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A bicycle rider has died in a collision with a box truck driver in North Portland – UPDATED

Posted by on February 6th, 2017 at 11:10 am

The truck is on North Farragut Ave. Interstate is in the foreground.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A man has died after being involved in a collision with a truck operator while bicycling on North Interstate Avenue this morning.

It happened around 9:00 am at the intersection of Interstate and Farragut (map). The initial police statement said the man “may have been on a bicycle.” I was able to confirm that by going to the scene this morning.

From what I saw it appears the collision was a classic right-hook. The operator of a large, white (unmarked) box van was driving northbound on Interstate and then turned right onto Farragut. The bicycle rider also appears to have been going northbound prior to the collision. As of 10:20 am the bicycle was still lodged completely underneath the truck — toward the rear and just in front of the rear axle. From east of the collision I could still see the bicycle’s white front light blinking.

Interstate in this location is relatively narrow due to the presence of a center-running MAX light rail line. In the northbound direction there is one standard vehicle lane directly adjacent to an unprotected bicycle-only lane. The bike lane is five-feet wide.


Here’s the Streetview image of the intersection where the collision occurred:

I’ve ridden in this bike lane many times over the years. It’s the main route from my home in the Piedmont neighborhood to Portland International Raceway. I can share from experience that, like nearly all of Interstate Avenue, this stretch of the road feels quite narrow and stressful when on a bike.

This is the first fatality of a bicycle user in Portland in 2017 (there were five last year).

The identity of the rider has yet to be released. We’ll share more details as they come in.

If anyone has more information about this collision, please contact us.

UPDATE, 2:28pm: Police say the deceased man was 53-years old. His name will be released Tuesday. The truck operator was 38. As is usual, the truck operator has not been cited because the case has been forwarded to the District Attorney’s office and decisions about any possible traffic violations will be pending the DA investigation.

UPDATE, 2/8 at 1:20pm: The bicycle rider killed has been identified as 53-year-old Alan Izi Marsan, last known address in Southwest Portland. The truck driver has been identified as 38-year-old Vinay Junior Singh of Northeast Portland.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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182 thoughts on “A bicycle rider has died in a collision with a box truck driver in North Portland – UPDATED”

  1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

    This is just terrible.

  2. Avatar Buzz says:

    Due to the presence of that double-wide drainage grate, the effective width of the bike lane here is more like 18″, and not 5-feet.

    1. Avatar Dan A says:

      I hardly ever ride in the 3-4 feet on the right side of a bike lane. Too much gravel, sticks, glass, etc. I can’t think of a single bike lane where I ride there.

      1. Avatar wsbob says:

        With a bike lane like the one shown in the picture, with storm grates, I’d generally be riding the line distinguishing bike lane from main lane. And during times when motor vehicles aren’t constantly approaching from behind…moving a foot or two to the left of the line, and riding in the main lane.

        Even when storm grates are designed to resist a tire slipping between the spaces between, grates are good for riding over, only as a last resort.

        In the fuzzy picture, the bike lane doesn’t appear to have much hazardous debris, but even if the lane is clean, riding right down the center of bike lanes that slope downward, plays with balance, compared to the comparative flatness of the main lanes further from the edge of the street. Generally, main lane adjacent bike lanes are good as a place for people biking to move to the right to allow faster traffic to pass on the left….but they’re often not the optimum part of the road to be riding on.

      2. Avatar Dan A says:

        Really, the right side of a bike lane is often worthless, which is why 6-foot lanes are so much better than 5-foot lanes. It can make the usable part of the lane twice as wide.

    2. Avatar Gary B says:

      Is the width of the bike lane relevant to a right hook? That’s not rhetorical; genuine question, as I fortunately have no experience with a right hook.

        1. Avatar SD says:

          How can building vehicles with blind spots still be acceptable? How can operating commercial vehicles with blind spots in urban areas still be legal?

          1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

            Most cars have blind spots, as do most bicycles.

            1. Avatar SD says:

              “Vehicles” includes cars.
              Bicycles: you will have to elaborate on that one.

              1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

                Many riders have no mirrors, so have about a 180 degree blind spot. Even with a mirror, I have some blind spot, though I’ve never quantified it because it’s never really been an issue.

              2. Avatar Dan A says:

                A blind sport is “an area where a person’s view is obstructed”. If you turn your head and look back and there is a pillar in your way, that’s a blind spot.

              3. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

                By turning my head in different ways, I can see everything behind my car that is not immediately adjacent. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a blind spot.

                I was taught to trust my mirrors and not turn my head to look behind while driving. My blind spot is where my mirrors don’t work.

              4. Avatar Dan A says:

                Yes, cars have blind spots. Bikes do not. Commence cutesy semantics rebuttal.

              5. Avatar SD says:

                Are there significant differences between the blind spots of large trucks, cars and bicycles?

          2. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

            Get on a Trimet bus, stand near the driver, and see how many blind spots you can find.

  3. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

    Looking again at the photo of the truck reminds me that in Europe, trucks all have rails along the side to prevent exactly this sort of incident. There was a proposal a few years back to add them to American trucks, but the trucking industry claimed it was too expensive.

    Those rails might not have prevented the collision, but they may well have prevented the death.

    When looking for a photo to illustrate what I was talking about, I found this:

    1. Thanks for bringing up side underrun guards for trucks. I agree this seems like a common sense measure.

      like everything, it comes down to money, politics, and pressure (advocacy).

      The gov’t and truck biz owners will not willingly push for stuff like this. It would have to come as the result of an organized, strategic push from a coalition or very strong advocacy organization. Absent that, i feel like mandatory truck safety measures will continue to be talked about — a lot after a person dies.. but then less and less as the headlines recede and everyone goes back to their normal lives.

      1. Adam Adam says:

        ODOT’s not listening. They have one person dedicated to safety. One. A state agency that actually cares about saving lives doesn’t only employ a single token safety engineer.

        1. Adam, While I agree with you that ODOT should devote more resources to safety and less to building new roads… They have way more than “one person dedicated to safety”. That’s just not accurate at all.

          1. Adam Adam says:

            Sorry, I must have misread this chart:


            Replace my initial comment with “percent” and the point still stands, however.

        2. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

          I am dedicated to my own safety.

      2. Avatar soren says:

        This is not a new discussion (and the lack of action makes me very angry):

        Will city commissioners and the mayor live up to their recent commitment to vision zero and consider an ordinance that requires truck guards and/or blind sport cameras/radar?

        1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

          Just a reminder that vision zero means acting *before* people get killed. So, if we’re still only going to react after each death, we need to take *two* steps at a time to catch up.

      3. Avatar Tom says:

        I would say this is a bit overlay pessimistic. Properly designed truck sides guards improve aerodynamics, saving the company gas money, and result in lower insurance costs. Payoff can be less than one year and then its just money in the trucking companies pocket. This is why many trucks you see now have them already. The truck owners voluntarily put them on, because it improves profitability. The problem is consistency and getting everyone on the same page. Portland is a freight down, and sideguards are pro-freight profitability, so why would this not be something to consider.

        It could be that city staff just never really thought about it. A condition for trucks doing business with the city to have sideguards, with a one year phase in period, seems very reasonable.

