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In brief: Mt. Scott traffic violence fatality has neighbors concerned

Posted by on December 27th, 2016 at 7:41 am

Jonathan is on a well-earned family vacation. He may cover this in more depth later.

Photo of Samuel Chiriac from his gofundme memorial.

Photo of Samuel Chiriac from his gofundme memorial.

There was a traffic violence fatality on Mt. Scott over the holiday- Samuel Chiriac, 16, was a passenger in a car being driven by Seba Pop, 17. Seba Pop was driving in a three-car caravan, and “passed one of his friends in the oncoming lane and missed a sharp turn, driving off of the roadway and crashing. Dense fog may have played a factor in the crash.” (source: Portland Police)

This was a half mile away from where Karla DeBaillie was killed in August by Mary Dieter while DeBaillie was on a bicycle.

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While fog is being identified as a factor, it would seem age and speed were also factors. Chiriac was an honor roll student at Ridgefield High School near Vancouver, WA. It appears a GoFundMe has been set up in his name– at time of posting, over $10,000 was raised.

KATU has reported that “Neighbors concerned about fatal crashes on Mt. Scott Blvd. near where 16-year-old died“, linking these two fatalities and the head-on crash of Ronnie Bernard Davis Sr., 45, in February. Davis was driving downhill and crossed the centerline into a TriMet bus.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

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Mark
Guest
Mark

From Google street view, Mt. Scott Blvd is striped double-yellow, no passing. The police statement says that “dense fog may have played a factor in the crash,” but they don’t mention that illegal passing was the primary cause.

9watts
Subscriber

I’m not entirely following. I understand the reflexive turn to gofundme when someone has hospital bills, but…

Mike
Guest
Mike

Seems that nowadays anyone who so much as gets a hangnail heads for gofundme. Of course, if there are those willing to fund me, why not?

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Electronic pan handling is all the rage these days.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Indeed… I’ve become pretty skilled handling my electric pans.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

That is true. I also wonder if the ones for white folks get funded more than minorities who suffer the same outcomes.

9watts
Subscriber

Is that a rhetorical question?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Not intentionally. I just notice that whenever there is a senseless death from similar circumstances, there is much more uproar, outpouring of grief and demands for change from the white community for a white victim than there is for a less white victim.

9watts
Subscriber

Yes.
“there is much more uproar [due to media coverage], outpouring of grief and demands for change [picked up by and reinforced through the media’s interest] from the white community for a white victim than there is for a less white victim”

FIFY.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Is it possible that most of us are more aware of the death and the media coverage when we have more in common with the victim? I pay much more attention to the deaths of bicyclists and people with whom I have more in common than I do for the media accounts involving hunters and skydivers, for example.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a media bias, but I wouldn’t want to rely on anecdotal information or my own memory to necessarily conclude there is uproar over white deaths and a lack thereof for others.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

He appears to be a member of the Romanian community… which makes him a minority in Portland. Not that it is important.

Huey Lewis
Guest
Huey Lewis

Being Romanian makes you a minority?

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

Uh, yes, it does. Do you think Romanians are a majority in Portland?

Huey Lewis
Guest
Huey Lewis

No, I don’t think there are loads of Romanians in Portland. It just seems like a very pointless distinction to make. By this reasoning if he was Australian we’d be calling him a minority. Canadian? British? From Maine? Grew up in Boise? At what point does it stop? All those things listed would make you a minority in Portland.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?

Huey Lewis
Guest
Huey Lewis

They’re a little too darn loud.

Yeah I do. It also became my BP name for reasons I don’t now recall. Being a Huey Lewis fan at 40 probably makes me a minority in Portland.

Ian
Guest
Ian

Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste. But when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That’s part of the silliness you get into when you start labeling people and drawing boundaries between communities, rather than looking at people as individuals.

And yes, Slavs (I’m not sure if Romanians are actually Slavic, but I’ll bet the City considers them such) are considered a minority in Portland, and get special outreach, linguistic services, etc.

soren
Guest
soren

Romanians are *not* Slavs and they are generally hostile to Slavic culture (historical conflict and slavic leninism).

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Very sorry for Chirac and his family, but I found myself curious about the same thing.

