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Bicycle rider issued citation for DUII from hospital bed following collision in north Portland

Posted by on September 13th, 2017 at 1:46 pm

View looking west from Tillamook approaching Vancouver.

A serious injury collision Tuesday evening has resulted in a citation for the bicycle rider. Police say the rider was under the influence of alcohol when the collision occurred.

It happened around 6:15 pm on North Vancouver and Tillamook. We first saw it reported via Twitter and then got an email from a reader who lives and rides nearby.

“I was getting off the bus when it happened,” the reader shared with us. “The guy was not moving at all although he seemed to be alive… I heard the driver saying she didn’t see him. It’s possible the bus blocked his view of traffic and he tried to dart across Vancouver.”

Tillamook is an east-west neighborhood greenway that is a busy feeder route onto Vancouver — especially during peak commute hours. There is no traffic signal at the intersection. Users of Tillamook have a stop sign and people going south on Vancouver (a one-way street) have the right-of-way. Vancouver also has yellow “Bikes XING” caution signs on both sides of the street at this location.

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We asked the Portland Police Bureau for more information on the collision. They said the bicycle rider was transported to a nearby hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Christopher Burley says their preliminary investigation shows that the bicycle rider failed to stop at the stop sign and “collided with a van traveling through the intersection.” When officers visited the rider at the hospital they issued him a citation for bicycling under the influence of intoxicants. (For more on bicycling under the influence, read this Bike Law 101 article.)

Sgt. Burley also said a TriMet bus was nearby and investigators are reviewing its on-board video which may have captured the collision.

The reader who reported the crash to us said he lives on Tillamook and has noticed a significant uptick in traffic. “Traffic has been increasing a lot,” he said. “I’ve worried what this would mean for bicyclists.”

UPDATE: A reader happened to be on the bus that was at the intersection when the collision occurred. Here’s how he describes what he saw:

The cyclist was traveling west. The bus was half pulled over partially blocking south bound traffic in the vehicle lane. The van entered what is effectively an unmarked parking lane to pass the bus. At the time of the crash the van was fully in the vehicle lane. The cyclist line of site of vehicle traffic in the lane would have been obstructed by a stopped bus.

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

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Eric Leifsdad
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Eric Leifsdad

Did their investigation determine the speed of the van? I heard a lot of noise from the city about how speed is a factor and Vision Zero or something.

jonno
Guest
jonno

Tillamook used to be my daily commute until this past spring and I noticed a lot more traffic on it especially between N Vancouver and NE 7th in the months before I moved. Haven’t been on it for a long while until this past week, and I found myself sharing it with a heavy stream of cars. It’s officially a cut-through route now, seems.

Best wishes to the rider — that bus stop is in an awkward place.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Ever since the N. WIlliams redesign, I always use Tillamook between Flint and Rodney, avoiding Williams altogether. The redesign made my right turn onto Knott a lot harder, so I’m one of the upticks in users using Tillamook and Rodney as my bybass on that.

Coincidentally, I’m usually pedaling through there at about that time. But I went through there about an hour earlier yesterday than normal.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

(Going to be just a bit cynical here…sorry, can’t be helped.)

Well that was quick. Just a single day, and boom — citation. That’s pretty efficient investigation there, PPB.

You may wonder why I bring that aspect up, though, officers. It’s just that there have been a few other recent collisions wherein cyclists who were *not* under the influence have ended up in the hospital, or in the morgue, and I’m either out of the loop (this site generally keeps me in the loop, I think), or else you’re not nearly so quick to issue citations after the fact when the only apparent crime is a ROW violation by someone in a car.

I’m sure that’s just because you don’t have all the evidence yet though. Carry on. I’ll keep watching this site for updates.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’m sure we’ll hear back on the ‘investigation’ surrounding Tamar Monhait’s death any day now.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Nevermind, I forgot that it took PPB 7 months to cook up a defense for Jolene Friedow (Mark Angeles may have been invisible!).

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Perhaps the van was owned by a delivery or parcel service and they airlifted in a team of lawyers to search for mitigating circumstances to get the corporation involved out of any liability. This may be why the quick citation in the cyclists hospital bed. Just speculating here.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

In this case, the citation was for cycling under the influence, not for violating traffic laws, and the evidence is apparently clear. That might account for the difference in response times.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Well, to be fair, the only reason to delay in issuing a citation is that the DA is considering possible criminal charges. It seems as though no criminal charges ever result from crashes such as the one that killed Mark Angeles, but the driver in that case did eventually receive a citation for “dangerous left turn”, and perhaps one other.

So in cases where it seems the police are taking a long time to issue a citation, it’s not because they just can’t figure out whether a citation is deserved, it’s because (ostensibly) they are waiting to see whether more serious charges should be leveled. In the case of this bicyclist, there was apparently enough evidence to show he was operating UII, but not enough to suggest a criminal investigation was at all necessary.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

The Newberg ‘investigation’ was just bizarre. The driver said she couldn’t see because of the sun and just kept motoring along anyway. The police came back the next day to confirm that she couldn’t see, and this fact was somehow used to prove her innocence rather than her guilt. Driving at highway speeds when you can’t see anything ahead of you in the road is reckless, and resulted in the death of two people. Not even a ticket was issued.

9watts
Guest
9watts

If this is not the definition of Car head, I don’t know what would be.

m
Guest
m

“It’s officially a cut-through route now…”

Yup. The more we impede traffic on other roads (in particular arterial roads), the more this is going to happen when you have a massive grid in place like in NE Portland.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Sounds a diverter would be effective here.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Diverters are not permitted on Neighborhood Collector Streets.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Between Flint and MLK, that would be Russell Street, not Tillamook.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Well, I don’t know that it’s NOT Tillamook, but Russell has much more traffic in the vicinity.

jeff
Guest
jeff

funny, it sounds like not drinking and riding would be effective here…

Ted Gresh
Guest
Ted Gresh

Yup. I agree.

And why is it people here are so down on cyclists running stop signs until one of them gets creamed, and then it’s all about ideas to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

How has traffic been impeded on the east/west arterials near this spot?

Trebor
Guest
Trebor

I’m certainly unaware of any changes to east-west arterials in the area. Lots more traffic on Broadway as a result of the recent few years of economic recovery, of course, but that adder traffic could be easily be fixed by implementing congestion pricing or by pricing scarce parking.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

M,
Vancouver and Williams in this area are Federally classified as minor arterials.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

Whatever other factors leading to this crash that might have been at play here are likely to be negated by the person on the bike’s failure to act responsibly and follow the law.

soren
Guest
soren

“are likely to be negated by the person on the bike’s failure to act responsibly and follow the law”

meh.

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

Which, of course, will trump the same action it appears the vehicle may have engaged in if it was indeed passing the bus via a parking lane. We don’t know that’s the case yet, but I see that form of driver impatience on a daily basis, so it wouldn’t exactly be surprising.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

What we are calling the “parking lane” is not a marked lane as such, and is often used for passing turning cars and allowing other vehicles to pass where the road is narrow. I would be shocked if that turned out to be illegal.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Agreed. As far as I know, that’s still defined officially as “roadway” in ORS parlance.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

My reading of ORS 811.165 leads me to the belief that passing a stopped transit vehicle on a one-way street is legal.

Spiffy
Subscriber

they passed in a No Parking area, which according to the Bike Law 101 article on this site is part of the roadway, so it’s legal… though the No Parking sign is not visible from Tillamook…

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

The section of Vancouver just upstream from this spot has construction going on with the 2 lanes narrowed down to 1 then back to 2 a block or so ahead of where Tillamook crosses. The bus stop is on the west side of Vancouver so the bus would block his view if he was going west to east but not the other way. It would be good to know which way the cyclist was traveling.

Ed in Arlington
Guest

An update to the original article specifies that the cyclist was traveling west.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I ride through this intersection every morning and it is awful. Cars turning from Vancouver left (EB) onto Tillamook frequently cut the corner at high speed, crossing that portion of the roadway where cyclists turning left on Vancouver need to stand to get a view of Vancouver traffic.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Tillamook legacy greenway upgrade is planned for next year once the BES pipe work is complete.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Are they waiting for someone to die at 7th and Tillamook first?

