order to eliminate the option of driving over a certain mile per hour. Seems doubtful though that such means would effectively or satisfactorily prevent the consequences of people that aren’t of a condition suitable to be relied upon to drive safely.

As more info about this collision comes to be learned and reported, almost certainly not to be among that info, is that any suggestion was found that the speed the person was driving was due to the driver responding to a legitimate, life saving emergency…medical, escape, etc. It does happen occasionally, that very high speeds on neighborhood thoroughfares occur for somewhat legitimate reasons. A good guess, I would think, is that there was no such reason for the high speeds the person involved in this collision was driving.

Joyriding…speed for thrills. Aspects of this collision call to mind the collision out on Multnomah Blvd a few months ago. Another guy horsing around, driving fast apparently for no other reason than to impress with his Corvette, some guy he met in a bar…and then losing control of the car on a straight stretch of road…and running into and killing someone riding a bike in the bike lane.

I don’t know how it could be done fairly and well, but some means of excluding people that lack the disposition or other condition necessary to be driving safely, from driving at all until they are ready to do so, may be the only way to reduce the occurrence of collisions, especially those as tragic as this one is.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Interrupting the left turn lane with a curb and a few posts would make it very difficult to use as a passing lane. Others have pointed out that parts of the center lane could also be a loading zone. Most people are going to be just fine driving in a straight line at 20mph and turning carefully — the rest really should not be driving. Suspended license or not, let the posts decide.

Drivers can’t be expected to check for posts before turning into a street? There could be a person in the crosswalk. What we need there is a good, solid concrete and steel reason to be careful.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

@Eric

Along a similar line of thinking I came to a similar proposal for thee lane design of upper Hawthrone: Concrete, curb crosswalk “havens” or islands at every other block would be adequate to inhibit dangerous weaving such as what happened Saturday, facilitate safer crossings by allowing vulnerable modes to approach crosswalks one side at a time, and still permit freight to be unloaded within the center lane. It would not be as extreme as posts but similar.

Spiffy
Subscriber

“Should society and community and people living responsibly within it, have to impose such a measure upon themselves to prevent people lacking the disposition or other conditions necessary to drive responsibly?”

yes, absolutely… you may have heard the term “taking one for the team” and it’s something that we are all forced to due because of idiots in society…

there are tons of signs prohibiting things that you know you could do safely, but we all know that people do unsafely and therefore none of us are allowed to do it…

I love the flashing yellow turn arrows, but I’m ok with them going away because it seems that many people can’t be bothered to ensure oncoming traffic is clear before turning…

jd
Guest
jd

I’m starting to think background checks for cars.

JackC
Guest
JackC

Pedestrians and cyclists (pedestrians especially) need to do their part by not being in a smartphone daze or too distracted by other things to see around them. I wonder if this girl was fully aware of her surroundings? Most people cross streets (at lights) and don’t even look to see if the drivers are paying attention either.

peejay
Guest
peejay

No. No, no, no. You don’t know what you are talking about. Your speculation about the victim of a traffic murder is destructive.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Apparently you didn’t read the article.

SD
Subscriber

…and just when you think there is a tragedy where there could not possibly be any victim blaming.

jeff
Guest
jeff

the driver was estimated doing between 50-60mph. on a 25-30mph street. just shut it, Jack. This kid did nothing wrong, was walking on at the intersection, which by Oregon law is a crosswalk.

Spiffy
Subscriber

you don’t know if pedestrians and cyclists are distracted and it doesn’t matter when they’re obeying the law…

I try to look as distracted as possible when I’m crossing the street… I’m still watching cars but you can’t tell because I’m not moving my head… as soon I step off the curb I stick my face in my phone to force drivers to actually stop… if they think I know they’re there then they’ll force themselves through illegally by intimidating me to give up my right of way… if they think they’re going to run me over because I don’t see them then they’ll stop…

so no, we’re not distracted, we’re just ignoring you and we don’t care…

life is a beer commercial, drive responsibly…

jeff
Guest
jeff

no, Hawthorne is a piece of asphalt that responsible and safe drivers use daily.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

It also broken for law abiding drivers too…I stopped driving on it if I have a choice…just too much going on in too little space.

The City (PBoT) has been sitting on real design reform for it since the 90s outreach. It time for action please…the research supports it, VZ supports it, City policy supports it, and by now the business owners most likely would too if collectively asked. Do not let institutional fear of a past outreach effort keep the City from acting for purposes of traffic safety.

Lisa Smillie
Guest
Lisa Smillie

And how will this behavior be punished?

Random
Guest
Random

***This comment has been deleted due to insensitive content. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at jonathan@bikeportland.org. ***

Adam
Subscriber

***This comment has been deleted. – Jonathan ***.

Random
Guest
Random

***Hi Random. I don’t appreciate your references and speculation about where the driver is from or what his citizenship status is. Please cut it out and/or find a different way to make your point. Thanks. Jonathan ***

Champs
Guest
Champs

Only two weeks ago that there was a circular firing squad over factual-if-gratuitous use of the term “lady motorist” in another fatal collision. Fast forward to today’s comments, which have a distinctly different tone.

I have a word or two for what I’d call it.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

***This comment has been deleted for insensitive speculation about a person’s race and citizenship status. – Jonathan ***

Random
Guest
Random

***Hi Random. I don’t appreciate your references and speculation about where the driver is from or what his citizenship status is. Please cut it out and/or find a different way to make your point. Thanks. Jonathan ***

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Regardless of country of origin, citizenship or visa status, deportation can’t really be an effective strategy against people driving irresponsibly or incompetently, because disposition, behavior or other conditions contributing to driving that is dangerous, run across all borders and nationalities: If the opportunity is there, some people will drive terribly, for a whole range of reasons.

There’s got to be some better ways of helping people consistently drive better, than by turning streets into infrastructure obstacle courses, or by getting rid of them by locking them up or removing from the country, the likely small percentage…relative to the total number of bad drivers on the road…that aren’t citizens.

dwk
Guest
dwk

You throw that term around so easily…
WTF are you?

dwk
Guest
dwk

I was replying to Adam.

Random
Guest
Random

Of course.

soren
Guest

Using the word racist upsets you so much that you drop an abbreviated F-bomb. Please stop stalking and bullying.

sabes
Guest
sabes

My racism meter is broken…

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

It’s really enough to assume “entitlement”, based partly on age and partly on probable car value, without resorting to racial presuppositions.

Entitlement, from whatever source, is what made it possible for this person to kill a girl on the street. Entitlement, coupled with the infrastructure that allows people to make stupid, murderous, DGAF driving decisions like the one this entitled person clearly made.

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

Rethinking this, even the driver’s age and car value aren’t really relevant. People crossing more than one lane of traffic on foot have been killed this way by all sorts of cars and drivers.

The sense of entitlement, however, remains: this road has an extra lane, I’m in a hurry or angry or impatient, and now I’m ticked off because someone has stopped. I don’t care why, I’m too stupid and untrained to realize that there might be a pedestrian with right of way, and by god I’m gonna just blaze on through.

Because there’s room, because I’m feeling the need for speed, because my car can go that fast, and because I’ve never heard of anyone getting into any trouble for it.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Yep, thanks Anne. The entitlement wasn’t “hey, it’s okay for me to (illegally) pass in the center lane at high speed”, it’s the standard “I’m not stopping for that pedestrian” or “I’m going to honk at the car in front of me that’s going slow”.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t think the driver ever saw the pedestrian… I am certainly skeptical he saw her and decided to hit her rather than slow down. You’re trying to impose a level of rational thought that I just don’t think was there.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Excessive selfishness, plain and simple.
Placing what one wants (less delay) ahead of what others need (safety).

Spiffy
Subscriber

and it’s the entire country that has a problem with it, not just drivers…

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Some US-Americans—no make that the US Goverment—have a justified reputation for arrogance and not being terribly respectful of the laws of foreign countries.”

James
Guest
James

Interesting how speculation about national origin only ever occurs for non-white sounding names.

Random
Guest
Random

***Hi Random. I don’t appreciate your references and speculation about where the driver is from or what his citizenship status is. Please cut it out and/or find a different way to make your point. Thanks. Jonathan ***

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Is that interesting? America is still majority white. I wouldn’t expect speculation with white or African American sounding names…

Gerald Fittipaldi
Guest
Gerald Fittipaldi

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 22nd.

As part of Legislative Days in Salem, the public has the opportunity to meet with their legislators during the day. Then at 5:00-8:00pm there’s a statewide meeting, open to the pubic, on transportation funding, etc.

