(Image by DANAVA)
As we wait to learn more about what happened in Monday morning’s fatal collision, I’ve tried to learn more about Tamar Monhait, the 41-year-old artist whose life was cut tragically short.
I went to Southeast Water and Taylor this morning to get a better sense of the intersection and have reached out to those who knew her.
The collision happened just a few feet from a bike corral, a Biketown station, and the street seats of Water Avenue Coffee Company. During the day this intersection is bustling with a mix of industrial truck traffic, walkers and bikers headed to and from the Eastbank Esplanade, patrons of the many popular cafes and bars in the area, and professionals headed to any one of the newly sprouted office buildings that are transforming the central eastside.
Little is known about precisely what happened, but from initial statements by the Portland Police Bureau, we know that Monhait was riding northbound on Water Avenue prior to the collision. She was probably in the freshly-painted bike lane as she approached the intersection with Taylor. It’s a standard, 5-foot wide, unprotected bike lane with no buffer and the striping ends before the intersection. There’s an auto parking lane to the right of the bike lane and a vehicle lane to the left. This is a major city bike route as evidenced by the bikeway signage telling riders to turn east on Taylor to reach northeast and southeast Portland.