Weekender Ride

NW Portland crash victim’s son speaks out: “More people need to speak up. We need change”

Posted by on May 21st, 2018 at 12:21 pm

1993 Feldt family photo. Daniel Feldt is in the checkered flannel.
(Photo: Daniel E. Feldt)

Daniel E. Feldt, the son of the man who died hours after a collision with a truck driver while biking on Tuesday, says he feels dangerous road conditions might have contributed to his father’s death. And he plans to do something about it.

50-year-old Daniel Feldt was biking toward NW Niclolai Street on Tuesday morning (5/15) and was struck by someone driving an Isuzu work truck.

The official statement from the Portland Police Bureau says, “Based on preliminary information, investigators believe the bicyclist exited a parking lot, traveled into the eastbound travel lane of Northwest [sic] Nicolas Street and crashed into a passing truck.” That makes it seem like Feldt was at fault (and the line was unfortunately picked up as fact by the local media who parroted it as their own reporting); but a closer look at the crash scene shows that this collision might be more complicated than first assumed.

(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

As you can see in images I took on Thursday (above), visibility of the driveway from eastbound Nicolai is very compromised by a cement wall, vegetation, poles on the sidewalk, and other obstructions. From the driveway (Feldt’s point-of-view), those same obstructions make it very difficult to see oncoming traffic (even a large truck). And judging from where the point of impact appears to be (based on spray paint used by police to mark evidence), it’s not clear if Feldt ever entered the roadway — or if the truck driver was going a safe speed prior to the collision. It’s possible the truck operator could have been so close to the sidewalk that a large mirror is what first struck the victim. Without more evidence, it’s hard to say exactly what happened.

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Feldt’s son (with the same name) reached out to us via email on Friday to share his frustrations and sadness after he visited the scene Friday. Feldt is upset about the premature finger-pointing that lays blame on his deceased father and he’s concerned the roadway conditions might have contributed to the collision.

“To see the outline of a human in blood on the ground, the orange paint showing where the evidence flew after the collision, and to see people continue on like nothing happened, all while doing 40+ mph almost regularly through the scene was heartbreaking.”
— Daniel E. Feldt

“It is unfortunate that there are people out there on the internet who get a kick out of posting biased or rude assumptions,” he wrote. “To see the outline of a human in blood on the ground, the orange paint showing where the evidence flew after the collision, and to see people continue on like nothing happened, all while doing 40+ mph almost regularly through the scene was heartbreaking. Not because I am a bike rider and worry about my safety or because I feel the speeds are too high, but because Daniel Feldt was my father.”

Feldt tells us he is in talks with Portland Police investigators and plans to retain legal representation. Feldt hopes to view surveillance camera footage that might have captured the collision in order to better understand the circumstances.

But at this point, it’s all still very raw and emotional for Daniel E Feldt. His father wasn’t wearing a helmet and Feldt says he might be alive today if one was worn (he died during brain surgery hours after the collision). “If you ask me, I’d make it mandatory to have a helmet regardless of being over the age of 16,” he shared.

As for the roadway conditions, Feldt’s son wonders why there isn’t more room for bicycling on NW Nicolai. “The center turn lane is rarely used and the community would greatly benefit from bicycle lanes on either side of the street versus
the center lane. An even better idea would be to have the bike lanes on the north side only [where there are currently paved over railroad tracks].” Feldt is also looking into building and planning codes around vegetation maintenance requirements. “With the bushes gone, it is possible the driver would have seen him coming and swerved, or he [the bicycle rider] could have seen the truck. It is hard to see the trucks.”

Expected to meet with detectives about the collision today, Feldt shared, “More people need to speak up. We need change.”

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

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122 Comments
  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty May 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Confidential to ODOT & PBOT: Given the sightlines, road conditions, and nature of the traffic here, the speed limit should be 25 on this street. If you’re going to keep the limit at 30, the road needs to be designed and maintained to work safely at that speed, which this one clearly isn’t.

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  • John Lascurettes May 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    It grieves me that Daniel has lost his father in this way, but please, let’s not call for compulsory helmet laws because of this. I wear my helmet on every single commute for the last 11 years. But please don’t make it required of me to wear one just to slow roll down my street to my local neighborhood store or restaurant. Haven’t we been over the detractions of mandatory helmet use hundreds of times already and seen its demonstrably detrimental effects to ridership numbers?

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    • 9watts May 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      I agree with you completely, John, but the fact that ‘we’ have been over this so much doesn’t mean others know or understand this. Most folks I talk about this sort of thing with would probably (reflexively) agree with Mr. Felt on this.

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      • John Lascurettes May 21, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        I had surmised from the article that he was also a regular bicycle user, but reading carefully it’s unclear whether he is or isn’t at all. Good point.

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        • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 9:39 am

          lots of regular bicycle users think that helmets are a great idea…

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          • Cpt. Obvus May 25, 2018 at 11:04 am

            Yep, it’s the best place to mount my mirror and sometimes my GoPro, and its visor helps keep some raindrops off my glasses. But in terms of head protection, it’s lame compared to savvy riding.

