Police say man was under the influence, “veered” out of bike lane before collision on SE 122nd

“Omar veered out of the bike lane and collided with Duffus’ vehicle causing him to crash.”
— Portland Police Bureau

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Both people involved in Wednesday’s critical injury collision on SE 122nd Avenue appear to have been operating their vehicles illegaly.

According to an update just released by the Portland Police Bureau, the collision involved 35-year-old named Abdikadir Ahmed Omar and 33-year-old Nicolette Ivy Duffus. Omar was riding his bicycle southbound on 122nd Avenue approaching Division when police say he, “Veered out of the bike lane and collided with Duffus’ vehicle causing him to crash.”

This use of the word “veer” is interesting. It’s legal in Oregon to leave a bike lane due to a hazard in the roadway and for other reasons. Given Omar’s current physical state, it’s doubtful the police have been able to question him about the incident. Therefore the “veer” allegation most likely comes from Duffus’ perspective and/or that of witnesses — none of whom are likely to appreciate a cycling perspective. “Veer” is a very judgmental word and it creates a perception of blame in a case where clearly the investigation isn’t complete. I also mention this because I read a lot of police statements about motor vehicle crashes and whenever someone crosses over the centerline or drives off the road, the police say that it was done, “for an unknown reason” — which is a much more neutral and fair thing to say compared to “veered out of their lane into oncoming traffic.”

The PPB also notes that Omar was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and that he remains in the hospital in serious condition with head injuries. (Note: Adults are not required to wear helmets in Oregon.) The PPB also found that Omar was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. Omar was not cited for any violations at the scene; but PPB says he might receive criminal punishment or traffic citations once their investigation is complete.

The driver in the case remained at the scene. She was given three traffic citations for: Driving While Suspended, Driving Uninsured, and Failure to Register a Vehicle.

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This was one of three serious injury collisions involving vulnerable road users that happened in east Portland this week.

Early Tuesday morning a 70-year-old woman with a walking device was hit while in the crosswalk at SE 122nd and Division. She’s expected to survive her injuries and the man who hit her has been arrested after he fled the scene following the crash. Then on Thursday, 26-year-old Erin Brenneman was hit while crossing walking across SE Pine at 80th. She remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The person who hit Brenneman with their car fled the scene and has not been found.

Correction: I initially reported that the man who was riding the bicycle was “drunk” when the police only said he was “under the influence of alcohol”. I should not have used the word drunk. I regret the error.

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

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Teddy
Teddy
7 years ago

I hope whoever hit Erin Brenneman is found.

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  Teddy

How does that happen in a busy area in broad daylight and no one even gets a description of the vehicle? No one followed them and got a plate? What the heck?

The driver in the car/bicycle crash sounds like a real doofus.

Lester Burnham
Lester Burnham
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Naw, people are too busy staring at their phones.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

80th & Pine is a residential area north of the busy part of Stark, but isn’t itself at all busy. Lots of parked cars, and cars looking for parking, maybe, but hardly busy.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago

What a surprise, DUII with a suspended license and no insurance. Here’s your citation ma’am, and don’t let us catch you again or we’ll write you another citation.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

I didn’t read where she was driving under the influence. The article only mentions citations for suspended license, uninsured, and unregistered vehicle.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Ryan

There aren’t many ways to get a suspended license, in practice, other than DUII. Worse yet, Oregon is unusual in that it allows a free pass for the first DUII each decade. I don’t think you get to a license suspension until the third conviction (assuming the first one was wiped, so it’s officially the second). Worse yet, it’s almost automatic that one can get permission to drive to work and shopping (of course stores are literally everywhere), so even when one gets suspended almost all driving is permitted.

We definitely need some serious reform of our drunk driving laws and penalties. A reasonable first step is to get rid of the free pass on the first DUII, followed by completely removing the waiver that allows suspended drivers to drive at all. Add in a confiscation requirement for those who ignore their suspension and we just might reduce some of this needless CARnage. We also need to make all unlawful actions committed while intoxicated by a person with a prior DUII be automatically considered to be pre-meditated; DA’s in SoCal are successfully prosecuting repeat drunk drivers for murder when they subsequently kill while driving drunk.

That’s my most reasonable take on this. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind putting first offender drunk drivers into salt mines for a decade.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Suspension can also be done for non payment of minor infraction. It isn’t always due to horrific issues. I learned this recently myself, as I had my first speeding ticket in some 16 years or so.

Spiffy
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

my license was suspended for getting in a crash with no insurance…

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Whatever reform happens to DUI law needs to be at least matched by hit-and-run (as in, hit-and-run includes automatic admission of guilt for DUI + additional penalty.)

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Eric Leifsdad

EL,
OK, in that case, what punishment would you give the “drunk” cyclist in this case?
BK 6/24/2017 3:10 pm Pacific

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

Something proportional to the damage caused to others would seem logical.

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Unpaid fines for more than four (I think) can earn a suspension.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Keller

I don’t really care what the cause of the suspension is. Suspended is suspended. There’s no ‘sort of suspended’.

If you hit somebody while driving without insurance or a valid license, I think you should be held 100% liable.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Liable for the damage you cause, certainly, and I think this is how the law currently works. If you have insurance, the insurance company assumes some of your financial liability. If you do not, you bear it all.

Further, you should be deemed guilty of driving without license/insurance, and should have your vehicle impounded until your suspension is over. But guilty of being at fault for the crash? Not unless the facts warrant that conclusion.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Just my opinion, and I don’t expect others to agree with me. But I think if you’ve been essentially told by the courts not to drive, then you should be held 100% accountable for whatever happens when you do.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

That would lead to ridiculous outcomes.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Like, for example, being responsible if an incoming drunk driver veered into your lane and killed you. Suicide?

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Yes.

Simple solution: When you’ve been ordered not to drive, don’t do it.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Agreed; but assigning blame where there is none is unjust.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Keller

Late payment on arranged plan may also. Each 30 day suspension comes with fine compounding, and 75dollar fee to reapply. It can be a simple and small as this.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Ryan

Sorry, cite me for “Failure to Read”.

Dead Salmon
Dead Salmon
7 years ago
Reply to  Ryan

R,
You are correct, it doesn’t say she was under the influence. That’s a good thing.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago

oh, so the bikeportland mob can’t blame the infrastructure or ‘cager’s on this one? is that what you’re saying?

jh
jh
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

She shouldn’t have been driving.

Neither should he.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  jh

what does that have to do with anything? riding your bike drunk is illegal (and really stupid) too.

jh
jh
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

It is.

And riding while uninsured without a license is also illegal and really stupid. Thus my statement. She shouldn’t have been driving. Neither should he. They’re both morons.

Dead Salmon
Dead Salmon
7 years ago
Reply to  jh

I’d have to have more facts about her in order to judge her to be a moron.

a.a.ron
a.a.ron
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Can we REALLY know that the man was drunk? This is taking the notoriously racist PPB at their word in a crash where they noted Omar (a brown man with a “middle-east” sounding name) “veered” out of his lane, also an allegation they have not verified with Omar.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  a.a.ron

Oh, please.
Can we REALLY know that the officer on scene wasn’t a brown person as well? …
this is the most ridiculous comment on this thread.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

You’re saying minority police officers can’t be prejudiced?

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

13 arrests and 27 police harrasment filings leave me with a far better perspective on cops than you I’m sure. Your strawman argument missed the point.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

What IS your point?

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Your comments only hold water if you assume that she was a perfect driver, and that, had she not been driving, someone else would have hit this guy as he was riding unsafely. Given that she was driving with a suspended license and no insurance, you may want to reconsider your assumptions.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

From the look of that narrow door-zone bike lane that morphs into a shared right turn lane, it is entirely possible, I’d even say likely, that the poor infrastructure played a role in the cyclist appearing to veer. He may well have been riding relatively normally and simply moved a foot left in that narrow space.

Bear in mind that I’m certainly not one of the majority here who supports extensive separated facilities. I also don’t care for the shoe-horn approach taken by PBoT.

Spiffy
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

why shouldn’t we be able to bike home drunk safely? they’ve enable us to drive home drunk with our own safety barely at risk…

if we had proper separation on 122nd, which there is a TON of room for, then this couldn’t happen easily like it can now…

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

its illegal. take it up your your legislature. its also pretty stupid…for the reasons you see here. was this guy barely at risk? how much ‘barely’ does it take to end up in the hospital?

jeff
jeff
7 years ago

she didn’t cause the collision. he did.

DAN
DAN
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

If we accept the police statement as accurate. How do they know he veered out of the bike lane?

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  DAN

I ride sober. I can stay in a bike lane pretty easily.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Even when the bike lane is 4 feet wide and full of glass?

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

if there’s glass, I look behind me and double check that my ass will be safe in moving over 18″ to avoid it.

dave
dave
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Yup.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Okay sober Jeff, I’ll open the car door as you approach and let’s see you stay in that four-foot bike lane. Bonus points if you stay upright. I’d bet that if I even cracked it a bit you would find yourself no longer in the bike lane, at least if you have normal reactions.

There are many reasons that someone on a bike might not ride a perfectly true line and might need more than nine inches of adjustment space, I just picked an obvious one. I think this collision happened at dusk or just after, when it is much harder to see road defects and hazards, so even a stone could have been the cause of the wobble.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

easy. I’ve (easily) missed doorings more times than I can count. but your fun scenario has little to do with this story or the apparent fact a drunk cyclist swerved in front of a moving car…

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Allegedly.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

“Okay sober Jeff, I’ll open the car door as you approach and let’s see you stay in that four-foot bike lane. Bonus points if you stay upright. I’d bet that if I even cracked it a bit you would find yourself no longer in the bike lane, at least if you have normal reactions.

There are many reasons that someone on a bike might not ride a perfectly true line and might need more than nine inches of adjustment space, I just picked an obvious one. I think this collision happened at dusk or just after, when it is much harder to see road defects and hazards, so even a stone could have been the cause of the wobble.” b carfree

First of all, don’t ride in the door zone, at all. Doesn’t matter if the 4′ or whatever width bike lane is directly adjacent to the parking lane, and an opening vehicle door would span most of or all of the bike lane: Don’t ride in the door zone at all. Unless no motor vehicle is parked in the parking lane for some distance, like 50′, 75′ or more. In that circumstance, riding right down the center of the bike lane may be safe, if it’s not filled with a lot of the usual road junk.

Use the main lane if there’s one directly adjacent to the bike lane, right down the center if there’s no traffic approaching from the rear, or waiting to pass. Move to the right side of, and try to maintain a steady lane of travel in the main lane until traffic from the rear can safely pass.

