potholes

Injuries mount as Portland fails to fix dangerous potholes

Avatar by on May 22nd, 2019 at 10:59 am

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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PBOT’s ‘Patch-a-thon’ promises pothole relief

Avatar by on February 22nd, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Double-whammy. A pothole on N Willamette deposits gravel into the bike lane.
(Photo: @Dcay via Twitter)

As if the snow and ice and gravel wasn’t enough — now we are dealing with the scourge of potholes.

Potholes are nothing new, but this winter’s storm has created an alarming amount of new ones. They’re everywhere! Old ones are bigger and more treacherous, while new ones creep up where and when you’re not expecting them. For people using a car, a pothole can damage your wheels and rims. But for people on a bike the risk is greater. In addition to equipment damage, potholes can lead to crashes and injuries.

Today the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced what we hope will be a salve for our wounded streets: “Patch-a-thon” is the city’s new initiative that will aim to attack potholes with more maintenance crews. Here’s more from the official statement:

“Starting tomorrow, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will launch Patch-a-thon, a new initiative to fill the numerous potholes caused by this season’s many winter storms.
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