BikeLoudPDX and Livable Streets Action will be going down to Salem in numbers to demand a reprioritization in funding for active transportation and making our streets safer. (Full details to be released soon). Please join us!

The death toll on Oregon roads has increased by 42% in just the past two years:

Fatalities:
2013: 313
2014: 356
2015: 445

2016 is shaping up to be the deadliest in a long time in Portland and across the state. Many of the Portland deaths are occurring on ODOT-owned roads.

Change will only take place from the bottom up.

To get involved, please email bikeloudpdx@gmail.com or livablestreetsaction@gmail.com, and let us know your ideas for creating change, and how you would like to get participate.

Other ways to stay in the loop of grassroots action:

http://bikeloudpdx.org
http://livablestreetsaction.org

BikeLoudPDX Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!forum/bikeloudpdx

BikeLoudDX facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bikeloud/?fref=ts

BikeLoudPDXcommunity facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/293708270840115/

Twitter:
@bikeloudpdx
@Livable_Streets

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Most of the Portland fatalities on state highways are of drivers killed in crashes, with a few bike and pedestrian deaths here or there, mostly along Lombard and 82nd. Most traffic crash deaths, but especially of bicyclists and pedestrians, are actually on City of Portland streets, such as Division, Flavel/Mt Scott, Hawthorne, etc, even when they cross state facilities.

Josh Chernoff
Guest

Not an hour later on the hawthorn bridge I was filling people driving with the same disregard for life. Hearing about this child being murdered like this hurts my soul.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9z45iHWx9E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Yk8h3vvwtg

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

That ramp needs to go. It’s designed like a freeway onramp, and drivers treat it like one.

lyle w.
Guest
lyle w.

It’s the perfect synthesis of incredibly poor road planning and selfish, careless driving habits churned up in one terrible crossing.

The fact that the city has made no attempt to do anything about it in years says one thousand times more than anything they could ever say in any press release or enforcement action.

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

The entertainer who used to be at that spot every single day at eastbound rush hour probably did a lot to grab driver attention. I think it was felt that he blocked drivers’ view of oncoming bikes, but he sure made drivers aware of the here-and-now.

I’ve forgotten his name, but his memory is vivid.

Matt
Guest
Matt

His name was Kirk Reeves. He killed himself not that long ago.

CaptainKarma
Guest

Workin’ Kirk, for whom a mural has been dedicated at NE Grand and Lloyd, and an attempt was made to name the tillicum bridge for him.

Sam
Guest
Sam

I think I know that guy and he’s an avid cyclist, his frustration is directed towards the car.

lyle w.
Guest
lyle w.

I think that’s actually literally Josh.

Josh Chernoff
Guest

In both videos the driver almost ran over the cyclist. I’m there protesting the behavior of the drivers. Look at how the cars jerk forward as there is a person in front of it. This should not be this hard to see.

Josh Chernoff
Guest

look closer I’m yelling at the car who almost hit the cyclist. What you do see is the guy in the car talking shit to me.

Hawthorne dweller
Guest
Hawthorne dweller

That first paragraph says it all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, BikePortland – none of the local media are brave enough to state it so perfectly. I came here looking for information after coming close to the scene yesterday. Devastating.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Agreed. Well phrased, Jonathan.

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

At first I assumed this was a case of someone passing a vehicle on the left or right after the aforementioned vehicle had stopped for a pedestrian.

This is so so sad to read about I am so sorry for the victim’s friends and family. I hope the victim did not suffer.

AhaMOM
Guest
AhaMOM

The Every Intersection is A CrossWalk ODOT advertising could make pedestrians feel a bit more righteous. OF course pedestrians always have the right of way but spending money on advertising this message is ridiculous! I wish the money spent on Bigfoot and the ODOT commercials were instead spent on alerting drivers to pedestrian crossings. It may not have prevented this tragedy but when I’m out with my kids I always navigate them to marked crosswalks and lighted intersections.

BB
Guest
BB

Exercising the right to use the roadway in a legal way is “righteous” just because you don’t want your snowflakes to use unmarked crosswalks? Wow..

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

He should be nailed – hard – on every one of these charges. Plus manslaughter with a deadly weapon, namely, his car.

Paul Ecord
Guest
Paul Ecord

Can someone please explain why this cannot rate a murder charge? If someone is committing a crime, like a burglary, and fires a gun as a warning or as an intimidation tactic and someone is killed the perpetrator can be charged with murder even though there was no intent to kill. I have a hard time seeing the difference here.

Adam
Subscriber

The difference is that the weapon was a car. Cars have special legal protection in this country.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I believe the associated crime has to be a felony.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Hit/run is a class C felony, manslaughter is a class B. (per his booking)

Spiffy
Subscriber

they were not committing a crime when the murder happened, they were simply committing a traffic violation…

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Murder requires intent.

jd
Guest
jd

“gold Lexus”

I hope the girl’s family sues his mommy and daddy into bankruptcy.

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/5743838035.html

$1500. I bet this guys’ parents are filthy rich!

Just because it’s a Lexus doesn’t mean it’s an expensive vehicle.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That would be great… punish the perpetrator’s family. I believe this tactic is used elsewhere in the world, and is nearly universally condemned.

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

Isn’t Trump suggesting a similar tactic is used for suspected terrorists?

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

He wants to build a wall across Hawthorne, and make Division pay for it.

ScottB
Guest
ScottB

It always seemed odd to me that Portland would not put more priority on fixing Hawthorne Blvd around the busy business districts. The sidewalks are unusually narrow for the level of foot traffic. I don’t know why the built a business district with such narrow sidewalks. On weekends the sidewalks can be crammed to a standstill, while the traffic lanes are mostly empty except for a few speeding drivers. So much space for cars and not enough for people. Average car speeds are way too high, and together with a lack of zebra crosswalks makes it difficult to cross. Seems increasingly out of place compared to other similar areas of the city.

Michael
Guest
Michael

I recall that the business alliance on Hawthorne has successfully opposed any changes to the street configuration.

Michael
Guest
Michael

http://bikeportland.org/2006/07/10/city-begins-hawthorne-boulevard-project-1610

From the comments:

Sara July 10, 2006 at 3:28 pm

I think that curb extensions, upgraded traffic signals, and alligned intersections are not going to be enough to make Hawthorne safe enough.

One idea I’ve had for Hawthorne is to make each direction one lane for cars plus a bike lane (or have a really wide sharrow so that cyclists could avoid parked car doors), with a turning lane in the middle. The crosswalks also need overhead signals or alert lights. It’s just so congested that it’s hard to see if people are trying to cross the street.

Randy July 11, 2006 at 11:00 am

Sara’s suggestion is identical to one made many years ago by the BTA, the BTA still has a poster in their office with an artist’s rendition of this lane configuration on Hawthorne. This idea was nixed by PDOT engineers and the Hawthorne Blvd. Business Association during Advisory Committee meetings for this project because they felt it would cause excessive delays for motorists.

Michael
Guest
Michael

and this. it would be great to see this picture.

Jessica Roberts July 14, 2006 at 9:16 am

The drawing Randy refers to is beautiful and inspiring, and it’s hard to believe it was rejected. Jonathan, sometime when you’re in the area stop by the office and we’ll see if we can get a good photo for you to post.

Jessica Roberts
Metro-Area Advocate
Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

The Hawthorne Business Assn. nixed this in 2006? Wow. I’d like to see that poster myself. The BA and PBOT need to revisit that decision, pronto.

SD
Subscriber

It is bizarre and it is the prevailing approach for many pedestrian heavy streets in Portland; Alberta, Division, NE 28th, etc. The idea that streets with businesses that attract pedestrians should also be high throughput arterials seems to come from the unfounded fears of some business owners. In practice it is a design that maximizes auto vs. pedestrian conflict.
The road diet on Williams that allows for adequate bike access may have some issues, but killing businesses is not one of them.

Adam
Subscriber

Division is worlds better than Hawthorne in terms of pedestrian-friendliness. The two lane vs. four lane configuration helps immensely, as well as the sidewalk widths being much wider. Motor traffic is often backed up on Divison, which forces slow speeds; vs. Hawthorne which often has faster-moving traffic. Personally, I find Division far more enjoyable to walk along, to the point that I’d rather spend my time there vs. Hawthorne.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I believe many streets became successful commercial districts because of the high traffic volumes and easy driving conditions. Our goals may be changing now, but this helps explain why the business association doesn’t want to impede traffic flow. It really has been the source of their success.

