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Right-hook injures bike rider at NW Broadway and Hoyt. Again.

Posted by on June 4th, 2018 at 2:41 pm

It’s past time to do something at NW Broadway and Hoyt to defend against right-hooks.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

As I said in October 2013 and on and more recently on May 22nd; the intersection of NW Broadway and Hoyt is dangerous by design and if the City of Portland doesn’t do something to make it safer for vulnerable road users, I’m afraid the next post I’ll write will be about a fatality.

On May 30th, just eight days after our previous story about this intersection, I received an email from reader NH about yet another right-hook.

Here’s his version of what happened:

The bike lane was very crowded with two lines of bicycles coming down the ramp from the Broadway Bridge near the post office. A white pick-up with Oregon plates travelling next to the cyclists flipped on her right-hook blinker but seemed to be going just a bit too fast to stop and yield before turning. She tried to thread the needle between two groups of cyclists by speeding up a bit. A guy on an e-bike had to slam on his breaks to avoid getting smashed but still crashed into the bed of the truck.

The driver looked like she was going to take off after the accident but a group of folks on the sidewalk across from Bud Clark Commons saw the accident and were yelling pretty loudly at her. I rode up along her driver’s side and she slowly opened the door. She did not apologize at all and it took a minute for her to even ask if the biker was OK. I asked her why she turned right, and she said something like “I thought he was going to stop.” I asked her, how long she had lived in Oregon and she said for “quite a while.” I then told her she does not have the right of way when turning right through a bike lane; she has to yield. She said, “I didn’t know that.” I was shocked and suggested that she read up on the driving laws, particularly those about rights of way.

A flagger at the construction site asked if the cyclist wanted a police officer but the cyclist declined. He was limping but said he was OK and his bike seemed alright despite the crash*. There has to be cameras at Bud Clark and the Post Office that would have captured the accident.(*Please note: If you are comfortable requesting a police response, we highly recommend you call them out. This helps ensure the crash will be accounted for in databases that determine where projects are funded and built.)

This very heavily used bicycle route has been known as a safety hazard for many years. We should temporarily prohibit right turns by auto users before any more innocent people get hurt.

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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John Liu
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John Liu

NEVER let drivers off the hook by declining a police response. In the dazed minutes after an accident, you cannot know if you are injured and you will not have the opportunity to inspect your bike for damage.

Mike Caputo
Guest
Mike Caputo

I wait at this intersection for the 17 bus every day. More than once, I’ve seen the truck drivers swing that right turn seemingly without looking at all. In broad daylight, with the appropriate crosswalk signal, I once saw someone crossing the street nearly get run over by one of the delivery trucks. The driver had to slam on the brakes. This is a dangerous intersection for everyone, not just bicyclists!

David
Guest
David

Linking up a couple stories from today it is notable that this intersection is not specifically identified in CCIM for improvement. Guess they’re hoping that the Post Office disappears before the first shovel breaks ground in 2020.

SD
Subscriber

So many drivers don’t seem to understand that they can stop or drive slowly to wait for people on bikes to pass. I really think it does not occur to them as a possibility. Like a cougar that instinctually chases a retreating animal, some drivers feel compelled to accelerate and pass people on bikes.

It happened to me this morning. I was riding downhill quickly and a driver in my lane who was behind me had to accelerate into the other lane, exceed the speed limit by 10+ mph, then pull in front of me so that he could take a right turn. Of course, I was going straight and passed him in the left lane before he made his turn.

This is the type of behavior that should be called out by public safety campaigns. It would be much better than another batch victim-blaming blather.

Please call the police when people do this. Not for you, but for everyone else.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Perhaps modern motorists have become so addled with mobile devices, sound systems and poor training that they can no longer be trusted with turning in a crowded urban environment. Maybe we should redesign downtown as a set of straight through North-South, or East-West Lanes with no turns allowed like an olympic swimming pool. Then motorists would have to select the correct lane to their destination before entering the grid. Bikes and pedestrians would have free choice of making turns on the way to there destination. I believe this would improve safety, increase bike use and maybe even reduce congestion.

SafeStreetsPlease
Guest
SafeStreetsPlease

This is getting ridiculous. Could PBOT install an Amsterdam intersection here? That’s what they’re doing around West Burnside and 18th! It’s a far superior design to what PBOT has created, which clearly gives some drivers way too much credit to drive responsibly.

Shoupian
Subscriber
Shoupian

Has anyone sued the City of Portland for allowing repeated injuries to happen at this intersection? As so many people have gotten injured at this intersection by the same right-hook, people need to hold the city’s feet to the fire and force change to happen.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Did someone at least have the presence of mind to get her vitals – Drivers License, Registration and Insurance – for the cyclist that was hit???

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

My guess is that there are plenty of right hooks here that are not reported. The scenario with vehicles and cyclists racing each other down to the light is common.

I don’t think making the intersection safe is so straightforward. Signalizing the right turn means:

1) Cyclists will wait at a stop for vehicles to turn when they previously would have been rolling. Given that there’s nothing rare about cyclists running the light now, don’t expect compliance to improve — which will be more dangerous since the incentive for motorists to race to the light before it goes red will be greater.

2) While vehicles are waiting to turn right, those continuing to turn right at Glisan will have to jump over two lanes while cyclists are already there significantly aggravating an existing conflict point.

I think any attempt to put up barriers will result in a significant migration of cyclists to the lane which would only aggravate the existing chaos.

Besides, the turns that follow this one have threats on both the right and the left much closer to the cyclist as well as more limited visibility.

Matt Scar
Guest
Matt Scar

I’ve had to take evasive action twice at this intersection… once in November and once in February I think. For this reason I have begun making a right on Hoyt.

bendite
Guest
bendite

It’s probably generous to say that 50% of the drivers on the road know that cyclists have the right of way in the bike lane.

J_R
Guest
J_R

I don’t see how this could happen. After all, Portland has adopted Vision Zero and we have a task force and a new logo. /s/

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

I know this message is going to reach a limited number of cyclists, and an even smaller percentage will heed it, but through cyclists should leave the bike lane and ride in the left lane here.

RSK
Guest
RSK

When I’m driving west on Couch down to the bridge, I’m constantly checking for bikes catching up to the right onto MLK. I’m surprised I don’t see more collisions there. I usually just but right a block up then left on Davis to avoid that turn.

meh
Guest
meh

Because you never want to apply blame to anyone other than drivers. Yes pedestrians and cyclist eff up while on the road and get themselves killed. And what does it matter what percentage it is? It’s called vision zero. No one should be killed. But if people choose to ignore their own safety then we will never achieve vision zero. Just because a vehicle is involved does not mean it is always the drivers fault no matter how hard you push that agenda.

X
Guest
X

There’s a simple way to ameliorate Broadway/Hoyt. Give people on bikes a 5-7 second head start from the signal at the top of the ramp.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

It’s clear that overwhelming opinion here is that it’s no big deal for a vehicle to wait however long for however bicycles may be passing regardless of who arrived at the intersection first.

That overwhelming opinion also reflects that it is a big deal for cyclists to slow just a bit to create a gap so that a motorist can turn makes me glad some people here don’t drive.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Yes, cyclists would be much safer at this, and most other intersections without the bike lanes.

Surely, bike lane advocates all knew this when they chose encouraging new cyclists over safety of those cyclists.

DanS
Guest
DanS

I’m curious about what, if any, speed differential there was between the guy on the E-bike and the group that he was leading.

Based on the statement quoted- “She tried to thread the needle between two groups of cyclists by speeding up a bit”, is it possible that the driver made a(n error in) judgement thinking she had time to get through without realizing he was potentially moving at a higher rate of speed then the others?

