Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Careless driving, other charges possible in serious injury collision on N Greeley at I-5

Posted by on December 21st, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Ride Along with Ali Reis-9

A woman checks over her shoulder before merging across the on-ramp where Greeley funnels into I-5.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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:

Ride Along with Ali Reis-8

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:

N Greeley Ave existing conditions-3.jpg

This is how we expect bicycle users to cross a freeway on-ramp when people are driving by at 50+ mph:

N Greeley Ave existing conditions-8.jpg

N Greeley Ave existing conditions-7.jpg

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.

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

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  • Blake December 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I am so angry that they let a technicality in state contracting law (most likely due to an oversight by PBOT) result in serious injury to someone. It could have been me. I bike every day through this spot, and I’m always so worried about what you show in the top image of drivers changing lanes through the space where people on bikes are supposed to be protected. A total failure by PBOT not to have dealt with this last summer. I am so disappointed and angry.

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    • paikiala December 22, 2017 at 9:09 am

      $125,000 is the upper limit. PBOT starts considering contracting out when estimates get close to $100k. The best solution would be to change the limits on what cities can do in-house. $125k doesn’t buy much. When was the last time that limit was changed, for PBOT?

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      • buzz December 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm

        it’s a lot less than the potential lawsuit settlement.

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    • John December 22, 2017 at 9:29 am

      I’d be curious to hear from you and/or Jonathan: what do you see as the difference between ignoring a “technicality in state contracting law” but proceeding with the project anyway, and doing something illegal. The contracting limit isn’t a technicality in the law. That’s the law.

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  • Doug Rosser December 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve lived in North Portland almost twenty years. Forget riding south on Greeley. I ride Rosa Parks all the way to Vancouver Ave to go south into downtown every morning.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Hi Doug,

      I’ve lived in north portland for 14 years and I don’t think we should have to skirt around our city looking for bike routes we’re less likely to die on simply because people drive like assholes and our city doesn’t care enough about us to make streets safe.

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      • Doug Rosser December 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm

        100% agreed, but if PBOT were dumb enough to put in bike lane that crossed I-5, I wouldn’t ride on that, either.

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    • Doug Hecker December 21, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Horrible news. I hope the best for the rider and the harshest penalties for the lazy driver. While all streets should be safe, not all streets can be for various reasons. I ride with my best interest in mind. And yes, this area is nonetheless F’d up and my ballsy self won’t use it either. This is one project that I can get behind PBOT for, a rarity these days.

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      • 9watts December 22, 2017 at 10:02 am

        “harshest penalties”

        The thing that I am having trouble understanding is why – in some instances, such as this one – the police seem to have no trouble at all speculating that a careless driving citation will be handed down, but in other instances, hem and haw and cite all kinds of code suggesting that to do so would be prejudging, is not SOP, etc.

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        • El Biciclero December 22, 2017 at 11:02 am

          Maybe they have video of the bicyclist using bright flashing lights and day-glo/reflective head-to-toe garb, signaling their merge the required 100 ft prior to moving across the lane, and not traveling at a “high rate of speed”. The video must have caught the bicyclist turning their head to check traffic, and they must have slowly angled across, rather than “darting” or “swerving”. This video must have further captured the driver speeding, swerving erratically, or otherwise exhibiting egregious driving behavior in order to be so swiftly identified for citations.

          OR, the police were quick to cite, because they surmised there was no possibility of delays being caused by a DA investigating whether criminal charges should be applied.

          Either way, I’ll be waiting to see whether in this extremely obvious case of careless driving resulting in serious injury to a VRU (it’s all right there in the very short police PIO quote), the VRU clause of our state statute is actually applied.

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        • Spiffy December 28, 2017 at 9:49 pm

          yes, this seems like an easy place to blame the cyclist since they’re the ones required to yield… will be interesting to know the details of vehicle movement…

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  • bikeninja December 21, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    The motorists getting off work on Swan Island and racing for the Southbound I5 on-ramp are maniacs plain and simple. I do contract work on Swan Island and when I ride my bike I ride all the way up to Interstate to avoid PBOT’s death trap on Greely. Even when I drive it scares me because the motorists racing up Going from the “Island” drive like extras from Mad Max. My heart goes out to the brave cyclist who was tragically injured by one of these maniacs and PBOT’s sloth.