SD
Subscriber

There is a point of diminishing returns with car traffic as density increases. Hawthorne passed this point several years ago and car traffic is now restricting the pedestrian traffic that it may have once enabled.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“It really has been the source of their success.”

They certainly think so, but do we know this to be the case?

I remember some time back, when Ms. Holliday of Staccato Gelato penned an open letter complaining about the threat of fewer car parking spaces to make way for bikes on 28th that we found several examples – not just in Europe but North America – where removing parking, removing cars from a business district led to an uptick in economic activity at those locations. PSU studied this too, in a slightly different vein, looking at how much, on average, someone getting around by bike spent vs someone in a car. I seem to recall that by some measures those on bikes spent more.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

I do believe it was the case (and may, or may not, still be). But that’s not really important — what’s important is that they believe it, so understanding why they do may offer ideas for challenging that belief, or, at least, offering ideas of why a change is in their best interest.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“what’s important is that they believe it, so understanding why they do may offer ideas for challenging that belief, or, at least, offering ideas of why a change is in their best interest.”

I get that. And that is a very noble angle to take.
But at the end of the day, I’m not sure how much latitude I’m willing to give these erroneous beliefs. Holding onto a screwed up or anachronistic set of beliefs such as these has consequences, and those who hold these beliefs have a certain amount of responsibility in this matter, don’t you think?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Take the pragmatic view… convince them of fight them.

As a proponent of devolving power, who believes that they and their residential neighbors should have a strong say in what happens in their neighborhood, I would advocate for the convince them approach.

Adam
Subscriber

Allowing privileged neighborhoods to choose to remain privileged is counter-productive to equity.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You’re right… we should let other privileged people tell us what to do.

Adam
Subscriber

Note that I believe the exact opposite (i.e. agree with you) for underprivileged neighborhoods, that the city should be listening more intensely to what they want.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

You propose classifying neighborhoods by “privilege” and allowing different levels of participation and input in each? Who would make that determination? Would you differentiate between different “classes” of residents in each neighborhood, favoring, say, residents who had lived in a neighborhood longer, or who match a certain racial profile? In “high privilege” neighborhoods, would any residents have a say, or would they all be shut out, regardless of race, gender, income, age, disability, sexual orientation, or other status?

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

And, I’ll add, the “underprivileged” in N Portland were pretty opposed to the N Williams bike project. I don’t know if you were here then, but they could have used you to help make sure their voice was heard.

Adam
Subscriber

And rightly so. They were pissed because the neighborhood has been asking for years for basic improvements yet the city only starts paying attention once the white people started moving in. Instead of forcing a bike lane (that frankly isn’t even that great anyway) down the neighborhoods throat, they should have let the neighborhood start the conversation.

Adam
Subscriber

Any no one is saying shut privileged people out entirely. I’m saying give underprivileged groups a larger voice and greater weight to decision making. The needs of, say, white, wealthy, homeowners, pretty much take care of themselves sans government intervention.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

If we’d done that, Williams would still be Williams, and we could have put that money into a project where the right people wanted it. Or maybe we could have invested it in car projects in N Portland to help make up for years of neglect.

I have this radical notion that maybe everyone should have input into the decisions that affect them, not just the groups you’ve identified as being deserving.

Adam
Subscriber

What I’m saying is: let everyone give input equally but give more weight to the input of historically under-represented populations and at-risk groups.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

I just don’t know how toysthis would work. Would, for example, testimony be labeled with the income and race of the submitter?

Adam
Subscriber

There are advocacy groups set up specifically for this purpose. NAACP, APANO, AARP, etc.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“It always seemed odd to me that Portland would not put more priority on fixing Hawthorne Blvd around the busy business districts. The sidewalks are unusually narrow for the level of foot traffic. I don’t know why the built a business district with such narrow sidewalks. On weekends the sidewalks can be crammed to a standstill, while the traffic lanes are mostly empty except for a few speeding drivers. …” scottb

How is motor vehicle traffic on weekdays, particularly during rush hour? I’ve understood Hawthorne Blvd to be a defacto highway, or as SD commenting below phrased it “… high throughput arterials…”, to accommodate large numbers of through traveling, commuters, many of which likely are not neighborhood residents. I’d say it’s for this reason in no small part that Hawthorne is configured as it is for motor vehicle travel.

Also, when the streets sidewalks were laid out, Hawthorne in the several blocks east and west of 39th, was not the big bustling pedestrian area it’s gradually become. The need for wider sidewalks and quieter street use with motor vehicles, is a relatively recent evolution.

People can talk about removing left turn lanes and whatnot on Hawthorne, but I expect the city isn’t going to want to do anything that would decrease the motor vehicle throughput on this street. Particularly when incidents of people driving very high speeds of 60mph (easy speed to attain in a very short distance, with many high powered cars available to day…just punch the accelerator and watch the speedometer needle climb.), are relatively isolated incidents.

Ben
Guest
Ben

The weirdest thing about Hawthorne’s status as an “arterial” is that it’s less than three miles long and dead-ends at Tabor. It’s useless as a road to east Portland. Why do so many people treat it like a highway, if they’re just going to run into Powell or Division anyway?

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

Because Hawthorne/50th/Foster is the designated arterial. It’s a weird shape, but is useful enough to draw plenty of traffic. But you’re right, this does add to the argument that it should not be prioritized so much for cars.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

As more density comes to the area, there will be more demand for travel along the corridor, making it harder yet to constrict the flow of vehicles.

SD
Subscriber

Good reason to turn auto access into pedestrian and cycling access now, rather than later.

Adam
Subscriber

We should be constructing the flow of vehicles by design. Congestion causes speeds to slow down, and slower = safer. Congestion also serves as a deterrent to driving, and will get people to consider other modes. However, the latter only works if you give those other modes their own space. Most people are probably not going to give up driving in traffic for sitting on a bus stuck in traffic.

Spiffy
Subscriber

people driving at very high speeds near 60 mph is not an isolated incident on Hawthorne… getting caught going that fast on Hawthorne is an isolated incident…

Eric
Guest
Eric

I don’t know this for sure, but would put money on the sidewalks on Hawthorne being narrowed at some point in the past to make more room in the car travel lanes.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I would take that bet.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Cancel that comment… I misunderstood what you wrote. My bad!

Spiffy
Subscriber

you’d win that bet…

“Until the 1930s, Hawthorne had wider sidewalks. The original sidewalks
were 12 feet wide and in many places had a three-foot wide planting strip next to the curb. However, as the automobile became an increasing presence on Portland’s roads, it became evident that more space was needed on the roadway for travel lanes and on-street parking to support businesses.”

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/146697

Andrew Kreps
Guest
Andrew Kreps

I cross right there often. Including last night.

Fuck.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Jonathan, you say there was a conference at PSU. Was PBOT touting it’s vision zero program? How were they reacting to this death at the conference, as well as rising deaths since they started their program, in public? Angst? Interested and concerned? Or did they ignore it?

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

This is my neighborhood. I walk across this intersection frequently.

I’m hesitant to have an infrastructure discussion here. It implies that this death was the fault of the road, and not a careless driver. I could write a book on the challenges of walking Hawthorne east and west of 39th, but I’ll leave it for another time.

Seeing your child run down by a wreckless motorist right in front of you is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

9watts
Guest
9watts

-> wreckful in this case.

still riding after all that
Guest
still riding after all that

No matter what changes are made in road configuration or speed limit or anything else, an A-hole with no regard for other people’s lives will STILL be an A-hole with no regard for other people’s lives. Sad but true. 🙁

That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to improve infrastructure, but in this case, the road does not appear to be the problem.

My deepest sympathies to the young lady’s family and friends.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard another vehicle was stopped for the pedestrians (mom & daughter) when Noorah blew through the crosswalk in the center lane. If so, that’s yet another case of the Good Samaritan Death Trap.

In this case, the center turning lane is the set-up for that trap. The road is the problem.

The way 43rd is offset at Hawthorne makes it ideal for an armored pedestrian refuge in a single crosswalk (NE corner to SW corner) while still allowing left turns from Hawthorne in both directions. There are expensive solutions involving curbs and trees and bollards, but it could be done on the cheap with a couple Jersey barrier sections and paint. Those barriers would totally stop that particular trap.

Mr. Rivera, if PBOT would do its job there would be a whole lot less (non-) condoning and condolences.