            (Or maybe you meant “regular” as in “longtime newbie,” not regular as in frequent?)

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    • Tom Hardy May 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Helmet laws cut down on body part donations. This was documented in the midwest. It holds true here. A no helmet rider is considered as a body part donor.

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      • X May 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        Do you have a reference for that documentation? And maybe you are thinking about motorcycles?

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      • B. Carfree May 21, 2018 at 6:43 pm

        If no-helmet cyclists are body-part donors, whatever do we call motorists who refuse to wear helmets when they are 12% more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries per hour. We’re also going to need to do some serious pedestrian shaming, since they’re 88% more likely than cyclists to suffer traumatic brain injuries.

        There’s also that confounding factoid that wearing a helmet increases both close passes and actual strikes. Anyhoo, I patiently await our mandatory motorist and pedestrian helmet laws. Safety first, don’t you know.

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        • Eric Leifsdad May 22, 2018 at 6:33 am

          And shower helmets.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy May 22, 2018 at 11:47 am

          Luckily, there are other safety devices used in cars.

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          • BradWagon May 22, 2018 at 1:39 pm

            And luckily cycling removes all the mass, metal and glass that creates the need for those safety features in the first place.

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  • nuovorecord May 21, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    If we (actually) care about head injuries enough to create comuplsory helmet laws for people on bicycles, then they also need to be compulsory for those in cars as well, given the high frequency of head injuries that result from car crashes.

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  • dwk May 21, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    It was reported here in a comment by a witness that he was on a fixie with no brake.
    If that is true, that should be easy to confirm and makes a big difference.

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 9:41 am

      I assume if there were witnesses they would have stated that as it’s a HUGE factor in determining initial fault…. right now all we have is the police saying for no known reason that it’s the fault of the person on a bike…

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 11:13 am

        It was a two line statement. You can’t expect it to contain every detail.

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 11:19 am

      I went back and read the comment… they stated they weren’t a witness as they got there after the incident occurred…

      however, I don’t see how being on a fixie with no hand brake would make a big difference… it’s not as if people riding fixies are unable to stop suddenly…

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      • dwk May 22, 2018 at 11:40 am

        Show us how fast you can stop on a fixie?
        If indeed he rolled down a ramp on a fixie, how fast do you think he could stop?

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        • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

          why would you care how fast I can stop on a fixie? I don’t care how fast non-fixie riders stop on a fixie… but I assume it’s not very fast…

          how fast do I think most fixie riders can stop? from experience they stop as fast as everybody else… even to the point of locking their “brakes”…

          it’s seems you have a bias against fixie riders… it’s ok, they’ve got a bad stereotype, just like cyclists in general…

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          • John Lascurettes May 22, 2018 at 12:50 pm

            If you have no front brake, then the fixie (no matter how good the rider is) is going to have a longer stopping distance since more efficient braking power comes from the front wheel and a brakeless fixie only has stopping power from the rear wheel. The most-efficient stopping power comes from strong front brakes and modulated back brakes.

            Still, I don’t see the need to bring it up unless it can be determined that he attempted to stop and couldn’t do it in time. Since there were no witnesses, it’s bordering on irrelevant here.

            http://web.mit.edu/cwarner/www/FixedGearSkidSample.pdf

            https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/128796/ (this one says stopping distance is roughly double).

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            • John Lascurettes May 22, 2018 at 12:53 pm

              The real issue in exacerbating this situation were the nightlines of both operators. I just had a close call last night because the cut through at NE Tillamook and NE 16th has overgrown vegetation creating a near opaque screen between the two roadways. I had no idea an SUV had already entered the “intersection” behind the diverter and she had no idea I was about to emerge from the diverter. We both stopped in time. But I took it for granted, having gotten used to the pre-spring openness of the nightlines there, that I had already “looked” for traffic while not understanding that I couldn’t even see it.

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              • John Lascurettes May 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm

                sight-lines, not nightlines. Thanks, autocorrect.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm

              In the absence of witnesses (I’m not sure how you know this), would it matter if the truck had well-functioning brakes?

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              • John Lascurettes May 22, 2018 at 4:21 pm

                Of course.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 9:35 pm

                But not the bike?

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      • Middle of the Road Guy May 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm

        I would not assume all fixie riders have the same level of skill – some might be awful.

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        • John Lascurettes May 22, 2018 at 4:21 pm

          I would not assume all truck drivers have the same driving skill. Some might be awful.

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  • Kyle Banerjee May 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    What happened isn’t clear and maybe never will be, but it’s hard to imagine that road conditions weren’t a major contributing factor.

    Unfortunately, terrible visibility is a major problem all around town and will continue to be so. Even when vehicles parked too close to corners aren’t an issue, vegetation blocking signs — or in some cases no sign of any kind where roads meet are rife. That Portland requires a permit for pruning branches over 1/2″ does not help and is frankly ridiculous. For many operations, expensive inspections and assessments are required which is a deterrence to proper maintenance.