9watts
Subscriber

Reading up at the link, this the fundraising appears to be for funeral expenses. People can of course do what they want, but I find it a bit incongruous to equate these two situations (can’t afford sometimes astronomic hospital bills, and the almost entirely discretionary category of funeral expenses) via a gofundme effort.

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

Even the cheapest cremation/burial can be nontrivially expensive. Folks of limited mean will find them daunting.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

My mother’s complete cremation bill, along with use of chapel for two hours was less than a $1000, and that was in California. OK, we only got a cheap plastic box for her cremains, but she wouldn’t have cared.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Yes, I’m with you, 9watts. Don’t feel like discussing it here, under the sad circumstances, but it’s an unwelcome trend (in my humble opine).

q
Guest
q

The fact that funeral expenses are discretionary doesn’t mean they’re not important, especially in the case of a young person’s death. And even if you could reduce funeral/burial/cremation expenses to zero, there can still be significant costs–family members taking time off work, relatives traveling from out of town, etc. And obviously nobody could have planned ahead for this sudden death.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

All true, q. Terrible things happen in life, and it’s nice to have support. I’m just not so crazy that we’ve crossed over into hitting friends up for money for, well, pretty much anything, anymore. This (Chirac’s death) is a serious and not at all specious reason for asking for money. Yet, we never used to do it–even in dire events. We coped with life’s events and tragedies asking our friends (if we have them, if we’re lucky) for nothing more than moral support and comfort. The thing I object to is that we’ve normalized cyberbegging. I’m hit up every day for someone’s “need”–and most of the “need” doesn’t compare to the magnitude of a loss like this one.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

What if people people in your community were asking how they can help, and you use GoFundMe to simplify the process? I agree that it looks a bit crass from the outside, but I can see how it might not be. There is a difference between accepting help and begging, and in this case, I am not sure where the line is.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

I’m speaking more generally than specifically, here. As in everything, when too many people do it, it becomes a problem. And that’s what I feel has happened w/ GoFundMe and its ilk. The sheer number of people setting up GoFundMe pages now is overwhelming, at least in my circles. You can justify so many things as “good cause!” and I’m not denying this is one. It’s just…it’s just…. ghghghhghhghhhhhghhghghghghhghhghghhgghhgh.

We’re truly broken if people have to resort to cyberbegging for funeral expenses, medical bills, vet bills, vacations, elective surgery, tattoos, education, paying off loans, mortgages, etc. etc. etc. Only I don’t think we really are that broken, yet. I think it’s just becoming normalized. To beg. And no, I don’t like that.

q
Guest
q

rachel–I agree in general. My comments were for this specific case, where it seems like the funding request may have been set up by a friend of the family, out of a desire to help in a situation that’s difficult enough already (responding to friends’ grief) even without the extra grief involved when a child dies, and suddenly at that. (And I know you understand all that.) Plus there were a couple comments that seemed to downplay this situation (the hangnail and discretionary comments).

But yes, it seems like people somehow get dazzled into accepting or doing all kinds of things they’d never do otherwise, if it’s done via the internet. Begging? Never in person, but gofundme is fine. Meet a stranger to have an affair with? Never, but ashleymadison is fine. Hand your house over to total strangers, get in a car with one, let one borrow your car without ever meeting? Never, but airbnb, uber, and “carsharing” sites make all those fine…

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

“….somehow get dazzled into accepting or doing all kinds of things they’d never do otherwise, if it’s done via the internet”

Good points, q. Though I WISH more people would get “dazzled” into paying for music again (says the musician). 😉

I’m thinking of starting a GoFundMe for music income lost to the Culture of Free. Unlike Kickstarter (and very like GoFundMe!), I will offer nothing in return.

soren
Guest
soren

funeral expenses are not discretionary. they are a mandatory expense imposed on the lower quintiles by the “owner” class. the only reason that incinerating a body costs many thousands of dollars is because a highly profitable and predatory industry has purchased an oligopoly enforced by law.

