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Protest ride will ‘Take the Lane’ on St. Johns Bridge this Thursday

Posted by on October 31st, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-43.jpg

Bicycle riders are allowed to use the full lane on the St. Johns Bridge — a ride on Thursday will remind people of that fact.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Let’s show ODOT that we deserve to be protected and we are sick of this shit.
— From the Facebook event page

With the community reeling with sadness and anger about the death of Mitch York, a protest ride will happen on the St. Johns Bridge this Thursday.

York loved riding in the west hills and was en route to one of his many monthly rides when he was hit. The ride is being organized by Portlanders Jake Tong and Hazel Gross. Here’s the description via Facebook:

Fellow Cyclist Mitch York lost his life Saturday on the St.John’s Bridge while logging in his hundreds of miles on his bike as he did every week. His life was tragically ended by a negligent driver. He was the 37th person to die from a traffic collision this year. You, me, and every other cyclists we know uses the bridge as it’s a main route to the west hills, FP [Forest Park], and Sauvie’s. We as cyclist should not fear for our lives as a 5k pound of metal moving at speeds exceeding 35mph speed pass by us without the legal 3 feet. Let’s show ODOT that we deserve to be protected and we are sick of this shit.

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Rumor has it People will Meet on Thursday the 3rd at 6 pm in Cathedral Park, 6:15PM ride up to the bridge where we will stop and take a break. HELMETS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. Let’s illuminate the night with blinky lights. Bring signs, and whatever else you feel will let you be heard/seen.

Who will it be next? Your friend? Your child? Your Brother, sister, mother or father? Your significant other? You?

PLEASE REPOST AND INVITE OTHERS.

I asked both ride organizers why they were moved to step up and put this ride on the calendar.

Jake Tong he’s simplky tired of the way he and his friends are treated when they use the bridge. “I have friends that won’t even ride with me if we have to cross the St. Johns Bridge,” he replied via email, “because the sidewalk is crazy narrow and in the lane, even in a group single file, cars fly by us like a bat-out-of-hell only a foot of room.”

“Cycling has given me such a better quality of life,” he continued, “and I’ll be damned if I let a car take that away from me.”

Hazel Gross said she wanted to lead this ride because, “We’re all aware of the huge problems with it. I think many of us held our breath waiting and wondering if when the victim was named, it would be one of our friends.” Gross added that she’s “personally terrified” of riding onthe bridge. “Those sidewalks really freak me out but taking the lane is just as scary.”

Gross was also one of the people who flagged concerns about the pinch-point on Northeast Lombard at 42nd before Martin Greenough died at that exact location. “Seeing your post that ODOT has been aware of this issue for so long but just won’t make changes because of freight interests is infuriating. I keep feeling like their response is a shoulder shrug when it comes to road safety,” she said.

Despite the fact that many auto users think otherwise, it is completely legal to ride in the lane on the deck of the St. Johns Bridge. Remember, biking on the bridge isn’t inherently unsafe — what makes it unsafe are the people who drive way too fast and without basic consideration for others.

Hopefully this ride will remind everyone that bicycle riders won’t be intimidated into the shadows by road users who feel they’re entitled to endanger others simply because their vehicle is larger and goes faster.

For you history buffs, you’ll recall this is the second St. Johns Bridge protest ride. In July 2006 a group of people rode over it naked to draw attention to ODOT’s negligent decision to prioritize motor vehicles over safety.

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

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89 Comments
  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger October 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Perhaps someday the Portland freight community will join in with these arterial safety protests…as VZ and these “substandard” roadways effect their peace of mind too. This would then make it unavoidable for ODoT to maintain the status quo.

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    Pete October 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Light up the night for Mitch! Hope you have clear streets and wonderful weather. Thanks JM for the remembrance article, and kudos to the riders. What a loss. 🙁

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    rick October 31, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Yes indeed !

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    JeffS October 31, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Wow. Look at all those people unsafely hugging the curb. Not a good pic for a “take the lane” ride.

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      Eric Leifsdad October 31, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      The people hugging the curb are kids.

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      Joe Adamski October 31, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      I think those folks were families returning from a bike camping trip. While I would encourage taking the lane, not everyones comfort level is there. And even with sharrow markers, the bridge is not for the weak of heart. I know.