    Adjusting the speed limit on the road may be appropriate here and other locations. It still is essential for all road users to account for all circumstances that can reasonably be anticipated including terrible sightlines and excessive legal (as well as common but illegal) speeds.

    I’m no fan of knee jerk requirements. It’s silly to suggest that someone riding along a MUP at a jogging pace without a helmet endangers themselves in any meaningful way. But it’s at least as silly to suggest that helmets don’t drastically mitigate head injuries in certain types of crashes.

    Whether drivers wear them is immaterial. If they’re helpful for the type of riding you do, not wearing one because drivers aren’t required to is pretty messed up. If they’re beneficial overall, encouraging the least skilled riders to believe otherwise just to drive up ridership numbers is also messed up.

    In the activities I do, it seems the least skilled individuals are also most likely to forego basic safety precautions because they think they don’t need them. Likewise, the most skilled observe these the most consistently and when they don’t it’s for a reason other than as a symbolic gesture.

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    • Dan A May 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      “If they’re helpful for the type of riding you do, not wearing one because drivers aren’t required to is pretty messed up.”

      Good thing nobody is saying that.

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 9:45 am

      “In the activities I do, it seems the least skilled individuals are also most likely to forego basic safety precautions because they think they don’t need them.”

      what a horribly wrong thing to say… horrible… you should have stopped while you were ahead… shame on you…

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    • Gary B May 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      A pruning permit is required for pruning branches on *street trees* over 1/2″ in diameter. The trees in these pictures are on private property, they aren’t street trees. Speaking more broadly, in residential zones if a permit is required, they’re self-issued online for pruning branches up to 6 inches.

      And of course in either case you could simply fulfill your legal duty to maintain street trees by pruning obstructing limbs before they’re 1/2″‘ in diameter.

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  • Jon May 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Well done studies have concluded that helmet use reduces head injuries by 70%. I don’t see how mandating helmet use is any different from mandating seat belt use but I would hate for police to spend time ticketing people for not using helmets when people driving cars revoked licences are a lot more dangerous.
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/22/bicycle-helmets-reduce-risk-of-serious-head-injury-by-nearly-70-study-finds

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    • 9watts May 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      “I don’t see how mandating helmet use is any different from mandating seat belt use”

      Not the same at all. Seatbelts are intended and do protect those wearing them from the inherent dangers of putting people in cars. Bike helmets aren’t protecting the wearers from *inherent* dangers of biking but from dangers from those same humans in cars doing stupid or dangerous things. Which is why the Europeans on bikes, who by and large don’t wear helmets, don’t, by and large, end up in hospitals. The danger to cyclists comes from the seatbelt wearers. It the lack of helmets.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 21, 2018 at 3:13 pm

        >>> Bike helmets aren’t protecting the wearers from *inherent* dangers of biking but from dangers from those same humans in cars doing stupid or dangerous things. <<<

        Distinction without a difference.

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        • 9watts May 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm

          Try telling that to the Dutch
          http://www.vtpi.org/irresistible.pdf

          Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany
          John Pucher; Ralph Buehler, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New
          Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
          First Published: July 2008
          from which I’ve excerpted a few short passages:

          “Thus, the Netherlands has the lowest non-fatal injury rate [of cyclists] as well as the lowest fatality rate, while the USA has the highest non-fatal injury rate as well as the highest fatality rate.

          … The cyclist injury rate for the USA seems extremely high relative to the other countries.

          Thus, it is important to emphasize that the much safer cycling in northern Europe is definitely not due to widespread use of safety helmets. On the contrary, in the Netherlands, with the safest cycling of any country, less than 1% of adult cyclists wear helmets, and even among children, only 3–5% wear helmets (Dutch Bicycling Council, 2006; Netherlands Ministry of Transport, 2006)”

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          • Jon May 21, 2018 at 3:40 pm

            I guess when I ride in the Netherlands I’ll forgo a helmet. Since I live in the USA and like to be able to add 2+2 and come up with an answer of 4 I’ll continue to wear a helmet when I ride. There may be some time in the future when we are as good as the the countries outlined in the Dutch study. It would be great if our bike transportation infrastructure was as good as the best in Europe, the cost of driving was much higher, and there was more traffic calming in the city but I don’t see that happening soon. When I’ve been in Amsterdam the helmet use was very low but so was the average speed of traffic both on a bike and in a car. As studies show slower automobile speeds mean lower bicycle and pedestrian death and injury rates.
            If the a car could not travel over 35 miles per hour there would most likely be no need for air bags and the injury rate would be low enough that there would be no seat belt usage laws. As it is the speed limit on roads within 1 mile of my home is 40 which probably means the average speed is closer to 45. Working on the stuff in the Dutch study is great for future cyclists but for today wearing a helmet will get you a 70% reduction in head injury.

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            • 9watts May 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm

              “I’ll continue to wear a helmet”

              The issue we are discussing here is not whether you or I should/will keep wearing a helmet.

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            • 9watts May 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm

              “Working on the stuff in the Dutch study is great for future cyclists but for today wearing a helmet will get you a 70% reduction in head injury.”