At the risk of quibbling over words referring to movement on a bike or other vehicles diverting from an almost perfect straight line of travel, I believe a ‘veer’ involves much more movement away from the straight line of travel than does a ‘wobble’ or slight wavering back and forth. It doesn’t require a lot of skill to keep a bike moving on a generally straight line without wobbling or wavering beyond a 12″ width. Even less for people with some practice and experience. Unless they’re first learning to ride a bike, have a disability affecting balance, or are drunk or otherwise intoxicated.

Wobbling to get around stones and other road junk is ok, as long as its apparent the general straight line of travel is being maintained. Veering from the bike lane into the main lane without sufficient signaling, isn’t ok.

Andrea Capp
Andrea Capp
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

I saw a rider crash whose actions would have been described as veering. His bike chain malfunctioned causing him to veer and crash. Had someone in a car hit him I doubt anyone would have assumed it was a bike malfunction especially if the bike was damaged by the car. We may never know what happened from Omar’s perspective. As I understand it, head injuries often lead to memory loss of incidents prior to injury.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Andrea Capp

Whether or not the reason is legit (i.e. the cyclist had any reasonable control/alternative), there is still such a thing as swerving so suddenly at the wrong time that there is nothing a driver could do.

I once had a front rim explode when riding along Highway 99 — this makes your wheel instantly stop turning. Had this caused a fall that dropped me in front of traffic, it wouldn’t be a sign of bad driving if I were hit.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Unless the driver had zero business being behind the wheel in the first place.

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

You’ve exactly described the scenario described in our safe passing distance law (which unfortunately has too many exceptions for bike lanes and slower speeds.) https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.065

So, yes that would be bad driving.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Exception from Section (B) would have applied here since speed limit is 55.

In any case, there are reasonable limits to what can be done

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Kyle, are we reading the same ORS 811.065? I see the exception under section B as referring to speeds under 35 mph, not over 55 mph. This law came into existence because of a death on a roadway with a 55 mph speed limit.

Of course this is for discussion purposes only, since I have never heard of anyone receiving a citation for violating this law, even when they run a cyclist over.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“there are reasonable limits to what can be done”

Classic case of Car-head creeping into the conversation.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

9,
Nope, just reality. If ANYTHING veers suddenly in front of a moving car it has a good chance of being hit. Laws of physics.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“Nope, just reality.”

The relevant question here isn’t whether an entitled or distracted or speeding driver will hit and kill you if you veer into her path, surely, but rather who is responsible for avoiding that situation. This matter is handled differently in different countries, so there is no need to invoke physics so glibly, since physics presumably don’t differ on two sides of a political boundary.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Naturalizing speeding to the extent that anyone else (typically not in a car) must skedaddle or get what they have coming is the essence of Car-head.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

If you take an action, be it leaving a bike lane, stepping into a lane of (bike or car) traffic, or turning your car into another lane, without providing adequate notice and/or response time, you are generally responsible for any mayhem that ensues. That’s pretty established, and seems reasonable.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

HK,
You are correct. Ask the hundreds of thousands of dead folks who are dead because one car (maybe their own car) went into the path of another car – they would agree.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Carfree, I understand the law to apply on the slower roads even if it was instigated by someone who was hit on a highway. Laws are weird.

In any case, if you ride along the side of a two lane highway, you can’t swerve out into traffic. If traffic is moving at 60mph and you swerve out when a car is 100 feet behind, it will barely take a second for the car to reach you. No car can stop that fast, doing anything in time will be tough, and if they can, they can only go into oncoming traffic or obstacles by the side of the road. If they’re closer, options will be worse.

Fast busy roads are dangerous, but not for the reasons people here seem to believe. The things I personally worry about when I’m on two lane highways are things like trucks hauling trusses or construction equipment that hangs way over the side or even normal people hauling junk that sticks way out.

Mike 2
Mike 2
7 years ago
Reply to  Andrea Capp

So their equipment was not properly maintained.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago

This is true, but cyclists can and do scrеw up. Consider https://bikeportland.org/2012/04/02/collision-on-99w-outside-monmouth-claims-life-of-wou-professor-69758 Just so happens, my wife at the time worked with Hank who was known to be a good rider and I rode that stretch many thousands of times as part of my commute so this is a rider and section of road I feel able to comment on.

When the report came out, I also didn’t believe Hank swerved since that seems to always be the description of what happened and I thought Hank was too good a rider to make a mistake like that.

But he did. One of the independent witnesses mentioned in the report was riding with him.

No one knows why he swerved but your speculation in that story that he may have been trying to access the paved path is extremely unlikely –doing so makes no sense at that point. If you’re riding up from town, the logical place to access the path is much further back where you can choose between having a light help you cross 99 or at least ride across 35mph traffic instead of 50mph traffic gradually accelerating up to about 65mph. That section almost certainly facilitates farm machinery access.

In any case, you can’t suddenly pull into fast moving traffic. You just can’t. What often passes for cycling in Portland is outright suicidal in the real world.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“In any case, you can’t suddenly pull into fast moving traffic.”

You can’t seem to take off your Car-head. Ford chose to pass him at that moment and it would appear he opted not to give him safe passing distance. Of course we have not culturally grappled with this expectation/law/courtesy but that doesn’t mean that this was *obviously* Hank’s fault in my reading of the situation. The whole point of the safe passing distance concept is exactly these types of situations, the possibility that for any of a number of well understood reasons someone on a bike might tip over/swerve, etc. In German this term is called Fallbreite, which means the width of space equivalent to a cyclist-who-has-fallen-over.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“… but cyclists can and do scrеw up…” banerjee

People can and do make mistakes, as I described in my comment about a guy riding ahead of me on a street I was driving on. This person barely gave indication that he might be leaving the bike lane for the main lane…just a turn of the head, abruptly followed by moving from the bike lane to the main lane. No signal.

https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/23/police-say-bike-rider-was-drunk-veered-out-of-bike-lane-before-collision-on-se-122nd-232591#comment-6811087

Relatively speaking, this street was a low danger situation compared to the busy fast moving traffic of the highway that I understand Hank Bersani was riding on.

Still, it can be as easy to make a mistake while riding a bike, even though working to be sufficiently aware of surrounding traffic, as it can be while driving. Fatigue can aggravate the tendency to make mistakes. Different when riding than when driving, but definitely something that can be a serious factor contributing to collision occurrence. When riding, wind noise concerns me. (I’ve been thinking about the product that was advertised on bikeportland in recent weeks: fits on bike helmet straps in front of the riders’ ears to break up the noise producing wind current. Heard of such a thing before, people making their own with some success, but never have personally tried one.).

All road users should be making the best effort they can to be aware of their personal ability to correctly estimate the safety of road conditions as they’re traveling along, and in preparation for making changes to their direction of travel.

https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/23/police-say-bike-rider-was-drunk-veered-out-of-bike-lane-before-collision-on-se-122nd-232591#comment-6811087

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Kyle,
here’s a post from that thread (Ford/Bersani) to which I’d like to draw your attention:

Greenbelt
@Harvey — I’ll weigh in from the east coast. What we have lost in this country (even Oregon, it appears) is a common sense standard that drivers of multi-ton vehicles be responsible for controlling their machines, even in adverse circumstances or conditions. Of course, there will always be some true accidents, where even the most alert and cautious drivers could not have avoided a crash. However, most crashes could have been avoided, even in cases where the driver is not deemed technically at fault. We’ve come to allow a level of routine speeding, routine distraction, following too closely, passing too carelessly, poor car or truck maintenance, even poor driving posture. However, drivers who are not speeding, not eating or drinking, not distracted by the radio or phone, not using just one hand on the wheel or steering with their finger, not blithely passing a possibly left-turning vehicle, with good brakes and tires, well-aligned wheels, clean windshields, good wipers and working lights and always-used signals — these drivers seem to be able to avoid these types of crashes, even when a another driver (or pedestrian or bicyclist) makes a mistake. You’re right, we don’t know the circumstances here (and may never since we can’t interview the cyclist). But we’ve allowed a standard of routinely poor driving that all but guarantees more fatal crashes, with the most vulnerable road users paying the highest price. Cautious, attentive, well-equipped drivers avoid crashes, even when something unpredictable happens. Drivers should be responsible for what they hit with their cars in far more cases than are currently prosecuted, or even fully investigated. If they were, we’d all drive more carefully.
Recommended 129

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

The comments in that thread are so reality deprived, I will only say this:

1) It is neither desirable nor safe for cars on busy highways to suddenly slow way down unless absolutely necessary. The extremely improbable scenario where a cyclist suddenly pulls out doesn’t qualify.

2) Some of you should never ride highways and should seriously consider quitting cycling if you leave Portland.

3) That a cyclist gets hit doesn’t automatically make it the driver’s fault. In Hank’s tragic case, no one is confused about that except people who have no familiarity with the circumstances.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“It is neither desirable nor safe for cars on busy highways to suddenly slow way down unless absolutely necessary.”

Mr. Banerjee, you speak Car-head.

Where do you get the suddenly and the way down parts?

Why are the speed differentials so high in the first place? If they are paying attention, as wspob was in his example upthread, then there is no suddenly either. Your framing of this speaks volumes about how you normalize the kind of driving that is the problem here.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

I get the “suddenly” and “way down” from 12 years of riding that specific area of highway 99 on an almost daily basis.

The speed differentials are high because Hank was riding a bike on a highway. That road (or at least that section) is very busy and traffic moves fast because everyone has far to go a long way.

You might want to reconsider the “car head” lingo since I’m sure you’d be driving if you lived there. It’s very clear to me you have no idea how to roads like these. And please don’t try. You’ll get yourself killed.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

I know the area very well. Live near there right now.

It is interesting to me that *you* rode that daily for twelve years yet you predict that others (I) would ‘get myself killed’ if I were to ride it.

The ‘you’ll get yourself killed’ framing of bicycling is the problem here. I too have biked all over the place, not just in Oregon. I never felt I was putting myself in harm’s way and my hunch is that you didn’t either when you were biking near/at this location, so let’s not use that kind of language shall we?

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

You may live in the area and ride all over, but do you really pull out in front of cars on busy two lane highways without checking to make sure it is safe to do so? I’d never heard of someone who’d think that was OK until I moved up here. It’s suicidal.