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    Eric Leifsdad October 31, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Bring a pool noodle.

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    K'Tesh October 31, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    ODOT KNEW!!!

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      johnr November 1, 2016 at 9:07 am

      So did the BTA

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    stace October 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Is there a particular location for meeting up in Cathedral Park?

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      Joe Adamski October 31, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      the most logical spot is at the base of Baltimore in the boat ramp parking lot. Rest rooms ( if the city doesn’t lock them) and Occidental brewing nearby.

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      Hazel November 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      We will be meeting under the bridge

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        Joe Adamski November 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm

        On Willamette Blvd or further down the hill?

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          stace November 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

          Yes- wondering too. I think that meeting at Willamette or Edison would make sense. I am planning on participating, but I am also curious how we will navigate the ends of the bridge particularly the west end of the bridge with a large (I am assuming) group.

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    Bjorn October 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Oregon’s law is not 3 feet, it is actually more than 3 feet. If the car is travelling faster than 35 mph (you can thank tri-met for there being no minimum passing distance at slower speeds btw) then the driver is required to leave enough space that were the cyclist to fall over towards the car they would still not hit the cyclist. In practice depending on the height of the cyclist the safe distance is much more than 3 feet, however due to the minimum speed requirement a violation is more difficult to prove and I think that the law has rarely if ever been enforced in cases where a driver passes at an unsafe distance but no one is hurt.

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      OrganicBrian November 1, 2016 at 3:01 am
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      El Biciclero November 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Some more interesting wording in that law is that no minimum distance is prescribed at any speed if the driver is in a lane “adjacent to a designated bicycle lane”. This gives drivers the OK to pass within inches if a rider is near the left edge of or outside a painted bike lane due to any of the legal exceptions to ORS 814.420.

      So Oregon’s seemingly generous passing distance law only applies, for practical purposes, on rural highways.

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        Bjorn November 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm

        Yep I helped write the bill, which was watered down considerably but we were successful in getting it passed. The bill was written in response to an incident in which a woman from eugene named Jane Higdon was killed while riding with a group on a rural highway. We tried to have it apply at all speeds and in all situations but several groups lobbied against that, the loudest being Trimet who did not want to be required to leave a safe passing distance in town. The final bill that passed in 2007 was a compromise, I personally wasn’t really happy with the final product.

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          El Biciclero November 2, 2016 at 5:28 pm

          Well, thank you for your efforts, nonetheless; something is better than nothing. Too bad the exceptions couldn’t have at least been more nuanced, something like 3 feet when speeds are less than 35 and a bicyclist is not in a bike lane (regardless of whether there is a bike lane present), and then the “tip-over height” rule for all other situations.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu October 31, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I’ll be there. Glad to see this.

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    Elliott October 31, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I’ll take the sidewalk thanks and dismount if I come up on a pedestrian. Metal and meat don’t play well together.

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    Oliver October 31, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I’m not entirely sure what the relationship this ride has to the tragedy that just happened. It feels almost like piling on to me.

    FWIW I cross the bridge on bicycle a few times a week (during peak season at any rate). If I’m early enough I’ll take the lane westbound in the morning, and almost always eastbound when I’m returning from the hills or SI. I do not ride the bridge deck at rush hour in either direction.

    So I’ve experienced my share of drivers being discourteous and/or ignorant. I’ve even lost my temper a few times at being disrespected by drivers.

    The thing is, Mr York wasn’t killed by a driver being distracted, or following too close or buzzing him or failing to share the road. He was killed by a reckless driver, who lost control of his vehicle because he purposely tried to spin his wheels in the wet for a thrill. I believe this is a different animal; qualitatively speaking. The press for separated infrastructure in cases like this feels like conceding defeat against the idea that drivers ought to drive responsibly and be held accountable when they do not. “sorry you were killed by that idiot, but you should have stayed over there (out of the way) where we built an off highway path for you.”

    We need to change the cultural acceptance of driving recklessly the same way MADD did with drunk driving. I reject the idea that people on bicycles do not belong in the public right of way.