              I was responding to your assertion that seatbelt laws and helmet laws were equivalent, not whether helmets protect some people from bad driving in countries where this persists.

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    • 9watts May 21, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Tried to write: … from the seatbelt wearers, not from the lack of helmets.

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    • MTW May 21, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      One difference is that mandating helmet use results in a decrease in bicyclists (which is bad for the society overall IMHO.) One specific example, it renders bike share programs more or less obsolete since few people carry a helmet around with them all day. The book, “How Cycling Can Save the World” gets into this topic quite a bit and one of the examples used is a bike share program in Australia which has very low usage in an area which has mandatory helmet laws.

      By comparison, I’m not sure there’s any evidence that mandatory seat belt laws results in a decrease in automobile driving. One of the “perks” of travelling in a large 2,000 pound box is that they just build the seat-belt right into the car.

      I wear a helmet, but I’m not a fan of mandating them for adults.

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    • John Lascurettes May 21, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Jon:
      “I don’t see how mandating helmet use is any different from mandating seat belt use”

      It’s quite a bit different. Wearing a seatbelt was never a detriment to driving. People simply didn’t want to do it, but they didn’t forego driving because they had to wear a seatbelt. Read the article you linked to again:

      Chris Rissel, a professor of public health at the University of Sydney, told a 2015 Australian Senate inquiry into the subject that cycling numbers dropped after the helmet laws were introduced in the 1990s, which made remaining cyclists more vulnerable.

      “In safety terms there is a phenomenon called safety in numbers,” he said. “As more people cycle, our roads become safer for these cyclists.

      “Drivers become used to seeing cyclists and adjust their behaviour, and infrastructure tends to be improved to better cater for cycling. Even if cyclists wear helmets they are less safe with fewer cyclists on the road than they would be with more cyclists about.

      Helmets are a barrier to new riders, particularly for occasional and non-regular riders. The need to wear a helmet reinforces the message that cycling is dangerous – with perceptions of danger a major reason people give for not cycling.

      Neither shaming people, nor requiring them to wear a helmet will get them to wear one at all. They’ll just forego riding and get back in a car.

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    • Dan A May 21, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Well done studies have concluded that mandatory helmet use reduces cycling. By a lot.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm

        it would be really great if we could keep our eyes on the prize and not let yet another important discussion about street safety, road design, and traffic policy go down the unending rabbit hole of a helmet use debate. Just my .02.

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        • Dan A May 21, 2018 at 5:56 pm

          We might not be talking about it if it hadn’t been specifically called out in the article.

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

      as with a lot of studies there are a ton of assumptions in there… their input data was so specific to confirmed head injuries that we really have no idea how correct the numbers are due to lack of reporting controls…

      but as always a specific piece of safety equipment will always be helpful in specific examples…

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  • Todd Boulanger May 21, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    At this time – with the public information at hand – I cannot judge what occurred at this tragic event.

    As a “plank” in the commercial freight portion of the City’s Vision Zero policy, there should be a local ordinance that ALL commercially registered vehicles (>20,000 GVWR) have at least 1 forward facing (functioning) dash cam. (More would be better.)

    Sadly – It would have helped greatly if this crash had been between a Trimet/CTRAN bus and the cyclist…as there would have been likely audio and video of this event for crash reconstruction purposes.

    Having a dash cam would have helped the PPB reconstruct the all too deadly and frequent crashes between commercial vehicles and cyclists in Portland: Monhait, Jarolimek, etc. It is a list getting longer while collision rates for non-vulnerable road users drops nationally.

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    • pdx2wheeler May 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      A camera exists for people on bikes so they don’t have to depend on others to have a recording. I have no affiliation with RidEye but use one on every ride. Having a camera mounted may not have affected the outcome of this collision, however, it would have help provide an answer to what exactly happened. If I’m in an collision I’m not comfortable with the motor vehicle driver colluding with Portland Police to write the narrative to my demise. http://www.rideye.com

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      • Todd Boulanger May 22, 2018 at 11:14 am

        I do not disagree with the heart of your statement (I have them too)…but most cyclists will not have such devices given that they would cost as much as their bike.

        These cameras would also protect the commercial truck operator (and their license and the firm) if they were not at fault…so self-adoption should behoove them too.

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  • q May 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I’m glad Felt is looking at the zoning requirements that mandate 3′ high shrubs that may have contributed to the crash. How ironic and sad that what PBOT would warn against (planting shrubs that obscure visibility at a driveway) is mandated by BDS.

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    • Dave May 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

      I think of many intersections as “50 gallons of Roundup away from having good visibility.”

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 9:56 am

      unfortunately the height requirements for obstructions are measured from the ground, which here is the top of a retaining wall… so they could have 3′ high bushes on top of a 3′ high retaining wall and legally block all visibility…

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      • q May 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm

        Yes, exactly. 3′ is fine for generic, flat sites. Here it’s the equivalent of having required a 6′ high hedge, since it is about that high above the street and bottom edge of driveway.