        1. Avatar Adam L. says:

          The aerodynamic side guards you are thinking about are really only put on highway trucks. The local box truck don’t go fast enough or travel enough miles to make it worth it to put on the areo side guards. Adding them to box trucks would be a net loss for the trucking companies.

          However, I do still believe they should be made mandatory on at least all new trucks.

        2. Avatar Kittens says:

          The reality is that there is a disproportionately loud and ignorant population in this country which abhors any sort of rules or regulations if it is something other than morality policing. Its just a non starter.

      4. Avatar patrick says:

        I believe I just read that Seattle is adding guards to freight trucks for this reason.

        1. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

          Yes – see the Monday Roundup article this week (I had forwarded it to Jonathan).

    2. Avatar HJ says:

      The side guards definitely help, but will not necessarily prevent this kind of situation. It is easy for a cyclist to fall under them. Example: This crash in 2014. Fedex truck had side guards.
      Now what absolutely would prevent such things is if blind spot radar were mandated. We’ve had the technology for many years. Quick search and I found a system for trucks under $325. Not a huge investment. Considering the lives that could be saved and the vast number of smaller collisions that could be prevented if these were mandatory I really don’t understand why we’re not showing up with pitchforks demanding them in the name of vision zero and better flowing traffic?

      1. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

        HJ, Now the idea of showing up at the protest ride with pitchforks sounds like an excellent idea. Just make certain they are pointed forward on the bike.

  4. Avatar Bill Clinton's Ghost says:

    Note to drivers. Yes I am directly in front of you for a reason.

    No I won’t use the bike lane, where you can pass me and then immediately forget me.

    Get off your phones, stop eating, wakeup, pay attention, stop singing along to the blaring radio, behave like you’re driving a weapon. Then maybe, just maybe, I will use the separate but lesser bike infra.

    1. Adam Adam says:

      Agreed, in most cases I feel safer taking the lane than being shoved into the gutter or in the door zone.

      1. Also agreed.

        The gutter — especially one near a curb — is a very dangerous place to be since you have no flexibility.

        It’s hard to know exactly what happened here or if side rails would have helped. They seem like a common sense idea and given how many trucks are sporting aerodynamic trailer skirts these days, it seems a good time to push for this.

        I’m on full red alert whenever in the vicinity of unmarked box trucks. My person experience is they are among the worst commercial drivers out there.

        1. Avatar Spiffy says:

          if your business name isn’t on the vehicle then you don’t care about vehicle safety…

          1. Avatar Jason Brune says:

            I’m don’t even think you need a CDL to drive that size truck. My speculation is it’s part of a rental fleet and my have “who knows what” experience level driver behind the wheel.

            1. You don’t. In OR, any yutz can drive a truck up to 26,000 lbs which will accommodate one of those trucks.

              One of the first things I noticed when I moved to this state was that you can drive much larger vehicles than you can in other states with a regular license. I suspect that’s so people can drive massive RVs without an upgraded license even though it takes considerably more skill to do well.

              1. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

                At least the “Massive RV’s” have built in side guards whether they are class A or B.

              2. Avatar Dick Pilz says:

                Just a month and a half ago, I rented a box truck like that from Penske to move my son’s apartment from Eugene to Portland. All I needed was an ODL and a clean record and a credit card. Of course I made sure I could, and did, carefully check my mirrors before negotiating any kind of lane change or turn, with full use of blinkers. I was scared the whole way.

                At least you KNOW something with Penske or U-Haul on the side probably has an amateur driving it.

              3. Avatar HJ says:

                Yet another reason it would make so much sense to require blind spot detection systems. I have to think they’d pay for themselves fairly quickly just in the number of stupid scrapes, collisions with phone poles, fire hydrants, etc. that would be prevented.

            2. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

              If I had a dollar for every tractor trailer rig I’ve passed laying on it’s side in the middle of the freeway………..all driven by CDL-A drivers. Stuff happens when you’re in a moving box.

        2. Avatar Middle of the Road Guy says:

          Same here. I just assume they do not see me and I act accordingly.

        3. My assumptions are the same as both of you guys. My motto is to always ride like everyone is trying to kill me but not take it personally.

          1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

            This is a good personal safety tactic. But if we don’t make it unnecessary, most people will continue to drive cars everywhere. Watch some videos of biking in the Netherlands and see if you wouldn’t stop 80% more frequently than them despite having right-of-way at the junction with car traffic. e.g. 2:00, 3:19, 6:05 — at 2:45 the rider brakes because the car was past the shark’s teeth. Sort of like somebody rolling through a stop sign to your right and you can’t tell if they’ve seen you or trust what’s going to happen because they’re breaking the law.

            American drivers, liability, culture, road design, sure — but I think it’s more to do with car speeds being under 20mph (which I think is mostly due to their enforcement.)

            1. Adam Adam says:

              Agreed. I only revert to VC when infra is garbage or non-existant. I would prefer not to, though. It is not fun to take the lane on inner Division and have lines of motorists breathing down your neck – many of whom have no qualms about honking at or illegally passing you.

            2. There is no way I’d ride like that in front of a car unless I either had specific indicators that the driver saw me and that it was OK to proceed. I won’t trust my safety to someone else’s competence if I have a choice in the matter even if the law and culture were on my side.

              1. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

                Agree 100% with this Kyle. When I ride I stay as far from all motor vehicles as I can.

    2. Avatar Justin M says:

      Yup. I am always telling my partner to take the lane. I spent years getting hit left and right in San Francisco to learn to treat every car like it wants to murder me. If a vehicle is passing me on the left as I go by an intersection I’m already on my brakes. I can’t see that saving me from a vehicle with a bottom high enough to suck me under tho.

      1. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

        Yes Justin. The cyclist can even be stopped in the bike lane when the truck passes and then turns right. The back wheels cut the corner and even without going over the sidewalk will take out the cyclist when skirts or sideguards are not used. The driver will not even know it happened unless the driver hears the cyclist scream. Even without the radio on.

        1. Avatar HJ says:

          Once again, 100% preventable with blind spot detection systems. SMH

        2. Avatar Justin M says:

          That’s horrifying. How are those things not mandatory. I think we can try and get a federal regulation so long as we can figure out which two we want to trade for it. That’s how it works now?

        3. Avatar Pete says:

          Recently I was in the bike lane doing about 32 in a 35 MPH through an S-curve on the road ( that these tandem dump trucks take to and from their gravel pit. Driver accelerated to pass me about the time I caught his presence and knew to take the lane to prevent him, but I was too late. As the trailer swung by me (I was slowing; he was ~40 MPH by now), it came within INCHES. I confess to having a temper and chasing him and exchanging words and getting an apology, but really it comes down to these dump truck drivers needing to be aware of the extreme danger their trailers put cyclists into.

          Poor Ethan was likely never taught by his Mom to “take the lane”:

          (We still remember you, little buddy).

  5. Adam Adam says:

    Interstate Av is an embarrassment. Five foot bike lanes are not acceptable infrastructure. And look at that photo with the grate taking up most of the lane. Just awful. When is PBOT going to wake up to the fact that they are not doing enough to tame deadly driving and create safe cycling infrastructure? And why the hell is a large truck like that allowed on a neighborhood street? And why doesn’t ODOT mandate side guards on all trucks to prevent these sort of tragedies? Yet all the state seems to care about are more and more highways. Fire the lot of them.

