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 email@example.com
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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.
I’m not going to second-guess the rider on the scene — he may have had reasons I don’t know about — but I agree these need to be reported.
It can be difficult to think calmly while the adrenaline floods your system, so think now about how you’ll want to respond. That way it’s more likely you’ll remember when it happens to you.
I was hit from behind, and only slightly injured last year. I was going to not follow up with police afterwards, until I Googled the driver and saw that he had a DUI arrest only 5 months prior! Guy needed to learn a hard lesson.
I’m not sure how it is lately, but the police have told me they will not send an officer unless somebody or something is injured. If the cyclist says that they and their bike are OK then the police won’t send anybody. The insurance companies will fight it out once the adrenaline wears off and the injuries reveal themselves.
Yeah, that’s the problem with adrenaline. You may think you’re okay, and only later realize you’re not.
If you take a hit and there’s a chance you’re not okay it’s a good idea to stay down and get checked out.
Even if they won’t send an officer you can still request a police report, I have had one generated before for a hit and run on my car. Officer just called me and asked questions. Needed it for insurance purposes.
Getting a police report number could help with insurance and the crash stats!
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!
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.
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.
I see, and am threatened by, this auto driver instinct most every day it’s call See bike, pass bike!!
It occurs often, no matter your cycling speed. Where an auto driver would not bother another car on the road, they see you cycling in front and, their brain goes See bike, pass bike!!
Something I figured out @45 years ago–they’re not people, they’re drivers. There is a concrete, genuine difference.
People often, almost daily, pass me when I’m going 20-25 mph in the middle of the travel lane, despite the speed signs saying 25 mph. People also pass 40 feet from a 4 way stop , only to slam on the brakes to stop. This behavior is ridiculous and unsafe. The weave required on the Broadway ramp is criminal. Thank you JM for hammering PBOT with this. This intersection is a failure that will continue to maim / kill cyclists and merely scratch car paint. Other cyclists, for the love of all things holy please don’t pass traffic on the right near this intersection. “There is right, and there is dead right” (PPB). Who cares if you have the right of way if you’re dead?
They’re just exercising their constitutional right to pass. You know, the 28th amendment: “The driver of a motorcar shall not be required to travel behind a bicycle at any time. Ever.”
It’s more pronounced when on a bike, but it happens when you are driving too. I was in a no-passing zone on Hwy 26 coming down the mountain last weekend, and driver was tailgating me hard for a few miles, despite the fact there was traffic in front of me and nowhere to speed up to. We hit a brief passing zone and the driver risked a head-on collision with an oncoming pickup truck to go around me and flip me off, only to stay one spot ahead of me for 2 more miles before taking a left into Ski Bowl. So all of that saved….oh….3-5 seconds of travel time?
You’re absolutely correct. Although this thread is mostly about bike safety and we feel so vulnerable, the reality is that most ‘bad’ drivers are bad to other car drivers as well.
Don’t be surprised; lots of drivers think this is what grants them right-of-way: “Didn’t you see my blinker?!”
So much this! Many times I’ve seen, car will fly up next to me and then turn their blinker on like that gives them some special privilege. “Hey look! I’ve got my blinker on. You must yield to me!”
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.
Maybe we can just have better enforcement of the laws on the books.
People breaking the laws voted against it.
Or any enforcement would be an improvement, as we learned when another driver ran a stop sign & hurt a cyclist at 24th & Ankeny & wasn’t even cited. A statistical notation is the most we can expect the PPB to spare from their busy schedule of profiling Black folks and repressing 1st amendment rights.
The PPB recently refereed the antifa-anacharist party downtown, preventing a riot. Cop hate does nothing to promote traffic safety.
Unfortunately I see just as many peds and cyclists in a trance from their mobile devices.
And how many people have those peds and cyclists maimed and killed while being distracted by their toys? I think that distracted motorists are deadly. Distracted humans not operating multi-ton missiles, not so much.