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      user name deleted October 31, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Hello,

      None of your comments will be published because your username is extremely offensive. Please change it if you’d like to join this discussion. Thank you. — Jonathan

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      Kristi Finney Dunn November 1, 2016 at 12:38 am

      I respectfully disagree with this statement: “We need to change the cultural acceptance of driving recklessly the same way MADD did with drunk driving.” 10,000+ deaths per year nationwide and more than 50% of the cause of fatalities in Portland proves drunk driving is nowhere near culturally unacceptable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that across the entire United States there were 1,166,824 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in 2013 alone. MADD helped, but… Clients tell me weekly that they have “just a DUI.” My own family members have been told to “lighten up” about drunk driving even though our son and brother was killed by a drunk driver. A close co-worker who knows of my loss and how it hurts told me “You sound like my Grandma” one day.

      Drunk driving is still acceptable and practiced by many, many people.

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        OrganicBrian November 1, 2016 at 3:07 am

        Kristi, before MADD, drunk driving was almost universally acceptable where today it is frowned upon by most people. Drunk driving deaths have gone down by well more than half, while traffic has increased.
        http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/about/history.html

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          Kristi Finney November 2, 2016 at 3:17 am

          Maybe I’m a stubborn bereaved mom who is unwilling to accept that drinking and driving is socially unacceptable to most people when annually there are still 10,000+ deaths, 1.1M+ arrests, 290,000 injuries, 121M admitted episodes of drinking and driving (2014), 300,000 impaired drivers PER DAY (2012). 61% of the 200 children killed in DUI crashes are in the car of the DUI driver. (I followed your link plus checked out the CDC and NHTSA stats, all of which I’ve looked at many times). I’d like to know how many people in DUI crashes didn’t die because of the vast improvements in vehicle safety since MADD formed. Don’t get me wrong, MADD has been incredibly beneficial. But I still say, drunk (and drugged) driving is still waaayyyy too okay to too many people.

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            Dave November 3, 2016 at 7:41 am

            And, we really, really need to reduce the legal and civil rights of all motorists. The behavior of drivers in the USA is grossly underregulated, driving is drastically undertaxed, and bad drivers are very very underpunished. *** Inappropriate sentence deleted. Please do not advocate for violence toward other people in any shape, way or form. Thanks. – Jonathan. ***

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              Dave November 4, 2016 at 7:54 am

              Hey, I was just advocating law and order administered by the proper authorities!

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      Joe Adamski November 1, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Add to the discussion: the statutes and regulation is in place. However, the enforcement is the missing piece. If one is suspended and is caught driving, another ticket is issued. Repeat if necessary. If one lacks insurance, a ticket is issued. Repeat if necessary. If ones vehicle is unsafe, issue a ticket. Repeat if necessary.
      You get the picture. No seizure, no sanction. Until there is the inevitable tragedy.

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        Dave November 4, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        Agreed–a climate of fear of consequences needs to be created for motor vehicle operators. Enforcement matters! There are drivers who need to be frightened, by whatever means necessary, into cleaning up their act or quitting driving.

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    Dickwpb October 31, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    We need slower speed limits on all the bridges and more real obvious bike lane signs.
    Eugene and Madison have much better bike road designations !
    Portland roads and markings are far less bike friendly, but that only my opinion.

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      NG November 1, 2016 at 10:13 am

      These past few days I’ve made a point to stick to 35mph on the nose and I was by far the slowest car on the bridge. Cars, busses, van pools and trucks were whizzing past me. On the right.

      I think it’s time we had a PPD crackdown on speeding on the St Johns Bridge. Speeding, especially on a road in which bicycles and pedestrians are hemmed in by the sidewalk, curb and guardrails, is reckless and needs to be checked. Perhaps we can request some of those LED speed indicators that flash when drivers exceed the limit.

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    Keith October 31, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    This sad event reminds me of the major repair project ODOT conducted on the bridge about 15 years ago. Without really any meaningful public engagement, ODOT developed plans to replace the entire bridge deck, involving approximately $30 million, without considering how the grossly substandard pedestrian and bicycle facilities might be improved. By the time the public, Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee, BTA, and others became aware of the project, the ability to change the physical design of the reconstruction (e.g., sidewalk width) was past, and we could only quibble about how the bridge would be striped – 4 lanes as it was, 3 lanes, or 2 lanes.

    At that time, a traffic study conducted by ODOT’s consulting traffic engineer found virtually no operating difference between the two-lane and four-lane configurations. The study indicated minor changes in motorist travel time to cross the bridge (in the range of 6-12 seconds – big deal!) and no meaningful change in level of service between any of the three alternatives.