    1. Avatar Buzz says:

      Too late now, the time to address this would have been when the light rail line was being built. As I recall, the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee had to fight rather hard to get any bike infrastructure at all included in the project.

    2. Avatar Kittens says:

      It’s just crazy how Interstate ended up. This is all PBOT and TriMet’s blame. ODOT had no role, as far as I can remember in the roadway design. Seems like everything TriMet designs these days is retrograde and “transit first” everything else second, including peds. The Orange Line was a complete embarrassment.

  6. Avatar Bike Guy says:

    This is really a shame. My thoughts go out to the rider’s friends and family.

  7. Avatar Rob says:

    This is really sad… my thoughts go out to his friends and family.

  8. Avatar dan says:

    Yes, my condolences to the rider’s friends and family.

  9. Avatar chris says:

    This is horrible.

  10. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

    This came up last summer and I tried to get through to yellow truck when they asked for suggestions regarding ped and cycling safety regarding right hooks. it was not acknowledged. I have mentioned it to other truck rental outfits around with no reply. I then have mentioned it to the state legislators, Treasurer and governor Brown. No reply yet.
    My older sister who was an independent trucker (long haul) in the 80’s and 90’s had “sweeps” on her 55 foot reefer. She got a cut on insurance for having them. She also had them added because of the ped and cycling safety, acknowledging that she could not see the full length of the side from the mirrors.
    Alolo class A and B commmercial trucks should be mandated to have the guards or sweeps. right now the only good ones are the chip haulers where the trailer or box goes down to 12 inches from the ground as they need the volume for their cargo.

  11. Avatar gtrain says:

    🙁 I’ve been right hooked near that same spot.

  12. Avatar soren says:

    My condolences to friends and family.

    Right hooks on major bike routes are *UNNECESSARY* deaths. I demand the city and PBOT take their Vision Zero commitments seriously by mandating truck guards and/or blind-spot cameras. The city should also ban right turns, protect intersections, and/or install signals on major bike routes when feasible.

    Discussion of a possible protest ride on the BikeloudPDX listserve (and facebook):!topic/bikeloudpdx/NxZi3ZYFzy4

  13. Avatar Justin M says:

    Terrible news. I should have done a brace myself before clicking onto BP this morning. That poor man’s family. Heartbreaking.

  14. Avatar bikeninja says:

    This is terrible. One of the things that would also help is mandating right front fender mirrors ( maybe not in this case but in many) because in any long nose truck there is a blind spot just in front of the doors. From the photo this truck did not have such mirrors.

    1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

      If the driver had just passed the cyclist, mirrors would not have been necessary, and this would be a 100% driver error. If the truck was not moving (perhaps stuck in traffic), and the cyclist had approached from the rear before the truck started to make its turn, they might have helped.

      My car has a right-side rear-facing camera, which comes on when I turn on my right-turn signal, and it is great.

      1. Avatar soren says:

        Blind spot cameras are relatively inexpensive. Microwave radar systems are also readily available:

      2. Avatar wsbob says:

        Looking at the picture of the intersection…good visibility…it’s hard to figure how such a collision on an intersection like this one could happen, if everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing…being fully aware of what’s going on around them.

        Was the person driving the truck, behind the person riding, as both approached the intersection? No mirror even needed in that instance.

        Might the person driving, when they were still behind the person riding, have decided they had sufficient time and distance before the intersection, to proceed past the bike and safely make a right turn? Incorrectly as it turned out? Mirrors might have helped in such a scenario, but the split second time factor can become so close, that a safe turn isn’t possible.

        Side guards on trucks for aerodynamics, if they can effectively serve a dual purpose of preventing people on foot and bike from sliding or being sucked under moving trucks, sounds like good equipment to require. They’re not really solving the basic problem though, which may simply be that people aren’t watching well enough, what’s going on around them.

        People driving trucks shouldn’t be allowing themselves to get in situations where when they’re turning, someone on a bike to the side of the truck, gets run over…or can’t stop in time because the person driving hasn’t allowed sufficient time and distance for a safe turn, with the result that the person biking, crashes into the truck, falls down and slides under the wheels of the truck.

        1. Avatar Steve says:

          My guess (I live very close) is that the driver missed a turn and was circling back to Lombard. Maybe he was looking at his phone for directions, or was just distracted (read: stupid).

          1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

            Or, if not a professional driver, maybe not yet acquainted with how differently a truck can behave compared to a car, or, perhaps a little distracted by the unfamiliar controls.

          2. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

            I think the street is only 1 block long at this point. I am not sure but most of the streets along here are blocked at the other end by I-5.
            Next! Most of the local rental trucks have wide angle mirrors on the passenger’s side and the driver stands a very small chance of seeing a cyclist in the “Target zone”.

        2. Avatar pdxbusman says:

          “if everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing…being fully aware of what’s going on around them”.

          This rarely happens. Everyone gets distracted sometimes while driving/ cycling. It’s when the driver and cyclist are distracted at the same time, for whatever reason, and the convergence of their vehicles coincides with these dual distractions that tragedy can occur.

          In my job, I have witnessed many close calls. I’ve seen the driver at fault, I’ve seen the cyclist at fault, I’ve seen mutual respect and I’ve seen them both avoid tragedy by recognising the others inattentiveness. As an avid cyclist, commuter, bike racer I know we need to keep pushing for a safer infrastructure in which to operate our bikes. Stay vocal about the problem areas you see. Don’t just blog, or comment about it. Make phone calls, write letters, show up at meetings and become educated in the cost, difficulties and red tape involved in implementing structural change on the roads.

          As an on the road daily, large vehicle operator, I know I need to be extra diligent around all vehicles smaller than mine, especially bikes. I work hard to maintain the order of my priorities while driving. It’s easy for all of us to let getting from point A to point B as fast as we can be our #1 priority, with all other vehicles on the road around us being looked at as obstacles, or competition to getting to our destination. When you start to think that way, your focus narrows and you fail to see the smaller things around you. Cyclists, pedestrians, baby strollers, wheelchairs, etc. go out of focus and only a close call or a “surprise” appearance of one of those puts your priorities back in line. As drivers, we all need to make a conscious decision to make the safety of all those around our vehicle the #1 priority during our travels. As cyclists and pedestrians, we need to NEVER take it for granted that the drivers around us are adhering to that #1 priority. Ride safe, walk safe, drive safe.

      3. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

        Hope I am on the jury if the prosecuters decide that motor vehicle operators are not supposed to kill anyone they wish or “don’t see”.

        1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

          I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to assert the driver didn’t “wish” to kill anyone. If he or she is a normal human being, this day will be the worst of their life.

          1. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

            I’ll bet you are correct on that. Probably didn’t see the cyclist for whatever reason.

        2. Adam Adam says:

          Well, considering Oregon allows up to two dissenting jurors to still pass a verdict, it’s likely your opinions would be discounted anyway.

        3. Avatar Buzz says:

          as soon as they hear your opinion when they are asking questions of prospective jurors, you will be disqualified.