I’m not a fan of this intersection- at the very least maybe signalized traffic control for bike through traffic and turning vehicle traffic??

Clement
Guest
Clement

Would be good to get clarity regarding police reports, and get the police in alignment with Vision Zero. I was hit by a car at another intersection a few months ago – my bike was totalled. A fire crew came by and took a look at me and said it didn’t look like there was anything serious, so I did not leave in an ambulance. I called the police, thinking I should at least file a police report for insurance purposes and so the accident makes it in to the City’s database of car-bike crashes. When the police officer arrived, he said they do not file police reports unless someone is taken away in an ambulance. He said the police do not have time to file reports on minor accidents, because they have more important things to attend to. So, was the officer not being truthful, and could have filed a report? When he said they do not file such reports, it did not sound to me like that was an option. Having a car drive into me did not feel minor to me, and I was thinking the driver should at least get a failure to yield citation. Thankfully, the car hit my bike’s rear wheel/frame and not my body – missed by inches. Seems that within the context of Vision Zero, something more should have happened and that the police should change their protocols if we are to make progress.

Dan A
Subscriber
joan
Subscriber

I was almost right-hooked at this intersection a week ago. I would have been, actually, except I started to slow down because I guessed that the driver would not yield. She did stop, eventually… and then yelled at me. People don’t understand the law.

It’s also a totally messed up situation. The infrastructure fails us with right-hooks.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results simply doesn’t work. Is testing the theory of Right a Way on the stretch something that is a hill worth dying on? I can’t think so. We all have to look out for each other. All modes. Ebikes are clearly a different bag since they are very unassuming in nature. If I were look in my rear view mirror and see someone dropping the hill at 30-35mph in the bike lane while wearing a suit I would probably think they they were going much slower. I’m all for a speed limit for bikes on this stretch. 15-20 mph is plenty for everyone. Let’s see how that radiates.

Adam R
Guest
Adam R

I wait for the Line 17 here a lot, and see ALL KINDS of horrific behavior by motorists at this intersection.

The USPS trucks are bad. And I mean, bad. Car drivers are equally bad at this location too. Flooring it down the Broadway Bridge onramp. Driving IN the bikelane for a block to bypass backed up traffic, then flinging themselves around the corner despite the no turn on right sign.

This intersection needs cones to physically separate the bike lane from the vehicle lane. It also needs a flashing no turn on red sign. Apu with PBOT, we’ll just have to wait for someone to die under the wheels of a truck here before we get either.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

You should get one. Although you’ll only achieve slightly faster average speeds due to the way urban traffic and paths work, you can take down those utility riders who don’t know they’re racing a peg or two on short clear sections!

I used to say it’s hard to put a price on happiness but it sounds like that would be about 5 grand 🙂

Angelo Dolce
Guest
Angelo Dolce

I think you’d still have trouble with large trucks, which sound like the a major problem now.

I rode through this intersection last night (going north), and saw a truck turning right. The turning radius is too big for the trucks to turn from the curb lane even if you make it the right turn lane, so they’ll still be in the bike lane, or to the left of it.

FWIW I agree with your comments about the craziness putting bike lanes for bicyclists going straight inside turn lanes for general traffic – engineers don’t do this for motor traffic because it doesn’t work. Does the mandatory bike lane law apply here, or does the collision record suffice as a reason not to stay in the bike lane?

d
Guest
d

The USPS will start to transition all of their mail processing operations from 715 NW Hoyt St to a new facility at 7007 NE Cornfoot Rd (just south of PDX) beginning June 16. That should remove a major source of truck traffic…until redevelopment of the property begins.

ames
Guest
ames

I narrowly escaped being hit here a couple weeks ago. A car was stopped with their blinker on to turn right onto Hoyt but was yeilding to the bikes going straight through the green light. I must have been in the diver’s blind spot because she started to turn right just as I came up beside her. I banked a hard right, and she slammed on her brakes, but I almost crashed. This spot is a bad one indeed.