    Despite numerous appeals to create a better bicycle and pedestrian environment, with the 2-lane cross section and bike lanes, ODOT opted in favor of motorist convenience and speed.

    I certainly don’t know the circumstances of this tragedy or if bike lanes would have made a difference in this particular case. However, when we create roadway environments that look like freeways, people will drive accordingly – fast. A 2-lane cross section would reduce the wide open ambience the bridge has today and tend to dampen traffic speeds.

    Until we can truly change the traffic engineering mentality, which defers to the motorist (already wrapped in 2 tons of steel and air bags), history will unfortunately continue to repeat itself.

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    bill grumling November 1, 2016 at 5:58 am

    While yes it is sad that someone died and yes the driver was wrong,

    I have this to say: Roads were made for cars not bikes. If bicyclists want the whole share the road thing then they like motorists should have to register their bikes with the DMV, be required to have insurance much like automobiles and be licensed much like automobile and like motorcycles required to have a license.

    But Also as a flagger I see many cyclists that do not obey traffic laws just by pass us which is illegal because by law we are a traffic control device and have the legal right to enforce traffic laws. We get f yous or whatever while we are there to keep cyclists safe as well. And ride so unsafely and disobey traffic laws.

    You want to have improvements and protest then obey the laws and pay your fair share of taxes otherwise stay off the road.

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      Kevin November 1, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Come on. Roads were made to move people and goods, and in the past 100 years that has been by automobile. As Dylan sang, the times they are a changin’.

      If you look at the next “front page post” there is a nice story about cyclists “paying their fair share” to use the roads, and whether vehicles really are contributing all that they cost to operate on the public right-of-ways (spoiler: most likely not.)

      Will “registering” my bike get me streets with safer speed limits, better bike ways and road crossings? Sign me up! With the way we fun roads (low direct cost for usage), a measly registration fee would be the best deal around for a livable and bikeabke city.

      And insurance? Guess what – most cyclists drive and also have insurance on their vehicles, which covers them while cycling. And if they don’t? Well, there is far less risk in a bike/pedestrian collision as compared to a auto/pedestrian or auto/cyclist collision.

      Your post is just ranting by what you (it seems) feel are person slights against you, given your vocation.

      Let’s keep this all about the person who died, and how we can honor his memory and help to prevent such tragic and senseless loss of life in the future.

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        Kyle Banerjee November 1, 2016 at 11:23 am

        BTW, regarding what cyclists would need to do to pay their fair share, here is a pretty digestible article linked to from another story in this blog.

        http://streets.mn/2016/10/24/yes-bicycle-riders-should-pay-their-fair-share/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Streetsmn+%28streets.mn%29

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          Kevin November 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

          Yeah, that’s the one I was referring to. Thanks for providing the link.

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        OrganicBrian November 3, 2016 at 11:10 am

        It seems Kevin that you’re advocating registration of cyclists? As a funding source? Vehicle registration fees really just pay the cost of administering them (the DMV offices, employees…), they don’t make any money for states.

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        OrganicBrian November 3, 2016 at 11:12 am

        Also, cyclists should stop allowing others to get away with the “cyclists don’t pay their share” comments. Cyclists subsidize motorists, not the other way around. It is easy to find info about this. People using only bikes over-pay for what they use, people using cars create more burden than funding.

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      Dan A November 1, 2016 at 10:18 am

      1) Roads existed in Portland before cars. Here’s a map from 1897.

      https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/portland_or_1897.jpg

      2) There are plenty of articles out there to denounce the myth that cyclists ‘don’t pay their fair share’. Try a google search, or read the article in the Monday roundup.

      3) If I were you I’d be much more worried about cars than bikes. ‘Be seen be safe!’ Yeah right. http://koin.com/2015/03/25/woman-hit-by-car-critically-hurt-in-se-portland/

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      highrider November 1, 2016 at 10:35 am

      I always stop for flaggers and often chat with them while I wait. I respect that your job is very dangerous and tedious, so I don’t mess around. The roads were made before cars existed, in most cases, but the SJ’s bridge was built just to transport cars. Most drivers aren’t like Joel Schrantz and most bikers aren’t the way you describe. Negative stereotyping isn’t helpful.
      Also, we are a two car household, own a house, and don’t have/never will have kids- we are paying our fair share. My wife uses tri-met to commute and I ride my bike a lot so we’re not clogging up and destroying the roads. You’re welcome.