        4. Avatar Anna says:

          I was on a jury for a civil case where a driver hit a cyclist who was riding legally. All but one of my fellow jurors spent our deliberations talking about how much they hate cyclists and telling stories about the time they saw a cyclist run a stop sign and saying their decisions were already made and they would never vote in favor of a cyclist so it was pointless to even discuss it. It pretty much destroyed any faith I had in the jury system.

          1. Avatar Dan A says:

            Hmm, let’s try a little word substitution and see how offensive that scenario really is.

            “I was on a jury for a civil case where a driver hit a Jew who was riding legally. All but one of my fellow jurors spent our deliberations talking about how much they hate Jews and telling stories about the time they saw a Jew run a stop sign and saying their decisions were already made and they would never vote in favor of a Jew so it was pointless to even discuss it. It pretty much destroyed any faith I had in the jury system.”

  15. Avatar rick says:

    Very saddened

  16. FWIW the Seattle City DOT just announced last week that they are installing side underrun guards on all their trucks. Seems like a no-brainer for PBOT. We’ll ask them about it.

    1. Avatar soren says:

      Side guards have been required equipment since the 1980s in the European Union and Japan, and recently in Brazil. After side guards were mandated in the United Kingdom, there was a 61 percent drop in bicyclist fatalities and a 20 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities in side-collisions with trucks.

    2. Avatar Noel says:

      This is an action item in the City’s Vision Zero plan. D7: start with city fleet, grow it to cover all trucks that contract with city.

      1. Avatar Justin M says:

        Thank God. I’d hate to see Seattle do something better than Portland.

      2. Avatar soren says:

        A 5 year action item.
        The lack of urgency when it comes to action items (all are given multi-year timelines) in Portland’s plan is very unfortunate.

  17. Avatar Spiffy says:

    the initial police report blames the victim by stating they “located a male adult fatally injured in the northbound lane of North Interstate Avenue” without any reference… most drivers will be asking “why were they in the car lane and not in the bike lane like they’re supposed to be”… it also falsely states that there’s only 1 northbound lane, ignoring the bike lane…

    although it seems odd to me that you would end up in the left lane from where you’re riding if you’re right-hooked…

    the wording just isn’t right…

    1. That initial report was just too early to know what was really going on. There was also some debris in the lane that looked like a jacket and a shoe which is what I’d bet the police statement was based on.

      As for “falsely stating” there’s only 1 northbound lane. That is extremely common. Everyone in the media and even most planners at PBOT and elsewhere do that. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. here’s how I say it: The road has two lanes – one is a standard vehicle lane and the other is a bicycle-only vehicle lane.

      1. Avatar Spiffy says:

        you’re saying the initial statement was based on assumption…

        I’m saying they need to stop doing that…

        the assumption by most will be that the cyclist deserved it for being in the wrong place… if they don’t have those facts then they shouldn’t state them…

  18. Avatar Jason Skelton says:

    Very sad story but thank you for the report. The still-blinking light may be a very significant fact if there is litigation on the subject. No doubt the driver will say he did not see the bicycle, with the inference being that the bicycle rider did not have his light on. This can be crucial in litigation.

    1. Avatar Paul Atkinson says:

      I hate how cynical I am about that, but I can’t deny it.

      The driver need only say, “I didn’t see him.” That is all that’s necessary to derail any major prosecution in Oregon. That the cyclist was within his or her rights and had the right of way — if so — is irrelevant. That the cyclist had all the mandatory lights and reflectors is irrelevant. That the cyclist exceeded the mandate with additional lights, reflectors, and high-viz clothing is irrelevant. “I didn’t see him” is a get-out-of-jail-free card in this state almost* every time provided the driver is sober and does not leave the scene (aka, “is cooperating with police”).

      *Almost? Might be every time…I can’t swear it because I don’t have complete data but I can’t think of a time a driver mowed down an innocent, stayed and “cooperated,” then was given more than a traffic fine if anything.

      1. Avatar bikeninja says:

        Sorry officer, I didn’t see my old slumlord as he crossed the parking lot after his no-cause eviction. Sorry officer I didn’t see the banker who foreclosed on my mothers house as he crossed the street. Darn maybe the sun was in my eyes or something.

      2. Avatar HJ says:

        If you’re in Washington County you can even admit to seeing the cyclist and still get away with it. SMDH

    2. Avatar Spiffy says:

      since it was the middle of the morning I doubt they’ll even consider the lighting factor…

      1. Avatar J_R says:

        You are absolutely right; they will not even consider lighting. They won’t even consider the possibility that the truck driver even had an obligation to look.

        Mark Angeles was killed at noon on a sunny day in May. According to the DA’s memorandum “… Ms. Friedow did not become aware of the impending collision with Mr. Angeles until after the collision happened.”

        There is a sickening lack of accountability is endorsed time after time by law enforcement and prosecutors.

        1. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

          Was that the accident on a street where there were shadows from trees? A bike can hide in those shadows on a bright day – depends on exact situation, sunglasses or not, etc….

          1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

            Bikes are sneaky that way… I caught one lurking in my bushes last week; I think it was trying to peep in my window. I share your distrust of pervy bikes.

      2. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

        Yes! As per the Angel death last year. At noon! West bound cyclist, east bound towtruck turning north, pulling Volvo. “I didn’t see him! the sun was in my eyes! I thought I would be through before he got here!”

  19. John Liu John Liu says:

    One thing the city could do, fairly cheaply, is to place an obstruction right on the line separating the bike lane from the traffic lane, placed right at the entrance to the intersection. A 6″ curb, topped with a tall signpost and a sign “turning traffic yield to bikes” or similar, would work. The sign should be offset so that it overhangs the bike lane, so trucks don’t hit it, and be high, so cyclists easily pass under it.

    The effect of such an obstruction is that it forces cars and trucks to stay far from the road edge all the way to the intersection, then make a very sharp turn, which means they slow way down and then turn at very low speed. Especially trucks.

    Forcing slow turns is safer. Also forcing cars and trucks to slow way down before the turn gives the cyclist more warning of the right hook, a chance to get through the intersection before the car or truck turns, and a chance to stop short of the turning car or truck.

    This is much cheaper than a signal and doesn’t slow through traffic – both motor vehicles and bikes.

    Portland also needs to require side guards and large, effective mirrors on all trucks operating in the city; require all owned or rented trucks based in the city to have big warning stickers in the cab; heavily fine all truck owners or rental companies whose vehicles are involved in accidents with cyclists.

    As for cyclists, we need to ride like motorcyclists. A motorcyclist is trained to assume that every motor vehicle will try to kill them at any moment, and thus ride defensively. It is really too bad that there isn’t the equivalent of the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) class for cyclists. This sort of riding sounds unpleasant, but it quickly becomes second nature and doesn’t bum you out. You have fun ridding your bike, just like motorcycle riders have fun riding their bikes, and your subconscious handles the required paranoia.

    Required paranoia when approaching an intersection: assume every car or truck will suddenly turn left or right, whichever would be bad for you, and that they won’t bother looking for you. Apply brakes, or accelerate as necessary to be out of the way.

    I’m so sorry for the rider’s family. Godspeed.