Adam
Subscriber

It’s not a “Good Samaritan Death Trap”. Drivers are required to stop for people want to cross.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

I see your point but it’s still the same set-up which ends up killing innocent people. I certainly mean no onus on the driver who stopped, and I blame Noorah for his actions and the resulting death, but PBOT can put a complete stop to that abuse of the center lane without reducing its use to legitimate traffic, including loading and turning.

Spiffy
Subscriber

parking and unloading/loading is not a legal use of the center lane…

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Can you cite the specific code on that? Either way, center turn lanes are used for commercial delivery very frequently and I haven’t seen any problems with it.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

This may not be all of it, but it was my first result on google:

811.346

A person commits the offense of misuse of a special left turn lane if the person uses a special left turn lane for anything other than making a left turn either into or from the special left turn lane.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Is a center lane a “special left turn lane”? The law you cited makes it sound as if I can only use the center lane to turn onto another center lane.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

That’s what I found that appeared to apply. “left turn into” is if, say, you are turning left onto a street from a driveway, and “left turn from” is if you are turning left from a street into a driveway. Let me know if you find something more suitable.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Personally, I like it when drivers unload from the suicide lane… it re-emphasizes that the street is a multi-purpose public space, not just for driving.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

A driver did stop.

jeff
Guest
jeff

no, the road is fine. he passed a stopped vehicle in the center/turning lane which is against the law. no amount of infrastructure is going to stop someone from making a decision like that.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Narrower roads help. Traffic calming helps.

This driver is not an outlier. He was farther down the ‘danger’ distribution than most, but.. 40mph on Hawthorne and streets like it is very common.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Concrete and steel help.

Spiffy
Subscriber

a center island would have prevented that decision… and if not it would have stopped the vehicle…

Matt Meskill
Subscriber
Matt Meskill

The road definitely contributed to the problem. If he was passing cars he must have been in the center turn lane. Get rid of the center turn lane. They’re misused and abused anyway. And put in raised crosswalks. And speed bumps. Etc. Lots can be done.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I’m not clear where the chorus calling for removing the center turn lane is coming from. I thought a center turn lane was the key carrot in a road diet for a road such as Hawthorne (or Division beyond 60th). Am I missing something? Don’t we agree that three is a big improvement over four? Is asking for two prudent here?

Adam
Subscriber

I’ve been arguing against the enter turn lane for Foster, too. It only exists to make driving easier and it takes space away from potential sidewalk widening or cycle tracks. Better would be to ban all left turns, like on W Burnside.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

They just put a left-turn back in on Burnside, going eastbound just west of the bridge.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

Blasphemy! 😉 The lack of left-turns along W Burnside is a defining characteristic of the city. More than once while reading the tour blogs of musicians they have mentioned how “you can’t turn left anywhere in (downtown) Portland”. 🙂 Of course it is an exaggeration but an amusing observation from outsiders to Portland’s road designs.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I think it would be important to be clear about why we ban left turns. West Burnside is justly famous for this, but so are parts of Hawthorne (thirties). As an occasional driver I find this highly annoying and always assumed it was a deferential gesture to oncoming through (CAR) traffic. I would find it far more palatable if the policy of banning left turns were defended as a humanitarian gesture.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Road diets need a center turn lane, otherwise the traffic gets terribly backed up by drivers trying to turn left. Yes, Adam, drivers do have to turn left, to get where they are going. Forcing them to make three right turns (first one across any bike lane that may exist) and cross the road (and bike lanes) creates more danger than a simple left.

This driver was beyond reckless. 50-60 mph on Hawthorne is utter craziness. Infrastructure can’t stop someone like that, unfortunately the only thing to do is a long jail sentence.

Adam
Subscriber

Oh, kind of how people cycling have to go out of their way all the time? Curious.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Infrastructure can’t do EVERYTHIING but it sure as hell can stop the center lane from being an uninterrupted .5 mile drag strip from Chavez to 50th.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

There is at least one concrete median island in that stretch interrupting the drag strip.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Thanks for mentioning it, it’s at 48th. It didn’t show up in Google’s satellite photo last week but it does now, and in Streetviews (photo: June 2016), so that curbed island in the turn lane seems to have gone in this year. It’s an example of what is needed at 43rd and several other, if not all, cross streets along that stretch of Hawthorne, and any other street with a turn lane and crosswalks.

soren
Guest

center turn lanes can be interrupted so that they are not potential through lanes.

jd
Guest
jd

Powell out east of 50th has medians mid-block to prevent through travel in the turn lane. That would have prevented this.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

No, someone’s decision to drive recklessly cause the problem. Thousands of people seem to negotiate this road without incident every day. If the road encouraged such behavior, there would be deaths on a regular basis.

Tre
Guest
Tre

Tree Islands to insure no through traffic in turn lane

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

Or, just an occasional bollard of some kind. In Bend, traffic has increased dramatically the past 2 or 3 years. In the past month, I have seen dozens of cars drive at or above the speed limit for several blocks in the left lane; I have even seen drivers use it as a passing lane. If someone had told me this would happen before, I would have thought they were lying.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

Happens all the time out here in Durham on Upper Boones Ferry when the I-5 south traffic grinds to a slow trundle. People get tired of waiting in the long line of traffic, and they’re going to turn left eventually (just a quarter mile down the road!) so they pull out into the center turn lane and blast up the road to Bridgeport Rd and their left turn.

I love it when Tigard and Tualatin motorcycle cops sit in the driveways along the East side of UBF and pull people over for misuse of the turn lane. I wish they’d do it more often.

But then again, our business asked for painted crosswalks at Rivendell (where it T’s into UBF) and Afton, and that didn’t happen because ODOT didn’t want to. So I can’t imagine a lot will happen to stop people from misusing the turn lane either.

Mark Smith
Guest
Mark Smith

Why is one of the most well known streets in Portland still sporting a design fitting of 1950 instead of 2020?

Cut out the turn late, move the cars in and place a protected bike lane.

Adman
Guest
Adman

Street design can do a lot of things for safety, but one thing it can’t do is prevent a homicidal level of carelessness. If you’re driving 60 mph on Hawethorne that is homicidal carelessness. Even places like the Netherlands that are way ahead of the curve on street design occasionally have incidents like this.

soren
Guest

Street design can easily prevent a turn lane from being used to illegally pass stopped traffic at high speed.

ScottB
Guest
ScottB

Yet another collision involving a driver with a suspended license.

I read that one in five fatal crashes involves at least one driver who is not properly licensed. Using the national average of 7% suspended licenses, Portland would have over 42,000 of them. Three fourth continue to drive, so ~32,000 for Portland. Of those, an estimated 39% (and apparently growing) are suspended for social non-conformance issues, not related to road safety. This leaves an estimated 20,000 driving in Portland with known safety issues bad enough to have their licenses suspended.

I also read that Portland uses licenses plate scanners on 16 patrol cars (2014) capturing around 5,000 plates per officer per shift, and the Oregon courts have upheld the use of these scanners to flag suspended licenses (2013). But the same article said Portland only had 20 plates on their list to be flagged. Hmm.

So if PPB can scan 80,000 plates per shift, how long could someone drive with a suspended license and not have their plate captured into the system. I’m guessing maybe just a few hours of driving or less.

So why does PPB does not seem to scan for suspended drivers. Maybe because they know most are suspended for social non-conformance, and not safety? Why then not separate out the suspensions due to road safety, sort by severity, and put the worst of the worst on the list to be flagged by the scanners. In a short period of time, they could potentially reduce the fatal collision rate by over 40%. What other Vision Zero project could achieve anywhere near that result without spending any money, and start tomorrow.

It seems like the system also needs reform. The below report recommends that non-highway safety violations (like minor drug offenses) should not trigger license suspensions, so that law enforcement and the courts can focus on the suspended unsafe drivers. Although I don’t see why PPB can not just filter the database themselves and add some of the plates to their list to be flagged.

Note this link is a pdf download…
“Best Practices Guide to Reducing Suspended Drivers”
http://www.aamva.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=3723

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Suspended is suspended. Stop them all.

J_R
Guest
J_R

The scanning is of license plates. License plates may have expired. Drivers’ licenses cannot readily be scanned because they are on a person. Drivers’ licenses may be suspended.

I think what is lacking is a way to show that the driver behind the wheel has both a valid driver’s license and insurance. I propose a dash mounted chip reader into which the driver inserts his/her driver’s license and proof of insurance and an indicator shows up on the outside of the vehicle next to the license plate. The indicator for a driver’s license could also differentiate the license. For example, my elderly mother’s license could show “daylight hours only.”

