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Ghost bike on Southeast Gladsone won’t be removed, City says

Posted by on April 6th, 2020 at 10:58 am

Mark Angeles ghost bike on SE Gladstone.
(Photo: Sent in by reader)

In the past few days I’ve heard from two readers concerned that a ghost bike in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood would be removed by the City of Portland. “I know there is a ton going on right now and this probably not high on most everyone’s list of important things,” the reader shared. “But it is a memorial.”

Ghost bikes are memorials that spring up at intersections after a bicycle rider is involved in a fatal traffic crash. They’re meant to remind the community of the tragedy and encourage people to use streets with greater awareness of the deadly consequences that could result from their actions.

The ghost bike on Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Gladstone was installed for 22-year-old Mark Angeles. In May 2015, Angeles was biking on Gladstone and died after he collided with the driver of a truck as he attempted to turn onto Cesar Chavez.

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Readers alerted me of yellow tags currently attached to the bike. “The Bicycle Appears Abandoned” reads the tag, accompanied by an official City of Portland seal and reference to city code (16.70.320) that states a bicycle may be removed if left unattended for 72 hours. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has an abandoned bike program where staffers will tag and remove bikes they become aware of. Most bikes are flagged from public complaints that can take the form of an email to PBOT or via an online form.

This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on this particular bike. Just six days after the Angeles tragedy his ghost bike was hit and heavily damaged by a reckless driver.

The bike was due to be removed this morning.

When contacted about the abandoned bike tag this morning, PBOT said it was, “an internal miscommunication.” “We will be removing the abandoned bike tag and the ghost bike will stay.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Hello, Kittymiddle of the road guyShimran GeorgeMomoBrian Recent comment authors
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Hello, Kitty
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Hello, Kitty

This does raise an interesting question (which I am not expressing any opinion on): how long should a ghost bike memorial remain in place? This one is about 5 years old.

Brian
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Brian

Right!? 12 years is a heck of a learning curve… Rest In Peace, Tracey Sparling

Shimran George
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Shimran George

That looks more like a Chevy Sonic…but I digress.

There seems to be some confusion about bike boxes in general…even among cyclists. I think BP did an article to that effect as well about cyclists not taking up the box. And apparently we allow motorists to make right on reds, when a bike is present. I feel we should set strong guidelines here and make it part of getting a driver’s license in the state so drivers are more aware of this infrastructure.

It clearly doesn’t excuse the driver for going into a clearly-marked painted area though. I hope I’m not conveying anything like that.

Shimran George
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Shimran George

Ahh I was going off a City of Guelph Youtube video on bikeboxes. It’s seems like in Guelph (Ontario? Canada?) it’s legal to make right on red through a bike box…something that shouldn’t be allowed in general.

I hope North America develops consistent rules on this…and glad PBOT wisely banned right on reds.

Momo
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Momo

Correct. Bike boxes always include no turn on red. And it’s incorrect to imply they’re not working correctly if bikes don’t use the whole box. The point is to get bikes out in front and more visible on a red. It works whether or not bikes are directly in front of cars or over to the side.

Shimran George
Guest
Shimran George

Hi Momo,

To a couple of your points:

” Bike boxes always include no turn on red.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tWZseg5QHA

While it seems like PBOT (I think correctly) prevents right on red when a bikebox is present, this instructional video from the City of Guelph suggests that they allow it. Personally, I agree with the PBOT rule (I didn’t know if it was standard practice in Portland to disallow right on reds at bike boxes) but it clearly seems that there is conflicting information on the subject. As always, follow the local regulations, and there’s no excuse for missing an obvious “no right on red” sign.

“And it’s incorrect to imply they’re not working correctly if bikes don’t use the whole box”

I was simply going off this old BP article where it at least suggested there is some ambiguity on this issue: https://bikeportland.org/2017/10/25/lets-talk-about-bike-boxes-249065

I’ve found some of the bike infrastructure to be a little confusing and go against some of my intuition, and am happy to be better educated on proper procedures. I’d also advocate we standardize bike infrastructure and rules so we can clearly point out driver transgressions.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

>>> The point is to get bikes out in front and more visible on a red. It works whether or not bikes are directly in front of cars or over to the side. <<<

But if the front rider blocks riders behind them from reaching the bike box, they'll be stuck in a less-visible position. If you can't bear to enter the bike box yourself, please at least make room for those behind you to do so.

Middle of the Road Guy
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Middle of the Road Guy

alternate interpretation is that the signal just changed and neither the second car nor the pedestrian have reacted yet.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

They could have been waiting for something.

The issue for me here – there is nearly a car length of space between the 2 vehicles. Either the second car gave the first car plenty of room, or the first one pulled away (1 car length is like 1 second) and hasn’t accelerated yet. If that is the situation, it makes sense the pedestrian is flat footed – they might not have been sprinting across the road or reacted as quickly as the lead driver.

There are too many uncertainties and possibilities to assume the driver simply parked in the green box.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

My interpretation was the rear driver was giving the front driver room to back up out of the bike box.