In any case, specific section is easy compared to most of 99. It gets significantly worse just a bit north of where he was hit.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

If I recall properly, Highway 22 is more convenient to you than 99. That’s also one I’ve ridden many thousands of times. I guarantee you haven’t tried to cross that without making sure it was safe first as the issues are the same as with 99.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“You may live in the area and ride all over, but do you really pull out in front of cars on busy two lane highways without checking to make sure it is safe to do so?”

Of course not. But that isn’t the point.
The point is that those in cars should *always* give those on bikes a wide berth. Like they always put on seat belts, not because they think today I will be thrown from my car if I don’t but because, well, you never know. It is a precautionary thing and it makes sense, though of course here we struggle to institute laws like this.

“I’d never heard of someone who’d think that was OK until I moved up here. It’s suicidal.”

You’re being ridiculous. We’re not saying it is ok; we’re saying because it could happen it shouldn’t automatically lead to a death sentence because we know there’s a possibility and can (as auto-pilots) take steps to avoid this outcome.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

You claim there are people who need to go short distances along the highway. I think the number of people who want to go along the highway is exceptionally small for the simple reason that there are very few people except in the towns and even those are pretty small.

I promise you almost no one traveling along 99 is going any 4 miles each way from Monmouth. If there is, where exactly are they going? There are no businesses or other destinations that make any sense.

I never said there was nothing useful within 50 miles. I said that you needed to ride 50 miles to get somewhere useful. That gives you a range of 25 miles each way unless you don’t intend to come home. Unless your goal is basically recreational riding, you’re all but guaranteed to log at least 40 miles if you start and end in Monmouth.

As far as having fewer people getting killed on German or other European roads despite them being narrower and lacking shoulders, I’m guessing that their cyclists as well as the drivers are probably better. I seriously doubt if you swerve in front of a driver in any country that it will work out well.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

watts at: https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/23/police-say-bike-rider-was-drunk-veered-out-of-bike-lane-before-collision-on-se-122nd-232591#comment-6811574

watts…knock off the name calling. I don’t think you’ve got any right to call people whose views on road use that you don’t like, ‘car head’, to insult or refer to them dismissively as it’s obvious you’re doing, whether or not somebody wrote some book in which they contrived that phrase.

I also don’t think you’ve got any right to be messing with my weblog name to lob insults towards me, underhanded or otherwise. Nobody else posting comments here, is referring to you through a disrespectful use of your weblog name. Just please knock off the insults and try a little harder to think constructively about thoughts on road use and problems associated with them that people here are quite apparently trying to sincerely share their own views on.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

If I type your username here (as I used to going back years) the message automatically goes to moderation. And I am not at all sure why you are getting so hot and bothered about username etiquette: you’ve always chosen to modify my username in your comments here and it never occurred to me to be bother by that.

As for Car-head, if you insist on hearing that term as an insult I guess that is your prerogative.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

We should all drive more carefully. I think we can all agree on that. However, I suspect that it is car drivers who have paid a far greater price than vulnerable road users. Millions of car drivers are dead from car accidents. How many vulnerable road users have suffered the same fate? I would say that makes car drivers just as vulnerable as any other road users.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

All road users have an obligation to operate safely. It’s clear that a huge number of people think that if a driver fails to notice a cyclist passing from behind on the right and turns in that any resulting crash is the fault of the driver. This is a low speed, obvious, and super easy scenario to avoid. I sometimes see cyclists operating less than 15mph get hooked by vehicles that obviously going to turn when the cyclist was more than 50 yeards behind.

Meanwhile, if a cyclist suddenly pulls out on a highway in front of a driver, that resulting crash is somehow also the driver’s fault. This situation gives a fraction of the reaction time, is not obvious, and may be physically impossible depending on the vehicle. For example, semis don’t exactly stop or handle on a dime.

Anyone who does sudden and unpredictable things will cause crashes wherever they are and the fact that someone has pedals shouldn’t get them a pass.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“Anyone who does sudden and unpredictable things will cause crashes wherever they are”

You are overlooking the possibility that a society could take an approach to car-bike interactions that anticipates these circumstances where your statement is not automatically true. The example I’ve been flogging here and which you seem bound and determined to ignore is passing behavior. Give someone on a bike a wide berth as a matter of course (and as is required by law in some countries and even here in the US in some states) and what you are insisting on ceases to be a natural law but starts to look like the ethnocentric/Car-head inspired statement that it is.

To take a statistical view, you can perhaps appreciate that a cyclist diverging from a straight line isn’t unpredictable at all, unless you take a view of cycling that includes only the vastly experienced, strong, and fit, and with bikes that never experience mechanical distress. If you take a broader view of cycling as including all sorts of potential and statistically plausible divergences then your harsh view dissolves into a puddle of meanness.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Passing clearance is important, but the amount that’s appropriate varies with circumstances. Speed of car and bike, width of lane, visibility, presence of oncoming traffic, conditions on the road and to the side, and other factors all come into play. More clearance is better if conditions allow, but it can actually be less safe if waiting for too much clearance leads to other threats.

I get that not everyone is in the same place and all kinds of weird things happen — catastrophic mechanical failure, suddenly running out, etc. I’ve personally experienced these things.

Some conditions are unforgiving — there’s no two ways about it. In the case of that segment, there’s a MUP that cyclists can take (and that’s what the vast majority of people do). I don’t blame Hank for taking the road. I always did myself because I don’t like riding on MUPs for many reasons (even that one which is generally empty). But it’s disingenuous to say that segment is unsafe for bikes when there is a dedicated and separated path literally within stone’s throw with signals for crossing. 99 is way too busy to expect wide passing berths and slowing it down enough to bring in that kind of margin of safety would render the road useless.

I think that it is reasonable to expect a minimum level of fitness and ability on some roads. The whole point of highways is to link places that are further apart. If you’re on 99 headed out of Monmouth north or south, it’s impossible to not have to ride at least 15 miles total. That short ride gets you only to Rickreal (a booming metropolis with a population of 77). Chances are, you’re riding much further than that and it’s hard to get to and from anyplace interesting in less than 50 miles. Short hops make no sense whatsoever.

Advocating costly and impractical measures that have no chance of being adopted wide scale discourages new cyclists and encourages motorists to adopt anti cycling attitudes. Getting reasonable shoulders to ride on is hard enough. Render the roads useless to accommodate a tiny number of cyclists and support goes to zero.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“slowing it down enough to bring in that kind of margin of safety would render the road useless.”

Oh, you mean useless to autodom?

“If you’re on 99 headed out of Monmouth north or south, it’s impossible to not have to ride at least 15 miles total. That short ride gets you only to Rickreal (a booming metropolis with a population of 77). Chances are, you’re riding much further than that and it’s hard to get to and from anyplace interesting in less than 50 miles. Short hops make no sense whatsoever.”

You keep saying this sort of thing. You do perhaps realize that some of us *live* here. We’re not trying to ‘anyplace interesting’ we’re going where we need to go. Rickreall has our post office and a discount building materials store (both 4 miles away) Derry has a hardware store. A house I maintain is 5.4 miles from Derry.
50 miles and I’m in Portland(!)

“Advocating costly and impractical measures that have no chance of being adopted wide scale discourages new cyclists and encourages motorists to adopt anti cycling attitudes. Getting reasonable shoulders to ride on is hard enough. Render the roads useless to accommodate a tiny number of cyclists and support goes to zero.”

That is a whole bunch of wild speculation there. We haven’t even had the conversation yet. Somehow other countries I’m familiar with have instituted laws about passing bikes and their skies have not fallen. I really am not following your ‘costly and impractical’ shtick. What do you have in mind?

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Perhaps I’m confused. I believe Oregon has a law requiring about 6ft of space for an average cyclist. Are you advocating that that distance should be increased to, say, 10ft?

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Perhaps I am confused.

When people on bikes are run over by people in cars here in Oregon, that statute is *never* invoked–or have you heard it mentiond? If you are correct then I suppose this is yet another example of an empty law just like the VRU which appears to be unknown to—and therefore not enforced by—police and the rest of the system.

It certainly wasn’t mentioned in this case.
given that helmets are not the law and the presence/absence is very commonly mentioned how do you explain that this law/statute receives no exposure in these situations?

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

I haven’t, though I’m not sure I would have. Your reasoning suggests it’s not the law but rather enforcement that is the issue. And I would agree that traffic enforcement is lacking. Most of us would.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“Your reasoning suggests it’s not the law but rather enforcement that is the issue.”

Well it is clearly both. Until we know definitively that there is a law on the books stipulating a safe passing distance I’d be loath to agree with the above. If there is a law, let’s hear from the bike lawyers, PPB, about why we never hear about it, what it means, etc.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

9watts
“slowing it down enough to bring in that kind of margin of safety would render the road useless.”
Oh, you mean useless to autodom?

You keep saying this sort of thing. You do perhaps realize that some of us *live* here. We’re not trying to ‘anyplace interesting’ we’re going where we need to go. Rickreall has our post office and a discount building materials store (both 4 miles away) Derry has a hardware store. A house I maintain is 5.4 miles from Derry.
50 miles and I’m in Portland(!)

No. Useless to almost everyone.

You have exceptionally short distances to cover, and that’s still 8 miles RT. Do you really think people will ride even that far to pick up hardware and mail as you apparently do? Do you actually go to the discount building materials store by bike to pick up stuff? How many of those thousands of cars do you think are headed to or from a handful of tiny places separated by miles where population is barely in the dozens and where there are typically no services?

As for costly and impractical, putting on shoulders where there’s hardly any traffic and way fewer cyclists would in fact be cost prohibitive starting with the road simply drops off which require these to be built up. Even converting existing gravel shoulders to asphalt would take lots of time as well as addressing the bridges — most of them have no shoulder whatsoever.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

It is interesting having a conversation with you. I’m experiencing whiplash. First you inform us that nothing worthwhile is to be found within 50 miles. When I suggest otherwise you tell me my distances are ‘exceptionally short.’ It seems like there’s no winning with you.

As for shoulders I said nothing about shoulders. German roads are often half as wide as ours here in Oregon. People on bikes still do a lot better when it comes to being not run over or killed.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Actually, I said you need to go 50 miles to get to anyplace useful — which gives you a 25 mile reach since you have to go both ways. Your distances are exceptionally short. Thousands of cars go down those roads. Very few of them are going to a handful of tiny places.

I guarantee practically no one leaving Monmouth is going even 10 miles RT along 99 since 5 miles only gets them partway to something else. There aren’t even many houses along the road.