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

Drinking and operating any vehicle while drunk is a bad choice. That detail seems quite minimalized….

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

Agreed– the headline of the post seems to imply he had no responsibility for the collision, when the addition of “for BUII” would clear it up.

Sorry, JMaus, but your headline uses a broad brush to paint cars as the bad guys here, when that’s not entirely true.

mran1984
Guest

Why would anyone own a cruiser if drinking is excluded?

jeff
Guest
jeff

welcome to bike portland. where a drunk cyclist can hit a curb and they’ll blame the concrete.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s a fact! Oh wait, no it’s not.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Both Vancouver and Williams in this area need some form of traffic calming. Motorists race down Vancouver from Russell trying to beat each other to the light at Broadway in a rush to get on to I5, while the motorist coming up Williams seem to be gunning it to get an car length or so advantage before they get to the slow part of Williams. The speeds on Vancouver are much too high given the sight distance availible with buses and parked cars. Either that or these two intersections need lights.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

So remove the parked cars.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

parked cars create friction and a narrowed roadway to slow cars.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

And serious visibility issues.

9watts
Guest
9watts

not to mention the potential for dooring. And climate change.

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

Parked cars near corners destroy visibility.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

The speed limit is 25mph. What are the odds the driver was going at or below the speed limit?

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma
mh
Subscriber

I’ve got very little sympathy for anyone piloting a vehicle drunk, but would the police have preferred that he be driving a car? At some level, probably.

I don’t see why they would need to cite the guy, since he’s just gotten his punishment and has no chance of any recovery in court.

Ed in Arlington
Guest

Why do you say that even without the DUII citation the cyclist has no chance of recovery in court? At this point, from what’s given readers in the article it’s not proven that the cyclist did anything wrong (though apparently the cops have reason to think otherwise, in addition to having evidence that the cyclist was under the influence of an intoxicant despite the lack of results from any toxicilogy tests; if the evidence of cyclist culpability holds up then yes – that will preclude recovery).

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Cyclist injured while riding drunk and running a stop sign. Why is this newsworthy?

Ed in Arlington
Guest

Any cyclist-vehicle collision resulting in hospital transport is of interest to many in the cycling community.

wsbob
Guest

“Cyclist injured while riding drunk and running a stop sign. Why is this newsworthy?” chris I

Why is this newsworthy? Good question, the answers to which are worthy of review:

Both of those two errors in road use, if not directly having contributed to the occurrence of the collision, certainly worked to create an added risk that a collision like this one, or one worse, could happen. Both errors in road use could increase the risk that some riding either falls down or is knocked down and gets run over…or themselves on their bike, runs over someone on foot, hurting or killing them.

Among more than a few people reading and posting comments to this weblog, it seems to be a popular idea that people riding bikes and rolling stop signs, is a good idea, and should even be legalized road use. And riding through red lights (after having initially stopped.), is regarded also by some people, as being a good idea. Collisions like this one, show that stopping at stop signs and probably staying stopped at red lights, is the better, safer road use.

There are people too, that seem to think it’s fine for people riding bikes in traffic, to be doing so, drunk or otherwise intoxicated. So, tough luck for all the responsible road users just trying to safely get from ‘a to b’ ?

I hope news stories about collisions like this one, help to dissuade people of the idea that running stop signs and riding drunk is acceptable or responsible road use, because it’s not.

m
Guest
m

If the car driver had received a DUI, the headline of this article would have been very different.

pdx2wheeler
Guest
pdx2wheeler

Sounds like according to Oregon law by using public right of way drivers and cyclists automatically subject themselves to a field sobriety check if asked by police. However, cyclists are not subject to chemical tests of blood, breath, urine. Wondering what evidence was used then for the DUI charge? Since the injured cyclist wouldn’t be able to perform a field sobriety test, and wouldn’t be subject to chemical tests… Maybe the rules are different when an injury occurs in a crash…?

J
Guest
J

I was on the bus. The cyclist was traveling west. The bus was half pulled over partially blocking south bound traffic in the vehicle lane. The van entered what is effectively an unmarked parking lane to pass the bus. At the time of the crash the van was fully in the vehicle lane. The cyclist line of site of vehicle traffic in the lane would have been obstructed by a stopped bus.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Thanks for the keen observations in this tragic accident. But please explain what half pulled over means in this case. Was the bus stop blocked by a car or something that kept it from fully pulling over? Was it some kind of temporary bus stop due to the construction taking place on vancouver? I cross this intersection every day and it disturbs me that I now have to watch for cars whipping around obstructions in the parking lane.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Per most recent streetview the road at this stop is Parking Lane > Bike Lane > Travel lane >Parking Lane. Bus stopped here would be using most of the bike lane but obviously still be in the travel lane some… just like the vast majority of bus stops in the city.

Justin
Guest
Justin

Is it legal for cars to pass a bus, using that portion of the road? My reading of what may have happened does not matter, but I can see how the cyclist may have thought the whole lane was blocked by the stopped bus and thought it safe to proceed. I’m not speculating on legal/blame, just interested in what happened.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

A person commits the offense of violating the basic speed rule if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following:
(a) The traffic.
(b) The surface and width of the highway.
(c) The hazard at intersections.
(d) Weather.
(e) Visibility.
(f) Any other conditions then existing.

If you’re going to drive around a temporarily-stopped bus, you’d better be going pretty damn slow. Visibility is severely hampered, and people are known to cross the street in front of and behind stopped buses.

Justin
Guest
Justin

Good point, I certainly would be passing very cautiously for those reasons

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I suspect your definition of “reasonable and prudent” differs from most people’s.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

‘Most people’ break the law while driving as a matter of habit. What’s your point?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

My point is that if the driver were driving in a manner consistent with what the majority think, then they weren’t violating the law.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Oh right, that’s how we determine traffic law, by majority rule. I forget that non-drivers don’t even get to vote.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yes, with that law, which contains no objective standards. I know it’s your favorite law, but it does not mean what you wish it did.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Here’s an objective measure for you:

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.105

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).

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yes — it’s objective and doesn’t depend on what the majority thinks. That’s an enforceable law. I wish that it were enforced more often.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Spending time debating the nuances of the above statute seems rather silly, given that the cyclist was drunk and blew a stop sign. This crash could have been easily avoided if the cyclist had made better choices.

BradWagon
Subscriber

If I see a bus stopped blocking traffic for me on a busy street that is difficult to cross I’m gonna roll that stop sign just about every time. An equally contributing factor was the vehicle passing the bus at an intersection that is widely known to have bicycles crossing at it.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Read the eyewitness account posted above. The car had returned to the travel line by the time it reached the intersection. Two thoughts:

1. It seems like the rider would have seen the vehicle
2. The rider was drunk.

SD
Guest
SD

The BAC of the cyclist may not have contributed to the crash. If a vehicle is stopped and appears to be waiting for me, I like most would roll the stop sign.

Spiffy
Subscriber

that portion of the road is a No Parking zone so it’s just another part of the roadway that can be used by moving vehicles…

if it was a legal parking area then the cyclist would have a better case…

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

I’m really confused. If the cyclist was going west, how in the world would the bus obscure his view of oncoming traffic (headed southbound on Vancouver) in any way? The bus would have been to the far west side of the passing van.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Agreed. Something doesn’t add up here.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

The term “effectively a parking lane” is completely meaningless. There is no legally defined such thing.

Ed in Arlington
Guest

I think the original writer of this remark means that the lane is commonly used by vehicles to park in even if isn’t specifically striped off as such.

Ed in Arlington
Guest

Looking at the intersection in Google Maps one can see vehicles parked along the east side of Vancouver, somewhat oddly or unexpectedly, in the block immediately north. It does not appear to be striped for parking for what that’s worth.

Arlington Ed
Guest
Arlington Ed

Clearly the van was passing the stopped bus on the bus’s left; what I don’t get is why the witness would say that the bus’s or the van driver’s so doing would block the cyclist’s view of traffic in the lane in which the van was traveling.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The last few times I was on Williams and turned eastbound on Tillamook I had to stop ahnd wait for nearly 5 minutes for traffic to clear to make the turn from the bike lane. I finally gave up and backed up a block and merged with traffic after the construction and kept moving left then followed 2 cars turning left around the corner. Tillamook was the worst I have ever seen it for traffic. When I got to MLK the cars were backed up for 2 blocks at the light.