Adam
Subscriber

Same goes for housing, health care, etc. Don’t blame people for asking for money for things they need but can’t afford, blame neoliberalism – which values the almighty dollar over all else. Those with more get to vote with their money to ensure things stay the same way, while those with less – supposedly living in a free and democratic society – get abused by the wealthy decision-makers. It’s only going to get worse as our incoming administration seeks to strip our government for parts and sell to the highest bidder.

q
Guest
q

It makes sense to me. Account could have been set up by well-meaning friend of family, with funds going to the family. Money might go to cover funeral costs, allow family members to take time from work, pay for relatives to come to town for funeral…

Jumbix23
Guest

I know the family and want to tell you that not the family set up the gofundme account. It was a friend of Sammy that initiated it on his own accord to help with the funeral costs

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

There were other injuries in the 2 cars involved. Insurance may or may not pay for all of it.
Of course both motorists will blame it on the other.

9watts
Subscriber

That makes a certain amount of sense, though in that case I’d have thought the fund would logically be named not after the deceased but the injured.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“Of course both motorists will blame it on the other.”

Their insurance companies will make sure that happens in a process called “subrogation.” Here’s a decent write-up on it (ignore the ads):
http://www.dmv.org/insurance/subrogation.php

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

I thought I had read in one of the news stories that the driver had been attempting a pass and missed that the road turned sharply.

I definitely think that age (17) and speed as well as dense fog and unfamiliarity with the road all played parts in this tragedy.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Basic speed law too.

q
Guest
q

It seems like you’ve brought this law up several times in the past in other articles–and you’re ALWAYS right.

And how fitting to read it again after driving on I-5 near Tacoma at dusk today–heavy rain started so I moved to the slow lane, and literally watched cars speeding past and smashing into one another in the faster lanes, along with seeing many already pulled over after crashing. Maybe a dozen crunched cars in all in a short period. Hard to blame rain, dusk or traffic for the crashes, as nobody in the slow lane seemed to be crashing, and we had the same conditions as the other lanes.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Yeah, sorry to be repetitive, but I’ll stop bringing it up when the police statements or the news stories bring it up for me. The basic speed law is just….so….basic.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

From the description of the story presented here, it sounds like young drivers screwing around with fatal results.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

yup. And no amount of infrastructure can change that.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Infrastructure can’t change the mindset, but it can change the behaviors and outcomes. If road is built so it’s uncomfortable to travel at any higher speed than 20 and nigh impossible to go faster than 30, then the speeding fools will be speeding at 30mph, not 50mph.

9watts
Subscriber

Not sure how applicable that would be at this location. Double yellow lines are one of the ways we do this, and if someone without much experience ignores this kind of marker I’m not sure it is productive to intone about infrastructure.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

There’s not as much to be done at this location as others, but I bet narrower lane widths (with bumpy lane lines so people actually adhere to them) and intentional curviness/chicanes along the whole length of the road would be improvements. An issue I’ve noticed with the roads on Mt Scott is that they have a tendency to mostly go straight up/downhill, except for the few occasions when they suddenly curve.

Sidewalks and protected bike lanes would also do wonders, I would think, to make the road feel like the workaday suburban thoroughfare it actually is, rather than the rural highway it is designed as.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Certainly, cultural change and actual enforcement are *more* applicable to this crash than infrastructure, I’d say. But in terms of things that local government authorities can do by themselves, infrastructure is really at the top of the list in my opinion, and it could definitely help at this area (although I’d personally put equally embarassing roads located in denser, poorer areas higher on my infrastructure improvement list).

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I think the only thing that would have prevented this tragedy would have been a driving age of 21.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I wonder if it would be politically feasible to increase the driving age (probably to 18 to start) only for City of Portland residents? That’s a tolerable proxy for the portion of the metro area with OK transit coverage. I think raising the driving age statewide would quickly get killed by the suburban+rural coalition.