They kill themselves and in the process leave someone else having to deal with having killed someone through no fault of their own. So there are victims to everyone’s stupidity.
Vision Zero is not just about drivers. It’s about infrastructure and rules in place to keep everyone safe. Vision Zero fails just as much through drivers not doing what is right and pedestrians and cyclists not doing what is right. You can have all the road diets and segregated bike lanes you want but if pedestrians and cyclist aren’t going to abide by the rules then the why bother with Vision Zero at all.
How big of a problem is this? What percentage of the nearly 40,000 traffic deaths are attributed to pedestrians and cyclists killing themselves from mobile device use? I’d like to know how much of our focus ought to be spent on this problem. US traffic deaths have been over 30,000 per year since 1946, so, prior to mobile devices, what was the cause of all that death? Reading newspapers while leaping in front of cars?
Here’s an interesting interview of a hit & run driver who sees himself as a victim.
I heard him admitting to a crime, and to acting like a scumbag, but I didn’t hear him saying he was a victim. Nor did I hear even a trace of remorse.
He doesn’t specifically use the word “victim”, but he sees himself as a victim of circumstance.
“I was listening to my music and as I was driving I was driving too quick, I was driving too quick to the point where I couldn’t really stop and it was a green light,” said Fitts. “As the guy was walking, the light was green, I’m driving and pressing the horn, ‘beep beep’ – it was either I was going to die and crash into a pole when it came down to it.”
“First off I was scared and worried because I didn’t know what can happen that’s why I left I said, ‘God forbid I hope he’s okay,'” said Fitts.
Who was he scared for? HIMSELF.
Maybe instead of pressing down on a horn, he could have pressed down on the brake pedal. I don’t know how ‘use the horn’ takes priority in people’s minds over taking evasive action. As a Honda driver, using my horn is usually the last thing I think of, because it’s so hard to find.
I thought the same thing. If he had time to beep the victim out of the way, he had time to slow down.
Distracted drivers obviously will cause more damage in a collision but being a distracted cyclist or pedestrian increases your risk factor by reducing one’s ability to react quickly. It’s wise to be alert in an environment where you know others are not being alert.
You see as many cyclists looking at their phones as you do drivers? Do you live in Amsterdam?
Yesterday I both rode through town on the bike and drove on the same route. In both cases I had to stop for peds 12-14 times at intersections where the ped was holding their smart phone texting and completely oblivious when crossing the street without looking at any lights. the peds were either single or in groups. Those, not looking at their phones, cross at any time. Those looking usually follow the light or cross in the middle of the block.
“Incorrect on cyclists. And with pedestrians, who cares? Seriously, they are not causing problems.”
no doubt a shared attitude but wrong nonetheless.
regardless of mode, when u are in traffic, focus on traffic. its pretty simple.
most people use multiple modes of transport daily, and if they are texting while they walk, texting while they bike….what do you think the odds are a random sample will deem it safe to quickly text while they drive? …i mean, they’ve done it before, and never hurt anyone, right?
a functioning multi-modal system demands some adhered to protocol.
Did it function before the advent of automobiles? Cars were the answer to the seemingly intractable problems caused by horses. For all the damage they cause, they were an improvement in almost every respect. If we were still using them, I suspect the “blame issue” would be unchanged.
Too many vauge pronouns… for all the problems cars cause; if we were still using horses.
“We’ve been trying to compensate for their carnage for over a 100 years. And we still want to blame people on foot instead of in cars.”
ok. i get it…cars bad, people on foot good. carnage, death…mayhem.
still, we are where we are, and thats a place w/ 200mm+ cars on the road and 300mm+ pedestrians….the basic argument that pedestrians should be able to zombie thru intersections on social media is absurd….i can’t believe no one on here has been trucking thru a bike lane only to have some texting idiot step from between SUVs and obliterate their ROW…that’s what we’re talking about, not whether or not cars suck and horses rock.