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        CaptainKarma November 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        If the bridge was built “only for cars” it would have been posted that way from the beginning. Also, trucks and horse & buggies would have been prohibited. All of this is moot because it would have been redesignated regardless, by lawsuit or constitutional case law.

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      Kyle Banerjee November 1, 2016 at 10:41 am

      I won’t attempt to excuse the ridiculous behavior some cyclists exhibit. But why do the worst cyclists you see represent all cyclists while bad drivers only represent themselves?

      How often you see motorists flout the laws? Seriously. Anyone who actually drives the speed limit will have a mass of cars piled up behind him screaming and flipping him off. Anyone who comes to a full stop at a stop sign can expect the same.

      As far as taxes, the vast majority of us also drive and BTW, gas tax is only one source of revenue for the roads. Bicycles take only a fraction of the space on the road that a vehicle does, the wear and tear is negligible, and the engineering required to make a path usable by bikes is absolutely nothing compared to what motor vehicles require. In addition, every bike makes the roads that much more open so others can drive and find parking spaces.

      As for the insurance and licensing requirements go, the purpose of mandatory insurance is to cover liability. In Oregon, the required insurance is $25,000 per person and $50,000 total per accident for cars plus $20,000 for property damage. That is absolutely nothing compared to the actual costs incurred in an injury accident which is why responsible drivers not only carry far more, but they carry extra insurance to protect themselves from people who aren’t insured for nearly the damage they cause. Accidents where cyclists on the road cause harm to others are rare, the amount of harm is WAY less than a car, and many/most cyclists are already covered by other forms of liability coverage. I know I am.

      How do you see the licensing you suggest doing other than creating a massive state bureaucracy that makes the DMV look like a model of efficiency? Do you propose not letting kids ride bikes until they’re 16?

      I agree with your basic premise that we all are bound by the same rules and are obligated to share in costs, but I’m not sure what you suggest would help to that end.

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    Kyle Banerjee November 1, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Oliver
    I’m not entirely sure what the relationship this ride has to the tragedy that just happened. It feels almost like piling on to me.

    Agreed.

    Ignoring that Mitch was killed due by reckless driving rather than a fault with the bridge or an unsafe pass, these protests often take a life of their own and become more about the protesters than what they are actually protesting.

    The whole premise of a protest is to ask someone else to do something about a problem, and the drivers who encounter the protest won’t be the people who can move things forward. The vast majority of them will just see yet another protest in a town that protests everything and cyclists clogging a road because they can.

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      Travis November 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Not if framed correctly. My notice to the St. Johns Community Forum:

      “A protest bicycle ride will occur on the St. Johns Bridge at 6:15pm on Thursday (I’m not an organizer). The goals are both to encourage accountability for reckless behavior on our Bridge and petition ODOT to better consider safe options for vulnerable Bridge users. The options could entail calming, protected lanes (somehow), or a new bridge to relieve congestion and provide safer, less intrusive routes for freight and cut-through traffic (years from now, but conversations today). I know this protest will be disruptive even if cyclists keep to the outer two lanes. I would encourage everyone who can, to plan an alternative route or leave work early — you very much I have my sympathies in trying to make it home to your families.

      All cyclists appreciate the support of those who do not ride. As a community we can encourage improved design and stand-up to reckless drivers/road users who put ALL of us at risk. Remember, Saturday’s collision was only blinks-of-an-eye from potentially being a serious head-on collision with another driver. STAND-UP TO RECKLESS DRIVERS.

      Let’s show Portland that St. Johns cares.

      The below photo was taken by Mitch York (found on his instagram). Mitch was killed by a reckless driver on our Bridge Saturday.”

      Travis Parker
      SJNA Board
      STJ SALT Chair

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. November 1, 2016 at 8:59 am

      What about the protest that drivers all do twice a day where they all go slow and take up the entire road?

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        Kyle Banerjee November 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

        A traffic jam consisting primarily of people going to/from work is not a protest. A bunch of people going someplace they normally wouldn’t be for the sole purpose of making a statement is. What’s your point?