Of course, we’d need much more enforcement. Have you noticed how many Oregon vehicle operators simply ignore the requirement for display of a front license plate? How many are ever cited?

Pete
Guest
Pete

This is exactly my idea as well. Chipped card technology with unique (and authenticated) identifiers has been in use for a while. Wireless V2V and V2I infrastructure is in the R&D stage (funded by our tax dollars) now, and a secure infrastructure allowing authorities to discern or locate individuals driving cars is feasible. Ethical, on the other hand, is an argument that continues and will escalate as insurance companies help push this “safety” technology into the mainstream.

Of course, we could always do what many other countries do, and force the registered owner of a car to be fully liable for the car’s usage at all times (regardless of who’s driving it, except when reported stolen that is).

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Routine governmental tracking of people on the street is horribly problematic. Be careful what you wish for.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

One example- ALPRs scan what they can see. So privileged drivers who park in garages are less likely to get “scanned”/”seen” than those who park on the street.

Automated methods can have biases too.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Is that an argument against scanning license plates?

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Yes- I was attempting to agree with you about the problems of “Routine governmental tracking of people on the street “.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Ok, it’s generally bad practice to argue with someone who is agreeing with you, but… hey, it’s what we do on BikePortland!

I actually do not oppose license plate scanning if, once scanned and compared with a database of “wanted” cars, the information is not stored and permanently destroyed. Where I get uncomfortable is when all license plate data is stored “for later use”, without clear safeguards or mandates against long-term retention. It is possible to get a lot of value from scanning, without violating privacy to an undue degree, as long as rigorous rules and oversight are in place.

Adam
Subscriber

Ok, it’s generally bad practice to argue with someone who is agreeing with you, but… hey, it’s what we do on BikePortland!

No it isn’t.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That’s not an argument… It’s just contradiction!

ScottB
Guest
ScottB

Who said anything about tracking? They don’t track. If a patrol car gets a hit from list, they deal with it then. That is the whole point.

What is more horribly problematic, innocent victims of street violence who die because the driver believes he won’t be caught, or your irrational fear that your plate number might remain on a computer somewhere? How many others will die or cases go unsolved because you want to handicap the police from using tools that have been widely used for years. Personally I would not want that much blood on my hands.

If you want to worry about tracking, I would worry far more about the info that Google has on you.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

So you believe the police discard data on vehicles they aren’t actively looking for? Think again…

This info is from 2013, but no reason to think things have changed radically since then:

July 19, 2013 – Four Oregon jurisdictions are known to be among the hundreds nationwide that the American Civil Liberties Union says are using automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) scanners to assemble a “single, high-resolution image of our lives.” Clackamas County, Oregon City, Portland, and Salem had confirmed local use of ALPRs by fall 2012—one vehicle-mounted device in Oregon City, four devices each in in Portland and Clackamas (we have since learned that Portland utilizes an additional twelve ALPRs), and one “system” with an unspecified number of devices in Salem…

…A Clackamas County draft policy that the ACLU received in December 2012 states that information gathered by ALPR shall be retained for 10 years. An Oregon City policy dated August 29, 2012, specifies only that ALPR data “should be stored for the minimum period established by department records retention guidelines, and thereafter may be purged unless it has become, or…will become, evidence in a criminal or civil action.” In Portland, Mayor Charlie Hales issued an Executive Order April 9, 2013, that dictates data retention for a minimum of 30 days and maximum of 4 years.

http://www.aclu-or.org/content/license-plates-scanned-tracked-and-recorded-oregon

Pete
Guest
Pete

Note my preferred solution in the second paragraph.

The identity and authentication information is stored in the chip, which would allow a driver to start a car. In fact, it could allow only a driver with motorcycle endorsement to start a bike, a driver with Class C to start a semi tractor, etc. The vehicle’s architecture would dictate what could be done with that information, much like your smartphone’s operating system dictates what can be done with your account information (for the most part). Note that I’m not arguing that this information should be propagated wirelessly, only that it can. The vehicle’s ‘black box’, on the other hand, could tell investigators who was behind the wheel when a vehicle started its journey, at the very least.

Spiffy
Subscriber

“Of course, we could always do what many other countries do, and force the registered owner of a car to be fully liable for the car’s usage at all times”

I wish for this every day… that would make the citizen citation process a lot easier and force people to be responsible…

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Yes, and let’s also track where everyone drives and what they do…because that is not problematic. As long as we are monitoring cars, why not bikes? Seems fair if everyone is using the same roadways.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“As long as we are monitoring cars, why not bikes? Seems fair if everyone is using the same roadways.”

You and others make these sorts of suggestions here with some frequency. I have to ask, aside from a peevish desire for parity, what could possibly be the motivation for doing this? I take it you appreciate that without cars flitting every-which-way (thought experiment) the bikes you are so intent on monitoring wouldn’t likely be causing any carnage to themselves or others and would thus hardly justify the expensive monitoring. If, by contrast, you were to remove the bikes (thought experiment) I doubt the carnage we’ve come to expect on our streets would be appreciably reduced. Piloted automobiles seem quite capable (statistically) of ruining the lives of their occupants and those occupying other cars, never mind pedestrians. So why again should be devote resources to monitoring bikes?

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

As a volunteer at the latest Sunday Parkways, I saw figuratively dozens of “pedestrians” get nearly “mowed down” by “cyclists”. A car-free street would be dangerous to cross, indeed you would have to look both ways and might see a person’s face looking back at you!

Michael
Guest
Michael

Sunday Parkways is its own strange untamed beast that aggregates the least proficient cyclists. I have not attended for years because of the safety issues.

ScottB
Guest
ScottB

So the Police should not be tracking down criminals? Then what should they do? Police have been checking license plates since 1903, its just become more efficient since then. Scanners are just the latest way to improve efficiency and cut costs. PPB already has the scanners, they are just underutilizing them. The legals questions have been resolved. I just don’t see why they are being intentionally inefficient and wasting our tax dollars in the process.

As for cyclists, many have been and continue to be monitored and tracked by Strava and other apps for years, with the detailed data made public. That’s true transparency.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Sorry, but if you’re carrying your cell phone with you, that’s already happening, and you gave Google and Apple (and others) the rights to track you by downloading their apps or hitting their web sites more than once. RTFP.

Adrienne Soucy
Guest
Adrienne Soucy

I drive Hawthorne eastbound just about every day on my way to work. The culture (and the law) is that if a pedestrian looks like they’re about to cross the road (marked crosswalk or not), you stop for them. This road is crowded with pedestrians, bikes and cars. To be driving at 55-60mph on Hawthorne is absolute lunacy. I take issue with others who imply the fault is with the pedestrian. It’s not. Everyone has a right to get where they’re going. The solution is not more marked crosswalks. It’s not banning parking. It’s not banning cyclists. It’s with the motorist. Car drivers: Be respectful, be vigilant, and SHARE THE ROAD. Car next to you stopping? PAY ATTENTION and slow down/stop. Don’t like it? Please exit Portland. Feel free to hit 55-60mph once you hit the freeway on your way out of town.

kittens
Guest
kittens

Shocking but not completely unbelievable someone was going 55-60 on Hawthorne.

I feel like there is a real coarsening of behavior on our streets. You never seem to see police presence. People seem to either be aggro road-ragers, like this guy apparently, or just completely checked out text zombies consumed with “infotainment” systems and smartphones.

I wonder if we are not just seeing the first of many common spaces disappear under the veil of technology. You go out on a street like Hawthorne and everyone is on phones or earbuds. Scary.

Spiffy
Subscriber

if you can’t avoid a zombie you’re in the wrong apocalypse… we used to have problems with people reading the paper not paying attention… in the future we’ll be distracted by tech implants…

avoiding zombies is easy if you oblige the law to slow down and pay attention…

Caitlin D
Subscriber

This is so awful. My heart goes out to the victim’s family and friends.

esther2
Guest
esther2
Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“Hodson sentenced Dryden to 20 days in jail and three years of probation. He also must pay a $10,000 compensatory fine and complete drug and alcohol treatment.” No mention of driving restrictions. Does that mean he’s free to climb back in his truck in 20 days?

Spiffy
Subscriber

it was somehow a pleas deal, even thought there’s no way the victim would have agrees to that deal…

sickening!