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    • oliver December 22, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      An appointment took me home at mid-day to walk the dogs, and I was driving on Greeley yesterday @ 2:45, because of the accident (I couldn’t tell of the road was closed) I turned around, went back to Going and then down Interstate to downtown.

      I don’t drive commute by car often, so maybe I’m not as desensitized to it as I could be, but I was absolutely furious. I haven’t seen such rude, dangerous, hee-haw driving since riding in Columbia county on STP a few years ago.

      I was absolutely furious, people were passing me at what was clearly, 60 or 70 mph, honking horns, ignoring turn indicators. It was outrageous and completely unacceptable. Where in the heck are the police?

      I ride on Greeley quite often in the morning, but rarely during the evening commute. Shocking.

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      • maxD December 22, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        I have requested enforcement at this location at least a dozen times over the past 7-8 years and I yet to see a cop pull anyone over.

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  • maxD December 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I would like to see a temporary/trial closure of that on-ramp. The freeway can be accessed off Going, this is is just redundant. try closing it until the bike lanes can be fixed, if it turns out we can live without it, then put a nice wide buffered lane on each side of the street. The 2-way shared path is not a great idea due to adding significant delays for bikes and creating a different dangerous condition with bikes going very fast downhill right next to bikes chugging along uphill with the desire to pass, e-bikes, joggers, and people pushing shopping carts thrown in the mix. I guess this would work if was proposed to be 20′ wide, but I think the proposal was for 8-10 feet. An additional complication is the regular use of the MUP connecting Interstate to Greeley to service Hazelnut Grove. Garbage trucks, Port-a-potty trucks, people making donations and the residents themselves drive right down this narrow concrete path, completely blocking it. The City should install a proper driveway and service yard/parking lot from Greeley if they are going to continue to permit this camp

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    • Alex December 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      This is one of the few areas that I would love to see that street narrowed and the land on the flats/sidehill turned into condos and bike/ped path. Keep the freeway entrance, but slow it down and maybe redirect to interstate on the nb exit if possible?

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    • rick December 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      I agree of closing that part of the road connecting I-5.

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    • Stephan Lindner December 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      But we would first need to do a capacity analysis, because of the modal hierarchy!

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  • Buzz December 21, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    This is a huge liability for the city, the injured cyclist should hire a good attorney and pursue a lawsuit.

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  • Rebecca December 21, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    My partner and I have to cross this section of I-5 every morning. He is an extremely experienced cyclist but on days when we don’t ride in together, I worry for him. Drivers are are going 50+ and sometimes switch travel lanes at the last minute when you could be just half-way across the on-ramp. My heart goes out to the injured cyclist. It must have been terrifying.

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  • dan December 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Yes, this is horrible design — one of the spots where I would really like to see the people who designed it riding through it on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter how cautious you are as a rider through there, drivers find ways to endanger you.

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    • q December 21, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Good point. When you see what’s built/striped/signed, you often get the feeling the decision making and design were done on a small scale by a CAD drafter who doesn’t walk or bike, and has never seen the site, who’s been given some general, murky direction by a supervisor who’s similarly inexperienced and uninformed. And once it’s built, nobody will come out and check on whether what was designed and built makes any sense.

      Any of us, even with no specialized technical knowledge, can walk or bike down any route we’re familiar with and point out things that are glaringly wrong with signage, striping, lighting, maintenance, sightlines, etc.

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      • 9watts December 22, 2017 at 10:20 am


        e.g., Morrison/Grand?

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        • q December 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

          You name it–it’s true everywhere. Even brand new projects. The new trail from the Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Park, for instance, was built without ADA-required tactile warnings where it enters vehicle areas, has stop signs requiring trail users to stop for a token number of cars on the private houseboat driveway, etc. I use that example because I’m familiar with it. And when I pointed those things out to the City and County, staff argued with me. Anyone using the route in this article would have pointed out the danger of the location where this injury occurred, and I’m sure many have pointed it out prior to this.

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          • 9watts December 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm

            and we pay their salaries!

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  • Buzz December 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    As long as there are highway on- and off-ramps in the city, these locations will always be dangerous for cyclists no matter how much lipstick the city applies.

