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In Brief: Walking fatality on Columbia Blvd. this morning

Posted by on September 25th, 2017 at 2:52 pm

It appears a person walking on North Columbia Boulevard was struck and killed on Monday. According to reports, a man ran a red light in his Ford Mustang, striking a person who was in the crosswalk. The driver has been booked for Criminally Negligent Homicide.

Here’s an approximate view that the driver would have had while running the red light, courtesy of Google Street View.

Looking west on Columbia Blvd., at Interstate Place. (Google Street View)

The person who was killed hasn’t been named yet, but Portland Police said “the deceased pedestrian was blind and utilizing the crosswalk as he walked northbound across North Columbia Boulevard.”

We’ve discussed Columbia Boulevard many times in the past (examples: [1], [2], [3]), but here we are again.

Update, 9/26/2017 1pm: the victim’s name has been released, Reke F. Agee. He was 61.

— Ted Timmons, @tedder42 on Twitter and ted@timmons.me.

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bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Tragic. Can you get any more wicked than this? Running a red light and killing a blind person in the process.

NC
Guest
NC

Any more wicked than killing a non-blind person?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Going 50+ mph in the center turn lane passing stopped cars at a legal crossing in a commercial district and summer daytime.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Think they will give this guy an ankle monitor they got from toys-R-us so he can cut it off and flee the country to avoid justice.

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

effing shameful

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Here’s what appears to be the driver’s youtube video from his car in a drag race at the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIjBpczgVeM

In case you forgot this parallel, featuring Chevy’s “Mustang” in a similar setting encouraging pedestrians to “look first”: https://bikeportland.org/2017/08/08/new-crossing-safety-psa-by-portlandia-producer-pits-pedestrians-vs-cars-237882

smdh

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I wouldn’t draw the parallel. Race tracks are where racing belongs.

Even had the light been green, it would still reflect very bad driving as the driver should have been easily been able to see the victim — I’m wondering what the driver was doing.

As the light was red, the driving here is criminal — literally. Good to see the police didn’t hesitate to treat it as such.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Should have left the car at the track where race cars belong.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

If the car is street legal and driven in a safe manner off the track, its race capabilities are not a problem. In fact they can help as the brakes, handling, and tires are far superior to stock equipment.

We still don’t know why he ran the red light — i.e. maybe he was speeding, maybe he wasn’t.

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

N Columbia Blvd is treated as a racetrack by many drivers – 24/7. This type of driving behavior tends to “set the tone” for this road. It is dangerous and constant.

peejay
Guest
peejay

That’s not true. A fast car is designed to go fast easily. Beyond the psychology of “I spent all this money—I might as well use this car for what it’s designed for”, in practice, these cars are designed to achieve lethal speeds very easily. The gas pedal’s effective range for responsible and legal speeds is compressed because it must accommodate all that extra horsepower. Rapid acceleration is too easily achieved that there is little time to modulate.

Cars like this shouldn’t be legal, but they are, and that’s tragic. Don’t add to the tragedy by saying there’s no difference.

estherc
Guest
estherc

Well, i think he demonstrated its not “driven in a safe manner off the track”, don’t you?

wsbob
Guest

In your comment, you specifically mention the word “…track…”. Are you presuming as it seems other people here are doing, that the driver was driving his car on Columbia Blvd, as he would on the track or drag strip? If you’re presuming, that’s a mistake.

A hopped up car, or driving a hopped up car fast, isn’t required to run into and injure and kill other people driving, walking or biking. Driven at the posted speed limit or below it, a hopped up car could be the vehicle driven and comes to be involved in a collision.

Any old motor vehicle could be the one involved in a collision resulting in injury or death to someone. Motorcycles too, bicycles. And lest you feel compelled to quibble about relative likelihood of collisions involving use of motor vehicles compared to use of bicycles, try not let that distract you from the central issue of manner of road use being the major contributing factor to any collision’s occurrence.

People have the ability for choice and judgment. They are capable of driving the most dangerous vehicles in a manner that’s safe enough that it won’t endanger anyone. Conversely, they also are capable of driving or riding what generally might be thought of as the least dangerous of vehicles, in an unsafe manner that can result in tragic consequences.

As should be done in investigating perhaps every collision, aside from assembling various theories about cause, responsible people investigating are going to have to resist presuming the cause of the collision. They’ve got to collect as many facts as they can, and see what they all point up to as being the most likely factors contributing to the collision.

wsbob
Guest

“If the car is street legal and driven in a safe manner off the track, its race capabilities are not a problem. …” banerjee

That can be true. I haven’t seen the drag race video for which the link above is posted. Haven’t been to Woodburn to see it, but I think there may be opportunities at the track for people that hop up their cars to varying levels of performance, to run their cars through the lights for timing. Enthusiasts, hobbyists. PIR has such events too, I believe.

Range of performance upgrades can be from major to minor. What do people think this guy might have in his car, over stock specs? Just because the driver had his car hopped up and has driven at the drag strip, doesn’t in itself prove he was racing his car, causing the collision on Columbia Blvd. A witness or two or three, some video or something, could be very helpful towards understanding all the factors having contributed to this collision.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“I wouldn’t draw the parallel.”

Um, I think Jeff Reardon already did that for you.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Consensus was that was a dumb ad.

The comparison hasn’t suddenly improved.

9watts
Guest
9watts

dumb?
that’s not the half of it.

I think why people might be invoking the PSA is that this tragedy brings into stark relief just how idiotic and inexcusable it was to go there. Some of us even pointed out at the time that blind people were specifically skipped over in all the finger pointing that Reardon and Co. were gleefully engaging in.

soren
Guest
soren

criminal?
please…
people driving run red lights habitually and our society treats this behavior as a minor infraction.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

True. People space out, doze at the wheel, etc. That isn’t criminal even if it is very dangerous.

I’m guessing they must have eye witness or other evidence here that point to some kind of intentional action that precipitated things. Charges when peds get hit are normally not this quick.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“People space out, doze at the wheel, etc. That isn’t criminal even if it is very dangerous.”

Sure. But if you were an airplane pilot would those behaviors be treated more harshly? Let’s not forget that throughout history we have come to recognize that our laws are not adequate, reflect outdated views of everything.

J_R
Guest
J_R

I can tell they are not spacing out or dozing when they accelerate upon seeing the light turning yellow. I’ve seen this happen numerous times. Motorists mistakenly believe that if they “enter on yellow,” it’s legal.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Right, but we don’t know what happened in this case.

In any case, it is sometimes necessary to enter on yellow. For example, if it turns yellow 10′ before you enter the intersection, you will not be able to stop in time and if you try, you could easily cause an accident — particularly if you have something like a loaded semi behind you.

One way to prevent this problem is to have countdown timers on all lights so you can see exactly how much time you have before the light turns green or red as they do in some other countries. This allows much smoother transitions.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Technicaly criminal or not, I would guarantee that when this guys time is up and he is standing in front of St. Peter at the pearly gates, the good saint will be reaching out and hitting the down button on the elevator.

soren
Guest
soren

given the bias against vulnerable road users (and differently-abled people), i am not so sure that this man will serve time. juries are notoriously sympathetic to people that cause “accidents”…

wsbob
Guest

“given the bias against vulnerable road users (and differently-abled people), i am not so sure that this man will serve time. …” soren

Sounds like you’re just griping and, pulling the bias card with no real grounds for doing so. What judge will be hearing this guy’s case? Or, what jury members? What? You don’t have that information?

The details of this collision are fairly apparent and conclusive despite the brevity of facts reported in this story. The guy driving, ran a red light, collided with and killed a person walking in the crosswalk. A person that was blind. Already according to this story, he’s been cited for ‘Criminally negligent homicide, a class B felony. That’s just one violation he could be cited for. Easily, two or three more he could be cited for.

Read about basic rights and responsibilities associated with using the road by both people driving, and people walking. Not many people commenting here, seem to be particularly interested in that subject. Here’s links to two Oregon laws everyone reading about this collision should have some familiarity with:

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.028

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.035

Read those laws.