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

The victim isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a party to a plea deal or determining punishment. Decisions shouldn’t be swayed by a thirst for vengeance (even though they often are anyway).

jd
Guest
jd

My cautious driving provoked a jerk in a black SUV to drive the entire turn lane down NE 12th approaching Burnside the other day. After PBOT takes out the deadly Hawthorne turn lane, they might prevent another disaster by taking out the one on 12th as well.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Turn lanes are fine, they just need to have a solid median every 1-2 blocks to prevent that kind of behavior and provide pedestrian crossing refuges.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

I think that is likely the simplest and most effective solution.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Time to think big: leave the street designers at home and crowd source citizen redesign of upper Hawthorne. Example: One trolley lane, two protected bike lanes, and one vehicle lane. Question whether or not big buses or service trucks (like those often sitting in front of New Seasons) belong in this pedestrian friendly area.

http://myplace.frontier.com/~trolley503/1933Map.html

Christopher Sanderson
Guest

So sad to hear this news.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

What a horrible crime. My heart goes out to the victim and her loved ones.

My older child used to go to Poekoelan at 43rd and Hawthorne, and we frequently had to try to cross Hawthorne at this very intersection. And due to our affinity for other places like Fat Straw and Por Que Now, we often found ourselves trying to cross Hawthorne at other corners on this section too.

Even without someone going 50-60mph, it’s impossible to get drivers to stop for the implied crosswalks on this stretch of Hawthorne. I started carrying a keychain light and pointing it in the direction of approaching drivers. That didn’t get everyone to stop, but it at least got some people to stop.

Hawthorne is a disaster. It needs marked crosswalks, pedestrian refuges and enforcement.

SteveG
Guest
SteveG

This story is really, really sad. It makes me wonder if someone on this thread can answer a simple question:

What do we still rely on humans to enforce speed limits?

We’ve had photo radar for years, and we also have signs that tell drivers how fast they are going. Why don’t we have cameras on every major street that send anyone who exceeds the speed limit (even by a few MPH) a ticket in the mail?

If we did this, it seems pretty clear that speeding would practically stop. The price of a photo radar ticket could be ten dollars per mph over the posted limit, with something like a 3 MPH “buffer.” So going 28 in a 25 zone would cost nothing, but going 30MPH in a 25 zone would cost $50.

And going 55 MPH in a 25 MPH zone would cost $300.

Police officers should be investigating crimes, patrolling our streets (primarily on foot and on bikes, IMO) and doing all sorts of things other than playing “cat and mouse” games with habitual speeders. They definitely should not be monitoring traffic speeds and issuing speeding tickets, which can be more accurately, consistently and impartially handled by radar cameras.

Thirty people have died in traffic accidents in Portland this year alone. We don’t just need photo radar at a few stop lights, we need it on every major street. And every time someone speeds, or runs a red light, or blows through a crosswalk when a pedestrian is waiting to cross – they should get, in their mailbox, a stern, and expensive, reminder to obey the law.

Spiffy
Subscriber

people don’t want to impose limits and fines on something they hold so dear and feel they need to have…

that’s the short of it…

because we already built the environment to exclude anything but the automobile before we decided how unsafe it was, now it’s difficult to go back… many people drive, so they vote to not make driving harder or more expensive to themselves… politicians need a job so they vote with the majority to keep themselves in office…

until we grow a spine and ditch the democracy involved and simply do what’s right then we’ll be struggling against all the drivers who are in power with their votes and complaints…

opponents of red light cameras argue that they’re unconstitutional because you’re never able to face your accuser, an inanimate machine… since a machine can’t take the witness stand or itself be held accountable they feel it should not have the ability to infringe their liberty…

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

While almost all motorists will tell you that they are better than average drivers, in their hearts they know that they cannot complete a single trip without breaking the law. Therefore, there’s just not enough legislators who would vote for allowing automated enforcement for it to come to pass any time soon. Our motorists really do think they have a right to kill.

SteveG
Guest
SteveG

Sorry for the typo. I meant to ask:

WHY do we still rely on humans to enforce speed limits?

Fred King
Guest
Fred King

The crash happened after a driver stopped to let the girl cross. They think they are doing someone a favor by stopping to let them cross. At some point we have to acknowledge that these kindly drivers are creating an unsafe situation in their attempts to bey polite. I regularly get drivers stopping for me to let me bike past in places where they have no idea what is happening in the next lane, where it would be much safer if everyone followed the established rules of the road.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“They think they are doing someone a favor by stopping to let them cross.”

Hello…!
this was a crosswalk (unmarked/marked doesn’t matter). Time to brush up on the rules of the road.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

This is not the situation here, at all. If the driver had not stopped for the pedestrians, they would have been breaking the law. A homicidal maniac passing at a high rate of speed in the turn lane is 100% responsible for this carnage.

Fred King
Guest
Fred King

No, it was not a crosswalk. The driver was under no obligation to stop. The driver was trying to be nice, but look at the result.

soren
Guest
9watts
Guest
9watts

“No, it was not a crosswalk.”

Fred, you are operating under a (frightfully common) misperception, reinforced by the habit of some to insist on *painting* crosswalks where no paint existed. Legally there is no difference.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It was a crosswalk. An unmarked crosswalk. The kind that exist at every corner unless otherwise signed. Drivers have to stop for pedestrians in an unmarked crosswalk just as they do a marked one.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

And whether is was a crosswalk or not is irrelevant. The driver was doing 50+mph on Hawthorne. How could anyone defend this maniac?

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

No one is defending him.

Dave Thomson
Guest
Dave Thomson

I hope you don’t have a drivers license.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

You are horribly misinformed. Please educate yourself before going back outside tomorrow.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Fred, a driver waving on a bicyclist stopped at a stop sign (which I hate too) is NOT even remotely equivalent to stopping for a pedestrian at an implied crosswalk!

Fred King
Guest
Fred King

I don’t know what an implied crosswalk is. My point is that being nice and offering a pedestrian or a bike rider an opportunity to cross when you don’t know that the other lane is safe is a dangerous practice.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

When a person is crossing in a crosswalk at an intersection it is illegal to continue. It isn’t an option not to stop because you aren’t sure if cars in other lanes will stop or not.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I think they meant “unmarked crosswalk”, not “implied crosswalk”. Drivers have an obligation to stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks, marked or unmarked.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Implied crosswalk = unmarked crosswalk. They are the same thing: ANY intersection, whether or not it’s marked, is a crosswalk.

“Doing something nice” by stopping for a pedestrian in an implied/unmarked crosswalk is THE LAW.

Fred King
Guest
Fred King

But which is safer? Sometimes this leads to the Good Samaritan death trap.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Fred. Geez. Time to give it up already.

SD
Subscriber

Fred,
Your mission today is to inform all of your friends about the law regarding stopping for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks. It may save them a ticket and save someone’s life.
Thanks

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Words matter, and Adam H rightly called me on the misuse of that term (GSDT). It needs a better name. Maybe “overtaking stopped vehicle trap?”

9watts
Guest
9watts

But it isn’t even a trap. The problem (almost always, dontcha know) is distracted drivers. I guess I don’t see the value of conceptualizing crossing a multilane road like this. We tie ourselves in knots when the issue is really simple. People piloting cars need to pay a lot more attention, drive like they expect their 3 yo. niece to suddenly appear in their path at any moment.

Calling it a trap to me implies that people trying to cross streets are wittingly doing something foolish. They aren’t.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

So “trap” is the wrong word? Maybe “blind?”

Best wishes making cars go away, I do understand why that’s appealing (and also why it is problematic). Meanwhile, while they exist, there are various ways that bad interactions happen with them, and we describe those in categorical terms like “rear-end” or “hit from behind,” “t-bone,” “hooks” and “crosses,” and those terms have meanings. Without them, each similar even must be described in enormous detail from scratch (sort of like trying to bootstrap words themselves). Cases such as this one, or the Mt Scott death, have enough in common that I see value in categorizing them.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Best wishes making cars go away”

Where’d that come from?
I was talking about what to me seemed like implied culpability of someone who walks into a ‘trap,’ not about making cars go away. I thought your point about fixing the GSDT was right on, just could/should be taken a bit further. Categorizing – yes; no argument. All these nuances are good for thinking.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

No offense intended. How about “allowing cars to fade into history?” :-O

I think the nature of a trap is that it is hidden or obscured from the victim, as in the cases I mentioned. Does that make the victim culpable in some way? We have certainly seen that argument put forth many times in other situations, and there are situations where contributory negligence is a reasonable argument, but in the act of hiding or obscuring seems to me to reduce or eliminate that culpability.