“the basic argument that pedestrians should be able to zombie thru intersections on social media is absurd”
I’m not making that argument. I am saying it is an insignificant threat to us, compared to the threat that poor driving poses, and is a distraction from investing our time/energy/money into changes that will have a significant impact.
“i can’t believe no one on here has been trucking thru a bike lane only to have some texting idiot step from between SUVs and obliterate their ROW”
That has never happened to me, and I haven’t heard of this happening to anyone else. I’m sure it has happened, but I have zero evidence of this, whereas there is lots of evidence available regarding the threat of distracted drivers. I have had a few people step out in front of me from the curb without looking, but none of them had a phone in hand, and I was watching for them ahead of time so I had no trouble avoiding them. Perhaps you can share some specific examples of times someone on their phone stepped into a cyclist? Or share something that would convince us all that this is a statistically-significant threat to us?
Studies show, the preferred implement for taking your ROW in a bike lane is:
DanA…sorry for disappearing but traveling thru china admiring the sidewalk chaos known as deckles bike share parking.
“Perhaps you can share some specific examples of times someone on their phone stepped into a cyclist? Or share something that would convince us all that this is a statistically-significant threat to us?”
> i think your point is that few cyclists are murdered annually by careless pedestrians…on their phones. I’ll cede that. But your assertion that mindless pedestrians who obliterate ROW aren’t a threat because statistically significant portions of cyclist community aren’t killed annually is extreme to the point of being disingenuous. Complaints on BP about nightmare of MUPs and my own observations walking down broadway in NYC where near misses occur frequently, suggest that distracted multi-modal users of all shapes/sizes create problems.
and sorry about all the verbiage, but there was also this piece from a 2013? study of SF hospital records regarding the high rate of un-reported bike accidents:
“She and her colleagues reviewed hospital and police records for 2,504 bicyclists who had been treated at San Francisco General Hospital. She expected that most of these serious injuries would involve cars; to her surprise, nearly half did not. She suspects that many cyclists with severe injuries were swerving to avoid a pedestrian or got their bike wheels caught in light-rail tracks, for example. Cyclists wounded in crashes that did not involve a car were more than four times as likely to be hurt so badly that they were admitted to the hospital. Yet these injuries often did not result in police reports — a frequent source of injury data — and appeared only in the hospital trauma registry.”
“i think your point is that few cyclists are murdered annually by careless pedestrians”
Nope, not my point. Never used ‘murdered’ or ‘killed’ because it’s already obvious that the number of cyclists killed by pedestrian action is zero or nearly zero.
The dangerous ped/cyclist interactions on MUPs or on Broadway in NYC are extreme examples, typified by fast-moving cyclists mixing with large crowds of people. We have that here on the Springwater and Waterfront Park, and I’d argue that the vast majority of negative interactions have nothing to do with people texting, and more to do with humans walking like they have done for the last 6 million years…..unpredictably. And cyclists weaving through them. “many cyclists with severe injuries were swerving to avoid a pedestrian” does not tell us whether these pedestrians were at fault, or that they were texting. It could just mean that these cyclists were unprepared for the standard behavior of bipeds.
Again, I’d like to hear specific examples of cyclists who have been injured by unavoidable pedestrians on their phones. If this is a real, statistically significant problem, let’s do something to stop it. Maybe we can divert one of Portland’s 5 traffic cops to foot patrol and have them watch for people using their phones.
you allow that broadway/nyc and spring water/waterfront park are examples (albeit extreme) of less than ideal forced multi-modal interaction…but not necessarily due to people on cell phones and more so b/c pedestrians are unpredictable and cyclists weaving thru them.
You want SPECIFIC examples of cyclists SPECIFICally being injured by pedestrians who were SPECIFICally distracted by cell phones.
I lack that specific dataset.
‘Distracted Pedestrians’ is a distraction. Don’t believe the hype.
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.
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.
Did someone at least have the presence of mind to get her vitals – Drivers License, Registration and Insurance – for the cyclist that was hit???
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.