They are not choosing cars because of car head or lack of bike facilities. Most people lack the desire or fitness to ride that far, and it would take them too long. Even in Portland where distances are tiny, traffic is slow, parking is impossible, and bike lanes are everywhere, very few people bike.

As to the safety of German roads, I’m sure the drivers are better since they have real tests. I’m guessing the cyclists are better too. If the roads are half the width, anyone swerving in front of anyone is going to cause an crash.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

In Germany you can be imprisoned for 6 months or fined 3 months of your salary if caught driving without a license.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

Some areas have decent non car options, Portland being among them. But the vast majority of the country is not like that. People are very spread out and even things like basic bus service cannot be provided efficiently (they seem to struggle with it enough here where population density is very high and distances are tiny).

Changing this state of affairs will take a long time. Penalties need to be part of the picture, but you can’t legislate away reality. The war on drugs is a pretty good example of how well that works.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

“I guarantee practically no one leaving Monmouth is going even 10 miles RT along 99 since 5 miles only gets them partway to something else. There aren’t even many houses along the road.”

I never said anything about Monmouth. I don’t live in Monmouth but imagine there are actually plenty of folks there who bike and who could give us insights into this matter that takes a less strident, less absolute view of this matter than you seem determined to.

“They are not choosing cars because of car head or lack of bike facilities. Most people lack the desire or fitness to ride that far, and it would take them too long.”

This is a key point of disagreement between us. You are fixated on a rearview mirror approach to cycling that is profoundly negative, limited, frustrated; I instead look forward and imagine dynamically evolving attitudes and behaviors related to bicycling.

“Even in Portland where distances are tiny, traffic is slow, parking is impossible, and bike lanes are everywhere, very few people bike.”

See what I mean?

“As to the safety of German roads, I’m sure the drivers are better since they have real tests.”

So instead of pissing in our cornflakes why can’t you allow that we might get there – eventually – if we put our minds to it?

“I’m guessing the cyclists are better too. If the roads are half the width, anyone swerving in front of anyone is going to cause an crash.”

You are insufferable, so glib, so determined to see this as zero-sum. You realize perhaps that the Germans actually have laws about this, laws that make sensible, that they enforce?
https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/23/police-say-bike-rider-was-drunk-veered-out-of-bike-lane-before-collision-on-se-122nd-232591#comment-6812284

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  DAN

“…If we accept the police statement as accurate. How do they know he veered out of the bike lane? …” dan

That’s a fair question, and this being a collision with very serious consequences, I believe the police will be required to conduct a more thorough investigation accompanied by a detailed report, in which there may be explanation about how they came to understand that the person riding veered out of the bike lane, if that is in fact what he did.

“…Also, he’s unconscious so we haven’t heard his account as to what happened yet. …” lascurettes

When he’s recovered, if he is able to enough to mentally function and remember some about what happened, details he can provide, could help to confirm if and how he left the bike lane.

Some bike lanes are narrow, some roads don’t even have bike lanes, but still with precautions taken, they can be ridden relatively safely. A 4′ bike lane is skimping on sufficient room to safely ride a bike in the bike lane, especially if there’s a parking lane directly adjacent to the bike lane.

Personally, my way of riding the bike lane in the situation represented by this road’s lane configuration, would be to ride the white line differentiating bike lane from main lane. With a little practice( it helps to not be intoxicated.), it’s not too difficult to hold a steady line of travel on this white line outside of the door zone without varying more than about 6″ to either side of the line. Eyes on the road far enough ahead so if there’s a stick or some other kind of big hazard that requires leaving the bike lane to avoid hitting it, there’s enough time to: quick look back for oncoming traffic, arm up to signal for a few seconds, and then if clear of traffic, leave the bike lane for the main lane to divert around the hazard.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

no bike lane is big enough for a drunk moron on 2 wheels…

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

No bike blog is big enough for an idealogue with a keyboard.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

My idea of our civilization is that it is a shoddy, poor thing and full of cruelties, vanities, arrogances, meannesses and hypocrisies.
Mark Twain

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

I think that is about right.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

Life is unfair and many times cruel. That’s just the way it is – always has been – in the past it was far more cruel in some ways than today. Some folks are rich, beautiful, born into wealth, etc, and some folks aren’t so lucky. That’s life. I’m not jealous of those lucky ones, but I do buy lottery tickets in the hope of catching up. 🙂

It seems that a difference between liberals and conservatives is that conservatives want everyone to have equal opportunities, but understand that we will not all have equal outcomes; and liberals seem to want everyone to have equal outcomes – many times given to them by big government – and that doesn’t work – eventually you run out of other peoples money to pay for all the give-aways.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

If you feel that riding the line differentiating bike lane from main lane…the lines are only about 4″ wide, of a 4′ wide bike lane leaves you in the door zone where cars are parked in the adjacent parking lane…then DON’T ride in the bike lane. I hate to use all caps to make a point, but it’s important for everyone riding to understand clearly that Oregon statute 814.420 does not oblige people riding bikes to ride into hazardous conditions present in the bike lane. Do your job as a safe road user. Watch for hazards, always, to be prepared as much in advance as possible, to allow for checking for traffic, signaling and leaving the bike lane for the main lane to avoid hazards in the bike lane.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

What a great day (in the face of tragedy). You and I are in agreement that no one should ever ride in the door zone. I’ve had my share of angry reactions, but considering the number of times doors have unexpectedly burst open over the entire width of the bike lane as I passed, I’m only here because I don’t ride there. Sadly, the great majority of people on bikes choose to ride there; most of them eventually win a door prize of varying severity.

I did have one interesting encounter while riding in the travel lane adjacent to a door-zone bike lane. A pick-up honked at me. I pointed at the parked cars. When I had cleared them, he drove up next to me and rolled his window down. (Boy, was I glad I hadn’t made any rude gestures since his young son was in the passenger seat.) He asked “Why?” and I told him about the hazard of the door zone. He thanked me for the information and we parted with smiles and waves.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

There wouldn’t have been a collision if she hadn’t been driving, and she was already told not to. Why are you giving her a pass?

Dead Salmon
Dead Salmon
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

He’s merely stating a fact – based on what we know as of now it was the cyclists fault. Even if the cyclist eventually tells his side and it’s different it will be his word against hers unless there is more evidence such as video, etc.
She will get whatever punishment is due for driving suspended according to Oregon law. She may have been suspended unfairly – we have no idea.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Dead Salmon

Suspended unfairly? Even if true, it’s entirely irrelevant. If you get sentenced to jail time unfairly you still have to go to jail.

And aside from that, what prevented her from buying insurance or registering the vehicle?

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Dead Salmon

What we know now is that a driver w/o a license, insurance, or registration collided with someone on a bike, who the police believe had alcohol in their system. We know for certain that the driver is at fault for at least 3 things. Everything else is conjecture.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Bingo!

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Indeed. What we don’t know is if those violations had anything to do with the collision.

Really?
Really?
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Just remember your outrage at this and your “the law is the law” argument, when you try to justify rolling stop signs and running lights on your bike in future posts.

The hypocrisy will flow.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

why are you giving the cyclist a pass? being sober goes a looooong way to stay alive on our roads…

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

I’m not. All we really know at this point is that an unlicensed and uninsured driver in an unregistered vehicle hit a cyclist from behind, a cyclist who had some alcohol in his system (how much? we don’t know). Based on those facts, you’ve done nothing so far but blame the cyclist.

Kyle Banerjee
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

We do not know that hitting the cyclist from behind is an accurate description. There is a big difference between hitting a cyclist from behind, hitting a cyclist that entered the traffic lane, and hitting a cyclist who suddenly veered out. The investigation may or may not clarify what happened.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Are you calling Jonathan Maus a liar? He said in the title of the article that the cyclist was “drunk”. So, unless JM is lying, we do know that he had quite a bit of alcohol in his system.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

Your reading comprehension is even worse than mine.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Now THAT’S saying something!

🙂

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

I don’t see any connection between the level of intoxication of the cyclist and the honesty of Jonathan.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Yeah, he’s reporting on the officer’s statement.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  jeff

“being sober goes a looooong way to stay alive on our roads…”

really?
how do you explain then that the majority of people on foot or on a bike who were injured or killed by those in cars are sober?

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

It is because a huge majority of bike riders are sober when they ride. Occasionally one of them will get hit. So, most riders who are hit are sober.
It is likely that a much higher percentage of drunk riders will be hurt one way or another; fortunately drunk riders are probably the exception.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

She absolutely should not get a pass, but it is impossible to attribute this crash to her mere existence.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Her mere existence behind the wheel was illegal.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Unquestionably.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

This could have happened to any legal driver as well. If it wasn’t her, it could have just as easily been someone else. As HK stated, while she shouldn’t have been on the road, it still might not have been the driver’s fault.

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
7 years ago

At least she stopped.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

Yes, we’ve really come to the point where a motorist who stops after being in a collision is noteworthy. I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Why not just say, “Thank You for stopping at the scene of the accident even though you were driving suspended”?

Haram
Haram
7 years ago

Drinking is sinful.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Haram

So we can’t even reply to this on jest? My comment was moderated?

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Haram

In your opinion….. I along with the majority of people on the planet do not see it that way. I’m gonna go pour a double right now. Furthermore, this statement of yours could be interpreted as victim blaming, if I were wishing to play devils advocate.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

Sometimes ‘victims’ end up in scenarios that are a result of their own poor judgment.

I’m not going to jump into a big cat enclosure any time soon. I might be a ‘victim’ of a tiger attack.

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  Haram

Just not, lest ye be judged.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Like be judged doofus?

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

I’m not sweating it. Not now. Not ever.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

You haven’t been outside today?

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

🙂

Dead Salmon
Dead Salmon
7 years ago

There is no logical way that “veer” can be described as “judgmental”. It is merely a description of the path that an object such as a vehicle takes as it moves. YOU, because of your bias, “feel” that it is judgmental, but it is not. The fact that we do not know why the cyclist veered does not make the word judgmental.
.
It could just as easily have been the car which “veered” into the cyclist for some unknown reason.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago

Ain’t necessarily so. Why are you so absolute in this presupposition ?

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago

“…My entire point is that the police wouldn’t use that same type of word if it were driver who did it.” maus/bikeportland

maus…that’s your opinion. Why wouldn’t someone writing up a police dept collision report, use the word ‘veer’, if to them, that word aptly described a particular movement of a motor vehicle? People can make a motor vehicle veer, or erratically divert from a straight line of travel, just about as easily as they can make a bike veer from a straight line of travel.

