A person riding a bike on North Greeley was struck by a person driving a car today around 1:45 pm. The collision happened — surprise, surprise! — where the unprotected bike lane crosses over a busy, high-speed freeway onramp to I-5 where people often drive well over 50 mph.
It’s a collision that should have never happened. A Portland Bureau of Transportation project to create a two-way, physically protected bike lane on the other side of Greeley was supposed to be build this past August but has been delayed due to contracting issues until spring.
After hearing about the collision on social media, we followed up with the Portland Police Bureau to confirm the details.
Public Information Officer Sgt. Chris Burley said the bicycle rider was transported to the hospital with, “What are believed to be serious but non-life-threatening injuries.” Sgt. Burley added that the investigation into what caused the collision is still underway, “But initial information provided by the investigating traffic officer suggested the driver would be cited for careless driving as well as at least one other charge.”
This location is seared into the brain of everyone who has biked it. Here are a few more images from our archives…
This one is taken a few seconds before the lead photo, before the merge to the left:
Here’s a larger view of the Greeley Ave profile. The arrow shows where today’s collision happened:
The rider in this image is in the middle of the onramp:
This is how we expect bicycle users to cross a freeway on-ramp when people are driving by at 50+ mph:
We’ve covered this location many times over the years. The City of Portland is also well-aware that the bikeway here is not nearly safe enough. PBOT feels it’s so dangerous that they have a project in the works that would prevent people from riding here entirely. The plans for a two-way protected path on the opposite side of the street that would be separated from drivers with a jersey barrier were proposed ten months ago. Unfortunately, that project — which was initially coupled with a repaving project that has since been completed — was delayed in July due to a technicality in state contracting law.
Here’s how PBOT Communications Director John Brady explained it to us at the time:
“Our projects staff decided that doing both the paving project and the bikeway project in-house could possibly give the impression that we were exceeding the [legal] limit of $125,000. So they decided to contract the Going to Interstate portion out and the contracting process adds time and pushed the project out until next year.”
That delay very likely has resulted in someone being seriously hurt. Hopefully no one else will have to sacrifice their bodies and we’re able to summon the will to fix this very soon.
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