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    • maxD December 21, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      They are proposing to make the on-ramps in the Rose Quarter even faster an more dangerous as a part of the proposed project. This City is absolutely going backward! They should be removing every single slip lane in the Citya and adding sidewalks to every road. The entrance to Greelely could be re-configured to be a 90-degree right turn off Greeley and controlled with a traffic signal,

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      • Jeff December 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

        Adding sidewalks to every road is a wonderful idea – as is paving all of the currently unpaved roads. Now, I await your plan on how we pay for that as we don’t have nearly enough money to maintain the infrastructure already in place….

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        • maxD December 22, 2017 at 11:50 am

          The State is willing to drop 450 million dollars on the rtose Quarter for some pretty dubious benefits. Lets start by cancelling that project and spend a half a billion dollars making infrastructure improvement in locations with high injury/mortality rates. My second idea is take the pavement away from motor vehicles and create jersey-barrier protected paths for people biking and walking. This could work i places like Greeley, St John’s Bridge, Barbur, and other spots with limited intersections. It wouldn’t too much $$, but it would impact travel times to increase safety.

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          • Jeff December 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm

            Again, a lovely pie in the sky idea that has no real world application. There simply isn’t the money.

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            • 9watts December 22, 2017 at 1:19 pm

              “There simply isn’t the money.”

              Of course there is the money. MaxD started the post to which you’re responding with $450million. What there isn’t is accountability and a commitment to do things that are good for people.

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          • was carless December 23, 2017 at 10:33 am

            450 million for planning, there is currently no estimate for actual construction costs. Rumor has it it will cost more than the entire max system, combined. $4 to 7 billion.

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            • 9watts December 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

              You got that on good authority? I thought the $450M was for the whole thing.

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    • Kyle Banerjee December 21, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      And therein lies the challenge. Getting vehicles on and off highways without crossing paths with bikes requires a world very different than the one we have.

      This merge is not fun. If the traffic is thick and fast, it’s easy to get pinned which makes it that much harder to find a big enough break to cross.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy December 23, 2017 at 5:29 pm

        I have gotten off my bike at that crossing and walked it across. It is not worth risking if there is traffic.

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        • Eric Leifsdad December 23, 2017 at 8:09 pm

          Great idea. Why don’t motorists just do this?

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  • rick December 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm


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  • Chris Bassett December 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    This is horrible. “Serious, but non-life threatening” is still a life altering injury.

    Where are we “allowed” to bike, Banks-Vernonia trail on a sunny day? It’s no wonder we’ve completely stalled on rider percentage. More of the same from the PBOT/ODOT “Ministry of Bad Design”.

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  • Mike Sanders December 21, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    There should be s posted, reduced speed limit on that section, including some prominent “Wafch for Bikes Crossing On Ramp” signs. One other thiught: That I-5 marker on that overhead sign looks pretty old…maybe 10 years old at least. While the ramp gets a temporary closure, a new, readable I-5 marker on that overhead wouldn’t hurt.

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    • PeaDub
      PeaDub December 25, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      In addition to reduced speed limit, there should be perpendicular rumble strips, a long merge zone (paint it green if that helps) and large, prominent “Yield to cyclists” signage. Through traffic should have right of way.

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  • buildwithjoe December 21, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I ride this section everyday to get to work. The city could be easily sued for so many neglected parts of this roadway. I’ve collected 4 years of photos and email to the Mayor and commissioner.

    The storm drains have been clogged and never fully cleared in 4 years. I have my own photos and Google Street view And GPS coordinates of each one. I named 4 of the worst sewers after Leah Treat, Matt Wales, Dan Saltzman and Ted Wheeler. They deny my evidence but lawyers love it.

    Our city is broken on so many levels.

    Renters are evicted by nearly unregulated landlords,. We are blowing excessive cash on wider freeways in tiny fake pinch points, Trimet usage is down, busses are backed up by selfish solo drivers . Cops don’t cite deadly illegal driving. Heck, cops did not even cite a car for a car at a stop who was in a hurry and crashed with a PSU cyclist who had 100% of the right of way. Jonathan called the cops to confirm their lack of a citation. We need 3 bike Portland reporters to cover just the driver induced crashes every day.

    Meanwhile mayor Ted and Nick Fish seem to have endless time to rant about #45 and the elephants on Twitter and their blogs.