This level of worry, quibbling, fretting, whatever that some of you reading here are feeling over how the actions of this guy riding a bike and being ‘under the influence of alcohol/drunk’ are reported by the police in their apparently initial and accordingly brief collision report, is kind of amazing to me.

Unless further discovered and reported details about the two individuals involved in the collision, reveal something dramatically different from the initial police collision report, and that redeems them some legitimate way from what each appears to have done that was very wrong, these two people don’t seem particularly worthy. If the report so far is generally accurate, neither one should have been operating a vehicle.

If the person driving was doing so out of some dire emergency: bringing someone to the hospital if no other means was available…unlikely but possible…that might…have been a reason that could justify driving despite the suspended license, uninsured vehicle, etc. When the police interview the driver for the full collision report, I wonder what the reason offered for driving will be.

It’s too bad it’s not easy to just keep from using a vehicle on the road, the kind of people that use the road they way these two people reportedly have.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

“This level of worry, quibbling, fretting, whatever that some of you reading here are feeling over how the actions of this guy riding a bike and being ‘under the influence of alcohol/drunk’ are reported by the police in their apparently initial and accordingly brief collision report, is kind of amazing to me.”

We get that.

For symmetry’s sake I’ll respond by saying that your refusal to see patterns here, acknowledge the presence of modal bias by not just the police but the entire legal system and beyond, is perhaps equally amazing to me. We’ve been over this dozens of times in these comments, you and me. And although you have made your disdain for research and studies abundantly clear, preferring to rely on your own impressions of traffic, there is plenty of academic research that bears out this asymmetry in citations, assigning of fault, etc.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Have you ever considered that you might be equally biased in a different direction?

9watts
9watts
7 years ago

This is kind of tedious. We all have biases, and we can at times be the least well equipped to see our own. But in comments here you refuse to commit to any point of view, agree to any set of facts from which we could jointly home in on some better understanding, and instead sit and jeer from the sidelines. It isn’t as if there were no point from which to judge the relative merits of the various biases we bring to this conversation, but your quips here consistently suggest that it is merely a he said/she said/everyone’s biased thing, which suggests there is no point in even having a discussion.

John Liu
John Liu
7 years ago

Veer, steer, swerve, turn, none of these are judgmental words, and I’ll bet the officer writing the sentence had only a short time to do it and lacked the benefit of an editor to revise and reword his draft until it would please everyone. Let’s not be so defensive. The preliminary version, unproven and subject to further investigation, is that an unlicensed, uninsured driver collided with an intoxicated cyclist who had suddenly gone from being in the bike lane to being in the traffic lane. That’s all we know, and we aren’t even sure of that much yet.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

oh come on, you are really bringing too much reality into the normal bikeportland.org lynch mob. The Church of Maus will not be happy if they cannot bitch about bike lanes ad nauseum.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

Which sounds more judgy: “left the bike lane for an unknown reason” or “veered out of the bike lane into traffic”. One sounds like he had some reason for doing what he did, we just haven’t figured it out yet; the other sounds like he just pulled a bonehead move that nobody in their right mind would have done. “Veered” has a connotation very similar to “darted”, which is often used to describe pedestrian movements that supposedly led to their being hit by a motor vehicle.

Plus, it’s not so much the choice of words in isolation that makes a difference. As Jonathan hints at, it can be informative to compare the words used to describe driver actions to the words used to describe bicyclist actions in similar situations. In my memory, when only motor vehicles are involved in a collision, phrases such as “attempted to pass” rather than “swerved around”, or “veered into the oncoming lane” are used. “Failed to negotiate the curve”, rather than “swerved [or veered] off the road”; same for “left the roadway [or EB/WB/NB/SB lane] for unknown reasons”. All these phrases (and others) seem to suggest that the driver was trying their hardest, doing their best, making every effort to be a good driver, but the gosh darn physics [or sun, or fog, or darkness] were just stacked against them so that—despite their valiant and heroic efforts—an unfortunate outcome resulted. Meanwhile, bicyclists and pedestrians just “veer” and “dart” into traffic like idiots.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Yes. And we have some commenters here who hew to exactly this line of reasoning. Thanks for highlighting this absolutely crucial element when trying to make sense of these descriptions.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Veer is a crucial term in this case. It implies that the move out of the bike lane was sudden. It is not judgmental, just descriptive. I “veer” when turning my head to look behind me (good reason for mirrors) – I veer off my straight course – sometimes into the traffic lane.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=veered&spf=1498418105841

John Liu
John Liu
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

If we demand the police report use words that – as you say – imply the rider had a reason for making the maneuver, isn’t that an editorial attempt to re-write the report to convey an impression of facts that are not known to be true?

We don’t actually know that the rider had a reason for veering from the bike lane into the traffic lane, he might have simply been intoxicated, inattentive, etc.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

“We don’t actually know that the rider had a reason for veering from the bike lane into the traffic lane, he might have simply been intoxicated, inattentive, etc.”

This is such an interesting inference, John. If you look at this from the opposite angle, where the default position is to give all people on bikes a wide berth when passing them in an auto, because we have no idea what could happen, why or whether they might tip over, but acknowledge the possibility, = the law, then we don’t need to contort ourselves in this manner, second guess why they may have veered or fallen over, or any of that. It won’t matter because we won’t have smashed them with our auto, or would have through our perspicacity reduced the chances of that dramatically.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Well, the trouble with the passing-distance law, is that it was designed to maximize motorist convenience by not applying when there is a bike lane present (even if the bicyclist is riding outside of it), or when the overtaking driver is going less than 35 (thirty-five!) MPH, or if the bicyclist is signaling to make a left turn and the driver is passing on the right. In any of the above situations, there is literally no legal passing distance specified. Good luck, and don’t wobble!

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Crazy! Maybe some day we’ll figure out how to draft and pass real laws and enforce the ones that matter (VRU, Basic Speed Rule, speed limits generally, distracted driving, etc.) to the extent that the process by which these laws become part of how we conduct ourselves as a matter of course gets underway.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

For those who will ask…
ORS 811.065

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

And Germany’s equivalent statute for comparative purposes:
http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/stvo_2013/__5.html
and with elaborations:
https://www.adfc-nrw.de/kreisverbaende/kv-bottrop/radverkehr/verkehrsregeln/ueberholen-von-radfahrern.html

my translation of what seemed relevant passages:
“Motor vehicle operators who are passing a cyclist, must leave a minimum passing distance of 1.5 – 2m, more if in doubt. If adequate passing distance cannot be guaranteed due to traffic conditions, then passing must not occur and the driver must remain behind the cyclist. As many car drivers frequently failed to obey this law in the past, the law has been expanded.”

“…You also must expect that the cyclist may suddenly veer to the left to avoid an obstruction – with parked cars this is obvious; but it can also occur due to potholes, which typically cannot be anticipated by traffic following the cyclist.”

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Well isn’t this interesting.

One for the annals of blatantly ignored/unenforced laws.
In El Biciclero’s link above I noticed the following:

(2) Passing a person operating a bicycle in a no passing zone in violation of ORS 811.420 (Passing in no passing zone) constitutes prima facie evidence of commission of the offense described in this section, unsafe passing of a person operating a bicycle, if the passing results in injury to or the death of the person operating the bicycle.

Given that the photos showing the road where Bohannon ran over Kerry Kunsman feature a solid double yellow line* I would like to know from the cops or the DA why this statute was not invoked? Of course, in the Alice in Wonderland logic the Tillamook authorities have been observed to rely on I suppose they will point out that Bohannon didn’t pass Kunsman at all. Ha!

*https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/20/san-diego-bike-coalition-board-member-critical-condition-rear-end-collision-111212

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

JL, absolutely right.

Quote from the article above written by JM: “The PPB also found that Omar was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.”

The title of the article: “Police say man was drunk……” That’s fake news, if the police actually said he was “under the influence” and not “drunk”.

So, yes, there is bias going on here, but it is from Jonathan Maus, not from the police.
BK 6/24/2017 2:51 pm Pacific

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
7 years ago

Here’s the thing…it may have been unintentional but it could have also been subconsciously driven as a result of your own bias. Ironically, you did the same thing about what you were pointing out.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

“Correction: I initially reported that the man who was riding the bicycle was “drunk” when the police only said he was “under the influence of alcohol”. I should not have used the word drunk. I regret the error.” maus/bikeportland

If you believe there is one, explain for us what you believe to be the difference between ‘drunk’, and ‘under the influence of alcohol’. Both the word, and the phrase between apostrophes, refer to being drunk.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I don’t think they are the same. If you take a sip of alcohol and it barely registers on a drug test, you are under the influence; but you may be practically sober. If you register a high concentration of alcohol, or if you can’t walk a straight line due to alcohol, then you are drunk.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

“who had suddenly gone from being in the bike lane to being in the traffic lane”

You are eliding the fact that the statement comes from the party to this crash who stands to gain significantly from giving a version of the event that puts her in a better light. And since hers may be the only version we hear—and lets remember that she stands in a looooooong line of people who hit someone while behind the wheel who have successfully used this line.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

At what point can you just say “the cyclist screwed up”. You spend so much time dissecting a word because you think it is judgmental that I don’t think you have the capacity.

Dead Salmon
Dead Salmon
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Hillary lost because of the Russians, right?
🙂
Same thing happening here. Blaming something, anything! out of a total failure to comprehend reality.
.
In this case we know very little, but veer is just a word. If the cop had written: “The dumbass cyclist veered wildly into the path of the car”, THEN we could say there is something judgmental going on.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike

I see cyclists screw up all the time, and I can share stories if you’d like. I was there and I saw what happened.

As far as this story goes, we have a few facts related to the driver’s licensing/insurance and a lot of guesswork. It sounds like the entire story was presented by the driver. I don’t see an indication that there were any other witnesses, and the cyclist is in the hospital with head injuries so it may be a while before we hear from him, if he recovers.