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  • SD May 21, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    If police do care about the tragedy and suffering of road fatalities, they should stop releasing victim blaming statements that compound the suffering of the victim’s family and friends. These statements have been inaccurate often enough that they should simply stop assigning blame until the full investigation is complete.

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    • Matthew in PDX May 22, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Most bureaucratic organizations have a PR department that writes their press releases. If the PPB really cared about “innocent until proven guilty” its press releases would describe the facts as known without ascribing fault to any of the actors in a given traffic collision. If the government (through the police) would stop prejudging investigations, perhaps justice would not only be done, but be seen to be done (which is almost as important).

      It actually not very difficult to craft a well written press release that does not contain value judgments/statements of fault. Even when there is a clearly culpable actor (such as an intoxicated, unlicensed motor vehicle operator, driving a rust bucket with bald tires and no brakes) the press release does not need to ascribe the fault to that actor, that is the job of the courts.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 11:44 am

        “Innocent until proven guilty” does not mean the police can’t say what they think happened.

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        • 9watts May 22, 2018 at 3:29 pm

          That is an interesting comment.

          Generally speaking the police have shown themselves to be as captured by Car Head as the next person, and often more so. Thus I am going to disagree with your reasonable sounding suggestion. What they think happened (e.g., Frank Bohannon wasn’t driving too fast for conditions when he killed Kerry Kunsman with his F350 on a blind curve) is often less than worthless.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 23, 2018 at 1:26 am

            Your statement doesn’t follow from mine. You can agree or disagree with the police assessment of any particular situation, and it will still have no connection to the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.

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            • 9watts May 23, 2018 at 6:51 am

              I’m not following.
              In our present situation it would seem that police judgments are one of the key ways that bias (Car Head) enters the conversation, poisons the well, makes justice that much harder to achieve.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 23, 2018 at 10:29 am

                I, of course, want unbiased police reports as well.
                What does this have to do with “innocent until proven guilty”?

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              • 9watts May 23, 2018 at 10:34 am

                Are you asking a rhetorical question?

                Are you suggesting that police judgments, which you have been saying are useful, appropriate have no effect on broader, subsequent determination of how fault is distributed?

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              • 9watts May 23, 2018 at 10:44 am

                Put another way, why do you think it is that police judgments as reflected in their reports and then make their way into news reporting so closely matches the findings of fault handed down by District Attorneys, judges, etc.? Is it a coincidence that both consistently seem to defer to those inside metal four-wheeled boxes, blame the two- or no-wheeled members of society? Even when the evidence, never mind the VRU so clearly point in the opposite direction?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 23, 2018 at 10:47 am

                I said nothing of the sort. I have argued against specific assertions of shortcomings in a police statement that may or may not turn out to be true, but at this point have no basis in fact. Issuing baseless condemnations now make it harder to make credible criticisms later.

                I am also arguing that a police statement about what they think happened, correct or not, has no connection to the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.”

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              • 9watts May 23, 2018 at 10:54 am

                “I am also arguing that a police statement about what they think happened, correct or not, has no connection to the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty.'”

                I recognize that you are; but at least to me entirely unconvincingly.

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 9:57 am

      some day they’ll be sued for libel and then they’ll run these things through a PR person first…

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  • q May 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Nicolai in that area is a really weird looking street. The continuous center turning lane is unusual because it seems to go on forever even though there are hardly any places to turn from it on either side of the street. And the paved former rail track area is bizarre. At a quick glance, it almost looks like a vehicle lane going the other direction, with the curb looking like a raised median.

    In the photo looking out from the parking lot, I had to look twice to see what was going on. Is it possible Feldt, possibly not paying full attention, made an assumption as he was heading out that the curb lane closest to him was a parking zone, with the center median being eastbound, and the far lane being westbound (which it is)? Then, with poor sightlines until he got to the sidewalk, and the sidewalk so narrow, and the eastbound lane so narrow that a wide truck might be only a foot from the curb, by the time he realized his mistake his front wheel had crossed the curb line just enough to have been hit by the truck?

    The curb cut looks pretty steep, and so is the driveway, so if his front wheel had entered the roadway, it wouldn’t have been easy or quick to roll backwards the foot or two needed to get it out of the way of the truck.

    Then add the truck going a bit fast, some possible distraction of either person…It seems like this could have been the result of several factors adding up to a crash, where improving even one of the factors (wider sidewalk, better visibility, wider lane, flatter curb cut…) could have changed this into just a close call.

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    • Todd Boulanger May 22, 2018 at 11:20 am

      A lot of our older industrial areas have legacy roadway layouts that reflect that private short [rail] lines ran through the middle of the street (easements) or had short spurs off to one side for deliveries along side warehouses…(I work in a such a converted building with this legacy, as the property owner “owns” the parking lane in the city street)…and these spurs were in the place of traditional sidewalks. So it can be a bit of a “mess” to unwind these issues for any city – like how the Pearl used to be pre 2000 – that is until there is a comprehensive district redevelopment plan.

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      • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm

        even with all the work they’ve done the Pearl is still not pleasant to walk, bike, or drive through… they need to prohibit motor vehicles in that mess…

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  • Kristi Finney-Dunn May 21, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    I will try to contact him myself, but I hope that someone has mentioned Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets to him. We can certainly commiserate with him about the victim blaming and heartbreak of being at the crash scene (I ran around picking up bits of Dustin’s hair and people were driving their cars through the blood still in the road), and we desperately need and want to assist more impacted family members who also are willing to speak up. We can help him, and his family, not feel so alone, like they’re the only ones this has happened to, like there IS no one else speaking up. These tragedies are very isolating, as well as devastating. My email is finnekk@comcast.net and my phone number is 360.241.0023.

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    • Kyle Banerjee May 22, 2018 at 6:10 am

      Unless you have additional information indicating the family would appreciate this, I suggest giving them some space.

      This should be about Daniel and his family, not about using a devastating tragedy to draft them and a loved one they lost to a cause pursued by people they don’t know.

      It’s important to know their wishes before proceeding. This is potentially a major and traumatizing intrusion.

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      • 9watts May 22, 2018 at 6:46 am

        Did you miss the title of the article?
        Sure seems like his son is advocating action, and what Kristin is offering aligns about as well with that goal as anything in this town.

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        • Kyle Banerjee May 22, 2018 at 8:25 am

          Since you mention his son advocating action, one of the only quotes given was one advocating for helmet laws after his father died as a result of traumatic brain injury.

          This call was answered with a deluge of posts contradicting that directly with all the class and compassion of an NRA response to a school shooting. If you don’t like helmets, right after someone dies and says they should be required would be a good time to be quiet.

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          • Dan A May 22, 2018 at 8:41 am

            Are there two of you? The other Kyle wrote 4 paragraphs about helmet use yesterday.

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            • Kyle Banerjee May 22, 2018 at 9:38 am

              The son expressed strong sentiments for what he thought may have saved his father and might spare others tragedy. I’m looking for the part that undermines that.

              Using this tragedy as a springboard to oppose a nonexistent law (especially favored by the son) that no one has even introduced in committee is all about advancing personal agendas and has nothing to do with the victim, his family, or improving safety.

              This thread has been off the rails for some time and I will bow out.

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      • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 10:01 am

        oh, I didn’t realize you had also lost somebody is such a way and were welcomed into their conversation… no? shut up and let them talk…

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      • SD May 22, 2018 at 10:36 am

        I’m usually pretty blind to mansplaining, but this comment burned my eyeballs. Thanks for helping me understand how some men feel compelled to push their opinions despite being out of their league.

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      • soren May 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm

        you are incredibly out of line with this comment. please check your “i’m an athletic invincible cyclist” privilege.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 22, 2018 at 6:45 am

      Hi Kristi,

      Been meaning to email you. I told Daniel about the family group a few days ago and gave him he Facebook link. He was glad to hear about it and said he would check it out.

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  • abomb May 22, 2018 at 7:16 am

    I use to work just west of the crash site. Nicolai is not bike friendly road and I would never ride on that road. Since we are the vulnerable road users we have to make wise decisions as far as where we ride and the routes we take because we are the ones that suffer in an accident. In a perfect world Nicolia would have a nice wide bike lane but it doesn’t and not ever road has to be bike friendly. There are other roads in the area that are more bike friendly. I know people are going to say I’m victim blaming but in the end we have a lot of choices that effect our safety and well being. I wish we lived in a community like the Netherlands that has amazing bike infrastructure, hopefully one day we will but until then we need to watch our own asses.

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    • 9watts May 22, 2018 at 7:41 am

      “not ever road has to be bike friendly. …
      ….. I wish we lived in a community like the Netherlands”

      Hm.

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    • SD May 22, 2018 at 8:48 am

      You can thank the people who have previously ridden their bikes on streets that you think are not safe for the safe bike lanes that you enjoy now.

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      • abomb May 22, 2018 at 8:54 am

        So I guess I should thank myself since I’ve been riding the streets of the Portland area for 29 years so I’ve seen the transformation from what our streets used to be like. I worked on Nicolia
        back in the mid to late 90’s.

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        • SD May 22, 2018 at 9:04 am

          Yes, you can thank yourself and others who have done the same. Happy riding.

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        • soren May 22, 2018 at 7:17 pm

          bragging about transportation cycling is akin to bragging about taking a shower. why do you feel the need to announce your cycling/showering routine in a public forum?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 9:32 pm

            I’m writing this from the shower.

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    • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 10:05 am

      it’s a completely bike and ped friendly road, when you take away the dangerously driven motor vehicles… ALL roads should be safe for PEOPLE…

      since we are the vulnerable road users then the ones with the power to kill us have to make wise decisions as far as how they drive…

      I don’t have a lot of choice in my safety…. it’s impossible to escape the dangers of motor vehicles and their drivers… people are kill by them while sitting in their living rooms… living rooms that are considered safe places for vulnerable users…

      so yes, I’m going to say you’re doing nothing but victim blaming…

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      • abomb May 22, 2018 at 10:17 am

        If you take away all the dangerous motor vehicles on that road then you are taking away all of the jobs that area provides. That road is the main exit and entry point from the freeways for the trucks delivering goods to and from those businesses. Would you prefer no vehicles on the road? If so how would you get the things you use on a daily basis? In the current system we live in some roads are not going to be safe for all users. If we could start from scratch and build this town anew then we could make the infrastructure to make all the streets safe for all.

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        • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 11:14 am

          again, the mistaken belief that motor vehicles are required to provide jobs and goods… this is simply not the case…

          or maybe that those jobs and goods need to accessed as twice the safe speed limit? either way, no…

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 11:34 am

            On some strict level, your statement may be correct. On any practical level, in our context, it is ridiculous.

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            • Middle of the Road Guy May 22, 2018 at 1:51 pm

              I want a pony.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 9:34 pm

                Too fast.

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  • abomb May 22, 2018 at 8:02 am

    9watts
    “not ever road has to be bike friendly. … ….. I wish we lived in a community like the Netherlands”Hm.Recommended 0

    I’m pretty sure not every road in the Netherlands is bike friendly.

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    • 9watts May 22, 2018 at 8:05 am

      We are splitting hairs here, but I think it fair to say that they don’t build roads like Nicolai in the Netherlands, much less shrug should someone on a bike be killed on such a road.

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      • abomb May 22, 2018 at 8:38 am

        This is a tragedy and I hope that this never happens again. I feel sadness for Daniel, his family and anyone that was close to him. I am thankful every time I get done with a ride and I’m still alive. I just feel like a large part of the cycling community( at least on this website) does not want to take any responsibility and we blame the other users and the infrastructure.

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        • soren May 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

          “does not want to take any responsibility”

          respectability politics is a symptom of a minority group that has internalized marginalization by a majority group. (some of those who post about “respectability” here are also trolling.)

          https://rayatkinsonplans.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/rays-crash-course-in-respectability-politics/

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          • abomb May 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

            I am not trying to marginalize the cycling community. I commute to work 2 to 3 times a week year round from the evil LO into SE Portland and have close calls almost every week. I have been part of the bike community for decades. I may be way off base and this is just my opinion that on this site when ever there is a bicycle tragedy people get vilified if they question the actions of the cyclist. I think the behavior of not self reflecting on some of our own actions and what we can do to make ourselves safer on these imperfect roads we deal with everyday causes marginalization of our community.

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          • soren May 22, 2018 at 3:03 pm

            “Nicolai is not bike friendly road and I would never ride on that road.”

            1) Once could say this about about many arterials and collectors in the Portland area.

            2) The idea that people should only cycle on certain roads is an attitude closely associated with the cultural dominance of automobility.

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            • abomb May 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm

              There are many roads that I would not ride my bike on unless I had to, 82nd , Powell blvd, MLK, Grand, ect. I am not saying that you can’t ride on these roads I am just saying why would you if there are safer alternatives.
              Do you ride your bike on such roads?

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              • 9watts May 22, 2018 at 5:05 pm

                “Do you ride your bike on such roads?”

                Yes.

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              • John Lascurettes May 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm

                “Do you ride your bike on such roads?”

                Yes. NE Sandy. MLK south of Burnside.

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              • soren May 22, 2018 at 7:10 pm

                perhaps daniel felt that he had to ride on nicolai to reach his destination.
                (many people who bike believe that sidewalk riding is less safe than riding in the traffic lane.)

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        • Dan A May 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

          “does not want to take any responsibility and we blame the other users and the infrastructure”

          Has someone said that cyclists should not take ANY responsibility?

          It seems to me we can teach responsible cycling while still having plenty of blame left over to apply to poor drivers and poor infrastructure.

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        • q May 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

          I mentions infrastructure often. Call it “blaming” if you want. People are always going to make mistakes, but it’s not to anyone’s benefit to have the mistakes result in crashes, injuries or deaths–even traffic jams. Infrastructure improvements reduce the likelihood of people’s mistakes resulting on bad outcomes.

          They don’t even have to cost anything. In this case, it cost more to put in the bushes that blocked visibility than to have never planted them.

          In other aspects of life, nobody questions spending significant amounts of money improving safety on things that would be unnecessary if people didn’t make mistakes. Lifeguards, guardrails, fire extinguishers….all things that come into play after someone makes a mistake, to lessen the impacts to them and others.

          It doesn’t mean thinking people shouldn’t take responsibility for their own actions.

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        • MTW May 22, 2018 at 10:20 am

          There are businesses on this road. As documented in this story and the prior one on this topic, road conditions/infrastructure on this stretch is unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. How do you suggest he get to his destination? You going to buy him a car? Pay for his gas?

          Every street that has destinations (businesses, housing, restaurants) needs to be safe and accessible for people to visit without needing to operate a car. The only slight exception I’d be willing to make is that limited use roads with no destinations (e.g. Interstates) can restrict use to motor vehicles. And even then, a parallel path for non-motorized travel needs to be available.

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  • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 9:34 am

    20 is plenty!