    The street trust and Bike Loud have leaders who no longer push back against PBOT.

    Keep resisting!

    Call Dan Saltzman and keep calling (503)823-4151

    Keep calling..

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  • Matt S. December 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Maybe they could install a sensor triggered by the cyclist in the bike lane that triggers a red light for the cars. Do it in a way that allows for the cyclist to not have to stop or slow down.

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    • B. Carfree December 21, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      If they can afford those lit signs informing motorists that the ramp is metered ahead (like they wouldn’t notice the cars stopped waiting for the signal to enter the freeway), they certainly could afford to put a signal in at the crossover point and give the few cyclists a green on demand. Sadly, they will go with the narrow two-way sidepath alternative that makes cycling even slower in order to never have motorists think they’re not the top of the priority pyramid.

      I’m beginning to think that Vision Zero is really code for zero cyclists and pedestrians. In a sad way, that would eliminate all deaths and injuries to vrus, at the cost of even more deaths and injuries overall.

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    • Tom Hardy December 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      They have the sensors on Barbor to warn of cyclists on the bridges. Using flashing red lights would work wonders.

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      • Matt S. December 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm

        I wish for sensors on Barbor that would trigger a string of yellow flashing lights embedded into the road surface. In my world, they’d signal to drivers to temporary merge over to the left hand lane. Giving the cyclist the road. Would be great for night time committing.

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        • Phil Richman December 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

          I ride Barbur almost daily, the flashing beacons, which were recently set back further from the bridges are for the most part helpful. Why they were put so close in the initial setting was a huge waste of our $ by ODOT. My rearview mirror helps me see oncoming motorists as I take the lane across the bridges. Many keep a respectful distance and/or shift to the left lane. For less respectful drivers I point to the extra lane they can use to pass me. Then about once a month I am buzzed at a dangerously close distance threatening my life. I’d encourage anyone who rides roadways with anything more than 20 MPH speed limit to use a mirror. I find it a much greater safety mechanism than a helmet (which I also wear on Barbur, but not on BikeTown) Trust no one is my motto on Barbur. If/when I am injured or killed prior to SW Corridor happening (in 2030?) ODOT can look forward to hearing from my attorney. In the meantime they could choose to make the outside lanes bike/bus only, but that’d be far too logical.

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          • PeaDub
            PeaDub December 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm

            Is it just me, or do these lights NEVER TRIGGER? I only ride Barber occasionally, but I’ve never once actually had the warning lights fire up for me. Too much carbon maybe. 😉

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    • Al December 21, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      This is actually a fantastic idea. However, drivers already familiar w the light would try to beat the cyclist by speeding up. Some might end up running the light causing potentially more severe injuries in the event of an accident so it would have to be photo enforced and likely stop all of Greely traffic and not just the off ramp. Still, I think this would be an invaluable tool.

      Are there any examples of such a traffic control device already in use either here or abroad?

      I’m familiar with the bike signal on the Springwater at Johnson Creek but that requires stopping. I guess there would need to be a sensor on Greely much like the one that triggers the Tilikum counter.

      I only bike Greely there on weekends with light traffic and would have to concur with Doug Rosser about taking Rosa Parks to Vancouver all other days despite the inconvenience. There are many sections of road that bicyclists SHOULD be able to use, but having used them, I just factor in the “inconvenient” work around into my trip instead. The unfortunate thing is when people new to the route are lured into using it by the city having established a bike lane there.

      The section of N Interstate at the Broadway Bridge / Coliseum off ramp used to be a death race as well. They’ve reworked the markings and added bollards but I still experienced cars race me to cut me off at the exit there as well. The thing that makes that section safer though are speeds that are lower than those at Greely. You can avoid that too by taking Vancouver as well. So, more reason to stay on Vancouver.

      This is a real shame. I hope the rider makes a full recovery and is able to get fully compensated and then some for their trouble.

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  • Pat Franz December 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    What exactly is keeping the bike lane from staying on the right and going beside, below, and under the onramp to connect with Interstate?

    I realize there is a train track somewhat close by at the start, but there’s a lot of unused space on the right once you get past the first 1/4 of the ramp. Surely UP doesn’t need the space, it’s a hillside. And what exactly is the highway right of way there anyway? Seems worth checking. Surely when they built the freeway way back when they left some room.