    1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

      If we had such signs everywhere they’re needed, they would become just so much visual clutter and would no longer be “seen”.

      The remarkable thing about this particular intersection is how unremarkable it is. I see no realistic infrastructure upgrades that could be applied to all similar intersections in the city unless the City starts counterfeiting $100 notes on the scale of North Korea.

      1. Avatar Bill Clinton's Ghost says:

        I agree with you Kitty, but his plan sounds much more than a sign. Seems very intuitive and well thought out.

        1. John Liu John Liu says:

          For example, see the concrete planter placed at NW 2nd and NW Couch, which protects the left-side bike lane from a car turning left from NW 2nd to NW Couch.

          I drive that way sometimes, and can assure you that such an obstruction forces a driver to slow way down and then make a sharp turn, instead of “cutting” the corner and turning at higher speed. When the car does turn across the bike lane, it traveling at a large angle to the bike lane (closer to 90 degrees), which improves driver visibility of bikes in the bike lane and cyclists’ ability to detect and react to the turning car.

          That particular planter is probably too large for the location where this accident occurred, but something narrower would work. It could be the curb I described, it could even be a short section of concrete barrier. I think the curb is preferable because it wouldn’t block pedestrians and wouldn’t itself cause accidents. It would also be effective, as no driver willingly slams his car or truck into a 6 inch high vertical curb.

          1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

            I think something like what you propose could work at any particular intersection. I am trying to imagine what it would look like if it were implemented at every intersection. I don’t necessarily doubt the idea itself, only its ability to scale.

            1. John Liu John Liu says:

              In a perfect world, many intersections might be designed like this. After all, this design shares some similarities with the so called “Copenhagen intersection”, in which cars and bikes are routed so that they cross each other’s paths at closer to a right angle, such that drivers see bikes through their windshields instead of their side mirrors. (Although, I did spend a week in Copenhagen and saw few such intersections . . .)

              In our world, we might start by using this design at the intersections where right hooks are more likely. That probably eliminates intersections without bike lanes and intersections where bike lanes are already protected from hooks by something else. How we select from all the intersections with unprotected bike lanes, I’m not sure, but I suppose we could start with the ones with the most turning traffic.

              We also need to figure out an affordable design. When PBOT puts in a center island on, say, NE Glisan or E Burnside, it takes crews a long time to cut out the pavement, pour the curb and island, pour the pavement around the island . . . the islands in question have been under construction for weeks and months now, granted that weather had perhaps been interfering. On the other extreme, placing a concrete planter takes a day. Maybe there is some in-between option.

              1. Avatar HJ says:

                It’s a nice idea but not terribly practical. There are just too many intersections that would need a retrofit. This also would do nothing to help at spots such as driveways into parking lots. Far simpler and probably less expensive to just mandate blind spot detection systems.

              2. Avatar HJ says:

                The other thing being at this spot a curb would not work. I ride that exact spot every week on my team ride. The bike lane is ALWAYS full of debris that pushes you onto the white line.

              3. John Liu John Liu says:

                The city can’t mandate blind spot detection systems in cars. They might be able to in commercial trucks, but not sure. Federal laws pre-empt local in this area.

              4. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

                >>> In our world, we might start by using this design at the intersections where right hooks are more likely. <<<

                That's the point I was trying to make — the intersection where this incident happened had no indications that a problem would be more likely than at the next (or previous) intersection. For an infrastructure solution to the crash that occurred, you'd need to protect a whole lot of intersections.

              5. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

                Thousands of them, right? The sign might be an idea, but you’d have to do some testing in the real world to see if trucks could make the corner. I’m guessing it would be flattened in less than a week. And if there was a curb, cyclists would be injured from hitting it.

          2. Avatar Andrea Capp says:

            These concrete planter-protected bike lanes have their merits however, last Wednesday I was nearly left-hooked at the location you’re citing, NW 2nd and NW Couch. The person then proceeded to roll down the window to tell me to “play by the rules.” The planter certainly slowed the vehicle down and maybe even prevented a full on left-hook, but it didn’t compel the driver to read, follow, or correctly interpret the sign that says “Turning vehicles stop for peds/bikes.”

            It seems nearly impossible to build a fool-proof system when user error and/or poor choices are still a factor, though we shouldn’t stop trying.

            Such sad news. My heart goes out to this person’s family, friends, co-workers, neighbors….

            1. John Liu John Liu says:

              The design did what it was supposed to, I’d say!

              1. Avatar Andrea Capp says:

                I suppose if the intent is only to keep a collision from occurring then yes. But because she still thinks she has the right-of-way the potential is there for the same thing to occur. Hopefully she’ll re-read the sign though. I can agree that it half did the job.

    2. Avatar Catie says:

      A raised bike lane would be similar, vehicles have to slow down to cross it like a speed bump and it is obvious that they are crossing traffic. Works great in copenhagen. Bike lanes are much wider as well.

    3. Avatar Tom Hardy says:

      I like the relatively new plastic posts to help protect the bikes on NW 14th and Everett. Quite effective, although that has a traffic light. the intersection where the cyclist was killed is not a controlled intersection. The posts would have made the truck operator at least to look and notice the cyclist he just passed.

      1. Avatar HJ says:

        I ride through this spot every week for a good chunk of the year. Problem is the bike lane there is always full of debris. You tend to end up riding on the white line as a result. Would make the bollard a problem for riders.

        1. John Liu John Liu says:

          You could ride the white line, except for the several feet length of the curb or wands or whatever.

    4. Avatar Spiffy says:

      if I have to be paranoid every time I get on my bike then I’m not getting on my bike…

      you go ahead and ride in constant fear… I’ll continue having fun…

      1. Avatar Dan A says:

        I’m paranoid when I walk, ride my bike or drive in my car. Have to be, these days.

    5. Avatar Spiffy says:

      a truck would knock that sign down fairly quickly… it’d need to be an 8″ round steel pipe filled with concrete… and even that would get hit and bent over…

      1. Avatar Dan A says:

        Someone ran over the 25mph sign on the way up to the Sunset Transit Center a year ago. It still hasn’t been replaced — they just sawed off the top of the flattened sign and called it good.

  20. Avatar Ed Reece says:

    There were 2 bicycle riders killed by Houston’s Metro’s light rail over the past 3 days. Both were the rider’s fault. One was a homeless guy, the other was a female physics professor at Rice U.

    1. Avatar Middle of the Road Guy says:

      Well that settles it! This was the cyclist’s fault!

    2. Avatar Sam Peterson says:

      I do not see how this news out of Houston, although sad for those involved, is relevant to the story posted above.

    3. Avatar Chris I says:

      It’s pretty hard for trains to right-hook cyclists…

  21. Avatar Roland Klasen says:

    Very sad news, RIP rider. On a side note, I’ve had way too many close calls on Interstate and avoid it if at all possible. There is an excellent bike boulevard a couple blocks west that stretches from Overlook to Kenton, with a pedestrian bridge over Going that makes the ride much more safe and enjoyable.

    1. Avatar MaxD says:

      Concord is a nice Greenway, but all of the intersections with arterials lack signalizations so you have to hope for an opening and go for it to cross the street. There are also a couple of very narrow stretches like north of Ainsworth that are very narrow bu impatient drivers will pass regardless.