Will there be mitigating factors favoring the person driving? Was there a crosswalk signal in the crosswalk the person is said to have been using to cross the street? Not sure I see one in the photo accompanying this story. What were the lighting conditions and the time of day, and did they significantly degrade visibility of the person walking, to the person driving?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

AND they actively fight measures that discourage this dangerous behavior (red light cameras). It is disgusting.

Spiffy
Subscriber

sure, running a red light is simply an infraction… but isn’t the part of them killing a person while doing it a crime?

wsbob
Guest

“…people driving run red lights habitually and our society treats this behavior as a minor infraction. …” soren

I don’t think the general public regards doing things such as running red lights, to be a minor infraction. As a serious violation, is how I think the public regards running red lights. A minor infraction or violation, would be something like a tail light out, or maybe, driving without a seat belt. Blowing and running red lights are I think, officially referred to as moving violations. They can possibly be indicators of more serious driving behavior amounting to Careless, or Reckless Driving. Link to text of law for violations that include running red lights:

‘Appropriate driver responses to traffic control devices’

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.260

True…some people habitually abuse their right to use the road by doing such things as violating traffic control devices, street racing whether by themselves or with a group, DUI, and so on. Does the public, or ‘society’ regard these kinds of misuse of the road as minor infractions? I don’t think so.

At the same time, the range of circumstances associated with different people running red lights, can vary a lot, so is it reasonable or does it make sense for society to regard as major crimes, what can be simple moving violations such as running red lights and stop signs?

Of course, if the manner in which the moving violation has been committed, is not simple…say for example the person committing it did so at an excessive rate of speed, or was DUI, or was somehow driving wildly, weaving back and forth across lanes of the road, etc…this road behavior becomes more than a simple moving violation. This kind of driving behavior could constitute misdemeanor, which I think is a crime, but not yet a major crime.

Links to the statutes for ‘careless driving’ and ‘reckless driving’:

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

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.140

It’s a sad story out on Columbia Blvd. Maybe a bystander will have seen the moments before, after, and as the collision occurred for a better idea of how the person was driving, and whether colliding with the person on foot was the result of a simple mistake by an otherwise good driver, or somethingindicating generally far worse driving behavior characterizing the person behind the wheel.

soren
Guest
soren

let’s revisit this again after sentence, wsbob. (the bias against the walking/rolling “other” in jury trials is extreme.)

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Anybody know the last time we had a jury verdict in a car-on-bike/ped case? I can’t recall hearing about one.

soren
Guest
soren

forget jury trials…how many times has a DA prosecuted someone under Oregon’s VRU law?

the idea that the law protects VRUs in a consistent or proportional manner is farcical.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I agree, just curious about jury trials.

wsbob
Guest

“…how many times has a DA prosecuted someone under Oregon’s VRU law?…” soren

Not many. And there’s good reasons there haven’t been more.

If you’re a long time reader of bikeportland, which it seems you are, you’ve possibly read some of the bikeportland stories that discussed Oregon’s ‘Careless Driving’ law that has in it a provision exacting a greater penalty against vehicle operators, if their manner of operating a vehicle, injures or kills a vulnerable road user.

I’ve posted the oregonlaws.org link to that law, many times to bikeportland’s comment section. Your turn. If that is, you’re serious about understanding something about the challenges involved in putting together laws that can be fair and effective in helping reduce the kinds of vehicle road use that are unsafe.

Someone else reading here, could find and post the link too. If only a few people reading here, are serious about understanding the laws concerning road use and vulnerable road users…why bother? If all most people reading here are interested in, is griping and making sarcastic remarks without having to do much thinking, why spoil what they seem to be having a lot of fun doing? At the rate they’re going, given who is there now, they could be the next president.

Seriously…find it and review the ‘Careless Driving’ law, and its provision for penalty in the event a vulnerable road user is involved. That law could possibly be improved to be made more effective. Better protection for vulnerable road users is needed, but that has no chance of happening unless people get serious and try come up with some better measures than exist now.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“whether colliding with the person on foot was the result of a simple mistake by an otherwise good driver”

It is clear from your proclivity to engage in this particular speculation nearly every time someone in a car or pickup kills someone on foot or a bike that you have great empathy with other drivers who kill people. This is at once admirably generous, compassionate, big-hearted, and at the same time mystifying, at least to me. It is mystifying for two reasons.
(1) this group of folks already gets the kid glove treatment by law enforcement, juries, newspapers, etc.
(2) you don’t as a matter of course extend this level of generosity to those of us who are not in cars.

Please explain.

wsbob
Guest

“…It is clear from your proclivity to engage in this particular speculation nearly every time someone in a car or pickup kills someone on foot or a bike that you have great empathy with other drivers who kill people. …” watts

Your conclusion is wrong, and irrational, and has nothing to do with the comment of soren’s I was responding to, or my response to that comment:

“…people driving run red lights habitually and our society treats this behavior as a minor infraction. …” soren

Please try to confine your comments to the point being responded to.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Your conclusion is wrong, and irrational”

There are dozens, probably more like hundreds of examples in the comments here of you doing exactly this:

“There’s been no report that the person driving was doing so recklessly. According to the law, does the fact alone that a person driving has drifted off the road and collided with someone as a result of doing so, have them meet the criteria of a reckless driver?”
https://bikeportland.org/2012/07/13/mini-van-driver-gets-traffic-citation-in-recent-hwy-101-collision-74731#comment-3065975

“As for Bohannon’s license suspension, I don’t think the reason his license was suspended has yet been reported. Knowing the reason the license was suspended could give a better idea of whether or not he was fit to drive, aside from having a suspended license.”
“As I’ve already written, in all other aspects besides his suspended license, he may have been perfectly fit to drive. Most likely, the police investigators were obliged to and did consider this.”
https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/26/driver-hit-kerry-kunsman-issued-citation-careless-driving-111488#comment-5554857

“Can most people eat snacks and whatnot, or drink a soda, tea, coffee or some other non-intoxicating beverage, and still direct attention to the road and operation of their vehicle, functioning as good vehicle operators?”
https://bikeportland.org/2016/03/17/corvallis-da-wont-prosecute-driver-who-admitted-checking-his-phone-before-deadly-hit-and-run-178040#comment-6640751

“There could be legitimate reasons a person truly looking for something at the side of the road, they thought they’d hit with their car…such as low light, bad weather…did not find anything.”
https://bikeportland.org/2016/03/17/corvallis-da-wont-prosecute-driver-who-admitted-checking-his-phone-before-deadly-hit-and-run-178040#comment-6640749

Those were just the first four my search turned up.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Another particularly clear example:
“Do you ‘know’ the driver allowed their car to drift out of the travel lane and into the person biking? Or that the driver was driving in a way that led to the collision? ”
https://bikeportland.org/2012/07/13/mini-van-driver-gets-traffic-citation-in-recent-hwy-101-collision-74731#comment-3068213

This is in response to Wand_a Cortes_e, who had already been cited for ‘failing to maintain her lane’ and smashing into Christee_n Osbor_n, nearly killing her.

wsbob
Guest

watts…Please try to confine your comments to soren’s point that I responded to.

It’s beside the point, but I get it that you think I favor people that drive, over people that don’t drive. You’re wrong. I’ve gone out of my way in many comments over the years, posted to stores on this weblog, to make it very clear I believe that all road users have certain responsibilities associated with their right to use the road. And that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

I think my views on these things are consistent with the law. If you want to try persuade people to discard these basic obligations and rights where it concerns people’s use of the road and their chosen mode of travel…that’s your business. I won’t be joining you in that effort.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s a pretty simple formula. Drivers are well-meaning folks with the law on their side who don’t want to harm anyone, they just make mistakes is all. Cyclists are not trained or equipped well enough, and don’t take the proper safety precautions with regards to their vulnerability.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

Mellifluous and familiar words, but what do they mean?
In all the cases that came to mind in our exchange above one person was dead or very nearly so. In society, generally, killing someone is treated as not only avoidable but as a more serious infraction than most other things I can think of. Several world religions even have a commandment devoted entirely to that topic. It is my view that driving is such an inherently difficult and dangerous activity (even though as you are fond of pointing out most of us manage day-to-day to avoid killing someone with our car) that quipping that everyone is innocent doesn’t begin to capture the essence of what we are talking about, the basic asymmetry of the encounter. 40,000 people die every year in this country as a result of our inadequate and cavalier attitudes toward this matter.

To then parse every such situation in search of the most minute clues that the person who/whose vehicle just took another person’s life might not have been guilty suggests a special stance that I was trying to ask you about above.

wsbob
Guest

““whether colliding with the person on foot was the result of a simple mistake by an otherwise good driver” …9watts…copying and pasting part of a comment of mine, out of context.

Below is the actual statement I wrote, from which he selectively cut the above excerpt [rm silly personal attack -ted] about how I regard the rights and responsibilities of people using the road and by what mode of travel they choose to use it with:

“…Maybe a bystander will have seen the moments before, after, and as the collision occurred for a better idea of how the person was driving, and whether colliding with the person on foot was the result of a simple mistake by an otherwise good driver, or something indicating generally far worse driving behavior characterizing the person behind the wheel.” wsbob

Note in particular, this part of that sentence that I wrote:

“…for a better idea of how the person was driving, and whether colliding with the person on foot was the result of a simple mistake by an otherwise good driver, or something indicating generally far worse driving behavior characterizing the person behind the wheel.”

What I’m saying in the absence of more details about the collision and the person that was driving, is that it could have been due to either a mistake by a good driver, or a bad driver driving badly.

Sorry…it wasn’t until today, that I realized watts had done this.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“a mistake by a good driver, or a bad driver driving badly.”

I don’t even know where to begin. What is a good driver and what is a bad driver? How do you determine which variety someone belongs to at a given moment in time? Does the first fatal crash itself indicate that one has ceased to be what you so matter-of-factly refer to as a ‘good driver’? You clearly don’t think so.

Everyone makes mistakes, will make more mistakes in the future. When peeling potatoes, doing pushups, or riding a bike these mistakes rarely endanger the life of anyone. Putting yourself behind the wheel, though, adds an order of magnitude or perhaps more than one to the severity of the consequence of those foreseeable mistakes. Why is it all-important to know whether the person in question is someone who has never before maimed or taken another person’s life with his/her car or that they have a record? Noteworthy, sure, but not all-important, because these forensics distract from what dogs all who assume the responsibility of piloting an automobile.
The point is to take driving much, much, much more seriously a priori, to take additional precautions, to drive no faster than conditions permit, more perspicaciously, or better yet not at all; to recognize that even under the best of circumstances the presence of a car driven at speed by a fallible human being introduces unacceptable risks to those others who may be about.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I think this is the tragic consequence of having little or no enforcement of red light running combined with the PSA’s putting the responsibility for safely crossing light controlled intersections on the pedestrians. We get the inevitable case of the pedestrian that has no choice but to trust the traffic light and meets up with one of the growing army of scofflaws that think red lights are optional, and they pay for it with their life. I think the PPD needs an epic old testament enforcement of red light running that doesn’t stop until the message is sent, and the city’s coffers are overflowing with the cash of the thousands of citations

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Just a few years ago, almost all motorists I saw would slow down to 5 mph at stop signs and very few ran a red light worse than five seconds after it had changed to red. Nowadays, I see a great number of motorists running stop signs at full speed and all bets are off at red lights; proceed on the green at your own risk. I put it all down to a complete and utter lack of traffic law enforcement.

As to why cops won’t enforce traffic laws, I believe they see it as a losing proposition. Everyone they stop is angry with them, some will shoot them and anytime they deal with a person of color and the encounter ends poorly, well, it’s not going to be pretty. Add in the fact that most cops no longer live in the places they are working, and there’s just no clear benefit for them to tackle this most-important part of policing (other than simply being a professional).

We need some leadership worthy of the name.

soren
Guest
soren

yeah…in my 18 years of bike commuting in portland there have always been intersections where it is typical for drivers to blow reds — often multiple drivers sequentially.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

This exactly.

And there are certain places where peds are systematically ignored.

Most of Columbia is bad. I regard it as some of the worst riding in Portland and I’m very careful as a ped. I can’t imagine doing it blind, even at a proper crossing.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

When I pass through 6th and Broadway in the afternoon, I routinely see cars along Broadway in the intersection long after the light has changed — so long in fact that sometimes not a single car traveling along 6th can get through on a light cycle because the cars on Broadway are fully clogging it.

There are a lot of places where cars enter or stay in the intersection long after the light has changed. Aside from being a safety hazard, it hoses traffic flows.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Sadly, I see this all the time. Everyone gets where they’re going faster if people play well.

The even sadder thing is that Portland drivers are more courteous and considerate than drivers in many other cities.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

I crossed the Hawthorne bridge into downtown this morning. Both of the westbound motor vehicle lanes were stopped about 2/3 across the bridge. I was on a bike and passing all of them. Every car except one (an Uber/Lyft marked car) had a single person in it. These cars are just creeping along, and they creep right into the intersections blocking cross walks and cross traffic when the light changes. I would love to see PPD send out some rush hour bike patrols to ticket people blocking intersections.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’m really careful to not block intersections, but I’ve still been caught in an intersection through no fault of my own. Sometimes it will be all clear in front of you when you enter the intersection and then someone from a side street will turn in front of you and take the empty space. Then the next light ahead turns red and you are stuck.

X
Guest
X

The intersection of NW 3rd and Burnside is a favorite place for pushing lights.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I didn’t say they were previously stopping. I said they were previously running the stop signs at a lower speed than at present.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

agreed! When there is no fear of something wrong, people start doing wrong things. And when there is no fear of the punishment, enforcement doesn’t matter.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

If I read the sentencing guidelines correctly, this killer will likely get one month of county jail (in many Oregon Counties, that means showing up a couple of times for park clean-up detail) and one year of probation, unless he has an extensive conviction record.

Some deterrent that is. I wonder if the judge can take away the weapon he used and make him permanently ineligible to drive.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

The jail isn’t the real penalty — it’s the felony conviction. It’s pretty much a given the driver will lose his job, have trouble getting another one for life as well as rental and other troubles, and he’ll owe restitution to the victim’s estate.

*comment edited by moderator*

dwk
Guest
dwk

No, the jail should be the real penalty… 10 years at least.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

What to do isn’t as simple as just cranking up the punishment as high as possible. Among other things, if anyone depended on the victim, no restitution would be possible. Also, it is useful to have penalties on some sort of scale that represents the world of crime rather than simply lock everyone up.

We already have the highest incarceration rate in the world, and research shows that focusing primarily on punishment isn’t effective even if people who are a menace sometimes need to be separated from society.

A Class B felony is serious. Based on http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_200/oar_213/_tables_213/213-004-0001%2012%3A29.pdf and http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_200/oar_213/_tables_213/213-004-0001%2012%3A29.pdf the outcome is likely to be something very different from what you favor, but substantial.

dwk
Guest
dwk

In cases like this, the odds are at just 34 years old, that he would drive like this again
next week if given the chance.
I don’t think we need more victims.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Simple. Cut off his hands.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I suspect prosthetics and adaptive controls won’t result in better control than having regular hands…

9watts
Guest
9watts

Note – I agree with Kyle here.

“We already have the highest incarceration rate in the world”

And we all know how effective that approach has been/is.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

It depends on what people are getting incarcerated for, too.

My guess is there there are likely far more people imprisoned for non violent drug crimes than for causing a traffic death (percentage based). Also, if I was a member of a minority group that there was a systemic bias against, I probably wouldn’t care much about what I did because of the inevitability of ending up in prison anyway, thus leading to higher incarceration rates.

Mr. Know It All
Guest
Mr. Know It All

MotRG: “My guess is there there are likely far more people imprisoned for non violent drug crimes than for causing a traffic death (percentage based). Also, if I was a member of a minority group that there was a systemic bias against,….”

If you sell drugs to a teenager is that a non-violent drug crime? How about if you sell drugs to the teenager’s dad and he loses his job because he’s on drugs, and the whole family has to hit the street – is that a non-violent drug crime?

Is the fact that the vast majority of crime against black people, particularly homicides, is done by other black people due to a systemic bias of some black people against other black people?

dwk
Guest
dwk

He ran over and killed an effing blind person in broad daylight…
What exactly is incarceration for if not this?

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I don’t really want to lock up every killer. However, I do want to make sure s/he doesn’t have access to the tools s/he previously used. I also think there should be a whole lot of education/retraining on being a member of a civilized society (such as we are). None of that requires much incarceration.

To me, the truly tragic aspect of this homicide is that the killer was simply doing what he has done every day for years. If we could somehow get our traffic laws enforced, his deadly habits wouldn’t have taken hold and there would be no death to mourn. However, we’re not going to make such a “drastic” change any time soon, so we’ll keep on mourning unnecessary deaths.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I want to watch car crushings on TV.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

We should repurpose the Memorial Coliseum just for car crushing spectacles where we can watch in person while munching popcorn. For warm up, we can have convicted red light runners battling bike mounted gladiators.

Mr. Know It All
Guest
Mr. Know It All

Your wish has been granted, and, thanks to our previous el presidente`, you and your children get to pay for it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qJD8AMRWP4

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Sweet. I pretended that was Larry LaThorpe’s Ford Ranger while watching it:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/05/when_a_tragic_accident_is_just.html

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Why do we expect this guy will get a stronger sentence than Larry LaThorpe?

http://kval.com/news/local/da-driver-who-hit-and-killed-3-kids-in-crosswalk-wont-face-charges

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

As the article you point to observes, mistakes — including ones that cause death — are not sufficient for someone to be charged with criminal homicide. People run red lights on occasion by accident for all kinds of reasons. That is bad, but it is not a crime. For the charge to stick, the DA has to prove the driver knows what they’re doing is dangerous.

The cops must have specific information that led them to charge the driver. If they don’t, the charges won’t stick.

*comment edited by moderator*

Spiffy
Subscriber

“People run red lights on occasion by accident”

no, they run them by negligence… any jury can agree that driving without ensuring the light is the right color to proceed is negligent… just like driving without looking at what’s in front of you…

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

People sometimes mess up.

Are you saying you’ve never made a driving mistake in your entire life — including momentary inattention due to fatigue or any other factor — that could have resulted in injury or worse except because it just so happens that circumstances and/or the alertness of others allowed you to continue?

A mistake is not the same thing as negligence which requires a willful component. Apparently, the police believe they have this, but we don’t know those details.

Al Dimond
Guest

Negligence doesn’t require a whole lot of criminal intent. It doesn’t require a specific dangerous act (cf. recklessness), just the failure to exercise a duty of care. Recklessness is a significantly more severe offense with accordingly greater penalties, but we acknowledge crimes of negligence because we acknowledge that we regularly owe eachother these duties of care.

Matthew in Portsmouth
Guest
Matthew in Portsmouth

I have messed up driving and cycling (not often), by speeding, inadvertently running a red light/stop sign/yield sign, failing to stop for a pedestrian waiting to cross the road etc. These mess ups were caused by me paying insufficient attention to my surroundings and the task at hand. If I injured someone by my negligence, I would expect to be punished. Every time I realize I have been inattentive/negligent, I think about how I am going to avoid a recurrence. I think that’s what adults do.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Agreed. No one is saying that people shouldn’t be held accountable or that punishment shouldn’t be a component of that.

But there’s a lot of baying for blood here. If the goal is to really improve safety, projecting evil on someone for making the same mistake/misjudgment that so many others have made just because the results worked out differently is a distraction.

I try to be a good driver and cyclist (I get frequent complaints that I “drive like an old man” — I feel good driving *should* be boring for the passengers). But I’ve scrеwed up too and things worked out OK because the people around me were better in that moment than I.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Many drivers (most drivers?) feel that culturally-accepted levels of speeding are fine and do not harm anybody. Here’s some sweet propaganda!

https://www.motorists.org/issues/speed-limits/faq/

But statistics catch up with us all. Millions of people speeding around ‘harmlessly’ lead to tens of thousands of deaths per year that could have been avoided by driving slower, particularly in conditions that require slower speeds to reduce the chance of accidental ‘oh crap where did that guy come from’ crashes.

9watts
Guest
9watts

The mendacity of that piece is eye-watering.

Q. Don’t higher speed limits cause more accidents and traffic fatalities?
A. No, if a speed limit is raised to actually reflect real travel speeds, the new higher limit will make the roads safer.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

This one’s fun too. It cites a 1968 study (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_curve#cite_note-2) that has since been repeatedly debunked.

Q. Isn’t slower always safer?
A. No, federal and state studies have consistently shown that the drivers most likely to get into accidents in traffic are those traveling significantly below the average speed. According to research, those driving 10 mph slower than the prevailing speed are more likely to be involved in an accident. That means that if the average speed on an interstate is 70 mph, the person traveling at 60 mph is more likely to be involved in an accident than someone going 70 or even 80 mph.

dwk
Guest
dwk

“People sometimes mess up.”
He ran a red and killed a person…..
Remember the Saudi that did the same thing on Hawthorn?
As I recall people here wanted to string him up.
This time, not so much….
Is it because his name is Ryan and not Abdullah?
He is a heinous creep and deserves prison time.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Weird. 1, these cases aren’t equivalent, and 2, I don’t think that’s an accurate summary of the opinions here.

dwk
Guest
dwk

” these cases aren’t equivalent”
Lets see, two drivers disregarded traffic laws and killed a person in a crosswalk with their car…
Sound totally different doesn’ it?

An about 10 people here decried jail time for this offender.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Investigators say 20-year-old Abdulrahman Noorah was traveling westbound on Hawthorne at nearly 60 miles per hour when he struck the girl. His gold Lexus approached 43rd Ave. and was rapidly passing cars while traveling in the center lane, nearly colliding with a few cars near 44th Ave.

Police say after Noorah hit the teen, he continued speeding westbound on Hawthorne and made no attempt to stop. Eventually, he returned to the scene.

Police say Abdulrahman Noorah’s license was already suspended.

dwk
Guest
dwk

One person drove 60 and killed someone, one person drove 40 and killed someone.
You like to split hairs for some reason?
Do you think Ryan is better than the Saudi citizen for some reason?

dwk
Guest
dwk

“Was Ryan’s license also already suspended, making it illegal for him to be behind the wheel in the first place? Was he using a lane that is illegal to use as a travel lane? Did Ryan also flee the scene, attempting to get away? The answer to all of these is no. These scenarios aren’t even close to “splitting hairs.”

He blew through a RED light!!!!
He killed a 60 year old blind man!
Do you want to make more excuses for him….

wsbob
Guest

Mistakes and negligence, essentially are the same thing. Beyond this essential similarity, the nature of any given mistake can be more complicated. Which leads to the bigger, more relevant question of how Oregon law sees mistakes/negligence: whether the mistake was due to carelessness, or recklessness.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s like a kid running around your house with a cup full of milk. Eventually they will spill it, whether they spill it due to the running, bumping into something, or being bumped into. At some point, whatever happens is not an accident. If you are going to let them run around with a cup full of milk without doing anything to stop it, and you treat it like an accident that could happen to anyone, you’re going to have a lot of spilt milk in your house. You have to either stop them from running around with milk in the house, or you have to punish the inevitable ‘accident’ when it happens.

wsbob
Guest

Funny. You figure out how to adapt your ‘kid running around the house with a cup of milk’ analogy, to a more effective approach to traffic law enforcement on the roads and streets.

If the only kind of road use occurring anywhere, was on a road laid out between you living room and den, by people scooting around in pedal cars, society could have this law enforcement thing down pat, no problemo.

I wonder whether people think much at all about what it implies when they make suggestions that they think bad driving and collisions can be either drastically reduced, or eliminated entirely, if only the penalties were stiffer, or at least enforced with a much greater frequency than is possible today.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

What’s to figure out? We already have pretty clear driving laws our ‘justice’ system is unwilling to enforce.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

In Larry’s case, he claimed that he thought the light was green. Nevermind the four people DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF HIM.

rick
Guest
rick

Very sad. Angered.

SD
Guest
SD

If urban and rural road design were controlled by thoughtful intelligent people, we would look at the full transportation ecosystem rather than being reductionist and carving things into the smallest physical components. And, if someone insisted that a bad outcome could be classified as fully attributable to human error, they would be laughed out of the room.

SD
Guest
SD

It seems more likely that we could change the built environment and regulations to influence driver behavior before we could effectively control who is allowed to drive.

Although, you could argue that self driving cars and laws that prohibit human driving may happen first.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Isn’t this a high crash corridor that’s supposed to be ‘tamed’ by Vision Zero? Or was that zero vision?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

In this case, the victim really did have zero vision. And I bet the driver will say he “didn’t see him”.

SD
Guest
SD

If urban and rural road design were controlled by thoughtful people, we would look at the full transportation ecosystem rather than being reductionist and carving things into the smallest physical components. And, if someone insisted that a bad outcome could be classified as fully attributable to human error, they would be laughed out of the room.

Ted Buehler
Guest
Ted Buehler

Folks, be sure to share your outrage, sorrow, anger and/or concerns with Mayor Wheeler and Commisioner Saltzman.

Dan@portlandoregon.gov
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/wheeler/72218?
Mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

I have so little faith in Wheeler who has proven to be just as ineffective as Hales.

At best he’ll do a little grandstanding and a photo-op. Other than that it’s business as usual on the streets of death.

Ted Buehler
Guest
Ted Buehler

“I have so little faith in Wheeler who has proven to be just as ineffective as Hales…”

If you want results, you and the rest of your constituency need to speak up and be heard.

3 years ago lots of people were saying this about various issues, especially Clinton St. We at BikeLoudPDX have effectively demonstrated that if you speak up and make reasonable requests that elected officials will spine up. A bit. The more often you ask, the better they respond.

Lester, want to give it a try? Shoot them an email.

Ted Buehler

Momo
Guest
Momo

And if you want to suggest practical ways to help prevent this sort of thing, urge the use of red light cameras and speed cameras on both Columbia and Lombard. It didn’t seem to get much coverage here, but there was a head-on collision last week at Lombard & 15th that resulted in a 12-year-old girl dying in the crash. Speed is clearly a major factor in both of these crashes.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Portland Police Bureau is woefully understaffed. About fifty officers below authorized number, and the authorized number is about 400 below what would be normal for a city this size. PPB is hiring and training new officers at below the retirement rate. On most days the police officers on duty in a precinct are completely committed responding to calls. There is very little police capacity for traffic enforcement. And there are also voices opposing more traffic enforcement.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Right. And I think I know one of the chief reasons for their recruiting difficulties.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

You are painting a picture of a world of growing mad max motorized mayhem. If this understaffing of police resources has become an endemic problem we must figure out another way to regain compliance with traffic laws, doing nothing and wringing our hands will only lead to an inevitable slide in to vigilante justice.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

How many people are killed on Portland’s roadways each year? How many are murdered by means other than a motor vehicle in Portland? Now, how much of the staffing at the Portland Police Bureau goes to homicide and how much goes to traffic law enforcement?

I suspect there’s a lack of balance between those numbers. In many (most) cities, the largest public amenity is the road system. It is also the most deadly. It receives the least amount of law enforcement. I believe those things are not coincidental.

If the PPB is short of staff, why is it that it first pulls staff from its most deadly venue (roads) rather than pulling from services that do not involve life and death?

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

I don’t think the answer is to reduce police resources for responding to 911 calls, crimes in progress, etc.

I think the main needs are 1) increase police staffing, 2) increase automated traffic enforcement like speed and red light cameras, 3) improve infrastructure especially for bike/ped.

1) is hard. There is a nationwide decline in qualified applicants for police positions. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=96570&page=1 It is a difficult and dangerous job. It is held in low esteem among certain groups of the public – I know there are reasons for that, but if you’re one of the (many) good police officers, its gotta wear on your morale. Recruiting standards are high, and rising. Training is lengthy and difficult, the washout rate is high. The national unemployment rate is near record lows, and the unemployment rate for persons qualified to be a police officer is even lower. Every department is competing for recruits. Portland seems to fire its police chief every two years . . . how attractive does that make us look to a recruit who has multiple alternatives?

2) seems, to me, like the city could be doing more. I confess I don’t know why it takes so long to install speed cameras and what the restrictions are on them.

3) is a familiar topic here. We need to do a LOT more. It requires a LOT of money.

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

This is to answer the question of how many. According to the two following sources, there were 20 homicides in Portland in 2016 and 44 traffic deaths in Portland in 2016. I have no idea whether these numbers are accurate or what “homicide” means in the context of the first article. There may have been other violent deaths that were not classified as homicides.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/12/homicides_gang-related_kilings.html

http://koin.com/2016/12/29/44-traffic-deaths-in-2016-is-vision-zero-working/

Stph

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I wonder how many of those traffic deaths were deemed by PPD to be unpreventable ‘oh well’ accidents? I can recall a few of them…

Takethelane
Guest
Takethelane

Blow a stop sign, run a red light? If a bicyclist can do it without repercussion, why can’t I? It’s a slippery slope. When you ignore traffic laws while biking, you set a bad example for others, who may be driving cars.

Spiffy
Subscriber

you sound like you think that 18-wheelers and skateboards have the same laws since they’re both operated on the street… and that when the driver of an 18-wheeler sees a kid skateboard on a crowded sidewalk that they think it’s OK for them to do the same with their 18-wheeler…

I disagree…

I think you already know why the operator of a 20 lb bicycle and the operator of a 3500 lb motor vehicle aren’t held to the same standards…

Cold Brew Raktajino
Guest
Cold Brew Raktajino

There are more cars on the road than bikes; shouldn’t the drivers be setting an example for the cyclists?

If you’re honestly arguing a slippery slope without regard for the risk (and sight line) differential, then please go troll elsewhere, not on a post about a driver-caused death.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

You don’t understand physics, do you?

Dan
Guest
Dan

Yeah, and when I see dogs running around without clothes on, I start to think that it would be just fine for me to follow their example. [technically true in Oregon]

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

standard blurb:
People using the road make mistakes, always have and always will. Crashes will always be with us, but they need not result in fatalities or serious injury. Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world – the intersection type with the lowest risk of fatal or serious injury crashes – (much more so than comparable signals). Modern roundabouts change the speed and geometry of one of the most dangerous parts of the system – intersections. The reduction in speed and sideswipe geometry mean that, more often than not, when a crash does happen at a modern roundabout, you usually need a tow truck, not an ambulance. Roundabouts are one of nine proven road safety features (FHWA).
The life saved may be your own.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Agreed. When do we start installing them?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

As soon as we condemn all the property and secure the funding necessary to redo every single intersection. Shouldn’t take long….

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Better get started yesterday then.

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

Start with intersections where there have been pedestrian fatalities.

OrigJF
Guest
OrigJF

For someone who is blind, a roundabout without pedestrian (audible) crossing signals would not be much better. Especially when the person driving the vehicle in this case ran a red light with a pedestrian in the x-walk.
FHWA/NCHRP report 762:
Pedestrians who are blind or have low vision have several areas of difficulty when crossing a roundabout. For pedestrians with vision impairments, roundabouts pose problems at several locations throughout the crossing experience.

SD
Guest
SD

What do you suggest?

If your conclusion is that nothing can be done because the man ran a red light, I would like to note that it took 20 minutes for someone to comment that nothing can be done to prevent fatalities caused by people running red lights.