N.B. much of East Portland’s transit coverage is not good and should be improved, I am very aware of this.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I highly suspect it would not be feasible.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Sigh.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I disagree, although that certainly would have been very likely to have worked. Cultural change could have prevented it by making the passengers, at least, protest at the driver’s recklessness (assuming the driver didn’t drive like an angel before suddenly making this poor decision – not an airtight assumption, but more likely than not, I’d say). Infrastructure change could likely have helped by making the maximum physically possible speed of the road lower, thereby potentially reducing the severity of the crash. Enforcement, especially automated enforcement, probably could have helped by getting this young driver a handful of tickets (assuming this wasn’t like his first time driving, and that he sped and drove aggressively on a regular basis before – not airtight assumptions, but more likely than not, I’d say) and a stern talking-to and a threat to take away the keys from his parents.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I realize after writing this that it is written including some victim-blaming and reading more into this particular crash than we know about. Sorry! Future readers, please transpose it into a comment about motor vehicle crashes including young drivers and poor behavior in general, not one about this particular crash.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t assume that the driver was habitually bad; it is possible they just made one bad judgement that had very grave consequences. Nor do I assume, based at least on my own experiences, that a teenage passenger would have said or done anything to moderate the driver’s behavior. They may have even made it worse. It’s why many states (not sure about Oregon) don’t let teens drive with other teens.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Well, in my experience, a good majority of drivers of any age are habitually bad (speeding/phoning/not stopping for pedestrians – not always, but most people I know who drive do these things sometimes/speed most of the time) so that’s kind of just my assumption for anyone, and having done something clearly dumb and aggressive just moves the probability up a little more.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Passing on a corner in the fog is qualitatively worse than going 5 over the limit or rolling through a stop sign; it’s not just a question of degree.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

True… but if people were getting non-ignorable (percentage of income) fines more or less every time they went 5 mph or 10% over the speed limit from automated speed cameras littering the city, I bet that would affect behavior across the board, including these truly qualitatively crazy actions. If you’re gonna get fined substantially for speeding, that makes aggressive driving much less attractive. Once most people don’t speed or drive aggressively, that begins a culture change.

If kids racing each other knew that they were going to get fined for speeding (AKA their parents would know and be pissed) that might impact their behavior to the point that there would be a good chance of at least one of the caravan drivers refusing to play the game.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

This is a good point, and you might be right. Another way to get to the same endpoint would be for concerned parents to get one of those driving behavior tracking devices. This has many advantages (including that you could do it today if you wanted), but has the disadvantage of not being universal.

9watts
Subscriber

“narrower lane widths (with bumpy lane lines so people actually adhere to them) and intentional curviness/chicanes along the whole length of the road would be improvements”

I hope this is not a serious proposal.

Really?!

You realize, perhaps, where this mindset leads? Hundreds of billions of $$ to modify existing roads so that people who are unfit to drive can still get home alive? This is madness in half a dozen ways, not the least of which is that autos are on their way out and even suggesting this kind of infrastructure reboot that seeks to contain the outer tails of the motor-menace in 2017 is utterly foolish.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Personally, I think the auto menace is going to be with us far longer than you or I would like. I think electric vehicles are going to go nuts in the next decade, and that we as a society will try to use renewable power to continue energy consumption at the level that we have historically powered from from fossil fuels. I share your skepticism as to whether that will work, but I don’t think we as a society will give up high energy consumption until we’ve desperately tried every possible alternative.

And, I don’t think that re-engineering our (urban/suburban) infrastructure has to be ridiculously expensive. I’m not talking huge concrete pours for the chicanes and bike lane protection, I’m talking sand-filled Jersey-esque barriers, planters, etc. I’m really not sure what to do about our many thousands of miles of rural highways which I think *would* be ruinously expensive to retrofit for safety and comfort for all modes, unfortunately.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Also, given recent trends (*cough* elections) I think there’s a high probability that at least the U.S. will not even try to reduce fossil fuel burning in the next 4-8 years, and a small percentage, but terrifying, possibility that the Trump administration will manage to completely derail the global process of inching towards reductions in carbon emissions.

9watts
Subscriber

There’s what we feel like doing, and there are external constraints that will dictate what we can do. You’re talking about the former; I’m talking about the latter.

soren
Guest
soren

speed tables, raised crosswalks, road narrowing and/or other traffic calming features could have made this collision survivable. the russian roulette of traffic carnage is an expensive societal choice.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Guardrails and perhaps jersey barriers on the center. Maybe some lone red lights with cameras to enforce the posted speed.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Of course Jersey Barriers sound so easy, until you think about the idea that people need to turn left, in-street obstacles need special design, they block pedestrians, they force drivers to pass cyclists more closely, etc. Not sold.

Mark
Guest
Mark

No, blame it on the weather. Act of God, can’t be helped.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Seriously or sarcastically?