(That’s all in general terms. I infer no victim culpability in this case.)

Fred King
Guest
Fred King

Many Oregon drivers (and bikers) are ignorant of crosswalk laws and fail to realize that it is not until the person has actually moved off of the curb and put a foot or bicycle wheel onto the crosswalk in the roadway that an obligation to stop is legally triggered. Source: http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/17/get-legal-nice-dangerous-make-fault-collision-109655

9watts
Guest
9watts

There does not appear to have been any confusion. Recall that driver #1 had recognized the girl’s intent and legal right to cross – and stopped. No issue here even though you keep trying to rescue your lost cause here. The problem arose when driver #2 whose style of driving suggests that he was out of his mind ignored half a dozen rules of the road that really don’t need to be enumerated yet again.

Brighton West
Guest

And let’s not forget that driver #2 was driving down the center turn lane at 60mph. I could understand Fred’s point if this was on the part of Hawthorne with more than 1 travel lane in each direction. But this is the equivalent of car #1 stopping, pedestrian starting crossing, pedestrian looking direction of oncoming traffic in next lane, and then another car comes racing down the road in the wrong direction in that lane.

Fred King
Guest
Fred King

Agreed that Driver #2 was at fault. The confusion came in on the part of the pedestrian. Was it safe to enter the turn lane? One message said yes, the other said no. That is the confusion I was talking about.

Adam
Subscriber

There is literally no confusion here. Don’t hit people with your car seems pretty straightforward to me.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Fred, while you are correct that nowadays* the pedestrian must step off the curb to trigger the law … thank you for bothering to look up the law you previously didn’t know enough about, but you failed to notice that it’s not relevant in this case. She had already stepped off the curb.

* This is a relatively recent change. Over the period I lived in Oregon the legislature amended the pedestrian (and school zone) laws several times, changing the trigger event, the amount of room vehicles must give pedestrians, etc. This is an area of the law that is rapidly evolving in many states, specifically because drivers failing to stop for pedestrians is such a big problem.

johnr
Guest
johnr

Seriously?! They are following the law.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Speeders in these dense urban areas need to be delt with harshly before they kill someone. Quadruple the speed cameras and officer speed patrols. Quadruple fines for going more than 10 miles over the speed limit. If the fine is not paid immediatly confiscate the car and sell it. We have to remember that criminals like this one are the obvious problems, put the large percentage of people who drive just below this thresehold documented in an earlier article on this site are like a gateway drug to this deadly behaviour. We will not succeed untill 25% of the car zombies are stripped from their death machines.

SteveG
Guest
SteveG

Bikeninja-

I agree 100% that we should significantly boost the number of speed cameras. IMO there should be speed cameras on every major street, every 5-10 blocks, and fines should escalate rapidly depending on how many MPH over the limit someone is driving.

We don’t need police officers to ensure that people drive under the speed limit. Robots can do this task more consistently, affordably and effectively.

soren
Guest

“there should be speed cameras on every major street, every 5-10 blocks”

This is currently illegal except for in a limited number of locations. BikeLoudPDX and Livable Streets Action are hosting a bike ride and day of action in Salem Sept 22. One of the things we are lobbying for is for local control of speed limits and speed control cameras.

https://www.facebook.com/events/171450939945796/

peejay
Guest
peejay

Go check out that intersection now. Seriously. When the city doesn’t do their job, the citizens will.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

To paraphrase Shakespere

“O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of humanity*,That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!”

* Earth, in the original Shakespeare

maddy
Guest
maddy

Guys, this is super tragic, but I need to comment because this is my hood and I have walked that particular intersection unscathed for years. This is an isolated incident of a terrible driver, and had he not hurt someone at this intersection, it would have been have been on another street.

It is frustrating to hear outraged comments from people who do not live in the area, or are relatively new to town about how unsafe this neighborhood is. We have good bike infrastructure in parallel streets to Hawthorne, and I have been commuting by bike in this area safely for over 20 years. We really have it pretty good.

Please let the family grieve and direct your anger towards the motorist.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Why are you blaming it on “newcomers”? It doesn’t matter but I was born here too.

A failure to make our infrastructure safer and human-scaled is the big problem. Not one driver.

maddy
Guest
maddy

“This is the first fatal crash on Hawthorne Boulevard since 2013 and the first east of 32nd Avenue in at least 12 years, said Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman Dylan Rivera.”

Ted, I actually never used the word “newcomers” that you quoted. People who live in a neighborhood and utilize its streets daily do have a clearer perspective of the hazards and issues than those who occasionally visit. It does, however, seem that there are a couple “newcomers” to Portland that complain the loudest about the terrible conditions, without living here long enough to really understand (or appreciate) the city and the great neighborhoods.

I walk this street daily with my wife and kid. Without major issues. If the residents who use the sidewalks every day aren’t screaming for improvements that should be telling. Outer SE is a whole different story. We should throw loads of money there to make those streets safer and build sidewalks where there are none. Those residents are yelling loudly for improvements.

This guy was driving illegally and way too fast in a city traditionally filled with slow and courteous drivers. It is terrible, and criminal that he killed that girl. He is a menace, and should be behind bars.

Paula F
Guest
Paula F

Personally I hate stats, especially if they are used at a time of an actual event.

I was one of the ones out there Saturday, in the center lane. The number of neighbors that came out in support was overwhelming, far outweighing any negatives we received.

I believe we don’t hear because many have found deaf ears at City Hall. Many, many talked about being nearly hit, of losing a loved one, of the drivers driving too fast, not stopping for people crossing the street.

Because we do not hear, does not mean no one said anything. Seems to be more a sign of no more faith in the powers assigned to protect us.

Our guerilla work brought many out, many stayed after we left. I am honored to have met many people out there.

B.E.
Subscriber
B.E.

“If the residents who use the sidewalks every day aren’t screaming for improvements that should be telling.”
I disagree, people in our neighborhood have asked the city for crossing improvements on Hawthorne before this tragedy.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

I put “newcomers” in scare quotes, not to quote you. I’m unclear on your semantic difference between that word and “relatively new to town about how unsafe this neighborhood is.”

Nor am I clear on why incumbency is a requisite qualification to want safer neighborhoods.

Finally, unsure about who, specifically, you are talking about- or if it’s the dreaded Them.

soren
Guest

Speak for yourself, maddy. As a pedestrian I can step into the roadway with the intent to cross and a dozen cars can whip by me without stopping during rush hour. Hawthorne is an unmitigated disaster of a road. It needs major pedestrian improvements and bike lanes now.

Adam
Subscriber

I live on SE 52nd and this sounds very familiar. There’s only one crosswalk between Division and Powell, and drivers rarely stop at the unmarked ones. Though honestly it’s still better than crossing at Powell since having a walk signal means nothing since drivers can still turn right on red. I live on the 50’s bikeway, which is supposedly more people-friendly, though I obviously happen to disagree with that.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

If this section of Hawthorne had concrete medians every few blocks, this death would not have happened. Our driving culture and our infrastructure enable this deadly behavior, and we need to work to fix both if we want to have an impact.

Spiffy
Subscriber

every neighborhood with automobile traffic is unsafe… this issue isn’t isolated to Hawthorne… you sound like you’d be ok with the victim being your loved one, since it’s such an isolated thing… it’s not ok, even if we have no idea who the victim is… it’s not ok, no matter which neighborhood it is… it’s not ok, even if nobody has died there, yet…

things can, and should, be done BEFORE somebody dies… the current method of waiting for blood shows the true priorities…

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Not arguing against any of this, but we’re talking about major work on a large number of streets city-wide, or even state-wide. Where will the money come from? How are we going to convince people this is worth paying for? We’ve had higher levels of carnage for decades, and most people seem to accept it. How do you convince them it is time for a change?

Adam
Subscriber

Make the change and convince people using their own eyes.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Who will write the check?

Adam
Subscriber

We all will. It’s not like this is rocket science. This is exactly what Janette Sadik-Khan did in NYC. You can debate people-friendly infrastructure and bikes ad nauseam but people will truly buy in once they can experience the change first-hand.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

We need to pay long before they see the benefits. Where does that money come from in the meantime if the public doesn’t buy in until the results are unveiled?

Adam
Subscriber

I hear the city has been sitting on a mountain of unused SDC’s. Perhaps they could tap into that.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Physical raised-curb crosswalks in the middle lane at every intersection would prevent drivers from driving at speed in the middle lane and aggressively passing. Unless they wanted to hit a curb directly in front of them.

