A Sad October

A Sad October

October 2007 will always be remembered as a tragic time for our community. Fatal collisions took the lives of Brett Jarolimek and Tracey Sparling, and Bob Verrinder was critically injured from a collision with a car on Marine Drive.

The articles below chronicle those crashes and the resulting aftermath.


Update: Ghost bike missing, returned by thief

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 14th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

*Read this story for the update.*

Brett's Ghost Bike is gone-2.jpg

Only flowers and mementos remain.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The ghost bike for Brett Jarolimek has gone missing, and the disappearance is most likely the work of pranksters or thieves who want to sell it for scrap.

The memorial, which was chained to a traffic pole on N. Interstate Ave. just north of Greeley, was not only a tragic reminder of Brett’s life and the community’s loss, but it served as a remembrance of Brett for his friends and the many commuters who pass by this location daily.[Read more…]

Citation decisions released in Sparling, Jarolimek fatalities

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has made its decision on whether or not to issue traffic citations in the October fatalities of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek.

Rinker Cement Company truck driver Timothy Wiles has been issued a citation for violation of ORS 811.050, “Failure to yield to rider on bicycle lane,” in the October 11th crash that took the life of Tracey Sparling.[Read more…]

DA: No criminal negligence in Jarolimek case

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 15th, 2008 at 11:40 am

Deputy DA Chuck Sparks speaking
with a reporter at the
Courthouse this morning.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

This morning, Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Chuck Sparks (in photo) released his report on the case of Brett Jarolimek, who died on October 22 after colliding with a garbage truck on Interstate and Greeley.

After an in-depth investigation that included several trips to the scene, video footage from the top of the hill, and multiple interviews with the truck’s passenger and with witnesses who saw the entire collision take place, Sparks’ has determined that the garbage truck driver, Bryan Lowes, did not, “show conduct rising to the level of criminal negligence”.
[Read more…]

DA will not file criminal charges in Sparling case

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 10th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

I just spoke with Multnomah County District Attorney Chuck Sparks. Sparks has completed his investigation into the collision that took the life of Tracey Sparling at W. Burnside and 14th in downtown Portland on October 11.

Sparks said he will not file any criminal charges in the case.

Here is the conclusion from the full report and memo made public by the DA’s office today:
[Read more…]

Regardless of ODOT, Jarolimek image will live on

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 10th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

An image of Brett Jarolimek may soon replace the silhouette on the left
and become part of the official logo for the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association.

[Read more…]

ODOT says stencil removal decision was “very difficult”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 7th, 2007 at 10:14 am

Stencil of Brett Jarolimek that
was painted on a bridge
support in North Portland.

This morning I got a call from Mike Mason who works in the community and public affairs office at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Mike (who happens to be a daily reader of this site) wanted to give me some background on why ODOT maintenance crews painted over a stencil created as a memorial for Brett Jarolimek that was painted on a bridge support near the intersection of N. Interstate and Greeley.

Mike expressed that he thought it was “a great stencil” and that, despite usual policy that calls for more immediate removal of graffiti, his crews wrestled with this decision for weeks. Here’s more of what he said:[Read more…]

ODOT maintenance crews paint over Brett Jarolimek memorial

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 6th, 2007 at 3:36 pm

[Updated: 12/7, 10:15am]


This painting of the late Brett Jarolimek
has been covered over by maintenance crews.

I just heard from a reader that maintenance crews (from ODOT) have painted over the stencil of Brett Jarolimek that was on the underpass at the intersection of N. Interstate and Greeley.

This doesn’t come as a complete surprise (after all, it was technically vandalism), but in a way I feel it’s too bad that it could not have been saved.[Read more…]

Donations large and small kick-start bike safety fund

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 19th, 2007 at 10:42 am


A Chris King wheelset (Mr. King is
in the green shirt).
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Last week, the Bike Gallery announced the formation of a bike safety fund as a memorial to Brett Jarolimek.

Barb Grover, who’s managing the fund, says donations from the community have already begun to roll in. She was particularly excited about a sizable gift from Northwest Portland-based bike parts manufacturer Chris King Precision Components.

Chris King has announced a $5,000 donation to the fund and has pledged another $5,000 in additional matching funds. (The Bike Gallery already plans to match first-year contributions up to $10,000).[Read more…]

Reminder: Rally at Waterfront Park tomorrow

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 16th, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Today’s press conference at City Hall.
(Photo: Dat Nguyen)

Don’t forget to join us for the “We Are ALL Traffic” rally tomorrow (11/17).

    Waterfront Park – Below Hawthorne Bridge
    12 Noon

There are rides being led to the rally from various locations throughout the city. Here is the list:
[Read more…]

Rides planned from memorial sites to rally on Saturday

Avatar by on November 15th, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Please consider gathering before Saturday’s rally at one of the all-too-many sites around town where people have been killed while bicycling or walking, and then riding or walking with the group to Waterfront Park. All processions will be timed to arrive at Salmon Street Springs by 11:45am.

The list below also includes sites that haven’t yet been spoken up for. If you would like to lead a ride from these sites or others not listed, please email eleanor dot blue at gmail dot com. The list will be updated throughout Thursday and Friday.

Please wear a black armband for mourning, red if you’ve been injured. Armbands will be available at these gatherings and at Waterfront Park, but you’re encouraged to bring your own.


    *SW 14th and Burnside — In memory of Tracey Sparling
    Gather at 10:30, ride and walk at 11:15
    NEW* SW Broadway and Alder — In memory of Kristine Okins
    Gather at 11:15, walk and ride at 11:30


    * N Interstate and Greeley — In memory of Brett Jarolimek
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15

    NEW* Legacy Emanuel Hospital — In honor of Bob Verrinder
    Walk only, leaving at 11am from 2801 N Gantenbein


    * NW 23rd and Quimby — In memory of Sara Cogan
    Gather at 11:10, ride at 11:25


    * NE MLK and Wygant — In memory of Chris Burris
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15
    * NE 9th and Killingsworth — In memory of a fallen cyclist
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15
    * NE Marine Drive and bike path (near 43rd) — in honor of Bob Verrinder
    Gather in the parking area for the adjacent boat launch at 10:30. Ride at 10:45 via Interstate Ave & the Broadway Bridge, passing the Ghost Bike for Brett at Greeley. Weather permitting.


    * SE Belmont and 41st — In memory of Angela Leazenby and Orion Shatushek
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:25

    * SE 37th and Taylor — In memory of Matthew Schekel
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15

    * SE 72nd and Woodstock — In honor of a worker injured when woman drove onto sidewalk
    Gather at 10:30, ride at 10:45

    * SE 42nd and Frances (***change: was at Gladstone) — In memory of a child killed while crossing the street
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:10

    NEW* SE Belmont and 34th In memory of Curtis Lee Webb
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15

    NEW* SE 26th and Stark — In memory of Nick Bucher
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15

    NEW* 600 SE 49th — In memory of Noah Cardamon
    Gather at 11, ride at 11:15

    *SE 11th and Stark — In memory of Daniel Hunt
    Ride leader needed

    *SE Foster and 115th — In memory of Jerry Hinatsu
    Ride leader needed

Outside Portland:

    McLoughlin Boulevard in Milwaukie — In memory of Daniel Frank
    Meet at 10:25 at the Bike N’ Hike parking lot just South of Fred Meyer on the Northbound side of SE McLoughlin Blvd. (15080 S.E. McLoughlin, in Milwaukie) – Leave at 10:40