He may well have ‘veered’ into her car, and if so, he screwed up. But do you recall the story of the guy who was run over by an officer on Sandy? The police first said that the guy was ‘crossing the road’, and then they said he ‘leaped in front of the car’, and then they said he was ‘lying in the road and looked like a bag of clothes’. I have a well-honed distrust of police statements regarding VRU behavior. It seems like sometimes they’ll go with whichever story requires the least amount of investigation & paperwork so that everyone can get back to driving again.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Whether or not the bicyclist “screwed up” is not the issue. Let’s stipulate that, indeed, both the bicyclist and the driver screwed up. The point of dissecting words is to analyze how so-called “screw-ups” are described by the police and media. My yet-to-be-revealed comment above summarizes this somewhat (assuming it survives moderation). As I mention in that comment, compare words like “veered” and “darted” (often used to describe pedestrian movement), with phrases like “left the roadway [or lane]”, “failed to negotiate the curve”, “attempted to pass”. Rarely do we see “swerving”, “veering”, or “darting” used to describe driver movements unless they are used to excuse behavior, e.g., “the driver swerved to avoid the pedestrian, who darted into traffic”. “Speed is a factor” in many auto collisions, yet bicyclists are often “traveling at a high rate of speed” (passive voice for driver, active for bicyclist). Wording usually paints drivers as passive recipients of the actions of others or of conditions, while bicyclists and pedestrians are characterized more often as active agents in contributing to collisions.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes!! Thank you El Biciclero.
Content analysis is so nifty. We would all do well to engage in it a bit more than we (probably) do.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

And then we have people here who actively use language that makes it appear cyclists are never at fault and that they have no control over their actions.

This goes both ways.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago

Based on my simple google search of the phrase “motorist veered” I was shown 27 pages. I find it difficult to believe that large percentages of these stories were minimized in reports written by the police.
I’m gonna call you out on that one J.M., ….sorry.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

Upon contemplation of my first search, I decided to rephrase my google search to be more specific and typed….”police report says motorist veered”. ….and I got so bored clicking through it I had to stop.
There are countless news articles of every imaginable scenario attributing the action of veering as reported by the authorities. Certainly many of them must officially match what’s reported. Hell, maybe not? Maybe Jonathan is right.
I kinda doubt it though.
I truly have no idea if this story is being reported with a bias, only Jonathan knows his intent. It does seem that the story is incomplete, no doubt. Nonetheless it’s a sad ending for both involved.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

I think you are overlooking the way bias works. You could, for instance, also do a search for ‘rider not wearing helmet’ and you’d likely find thousands of hits. This tells us many possible things, but I don’t think you and I would necessarily agree on which of these was the most important/relevant/factual.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

My comments were in direct response to others questioning Jonathan’s alleged bias. Unlike yourself I have no emotional or political agenda here.
Jonathan made the statement that he had read numerous police reports that slighted cyclists with bias. All I did was look for myself to see if the internet backed up his claim at all. In my lazy detached view the thousands of stories I glanced over said different.
I really don’t care. This story shows me two people met in an unfortunate manner. I’m not going to judge either of them. I also will not defend either of them due to their mode of travel.
You used to entertain me here often years ago, and I often agreed with you. Lately I find your outlook droll. SNS. :/

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

Numerous police reports DO show a bias against VRUs. Randomly doing a google search for keywords isn’t the best way to investigate that, BTW. You have to read and analyze the reports individually.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

9,
I could practically write your responses before you do because of your strong bias on certain topics. You are biased on AGW, car/driver-blaming, shaming, and bashing, etc. Sometimes it is best to look at the facts, and describe them as objectively as possible – and in this case I think that’s what the policeman did. The term veered probably came from the car driver and it may indeed be an accurate description. She’s innocent until proven guilty. Except in this case she is apparently guilty of driving with a suspended license.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

“I could practically write your responses before you do”

so clever of you.

“You are biased on AGW, car/driver-blaming, shaming, and bashing, etc.”

hilarious. I don’t think bias means what you think it means.

“Sometimes it is best to look at the facts, and describe them as objectively as possible”

Like accepting that climate change is happening all around us?

“The term veered probably came from the car driver and it may indeed be an accurate description. She’s innocent until proven guilty.”

Curious you would say this. Is the cyclist, in your opinion, innocent until proven guilty as well?

“Except in this case she is apparently guilty of driving with a suspended license.”

Right. Hm.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Uh,… I think you are losing sight of the conversation here. In addition I think with this comment to Mr.Knobbies you are just plain losing it period, SOOOO, I will offer this first….

bi·as
ˈbīəs/
noun
1.
prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
“there was evidence of bias against foreign applicants”
synonyms: prejudice, partiality, partisanship, favoritism, unfairness, one-sidedness; More
2.
in some sports, such as lawn bowling, the irregular shape given to a ball.
verb
1.
cause to feel or show inclination or prejudice for or against someone or something.
“readers said the paper was biased toward the conservatives”
synonyms: prejudice, influence, color, sway, weight, predispose; More
2.
give a bias to.
“bias the ball”

…now it might behoove you to not attack peoples intelligence in such a casual and arbitrary manner by using over the top knee jerk comparisons that aren’t even remotely connected to the topic.
I think the heat yesterday might have been getting to you.
You know, I have it in my mind that you are a decent human. The problem for me lies in the notion that many of us as cyclists spend waaaaayyyyy to much time with hope that our pseudo activism combined with our passion and joy of cycling and it’s benefits with simply will the world to join us in our pedaling merriment and bliss. This is so ridiculous and naive.
Please refrain from twisting reality and insulting others in regards to what the word bias means. You do not have exclusive rights to it interpretation. It seems you use this defense with anyone who sets the word in front of you. Sad.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

9,
Yes, the cyclist is innocent until proven guilty. Probably will never be a “trial” because there probably isn’t enough evidence to prove anything either way.

Yes, the climate is changing. Always has, always will. Are we absolutely sure we’re responsible for it? No, but we may be making an impact. There have been many warm periods in history.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

And no insurance, and no registration.

Does she strike you as a trustworthy person?

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Constantly piling judgement on the woman involved is very shallow. I think I understand you and your outlook. Same as others here speculating on the severity of drunkenness of the cyclist, and questioning his personal integrity .
It appears that she is in full violation of three separate items involving her driving. In no way am I justifying that, however as others pointed out she remained at the scene and did not run from whatever consequences will face her. That says quite a bit to me.
It’s sad you take this so personal.
She quite possibly may be one of the most trustworthy people you might ever know. If her life pressed her to rely on a car she can’t afford to operate legally , she will now find out the hard way that her ability to do so in the future is greatly compromised. I’m positive that outcome is what you so vehemently await.
Perhaps you could be her life coach and help her embrace a cycling lifestyle? You seem to know her better than anyone here.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago

“…Therefore the “veer” allegation most likely comes from Duffus’ perspective and/or that of witnesses — none of whom are likely to appreciate a cycling perspective. …” maus

I hope you’re serious, and not making light of the situation. The guy was reportedly drunk. Drunk. From your own story: “…The PPB also found that Omar was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. …”. And given that there was very good reason to believe he was drunk, you’re having a hard time accepting that he was accurately or fairly described as having ‘veered’ from the bike lane to the main lane of the road?

Again from your comment: “…Therefore the “veer” allegation most likely comes from Duffus’ perspective and/or that of witnesses — none of whom are likely to appreciate a cycling perspective. …” You seem less than certain that there were witnesses other than Duffus. If there were witnesses, unless you had an account of what they said to police about the collision, or unless you had heard from someone else what they said, or had interviewed them yourself, how could you possibly suspect or conclude that they wouldn’t have been able to appreciate a cycling perspective?

Just this morning in Beaverton, a block from city hall on a quiet two lane street, I was driving 20 mph and approaching a stop sign. Bike lane on the street, but it merges into the main lane some 15′ in advance of the stop sign. 50-70′ in advance of the stop sign, a guy on a bike is maybe 20′ ahead of me, cruising along a little slower, maybe 14mph, still back from the merge point. Shows no indication he’s aware of me behind him, no indication that he’s going to merge in front of my vehicle, no hand signal. At this point, I’m close to being abreast of and passing him. Abruptly, he turns his head to the left to see me behind him about 8′ away, then quickly veers, lurches, or whatever you wanna call it, in front of my vehicle.

I’d been watching him closely, so there’s no way I was going to be caught off guard in the event he made some unsafe action on the bike. He could have signaled for a merge into the main lane from the bike lane easily 20′ or more in advance of the stop sign when he was a reasonable distance ahead of me to do so. Why didn’t he do that? I doubt the guy was drunk. Just an incompetent road user. As it sounds as though the guy riding and involved in the collision on 122nd likely was.

But keep on trying to relieve people riding bikes from holding themselves responsible for safe use of the road while riding. That ought to do wonders for building broad based public support for better biking conditions

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I like your narration of that sequence. One thing that I suspect is cultural. You wrote the following:
“I’d been watching him closely, so there’s no way I was going to be caught off guard in the event he made some unsafe action on the bike. ”

as if you should be given special points for being so perspicacious.
But I submit that in places where bicycling for transport is standard practice (some Continental European countries come to mind), a larger share of the population, perhaps even nearly everyone has encountered this kind of stance, may even practice it. It used to be/in some places is called defensive driving. Our problem here I think is that many people talk (never mind drive) as if this were not something they are expected to practice themselves, is not their responsibility.

If it were many people-who-were-non-motorized-at-the-time-of-their-deaths would still be alive today.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

…and here it is again. You propitiate wsbob’s, anecdote then left hook him with some barbed condescension…..
….then you proceed with your dreamy apples to guava fruit comparison of car culture in Europe. The WHOrg charts state that no more than four Continental European counties have lower road related deaths than the U.S. These being the frosty ones in the northern quadrant. The rest of Europe is actually higher than us.
I won’t get into their size or car ownership averages, because again I really don’t care.
And finally..
Poor wsbob. The steady voice from the suburbs, subjecting himself to the least amount of thumbs up replies in BP.org history.
Why he subjects himself is beyond me.
Always enters the race, and never quits. I’m gonna give him thumbs up now and forever just for the blind sake of it.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

“no more than four Continental European counties have lower road related deaths than the U.S. ”

I’d appreciate your providing a link.

Here’s one that seems to disagree with your claim: http://www.vtpi.org/irresistible.pdf

Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany
John Pucher; Ralph Buehler, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New
Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
First Published: July 2008
from which I’ve excerpted a few short passages:

“Thus, the Netherlands has the lowest non-fatal injury rate [of cyclists] as well as the lowest fatality rate, while the USA has the highest non-fatal injury rate as well as the highest fatality rate.

… The cyclist injury rate for the USA seems extremely high relative to the other countries.

Thus, it is important to emphasize that the much safer cycling in northern Europe is definitely not due to widespread use of safety helmets. On the contrary, in the Netherlands, with the safest cycling of any country, less than 1% of adult cyclists wear helmets, and even among children, only 3–5% wear helmets (Dutch Bicycling Council, 2006; Netherlands Ministry of Transport, 2006).”