    You can’t make bikeways with just creativity and paint, sometimes you need shovels too.

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    • Alex December 22, 2017 at 11:51 am

      I can’t recall ever reading about a cycling or walking death or injury around here where anyone has ever been able to say, “We’re all surprised by this. Nobody has ever expressed any concern about this location being unsafe.”Recommended 4

      I believe that is railroad land. Good luck with that.

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      • Alex December 22, 2017 at 11:51 am

        Oops, don’t know why it quoted q.

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      • oliver December 22, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        Whenever I have call to use the term ‘railroad’ in my mind it’s always preceded by an expletive.

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        • Kyle Banerjee December 23, 2017 at 7:16 am

          A lot of people do that with when referring to cyclists too. It doesn’t lead anywhere good.

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  • q December 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I can’t recall ever reading about a cycling or walking death or injury around here where anyone has ever been able to say, “We’re all surprised by this. Nobody has ever expressed any concern about this location being unsafe.”

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  • Eric Leifsdad December 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Close the ramp. Simple.

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    • paikiala December 22, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Federal tax dollars and state roadway, not so simple.

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      • 9watts December 22, 2017 at 10:24 am

        Perhaps not simple, but logical and urgent.

        How about we (you help us) find ways to accomplish the sensible, make it simple(r)?

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        • Eric Leifsdad December 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm

          The state and federal dollars haven’t paid for a full ramp (obviously, or it would be safe to bike past it), so maybe when it’s done we can open it.

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  • JeffS December 21, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Am I supposed to blame the government agencies for building these monstrosities, or the advocacy groups that lobbied for them?

    Another person injured, possibly because of bicycle infrastructure. The answer is different infrastructure. And then different infrastructure, and different infrastructure, pushing bicycles further and further off the roadway, but destined to pop right back out at the most inopportune times.

    Yes, this is a horrible design. But I have grown weary of the “protected” advocates pretending like intersections and driveways don’t exist as they try to get Portland to build the next wave of ineffective infrastructure. All, apparently, so they can trick more people into riding with a false sense of security.

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    • soren December 22, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Am I supposed to blame the government agencies for building these monstrosities, or the advocacy groups that lobbied for them?

      I agree!

      Please join the campaign and let’s fight these monstrosities and create cities that are safe and livable.

      You, Kyle, and John can also show your support for livable cities by donating here:

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  • Kyle Banerjee December 22, 2017 at 5:59 am

    All that really needs to happen for this specific merge to be much easier is to slow the vehicles down near that point and make them more aware of cyclists. Lots of bikes and cars crossing paths each others’ paths on an exit doesn’t have to be bad — consider the exit vehicles take off Hawthorne onto MLK.

    Because of the shape of the exit to the right, motorists will not do that naturally so adjustments would need to be made. However, given that there are already plans for protected bikeway in 2018, I wouldn’t put much hope on more than signage, flashing lights if you’re really lucky.

    This merge is unfortunate, but this general area of Greeley is otherwise quite decent to ride — certainly better than Killingsworth to Lombard. Visibility is great, vehicles are predictable, and there are no hook threats.

    Once the protected bike path is in, this will all be moot because this entire section will be rendered unsuitable for riding. Forcing bikes off the road isn’t progress in my book.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy December 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      I was thinking the same. make it more difficult to go fast.

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    • oliver December 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      I agree. Because this section of road is between my house and where I work, I ride and drive on it often.

      Never have I come remotely close to colliding with a person riding a bicycle when merging up that ramp on my way to the Broadway bridge.

      Not one single time, ever.

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    • John Liu December 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Temporary measures that could help pending the bikeway construction:
      – Indicator wands to separate the two southbound lanes, starting a considerable distance (200 feet or more) before the exit
      – Wands in the east part of the painted zone from where the bike lane crosses the exit lane to where the concrete barrier starts.
      – Maybe wands between the right-most lane and the right-side bike lane, for a considerable distance before the exit.
      – Big flashing signs “YIELD TO BIKES” “BIKE CROSSING” and speed display

      No, not good enough for a permanent solution. But I think this would be quick to install, acceptably inexpensive, and would reduce car speed by making the exit lane feel narrower, make cars more predictable by discouraging last-minute darts from the through lane to the exit lane, and remind drivers to look for bikes. Which would all make this spot safer.