Despite outstanding sight lines, space, and zero threats or even visual distraction from the right, the unusually large number of cyclists found here and the especially high speed differential among them combines to create a situation where cyclists are strung out over a large space who have an especially large speed differential between them.
This leads to a situation where it’s hard for motorists to tell how fast cyclists are going and where once they stop to let a cyclist through, there’s a good chance they have to wait for all of them. Boo hoo, right? But then they can miss the light, more cyclists arrive who they also have to wait for. So they race cyclists, shoot gaps, and whatnot.
The separation is the design problem and blowing by on the right of turning vehicles is the behavior problem regardless of what the law says. You can try to educate motorists all you want, but you’ll never reach all of them, people move/visit from other areas where this practice is considered suicidal and illegal for good reason, and people make mistakes.
There is a lot less conflict at the Glisan turn one block further because vehicles and bikes adjust for each other while they cross paths where at Hoyt, everyone does their own thing.
Being a road user requires working with other road users and being ready to do the right thing when someone else does the wrong thing. So long as people remain adamant that they don’t need to do that, the perpetual conflict is inevitable.
i’ve noticed that when someone proposes needed safety improvements that might inconvenience or — goddess forbid — slow down the “self-proclaimed experienced cyclist who has commuted year-round for XX years” we tend to see posts with laundry lists of anecdotal arguments claiming that this infrastructure will be less safe.
this same kind of anti-infrastructure fear-monger occurred when bike signals were installed at broadway and williams ~8 years ago but, somehow, the bike safety apocalypse was avoided.
JONATHAN: This comment was clearly directed at me and the substance of it has nothing to do with what it is supposedly in response to.
I said nothing about speed, experience or brought up anything that shouldn’t be patently obvious to anyone who rides this intersection. Nothing in the reply addresses any of the substance of my comment.
Content, tone, and spirit violate all policies that we are supposed to observe. I ask that these be applied consistently. Thanks.
I read the comment and don’t feel it needs to be moderated.
PBOT puts in “safety improvements” that make cyclists less safe like parking protected lanes.
Why should I ride where you think it is safe?
Are we supposed to look at the mess PBOT did with Rosa Parks and feel better?
“needed safety improvements”
The picture shows many signs, a buffered and greened bike lane (that’s relatively wide), and a bike box. What necessary safety controls did the engineers miss? Do you believe a few plastic bollards or a concrete jersey wall would have kept this driver from trying to shoot the gap?
ideally, i’d like the city to install a dedicated bike signal.
another alternative would be to adjust the timing of the pedestrian signal and create a signed leading ped/cyclist interval (lpi/lbi). from a vision zero perspective lpi/lbis should be “activated” at every interesection with significant vulnerable user traffic. unlike the anecdotes sprinkled throughout this thread there is good *evidence* that they markedly reduce serious injury and death:
Agree there could be a signal with “bike phase” and a “no right turn on red” for cars.
However, this entire area will be dramatically changed in coming years. It is possible that the route for bicycles going from/to the Broadway Bridge will no longer be Broadway, but will be on an extension of the North Park Blocks into part of the “Green Loop” going over the bridge.
See https://indd.adobe.com/view/8e54a809-9b6d-402b-8b68-c065dca7df84 page 14
As such, we shouldn’t do anything permanent or expensive here. How about trying a big blinking “yield to bikes” sign?
So I hear you, and am also in favor of this treatment in general (and also banning right turns on red), but it wouldn’t have prevented the situation that I read, because the flow of cyclists and pedestrians had already begun and this driver tried to navigate through a gap in that flow.
I’m only trying to play Devil’s Advocate because the infrastructure here appears as if it’s been given lots of thought, with many of the standard playbook implemented, but there’s always going to be those other two ‘E’s beyond “Engineering”, and those are the hardest to address. (And yes, I know you and I disagree on some of the “Education”, but I respect that we keep fighting for same end goals).
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.
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.
