(UPDATE, 12:36 pm: We know now the victim is Merritt Raitt, a well-known local rider. Read more about him in a note at the end of this post.)
This morning a man riding a bicycle was hit by a car driver while trying to cross over lanes of Highway 30 just north of the St. Johns Bridge.
The collision hasn’t been reported by authorities or on other media outlets, but we received details about it from a reader who was driving nearby and pulled up a few minutes after it happened.
According to our source (who pulled over to help the rider) the bicycle rider was riding northbound on Highway 30 and had just gone under the St. Johns Bridge. He then tried to merge across two lanes in order to enter the left turn lane that would take up onto NW Bridge Avenue to access NW Germantown Road (or the bridge). [Read more…]
Anyone who’s ridden a bicycle on Highway 30/St. Helens Road between northwest Portland and the St. Johns Bridge understands why it has the moniker “Dirty 30”. With a major paving project in the pipeline, ODOT has a chance to change that bad reputation.[Read more…]
*Photo of the scene via Oregon State Police (Left). Scottie Graser at a ride in 2016.
A man riding his bicycle died yesterday after he was involved in a collision with a truck operator on Highway 30 south Scappoose.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun an internal process to analyze a safety risk to bicycle users on Highway 30.
After we highlighted how people park their cars in the shoulder of the busy highway near a Forest Park entrance north of Linnton last week, we urged people to flag the issue via the AskODOT system.
It turns out at least one person took the advice and did so.
A few days after our story went up we heard from ODOT Region 1 Public Information Officer Don Hamilton. “In response to an AskODOT query,” he shared via email, “ODOT will conduct a parking prohibition study at that location. This will take up to six weeks to complete, with appropriate action, if any is necessary, to follow.”[Read more…]
Highway 30 is a crucial connection for bicycle riders between Portland, Sauvie Island, Forest Park, the West Hills, and beyond.
On a dry weekend it often feels like there are just as many people using bicycles on the road as there are people using cars and trucks. But it’s much more dangerous than it should be.
I could write thousands of words about how the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Oregon Department of Transportation (all of whom share ownership/management of different sections) have completely failed to do their job to maintain and design this highway so that it provides an adequate level-of-service for all users.
But today, I want to focus on one specific issue: People who park cars in the shoulder, forcing bicycle riders into a scary merge.
The City of Portland is putting the finishing touches on designs for a major new nature center and “iconic” entrance to Forest Park. Now is the time to share your comments so that the resulting project is as welcoming as possible to people who arrive by bicycle.
How are things looking out there on the bike lanes you use the most?
Since our post last week there’s been big progress on some key bikeways we’ve been watching and I’m curious how the clean-up is going for you.
In particular, and since we helped make such a big deal out of it to begin with, I want to share the progress on Highway 30 and the St. Johns Bridge.
Sweeping has happened on the bridge sidewalk. It’s not perfectly clean; but it’s a vast improvement. I got some video the day it was swept (2/17):
The only refuge from fast-moving (and often irate) people driving cars across the St. Johns Bridge is still covered in a layer of gravel a month after the last snow storm.
As we first reported nearly three weeks ago, while driving is pretty much back to normal following major snow storms, biking is still hazardous. Massive potholes plague streets and many bike lane markings have all but vanished due to the constant scraping from tire chains, plows, studded tires, and gravel. And there are still many trees and limbs that block bicycle-only lanes — forcing people into adjacent lanes which increases the risk of collisions.
All our various road agencies need to place a much higher priority on the safety of all road users when it comes to their storm clean-up plans.
One of the most egregrious spots is on the sidewalk of the St. Johns Bridge. There’s so much gravel that in some parts you can’t see the surface of the sidewalk. This is a big deal because the St. Johns Bridge is a vital bicycling connection and the roadway lacks bike lanes. With large diesel trucks rumbling inches away, the narow St. Johns Bridge sidewalks are already sketchy enough. Add slippery gravel and you’ve got even more stressful situation.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has completed a major repaving project on a key section of Highway 30 that’s a popular bike route between the St. Johns Bridge and Sauvie Island.
Back in March we said this was a “golden opportunity” to make the highway better for bicycling. Unfortunately ODOT didn’t make any major improvements to bike access; but the shoulder is now a more consistent width throughout the project’s seven-miles (between the bridge and McNamee Road). We were also disappointed that the shoulder wasn’t striped until a few days ago — well over a week after all the lanes for auto use were completed and striped.
Portlander Ira Ryan (co-founder of Breadwinner Cycles) pointed out the lack of striping in a post on Instagram: