Gravel - Cycle Oregon

One fatality, one serious injury collision on outer southeast roadways over the weekend

Posted by on November 13th, 2017 at 3:16 pm

View of police flares from crash investigation at SE 148th and Division.
(Photo: Sarah Iannarone)

One person was killed and another person sustained life-threatening injuries in two separate crashes this weekend. Both of them happened about one mile apart in southeast Portland.

On Saturday evening around 5:40, Portland police responded to a collision near the intersection of SE 148th and Division. They discovered that a bicycle rider had been hit by a driver and was lying on the ground. “Based on preliminary information,” read their statement, “officers believe the motorist and bicyclist were both traveling south on Southeast 148th Avenue when the bicyclist was struck by the vehicle.”

The man was believed to have “serious life threatening injuries.”

About 24 hours later, officers responded to another crash about one mile north at the corner of SE Stark and 146th. This one also involved a vulnerable person — a walker — who had been struck by an automobile user. A 40-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. “Based on the information learned during the preliminary investigation,” reads the statement, “officers believe the pedestrian was on Southeast Stark Street when he was struck by a vehicle traveling on Southeast Stark Street.”


PBOT engineering plans (15% design) for 148th and Division.

In March another person was killed while walking across Stark just two blocks away at 148th.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation ranks Stark and 148th as the 10th most dangerous intersection in the city. 148th and Division is ranked 12th.

PBOT is currently working to implement a Safety Action Plan for Outer Division. Among the updates planned for 148th are a closure of an existing southbound slip lane and new school zone beacons.

We’ve reached out to the PPB for updates on both of these collisions but have yet to hear back.

Sunday’s fatality brings the yearly tally of Portland traffic deaths to 39*. By this date last year we had 36 deaths and 44 total.

NOTE: This post originally stated the death total as 43; but we have gotten clarification from PBOT that — while 43 people have died — the officially recorded total so far is 39. This is because several of this year’s deaths fall outside PBOT’s criteria. Fatalities are excluded from the official count when: a person dies more than 30 days after the crash, the death is ruled a suicide, a motor vehicle is not involved, or if it occurs in a parking lot.

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

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  • bikeninja November 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    So sad, I can only hope that Bob Lutz is right and all the human driven automobiles will be in the scrapyard within the next 5 years. Nothing else it seems will cure the motorists from their madness.

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    • rachel b November 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      I think he said 15-20 years (at the latest) ’til cars are legislated off the roads, with five years, at some point in the transition period, being the time allotted for folks to get rid of their metal beasts. I’m with you, though!

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      • B. Carfree November 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm

        Twenty years?! I’ve waited so long, can’t we bring it on sooner so I can at least enjoy it a bit before I compost?

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      • Doug November 14, 2017 at 7:43 am

        They sold more new cars last year ( 2016 over 17.5 million) than any year in American history. Where do get such a stupid idea that somehow everyone will stop driving, 5, 15 shit 150 years from now? Seems to me it makes more sense to adjust to motor vehicles than that your idiotic pipe dream. Or you could bitch, it’s what you folks are really best at. If I had to ride in Portland I would ride at all, but I’d be alive.

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        • bikeninja November 14, 2017 at 9:26 am

          I guess your right Doug, fossil fuels will last forever or that is what you can tell your self. Just don’t look too close at the massive declines in output from legacy oil fields, the miniscule oil discoveries in the last 5 years ( less than a 10th of current production) and the unprofitability of shale oil at any price that economies can afford. Don’t pay any attention to events in the Saudi Arabia caused by the ongoing fall off in Saudi Oil production and loss of revenue for the Kingdom. But I guess you can always tell yourself we can keep the F150’s and Suburbans running by converting every last acre of Americas crop land in to biofuel ( who needs to eat any anyway). I mean if they advertise cars on TV and people take out subprime auto loans to buy them it must mean we will have gas forever. They would never let us finance a new car for 7 years and then not provide us the gas to run it, right?

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          • David Hampsten November 14, 2017 at 2:40 pm

            Every time I go to Europe, I’m amazed that I see more, not fewer, cars, in spite of super high gas prices often over $7/gallon (after liter & exchange conversions). For people who cannot afford cars, in Italy and hilly France they buy noisy mopeds and motorcycles. The only places I see lots of bikes are university towns and congested national capitals, as well as in most towns in Benelux and western Germany.

            The idea that we’ll soon see the end of individual automobile ownership and congestion reminds me of an oft quoted prediction from 1900, that by the year 2000 we’ll be covered worldwide in 30 feet of horse droppings.

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      • Mike Quigley November 14, 2017 at 9:03 am

        Unprecedented gridlock and infrastructure collapse will doom the automobile industry sooner then legislation. Queue ’em up and bring it on!

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  • SD November 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    If East Portland had a mayor, that mayor would bring attention to the unnaceptable frequency of death and injury occurring in their city.

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    • curly November 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      The city knows how dangerous it is in East Portland for vulnerable road users.
      Just sad it’s happened again.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 13, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      Are you sure about that? It’s my impression that a majority, perhaps vast majority, of residents would not support the measures required to make the roads safer there.

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      • David Hampsten November 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        I’m inclined to agree with you, by and large. In 2012 we sent out a survey to all East Portland addresses, in 4 languages, asking about needed improvements. Of the 3% self-selected folks who responded, who generally reflected the ethnic and gender rates of East Portland of that time, there was heavy support for more sidewalks, bike ways, transit service, etc. About 28% of respondents owned bicycles, but far fewer actually rode them regularly. We did leave an open question, pretty much of whatever they wanted to respond, as missing in the system, and we got a lot of responses like:

        – East Portland needs more on-street parking
        – East Portland needs more freeways
        – Powell Blvd needs rebuilding
        – Sandy needs sidewalks
        – More safe crossings needed along busy streets.

        But no desire was ever expressed for more signals, protected bike ways, or lower speed limits, let alone greater traffic enforcement. Of course, this was before Vision Zero and the tremendous transformation that has taken place in East Portland in the last 5 years by PBOT.

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    • J_R November 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Why do you think the mayor of “East Portland” would put any higher priority on preventing auto deaths than does the City of Portland? After all, Portland has Vision Zero, complete with a task force, a new logo, and the promise of an annual report.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    May be someday: this road and others will be designed based on a maximum thresholds of 15,000 ADT per livability and 30 mph with 1 lane in each direction…

    …that is if an arterial requires too many “enhancements” (aka “improvements”: over crossings, under crossings, crosswalk closures, traffic signals etc.) to allow vulnerable roadway users to “safely” and conveniently cross it then it should not be built/ MV capacity expanded and then other routes and TDM measures allied…my long held technical interpretation based on original research by Charlie Zeeger.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Good to hear that PBoT has already proposed to close the existing “slip lane”.

    Slip lanes are an out-dated roadway design feature that do not belong in ANY urban areas, or even rural highways that allow pedestrian/ cyclist use.

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  • Stephen Keller November 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    “Fatalities are excluded from the official count when: a person dies more than 30 days after the crash, the death is ruled a suicide, a motor vehicle is not involved, or if it occurs in a parking lot.” Cold comfort for the fallen.

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  • rick November 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm


    No weak sauce plans accepted on outer SE Division from PBOT !

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  • Andrew Kreps November 13, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    How does one keep track of the official fatality numbers of people driving cars vs others effectively? I’m honestly curious.

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  • Scott Kocher November 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    PDX ped death count is now higher than any year since 2006 (earliest year shown on PBOT VZ web site). And we have 48 days to go. Everyone who is in a position to influence these outcomes shares responsibility.

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  • SE November 14, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Hello, Kitty
    Are you sure about that? It’s my impression that a majority, perhaps vast majority, of residents would not support the measures required to make the roads safer there.
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    not sure where that comes from, but as a SE resident, we are all aware of the out of control street racing at night. Stark is especially bad. The whine of 2 motorcycles or Honda/Accuras at full throttle is unmistakable at 3 AM. Actually seeing any type of law enforcement patrols in this area is very rare.

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    • rick November 14, 2017 at 7:14 am

      very sad.

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    • Chris I November 14, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Speed cameras.

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      • David Burns November 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

        Speed Cameras aren’t enough.

        We need speed/red-light/distracted driving/aggressive driving/improper turn/failure to yield cameras. If we have cars that can drive themselves and follow all traffic laws, it seems that we should be able to do automatic enforcement of a top-10 list.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      SE: Do you think you neighbors support slower and less comfortable travel, less capacity, and the higher taxes required to fund all the work necessary? Those are, as I see it, the tradeoffs required to safen the system.

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  • rick November 14, 2017 at 7:13 am

    A death isn’t included in the city of Portland’s death database if a death does not involve a motor vehicle? What if a bad pothole or giant tree branch causes the death of a person riding a bicycle?

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    • Tom November 14, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Or a giant pile of slimy decomposing leaves, or malfunctioning signal, or a train, or one of those temporary metal plates they put over a hole in the road.

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  • Ted Buehler November 14, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Folks, if you want city council to pay more attention to fixing the deadly intersections in East Portland, whenever this happens send them a letter. Tweet, voicemail, etc. and tell them you find it unacceptable that they’re not addressing this crisis.

    Certainly email
    * Mayor Wheeler, responsible for the Police Bureau
    * Commissioner Saltzman, in charge of transportation
    * Commissioner Fritz, who lost her husband to a car crash a couple years ago

    It’s basic political theory…

    Ted Buehler

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  • pdx2wheeler November 14, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Zero Vision

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  • bikeninja November 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I noticed in the Oregonian that in the last week two different Washington County Sheriff’s motorcycle cops have been run in to and badly injured by errant motorists at different times and different places. Lets face it, if this generation of motorists has gotten so distracted, entitled and self absorbed that they can’t even keep from running in to traffic cops, I am not sure any level of infrastructure short of fully separated MUP’s will keep vulnerable road users safe. It is very discouraging.

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