Joe
Guest
Joe

hear all the time ppl that drive in sitting at a pub hey bui can happen as they are drinking and jump into an auto. SMH

Joe
Guest
Joe

oh and traffic on Williams n Tillamook agh… riding can feel like frogger

Champs
Guest
Champs

“Tillamook is an east-west neighborhood greenway…”

Technically true, but speaking as a carfree resident of the Eliot neighborhood, this is the only greenway I don’t use. I wouldn’t subject my 8-80 loved ones to its major intersections, nor do I trust the cross traffic on quieter streets. Funny how it gets better when you cross into Irvington.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

As an east-west greenway in NE I also just don’t like how many interruptions there are on Tillamook (vs. Siskiyou-Klickitat or Going). There’s too many dogleg jogs in it and too many stop signs. I’d rather take one of those other mentioned greenways or NE Knott (which is quite pleasant from NE 7th all the way to the Hollywood district).

Ed in Arlington
Guest

I find even Knott along the stretch you describe to be too busy for comfort during busy times of the day.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

But it’s wiiiiiide and comfortable.

Dan
Guest
Dan

So he was BUI and moved through a stop sign without being able to see oncoming traffic? Um…

Andy K
Guest
Andy K

Hoping for quick recovery for rider.

I’m curious about the several things:
Do they get the BAC from a blood draw while he’s in the hospital?

Jonathan, when is the last time you reported on a hospitalized cyclist also cited for Class A misdemeanor DUII?

Does the citation actually saying “bicycling under the influence of intoxicants?” I thought laws were the same for drivers and cyclists since they are operating the exact same vehicle according to Oregon law…so wouldn’t the citation also read the same?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

In related news, another wrong way drunk driver on Highway 26 last night.

http://www.kgw.com/news/washington-county-deputies-pull-wrong-way-driver-from-burning-car/474368741

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

There was a wrong-way driver on Williams on my way home last night. It didn’t appear they hit anyone, fortunately.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Wrong way drivers on Hwy 26 near Murray are becoming an epidemic. I’m wondering if we need to have one-way tire spikes installed on the highway offramps to keep bozos from doing this.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Why is there car traffic on Tillamook at all? That traffic needs to be on N/ NE Russell instead.

Why is there no diverter at Tillamook & MLK? Or at Vancouver/Williams?

Portland is a joke for bicyclists these days. A total joke.

X
Guest
X

Russell is very often congested. It’s common to see cars backed up from MLK to Rodney. The T intersection at MLK/Russell may be part of the reason, not to mention that MLK is often backed up in the area of Tillamook, Russell, and Knott streets. No doubt Waze is sending some people across Tillamook and up NE 7th.

I’m with you on the diverter.

Mike Quigley
Guest
Mike Quigley

By the tone of all the responses, it’s unanimous. It’s impossible for bike riders to be drunk (never mind that they spend much of their time in brewpubs).

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Nuance is not your strong suit.

soren
Guest
soren

is it not possible that with a bus obscuring site lines and a car that apparently went around the bus in a parking lane (probably illegal), any impairment was not the main cause of this tragic collision?

soren
Guest
soren

“sight”

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Spending time debating the nuances of the above statute seems rather silly, given that the cyclist was drunk and blew a stop sign. This crash could have been easily avoided if the cyclist had made better choices.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’m curious how they determined that the cyclist blew the stop sign so quickly. Forensic evidence? The driver’s account? Other witnesses?

Dan
Guest
Dan

I mean, he traveled past a stop sign and was hit by a car. Doesn’t matter if he stopped or not – he’s still at fault if he came to a full stop, put a foot down, and then rolled into the intersection and got hit by a car.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

What if the road looked clear when he started up again after the stop sign, then a car , which was up to that point out of view of the rider, whipped around the bus in a parking lane and ran him down before he had time to clear the intersection?

Dan
Guest
Dan

Good point, in that case I would lay blame on the motorist. I’m pretty cautious about leaving cover, but I don’t think I would have been on the lookout for a fast car in the parking lane.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

In your imagined scenario, how fast is the car going?

Ed in Arlington
Guest

If the car was speeding or the driver was yapping on a cell-phone, tuning the radio et al then it very much matters.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I mean, he traveled past a stop sign and was hit by a car. Doesn’t matter if he stopped or not – he’s still at fault if he came to a full stop, put a foot down, and then rolled into the intersection and got hit by a car.

Ed in Arlington
Guest

If the car was speeding or the driver was yapping on a cell-phone, tuning the radio et al then it very much matters.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Mike Quigley
By the tone of all the responses, it’s unanimous. It’s impossible for bike riders to be drunk (never mind that they spend much of their time in brewpubs).
Recommended 0

haha, spending all that time in brewpubs sounds relaxing, I wish it was true.

BradWagon
Subscriber

If I see a bus stopped blocking traffic for me on a busy street that is difficult to cross I’m gonna roll that stop sign just about every time. An equally contributing factor was the vehicle passing the bus at an intersection that is widely known to have bicycles crossing at it.

pruss2ny
Guest
pruss2ny

was this bus “blocking traffic” for cross bike traffic? or was it just pulled over at the bus stop. i got the impression it was the latter.

unrelated related note…as a driver in pdx i find it more and more confusing trying to figure out when bikes are traffic and when they are to be ceded right of way. intersections like mlk/going…the green stripes that are not at the crosswalk…i get the basic mantra is do no harm (so to speak) but i don’t see how confusion helps anyone. i watch intersection of se12th/salmon most mornings during commute and don’t get how more people don’t get into wrecks

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

The green crossing “crossbike” markings have no legal authority and are part of no design standard. They should be ignored.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Crossbikes are lame. ‘cross bikes are cool.

soren
Guest
soren

in my experience the likelihood that someone driving will stop for someone cycling at a crossbike is far higher than at an unmarked crosswalk. i think they are a huge success and are well on their way to becoming a standard bike infrastructure tool.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I, personally, don’t like them. I regularly ride west on Johnson where it crosses 14th (by REI). I stop at the stop sign there and wait for thru traffic on 14th to clear before crossing the road, but sometimes people just cruise on past me on the right in the crossbike, which makes an already-confusing intersection even worse. If they get hit, does the driver bear any legal responsibility to cover damages?

But that’s just me.

pruss2ny
Guest
pruss2ny

but aren’t u just saying that marked crosswalks garner better attention from drivers than unmarked crosswalks? i haven’t seen a cross bike that wasn’t attached to a marked crosswalk. further…if someone is biking in the cross-bike, aren’t they in the road? doesn’t that make them traffic in the first place? in which case, why does traffic with right of way cede to them? hence my confusion

9watts
Guest
9watts

My understanding is that pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross at an intersection have hitherto enjoyed different rights: drivers are supposed to yield to a pedestrian stepping into the roadway whereas no such yielding is expected from drivers for cyclists or other drivers seeking to cross their path at an intersection. I *think* that the green cross walk paint stripes are meant to suggest that *here* bikes are akin to pedestrians, but only here.
If I got that wrong I look forward to someone setting me straight.

One of many confusing bits about this for me is that the absence of a marked crosswalk makes no difference to the rights of the pedestrian who wishes to cross… but it clearly does if you are on a bike.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That may be the suggestion, but unless the cyclist is actually in the crosswalk, and enters it at a walking pace, they do not have their suggested rights.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Exactly what Hello, Kitty said. The green “cross-bikes” have no legal meaning. None. Crosswalks, marked or unmarked, do. And in Oregon you may electively and legally operate as a pedestrian while on your bike with the rights granted to a pedestrian if, and only if, you follow some specified rules (such as entering the crosswalk at “normal walking speed” when other vehicles are present — otherwise you forfeit those pedestrian protections.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

If you act as a vehicle on the rest of the street, it’s kind of bogus to suddenly operate as a ped just because it suits your purposes.