    2. Avatar peejay says:

      I hope you are not implying that it’s the fault of the person on the bike for using an official piece of bike-dedicated infrastructure when he should have been using a shared-space infrastructure two blocks out of his way, that has a horribly unsafe crossing of Lombard. Maybe that other route is more useful to you, but you have no idea where that person was headed, or coming from. The obligation is on the city to make the roads–all roads, but especially those marked for cycling–safe, and to respond to possible unsafe conditions BEFORE somebody dies. It is an obligation the city is failing to perform.

      And now it is our obligation to hold the city accountable.

  22. Mike G Mike G says:

    Alas, very sad, my condolences to the rider and the family.

    As others have noted by the street photo, I wouldn’t consider that a bike lane with the grate in it. At this location I would have exercised the law and safely signaled and taken the lane ahead of any vehicle, even to the point of slowing them down to thereby announce my position on the street.

    That’s what helmet mirrors and hand signals are for.

  23. Avatar Doug says:

    The thought of that double wheeled axle sitting on top of that bicycle with the light flashing just effing freaks me out. CRINGE!!! Urban cycling is the antithesis of why I cycle and I reject. I plan on keeping my rides outside a 50 radius of Portland and your Zero Vision BS. How Portland can be ranked as a top cycling city? What would it take to get a low ranking? Cars openly shooting at cyclists? Cyclist Taxidermy the latest thing in Atlanta!

    1. Avatar Chris I says:

      It’s more dangerous to ride outside of the city. Fatalities per mile traveled are always higher in rural areas.

      1. The speeds are way higher and there are fewer cyclists. When I moved here, I thought it was weird that people talked about 35mph like it was fast. Except when I was in town, cars never moved that slowly. Even on roads not wide enough to have a center line, speeds of 50+ are common. With a centerline and no shoulder, 60+ is common. I’ve had people drag racing pass me at over 100mph.

  24. Avatar Beeblebrox says:

    This would be very expensive, but long-term it would be good to upgrade Interstate to a raised bike lane. There’s no real opportunity for more width, so height is the only solution.

  25. Avatar Travis says:

    This. The lack of comfortable routes and frequency of reckless drivers in deeper N. Portland and the peninsular needs awareness and traction toward continued improvement. We’ve come along way. But Interstate, Rosa Parks, The Bridge, Greeley, Lombard have all seen recent horrific tragedies involving vulnerable users and drivers. Willamette in recent years too. Denver? Ainsworth?

    All of the above, and I’ll tack on Fessenden and Central’s greenway in STJ, too frequently see collisions resulting in more minor injuries (an inch here or there and the outcome changes). Collisions are weekly — I’d be numb to the reports if friends and family didn’t always race across my mind.

    Nearly all thru routes are posted 35+ mph with few if any residential alternatives. Interstate, Willamette, and Greeley are the most obvious direct routes to central city off the true peninsular– all lack proper bike lanes due to inherent constraints (so we’ve been told). When bikes lanes are painted on Lombard, they become instant parking spots.

    The number of cyclists and pedestrians are rising. But so are the number of drivers. One out pacing the other is better for Portland. The other is deadly.

    This needs attention.

  26. Avatar SE says:

    EVERY one of my helmets has a left side mirror mounted on it. I will NOT ride unless traffic behind me is visible.
    On one ride the mirror came off midway in the trip , I was scared sheetless on the way home and had to divert to a longer, but safer secondary route.

    Even driving in the recent bad weather, with the window fogged up and mirror covered with ice , just a lane change was cringe worthy. ):

    Those box trucks should have mirrors like the Post Office delivery vehicles.

    1. Avatar Dan A says:

      I don’t see how a mirror will protect you from most right hook scenarios.

      1. A mirror is one of the best defenses against the right hook you can have.

        Even if the motorist doesn’t signal, changes in their speed and trajectory make it obvious what is going on. You can tell if they intend to overtake you before turning, let you through before turning, or if you simply don’t register and they drive like you’re not even there.

        In the cases where it’s obvious that an overtake or turn right on you is in progress, you can take corrective action via positioning, speed control and you can even modify the behavior of (or at least test) the driver by pushing out to prevent them from pulling the move in first place or by signaling to them — yes, you can tell drivers what to do and it works. You know where the driver is every millisecond of the way and adjust continuously. I do this for every single intersection (i.e. continuously), which sounds paranoid but it’s easy once you’ve made it second nature. Number of times I’ve been hooked in Portland — zero.

        There is absolutely no way to achieve that level of fine grained control with head turning alone.

        I won’t ride without a mirror — it’s way more important than a helmet. Having a beer cooler on your head provides very limited protection against a couple tons of steel. Best way to avoid injury/death is not not crash in first place.

        1. Adam Adam says:

          I have tried riding with mirrors and I find them to be too distracting. I find myself looking into the mirror most of the time, rather than looking ahead. That, and they constantly need to be adjusted. I also don’t trust what I see in a mirror compared to what I see with my own eyes – mirrors distort too much and make it difficult to judge distances. I feel far safer without a mirror and by simply turning my head.

          1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

            Don’t you also feel safer with low-viz clothing?

            1. Avatar Racer X says:

              …ninja cyclists…live by the credo: “if they can’t see me then ______”

              1. Hello, Kitty Hello, Kitty says:

                … then I can complete the assassination and withdraw undetected?

          2. This may be a function of the mirror you’re using. Some mirrors do make it hard to judge distances and it’s important to be able to see what’s going on without distracting yourself from what’s in front. I’ve experimented with a lot of designs and find significant differences in their usefulness.

            I use a glasses mounted Take-A-Look. It’s flat so there’s no distance distortion and can be adjusted to fit exactly where you want. I can look into mine and see what’s going on behind without taking my eyes off what’s going in front since it is important not to get distracted.

            Knowing exactly what’s going on behind you is insanely useful. This can be especially useful with aggressive drivers — I move out on them. They think I’m being suicidal and don’t realize I’m tracking them down to the inch and am totally ready for whatever cornball maneuver they have in mind. Regardless of what they do, I give a friendly 5 fingered wave since I won’t give them what they want (i.e. pissing off the cyclist or making him jump out of his skin).

            As a double bonus, I memorize their vehicle and give them a friendly 5 fingered wave about 2 seconds before the pass me in future encounters since people tend to appear in about the same places at the same times. Strip people of their anonymity, and they behave a lot better.

    2. Avatar wsbob says:

      Bike mirrors don’t work for me. The image of the view to the rear they present is too small. Too close to my eyes in the case of the helmet or glasses mounted mirrors. For me, this makes situational awareness, by other means…hearing, physically turning my head towards the rear… of what’s going on around me, very important and effective. As does very conspicuous hand signaling well in advance of any turns I intend to make.

      Some design may exist somewhere, but I’ve not seen a bike mirror design that’s as ergonomic to people’s field of vision as are mirrors cars or motorcycles are equipped for. Comparatively, they’re much bigger, sufficiently distanced away from people’s eyes, so they don’t require the close up focusing that a helmet or eyeglass mounted mirror does. Car driver’s side mount mirrors generally are mounted so that seeing the image they present, requires only a minor degree change from the view down the road. Very easy to look back and forth between them and the road ahead.