PS propitiate – great word; though I’m not sure it captures my appreciation of what wspob was doing.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propitiate

I do make a point of agreeing with or complimenting even my most ardent antagonists here when I can.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  monkeysee

“…wsbob. The steady voice from the suburbs, subjecting himself to the least amount of thumbs up replies in BP.org history.
Why he subjects himself is beyond me. …” monkeysee

monkeysee…thanks, but don’t worry too much about the flak some some people commenting here send my way. Goes with the territory.

I’d like to see people think and offer something more constructive, such as making more of an effort to wrap their heads around understanding common road system problems and trying to come up with ideas for infrastructure improvements that will be better, mutually beneficial and satisfactory solutions for all road user…but maybe obnoxious, mean remarks and name calling is the best they can manage.

People having independent thoughts, vision and voice about the realities of travel by all modes of transportation on streets and roads, that goes contrary to some of the more popular viewpoints held by some folks reading weblogs like this one, will frequently find themselves subject to negative reaction.

It’s very important I think, to keep an eye keenly focused on what are the problems affecting the road and street travel system we have today, and what can realistically be done about those problems to improve conditions for road use by all road users of all modes of travel.

I’m interested in transportation and practical travel issues. Other people may not, but I’ve got the time to read and write here for exercise and some fun, so I do. If there were other practical travel weblogs in the Portland Metro area that were less inclined to indulge people that like to bully, call people names, and generally not bother to do anything more than make thoughtless self indulgent remarks, I might be reading and writing there instead. But this weblog is it, it seems. And by and by, the weblog has seemed to have fewer of the empty minded remarks posted, and has gotten better in terms of constructive thoughts offered by readers.

I think the ‘like’ button isn’t a great way to encourage people to think and come up with constructive thoughts and ideas, because, that button allows them to do nothing more than click the mouse.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

“less inclined to indulge people that like to bully, call people names, and generally not bother to do anything more than make thoughtless self indulgent remarks”

You do love these phrases, but your frequent use of them elides a to me crucial distinction. We here, most of us, are engaging in a conversation, an opportunity to jointly learn things none of us may have come here knowing. This is the Socratic magic that can and sometimes does happen. But not everyone approaches these conversations with that in mind. Some prefer dogmatic, ill-considered rants, or refuse to support their claims when pressed.

You’ve repeatedly accused me of name calling, but to me your refusal to engage on the subject of, for instance, Car-head, your rejection of the matter which it highlights, violates this principle. The way I approach this conversation, no one’s ox is safe from being gored. Dismissing the phrase Car-head is problematic just as it is when #45 denies climate change; refusing to go there doesn’t make the issue some are trying to wrestle with any less pressing, less valid.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

“…You’ve repeatedly accused me of name calling, …” watts

that…watts..is a nickname by the way. No disrespect intended. If you don’t like it, let me know. I can expend the energy to make the extra keystroke if it’s a consolation to you.

I accuse you of name calling, because that’s exactly what you do from time to time, consistent with other of your sometimes bullying, immature behavior. Stop it and confine your objection to other people’s points of view to which you disagree, in a manner which you would have them in public, express their objections to your point of view.

People often do have various preferences on certain points of view that may have wide support but aren’t necessarily universally shared. Maturity and common decency means that people that disagree with certain points of view, don’t go around referring to those that hold them, by using a contrived name for the purpose of showing disrespect and contempt. Well…some do, in for example, acrimonious arenas like that of some political new sites and whatnot, but I hope this weblog’s staff, whoever they might be besides the one, Maus, don’t decided to stoop to that level.

If you want to refer to people you believe have a preoccupation with, and an unfair, unrealistic prioritization of one mode of transportation over another, than that’s how you should refer to them. Good chance you can think of a one or two word phrase for such people that doesn’t bring up an association with similar sounding word phrases intended to infer disrespect.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

wsb,
Good job on defensive driving! You handled it correctly and with the correct mindset. I give cyclists extra room when I pass, and I try to remember to check my mirrors and look over my shoulder (for bikes) when turning right at an intersection, etc. BUT sometimes when driving my car even I, a cyclist, do forget; that’s why it is important for cyclists to approach intersections with extreme caution – people make mistakes – that’s why cars have air bags, seat belts, crumple zones, ABS, collision avoidance automatic braking, horns, insurance, etc.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

“wsb,
Good job on defensive driving! …”

knobbies…Thanks! Whether people drive, or bike, or whatever their mode of travel on the road is, they should be working to be aware of and alert to situations their actions could contribute to having other road users be vulnerable to the possibility of a collision occurring. Taking up the slack in safe road use when one or another road user isn’t sufficiently aware and alert, are those road users that are. That works to a point, but leaves too much room for problems to occur. More people when they are road users, need to be actively working to travel safely, not only for themselves but for other road users as well.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Agree. We can all improve. And the state can improve the design of roads.
Today we must make the best of what we have. Resources are limited.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

“…that’s why it is important for cyclists to approach intersections with extreme caution – people make mistakes – that’s why cars have air bags, seat belts, crumple zones, ABS, collision avoidance automatic braking, horns, insurance, etc.”

How important is it that bicyclists never forget to use “extreme caution”? Why?

How important is it that a motor vehicle operator never forget to perform the tasks you list (and others)? Why?

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Pretty lame to have moderated off my comment here… I’d love to know why?
Nothing I said was inflammatory. Just my observation on the banter between two people, and my take on it.
Maybe the author does favor the views of certain regulars .
Sad.
Please explain.

emerson
7 years ago

jeff
I ride sober. I can stay in a bike lane pretty easily.
Recommended 1

Aren’t you special.

Buzz
Buzz
7 years ago

It sounds like PPB is taking lessons in bicycle crash report writing from NYPD.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

It sounds to me like JM of BP is taking lessons in bicycle crash report writing from the Huffington Puffington Post.

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
7 years ago

Now I really want to know why the driver wasn’t riding a bike, since she wasn’t legal to drive.
https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/21/a-bicycle-rider-has-been-hit-and-critically-injured-on-se-122nd-north-of-division-232361#comment-6810404

His not having chosen to wear a helmet would be a pertinent fact if someone can point to a large difference of helmet use vs not between fatally/critically struck cyclists and the riding population.

Did the car have external airbags?

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Eric Leifsdad

In some cases, if a helmet had been worn, it may have saved the cyclists life. That’s a big difference in each of those cases. Living. Dead. See the difference?

MCyclist
MCyclist
7 years ago

Here is a study cited by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute – helmets.org. The sample size is fairly large and the reduction in injury severity is pretty striking.

Statistics from the American Journal of Surgery, 2016

Of 6,267 patients included in the study, 25.1% were helmeted. Overall 52.4% had severe TBI, and the mortality rate was 2.8%. Helmeted bicycle riders had 51% reduced odds of severe TBI and 44% reduced odds of mortality. Helmet use also reduced the odds of facial fractures by 31%. Conclusion: Bicycle helmet use provides protection against severe TBI, reduces facial fractures, and saves lives even after sustaining an intracranial hemorrhage.

An interesting follow-up question for JM to ask the PPD is why exactly do they record whether a cyclist involved in a crash was or was not wearing a helmet? It very well may be for statistical documentation to be used in future analysis like that presented above.

John Liu
John Liu
7 years ago
Reply to  MCyclist

The police should record and report helmet use. They should also record and report use of lights. I suppose clothing color and reflectivity is too subjective to record and report.

This is necessary to enable studies such as the one cited.

I recognize this upsets people who feel that helmet usage should not be encouraged, or who think helmet usage should be reported only if relevant to the injuries sustained. I’d suggest that publicly available data should not be censored to serve one group’s ideological beliefs.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

I’d like to see lots more information recorded and reported. I’d like to know about turn signal usage, estimated speed of the car, police-estimated safe driving speed for the specific conditions at the time of collision based on the basic speed rule, phone usage, other occupants in the car, window tinting or other modifications, etc etc.

paikiala
paikiala
7 years ago

Jonathan,
Can you clarify again the collision pattern.
The first description appears to say the two involved were going the same direction, while “veered out of their lane into oncoming traffic.” is a completely different scenario.
Oncoming implies opposite direction, not shared bike through and right turn only lane.
Details matter.

monkeysee
monkeysee
7 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=68226&ec=2
The updated report states they were both traveling south. The update also reports the cyclist was determined to be under the influence of alcohol. No mention of toxicity.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago

Apparently, Paris Hilton was sent to jail for driving with no license:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAT_nY0n9P0

Alan 1.0
7 years ago

9watts
[…] I suppose this is yet another example of an empty law just like the VRU which appears to be unknown to—and therefore not enforced by—police and the rest of the system.

And the basic speed rule.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

Right.

Alan 1.0
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

In the context of your discussion with HK upthread, you said “Well it is clearly both [law and enforcement].” Among the basic speed rule, safe passing distance, VRU, etc, our laws are not that far from northern EU strict liability laws, so that leaves enforcement. I don’t disagree but I’ll suggest that there is another, greater factor: collective consciousness, a mass social view of how we all act. That, in turn, informs how we interpret and enforce laws, and even the laws we make. In my experience –
reinforced earlier this month – Dutch drivers aren’t especially more beholden to laws or courts than we are so much as they are enculturated to drive as if they, themselves, were pedestrians or cyclists. Of course, they often are.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

Yes, a far better response than mine. Thank you, Alan.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

It’s so basic they don’t even have to enforce it!

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

It’s also essentially unenforceable, except, perhaps, in extreme situations.

It’s hard enough when you have an objective law with clear boundaries. It’s something else altogether when the rules depend on some combination of conditions, vehicle, driver, and the potentially differing judgments of the driver, ticketing officer, and courts.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Really? 1mph over the posted limit would qualify. Let’s start there.

“Any speed in excess of a designated speed posted by authority granted under ORS 810.180 (Designation of maximum speeds) is prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule under ORS 811.100 (Violation of basic speed rule).”

If the basic speed rule is “essentially unenforceable”, you may as well throw out “Duty to exercise due care”, “Impeding traffic”, “Careless driving”, “Reckless driving”, “Reckless endangerment of highway workers”, “Dangerous left turn”, “Unsafe passing on the left”, “Following too closely”, etc.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Yes, I would start there.

What all those things you cited have in common is they are easy calls to make when the violation is extreme or egregious. Extreme violations of the basic speed law would likewise be easy to call.

Away from the extremes, most of those laws are unenforceable, and hinge on judgement calls that are very difficult to judge after-the-fact.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

If you are traveling 1mph over the speed limit in the dark or in the rain and you hit somebody, is it not obvious? Why do we need extreme examples in order to enforce this law?