It’s not big deal to wait at an intersection like everyone else.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Bogus?

I’ll tell you what is bogus. The fact that all of us not in cars now have to abide by all these rules that didn’t exist before the automobile. If you look at the delightful video of traffic on Market Street in San Francisco in 1906, everyone’s mixing it up: almost no rules, except paying attention and being quick on your feet.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Personally, I don’t follow any new-fangled rules that weren’t established when my grandparents were children.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

9watts, I’m cool with that. However expecting cyclists to pay attention is not an idea that plays well here…

If only it weren’t for all them dang rules interfering with the free flow of traffic (mostly cars), crummy bike lanes and other infrastructure, required safety/emissions/whatever, yada yada yada. And with the road quality and horse роор, cycling must have made heaven back then…

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Kyle Banerjee

9watts, I’m cool with that. However expecting cyclists to pay attention is not an idea that plays well here…

However expecting drivers to pay attention is not an idea that plays well in the USA.

FTFY.

But the point is that Vision Zero should ensure safety, despite the stupidity of humans. Not drivers or cyclists, but humans.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“However expecting cyclists to pay attention is not an idea that plays well here…”

This is not a fair or accurate statement. You should try harder to hear what people here are saying. The near constant flood of official exhortations that people not in cars take all sorts of special precautions, because – pragmatic.
Responses to this asymmetry, that disagree with this lopsided responsibilization of vulnerable road users are often misinterpreted by people such as yourself to be an unwillingness to hold everyone responsible for paying attention.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

The statement is both fair and accurate.

Few here advocate looking at what cyclists can do to be safe out there, and suggesting that cyclists ride defensively consistently gets you pounded on this forum. That this article and a huge percentage of the comments seem bent on finding a way to make what should be a straight forward drunk cycling accident caused by the cyclist into a driver mistake is par for the course.

Had the cyclist been the sober one traveling along Vancouver and the van had been driven by a drunk who drove through a stop sign, I guarantee the reporting and the comments would have been very very different.

In any case, figuring out on a bike blog what drivers need to do is a trip to nowhere. There are ways to improve driver behavior, but I’m pretty sure that making racket in a bike blog echo chamber about what they need to do is not among the methods that have a chance of moving things forward.

soren
Guest
soren

most of our bike infrastructure has no legal meaning. for example, even on neighborhood greenways it is the legal responsibility of people cycling to ride as far right as is practicable and to let faster-moving motorvehicle traffic pass. (sharrows have zero/zilch/nada legal meaning in OR.)

i am assertive when there are crossbikes and will often edge well into the lane even when there is oncoming faster-moving traffic. in my experience, people stop for me at crossbikes about as often as they stop for me as a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

The paint only reminds drivers that cyclists are present and means nothing. I do find that both do affect driver behavior, my operating theory being that it helps guide expectations for interactions.

As far right as practical has very slippery meaning, particularly in Portland where roads are narrow and there are serious visibility, dooring, debris, etc. issues when you ride right. I ride further left than the vast majority of cyclists — often in the traffic lane even when bike lanes are provided. Having said that, I also try to help traffic through and make it clear through signals and positioning that I know where they are and expect them to pass. Neither cops nor motorists bug me about this practice.

The main negative impact I’ve seen from sharrows and crossbikes is that if you choose an unmarked street that runs parallel to a marked street, the play with traffic gets considerably rougher — drivers seem to have the idea that the marked area is for bikes and the unmarked area isn’t.

There are some areas where I think the crossbikes are particularly beneficial, Tillamook and Interstate being an excellent example because the nature of the area is that bikes and cars must cross each others’ paths at multiple angles in a short space.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Fortunately, as far right as is practicable on most Greenways means you can ride in the center of the lane. Cyclist are not required to ride in the door zone to allow somebody to pass. In other words, take the lane.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Few here advocate looking at what cyclists can do to be safe out there, and suggesting that cyclists ride defensively consistently gets you pounded on this forum.”

I think you are wilfully misreading what people are saying, at least the ones I can recall. What we’re objecting to is singling out what people on bikes can/should/must do to avoid getting killed as the PSA, the focus, the thing that matters, while leaving the ubitquitous source of all the maiming and death out of the finger-wagging conversation.

I can’t think of anyone here who fits your characterization.

soren
Guest
soren

neighborhood greenways are not narrow bike lanes so there is plenty of room to ride on the right. thus, according to the *LAW* anyone riding continuously in the center of a greenway is a scofflaw. moreover, under ORS 811.425 every time adam rides slowly up clinton and does not pull over to let faster moving motorvehicles to pass, he is a scofflaw.

PS: what’s not to like about bike scofflaws? after all, they make us all look good!

It now appears that Oregon’s slow moving vehicle law applies to bicycles.

https://www.tcnf.legal/oregon-slow-moving-law/

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Greenways are not narrow lanes, it is true. “As far right as practicable” does not mean in the door zone, nor does it mean close enough to the door zone that an opening door would cause you to startle. That puts you 6-8 feet from the car, which is pretty much in the center of the lane.

“As far right as practicable” also does not mean you need to dart over to the right if there is a gap in parked cars, as swerving in and out of a traffic lane is dangerous.

I ride down the center of Greenways, and I do so legally. You can too.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

The problem with laws is that it is impossible to codify common sense — especially when you have people trying to manipulate the law for their advantage at the expense of others.

General principles of movement include the idea that anyone overtaking should yield to those they are passing, but also that people who are blocking flow should try to facilitate the movement of those that pass them.

There’s nothing wrong with grinding at 5mph up Clinton or any other street. Some people have heavy bikes, physical limitations, etc. But those that are particularly slow need to be cognizant of their impact and make some effort to mitigate their effect on others. This is common courtesy and applies no matter what mode of travel you use or where. BTW, dooring is a much lower risk at very low uphill speeds so it’s safe to travel closer to cars than would normally be prudent.

As far as what all this means in real world circumstances, what makes sense depends on the totality of circumstances — most people seem to have an intuitive grasp of what to do. BTW, this is not a matter of who can ride how fast. There are plenty of strong riders in the SW hills that can only muster single digit speeds on shoulderless curvy roads with few passing opportunities. Yet to my knowledge, such riding is not regarded as particularly dangerous or hostile to cyclists. I would speculate that is because people who ride there play well with other road users.

wsbob
Guest

“The green crossing “crossbike” markings have no legal authority and are part of no design standard. …” chris I

Well someone created them, and would that not have been the city? If the city didn’t use the MUTCD, it must have used some kind of design standard, even if it’s one it’s road engineering dept conceived of. How difficult would it be to come up with a definite answer on this, and…what the required procedure for use of this ‘crossbike’ infrastructure for crossing a street on a bike is?

I’ve never personally seen one, so I don’t know the answer to how the designers and officials intend them be used or how they hope they’ll work.

By the way, could cite and provide the links to the relevant Oregon statutes so people could more easily review, but I’ll just say that H kitty and lascurettes are correct in their explaining the obligation of people biking in using standard crosswalks. Entering the crosswalk at a normal walking speed is the key part.

I’ve read people’s words claiming that once a person riding has entered the crosswalk at a normal walking speed, they can pick up speed and finish crossing at any speed they choose. Depending on the circumstances, I’d urge caution in doing that. If there’s no waiting or approaching traffic on the street being crossed, pouring on a lot of speed might be ok. Otherwise, rolling along at a walking speed, prepared to stop if the unexpected occurs, seems safest to me.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Who came up with the “standard”? PBOT. Here’s Jonathan’s original post on “here they are!” https://bikeportland.org/2016/08/02/say-hello-to-crossbikes-portlands-latest-bikeway-innovation-188841

From that article there’s a link to a Q&A with Geller of PBOT: https://bikeportland.org/2011/01/19/cross-bikes-crosswalks-for-bikes-coming-soon-to-portland-46310

9watts
Guest
9watts

Agreed. This is a disaster. So much needless ambiguity. If ambiguity is to be part of the program, then much safer to take a page from Hans Monderman’s book and skip the signs and paint altogether.