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          Travis November 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm

          Many many many of the riders planning to participate Thursday night live in North Portland: Arbor Lodge, UP, CP, Portsmouth, Kenton, STJ, etc

          While I totally understand, that we’re not all up there at once during rush hour, being on The STJ Bridge is normal for us.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. November 1, 2016 at 6:53 pm

          But why are the drivers clogging up the roads twice a day and blocking traffic? Don’t they know people have to get from A to B?

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            Kyle Banerjee November 2, 2016 at 5:58 am

            Because too many of them are trying to use the same resource at the same time to get to work.

            It’s different from a bunch of people using a resource just to keep others from using it. You wouldn’t understand.

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          Joe Adamski November 1, 2016 at 10:23 pm

          but doncha know? they too have achieved critical mass.

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            CaptainKarma November 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm

            From now on, I refer to rush-hour as Car Critical Mass.

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          Kyle Banerjee November 2, 2016 at 10:21 am

          In any case, I thought the primary concern here is that everyone drives too fast, not that the cars are not moving on the road.

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        jeff November 3, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        what on earth are you even talking about? just making up word salad and posting on BikePortland doesn’t make you knowledgeable about anything. This is yet another pointless protest if they’re calling it “take the lane”. Mitch was hit by an on-coming reckless driver crossing the center lane. why not call it “stay on your own side of the road”?

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      JP November 1, 2016 at 9:20 am

      I know Jake pretty well, and I plan to be at the protest. For me, it’s about two things: 1) remembering Mr. York by bringing a visible bike presence to the spot where he was killed, and 2) Reclaiming our feeling of safety on the streets, even if only for a couple of hours.

      Hopefully, the protest will also draw some attention to the fact that bicycles are allowed in the lane on the bridge and/or spark some discussion about how cars and bicycles share space both on the bridge and throughout Portland.

      There’s no kind of protest that is going to bring Mr. York back or 100% guarantee that nothing like the crash that claimed his life ever happens again, but I believe (as I know Jake does) that doing something is better that doing nothing.

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    James Devaney November 1, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Slow these cars the hell down. Portland is a city not some cow pasture. Surface roads should be 15 mph. Anyone going over that is fined. Folk will get to the Freeway 5 min later but lives will be saved. California has invaded Portland and Oregon prospective.

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      Middle of the Road Guy November 1, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Dude, I bike faster than 15mph and there are certainly many roads where a high speed limit is not unsafe.

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      Kyle Banerjee November 2, 2016 at 5:52 am

      5 min, yeah right.

      And I’m sure no one has a legitimate reason to go more than a couple miles in this town anyway.

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        jeff November 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm

        really? no more than a couple miles, eh? I could name probably well over 2 dozen reasons.

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          Kyle Banerjee November 4, 2016 at 5:45 am

          That was sarcasm.

          One of the things that gets repeated here over and over is how no one should be moving at any speed, that delaying someone by a few minutes on a short section is no big deal, yada yada.

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    Chadwick F November 1, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I’ll be visiting this week .Hope I can meet up for this. If not, best of luck to all and good work!

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    Jason Skelton November 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    bill grumling
    While yes it is sad that someone died and yes the driver was wrong,
    I have this to say: Roads were made for cars not bikes. If bicyclists want the whole share the road thing then they like motorists should have to register their bikes with the DMV, be required to have insurance much like automobiles and be licensed much like automobile and like motorcycles required to have a license.
    But Also as a flagger I see many cyclists that do not obey traffic laws just by pass us which is illegal because by law we are a traffic control device and have the legal right to enforce traffic laws. We get f yous or whatever while we are there to keep cyclists safe as well. And ride so unsafely and disobey traffic laws.
    You want to have improvements and protest then obey the laws and pay your fair share of taxes otherwise stay off the road.
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    That is the thing: cyclists and all of us in Oregon subsidize roads and motorist use of roads. The gas tax does not pay for all the road and bridge building and maintenance in Oregon; it does not pay for traffic lights and signs, nor does it pay for police to enforce those laws. Every bicycle in traffic is one less car interrupting your commute and one less vehicle damaging the roads.

    If motorists really paid for what they use, then your tags would be multiple times more expensive, as would the gas tax. Motorists have it real good under the current system. My sense is that bicycle registration schemes never go anywhere because once legislators learn the answer to who is paying for roads, they drop the subject.