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Not to mention that posted speed limits are intended to serve as an upper limit in broad daylight. My understanding of the Basic Speed Rule is that it comes into play in all or potentially all situations that diverge for innumerable reasons from the straight shot, broad daylight situation.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

No, it’s not obvious without knowing the circumstances.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

>>> posted speed limits are intended to serve as an upper limit in broad daylight <<<

Perhaps true, but it is not how they are recognized. They are generally taken to mean "drive at this speed." Everybody, including those who set the speeds, understands this.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Of course, but this kind of slippage, bias, asymmetric-generosity-with-consequences is the essence of what some folks refer to as Car-Head.
Believe me, I wish this matter didn’t keep coming up with such frequency.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Again, the law says this:

“Any speed in excess of a designated speed posted by authority granted under ORS 810.180 (Designation of maximum speeds) is prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule under ORS 811.100 (Violation of basic speed rule).”

You’re trying to argue that the law can’t be enforced, but the truth is that it won’t be enforced. I am aware of the distinction.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Now I see where my confusion comes from. 810.180 (2)(b) includes only the least restrictive (prima facie) conditions that constitute a violation of the BSR. The statute itself, taken as a whole: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.100 is considerably more restrictive, and aligns with what I thought I remembered about it.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

I’m arguing it can’t, but it may also be true that it won’t. In the case you cited, going over the posted speed limit, that is enforceable. That the police choose not to enforce it is a different issue completely.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Yes, 9watts, the full statute is more restrictive. I’m responding to HK’s statement above, which is simply not true:

“It’s also essentially unenforceable, except, perhaps, in extreme situations.”

Most people would not consider going 1mph over the speed limit “extreme”, and yet we have the ability to invoke the basic speed rule in crashes where the driver has gone 1mph over the speed limit. The problem is that we DON’T.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Yes. We agree.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Going 36MPH in a 35MPH zone is not extreme speeding. Which is probably why most people don’t consider it as such.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

I give up

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Dan A, I realize I misunderstood your comment, which was that 36 is an example of a non-extreme but enforceable violation of the basic speed law. And I agree with that. My earlier comments were really intended to apply to the parts that require subjective judgement about what is too fast.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

If you hit someone in the dark going 1 mph over the limit, who would know? Even if you don’t hit someone and a cop gets you on radar going 1 mph over it would not stand up in court. The law has to have some reasonableness about it. It is unreasonable to expect a car speedometer to be accurate to within 1 mph and in court you could make the cop prove that his gun was accurate on the particular day to within 1 mph. He could not prove it and you’d be found not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

“when the rules depend on some combination of conditions, vehicle, driver, and the potentially differing judgments of the driver, ticketing officer, and courts.”

Take Frank Bohannon killing Kerry Kunsman. The authorities went out of their way to say ‘speed had nothing to do with this,’ when the circumstances pretty obviously constituted a case of Basic Speed rule violation.
I challenge anyone to articulate, explain, defend their perspective that this was not so. I don’t think the problem is that the Basic Speed Rule is unenforceable but rather that enforcing it is incompatible with a Car-head stance that instantiates immunity for a variety of demonstrably dangerous and illegal (that have been allowed to become common) behaviors by those in cars.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

What is a safe speed for me to travel on Powell when the roads are wet, in my car, with my tires, using my driving experience, and given my current state of alertness? Or is it just a case of “I know it when I see it”?

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I think you are exactly right – if you hit or kill someone under those conditions then, well, it seems pretty obvious that you were violating the Basic Speed Rule, or not paying sufficient attention or some of both. Does it need to be any more complicated than this?

9watts
The “Ignorance is Bliss” Defense (bicycling.com)
http://bit.ly/wvrs06
“You’re supposed to be able to see what’s on the road in front of you and you should only proceed when it’s safe to do so,” Outagamie County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Jobe said. “When you run into another vehicle or in this case, a bicycle you should have seen, then obviously it’s our view that the only reason you didn’t see it was because you weren’t paying attention.”
Recommended 32

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Again, it depends on the circumstances.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

No.
You’re confusing the evident commission of a crime/violation of a law (driving particulars leading to the death or maiming of someone else), with the legal challenges of parsing exactly what combination of behaviors to identify as causal, as specific violations. Hiding behind the latter as a way to shrug at the former though familiar enough is completely unacceptable.

Other jurisdictions have somehow managed to set up a system that does not take this cavalier, circular, callous approach to the subject.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts
Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

You’ve already concluded that the motorist was at fault, otherwise how do you know the driver’s “crime” “led to” the death of another party? I think you need to actually look at what happened to determine if there was any causality.

There are some places where if a foreigner is involved in a collision, they are automatically deemed at fault because if they hadn’t chosen to come to the country, there would have been no collision.

I’m glad we don’t live in a place like that.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

You seem to have already concluded that we have no idea how these situations come about, what could be done to avoid them.

But we live in a society where justice is tilted sooooo far in the other direction (see http://www.komanoff.net/cars_I/KBA_entire_2015.pdf ) that it seems hardly credible to act so clueless, like we have no idea overall how this comes about. Of course it is good to investigate each case, but where those investigations have been undertaken (without bias as far as that is possible) the findings overwhelmingly point to the pilot of the auto as culpable.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

If a car strikes a pedestrian, and no further information is available, I can make a statistical inference about what might have happened, but it would be impossible to assign blame or determine what really did happen in this particular case.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

this is silly and not all that interesting.

a donkey and a pedestrian,
a cyclist and a skateboarder
a wheelchair user and a pedestrian
a stilt walker and a toddler
I’d submit the chances of any of these pairs resulting in a death if they should make contact is very nearly zero. Should a death nevertheless occur, wouldn’t you agree that the heavier, faster of the two would be where we’d start?

And if you substitute an auto for any one of the halves in the above pairs the statistics change, dramatically. Does this tell us anything at all about fault probabilities? Distribution of responsibility?

You have a tendency to jump to a we can’t possibly make any inference, assign fault stance in examples such as these, which strikes me as a way to avoid any sort of constructive engagement. What is your objective? What would you like to see? How do you propose we gain on these problems?
We were talking about enforcing the Basic Speed Rule, as you may recall.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

I would start by looking at what happened, and investigating the circumstances before I assigned blame. I think we are just going to have to disagree on that point. I think the facts of what actually occurred are salient to knowing who was at fault.

Sadly, a pedestrian was killed crossing the UPRR tracks at 8th a little over a week ago, struck by two trains. A train is far more powerful than a car, and is controlled by a heavily regulated professional. I presume the engineers were at fault in that case?

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

In Brian Willson’s* case the engineer was indeed found guilty as I recall because he accelerated toward those sitting on the tracks in full view and with lots of advanced notification. In the situation you describe, and given that the trains typically run on what we might agree to be fixed routes, my hunch is the engineer will not be found guilty. But trains, as you might agree, are really not much like any of the entities in my pairings above. None of those characters typically share any of the same routes/paths/grades so the argument about relative mass, passing maneuvers, etc. doesn’t really apply.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Willson

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Again, the facts matter. If an engineer deliberately drives his train into a crowd of people, it’s very different than if someone steps in front of it.

The article you linked to mentioned nothing about the engineer being charged with a crime.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

“I would start by looking at what happened, and investigating the circumstances before I assigned blame.”

During your investigation, would you make any attempt to determine a “reasonable and prudent” speed for driving at that time? The law says we must factor in traffic, surface and width of the roadway, hazard at intersections, weather, visibility, other conditions. Seems to me that a determination for a reasonable and prudent speed should be determined in all crashes, before determining the speed of the vehicles involved.

Hello, Kitty
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

I probably would, yes, especially if adverse conditions were at play.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Provide a link and I’ll read the facts of this case.

Big Knobbies
Big Knobbies
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

AH HA! Found the link. I remember this one:
https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/20/san-diego-bike-coalition-board-member-critical-condition-rear-end-collision-111212

Doubt the driver was speeding since the legal limit is 55. The advisory speed of 35 is not a legal limit. I’m going to judge that both were at fault. The cyclist was at fault for riding an unsafe road – no 2 ways about it – you ride a road like that and you’re asking for trouble – most cyclists understand this. Anyone know why the cyclist was riding that stretch? You could safely ride it in a group ride with cars/warning signs/pilot vehicles, etc, but not on you own.

I’d say the truck driver should have slowed down so if a cyclist/deer/pedestrian/car were around the curve he could stop before hitting it; however it is possible that he did exactly that and as he rounded the curve the sun came into his eyes and suddenly blinded him and then the thud happened. In the photo with the fire trucks, there’s the blinding sun doing it’s job.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

“The cyclist was at fault for riding an unsafe road”

With that attitude we’re going to get nowhere.

Have you paused to ask yourself *why* the road seems unsafe? Is it because it has curves? or because people cycle on it? No, you and others deem it unsafe because people in big trucks have gotten used to driving on it at speeds and with a sense of entitelment that rule out the kind of perspicacity necessary not to hit and kill someone who is on the road but going a different speed. It is this entitlement that is reified by the local authorities, law enforcement, the DA, etc. and which is I think usefully captured by the phrase wspob so vehemently rejects: Car-head.

“Anyone know why the cyclist was riding that stretch? ”

Yes, we do. The authorities advised him—as someone biking through Oregon from out of state—to take this route, just like the Portland biking map advised Martin Greenough to bike on Lombard.

Dan A
Dan A
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

Wow.

wsbob
wsbob
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

“… wspob…” watts

watts…are you referring to me, wsbob, showing disrespect for me by messing with my name? More importantly why does this weblog and its owner-moderator indulge your bad behavior in this respect? When you’re not able to make a solid counterpoint to other people’s perspectives offered which run counter to yours, you resort to bullying behavior including name calling.

Not that I would, but what if I or other people posting comments to this weblog, were to start referring to you by some disrespectful variation of yours or someone else’s name? Would you feel that if this weblog were to allow that kind of behavior, that it would be good policy for civil, intelligent discussion? I suppose I’m resigned to the possibility that bikportland and Maus, the owner-moderator will continue to allow you to indulge in this bullying name-calling behavior of yours which to me seems immature at best.

9watts
9watts
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Knobbies

I’ve already explained my recent spelling of your username has zero to do with disrespect, and is merely so that my replies won’t be hung up in moderation. I am at a loss to understand why you can’t just take my word for that, just as I take your word for the fact that your curious abbreviation of my username is innocent.
And now can we return to talking about something interesting, something about transportation or bikes?