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Police investigating life-threatening injury crash involving bicycle rider in NW Industrial District – UPDATED

Posted by on May 15th, 2018 at 9:44 am

View looking east on NW Nicolai between 27th and 29th.

A man has suffered what Portland Police are referring to as, “serious life-threatening injuries” after he was involved in a collision with a truck in an industrial area of Northwest Portland.

According to a PPB statement, the collision happened this morning just after 8:00 on NW Nicolai between 27th and 29th. Here’s more from the PPB:

“Based on preliminary information, investigators believe the bicyclist exited a parking lot, traveled into the eastbound travel lane of Northwest Nicolas Street and crashed into a passing truck.”

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The PPB’s Major Crash Team is conducting an investigation and, for reasons unknown at this time, criminalists with the Forensic Evidence Division are also helping with the investigation.

This section of NW Nicolai is on the southern border of the industrial district and is major freight corridor as the only east-west connection between Highway 30 and NW Front/Naito. West of this location Nicolai turns into St. Helens Road. As you can see in the image, there is no shoulder and no bike lane here. The driveway mentioned in the police statement would have emptied out directly into the vehicle lane. 30 mph is the posted speed limit.

Back in 2009 we reported on an opportunity to stripe bike lanes and possibly convert old, paved-over rail lines on Nicolai into protected bikeways. That plan never went anywhere and this key access road continues to lack basic access for bicycle users.

Anyone with information about this crash should contact the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division at 503-823-2103.

UPDATE, 5/17: The police now say the bicycle rider, a 50-year-old, has died of injuries sustained in this crash. His name has not been released pending notification of kin. He is the first person to die while bicycling on a Portland street in 2018 and the 16th transportation fatality overall.

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

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Middle of the Road Guy
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Middle of the Road Guy

Wishing the best for the cyclist but how could one not see a truck coming?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Given the number of driveways, and the general level of comings and goings, does anyone know why the speed limit here is 30MPH?

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Which is more likely: a person on a bike overlooks a large truck and rides right into it or a person driving a truck overlooks a person on a bike?

I know if the only person one asks is the driver of the truck he’s going to insist that the bike came from out of nowhere and slammed into his rig, but I have my doubts.

cae
Guest
cae

I ride through there regularly. On weekends it’s a ghost town (very sparse auto traffic) so it’s a great place to ride, but on busy weekdays – trucks and vans are hauling ass through there…I avoid it.

X
Guest
X

That bit of road always creeped me out way worse than any freeway shoulder. I’ve ridden the sidewalk there before. Hoping the best for that bike rider…

Shoupian
Subscriber
Shoupian

Even the sidewalks are sub-standard. The light poles definitely make the sidewalks non-ADA accessible. I hope the injured cyclist and their family sue the City of Portland. It seems like that’s the only way to get public agencies to take the safety of vulnerable road users seriously.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

Not only does ODOT control the speed limit on that road (it’s US-30, of course), they control the infrastructure there. Reclaiming a nearby rail line for a ped/bike path in that area would make sense., but it’s not likely to happen for awhile. Trump’s attitude about roads like this is that truck routes are Homeland Security corridors thru which freight traffic must be kept moving. Therefore, ped/bike traffic must be discouraged thru areas like this.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

This always makes me very sad. Part of the problem is that developers and the city seem to like the idea of bit by bit converting industrial areas in to hip locations for brew pubs, craft galleries and restaurants when the infrastructure was designed to accommodate trains, forklifts and large square footage warehouses with few employees per square foot. Industrial zones have always been noisy, smelly and somewhat dangerous places that in the old days ( especially before waze) were mostly untraveled by the ordinary public. The danger is in trying to have it both ways. If you want to make it legal to put non-industrial stuff in an industrial area then the infrastructure needs to be upgraded to make it safe for all types of travel by the public. There is also no reason that travel speeds for trucks and cars in an industrial district can not be very low at any time.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Did the truck have sideguards?

Meghan H
Guest
Meghan H

The driveway shown on the right belongs to Kaiser Permanente (an IT office, mainly). I considered riding my bike to a meeting there once until I looked at Google Street View. Chose to drive instead, and was glad I had. Car traffic there is fast, and not expecting anyone on bike or on foot. That Kaiser driveway is steeper than it looks in that photo, so I could imagine a sad scenario where brakes fail or the person on a bike didn’t grab them quite right and couldn’t stop.

But, as we say, mostly speculation. Hope the person is okay after medical treatment…

J_R
Guest
J_R

Based on past practices, such as the May 2015 collision in which Mark Angeles was killed, the PPB and DA will “pull out all the stops” to “prove” that the bicyclist was at fault.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

PPB statements like these reinforce my decision to ride with video recording (front and rear). I know not everyone has the ready cash for a setup like that, but if you do then it’s justifiable as an insurance policy against prejudgment in cases like this. I bought mine after witnessing a crash several years ago then getting calls from the driver’s (or his insurance company’s) attorneys trying to trap me into rewriting my memory. I got a GoPro at the time, and now ride with a Fly12/Fly6 combo. I still think of that rider from time to time; I didn’t get her name, but I never want to see another leg look like that, ever, and I sincerely hope that modern medicine was enough to repair it.

When only the driver can speak, only the driver’s story is told. Video evidence goes a long way.

So sorry to hear of yet another person getting hurt on the roads. I hope his injuries heal quickly and thoroughly.

Joe Fortino
Guest
Joe Fortino

narrow street 🙁 wishing the best for the rider.

Rich A
Guest
Rich A

I was one of the people who showed up 30 sec after this incident. A bike lane wouldn’t have helped. He had exited a steep parking lot in to traffic. It looked as if he was riding a fixie and didn’t have breaks. I pray he pulls through.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

“Based on preliminary information, investigators believe the bicyclist exited a parking lot, traveled into the eastbound travel lane of Northwest Nicolas Street and crashed into a passing truck.”

The factual statements include a cyclist entered the roadway from a parking lot; they entered the eastbound travel lane; they collided with a truck that was “passing” (which I take to mean traveling on the road, not executing a passing maneuver). I believe all of these facts would have been readily evident in the preliminary investigation.

Would you prefer a truck-focused statement? “Investigators believe the truck driver was traveling in the eastbound lane of Nicolas Street when he was struck by a bicycle entering the lane from a parking lot”?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Right hooks are often initially reported as the bicyclist mysteriously hitting the side of the motor vehicle for no apparent reason. The giveaway here is that the truck driver said he was passing. Passing is what happens just prior to a right hook.

Joe Fortino
Guest
Joe Fortino

most ppl that ride fixed understand how things go, so we can blame the rider unless we hear the full story. * lotta aggressive driving habits these days and it needs to stop *

Fred
Guest
Fred

Whenever I see a statement like the one released by PPB, I think to myself, “Yes, but what was the cyclist’s perspective?” And if the cyclist can’t speak for himself or herself, I tend to discount the statement. But unfortunately, it’s par for the course: “A bicycle crashed into a motor vehicle, and the cyclist is dead or horribly injured.” Who speaks for the cyclist? Often it’s no one.

Joe Fortino
Guest
Joe Fortino

true Fred I woke up on the side of street after being run off the road at night by a car.

Lori
Guest
Lori

Any news on how the cyclist is doing?