      I’m glad that bike mirrors work for those they do work for. I’d advise anyone whom they work for to use them. For people whom such mirrors don’t work for, it’s very important to work up a range of other defensive riding measures that can compensate for not being able to rely on the vision that a mirror is able to provide some people that ride.

      1. Avatar Dan A says:

        I tried a Take A Look mirror for a couple of months. Couldn’t get used to it. I do well with frequent looks back.

  27. Avatar Andy K says:

    This is a downhill section and also a strava segment. The fastest riders go 32mph.

    1. Avatar J_R says:

      How is the speed of the fastest riders relevant? You might as well ask “What’s the speed of the fastest drivers?”

      1. Avatar Andy K says:

        J_R, I’m just providing context about this roadway and in no way was my comment meant to disrespect the rider or question his decisions or abilities. Apologies if I offended anyone.

    2. I think the implication was that the cyclist may have been going fast.

      I personally think that in the highly unlikely case that a 53 year old cyclist was moving at vehicle speeds, he would have taken the lane to do so. Besides, even if 32mph is moving right along, it is hardly a crazy speed for a straight road with good sight lines and is a very achievable speed for a roadie even on flats.

      I am not a fan of Strava “racing” as it encourages dangerous behavior and variability of conditions ensures it’s not measuring anything anyway.

      1. Avatar estherc2 says:

        there is not much of a hill there at all to get a lot of speed.

    3. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

      WOW! I’d never heard of STRAVA, but if the rider was doing some kind of downhill racing that could be the major cause of the accident – truck driver just did not realize bike would be going that fast.

      1. It’s extremely unlikely that the cyclist was Strava racing. Presuming that he even was running a Strava compatible computer or app, Strava automatically logs segments as you pass through them whether or not you’re trying to go fast.

        I don’t think many people try to go fast in that section — out of 1200 riders, fewer than a dozen logged top speeds over 30mph which is neither unsafe nor particularly fast considering the elevation loss. No one going anywhere near 30mph is going to be in a bike lane, certainly not passing a truck on the right.

  28. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

    It will be interesting to see what the PPB crash report has per the details. Sadly all too often the only viewpoint in the report is that of the vehicle operator…

    [Since the cyclist witness is dead…I hope there are independent witnesses to verify / balance what the operator says/ does not say about the incident.]

  29. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

    As for independent “witnesses”: I took a look and I cannot see any fixed public CCTV cameras near this intersection (in Google Maps). Perhaps a near by home has a porch cam…or a MAX train passed by as it was happening. I doubt a non corporate box truck has a dash cam.

    1. Avatar Andy K says:

      There are two trimet cameras at the northbound N Lombard TC Max stop, approximately 650 feet south of the intersection of Farragut & Interstate, and two more at the Astro gas station at the NE corner of Interstate and Lombard.

  30. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

    9 AM. Both heading in same direction – north. Sun shouldn’t be a problem going north, right? Seems like visibility should be good. We will not know details until a police report comes out; and they many not be able to reconstruct the accident unless there are cameras or witnesses. Should know soon. Normally, I’d expect the truck to be going faster and that he’d pass the bike and see him and know not to turn until he passes. But, maybe vehicle traffic was slow and the bike was faster and the truck driver didn’t see him due to a blind spot or maybe didn’t even look. Or, maybe the truck passed the bike, the bike saw the truck blinker, and sped up to beat him thru the intersection but didn’t make it. Lots of possible scenarios. That auto lane appears to be too narrow. MAX may be a minor contributor in this one – taking room out of the street. Good of the driver to stay and cooperate as he is required to do by law.

    1. Avatar HJ says:

      The car lane is plenty wide. More than enough space for an average car to give a cyclist extra space and frankly plenty of space for a box truck too. As for your speeding up cyclist scenario the thing is that is still driver negligence. If there’s a cyclist so close that there’s even an outside possibility that they could speed up enough to get near you during your turn you need to wait. Yes, when driving it can be a little annoying, especially if the cyclist is slow, but you know what? A whopping 10 seconds of time, no matter who you are, is not worth more than someone else’s life.

  31. Avatar Specialized Hardrock says:

    What is the yellow thing by the rear truck tire? Cyclist? Or did police cover something to keep it out of the rain?

  32. Avatar estherc2 says:

    “A box truck driver hit and killed a man in the Kenton area of North Portland around 9 a.m. Monday, according to Portland police.
    A 53-year-old man was biking northbound on Interstate Avenue when he was struck and killed by a truck driver at Farragut Street.”

    Gotta give KATU credit. Not the usual “a cylist was killed when he collided with a truck.”

  33. Avatar rachel b says:

    Awful. I hope his family has a lot of good support around them. So sorry to hear about this.

  34. Avatar SE says:

    Mirrors are NOT just a buy one, any one, and expect nirvana. Like a saddle, takes a little homework and fitment.

    The comments about them being too close, too distracting , too etc. etc., are indications of either the wrong kind or not positioned or adjusted correctly.

    They should NOT be in front of your vision, blocking or distracting , but positioned to the side where you can rotate your knoggen a tad left and check behind you , much as a motor vehicle mirror.

    I agree that bar mounted ones were not compatible with me … vibration, taking eyes off road..etc.

    IF you don’t care to use one , OK, fine.
    IF you do use one then, IMHO you are trying to be safer . I see a lot of them in use.

    Take the mirrors off your motor vehicle and drive in traffic … cool as long as no trucks overtake you and lane changes are not something you will ever do.

    1. Avatar Eric Leifsdad says:

      Nearly any bar-end mirror on a flat/upright handlebar works for me and maybe anyone. For drop bars, I haven’t found one I like. The streamlined bar-end teardrop is ok, but can hit my knee, is rather small, I have to look straight down at it, and the view is still blocked by leg, pannier. One that mounts on top of the brake hoods maybe?

      Mirrors are good, but wouldn’t have helped the rider in this case. I do sometimes signal left when turning right from a bike lane onto a side street with someone signalling right behind me, just in case they think we’re going to make the turn together.

    2. Avatar Pete says:

      Excellent points. My experience was after trying helmet-mounted, eyeglass-mounted, and a few drop-bar-mounted, the Cycleaware Roadie has become my third eye, enhancing my situational awareness with just a glance. The ‘glass’ will become hazy or scratched over a while, but seems better than the other brands I tried. I hear people complain of knee bumps but when I angle it away from the bike I get more of a “landscape” field of view and miss it easily with my knee (I’m 6’4″ w 36″ inseam and my smallest bike is a 61cm frame).

      With helmet-mounted, I just couldn’t train myself to stop chasing the damned thing by turning me head… I don’t know how you people do it!

      Riding without a mirror feels weird to me now (or riding in a left-hand bike lane).

      Anyway, on topic, my condolences to this victim and his loved ones. 🙁

    3. Avatar soren says:

      “IF you do use one then, IMHO you are trying to be safer .”

      and, IMHO, mirrors make people cycling in urban areas less safe because they can encourage lane changes without a full shoulder check.

      1. Full shoulder check is unnecessary and distracts from watching what’s in front which is important in busy environments. If you continuously monitor what’s going on behind, you know exactly what you have to work with and can time encounters exactly the way you intend.