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      Middle of the Road Guy November 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Wouldn’t it be great if with that registration and licensing bikes were actually treated as equally as cars? E.g., charges would actually stick against drivers that hit another cyclist?

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        El Biciclero November 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        Wouldn’t it be great if adding a new tax resulted in the elimination of some old tax? Yet it never seems to work that way. Somehow, I don’t think we could buy cultural change with anything that resembled a fair bicycle registration fee.

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          CaptainKarma November 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm

          Wouldn’t be great if bike registration resulted in prosecution of bike thieves and prison time , like with car thieves?

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    KristenT November 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    I wish I could do this ride– but in a car, driving carefully alongside at no more than the posted speed limit– or slower, as there are vulnerable road users right there..

    In fact, I wish I could get a bunch of my car-driving friends to drive back and forth over the bridge at no more than the posted speed limit, or a little slower, in all lanes, for a couple of hours during rush hour– just to make a point that the speed limit is the MAXIMUM, and that it’s ok to go slower. And that sometimes, it’s better to go slower.

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      Kyle Banerjee November 2, 2016 at 6:04 am

      Sometimes it is.

      But blocking traffic does not make things safer — even when people are being limited to doing only what they should be doing in first place. This triggers dangerous behaviors.

      That people shouldn’t do that doesn’t change the fact that this dynamic is very predictable.

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        El Biciclero November 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm

        “This triggers dangerous behaviors.” To say this is a form of victim-blaming; see also, “Look What You Made Me Do!”

        If we accept that speeding is already a dangerous behavior, then what dangerous behaviors would be triggered by being held to the speed limit?

        If we want to minimize things that “trigger dangerous behaviors”, then we would quit making wide, straight roads that “trigger” speeding in the first place. For some people, just getting into a car “triggers dangerous behaviors”, can we prevent those folks from driving?

        Failure to hand over one’s lunch money to certain playground thugs “triggers dangerous behaviors”; should we all just cave in to the bullies?

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          Kyle Banerjee November 2, 2016 at 10:46 pm

          This is irresponsible BS. If you know what the reaction will be, you’re causing it.

          That doesn’t make the reaction OK, but you don’t get to absolve yourself from the damage you do.

          If you’re going to use analogies, use relevant ones. The school lunch dynamics are different and you know it. If I want to get ridiculous, I could take our traffic analogy and say people are responsible for being able to stop on time, so I should be able to put cinder blocks in the highway and if someone crashes hitting them, it’s their problem even though we know that’s virtually guaranteed to happen.

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    KristenT November 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    It’s not “blocking traffic” if you are driving the speed limit. It’s obeying the law and driving safely and prudently.

    This is part of the problem: People see driving the speed limit as “blocking traffic” and get angry at those of us who tend to drive much closer to the speed limit than most.

    I’m trying to be a safe road user, by following the laws, which are there to make everyone safer on the roads. How is this the problem??

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      Kyle Banerjee November 2, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      This is vigilante nonsense. Trying to force behavior does not work. You know exactly what will occur, and you are partly responsible for any chain of events you trigger.

      I don’t favor speeding. My ex wife and my gf both call me “grandpa” because I drive to slowly. I’ve driven over 30 years with no tickets, accidents, etc. I consider passengers falling asleep or getting bored to be a compliment — riding in a car should not be exciting.

      But purposely obstructing flow causes safety issues and it is irresponsible to pretend otherwise.

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        soren November 3, 2016 at 12:27 pm

        When I drive 15-20 mph in the city I’m not forcing anyone to do anything. I’m simply driving at a speed where I’m unlikely to seriously injure or kill my family or neighbors. Likewise when people cycle at ~12-15 mph in the lane they are also reducing the risk that my neighbors will be injured or killed.

        Quelle Horreur!!!

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        Spiffy November 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

        a vigilante acts without legal authority… I’m legally obligated to go the speed limit… there’s nothing at all vigilante about that… I can’t believe you’re arguing against purposefully following the law…

        why do you put up with your gf speeding? I won’t tolerate that with any of my friends, and especially not my gf… I’ve broken up with people with a simple “stop the car right now” and getting out and walking away from the relationship… that kind of behavior will not stand around me…

        stop enabling dangerous law-breakers… take a stand!

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        jeff November 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm

        No one is responsible for anyone else’s behavior. That is childish nonsense, grandpa.