I agree, Hawthorne is a ridiculous street. The City focuses all its efforts on the blocks from SE 34th to se 37th, and ignores the rest of the street, despite there being businesses all the way up to SE 50th!!

You can blame a lot of the inertia on the Hawthorne Business Association though. They are car-centric the WHOLE WAY! They refuse to even close the street down to car traffic once a year for their own “street fair”. A street fair on the sidewalks. What a joke. I refuse to attend it for this reason, and I hope you all join me.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Well, to be fair, they did change that policy last year. Your point holds, however. They rallied the troops to defeat metered parking spots a bunch of years ago, for one thing.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

And that’s why I don’t shop on Hawthorne. If you drive, it’s impossible to find a parking spot. If you bike, it is not very safe, and bike parking is also fairly hard to find.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I wish ODOT and PBOT would get taken over by OSHA. The reason is that OSHA ( occupational safety and Health Administration) has a much more realistic and effective approach to accident prevention. OSHA judges a workplace activity with a simple metric: what is the likelihood of an activity causing an accident and in addition what is it’s severity. Then they scale the fine and enforcement for a dangerous activity as a multiplication of the likelihood times the severity. So for instance, working in a deep trench without shoring has a high liklelihood of an accident and the likely results are death. So if an employer is caught doing this, the fines can be as large as $100,000. If we used the OSHA method, speeding past a stopped car at a crosswalk in the center lane would have the same likelihood and severity of an accident as the trench so a motorist caught doing such a thing would have just a severe a punishment. $100,000 fine, loss of car, imprisonment etc. For one year, lets stop road building, give OSHA ODOT’S entire budget and let them spend it on enforcement useing the above standards. After a year the streets would be safer for sure.

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Surely this can be applied to all roadway users and we will be assessing fines to Jaywalkers, cyclists who run stop signs, etc…all in the name of equality.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Sure. Let’s assess based on proportional danger and ability to pay.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“all in the name of equality.”

Ah, you’re back, with the tiresome whack at all those not in a car (who all have a right to be on the street, crossing the street, who don’t need to pass a test, get licensed, carry insurance). Have you stopped to consider why we have all those requirements for those who drive but not for everyone else? Maybe you should.

Adam
Subscriber

How many people per year are killed by jaywalkers and stop-sign-running cyclists?

9watts
Guest
9watts

it’s an epidemic – I’m telling you.

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

How many are injured? Does that count?

Considering how expensive medical care in the US is, maybe insurance for cyclists isn’t a bad idea.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

True, but if use the formula of likeliness times severity of consequences to others the jaywalker would get a $1.00 fine ( like using an undersized extension cord in the workplace) and the speeding, turn- lane driving motorist would get a $50,000 fine like operating a human sized meat grinder without a working lock-out.

9watts
Guest
9watts

= Comment of the Week!

dan
Guest
dan

I look forward to the same prompt correction of dangerous infrastructure that we saw for the spot where Amanda Fritz’s husband died, because all traffic deaths are equally important.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

It was. It’s sad it took a fatality to do so, but that seems to be the m.o. at state and local levels.

http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2014/10/steve_fritz_oregon_i-5_salem_c.html

still riding after all that
Guest
still riding after all that

Is there a fairly wide street parallel to Hawthorne and not too far away? If so, Hawthorne and that other street could each be one-way, one eastbound and one westbound, similar to the Weidler-Broadway pair from I-5 out to 24th Avenue. That would allow for sidewalks on both sides, parking, a bike lane*, and motor vehicle travel.

* Please put the bike lane on the right, unlike the confusing left-side bike lane on Williams.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

The nearest collector streets to Hawthorne in that vicinity are Division to the south, and Belmont to the north. Both are about 5 blocks away, too far for a couplet to work.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Err, sorry Division is further than 5 blocks, but point made.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

Nope.

Random
Guest
Random

Betsy Hammond, the Oregonian:

“According to court records, the defendent was born in Saudia Arabia and has lived in the Portland metro area for about two years. He told police that he lives with a host family in outer SE Portland and goes to Portland Community College. He is not employed and he has not family in Oregon.”

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

I couldn’t find this in the three Oregonian articles- none of which are by Hammond, even. Can you provide a link?

Random
Guest
Random

I can’t explicitly link to it, but it is a comment by Hammond to the

“Teen who died in hit-and-run identified as Franklin High School sophomore” story.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2016/08/teen_pedestrian_who_died_in_cr.html#comments

The comment was posted about an hour ago, or about 1:30 PM or so.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Aha- thanks. I literally have Oregonlive comments blocked. They don’t even appear if I’m reading an article there.

dan
Guest
dan

In a new, and somewhat poorly written updated article-

“Noorah lives with a host family, court documents show. He was born in Saudi Arabia and has lived in the metro area for two years, the documents said.”

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/08/20-year-old_college_student_ch.html#incart_big-photo

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

The bail is appallingly low, given the crime, and his potential as a flight risk. I hope they pull his passport.

Also, can we get our comments above re-instated, since we were 100% correct? Or is it still racist?

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

$1mm bail and his lawyer offered to surrender his passport. Doesn’t seem too low.

This isn’t a racial issue. We don’t have 30k+ deaths/year caused solely by Saudis. We don’t have 30k+ deaths/year caused solely by reckless drivers going over twice the limit.

Adam
Subscriber

Yes it’s still racist because by bringing the person’s nationality into the picture, you’re framing him with an entire group of people. His race or nationality didn’t cause him to drive like an asshole; he made that decision on his own.

Adam
Subscriber

Yes it’s still racist because by bringing the person’s nationality into the picture, you’re framing him with an entire group of people. His race or nationality didn’t cause him to drive like an a**hole; he made that decision on his own.

Random
Guest
Random

“Yes it’s still racist because by bringing the person’s nationality into the picture”

Stop with the racism accusations, Adam.

I bet that if the perpetrator was a guy from Canby with a Confederate flag bumpersticker on his car, you would find his background to be highly relevant.

pruss2ny
Guest
pruss2ny

pls don’t categorize me as racist, and the driver was without question beyond excuse, but i think someones nationality certainly plays into driving tendencies, especially for people visiting the states for a defined period. the idea of ceding right of way to a pedestrian is absurd in many corners of the world, and while it might be nice to think everyone would learn the relevant rules of the road in the region they visit before they drive, it simply doesn’t happen….most oregonians don’t even understand crosswalk laws

Adam
Subscriber

I’m not sure if you saw the initial comments before they deleted, but they were much worse than saying “Saudi people drive fast sometimes”.

At any rate, none of that even matters here. I see no point in bringing nationalities, cultures, etc. into this argument. What happened is horrible, the driver should be punished, and the street should be fixed. The only culture here that is to blame is car culture.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If someone was trained to drive in a place where high speeds on city streets and passing in all manner of unsafe and, frankly, crazy ways was commonplace, why would that be irrelevant to this situation, which was caused by those same factors?

Adam
Subscriber

a place where high speeds on city streets and passing in all manner of unsafe and, frankly, crazy ways was commonplace

Oh, you mean America?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Exactly. Americans, by developed country standards, are terrible, dangerous drivers. Saudi Arabia, by comparison has fatality rates roughly 3x that of the US:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

If this maniac was licensed in Saudi Arabia, and then moved here, was he required to perform a written and practical driving test? Based on the fact that he had a suspended license, and dozens of parking tickets, it would seem that he had very little knowledge of our traffic laws.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

And what’s the penalty for driving with a suspended license? Basically nothing.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

I cannot speak to specifically this driver’s level of training or state of mind at the time of this sad event…but as someone who has lived in the Middle East and worked on roadway design/ vision zero efforts issues there…the culture of driving and traffic safety is at least two generations behind the US. (Though the US has successfully exported its performance car culture to the KSA and other high income countries near by). Lane discipline and accountability is very poor and so is respect for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. And the concept of yielding to pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks may not be well understood before arriving here. Though things are changing as these countries urbanize and their leaders comprehend the true costs of such avoidable high injury rates…especially for male youths. I am very sad for both families.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

This is pretty much it. Thanks for posting.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You might be less certain about that if you understood Saudi driving culture. Also, nationality is not the same as race.

“When it comes to driving in Saudi Arabia, the usual rules apply, that is on paper. Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts. It is illegal to speed and to use a cell phone while driving. However, on the road things are quite different. Unfortunately, Saudis don’t take the rules of the road very seriously.”

https://www.internations.org/saudi-arabia-expats/guide/driving-in-saudi-arabia-16101