Cold Brew Raktajino
Guest
Cold Brew Raktajino

Googled “roundabouts blind pedestrians,” found this article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2046043016301307
(Abbreviated citation in case the link doesn’t work: Methods of Crossing at Roundabouts for Visually Impaired Pedestrians: Review of Literature. From International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, 2015)

Options include: tweaking crosswalk placement, rumble strips, a special kind of crosswalk light, automatic pedestrian detection system (Automated Yield Detection System). I can’t read it too in depth bc I’m at work, but it definitely looks to be a fascinating read if you’re into the topic.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

OJF,
Columbia there doesn’t need four lanes, and with roundabouts being more efficient than signals, a single lane roundabout could do the job. That means single lane crossings as well at the splitter islands. A diameter of 126 feet works well and minimizes right of way needs.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Then there is the 15-20 mph operational speed designed into the intersection, which is much safer for all users.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Sounds great. Who needs convincing?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Out of curiosity, how often do you go on Columbia? Traffic is often quite heavy there and there are a many factors that make it a difficult road. Roundabouts sufficient to accommodate big trucks (including tandems) are not trivial given various conditions along the length of that road.

I can imagine things that can be done to improve Columbia, but I can’t imagine it working well as a two lane road. Funny thing about major urban areas containing millions of people is that there needs to be a way to move a lot of goods and people in and out. While it is certainly true that you can’t pave your way out of traffic problems, you also can’t pretend that total capacity isn’t relevant.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

So, what are those things?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

How much budget are we talking?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

But to answer things that can done quickly and cheaply. The speed limit needs to be enforced at 40 or maybe even 35. The environment there is too busy for the 50+ speeds that are so common. I don’t think this would delay people at all and certainly not significantly as it would contribute to smoother movement.

Peds are rare out there. Even though most of the crosswalks are well marked, I think flashers triggered when the beg buttons were pressed would help to draw attention.

Be aware that for peds, the exact same issues can be found on Lombard just a few blocks away. In fact, they may even be worse as the road is a bit wider. At least that part of Lombard has bike lanes.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Do you think the freight lobby would allow a speed reduction there?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I don’t know it would be such a big deal or slow them down that much. My experience with trucks both as a driver and a cyclist is that some companies have much better drivers than others. The worst drivers seem to be fly by night operators hauling containers. I don’t know that the big outfits would resist, so long as what was done was reasonable.

The problem with high speed limits in crowded areas is people alternatively wind up stomping on the accelerator and the brake giving traffic a motion that mimics a slinky. On Columbia in particular, vehicles turning on and off the road aggravate this effect.

If vehicles roll at a more even pace, the total amount of time isn’t that much. Especially for loaded trucks that take a long time to accelerate, there are huge advantages to everyone if they can just keep rolling at a more even rate.

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

Just spent a week in Paris which has crazy traffic for all types of road users and I never felt safer. US streets are death traps and Portland’s streets are no better. RIP.

Andy K
Guest
Andy K

Red light cameras work

soren
Guest
soren

as someone noted above, the driving majority is vehemently opposed to automated enforcement. and as mass transit mode share continues to *plummet*, portland is only going to become more auto-centric in its transportation thinking.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Indeed, there are organized advocacy groups fighting against traffic enforcement of any kind, especially automated enforcement, which violates their constitutional right to speed and run red lights.

wsbob
Guest

“as someone noted above, the driving majority is vehemently opposed to automated enforcement. …” soren

I doubt very much that the majority of people that drive, are opposed to red light and speed enforcement cameras. Find that “…someone…” you’re referring to in this comment section, and ask them what they base their conclusions on.

Ever been t-boned while driving? I have. That was from someone that actually had stopped at the stop sign, but still didn’t do an adequate job of checking to see the way was clear. Consider how much more severe such collisions can be when the vehicle is at speed and crashing into another vehicle, or another person on foot or bike.

I’m more or less just guessing from miscellaneous news stories about the subject of automatic enforcement, but I believe most of the resistance to red light and speed cameras has been from people concerned questioning invasion of privacy issues, and with being unjustly cited for violations occurring when someone else than themselves was driving the car. I think their number likely is a far smaller percent of the people that drive, than is a majority.

I think it’s safe to say, most people would like their streets to be safe to use, whatever mode of travel they choose to use them with. Red light and speeding enforcement cameras can help bring about that safety.

soren
Guest
soren

“I doubt very much that the majority of people that drive, are opposed to red light and speed enforcement cameras.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-red-light-cameras-met-20140818-story.html

wsbob
Guest

What about it?… the story you posted a link to? That’s Chicago, a city that apparently has not worked out the bugs in its system, or established good management of its system. Beaverton already has used red light cameras for a number of years. Initially, there were some problems, which the city worked out. Today, there doesn’t seem to be much call in that city, to have its red light camera systems taken out.

I think Portland is going to have the red light camera automatic enforcement systems too, and soon, if not already.

Matthew in Portsmouth…what “…pressure groups…” in Oregon might you be thinking about that could come up with a sufficiently strong argument to the public, to defeat in an electoral referendum, the kind of legislative bill you refer to?

What would “…a comprehensive traffic enforcement bill…” you envision, include besides provision for more extensive use of automatic enforcement? What do you imagine is the likelihood that the Oregon Legislature will even been presented with a serious proposal for such a bill for the upcoming session?

Matthew in Portsmouth
Guest
Matthew in Portsmouth

I think that if the Oregon legislature passed a comprehensive traffic enforcement bill that provided for more extensive use of automatic enforcement, pressure groups would have a repeal referendum on the next ballot and the repeal would probably be passed.

I get the concern about being wrongly cited, however, the way it works in Australia (which uses automatic enforcement extensively in every state) is that the registered owner of the vehicle receives the citation, they have the opportunity to identify the driver to the DMV equivalent which then amends the citation and sends it to the driver. If the vehicle is registered to a corporation the corporation has the choice of identifying the driver or paying an amount triple what the individual would pay. My last moving violation was in Adelaide, South Australia in 1997, when I was driving a government car, in an area where the speed limit was 60 kmph but was about to go up to 80. My government employer sent the citation to me and gave me the choice of paying the fine or having it taken out of my salary.

SD
Guest
SD

Lowering the speed limit on Columbia may be more effective than other urban highways because of the number of commercial vehicles. If limited enforcement set the tone for commercial drivers that have more to lose from citations, the slower trucks may have a traffic calming effect.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Freight interests won’t allow it. They vote with campaign finance dollars.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

For freight, time is money. Modern roundabouts have less daily delay than signals, so, if freight interests are paying attention, changing Columbia into a roundabout corridor should make it a lower delay road for them, in addition to safer.

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

N. Columbia has many commercial trucks exceeding the current posted speed limit, constantly. Many semi- trucks will also weave in and out of the lanes, jockeying for position with the autos and other trucks.

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

City needs to put a safety inspection station on this road – make every commercial truck have their load, rig, and paperwork inspected – perhaps a sobriety test, also. Make sure they are up to date on their inspections, fuel taxes, driver logs, and get a first hand interaction with law enforcement.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

I already have pointed out that our former chief of police Larry O’Dea shot a man in the back during his chiefly tenure in the top echelon of Vision Zero.

Just to be on the safe side I am headed into cataract surgery this week.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Does anyone know if the Perp. had Texas plates? It looks like someone with exactly the same name and age recently lived in Midland Texas. If so, does this support the theory that much of our increase in traffic chaos comes from recent transplants?

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

This Fox 12 video shows the back of the Mustang. It has Oregon plates “768 HQM”

http://www.kptv.com/clip/13761530/portland-police-driver-who-hit-blind-man-in-deadly-crash-arrested

Skip to the 0:38 second mark in the video to see the plates.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

There appears to be a bright yellow reflective safety vest on the ground in that video. It sounds like this poor man was doing everything the auto-centric safety folks tell us to do and still lost his life.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I am starting to think that the only way humans traveling about the city under their own power will be safe is if we divide the place up. Give the auto addled a place they can careen around like mad max, running lights, speeding, etc, and then a safe place free of private cars for peds and cyclists. The cars can have Tigard, Beaverton, and Portland beyond 82nd, the rest is car free. You want to come in to the center of town take transit, a bike or walk. Sorry, you couldn’t play by the rules now you lost your privleges. If you play nice for the next 5 years you can come back.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Works great, so long as everyone is healthy and able bodied….