Thanks John, for linking to those earlier stories. Looks like I missed them.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“Cyclist hit and killed at the intersection of Suchandsuch Street and Soandso Avenue. Witnesses indicated the cyclist was crossing SoandSo in a ‘crossbike’ at the time of the collision (a band of green stripes painted on the roadway with no legal meaning) and did not have the right of way. Driver is cooperating and no citations are expected. The family has secured a lawyer and is intending to sue the pants off the City of Portland.”

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I think PBOT is hoping drivers will go to their website and find out what crossbikes mean. I wouldn’t count on it. Many drivers don’t know what crosswalks mean.

soren
Guest
soren

oregon’s crosswalk law is already ambiguous (and dangerous) in that it requires people walking to enter the roadway to gain right of way. imo, non-legal compliance at crossbikes is already far higher than legal compliance at unmarked crosswalks. so much for ambiguity!

imo, the legal rights of vulnerable road users in this state and city are a joke. if we are to achieve stronger protections we need to assert our right to move about freely. crossbikes are a step in that direction so i support them enthusiastically.

wsbob
Guest

Thanks for posting links to those past bikeportland stories on PBOT’s ‘cross-bike’ infrastructure design experiment. I’d forgotten I’d read them and posted two or three comments to them. From the 2011 story interviewing Geller, and from his answer to the first question asked of him:

“… We landed on the idea of providing a prominent marking to further alert motorists to the presence of crossing cyclists.” geller interview/bikeportland

That the green cross-bike intersection pavement treatment will hopefully further alert people driving, to the presence of people biking at intersections given this treatment, seems to be the extent of thought relative to road use, behind this idea by PBOT staff. In neither of those stories is there any particular instruction to road users as to how to respond to them.

At the site of this collision, would an installation of the cross-bike pavement treatment possibly have reduced the likelihood of occurring… the type road use and collision that this was? This collision had:

A guy on a bike, drunk, electing not to stop at a stop sign.

A bus waiting at the intersection.

Someone driving a van, initially in position behind the bus, and then electing to apparently pass the bus on its right side, out of the view of guy riding coming from the left on the cross street.

In the comments to the 2011 story, Maus responds to a readers reservations about the cross-bike concept:

“…And again, you are an experienced rider. This type of thing is not for you… it’s for the 8 year old kid and the 80 year old grandma. Thanks for your comment.” maus/bikeportland

https://bikeportland.org/2011/01/19/cross-bikes-crosswalks-for-bikes-coming-soon-to-portland-46310#comment-1709025

Was the intoxicated guy that ran the stop sign, an inexperienced rider? Definitely wasn’t an 8 year old, or and 80 year old grandparent.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Why and how could the van possibly pass the bus on the right side? Not only is it highly illegal, it’s likely physically impossible because the bus’s front end was already pulled over for the stop (on the right side). There would not have been enough room for the van driver to pass on the right.

wsbob
Guest

“…Why and how could the van possibly pass the bus on the right side? Not only is it highly illegal, it’s likely physically impossible because the bus’s front end was already pulled over for the stop (on the right side). There would not have been enough room for the van driver to pass on the right.” lascurettes

Going by the following readers account of what he says he saw while riding the bus… :

“I was on the bus. The cyclist was traveling west. The bus was half pulled over partially blocking south bound traffic in the vehicle lane. The van entered what is effectively an unmarked parking lane to pass the bus. At the time of the crash the van was fully in the vehicle lane. The cyclist line of site of vehicle traffic in the lane would have been obstructed by a stopped bus.” J

https://bikeportland.org/2017/09/13/bicycle-rider-issued-citation-from-hospital-bed-following-collision-in-north-portland-242773#comment-6826867

…it appears the person driving the van, used the parking lane to pass on the bus’s right side. Apparently, the bus didn’t pull completely out of the travel lane and next to the curb. For what reason, I couldn’t say for sure. I would hope the person’s investigating the collision, would ask this question. Could have been a number of reasons.

As I wrote in an earlier comment, passing the bus on the right side, does sound to me like a risky move…for people getting on and off the bus, for the person driving the van (imagine the bus beginning to turn right, after the van is abreast of it.). In not pulling next to the curb, or somewhat into empty parking lane, the driver of the bus left an opening big enough that someone driving a smaller vehicle could squeeze through.

The person driving the van, generally did have the right of way over cross traffic. They had a legitimate reason to expect people would stop at the stop signs on the cross street before proceeding through the intersection. Which the person riding should have done for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to avoid the possible occurrence of a collision from someone doing what the driver of the van did in exercising their right of way through the intersection..

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

I think you’re still imagining an untenable situation. Not only would it be risky and illegal, it would be impracticable in any bus situation. As far as the witness account goes there is a “parking lane” on the east side (left side) of that one way street too. Everything about this witness account and about every day mechanics of traffic patterns says the van passed the bus on its left (in other words, on the near side of the bus from the cyclist).

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

None of this matters if we don’t know the nature of the collision. The cyclist may have crashed into the side of the van, not watching where he was going at all. Or he may have been in the middle of the intersection when he was hit. Makes a big difference. The driver said that she didn’t see the cyclist, and if we actually believe her, it seems more likely that it was closer to the first scenario.

I’m curious whether cars were parked up to the corners on either road…

wsbob
Guest

“If I see a bus stopped blocking traffic for me on a busy street that is difficult to cross I’m gonna roll that stop sign just about every time. …” bradwagon

Some of the reasons this collision occurred, is why you should not do what you described. Had the person riding not have been drunk, would he have been more likely not to have collided with the said to be hidden by the bus, van, even though he did roll the stop sign?

Hard to say for sure, but in not stopping at the stop sign, he deprived himself of the safety measure that the stop sign is designed to provide road users with.

Stew Troutman
Guest
Stew Troutman

That’s how DUII cases work. The investigation and subsequent citation (if necessary) happen very quickly. Would you prefer they wait until the individual metabolized whatever potential intoxicant was in their system?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Not sure who you are responding to, but I agree with the immediate BUI citation. I have questions about how they concluded that the cyclist ‘blew the stop sign’, and the timing/positioning of the crash itself. Did the cyclist hit the side of the van as it was going by?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I wonder too, but it almost doesn’t matter. As someone else pointed out, it doesn’t really matter if they stopped or not; they had a duty not to proceed until the way was clear.

That said, alcohol aside, the label “accident” may be very appropriate for this incident. Sometimes bad luck happens.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“almost doesn’t matter”

Almost. The other thing I wonder about is how the wording would have gone if the vehicles were reversed. If we took the *UII out of the equation, I can’t help but think we would be hearing about how the driver stopped at the stop sign (by her own account), and then just as she started across, the bicyclist “came out of nowhere”, trying to get around the bus, how the bicyclist left the bike lane, was traveling at “a high rate of speed”, etc. At 6:15 pm, headed west, we might find out the sun was in the driver’s eyes, and we might further hear about how cooperative the driver was and how the bicyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet. Would the question of whether the driver really came to a full and complete stop have even come up or been asked?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

And if we didn’t remove the UII from the equation, what would people be saying then in your role reversal? Drunk driver hits cyclist! From a stop sign! Had a duty to make sure the intersection was clear before proceeding! Didn’t even look!

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I don’t think people would dispute that drivers are actually held accountable for collisions when they are drunk.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I agree. Do you dispute that cyclists should be accountable for collisions when they are drunk?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I suppose it depends on the collision. If a cyclist is riding straight in a bike lane and gets mowed down from behind, how much of that accountability belongs to them?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Probably less than if they got mowed down after blowing a stop sign.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Sorry, I was specifically wondering about the “failed to stop at the stop sign” conclusion of the “preliminary investigation”. Whose account were we going by, there? Or was it an assumption based on the fact that the bicyclist proceeded when it wasn’t safe? The end result—being hit by a car—is the same, whether failing to stop altogether, or stopping, but not waiting for a safe gap. However, the way in which the conclusion of “failed to stop” was reached, and whether that same conclusion would have been reached in the same way—and reported with the same words—if the vehicles were reversed, *UII or no *UII, is what I wonder about.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

In this forum, anyway (which is the only one where I’ve heard any reporting of the incident), the analysis would have been much more unanimous had the roles been reversed. When the cyclist was clearly in the wrong, a substantial proportion of commenters are looking for any possible way to blame the driver, but many don’t. With the roles reversed, and were the driver clearly in the wrong, I think you’d have near total agreement that the driver was at fault.