I have a friend whose biggest gripe against cyclists is that they have the right of way in the bike lane when he wants to turn, and he has to FOREVER (as he puts it) to turn. He actually believes it slows him down so much that it hurts his business.
…has to wait forever…
He must REALLY hate people that walk. He has to wait even longer for them.
I suspect he has a bit more sympathy for people who walk because he walks himself. People walking might be actually doing something productive, whereas cyclists are just hipsters getting in the way of real adults.
Incidentally, I cross Saltzman at an unsignaled intersection on my way home. Today I had to wait for 28 cars to go by before I could cross. This is typical. I did not complain about them having the right of way.
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/
And I saw someone wearing a PBOT Vision Zero jacket! that certainly helps as well.
I think they are only supposed to wear those when they attend expensive out-of-state conferences.
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.
The bike lane should be painted green, and an explicit bike box should be added. That won’t fix everything, but it would be a good short-term improvement.
Ooops… I see from the photo above that his has already been done. (Google Street View did not show the improvements). My suggestion was obviously insufficient.
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.
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.
“But if people choose to ignore their own safety then we will never achieve vision zero”
A core principle of vision zero is that we should design infrastructure that accommodates “people who choose to ignore their own safety” by making it far less likely that they will be seriously injured or killed.
Your decision to point this out in an article written about an incident where the driver is 100% at fault speaks clearly to your bias.
He’s a master of displacement.
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.
That only helps the faster riders, and it doesn’t even help the fast riders who catch the end of the signal.
It would give a different picture to motor vehicle operators. They would see a lot of bikes in front of them as opposed to some bikes that come out of nowhere, ha, from behind them. A separate signal cycle would be a more effective measure but the complexity of the existing cycle makes it unlikely.
It’s actually rare to catch the tail of the light. There’s a small window of time where that is possible and if no bikes are detected it shuts down early. A rider who is crafty and strong enough to do that consistently has probably seen a right hook before. It’s not really a close call when a person does what I knew they were going to do.
II’m actually more wound about the crap pavement and poor drainage in the bike lane than the shooting gallery at Hoyt. There’s no mystery about how to fix the pavement. Poor pavement on a heavily used bike route–wonder why bike riders are crying all the time? Maybe their ass is, actually, chapped.
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.
1. please cite one (1) example.
2. do you understand how bike signals work?
As someone who ignores signals you find inconvenient, I’m surprised you look to them for solutions. Many cyclists already choose to ride through red here and adding wait time isn’t going to reduce those numbers. And even if everyone followed the lights like they’re supposed to, there’s still the issue of motorists shifting two lanes after driving around motorists stopped at Hoyt so they can turn on Glisan while cyclists merge left.
My gut reaction is these “racing hook” situations could be significant reduced by banning right turns at Hoyt moving the action a block up to Glisan. This would be messy and put cyclists in close proximity with vehicles, but it would also slow both motorists and cyclists a lot which might be safer.
I’m sure plenty of money and energy will be thrown at this section as the linchpin to getting people cycling is apparently improving existing bike infrastructure in the core rather than deploying it in areas where it doesn’t exist.
Like Buddy the golden retriever I pay very close attention to “signals”:
***comment deleted because it was mean – Jonathan***
When you’re driving, do you often slow down to allow cyclists without the right of way to shoot across the road?
I know I do, unless you mean shooting a gun. Then that would be weird.
Whether I’m walking, riding my bike, or driving, I continuously adjust my speed and position to facilitate the best outcomes and communicate my intent to others regardless the mode of transport others are taking.
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.
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??
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.
If the crash resulted in damage over $2500 or resulted in an injury, those involved are required to file crash reports with the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Here’s from the ODOT website:
You must file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with DMV within 72 hours when:
Damage to any vehicle is over $2,500 (even if your vehicle was the only one in the crash);
Any vehicle is towed from the scene;
Injury or death resulted from this accident; or
Damages to anyone’s property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is more than $2,500.
We will suspend your license if you don’t file a required report.