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  • Jolly Dodger May 22, 2018 at 9:40 am

    As a cyclist who rides any road, any time…I use the sidewalk IF I ride nicholi. It’s big truck scary all the damn time. The overlapping noise of traffic add to the discomfort level. I’ve made every street around it a “short cut” in order to avoid it. The sidewalks are consistently scattered with glass and bits of metal. The center lane is kinda used as a loading zone for idling semi’s at random times. There is absolutely NO white line or “shoulder” to ride. If he dropped in at just the wrong time, or if the truck driver was glancing at his phone or rearview at that exact moment, no one could have stopped this tragedy. It’s utilized as a quick cut thru from Naito/front to hwy 30…

    It’s quite literally the worst place in the NW industrial district to ride a bike.

    And quite honestly, the center lane is TOO WIDE. Not allowing an edge stripe should be a big f’n NO on any street. If they had just re-set the center lane a foot less wide on each side, it woulda given Mr. Feldt at least the appearance of a shoulder to ride.

    Condolences to his family. Terribly sorry for their loss.

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  • Spiffy May 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

    they really, really, REALLY need to be better about citing sources for the information they release… why do they think the cyclist was exiting the driveway and not already in the road?

    was it the driver? was it the “witness” that got there 30 seconds after it happened? was it knowledge from coworkers that he had just left on his bike? and which direction he was heading once he left there?

    PPB has a really bad public image, so you’d think they’d have hired a new public information person to release better communications from their office…

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 22, 2018 at 11:38 am

      I expect we’ll learn much of that from their report. And if we don’t, that is the time to ask questions and offer (constructive) criticism.

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    • Chris I May 23, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Dead men tell no tales.

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  • Greg Spencer May 22, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I wish the Feldts the best as they grapple with this horrible loss. It’s great to read that Feldt’s son is already thinking of ways to help others avoid a similar tragedy.

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  • HJ May 22, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Nicolai is a disaster. The sightlines for people turning onto it are absolutely horrendous. There are many places you can’t see oncoming traffic and turning onto it/crossing the road is just flat out gambling. To make it worse it’s a bike network gap. The weird paved over section right of the sidewalk on the WB side just makes things worse as it’s not clear to anyone what that area is supposed to be. Is it parking? MUP? Other?
    Add to that frequent broken glass, speeding, freight traffic, and cell phones and you have a recipe for disaster. The worst part is this whole section of road is pretty easily fixable, it’s just been ignored. Bike lanes would not only provide a clear, safe spot for cyclists, they would also improve sightlines for people trying to turn onto the road.
    Also for those saying “use a different road” please can it. People don’t always have that option for any of a whole variety of reasons. You just come across as arrogant, privileged, and phenomenally insensitive given the circumstances. Not everyone has the luxury of getting to pick optimal cycling roads while commuting.

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  • iDrive June 18, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I feel for any accidental death on our roadways and at this moment,Daniel.
    That being said, if we are to share the road, when do we get to share the responsibility? I’d love to see both bike and per users to start up a tax for maintenance and creation of painted lanes and signals. Also, how about liability insurance on riders?! Of course odds can do no wrong, so I guess they get a pass on this. Laws are so backwards these days in the Portland area, that they lack common sense and through application encourage actions that attempt to defy or test the laws of physics. Pedestrians having a hall pass right of way to cross anytime all the time is moronic. I’m not positive on how the laws read, but that’s the way that the average person acts when they step out and saunter across the street, entitled. Streets are not a good place to be, whether it’s your right or not, a dash of wisdom will shed light on the fact that it’s f:!;@-) stupid to be there! Ultimately the same goes for bicycles. The moral of the story, is reduce exposure and get away or off the road.
    Now,I know that’s impossible. This isn’t Utopia. If you are going to walk or ride on streets, think like a car or driver. Thousands of pounds of rolling inertia. Understand physics! Law or lane or right or helmet, you will ultimately loose. Take responsibility for your awareness and actions. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing a crosswalk. Move swiftly as you can to reduce flow restrictions and more importantly get to a safer place. It isnt rocket science. Why test your luck?
    Awareness is paramount!!! Be aware of what is in front of you,behind you, everywhere, 360* as best you can. Just like a driver should! Unfortunately,in my opinion,90% of all drivers shouldn’t be behind the wheel! Generally speaking our species is out to lunch and lack talent and common sense.
    This case with Danny in particular errs on both involved. Daniel should have had a helmet on and the wherewithal to not ride into a pinch or squeeze danger zone. Not sure on the particulars but generally the driver is held liable and more importantly in this world the liability insurance, the MONEY!
    Dint know that I had so much to say. Complete or not, I end it here.

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    • 9watts June 18, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      “Streets are not a good place to be, whether it’s your right or not”

      I wonder why that is? Whom we have to thank for that situation?

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    • 9watts June 18, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      “If you are going to walk or ride on streets, think like a car or driver”

      another gem.
      = Stockholm syndrome.

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    • Dan A June 18, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      I’ve got Bingo! Twice!

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty June 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Most riders carry liability coverage through their auto insurance. Most cyclists are also drivers, after all. Some even occasionally walk places.

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