I’d rather the discussion be less about who to blame, and more about what could be done to prevent this from happening again. One idea, for example, would be to move the bus stop “downstream” from the intersection so a stopping bus wouldn’t block visibility of other vehicles.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s been my experience, since I started closely following car-bike/ped collisions, that the police do a good job of looking for every possible way to exonerate the driver. The Mark Angeles case is a good example of this. It makes me wary of police reports.

Here’s a fascinating story of a driver in Newberg who killed two cyclists last year and had no charges filed against her.

http://www.pamplinmediagroup.com/nbg/142-news/311190-189609-investigation-complete-into-fatal-bike-crash-

The woman claimed that the sun had been in her eyes for some time, and that she had lowered her visor and held up her hand in front of her face to block the sun so she could keep driving, and then she ran them over. This is a rural highway, so I presume she was driving 50-60mph while being unable to see objects on the road directly in front of her. She saw neither of the cyclists (who were apparently riding side by side) and only stopped when her car hit something.

The police went out the next day to confirm that the sun was in her eyes. And then had nothing to say about her driving behavior as a result of those conditions, and used the SUN as the reason to absolve her of any charges.

“I couldn’t see where I was going!”

“We have confirmed that you couldn’t see where you were going, therefore their deaths were not preventable. Oh well.”

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

“the police do a good job of looking for every possible way to exonerate the driver.”

They do. What bearing does that have on this case?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Let’s say that your job is to serve and protect [the status quo]. An ordinary average driver is doing a fairly typically 35mph in a 25 and swerves around a stopped bus, only to hit a cyclist they didn’t see in the road immediately afterwards. This could be a tricky case where you need to put together evidence to charge the driver with reckless driving, speeding, failing to follow the basic speed law, and other ‘gray’ stuff that is hard to convict with (since most DAs, judges, & jury members identify as drivers). But instead of going through all that trouble, you can presume that the cyclist blew through the stop sign and was probably invisible (aren’t most cyclists invisible? amirite?), and hey look! The cyclist had been drinking. It’s okay people, the status quo has been saved, you can go back to driving as usual.

I’m not saying that’s how it went down. But I am saying that I’ve seen enough of these things that it’s at least possible.

Here’s another story where a deputy was speeding in the dark and ran somebody over.

http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/index.ssf/2017/05/deputy_who_ran_over_man_gave_d.html

The police reported:

a) the victim was walking in the road
b) the victim leaped in front of the car
c) the victim wasn’t seen because the deputy was looking elsewhere
e) the victim WAS seen, but he looked like a pile of clothes
f) the man was laying down in the road
g) all of the above

The correct answer is ‘g’. No charges filed, of course.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It’s quite the hypothetical you’ve constructed. I’ll wait for some actual facts. In the meantime, what bearing does a different incident in a different city have on what happened here?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Like you, I’m waiting to hear more about the nature of the collision before determining what portion of blame belongs to each party. What I’ve heard so far is pretty vague. To be clear on my view, I think BUI is bad and he deserves his penalty for that. I think blowing stop signs is bad, and he deserves his penalty for that, if in fact that’s what happened. Since there were two people involved in this collision, I’m waiting to hear what the other person was up to.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

As I’ve said before, worrying about blame is a distraction from finding ways to prevent this from happening again. That should be our real goal.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

As I’ve said before, worrying about blame is a distraction from finding ways to prevent this from happening again. That should be our real goal.

How do you know how to prevent it from happening if you don’t examine all the factors and contributors to the collision (including blame)? What was the driver up to? What were all the contributing factors of the cyclist?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The cause seems to be that the bus blocked the cyclist’s view of the driver. Exactly what the driver was doing seems less important. Two possibilities for prevention spring to mind — move the bus stop to the other side of the intersection, or add a curb extension to prevent drivers from passing the stopped bus.

But sure. Maybe we need to know for sure if the driver was going faster than 25 or was texting to understand the problem. If either of those turns out to be true, what different solutions would that suggest to you?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Enforcement.

The fact that we allow drivers to continue driving at the posted speed when the sun is in their eyes and they can’t see where they are going, and they can just run people over without consequence is unacceptable. It’s also one of the reasons I stop bike commuting in the late fall. When the sun is low, it’s open season.

Tuesday I was on the highway next to a Portland motorcycle cop and a driver changed lanes twice right in front of us without signaling. The cop did nothing. Failure to signal is responsible for 2 million crashes per year in the US (around 20% of crashes). Why are we doing practically nothing to fix that?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m down with more enforcement. Maybe if the PPD was doing a bicycle stop sign enforcement, they could have kept this cyclist from getting hit.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Could be. Is that where you would direct our limited police resources?

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

I don’t understand how the cyclist had an obstructed view at all. He was going westbound. The bus was on the far side of southbound Vancouver from him. All passing traffic would have been on the near side of the bus to the cyclist. Vancouver is a straight road. The rider should have had an as clear as day view up Vancouver to see if another vehicle was approaching. Even if the bus pulled over with his rear out in the lane, the rider should have been able to see a driver coming. So either the cyclist “blew” the stop sign as some have alleged, or the driver could have been speeding (which would explain why the cyclist misjudged his distance). I have no idea from the details presented thus far. Still, it seems either the cyclist or the driver did something patently unsafe (aside from the drinking) and possibly both did. But you can’t correct for the problem if we don’t know what the real problem was yet.

wsbob
Guest

Answer to John Lascurette:

“I don’t understand how the cyclist had an obstructed view at all. He was going westbound. The bus was on the far side of southbound Vancouver from him. …” lasucurettes at September 15, 2017 at 10:42 pm

“…The van entered what is effectively an unmarked parking lane to pass the bus…” bikeportland reader, riding the bus, describing what he saw associated with the collision.

wsbob
Guest

Forgot to mention: I’m presuming the reader/bus rider was saying the “…unmarked parking lane…”, was on the west side of the street, and therefore, to the right of the bus.

wsbob
Guest

“…The cause seems to be that the bus blocked the cyclist’s view of the driver. …” Hello, Kitty at September 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm

If the parking lane is on the west side of Vancouver, and to the right of the bus, putting the van that was using the parking lane to pass the bus…that could have, for the length of the bus (how long is the bus? Maybe 40′?), put the van out the view of the person riding westward on Tillamook.

The van may not have been out of the riders view, before the van reached the back of the bus before turning into the parking strip in order to pass the bus.

There is said to have been no stop sign or stop light for the person driving the van on Vancouver at that intersection. The person riding on Tillamook, did have a stop sign. The driver of the van had right of way over traffic on Tillamook.

Might the person driving in passing the bus on the right, have violated some traffic law? That might depend. Could be ‘unsafe passing on the right’, or, ‘careless driving’. Links:

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.415

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.135

Passing a bus on the right in the circumstances of this collision site, sounds as though it had the potential to endanger people getting on and off the bus. As has been brought up in the discussion a number of times already, the person riding and that didn’t have the right of way at this intersection, had the responsibility to be sure the way was clear before proceeding. Did he have any opportunity to see the van either waiting behind the bus, or approaching the rear of the bus? If not, why not? If he saw the van behind the bus, and then saw it moving past the bus’s right side, what was his thinking about that? ( one possibility, is perhaps he thought the van was going for a parking spot on the parking strip alongside the bus.).

Rider of the bike didn’t stop at the stop sign. Possibly meaning that if the person driving the van waiting behind the bus before deciding to pass on its right, they might not have seen anyone waiting at the stop sign on Tillamook. Maybe they saw the person riding the bike, approaching the stop sign and expecting they would stop at the sign, giving what the person driving thought may have been enough seconds to safely pass the bus and clear the intersection.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“As I’ve said before, worrying about blame is a distraction from finding ways to prevent this from happening again. That should be our real goal.”