If you were in an accident and the damages were less than $1,500, you can report to DMV if the other party doesn’t have insurance. Be sure to clearly note on the accident report that it doesn’t meet mandatory reporting criteria.
Note: A police report does not count as filing an accident report with DMV. You must also file an accident report with DMV.
If your bike is rendered unrideable, and you carry it away (or, better, put it in a car for transport to a repair facility), does that count as “towing”?
No…I think towing is when the bicyclist is carted away in a hearse. ;-(
Please stop referring to collisions as “accidents”. Accidents are things like a tree falling on you, or a deer running into you… the “Act of God”. They cannot be prevented.
These are collisions… Collisions are caused when a series of events end in a crash. One or both parties may be responsible. Had someone… say the driver in this case… decided to slow down and yield to the cyclists instead of “trying to thread the needle” it wouldn’t have happened. Completely preventable.
I hope someone had the smarts to take the license plate down, and should the cyclist turn out to have injuries that were masked by the stress of the situation, witnesses come forward to help him out.
I refer to them as “crashes.” I agree with you completely that “accidents” is an inaccurate description. The part of my posting that uses “accidents” was copy and paste from the ODOT website.
“Accidents” absolutely can be prevented, and are not an “act of god”. Referring to a collision as an “accident” does not mean there was no fault, the causes were unknown, or that it did not result in a completely foreseeable chain of events that could have been prevented or interrupted.
What “accident” does mean is unintentional, and, in this case, it seems the driver was careless (perhaps reckless) but was not intending to cause injury.
You are absolutely free to refer to these incidents how you like, but please do not berate others for correctly using the words of their choice.
If you insist on definitions that conflict with how people use/intend the term as well as with dictionary definitions, people will just think you’re weird. I haven’t encountered the usage you prefer anywhere but here.
There is a reason that most people say that most accidents are preventable.
If we’re going to get pedantic about language, the predominant use of the term “biker” is to refer to a person who rides a motorcycle. I’ve never heard a cyclist that rides on roads other than here use that term to refer to someone on a bicycle (except mountain bikers). The term is typically used by people who have less familiarity with bicycles and motorcycles.
Unlike the “accident” interpretation which is neither recognized by the general public nor dictionaries, the “biker” interpretation is recognized by both.
Actually, accident vs crash/collision is an important distinction for public health officials, epidemiologists, researchers and crash victims. From the Journal of Traumatic Stress:
We assert that motor vehicle crash should replace motor vehicle accident in the clinical and research lexicon of traumatologists… A majority of fatal crashes are caused by intoxicated, speeding, distracted, or careless drivers and, therefore, are not accidents. Most importantly, characterizing crashes as accidents, when a driver was intoxicated or negligent, may impede the recovery of crash victims by preventing them from assigning blame and working through the emotions related to their trauma.
Where is the difficulty assigning blame for an accident? We do it all the time. I personally prefer “crash” and “collide”, and generally use those in many situations, but that’s a personal word choice, and in some contexts, “accident” seems best (even when fault is clear).
Police policy, culture, and training are definitely at fault here. Vision zero is a fresh cup of kool-aid. The cops aren’t having any. You’re not a vulnerable road user until approximately dead.
I’m not certain “approximately” is even required.
Mark Angeles was killed by a motor vehicle and PPB pulled out all the stops in their investigation to make sure he was made at least partially to blame.
Yes, our laws are more for the investigators to deal with then active policing guidelines. Many on this forum would rather not see more police officers. Which is sad.
Portland spends a big chunk of its budget on policing and will probably continue to do that. There are jobs that are authorized that aren’t filled. I don’t remember a lot of comments about the number of police. There is a lot of talk about how they spend their time, how they respond to various types of incidents, how they are trained, etc.
Timely bike snob article: https://www.outsideonline.com/2315926/our-surrender-automobile-absurd-and-deadly
Thanks, just read that, all true. How many times does a person have to say that stuff?
