scott kocher

City of Portland will pay $395,000 settlement in case of teen killed crossing Hawthorne

Avatar by on April 28th, 2020 at 11:58 am

Memorial for Fallon Smart in August 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The family of a 15-year-old Cleveland High School student who was killed while crossing Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard in 2016 will be paid $395,000 by the City of Portland. The settlement comes from a lawsuit filed by the Estate of Fallon Smart. The suit alleged wrongful death and negligence from the Portland Bureau of Transportation based on conditions at the intersection of Hawthorne and SE 43rd.

The tragic death of this young Portlander and the maddening circumstances surrounding the man who killed her are blights our city will never fully recover from; but this relatively rare and large payment by PBOT could be a positive sign that road agencies will take more responsibility to keep our streets safe.[Read more…]

NW Portland is now a Slow Zone. Here’s how your neighborhood can be one too

Avatar by on January 6th, 2020 at 7:54 am

This new sign on NW Glisan helps complete the NW Slow Zone.
(Photo: Scott Kocher)

By Portland resident Scott Kocher, a lawyer and safety advocate who has worked tirelessly to encourage the City of Portland to lower speeds in many Northwest neighborhoods.

Have you noticed new 20 mph signs in northwest Portland?[Read more…]

As ‘No Crossing’ signs proliferate, every intersection is no longer a crosswalk

Catie Gould (Contributor) by on August 29th, 2019 at 2:12 pm

PBOT installed these “No Crossing” signs on SE Foster at 72nd last month.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is part of an ongoing look at crosswalk closures. It was written by contributor Catie Gould and Jonathan Maus and edited by Emily Guise.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

Comment of the Week: Slow Skyline Boulevard down, don’t widen it

Avatar by on March 1st, 2019 at 10:30 am

If drivers simply slowed down, riding on Skyline could always be this pleasant.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We’re long overdue to put the spotlight on a great comment.

Our Comment of the Week goes to noted local activist and lawyer (and BikePortland supporter) Scott Kocher.

On Wednesday he shared insights about a road he knows very well: NW Skyline Blvd. His comment came on our story about Multnomah County’s online open house that seeks feedback on their 20 Year Road Plan. One project on that list would consider “augmenting shoulders” and possibly providing, “enhanced shoulder bikeways.”

Here’s Scott’s comment:[Read more…]

Advocates, residents see Highway 30 paving project as chance for safer bicycling

Avatar by on February 22nd, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Highway 30 has potential to be a direct route from downtown Portland to St. Johns. Unfortunately its bike access is abysmal.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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…]