Apologies for introducing rather a red herring here, but I have an additional goal. I also am interested in how to prevent injuries to VRU. But I am further interested in having fair and impartial investigations done in the event that some collision/injury does occur. When I see police reports, or statements from police about “preliminary investigations” that conclude bicyclist error (and nothing else) was the cause of some incident, I want to be sure that the “final investigation” results are also known, and I want to be sure that any injured VRU would have been given the same treatment had they been driving a car instead of walking or riding a bicycle. Oftentimes, the wording of police reports and statements gives away the attitude being taken by the investigators (try hard to exonerate the driver and blame the VRU). In this particular case, it seems that the bicycle rider is guilty of at least two violations: riding while intoxicated, and failure to obey a traffic control device. Maybe we should be glad he was issued a citation so quickly, since the main reason to hold off is so the D.A. can decide whether to file criminal charges. At any rate, I would hope that the conclusion of “failed to stop” was reached by comparing witness statements, and not an assumption reached by way of “bicyclists never stop at STOP signs; therefore, this bicyclist must have not stopped—especially since he was drunk.”

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I share your goals. One thing that might help understand what being treated equally means is to look at some police reports where two cars collide. Do those get a higher standard of scrutiny, or do we see poor investigation in bike-car crashes because those are the only cases we (in this forum) look at?

soren
Guest
soren

there are far more deaths attributable to walking under the influence than cycling under the influence. the fact that biking under the influence is legally equivalent to driving under the influence is disgusting and immoral.

soren
Guest
soren

i should also add that i believe our DUII laws are no where near strict enough. i think sweden’s laws are a good model:

In Sweden, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, i.e. with a blood alcohol content of minimum 0.02 per cent

Provisions on driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are found in Section 4 and Section 4a of the Swedish Road Traffic Offences Act (1951:649) and apply to the driving of motor vehicles.

http://www.government.se/government-of-sweden/ministry-for-foreign-affairs/diplomatic-portal/diplomatic-guide/9.-respect-for-the-local-laws-and-regulations/9.1-drunk-driving/

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Lowering limits, increasing penalties, etc can get you only so far.

For people who have a lot to lose, these things can make a huge difference. But for some of the most dangerous drivers out there like Joel Schrantz, other means are necessary.

Personally, I’d require people to take medication that makes them feel sick if they drank after being convicted with occasional random tests to make sure they complied. But there’s no way that sort of approach would ever be acceptable.

Just be glad it’s not like it was a few decades ago when drunk driving was seen as comical. Some classic films contain scenes like that…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You propose legalization?

soren
Guest
soren

we already have laws that can apply to people who are drunk in public.

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.023
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/430.399

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Are you proposing the law be changed to permit biking while drunk laws, except where it rises to the level of disorderly conduct?

soren
Guest
soren

i personally think we should emulate the UK:

The maximum penalty for cycling whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is a £1,000 fine. This is also the case for careless or inconsiderate cycling.

https://www.slatergordon.co.uk/media-centre/blog/2015/03/is-it-illegal-to-ride-a-bicycle-when-drunk/

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

According to https://bikeportland.org/2011/04/27/bike-law-101-biking-under-the-influence-52045, DUII is a class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $1000 if convicted.

That seems light for DUII, but is in line with your goals for punishment for riding drunk.

soren
Guest
soren

in the UK it’s a *violation* with a fine of up to 1000 pounds and no other consequences.

in OR first time biking under the influence is a misdemeanor crime with a mandatory one year drivers license suspension*, a fine of up to $10000, up to a year in jail, and up to 3 years of probation.

http://www.portlandcriminalattorneyor.com/dui/bicycling-under-the-influence/

*hilarious

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

DUII laws vary by state — it’s very harsh in some. UK laws sound appropriate for cycling in OR but ridiculously light for driving.

Just for the heck of it, I looked up OR drunk driving laws myself. Penalties are light for first time offenders, though it appears there’s typically a 90 day administrative suspension whether or not you’re convicted and a 1 year suspension if you are. 2nd conviction in 5 years gets you a 3 year suspension and a 3rd conviction gets a permanent suspension. 2nd and further offenses can result in considerable jail time.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Your $10K number is not supported by your link.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Granted this technically possible but is anyone aware of a cyclist who was thrown lost their driver’s license for a year, was required to install an interlock device on their bike, or subject to punishments clearly designed for drivers and equally clearly inappropriate for cyclists?

Keep in mind, the page you pointed to sells legal services. That “a good DUI attorney from Portland” is necessary to keep a judge from ordering an interlock device on a bicycle is absurd.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Donny is an AWESOME lawyer and helped me avoid getting an interlock device on my bike. Highly recommended! Would totally hire again!! Worth every penny!!!!! A++++++++++++++!!!!!1!

soren
Guest
soren

it is supported because my link gave a “or more” range. the $10K maximum is in the statute:

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/813.010

soren
Guest
soren

The legal limit is 0.035 in the UK except for in scotland where it is 0.022.

UK drink-driving penalties:

* 6 months’ imprisonment
* an unlimited fine
* a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)

https://www.gov.uk/drink-driving-penalties

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m guessing there’s not many here would argue that American drunk driving standards are too strict.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Do we know what happened to this guy? Somehow I doubt his driver’s license (presuming he has one) will be in any kind of jeopardy, nor will there be any restrictions placed on his cycling once he’s well enough to do so.

Even if the law is equivalent, nobody thinks of it that way. There are constant PSAs against drunk/buzzed driving. Can’t say I’ve ever heard one suggesting it’s a bad idea for cyclists. I’ve passed through checkpoints to detect drunk drivers, have never heard of this applied to cyclists. Also have never heard of a cyclist needing to serve jail time simply for riding drunk, nor is there the moral outrage.

As far as there being a lot more deaths attributable to walking under the influence, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the number of drunk peds exceeds the number of drunk cyclists by a couple orders of magnitude, particularly when not in a bike friendly city.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

How many of you who have an issue with the cyclist being charged would maintain your position if he collided with a pedestrian or cyclist instead of a bus, particularly if serious injury or death resulted? And since we’re all vehicles, I take it you wouldn’t favor charging a drunk driver who seriously injured themselves and no one else?

Is there any cyclist behavior sufficiently idiоtic and irresponsible that people here won’t line up to justify it? Pretending a drunk who caused an accident that could have easily hurt someone else is ridiculous even for here — and that’s saying a lot.

Paul
Guest
Paul

From scanning the comments, it seems that a large majority here agree with you that the cyclist was justly charged.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Running into things = being run into.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

Kyle Banerjee
… an accident that could have easily hurt someone else is ridiculous even for here — and that’s saying a lot.
Recommended 2

He shouldn’t have been using the roadway while drunk, and he broke the law. I know you have to see me say that or you’ll say I’m defending him.

Also, please tell me how easy it is for a drunk cyclist to cause injury or death to innocent people, and do that with data rather than conjecture.

Because if it’s easy, then there will be numbers available; when many people are hurt by a thing we tend to start running numbers on the thing. But if it’s not easy then perhaps there will be few enough that the numbers for that will be either low or uncounted.

Yes, it’s *possible* for him to hurt people by riding drunkenly into an intersection. But you said it’s *easy* and that’s not the same thing at all.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

It’s very easy. All you have to do is run into them. My dad was severely injured by a cyclist who ran into him and he is hardly the only one this has happened to. Btw, senior citizens and kids are way less able to mitigate the situations and the healing periods can be long.

Some months back on this blog, a man asked for assistance identifying a hot and run cyclist who seriously injured his wife.

That cars do more damage is not in dispute, but it is easy to get hurt in a bike wreck.

For those who have trouble believing that running into peds or t-boning cyclists at normal speeds isn’t a great way to get hurt, I’m sure we can construct an experiment where you run into each other on foot and on bike. Who’s on board?

That

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

I see anecdotes and conjecture.

I do not see data.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Are you looking for data about the frequency and severity of bicycle-on-pedestrian or bicycle-on-bicycle collisions? I would be surprised if that data existed (there’s a lot of interesting data that isn’t collected).