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          Kyle Banerjee November 3, 2016 at 5:24 pm

          Don’t worry — it’s unlikely that I’ll describe you as responsible 😉

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      Kyle Banerjee November 3, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Just to be a bit more clear, if you block up drivers and get them raging and/or doing unsafe things, the risk of a crash goes through the roof.

      Before people get all self righteous about how it serves them right, just keep in mind that whoever they crash into is most likely totally innocent. A lot of people here seem so intent on sticking it to motorists that they forget that kids and other people who had no choice in the matter can get hurt and killed too. It might even be a cyclist who you supposedly were out there to help.

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        Spiffy November 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        just to me even more clear, if I’m driving the speed limit and people driving illegally pile up behind me and build up rage at my legal driving I’m not responsible at all for their actions and I don’t feel even a little bit of self guilt if one of those drivers kills one of my loved ones…

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          Kyle Banerjee November 3, 2016 at 2:51 pm

          Unbelievable.

          You’re happy to risk the lives and safety of others if you feel that you’re “right.”

          I hope you don’t drive, because you sound like the type that would continue at the speed limit and not take immediate action to make space for someone who tried to pass on a curve or hill and a vehicle suddenly appeared going the other way. It might kill/maim the driver and passengers in the oncoming car (maybe in your car too), but the main thing is that the driver who attempted the pass is at fault.

          It’s attitudes like yours that make the roads unsafe and give all cyclists a bad name.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. November 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

            Yep, better let drivers speed and drive in bike lanes, otherwise they might get angry that they can’t do whatever they want…

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            Kyle Banerjee November 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

            Being safe is about taking the best course of action given the totality of circumstances rather than ignoring reality.

            There is a reason why some cyclists repeatedly find themselves in dangerous situations on the tamest roads while others can ride anywhere it’s legal without getting into trouble.

            The great irony is that those who claim to have the greatest interest in safety are a menace to themselves and others. Good thing most of them don’t seem to drive much.

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    Todd Boulanger November 2, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Why does the Oregon DMV continue to allow drivers with a driving record as poor as the driver involved with this incident to operate and own a motorized vehicle…read this recent Oregonian article…the system is broken and the State Legislature needs to intervene if Vision Zero has any chance of working in Oregon.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/11/driver_accused_of_killing_bicy.html#incart_2box

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      Dave November 3, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Todd, people who drive like Mr. York’s murderer should have their cars removed from them. Hey, feature this–community service for car thieves.
      Give them a list of the make, model, and VIN numbers of cars owned by people who shouldn’t drive, tell them to remove the cars from the residence of those unfit drivers and do whatever they want with them.

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        Robert Burchett November 3, 2016 at 7:42 pm

        Impound the car until the investigation is complete and then crush it on live TV. Let them sue for damages if they feel wronged. I’d love to hear somebody try to make that case: “It’s true that I killed / maimed another human being with my car but it was wrong to take it from me because. . .”

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      KH November 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      He was driving on a suspended license. DMV can’t hold him hostage in his home or block the door so he won’t drive. Precisely the same way gun laws don’t stop bad guys from using guns.

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    Kriston November 3, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Taking a “break” on the bridge is illegal.
    content://media/external/file/30665

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    bikediet November 3, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    PDX streets aren’t safe for cyclists. Time for a bike diet. Protest the lack of adequate bike infrastructure by staying off major roadways!

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      bradwagon November 4, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Not sure what term you are looking for to describe this but “Protest” isn’t it… Maybe “Accept”, “Give Up”, “Hide”, “Be Fearful of”, “Do nothing about”.

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    KH November 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    As I drove by at approx 2mph with my window down, I studied the man who’s head rested on the sidewalk, helmet intact, hoping so much to see any sign of life. I knew as I drove on, wiping tears from my eyes, that he was gone. In that moment I thought how desperately he would have wished he’d been riding up on that high sidewalk. Regardless of your “rights,” you have to be smart. Rights won’t save your life in unsafe conditions, period.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 14, 2016 at 8:23 am

      KH,

      Mitch was trying to turn left to go south after riding westbound on the bridge. There is no possible way he could have stayed “on that high sidewalk” to make that left turn. He was completely 100% innocent and deserves zero blame for what happened. ZERO.

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