Mark
Guest
Mark

Sorry, that was sarcasm. I just hate how the police statement mentions that the fog may have been a factor, which subtly implies that it wasn’t entirely the driver’s fault. The police spokesperson mentions that the driver was attempting to pass one of the other cars in their caravan, but totally misses the opportunity to mention that the area where the crash occurred is a no-passing zone.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Fog certainly could have played a role. That doesn’t absolve the driver, but it seems reasonable that fog would make driving more dangerous, especially with a less-experienced driver.

Should the police report have omitted environmental factors?

Mark
Guest
Mark

They should have omitted the weather conditions if they’re also going to omit the other factors that played an even larger role in the crash. It just totally reads like they’re doing their best to exonerate the driver. Oops, fog!

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

We’ll find out what other factors they cite when they release their report.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s foggy and dark, the roads are wet, I’m coming down a steep hill with tight corners and there’s a double yellow line on the road. I think I’ll speed up and pass the car in front of me!

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m sure that’s exactly what the driver was thinking as they carefully weighed all the factors in the equation when determining exactly how much force to apply to the gas pedal.

Or maybe it was a driver with very little experience who didn’t account for any of those factors, and was only focused on the excitement of getting ahead of their friend.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Exactly the kind of person I don’t want operating a motor vehicle. Now, how can we get them screened out before we let them drive? If 16-year-olds were running around in the fog with chainsaws to impress their friends and killing people (oops! sorry!), wouldn’t we do something about it?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t disagree; I think the driving age should be increased.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Is Mt Scott in Portland, or Happy Valley? Whose jurisdiction does it fall under?

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

It’s unincorporated Portland, I believe… Used to live out there, many years ago, and it seemed it was a bit of no man’s land, jurisdictionally speaking.

Kate
Guest
Kate

It depends where on Mt. Scott you are. The city limits actually cut across the Mountain. Where this crash likely occurred, on the north side near the Cemetery, there is chance you’d be in the City if you were further west down the hill but this sounds like it might have happened further up the mountain where it’s windier which is likely just outside the city limits

Spiffy
Subscriber

the crash was about 1 block within incorporated Portland… much of actual Mt Scott is outside…

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I guess we could copy Sweden and put a cable between the lanes on two-lane roadways. While that would stop these foolish pass-and-crash and head-on collisions, it would also mean that we would either have to add a lot of shoulder width, and keep it clear, or effectively lose our ability to ride bikes on these roads. I can’t say I’m in favor of that.

Al Dimond
Guest

Maybe just put the median barrier in on curves, and put up a sign at the start of each median-barrier section saying something like “ABSOLUTELY NO PASSING BIKES HERE”, and a sign at the end saying “PASS WITH CARE” (as in the standard end of a no-passing zone).

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

And when the first person dies from hitting the end of the median barrier we give their family a 10 million payout and rip them back out.

soren
Guest
soren

vision zero does not seek to minimize collisions, only to make them more survivable. thus, speed reduction is almost always a priority when it comes to vision zero-based roadway re-design. essentially, in sweden, the need of one victim of traffic violence outweighs the convenience of many thousands of drivers.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Driving up 112nd up Mt. Scott, anecdotally I have been passed many, many times, particularly uphill across the double yellow line.

Some people who live out there drive like maniacs.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

Double line passing has sure become a ‘thing’ lately. Of course it has happened in the past, but over in Bend, it is just amazing. Riding my bike over the past year, I have seen 5 or 6 cars coming straight at me, passing over a double yellow, on 55 mph rural roads with no shoulder. And, there are always passing zones within a mile. I used to flip them off, buy then realized that one minor ‘adjustment’ of their steering wheel and I would be a goner. Just nutz.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Even with a dashed line on those roads, drivers shouldn’t pass in the oncoming lane when there is a cyclist approaching from the opposite direction. Safe passing law.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Huey Lewis
They’re a little too darn loud.
Yeah I do. It also became my BP name for reasons I don’t now recall. Being a Huey Lewis fan at 40 probably makes me a minority in Portland.
Recommended 0

I think that makes you a minority everywhere in the world.

soren
Guest
soren

in general, people in the usa drive too fast and too aggressively. and while infrastructure is not the only potential mitigating factor, our infrastructure certainly enables and/or encourages dangerous speeding and passing.

the impetus for vision zero was the observation that traffic fatalities in sweden plummeted when they switched from driving on the left-hand side to the right. research into the underlying causes of this sharp drop in fatalities gave birth to the idea that smart roadway design can mitigate many, if not, most human “mistakes”. and while i realize that many car-centric USAnians find the idea of roadway design that emphasizes preservation of health/life to be *unacceptably inconvenient*, design can, indeed, reduce the kind of carnage that occurs on mt. scott with some regularity.