      2. A properly configured bike mirror has no blind spots and no distance distortion, and vehicles are big and easy to spot. A properly configured auto mirror typically has blind spots and distortion, and cyclists are small and harder to spot.

        Why anyone would doubt an alert cyclist with a mirror would be less safe while entrusting their safety to an inattentive motorist with much less ability to identify cyclists coming up from behind is beyond me.

    4. Avatar GlowBoy says:

      Agree with SE, no one mirror works for everyone. Personally, I can’t make helmet or glasses mounted mirrors work for me due to my gas permeable contact lenses (it’s not that we lose any peripheral vision, but that if we blink while looking wayyy off to the side as required by these mirrors, our contacts can pop off-center or out completely). Bar-mounted mirrors don’t require me to turn my eyeballs as far to the side. I actually find them less distracting and easier to use. FWIW my favorite, by far, is the 3rd Eye bar-end mirror. I use it on all my bikes, with flat and drop handlebars.

  35. Avatar David Lewis says:

    Blinking headlights are off half the time.

  36. Avatar SE says:

    Eric Leifsdad

    Mirrors are good, but wouldn’t have helped the rider in this case.
    Recommended 0

    From the little that I know of this incident, a mirror would have shown the rider that the trucks turn signal was on (ASSUMING that it WAS on)
    Also , approaching an intersection and I see in my mirror that there is a truck close to me, I would have stopped at the corner and let the truck pass.

    I do that often when detecting a TRI-MET bus close to me and approaching a bus stop , as I know he will cross the bike path. Learned that the hard way after a close call with a bus.
    Many times the driver will notice and wave me on ….

    1. The whole beauty of a mirror is they don’t need to have their blinker on. Many drivers don’t use signals and many that do deploy them late. You can tell entirely by vehicle movement what’s going on. Common cues include drifting in the lane to set up for the turn, slowing down, or speeding up (because they want to get in front of you). Typically, you’ll get multiple cues.

      The amount of warning you get if you’re keeping an eye on things is significant and I have yet to need to come to a full stop even if I have to slow down once in awhile.

      Think of it like a poor man’s Vision Zero with no infrastructure. Part of VZ is design so you’re still safe when people make errors. If you ride with the expectation that drivers will do the dumb and dangerous thing rather than the hope they’ll do the right thing, it’s a lot safer and fun.

  37. Avatar Tye Aldana says:

    It could of been one of those situations where the truck is stopped with it’s turn signal on and the bicycle rider assumes the driver is waiting for them to pass. I experience those situations almost daily, and sometimes I’ll stop my bicycle and wait for the driver to turn, other times I’ll assume I’m seen and proceed with my fingers over my brake levers. We all hate to stop in those situations, but assuming everyone is an alert, cautious, courteous, driver is a potentially lethal mistake, no matter how good you think your reaction time is.

    1. I haven’t seen enough information yet to eliminate the possibility that the driver was fully in the bike lane and mowed the cyclist down from behind, even if that is not probable.

      I personally won’t pass on the right even if a vehicle is fully stopped unless I’m absolutely positive that the driver is waiting for me. There are all kinds of reasons people stop that may be unapparent to the cyclist. For example, a driver stopped for a ped or animal that you can’t see may have no idea you’re there — and you might hit the ped or animal if you just blow through trusting everything to be OK.

      I pass on the left if it’s clear and I’m positive of their intention to go right (I slow down and let ambiguous situations become clear before proceeding). This allows me to get by faster and allows them to turn sooner while releasing vehicles stacked behind them presuming other cyclists aren’t passing on the right.

      Drivers here are pretty good about looking for cyclists on the right. But we’ll never get to the point that 100% know to check and do a good job of it (don’t forget, there are a lot of people with vision impairments in one or both eyes). Bottom line is you want drivers to be alert, look and do the right thing, but you still have to be careful.

      Don’t count on technology to solve the problem. Side cameras help, but people can still miss things. Normal driving requires people to turn when objects are right next to them. Fancy sensors could catch a cyclist coming up from behind, but we won’t see 100% penetration of something we can fully trust in our lifetimes.

    2. Avatar Pete says:

      There is nothing I hate worse than a driver accelerating to pass me, realizing I’m going faster than they thought, so they slam on their brakes and expect me to continue past them on the right. By that point I’ve already bled speed considerably, glanced at my mirror for how close the following car is, and started signaling left to move past them safely. Then they wonder why I’ve pretty much stopped and they wave and pretend they were being nice all along.

      1. This drives me nuts too and is all too common. If they’re going to gun it, I’d just as soon they complete the hook since we both get where we’re going faster.

  38. Avatar chris says:

    Is there news yet of who was killed?

  39. Avatar estherc2 says:

    The Oregonian headline also reflects what actually happened. “Box truck driver fatally hits cyclist in N. Portland, police say”


    1. Avatar Stephen Keller says:

      Looking at the map of bicycle/car crash data, it is astonishing how many of the the injury crashes were due to “[driver] did not have right of way over pedalcyclist.” Sigh…, maybe a little paranoia really is in order.

      1. Avatar Dan A says:

        Thanks, without your comment I wouldn’t have realized you can hover over the points on the map to get more info.

        BTW, the deaths of Kirke Johnson & Mark Angeles are both marked as Driver Error: Not Available. Kirke was right hooked, and Mark was left hooked.

        1. Avatar Stephen Keller says:

          Yeah, the data are arguably incomplete or incorrectly characterized. The map caption mentions they come from the ODOT crash analysis reporting unit. I don’t know how that unit gathers data and what sorts of analyses apply. It’s possible the data the team has to work with are incomplete or that certain details aren’t adequately captured in the available error codes and are therefore lost. I noticed that many of the error codes were street addresses in the vicinity of the crashes. That suggests some issue with data entry or characterization.

        2. Avatar soren says:

          I believe that Lydia Johnson was right-hooked by a box truck:

          So this death makes for 4 “hook-collision” deaths out of the last 6.

  40. Avatar soren says:

    Dawson Park, 101 N Stanton St Take Trimet
    Wed Feb 15 4:30pm – 6:30pm

    On February 6 another person was killed by a right-hook collision while cycling in Portland. Four out of six of the last cycling deaths involved preventable right- or left-hook collisions. This type of collision has been a major safety issue for decades but the city continues to drag its feet on funding laws and infrastructure that can prevent tragedy. We will ride to the location of this recent death to protest the city’s inaction and demand that it fund its committment to Vision Zero (the goal of working towards zero traffic deaths). Please feel free to bring signs, messages, flowers, candles, and/or other symbols of outrage.

  41. Avatar E Witt says:

    I don’t believe I saw one comment about Alan above so I’ll be the first. He had a passion for riding that I had not seen in anyone before. He worked with me for a few months and was a hard worker and generally pretty cheerful. He was hit the same exact way on his way to work one morning, but escaped major injury. It truly saddens me that this happened. I hope that maybe someday someone will come up with a way to stop this from happening. GodSpeed Alan! It was a pleasure to know you.

    1. Avatar Clint Cokely says:

      Alan believed in God, he was a good man, fairwell my friend xoxox

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