      I’ve ridden on most roads in Portland. I ride this spot in the day when the traffic is light, without much worry. But when traffic is heavier or it is dark, I don’t like it at all. It is scary.

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  • Scott Kocher December 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

    If any location isn’t safe, temporary measures need to be in place (reduced speeds, candlesticks, ramp closures, whatever is needed) until the permanent fix is built.

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    • B. Carfree December 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      I agree even though that would cause most of the roads in this state to consist of temporary measures.

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      • Kyle Banerjee December 23, 2017 at 7:20 am

        It would all but guarantee that permanent solutions would never come. All the resources would be expended chasing temporary fixes and there wouldn’t be nearly enough to do even that.

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  • ERic December 22, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    And that is why I would always ride through the railroad yard…when I used to bike to Swan Island. That was a scary section of road.

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  • Rain Waters December 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Jonathan, this has gotta wear you down. Thanks for sticking with it and hopes that 2018 is a better year for Portlands cyclists.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson December 22, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Yes, we need to make the Ash Grove Cement Road a public facility between N. River St. and Swan Island. With that and the proposed cycle track out Basin Avenue to Waud Bluff, there would be less need to ride Willamette or Greeley.
    The Greeley I-5 ramps were added in the 80’s when the Mock’s Bottom portion of Swan Island was developed. There was a proposal to link that development to I-5 via then Portland Blvd, but it met with stiff resistance from the neighborhoods.

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  • Charles Ross December 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I’ve ridden through this exact space dozens of times and i’ve never been hit. I’ve never had a close call. Do you know why? It’s because when I approach the exact place where I would cross over, I ignore my mirrors, stop, put my feet on the ground, turn around and look!!! To be hit by a car in this place requires a mistake on the part of the rider; maybe too quick of a look in the mirror, maybe not looking at all. Don’t even trust a quick look over the shoulder. Stop, turn your head and look. If you can’t properly estimate the speed of an oncoming car, wait!!
    There is exactly the same situation that occurs about a mile before you reach this freeway entrance, an onramp from Swan Island. It requires cyclists to ‘yield’ and yet I’ve seen bikers ride right through what is a blind onramp onto Greeley for cars.
    It’s Russian roulette played by the oblivious.
    Having said all this, I do agree that the speed limit is too high on this stretch of road, from the top of the hill all the way to that i-5 onramp. 35 max. There should also be stop signs for cyclists on both auto onramps that i’ve mentioned. For the cyclist Greeley it’s a quick, unpleasant ride.
    I’m not talking about ‘right or wrong’ here but actions that a cyclist can take to dramatically improve their safety.

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    • q December 24, 2017 at 11:52 am

      I understand what you’re saying, but on the other hand, we do know that none of the people who have been hit here had never been hit there before, and for all we know they’d never had a close call before either, using whatever method (looking over their shoulders, looking in mirror, etc.) they’d been using successfully right up until the day they were hit.

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    • PeaDub
      PeaDub December 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

      This infrastructure is a failure because it’s treated as a crossing instead of a merge. Same is true of the Hawthorne -> MLK offramp. The through traffic (cyclists in this case) have the right of way, and the intersection needs to be designed around that fact, ensuring that drivers slow down and then yield to any cyclists using a much longer section of the roadway.

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      • Matt S. December 27, 2017 at 12:15 pm

        I suppose they could put a stop sign there and make all cars stop regardless of bike traffic.

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        • q December 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

          Incredibly, that’s the actual attitude that’s used today for MUP path design, aimed at pedestrians and cyclists instead of drivers. On the new westside trail just north of the Sellwood Bridge, a private driveway serving houseboats crosses the new path. It generates about 200 cars per day traffic, while the trail is projected to have many more times that volume of users.

          The drivers have stop signs on the private driveway, which is logical, but there are also stop signs aimed at the trail users, which is crazy. I objected to Parks (whose trail it is) about those stop signs, saying it’s crazy to force users of the westside’s main trail to stop for a few cars using a private driveway, and that it’s also confusing and unsafe, since I’ve never seen anyone EVER stop for them, and nobody even knows how the stop signs would apply to runners or walkers.