PS: imo, the ideology that individuals are mostly (or largely) responsible for negative outcomes is at the root of many of the most pathological aspects of USAnian society — including our transportation system.

q
Guest
q

“PS: imo, the ideology that individuals are mostly (or largely) responsible for negative outcomes is at the root of many of the most pathological aspects of USAnian society — including our transportation system.”

That’s interesting if you take that view (which makes sense if you give it some thought) and combine it with the fact (I think) that the US has made more progress in discouraging drunk driving than other types of dangerous driving. It seems that progress against drunk driving has coincided with people coming to believe that driving drunk isn’t the result purely of a moral failing, but as an aspect of an illness/addiction.

Maybe that’s not coincidental. Could coming to view drinking as something more complicated than a moral failing helped lead to more effective methods of reducing drunk driving? Punishment and shaming has certainly been central in the anti-drinking-while-driving campaign, but not 100% of it.

Think of being overweight. Taking the approach that people are fat because they’re too weak to avoid temptation has been a total failure, although after decades of that misguided approach many people STILL view it that way. But it seems that newer approaches that de-emphasize shaming people into weighing less (and that rethink whether weighing less is even important) are more promising.

What if speeding, texting, aggressive driving were viewed as having causes more complicated than people being selfish jerks? Would better solutions be found to reduce those behaviors and their impacts?

Mongoose
Guest
Mongoose

I would assign 100% of the responsibility for this accident on the actions of the driver, given what we know about conditions, etc. Had he driven reasonably, there would not have been a problem. We cannot afford to make roads safe for people who cannot control themselves.

q
Guest
q

But the “people who cannot control themselves” are killing other people. Even in this case, the victim wasn’t the driver. And he easily could have been someone in the opposite lane who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mongoose
Guest
Mongoose

What you say is all true but does not change the fact that the driver in this case is 100% responsible for the outcome.

q
Guest
q

My comments were aimed mainly at your “We cannot afford to make roads safe for people who cannot control themselves”, because it misses the whole fact that those people are making roads less safe for everyone else, so that’s great you agree they’re all true.

And I suppose you can say the driver was “100% responsible for the outcome”, just as you can say the same of the outcomes of alcohol or drug abusers, who also can end up killing themselves. It doesn’t mean society shouldn’t try to help them, or worse, that it should take your view that “We will always need some way to cull the stupid people out and keep the gene pool safe”.

But a better comparison might be thieves or rapists, since the drivers “who cannot control themselves” are as likely to hurt others as they are themselves. We don’t just say those criminals are “100% responsible for the outcome” without doing all kinds of other things–that are often costly and inconvenient to everyone else–to minimize the harm they do to others.

q
Guest
q

Oops, just noticed the “gene pool” comment was made by somebody else.

still riding after all that
Guest
still riding after all that

Bicyclist got killed there, neighbors were not worried. Now a person in a car has been killed there, and suddenly the neighbors are concerned. I can’t possibly be the only person who noticed this disparity.

Note: I’m not making light of the tragedies here. It’s terrible about the cyclist, and terrible about the teenager who was killed while riding in a car.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

The driver, Seba Pop, is in critical condition, with a gofundme page (https://www.gofundme.com/seba-pops-medical-expenses). His passenger Samuel Chiriac was killed. There were 3 other passengers in the car. Caleb Pop (Seba’s brother) and Timothy Posteucha have serious injuries. Johnny Cristurean was also in the car but was not injured.

still riding after all that
Guest
still riding after all that

In this particular case, reckless driver killed one of his passengers:
“Samuel Chiriac, 16, was a passenger in a car being driven by Seba Pop, 17. Seba Pop was driving”

I do agree that both deaths resulted (at least in part) from driving too fast for conditions and without concern for human life. My point was that area residents did not seem to view the death of a cyclist as a problem, only becoming concerned when someone in a car was killed.

