Portland firm will file lawsuit against aerosol makers and sellers to protect road users from ‘driving zombies’

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 5th, 2021 at 8:35 am

Joleen Braasch-Berry.
(Photo courtesy Thomas Coon Newton & Frost)

Lawyers for the family of a Salem woman who was hit and killed while bicycling in October 2020 will file a lawsuit on Monday against the manufacturers of inhalants they say turn drivers into “zombies”.

Joleen “Jo” Braasch-Berry was 26-years-old and recently married when she left her job as an elementary school librarian. Braasch-Berry was riding in an unprotected, paint-only bike lane on NE Cherry Street in northeast Salem when the driver of a car failed to handle his vehicle and struck her. The man who hit her, who was arrested and charged with manslaughter and DUI, was seen on security video minutes before the crash leaving a Home Depot and inhaling a can of “CRC Duster”, a popular brand of aerosol spray used to clean computer keyboards and other types of electronic equipment. [Read more…]

BikeLoud, Livable Streets Action will ride to Salem July 16 for transportation reform

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 1st, 2016 at 9:41 am

roca bikeway

The ride will use parts of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
(Photo: Russ Roca/The Path Less Pedaled for Travel Oregon)

Two Portland-based grassroots groups are biking to Salem this month in an echo of the tactics that built pressure for Oregon’s 1971 bike bill.

Organizers for BikeLoudPDX and Livable Streets Action say they’re responding to Oregon’s 42 percent increase in roadway fatalities in the last two years.

“If 700 people died in a crash or collision as a one-time event, the state would prioritize everything that could be done to prevent this kind of tragedy happening,” said Soren Impey, BikeLoudPDX’s direct action coordinator. “But over the past two years, this is what’s happened, and there hasn’t been what we believe is an appropriate type of response.”

[Read more…]

Possible cuts to Amtrak service raise stakes of Salem’s transportation limbo

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 16th, 2015 at 11:20 am

Bikes on Amtrak

The Cascades line is arguably the bike-friendliest
in the country.
(Photo: Will Vanlue)

One of the country’s most-ridden Amtrak lines could have its southern tail chopped off unless Oregon legislators find another $5 million to keep it whole.

The state-sponsored Amtrak Cascades service between Eugene and Portland, with stops in Albany, Salem, Woodburn and Oregon City, is likely to be eliminated unless the state is willing to cover the one-third of the line’s operating costs, $28 million annually, that aren’t covered by ticket revenue.

[Read more…]

ODOT employee dies after being hit while riding on rural Salem road

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 30th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Streetview near location of collision.

57-year old Dave Apperson, an employee at ODOT since 2006, was struck and killed by someone driving a car while he pedaled his recumbent on a rural road near Salem Friday morning.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s office the collision took place around 10:30 am on Hopewell Rode near Spring Valley Lane about 10 miles north of downtown Salem. Apperson was struck from behind by 26-year old nearby resident John Taylor, who was driving a Dodge Ram pickup.[Read more…]

BTA backs downtown Salem bike lane; community is split

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 14th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

“The more lanes I have, the more people I have… Once you put a bike lane in, it’s going to cut down a lane of traffic. That is my concern.”
— Krishna Bhaptarai, owner of Katmandu Foods and signer of a petition against the bike lane plan

Our story about a plan to re-stripe Commercial Avenue in downtown Salem with a bike lane and one less motor vehicle lane has exposed a wide range of opinions about the project.

The City of Salem plans to use funds from their 2008 Streets and Bridges Bond Measure to repave Commercial street through their downtown core and re-stripe with a new road configuruation (see existing and proposed configuration below). According to a document distributed at an open house about the project at the end of June, City planners say the project, “presents an opportunity…to address on-going concerns with the lack of bicycle facilities in downtown…”[Read more…]

Salem business owners work to stop bike lane project

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 13th, 2009 at 11:07 am

Commercial Street in Salem.
(Image: Google Streetview)

A plan to restripe Commercial Street in downtown Salem has been met with opposition by some business owners.

Eric Lundgren, a bike advocate who manages a Salem bike blog and is a member of the Mid-Willamette Valley chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, reports that at least one business owner has already started circulating a petition against the plan.[Read more…]

Headed to Salem for stimulus funding, Idaho stops, and more

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 17th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

My day in Salem

Through those doors, the
laws are made.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Tomorrow I’ll make my first trip down to Salem this session — and what a full day it’s shaping up to be.

My day will start with a meeting of the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). The OTC is the five-person, governor-appointed cabinet that sets transportation policy for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). (I introduced you to them a few weeks ago).

At their meeting tomorrow, the OTC will dole out $102 million for transportation projects — their second installment of stimulus funds. Their first phase of stimulus funding decisions (made earlier this month) included only one bike project and did not include any transit funding.[Read more…]

Bike-mounted State Trooper pedals down reckless driver

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 2nd, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Here’s an unusual bike story that just landed in my inbox from the Oregon State Police.

“The incident happened Wednesday, October 1st, in Salem at about 1:00 p.m. when OSP Trooper Perry Rhoades was patrolling the Capitol Mall area on a bicycle and spotted a 1997 Ford four-door drive recklessly near the State Capitol building nearly striking pedestrians in a crosswalk on Court Street near Winter Street.

Trooper Rhoades caught up with the car and made several attempts to get the driver to stop, including riding alongside the driver’s door and ordering the female driver to stop. The driver, identified as SUZANNE L. FUTRELL, age 44, from Dallas, refused to stop and yelled through her rolled up window she didn’t do anything wrong.[Read more…]