Here in Portland we found that bike corrals create business for retailers who like them, request them, and will even actually pay for them. Let’s have more about the positive economic impacts of people riding bikes! And the cost-benefit ratio when there’s less congestion as a result of bike infrastructure development. A person who has no choice but to drive, should be in favor of the interested but concerned getting out of their cars. It’s OK to spend money when it makes the pie bigger–you can measure that.
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.
Right turns across going-straight lanes simply do not work. Not for cars (which is why no engineer would ever propose such a thing), and not for bikes (which engineers seem to think is fine).
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.
Same speed limit for everyone? Fair enough. But, 20 MPH plus the usual 10 is 30 MPH. And what has wearing a suit got to do with estimating the speed of a moving object? It’s a downhill slope. For two blocks it’s steeper than the grade of a Mt. Hood pass. Bikes are almost always moving faster down hills. The appearance of the rider isn’t the main fact here.
Plus 10 would get you ticket 😉
It’s +15 now.
I also highly doubt that Broadway matches anything on Hood. I mean, if you want to count.0001% then maybe that would make sense.
The Broadway ramps on the west side are steeper than the highway grade going to Government Camp. The grade on the Tillicum Bridge is approximately the same as the average highway grade going over a Cascade pass. Major highways, not backroads.
In other words, gentle enough to go uphill with heavy freight.
While speeds are higher for bikes here than most places, they’re not *that* high with few even cracking 30 and most going 25 or less. Lots of roads much faster than that for bikes all over town.
If you are cycling at car speeds, maybe because you’re on a e-bike or are a fast rider or it is downhill, you should take the lane. You cannot be right hooked if there is no car to your left.
(However, don’t tailgate – cars can stop faster than bikes.)
Anyone who can outbrake a car that they’re tailgating won’t get hooked. Outbraking vehicles requires a level of skill, alertness, and the knowledge of when the prerequisites for it even to be possible are met. In practice, this is rarely the case.
Even if you can outbrake whoever is in front of you, tailgating is a dangerous and obnoxious practice. You lose a lot of ability to perceive and respond to debris/holes/cracks/etc as well as living creatures that may dart in front of whoever you’re tailgating.
Regardless if I’m on my bike or in the car, I slow down for all tailgaters. It is not to punish them. Rather, it is because I can’t trust anyone who has such lousy judgment to not slam into the back of me if I have to brake suddenly. As such, I increase the response time available to me.
Drafting unknown cyclists is also a dangerous, obnoxious, and surprisingly common practice. Among other things, you take away their ability to brake while forcing them to be responsible your safety. Anyone willing to latch onto or tow a cyclist of unknown abilities is not someone I want to be anywhere near.
Ebikes that are legally sold here have a built-in motor cutout at 20mph. They may pick up more speed going down hill, just like non-motorized bikes. But I do not see e-bikes there reaching the speeds you write.
Let’s clarify a bit. Most ebikes on the road right now are Class 1, meaning pedal-assisted up to 20mph and no throttle. There are other classes which have a throttle and/or a higher limit (28mph) but they are not as common right now. Some systems are more accessible when it comes to setting limits which negates these class designations.
As Jonathan has reported previously the rules and regulations surrounding the use of ebikes is a bit scattershot right now though the rules coming into place reference the class designations (I, II, and III). Using the “legally sold” nomenclature doesn’t actually say anything, there are certain types of bikes that are not allowed to use bike-specific infrastructure but it’s not accurate to say they are “illegal.”
As the owner of a Class 1 ebike I can easily go well above 20mph on downhill stretches. Other people likely can as well.
With 44-11 gearing on a dumb bike I used to spin out at 35 mph. So, yes, 20 mph on the street is very human. Lately, my favorite drop has trolley tracks on it, and old fart gears took care of the rest. Unless it’s a race bike, 11 tooth cogs are just (mean word self-edit). Life is not a crit.
I agree, 35 mph on my graveler is easy on that stretch.