It sounds like a continuation of the usual blame-the-cyclist mindset.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Could it possibly be connected to the fact that the person killed in this case was so young? Do you think that if he had been riding a bike, no one would have cared?

9watts
Subscriber

what do you think?

BradWagon
Subscriber

Mt Scott and 112th need to be just a 4 way stop with a speed hump leading to it from both directions on Mt Scott.

Add speed humps leading to the 103rd curves from both directions.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

This is a good proposal, and a lot more short-term and affordable than my ideas about chicanes, sidewalks, and protected bike lanes. Even more speed humps wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I bet “but emergency response!” is the reason why they haven’t done this yet, and would be a significant impediment to doing it in the future. We really need some flipping research comparing the health/safety benefit of X seconds of emergency response delay to the health/safety benefit of calmer streets. I suspect that in more cases than the City currently allows it, traffic calming would have a net positive health benefit.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Alex,
Speed tables and bumps have been researched. Portland and Austin, among others, have studied delay.
Speed bumps and tables delay fire trucks 9-11 seconds per bump on flat roads. Speed cushions are estimated to delay them 2 seconds per location.
Because PF&R uses a two person ambulance, and OSHA requres four persons at a medical emergency (75-80% of first responses), a fire truck has to respond to every call.
It is likely someone in Britain has studied the exact trade-offs you are looking for.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

That would be really cool! I’m interested in such research. I really have no idea how much 9-11 seconds per speed hump on every emergency call is worth in health/safety vs. the health/safety benefits from having streets that encourage/require people to drive more safely. It probably depends on a lot of factors, like how large (if any) an increase in walking/transit that you would estimate you’d get from an increase in the perceived safety of a given street segment, and the number of emergency calls routed down a street segment annually.

paikiala
Guest
Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Thanks!! I wonder if having PBOT and PF&R both under Saltzman is an opportunity for a data-based inquiry into whether re-negotiating the emergency response route pact would have net benefits for the city.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Just curious, have four-staff-person ambulances been considered? It seems like that might have real benefits given the response-call profile that PF&R deals with….

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Or how about sending out two ambulances rather than an ambulance and a truck?

soren
Guest
soren

the ubiquitous use of speed tables, speed bumps, refuge islands, single lane chicanes, roadway narrowing, vehicle-activated signs etc is one of the reasons the UK has the 2nd lowest traffic fatality rate per miles driven in europe (it was #1 for many years but Sweden’s rate continues to plummet).

BradWagon
Subscriber

Watching on bike camera videos of riding in London seems insane to me. People would be killed daily filtering past buses and trucks and just generally mixing with traffic on such busy roads. Imagine dozens of cyclists just filtering through and riding in the middle of traffic on MLK or Sandy during rush hour… That they manage not to constantly get run over I think tells about driving culture as well as infrastructure.

soren
Guest
soren

cycling infrastructure in london is horrible but this is changing rapidly.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Yes, but in my very limited knowledge it seems that roads are designed such that drivers expect to be close to other road users. Roads seem to be narrow and space a premium… Thus drivers are aware of other being close to them. Many US drivers I think would be very uncomfortable in such confined spaces with larger and smaller users so close. Perhaps this has ingrained a bit more subconscious teamwork between different road users.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hello, Kitty
I don’t disagree; I think the driving age should be increased.
Recommended 2

Yes, and it should be set at a higher age for men than for women–say, let women drive at 18, men at 25. I’d call driving age a place where there are sound and solid reasons for gender discrimination!

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I think we would solve all the problems if we raised the driving age to 105 or so.

Mongoose
Guest
Mongoose

Do kids have to take Drivers Education in school? It should be required.

This was not “traffic violence”. It was a tragic accident caused by an inexperienced driver who was probably goofing off. Happens every day somewhere.

Traffic violence would be something like this:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/reports-truck-runs-crowded-christmas-market-berlin-44287242

Dave
Guest
Dave

NOT an accident–the inevitable result of letting hormonally soaked children drive powerful machines, and designing communities (one of the boys lived in Battle Ground) that isolate families and darn near handcuff people to a car to do even the most trivial errand. The older I get the more deeply grateful I become to my parents for raising me in a big city with good transit and miles of sidewalks.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Just because — statistically — an outcome is inevitable sooner or later does not meant that an individual occurrence is not accidental. Your statement, if correct, would eliminate the need for the word “accident”. Everything is, after all, the inevitable result of what came before.*

“Accident” implies an unintended outcome, which, in this case, certainly fits.

