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Injuries mount as Portland fails to fix dangerous potholes

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

I slid 145 feet. I was lucky to escape with just road rash.

(Written by Scott Kocher, a Portland-based pedestrian and bicycle lawyer at Forum Law Group LLC and safe streets advocate advocate. We recently highlighted his efforts to improve Highway 30. Note: Kocher’s law firm is also a financial contributor to BikePortland, but that had no influence on editorial decisions.)

I love to ride in the West Hills. From the central city, they’re the closest place to escape stop-and-go traffic. On weekends, people enjoying Northwest Skyline on bikes seem to outnumber people in cars. On weekdays, commuters zip between Portland and the west side. It feels like a world apart from Highway 26 gridlock.

Which brings me to March 16th. I was riding down NW Cornell from Skyline. There were bad potholes below the upper tunnel. Not just bumps, these were the kind that could easily cause a person on a bicycle to crash — which could be catastrophic at downhill speeds. Hoping to get them filled, I stopped and reported the potholes using the City of Portland’s PDX Reporter web app.

I noted in the report that the holes were a hazard for people on bikes. On March 28th, those potholes weren’t fixed, so I reported them again. On May 1st, I took a day off to go check on the route of a popular group bike ride that typically draws 100s of people. The potholes on Cornell were still there. I marked them with yellow paint, and reported them, for the third time.
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Metro’s ‘State of Safety’ report has new numbers. They’re not good – UPDATED

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Big streets = bad things.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Note from publisher: Please see the note at the end of this story for an important update. – Jonathan]

Scott F. Kocher is a lawyer and safe streets advocate with Forum Law Group in Portland. He specializes in cases involving walkers and bikers. This is his first story for BikePortland.

Metro has issued a new State of Safety Report (full PDF below) analyzing crash data for the Portland region from 2011-2015. It’s been almost six years since their last report in 2012.

Here’s what’s changed and what hasn’t…
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