To get people to switch, the alternatives need to be superior. More people can bike, but there is going to be a practical limit since there are inherent fitness, distance, weather, security, etc issues regardless of how good infrastructure is. Transit is unreliable, slow, and miserable to use.

9watts
Guest
9watts

This is a really tired, uninspired, and frankly anachronistic excuse.

We have no idea what fraction of the current population couldn’t warm to the bicycle, find ways to take advantage of it. I’ve used Brian Willson as a counterexample here before: double below the knee amputee in his mid-seventies. If he can bike for transportation without any specific constraint forcing him to, I dare say a majority of the rest of us could, especially once constraints on fuel, climate, asphalt start narrowing our options.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Reality is boring, isn’t it?

The reason you hold Brian as an example is that he is remarkable. I can think of many people who are physically unable.

Bicycles are not a practical way to get around for a wide variety of physical and visual disabilities as well as health conditions. Think it’s rare? Just look up how many people have COPD and a bunch of other ailments and do the math. BTW, some temporary health conditions (serious illness, injury, pregnancy, etc) affect even the most able bodied on occasion. I hear that bikes are difficult for people on oxygen or who are hooked up to machines.

Given that you have no trouble figuring out what excuses elderly people lacking portions of their limbs don’t have for not riding, I’d think you also wouldn’t have trouble figuring out how young people in the prime of their life can ride normal distances on normal roads. BTW, I met a guy on the STP some years back with no legs and one arm. If he can do 200 miles on normal roads which include highway sections, it makes one wonder why some readers of this blog have so much trouble with easy urban routes…

9watts
Guest
9watts

You are confusing several distinct issues (here assuming an 8-80 age bracket):

(a) can’t imagine riding a bike because person has no experience doing so (30% ?)

the prevailing mindset that sees bicycling as something people for the most part engage in for sport or recreation, as discretionary. I bring this up because we here I think are talking about (what it would take for more people to) use bikes for transportation, and those who are unfamiliar with that purpose but who’ve always assumed biking was akin to ice skating or fooling around with yo-yos are unlikely to see this activity as having any bearing on their lives, will, if pressed invoke any number of plausible to outlandish excuses for why they couldn’t possibly partake.

(b) physical disability that makes bicycling impossible (5% ?)

some categories of people are in fact not going to do well on bikes. Some of this has to do with the sedentary and more general ill health of our population compared to other countries, some of which of course could be avoided or cured by biking, but there is some residual category of folks who are infirm or otherwise not suited to this form of transportation. But if we looked at this not from the perspective of (a) but with a mindset that assumed most everyone in fact could if sufficiently motivated then I think we might recognize that this rhetorical strategy is mostly inspired by something else.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I find it amusing that I’m considered an elitist here, while others here simultaneously believe that people with normal abilities cannot deal with very easy roads yet virtually everyone can bike.

How far do you think is reasonable for someone to ride in a day? How much do you expect them to haul in terms of people or gear? Do you get that people need to go to multiple places in one day and that not all trips are for entertainment? People with kids have it tougher.

BTW, you pulled that 5% number out of your аss. Try looking up some stats on age, heart disease, cancer, and a bunch of other serious ailments. Also try to explain why it’s OK to even let 5% slip. Less than 1% of people in the US are legally blind, yet they must not be left behind. One out of every 5 adults in the US has a disability. Some of these people can ride, but others can’t.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Of course I made up those percentages. That is what the question marks were meant to suggest. And I wasn’t talking about leaving anyone behind. Where did you get that?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

With this concept that so many people can bike. They can’t.

Cycling works fine for short distances for “normal” people who don’t have to transport people or much stuff. But even if you don’t have to haul stuff, you need to be in decent shape and move right along. Average commute in Portland area is 7 miles, meaning a lot of people have more. People have to do things like drop kids off at school and pick them up at prescribed times, go to appointments, etc. They need to be presentable.

One of the recurring themes on this blog is how people can’t ride because the infrastructure on short sections on some of the slowest and easiest roads is inadequate. Most people have to contend with far worse.

Even cyclists drop out quickly when the conditions are less than primo. It’s not like the infrastructure changes every time it rains, is cold, or when it’s dark. And that’s before we talk about ice/snow, smoke, excessive heat, storms, whatever. Given how unreliable, slow, and miserable public transport is, the real miracle is that more people don’t drive.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

1/3 of them can’t drive.

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Don’t you just love how people around here on BP who are fit and ride bikes all the time believe everybody should be just as capable as they are? Or have access to safe infrastructure?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I do think everyone should have access to safe infrastructure.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Or that their travel needs are somehow more important than everyone else’s — i.e. their beer run should get prioritized over taking someone to the doctor?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Ah, yes, those frivolous cyclists getting in the way of responsible adult drivers!

I was a frivolous cyclist this morning proceeding to a stop light in the left turn lane (I know, I shouldn’t have been in the road where grownups play), when a responsible adult driver gently encouraged me to get back to my rightful place by joining me in the lane and then drifting sideways towards me. I found his car shortly afterwards parked at the Sunset Transit Center.
I can only assume that there was a medical emergency happening in his car at the time, or that he was running late to his adult job and my play time was interfering. It’s not his fault he was late to get to the MAX station – people make mistakes!

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

You sound terribly victimized — I hope you can recover from the trauma.

I never suggested that cycling was frivolous nor that cars are more important. Rather, I was hinting that maybe people are not better or more important simply because of the form of transport they take.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“You sound terribly victimized — I hope you can recover from the trauma.”

Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my description. It was terrifying, and thank you for marginalizing my experience.

“I never suggested that cycling was frivolous nor that cars are more important. Rather, I was hinting that maybe people are not better or more important simply because of the form of transport they take.”

I’ll refer you to your quote above:

“their beer run should get prioritized over taking someone to the doctor?”

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

[snipped personal attack -ted]

soren
Guest
soren

@#$% what they tell us and @#$% the law. in an urban area people walking should always have absolute legal right of way.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Legal right of way is not enough. Reke clearly had right of way here.

soren
Guest
soren

Could it be that this has something to do with a “might makes right” culture that discriminates against vulnerable road users? Strict liability laws (as in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden) are a hallmark of societies that value the lives and health of vulnerable road users.

Strict liability — the reason Dutch drivers work very hard to avoid hitting, maiming, and killing vulnerable people:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDrG1wuPtK0

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Might makes right culture does cause problems and how liability is determined can be improved. How much strict liability would have helped is in question because liability is not in question in this case or many others. There are other cultural factors that keep driving much worse than it can/should be.

BTW, all of these countries also have national speed limits in excess of 80mph except Sweden where it’s 75 despite having much shorter distances to cover (particularly in the Netherlands).

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

One thing I would also raise is that I believe overuse of the term “vulnerable road users” undermines the very awareness it seeks to raise.

Reke was a vulnerable road user for real. Even doing everything he possibly could, he relied on signals working properly and other people doing what they were supposed to.

People with sensory, mobility, and other health impairments are vulnerable in a way that able bodied people who can anticipate and mitigate the misdeeds and misjudgments of others are not.

When able bodied young and middle aged people who repeatedly use the mantle of victimhood as a tool against drivers are the face of vulnerable road users in the public eye rather than blind pedestrians, kids, senior citizens, handicapped individuals, and others who really are vulnerable.

Today there will be a protest to raise awareness/support for vulnerable road users. My guess is this highly visible event distracts attention from pedestrians like Reke and away from places that are really dangerous.

soren
Guest
soren

“impairments”

i’d suggest avoiding this kind of language around folk with different abilities, kyle.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I had a blind GF for 6 1/2 years, volunteered for a number of years in an office that provides services to people with a wide range of disabilities, and have a lot of professional experience with adaptive systems. I am hugely interested in universal design and some skills most people don’t have. For example, I read Braille.

