Dozens show up in the cold to deliver BikeLoud lawsuit by bike

Earlier this afternoon, BikeLoud Chair Kiel Johnson led about two dozen advocates to the Multnomah County Courthouse to drop off their lawsuit against the City of Portland.

The ride began on SE 26th and Powell at the memorial to Sarah Pliner, a woman who was struck by a driver and killed while bicycling last month, where Johnson spoke about why BikeLoud is suing the City.

Johnson said BikeLoud is aiming to create a Portland where there are no more ghost bikes or memorials to people who die while biking or walking.

“Wherever you want to ride your bike, to the grocery store, to the park, to wherever you need to go, you feel safe and comfortable and able to do that: that’s the mission that BikeLoud is working for,” Johnson said. “We’ve taken on this job to do it. We are doing this to make our streets safer, so you can walk and roll and ride your bike where you need to go safely.”

BikeLoud board member Cathy Tuttle set up a string of 129 flowers at the Pliner memorial — one for each person who was killed in a traffic collision in Portland over the last two years. These acknowledgments of the real death toll inadequate bike infrastructure has set the tone for the ride. The plaintiffs want people to know their lawsuits aren’t frivolous: people’s lives are on the line.

When we made it to the courthouse, Forum Law Group attorney Scott Kocher, who is representing BikeLoud in the lawsuit, encouraged people to keep up the hype.

“This is not the kind of case where we have to really be super low-key. You’ll hear people talking about it,” Kocher said. “I’m really grateful to everybody for your advocacy.”

Stay tuned next week for an interview with Kocher on our podcast.

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Racer X
11 days ago

Glad to see that Bike Loud was able to surmount the plywood barricades surrounding the county’s keep…onto to victory!

FDUP
FDUP
11 days ago
Reply to  Racer X

who imagined we would ever live in a world where getting inside the plywood barricades around the *public* courthouse would be an accomplishment? As long as those barricades are still up we are not back to living in a civil society quite yet, and the issues regarding road usage and traffic safety are all a part of that conundrum. Not to mention racial and class bias on the part of all levels and branches of government.

Joeseph Kerang
Joeseph Kerang
10 days ago

I’m a cyclist and I disagree with wasting taxpayer money on a Hawthorne project that few people want, and even fewer actually need.

If you wanted to change Portland for the better, focus your energy on communities that actually need cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Here’s a hint: it’s east of 82nd, east of I-205, far away from the gentrified weekend boutique shopping district that is Hawthorne.

Another embarrassment for bike activism in Portland.

Serenity
Serenity
10 days ago
Reply to  Joeseph Kerang

Really…

qqq
qqq
9 days ago
Reply to  Joeseph Kerang

This lawsuit isn’t a Hawthorne project lawsuit, even if that was the original impetus. It’s a lawsuit to hold the City to providing bike and pedestrian infrastructure per the law. That applies everywhere.

The other BikePortland article about this lists 22 projects mentioned by BikeLoud as examples where the City failed to meet the law. More than a third of them–8 of 22–are streets east of 82nd.

There will be lots of street work in East Portland in the future, so the timing of this lawsuit seems ideal for insuring that that work will include bike and pedestrian infrastructure at least to the law’s minimums.

Ben
Ben
9 days ago
Reply to  Joeseph Kerang

Every neighborhood in Portland needs better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure

Eawriste
Eawriste
8 days ago
Reply to  Ben

Exactly, joseph’s argument that we should only build in poor neighborhoods, or outlying neighborhoods presupposes that it’s a zero sum, either/or type argument. I am from East Portland, but cycle through other places like everyone else. Effective and safe transportation requires a separated network, not a few choice pieces in particular hoods.