*Based on a Newtonian understanding of the universe. Quantum physics not included. Actual mass may vary. Offer void where prohibited by physical law.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Crash, not accident.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Or, in this case, both.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Violence, def. 3: ” intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force.” I would say that this counts as violence under that definition. I believe you’re thinking about definition 1: “exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse” which implies intent.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/violence

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It would be also correct to talk about “tornado violence”, “shark violence”, and, if you watched TV in the 1970s, “killer bee violence”. Killer bee, shark, and tornado attacks are all violent acts, but “violence” seems to connote a degree of intentionality that is not present in cases such as this. Likewise, “gun violence” would not apply to a hunting accident (there’s that word again), but would apply to a targeted shooting.

My verdict is “technically correct” but “semantically wrong”.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I think you’re right. When I wrote my comment, something felt wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think what def. 3 misses is that when the word is used that way, it generally takes the form of “the violence of X” – “The violence of the storm” “the violence of the shark attack” and “the violence of the car crash” all sound like generally accepted usage to my ear but “traffic violence” sounds off (except in intentional cases like that crazy murder by car by the white supremacist in Gresham).

Mongoose
Guest
Mongoose

Zactly right!

soren
Guest
soren

“Happens every day somewhere.”
“Happens every day somewhere.”
“Happens every day somewhere.”

The kind of violent death this blog post describes is *mostly* the result of intentional societal choices. Your flippant and dismissive response is truly awful.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I mostly agree, except that I don’t believe the choices were “intentional”. Instead I would argue they were incrementally evolved; many of these steps might have been themselves intentional, but the overall outcome was not forseeable or deliberately chosen at the outset, just as today we can’t see how our decisions will impact the transportation system 50 years hence.

buzz
Guest
buzz

OK, so this is a terrible thread to leave up for days at a time as ‘new content’. It’s mostly tangential and contains a lot of editorializing disguised as journalism. As long as they are available, teens and young adults will do stupid things with motor vehicles. End of story.

soren
Guest
soren

people do stupid things all the time. we need a transportation system that allows people to do stupid things and survive.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Never gonna happen unless every road is arrow-straight and all cars have a couple feet of bubble wrap around them. Anyway, we will always need some way to cull the stupid people out and keep the gene pool safe.

q
Guest
q

That’s callous. Plus, the “stupid people” are killing innocent people as well–or instead of–themselves.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Yeah, well good luck with that.

q
Guest
q

Good luck with what? Creating “a transportation system that allows people to do stupid things and survive” that soren mentioned? It’s certainly possible. There aren’t many commonplace things besides driving where the result of a brief episode of stupidity is death.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

When you get in a car for a joy ride with a bunch of your teenage friends, you are not ‘innocent’, whether you are the driver or not.

q
Guest
q

I wasn’t thinking only of this one case, but of the many where innocent people are killed.

And in this case, they were on their way home from an event. There’s no proof it was a “joyride”.

Plus, even assuming the victim was not innocent, and was stupid, dying is an awfully severe penalty to pay.

soren
Guest
soren

comment image

And 2015 continued this trend.

soren
Guest
soren

so your argument is that USAnians are inherently more idiotic the people in the UK?

hmmmmm…

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Well then, how about at least an open thread on how well/fast (or not) PBOT is cleaning the gravel out of your bike lane after the last storm?

rick
Guest
rick

Horrible on Christmas Day on Terwilliger parkway bike lanes. Awful.

soren
Guest
soren

cleaned Dec 29.

rick
Guest
rick

IIRC, the nearby Willamette National Cemetery doesn’t allow people to go jogging there. Sad.

Spiffy
Subscriber

over the years this road has been re-engineered to be faster by taking out the stops with hard turns while banking and smoothing the corners… this road was safe, but slow, before they adapted it to accommodate more faster traffic…

they could take out all the “improvements” and save lives, but people won’t support being slowed down a few minutes because they don’t think it’s their lives being saved…

nobody wants to pay to make roads idiot-proof because nobody thinks they’re the idiot…

Mongoose
Guest
Mongoose