But, as they say, absence of proof is not proof of absence.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“when many people are hurt by a thing we tend to start running numbers on the thing”

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I see. So you view the lack of statistics as proof these collisions are either very rare or usually harmless. Kind of the way we can conclude that food poisoning is either rare or harmless because we don’t have good data on the number of people who get sick from bad food each year.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It’s probably far more. Most food poisoning (in the US, at least, and presumably elsewhere) goes unreported for a variety of reasons. Do you report to health authorities every time you become suddenly violently ill? Even in the US we don’t really know the magnitude of the problem.

pruss2ny
Guest
pruss2ny

think part of the problem with relying on data is that it tends to come from police reports…and in researching SF area bike accidents/crashes there is a common refrain that accidents are under-reported b/c many people refuse medical treatment at the scene of the accident, so no police report is filed.

this is a report focused on 1 hospital in SF which shows that 55% of bike injuries there (most unrelated to car accidents) had no police report associated…
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23032807

no data does not mean bike/pedestrian bike/bike doesn’t happen

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Nobody is saying that ‘drunk cyclist on pedestrian’ crimes don’t happen. But the fact that we never hear about them suggests they are either pretty rare, or not significant enough to be reported/tracked. Please, somebody dispute that with actual evidence.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Your logic is flawed. “I don’t hear about it so it must not happen”. When was the last time you heard about “Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis”? Kills 50K per year, almost totally unreported. And we collect statistics on it!

Is this just an argument to support the idea that BUII is a victimless crime?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Your equivalence is flawed.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

We also have no statistics about people biking to the store. Because it doesn’t happen.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Paul Atkinson
I see anecdotes and conjecture.
I do not see data.

Which is why I proposed the experiment to generate the data. You can help put this issue to rest 🙂

Anyone who has a problem believing that bikes running into other bikes or peds isn’t a great way to get hurt, please identify yourself so we can do a controlled explicable experiment.

I suggest each test “pedestrian” and “cyclist” wear blinders so they can’t see the test “drunk cyclist” who will hit them at a variety of speeds from behind or the side. We can then record injuries, do the normal mathematical tests for significance, and publish our results in a peer reviewed paper.

Everyone seems upset about the clotheslining incidents. Paul, why aren’t you calling ВS on the article since there were no links to studies proving clotheslining is a problem, let alone ones proving association with injury? 😉

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“We also have no statistics about people biking to the store. Because it doesn’t happen.”

You seem to be having trouble finding a good example. We know people bike to the store because lots of people here do it. And we see people doing it all the time. And there are bike racks at the store for this purpose.

I don’t know anyone who has been hit by a drunk cyclist while walking. I have never seen it or heard about it. My guess is that most drunk cyclists are moving pretty slowly on crappy bikes and are more a danger to themselves than anyone else. Since we don’t seem to have any data on this epidemic of drunk cyclists running people over, do we at least have some anecdotes? Was Kyle’s dad hit by a drunk cyclist, or just a reckless one?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I guess you’re right. You haven’t heard of it ergo it doesn’t happen. Now that we’ve got that settled, how does it help?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

He was hit by a reckless one. If you ask me, drunk = reckless.

The reality is that the density of both cyclists (especially drunk ones) and peds is very low. This means that no matter how irresponsibly you ride, your chances of hitting another cyclist or ped is low. You are still a menace to yourself and others.

Why do you pretend riding drunk is not dangerous? Crashing into people hurts them. Period. Ignoring obvious realities contributes to marginalization of cyclists and cycling.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Ignoring obvious realities contributes to marginalization of cyclists and cycling.”

What does that actually mean?
I know this is something you have mentioned here before but I confess I don’t understand the mechanics of what you are suggesting.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

My point is the same as I’ve made before: we have limited traffic enforcement resources, and should be putting those forces to work where they will be most effective. Start by going after the most common causes! There is data out there that suggests the most common causes of crashes are driving under the influence, failing to signal, failing to yield, drivers who have no business being on the road (unlicensed/uninsured), distracted driving, and of course, speeding (which doesn’t even include the oft-ignored basic speed law, which is probably a factor in the majority of crashes).

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

9watts
“Ignoring obvious realities contributes to marginalization of cyclists and cycling.”
What does that actually mean?
I know this is something you have mentioned here before but I confess I don’t understand the mechanics of what you are suggesting.

What it means is that those who take ridiculous positions help contribute to a public image of cyclists being a group of reality deprived kooks.

This type of advocacy does for cycling what some of Trumр’s most dedicated supporters do for the Republican brand and conservatism in general. Everyone winds up being presumed to be an idiоt, so good ideas and observations get dismissed before they are heard.

This should be a nonstory. Guy rides drunk, causes a crash, is ticketed, and life moves on. Drunk cycling isn’t and shouldn’t be an enforcement priority. But as soon as you crash and get the cops involved, this is what one should expect.

But when people presenting themselves as advocates pretend he’s some kind of victim or that he’s not a threat to other vulnerable road users, the rest of us get to look stuрid by association.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“the rest of us get to look stuрid by association.”

Is that how you think?

I’m sure some people make these lazy generalizations, but I wonder to what extent we should let this kind of thinking dictate how we make sense of the world?
The Geneva Convention looks down on collective punishment.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

It doesn’t matter how I think, it matters how lots of people think.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Just mentioning the President’s name in this forum is meant as a slur on someone’s mentality or intelligence. When people on this blog who don’t care for the substance of what I say refer to me as “Trumрiаn” rather than provide substantive feedback, I’m guessing it’s because they’re trying to associate me with number 45 supporters who act like caricatures rather than out of admiration of my executive talent.

We have our own equivalent of those supporters right here on BP, and if you don’t think they doesn’t hurt the images of cyclists, you might try asking in wider circles.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

“We have limited traffic enforcement resources, and should be putting those forces to work where they will be most effective.”

Has anyone argued otherwise?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“Maybe if the PPD was doing a bicycle stop sign enforcement, they could have kept this cyclist from getting hit.”

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Dan, you seem to be unaware of common methods for presenting arguments.

Rather than give a long explanation as this is a valid subject for an entire course, very few people mean everything they say literally. I hope you don’t take the hyperbole that constantly appears in this forum literally. It would make it seem even more insаnе than it already is.

HK advocated nothing of the sort and was having a bit of sport with you.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yes… I think you missed the point.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I thought it was funny. Oh well.

soren
Guest
soren

kyle bannerjee:

help contribute to a public image of cyclists being a group of reality deprived kooks

very few people mean everything they say literally. I hope you don’t take the hyperbole that constantly appears in this forum literally. It would make it seem even more insаnе than it already is.

DNFTT

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Soren, good point. Still, trоll’s gotta eat 😉

wsbob
Guest

Why do you need numbers to establish that when someone riding a bike, collides with someone on foot, the person walking can easily be hurt, if not by the impact from the bike and rider alone, but by a subsequent fall to the ground as well?

The preliminary investigation by the police, showed that the person riding did not stop at the stop sign. One of the purposes stop signs serve, is to slow vehicle road users down to a stop to give them time to check to be certain the way across the intersections (with crosswalks, bike lanes if the street has them, and main lanes.) of any given intersection is clear.

If he truly didn’t stop at the stop sign, that means he deprived himself of those seconds he might otherwise have used to be certain there wasn’t anyone he could possibly have collided with, that was crossing his direction of travel.

Sean R-M
Guest
Sean R-M

I don’t live in Portland but around here (Seattle) bus stops are mostly placed on the far side of the intersection.. If the bus was a contributing factor than maybe the stop needs to be moved to the other side of the intersection, if anything is to be learned by this incident.

malegaze
Guest
malegaze

9watts
“the rest of us get to look stuрid by association.”
Is that how you think?
I’m sure some people make these lazy generalizations, but I wonder to what extent we should let this kind of thinking dictate how we make sense of the world?
The Geneva Convention looks down on collective punishment.
Recommended 1

The Versailles treaty on the other hand….

9watts
Guest
9watts

We could keep going back… Magna Carta?

If there is a conflict I’d take the more recent one.

malegaze
Guest
malegaze

Why all the debate over a cyclist who was drunk and screwed up? I ride drunk every flipping day. I never make stupid mistakes that put me in danger. This story is a waste of time. Ride yet flipping bike. Cover yet ass. Quit whining. Quit pretending bikes are a moral compass. They are not.