I see a small but significant number of all classes of e-bikes as well as homebrew which typically appear to be built to get around mandated limitation. Generally, I see more Class 1 bikes close to the center. Class 2 and 3 tend to be more common further out and in hillier areas. My guess is that these people have greater distances and more hills to cover as well as faster roads to ride on.
E-bikes can be faster or slower than nonmotorized on this hill. Due to increased rolling, drivetrain, and aero resistance, even the Class 3 bikes can be slower than a road bike as it doesn’t take much leg to break 30mph on this hill on road bikes. However, most riders of all types tend to go slower.
So you’re saying it isn’t possible or you haven’t witnessed it? Hold my beer, I’ll go grab my father in laws ebike and report back my findings.
I’m saying that all bikes can travel 35mph down a hill if desired, that I don’t think people riding e-bikes are any more likely to be travelling 35mph, and that during my trips I do not see any bikes reaching those speeds there.
David is correct about classes of e-bikes. There are many types. The vast majority that I see are class I.
These are my observations, I am not claiming any universal truths here.
I covet one of these:
How does the drivetrain on that thing work? Also wondering about the longevity of those tiny rings/cogs and 11sp chain when riding assisted in slop.
Since this is only pedal assist, there must be some kind of multiplier so one turn of the cranks corresponds with more than one spin of the ring as 20/11 would spin out well before you hit 28mph.
I wouldn’t imagine assist would be much fun in this area unless as the lights are already timed so slowly and the blocks are short.
1 crank revolution = 2.5 chainring revolutions. There is a gear multiplier internal to the motor/drivetrain assembly. Thus the 20T chainring is effectively a 50T chainring. I think Bosch did this to allow a smaller chainring that is easier to shroud and less likely to drop the chain.
When riding the bike with no electric assist, the lowest gear will effectively be 50 x 42. Which is a 1.19 ratio, higher than the lowest gear of a compact crank road bike set up for climbing (34 x 34, 1.00) and substantially higher than the lowest gear of many commuter type bikes. Add the bike’s 46 lb weight and the efficiency loss of the gear multiplier, and I suspect the typical customer for this bike will be very unhappy if they ever face a hill with a dead battery.
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.
Do you think it would work to move the bike lane out to be between the turn lane and the go straight car lane? Drivers could worry about crossing the bike lane without also trying to make a turn, and they could, perhaps, do it further back on the bridge.
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 🙂
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?
I was thinking about that exact issue this morning at Interstate and Going. Light was red, cyclists were lined up on the right where they’re supposed to be, truck obviously planning to turn right, no peds in walkway.
I just can’t get myself to pull on the right of a truck I think may turn right. Yes, they’re supposed to look, but there are a lot of bad drivers out there and I refuse to play Russian Roulette. In the case at hand, the truck driver did exactly what he was supposed to but repeat this scenario enough, and it’s only a matter of time before you get burned.
What’s legal and what’s smart aren’t necessarily the same thing. I would be all on board with changing the law, even if it slows cyclists down. In every other context that I can think of on land, water, and in the air, it’s the responsibility of the overtaker to do so safety.
Not that infrastructure can’t help. Back that truck up about 20′, add a bike box, and it’s no longer dangerous to get into position while the truck is stopped. But only a few places have bike boxes now, and that’s how it will be for a long time.
If they need a 15 ft turn lane to accommodate vehicles that can’t use “normal” infrastructure, then take away an auto lane. Or don’t let trucks turn there. Putting cyclists into the death zone is not a defensible choice.
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.
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.
Sadly I witnessed another right hook just this morning ~8:00 am, cyclist slammed into a car that made a right turn in front of her, she was traveling too fast to react, I was about 10-15 feet behind and the sound of the crash was horrifying. The driver did stop and came over to apologize, and the cyclist did not appear to have any major injuries but was understandably quite shaken up. She kept saying “I thought she saw me” , referring to the driver of the car. A separate bike signal or delayed signal phase would have definitely prevented this. PDOT are you listening ???