I can’t speak for people I haven’t worked with or met, but the ones I have don’t mince words and think the language contortions that people go through to put some kind of weird smiley face on a disability or disadvantage is stuрid. My GF was particularly adamant about that.

I find treating people like people and adjusting in the moment as necessary works a million times better than treating them like some sort of exotic zoo animal and pretending things that make life harder aren’t there. Portland is worse than other places than I’ve lived in this respect. This area is also bad in a similar way with racial minorities.

wsbob
Guest

“…Reke clearly had right of way here.” banerjee

Check Oregon law on that. Yesterday, I posted a comment, yet to be released from moderation…that cites a couple Oregon laws regarding the obligation of people driving to people walking.

If Reke was crossing in a crosswalk as this story says he was, that probably gave him right of way over road users driving down the road. Particularly if the crossing had a crosswalk signal, and Reke was crossing on the ‘Walk’ phase of the signal. The picture, said to be of the intersection where the collision occurred, accompanying this story…doesn’t show a designated crosswalk in the foreground. Maybe it’s on the far side of the intersection.

There are lots of road use situations in which pedestrians don’t have the ‘right of way’ over vehicle road traffic. Oregon law still obliges of people that drive, or basically ‘vehicle users’ which includes bikes: to yield to pedestrian traffic. Almost always. There’s very few exceptions. Again: check the two laws I mentioned.

Someone might say this obligation of drivers and other vehicle users to always yield to pedestrian traffic, is ‘right of way’ granted to people walking, but I don’t think saying this is being accurate. Worse, saying this could mislead some people walking to believe they have ‘right of way’ over vehicle traffic, leading them to mistakenly use the road without sufficient caution.

If the person using the road is doing so as a pedestrian, their part in their safe use of the road, works like this: Whether or not they have the ‘right of way’ in crossing the road, based on whether or not they’re crossing in a marked and signaled crosswalk…before they commence crossing, they need to:

Check for approaching traffic, and if there is traffic approaching, display their intent to cross (arm, leg, umbrella, etc or as the case may be…cane extended past the curb and into the street.).

Wait for the approaching traffic to slow down and remain stopped(as the law obliges it to do.) for the person crossing the street on foot (or bike as the case may be.).

wsbob
Guest

“Did you miss the part where Reke is blind? He had used a signalized crossing and was in a legal crosswalk (take a look again: https://goo.gl/maps/W5KkJkJfDkG2). He was wearing a hi-viz vest. I presume (but don’t know) that he likely had a white cane on him too. Your backbends to try to lump more responsibility for this collision onto Reke is kind of vexing.” lascurettes

You presume wrongly, about why I’m asking the questions I have about this collision. If you read my earlier comments here, I think I asked about what’s visible in the photo of the intersection accompanying this story. At good wi-fi tonight, the image you provided a link to, wouldn’t load up.

Since you remark about the responsibility for road use that Reke, the person that was blind and attempting to cross the street, you might expand on what you think was the range of his responsibility in that situation.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Actually you exhorted everyone, including this particular blind pedestrian to “Check for approaching traffic” I guess as a follow up to John Lascurettes’ question to you I’d ask for you to explain how someone who is blind is supposed to execute this responsibility you are focused on him taking?

wsbob
Guest

“…“Check for approaching traffic” I guess as a follow up to John Lascurettes’ question to you I’d ask for you to explain how someone who is blind is supposed to execute this responsibility you are focused on him taking?” watts

Ask a person that has experience with blindness, either being blind themselves, or knowing someone blind. Ask bannerjee…I believe he mentioned in a comment, that he once had a girlfriend that was blind. Someone familiar with the procedures blind people use to check for approaching traffic…and I believe there are some…would be better qualified to answer this question than I.

I’d imagine a police investigation would consider what measures a person with blindness, involved in a collision while crossing the street, might have used to try determine whether the way was clear. Bottom line, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, posting links to Oregon statutes for reference, is that people driving are obliged to stop for people crossing the street, with particular consideration for people with blindness.

For a person driving and being in such a collision, if the person that was blind and crossing the street on foot, in some way made a particularly poor job of preparing to cross the street, I’m guessing that could possibly be a mitigating factor favoring the person driving. Most likely not, but possibly. I think people will particularly tend to sympathize with people on foot when they’re blind, but there’s reasonable limits they’d likely consider too. There’s different degrees of blindness, and people prepare to cross streets, checking for traffic, in different ways.

If the family of a deceased person in such a situation, had to go to court to try get compensated for their loss, my guess is that if they could do it, the person that was driving would get a sharp lawyer. That lawyer would very possibly be asking the lawyer for the deceased’s family, some of the same questions I’ve tried to raise here.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“I’d imagine a police investigation would consider what measures a person with blindness, involved in a collision while crossing the street, might have used to try determine whether the way was clear.”

I rest my case.

wsbob
Guest

“…I rest my case.” watts

Finally. Glad you’re perhaps finally understanding some important, but perhaps not commonly considered aspects of collisions like this one.

It seems to take a whole lot of prodding for some people reading here, to understand there is more than a single perspective on what various factors contribute to the occurrence of collisions, and the various means used to determine what those factors are.

SE
Guest
SE

I was on Springwater MUP yesterday crossing Foster , going East. had the green light and was in the crosswalk. Another rider to my left.
Got abt 1 lane across and a big 4×4 pickup comes skidding and stops about 3 feet in front of us.

I NEVER saw him coming. Other rider made excuses for him, noting that he pulled out from FAP under the overhead lights (from the West) and could not see his red. BS.

He also noted that “if you (me) didn’t have that green shirt, we’d both be dead”

Has anyone noticed the more aggressive driving of the big 4×4 trucks lately ??

My wife says “drivers are driving angry everywhere”. She’s right. 🙁

Matthew in Portsmouth
Guest
Matthew in Portsmouth

Dan A
Many drivers (most drivers?) feel that culturally-accepted levels of speeding are fine and do not harm anybody. Here’s some sweet propaganda!
https://www.motorists.org/issues/speed-limits/faq/
But statistics catch up with us all. Millions of people speeding around ‘harmlessly’ lead to tens of thousands of deaths per year that could have been avoided by driving slower, particularly in conditions that require slower speeds to reduce the chance of accidental ‘oh crap where did that guy come from’ crashes.
Recommended 1

The http://www.motorists.org‘s website makes the point that speed limits should be set at the engineering limit of the road. I think this is backwards. I think that our urban environment, including local roads, arterial roads and interstates, should be designed to promote societal values, including protecting the more vulnerable from the more dangerous. So, our roads should be designed to limit speeds to those that are safe in the circumstances. The long straight roads that are the product of the unimaginative street grid foster higher limits – fine if you’re dealing with pedestrians, handcarts and the occasional horse drawn vehicle, but when you start adding faster, heavier vehicles, you need to start thinking outside the box grid.

A lot of new housing developments, even in the Portland Metro area, make greater use of curved roads, cul-de-sacs and crescents to prevent “through” traffic clogging up local roads and to prevent speeding. I think that we could do more to retro fit some of our urban areas with these types of road design. Plus we need to use automated traffic enforcement extensively. The more extreme elements of the motoring lobby won’t like it, but Salem/Washington DC need to grow a spine and resist these lobbyists.

SD
Guest
SD

Have any spokespeople for PBOT/ ODOT or any of the city council publicly commented on this tragic loss of life?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Beware the ‘Brotherhood of Muscle’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB6k7Q_uXks

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

We all have a choice.

We can either be sheep or shepherds.

And then there’s the big, bad wolf.

He eats sheep. (sly grin)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOx4CCbVQjE

SD
Guest
SD

Maybe I shouldn’t laugh, but this add is ridiculous and makes me laugh whenever I think about it. Its amazing how many of these cars I see on the street now. The ultimate man child fantasy.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I despise these ads. “He eats sheep”, “We can’t hear you anyway”, etc.

I keep thinking about coming up with a parody script or two for a “brother/sisterhood of strength”, or some such for those who generate their own horsepower.