ray thomas

Car passenger attempts knife attack on man biking in rural Washington County

Avatar by on June 25th, 2019 at 10:54 am

Photo from bike-mounted camera shows car passenger’s attempted assault.
(Photos: Hank Bosak via Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost)

We need your help to find suspects of an attempted assault and dangerous pass in Washington County that happened this past Saturday (6/22).
[Read more…]

Proposed bill would clarify definition of bike lanes in Oregon

Avatar by on December 19th, 2018 at 10:19 am

The legal protection doesn’t end where the striping does.

A local lawyer wants to amend an existing state law so that Oregon judges can no longer decide that a bicycle rider’s legal right-of-way disappears in an intersection.
[Read more…]

Lawsuit says City of Portland was negligent in Greeley Ave crash

Avatar by on August 31st, 2018 at 8:19 am

The crash scene on the I-5 on-ramp.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

A notorious stretch of North Greeley Avenue where it crosses over an on-ramp to Interstate 5 is the subject of a lawsuit filed yesterday by a Portland law firm.
[Read more…]

Portland firm releases free legal guidebook for electric bicycles

Avatar by on August 1st, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Cover

Electric scooters are hogging headlines right now; but e-bikes are Portland’s quiet transportation revolution. In the past few years the number of people riding with pedal-assisted motors has skyrocketed and local shops have seen a big increase in sales.

While e-bikes have carved out a safe space in Portland’s street culture, they — like their unmotorized brethren — still exist in somewhat of a legal Twilight Zone. Are they bicycles or “motorized vehicles”? Can they be ridden on sidewalks? Those are just some of the questions people often have about them.

A new legal guidebook by the law firm of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost aims to answer those questions.

Oregon E-Bike Rights: A Legal Guide for Electric Bike Riders was written by Ray Thomas, Cynthia Newton, Jim Coon, and Chris Thomas. You might recognize that first name as the lawyer behind Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists, which is now in its 10th printing and is widely considered Oregon’s bike law bible. Thomas and Newton are also BikePortland contributors (and the firm is a major supporter of bike advocacy in Portland, including a sponsor of our work).

TCNF’s 49-page guide is a comprehensive look at laws that govern the use of electric bikes in Oregon. In addition to a rundown of the relevant Oregon Revised Statutes, the guide also covers insurance policy questions, advocacy efforts to change existing e-bike laws and create better ones, and offers a resource guide if you want to probe further.
[Read more…]

Opinion: We failed Tamar Monhait

Avatar by on November 17th, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Memorial for Tamar at Water and Taylor.
(Photos: Patrick Rafferty)

I can’t stop thinking that we’ve failed Tamar Monhait.

Monhait is the woman who was killed while bicycling northbound on SE Water Avenue back in August. On that fateful night, a professional driver named Paul Thompson was operating a commercial garbage truck in the opposite direction. As Monhait crossed Taylor Street, Thompson made a sudden left turn in front of her. She died from the impact and took her last breath in the middle of that intersection.

The intersection isn’t as well-lit as it should be and Monhait did not appear to have a legally required front light. Thompson claimed he never saw her. The police say Monhait’s impairment from alcohol was a factor in the collision; but there’s no evidence she could have done anything differently to avoid the truck — especially since Thompson, according to the police, admitted he was trying to outrun an approaching train and gave no warning before making his turn.

[Read more…]

Bike law expert says PBOT’s crossbike markings create confusion

Avatar by on October 12th, 2016 at 3:39 pm

A crossbike at Tillamook and NE 15th.
(Photo: Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton)

This post is part of our Get Legal series made possible by Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton.

When we first reported on crossbikes in August, concerns about them began almost immediately. While some people were happy to see the increased visibility for bicycling traffic at crossings via the big green stripes, others said the treatment creates confusion.

Now Ray Thomas, the Portland lawyer who literally wrote the book on Oregon bike law, is adding his voice to the chorus of concerns.

Before we get into his critique, let’s review what crossbikes are and what problem they aim to solve. [Read more…]

Portland’s ‘Lawyer Ride,’ now 25 years old, is still pedaling strong

Avatar by on May 26th, 2016 at 4:23 pm

The Lawyer Ride-1.jpg

Lawyer Ride founder Ray Thomas in Pioneer Courthouse Square where friends and colleagues have been starting a weekly training ride for the past 25 years.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 1991 two Portland lawyers, Jim Coon and Ray Thomas, started riding in the west hills above Portland twice a week during their lunch hour to stay in shape and let off a bit of steam. 25 years later both men are still doing those rides — every week, rain-or-shine. Today I finally joined them.
[Read more…]

Woman sues for over $670,000 after collision caused serious injuries

Avatar by on July 24th, 2015 at 12:50 pm

via The Oregonian

Cindy Lewellen, a 45-year old Portland resident who’s well-known in the local riding scene, filed a lawsuit this week against two people that she believes are liable for a collision that caused her serious injuries back in November.

It happened on NW St. Helens Road near that notorious intersection of Kittridge and Yeon (where the new Forest Park entrance is slated to go).

According to the lawsuit Lewellen was riding south in the bike lane. As she approached a driveway that led to United Rentals, a person driving in the adjacent lane had stopped for someone who wanted to turn left into the driveway. Here’s what happened next (according to the lawsuit, emphasis mine):[Read more…]

Did you know ODOT revises the driver’s manual every two years?

Avatar by on July 1st, 2015 at 9:17 am

Detail of Oregon Driver’s Manual.

We didn’t either.

Neither did Ray Thomas, the man who literally wrote the book on Oregon bike law (and has personally written and/or lobbied for many of them). Neither did Rob Sadowsky, the executive director of the largest bicycle advocacy organization in the state, or Noel Mickelberry, the leader of Oregon Walks.

“It caught us totally off guard,” Sadowsky shared with me this morning, “And it points to a lack of collaboration.”

This is a big deal because the 84-page Oregon Driver’s Manual impacts how people learn to behave on the road. It’s probably the one source of traffic law nearly every driver has consulted at least once and it’s used in court to justify behaviors both right and wrong. Making sure the driver’s manual presents information accurately and from a variety of perspectives — especially the most vulnerable road users — is a key component of the gradual march toward Vision Zero.[Read more…]

Man wins in court three years after police, insurance company blamed him for collision

Avatar by on June 25th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Still from KGW-TV video taken at the scene in 2012.

A Portland man who was blamed for a collision on a notorious section of North Broadway three years ago has been absolved in court.

Three years ago 33-year old Karl Zickrick was riding down North Broadway on his way to work. As he approached Wheeler he noticed a large SUV encroaching into the bike lane in front of him as it prepared to turn right. To avoid being right-hooked, Zickrick moved to the left out of the bike lane to go around the SUV. However, just as he made that move the driver of the SUV, 62-year-old Michael McLerren, slammed on his brakes and Zickrick flew into the back window. The impact shattered the window and left Zickrick with severe facial injuries and a broken jaw. (Two months after this collision, former Mayor Sam Adams decided to prohibit all right turns onto Wheeler.)

Adding insult to injury, the Portland Police Bureau blamed Zickrick for the collision. The day the crash occurred the PPB said this in an official statement (emphases mine): [Read more…]