          Parks’ response to me was that Parks cannot control whether trail users obey the signs, and that the signs will remain, and the fact they may be confusing or unfair is irrelevant.

          So you can bet stop signs would never be placed for cars at that on-ramp, but meanwhile when the situation is reversed, there’s no hesitation to inconvenience hundreds or thousands of cyclists and pedestrians by directing them to stop for a few dozen cars.

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          • Matt S. December 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm

            Well, we all know how most cyclists handle stop signs. It’s more of a suggestion to stop along this route.

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            • q December 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm

              That’s the problem. A driver sees that a cyclist has a stop sign, so proceeds assuming the cyclist will stop, then hits him when he doesn’t. Another driver assumes they won’t stop, so waits and confuses the cyclist and the other drivers. A cyclist learns that the City views stop signs as suggestions, and doesn’t intend that you stop at them, so rolls through another that actually was meant to require a stop. The houseboat resident figures that if cyclists aren’t required to stop at their stop signs, then he isn’t really required to stop, either. One cyclist stops for a car, then another doesn’t stop and hits the car that assumed both would stop. The whole thing would be cleared up by removing the stop signs for the trail users.

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  • gtrain December 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    This is the scariest crossing in all of Portland. The infastructure suggests making the turn without stopping. This is very dangerous for first time users. I ran into the concrete barriers on the side when looking over my shoulder when I was fairly new to biking in Portland. I now make sure to completely stop my bike and look before crossing the freeway onramp.

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    • q December 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      It looks very scary.

      It makes me think of what was discussed at the project team meeting where this design was approved…”The cyclist will ride in the bike lane, then to get past the on-ramp, he or she will need to make a sudden sharp turn across traffic that’s going 40 mph or more and already focused on entering the ramp, so he or she can cut across that lane to reach the bike lane at the other side of the on-ramp entrance.”

      “OK! Sounds great! Let’s build it!”

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      • PeaDub
        PeaDub December 27, 2017 at 10:43 am

        More likely it was:

        “Well, regulations require bike lanes, but what kind of crazy person would ride a bike here? Anyone who does can just stop and wait for a gap in traffic.”
        “Good enough, let’s built it!”


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      • Matt S. December 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        I wonder when the ramp was built and the bike lane created? If this was 20-30 years ago, I imagine there was far las Bike/auto traffic. Nonetheless, the design needs updating.

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  • Brad H December 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    ODOT controls the I-5 ramps so all fixes have to be coordinated with them.

    N Going & Interstate is near or at capacity during rush hours so adding traffic there by closing the Greeley onramp to I-5 is not going to happen unless there is another (realistic) route for that traffic.

    Short-term solutions: update the striping paint, make the stopping box on the railyard side for cyclists clear, clear the gravel and the grate debris, and add more dramatic signage. I think an additional set of signage (after the initial set during Interstate MAX construction) was added a while back to guide northbound riders to take Interstate past the Greeley light to the signals to the path that goes by Hazelnut Grove.

    Report if the path near Hazelnut Grove is blocked.

    Long-term solution: push PBOT to contract the 2-way path work out ASAP. The solution is there and waiting.

    I hope the rider will be okay and that no more are hit. Unless you can see there is NO traffic anywhere near you there, I would get off my bike, turn and look upstream, and cross – walking my bike across if necessary. It’s not worth it.

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  • Amy January 2, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    This intersection scares me enough that now that it’s dark after work, I choose to go out of the way to avoid it. I would wait for 3-5 minutes for a car to stop for me to cross. It’s insane to imagine that cyclists could use this intersection during rush hour and a highway entrance. I can’t believe that a light wasn’t installed as a stop gap measure.

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  • bettie August 31, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I’m tired of the all-to-common “let’s make bicycling lanes safe” attitude. How about “let’s remove the driving privileges of people who drive like assholes” instead. Stricter enforcement. Making brighter lanes and throwing up plastic poles is just giving a free pass to drivers to continue being dicks. It’s the mentality of, “well, if we can’t get along, then we’ll just separate them,” rather than, “your dick isn’t any bigger than anyone else’s dick, so deal with it. If you don’t like driving, then don’t.” PS. I hate that Greeley crossing. Rode it for years.

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