Portlanders are still coming to grips with the traffic violence experienced downtown on Friday. While details about 61-year-old Greg Porter continue to trickle out and the women he hit still recover at an area hospital, leaders in the transportation reform community are moving from grief and shock into action.
Kiel Johnson and Sarah Iannarone (both familiar names to BikePortland readers) are organizing an event next Tuesday (June 5th) that aims to promote an inclusive Portland. Here’s the event description:[Read more…]
About an hour ago someone appears to have intentionally steered their SUV up a curb on SW 6th Avenue just before Montgomery and hit at least three women. Portland Police say two of them are being treated at OHSU with life-threatening injuries and the other one has serious injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening. A fourth person is believed to have been injured but left the scene and so far PPB have not been able to contact them.
From media coverage we know that one of the victims was found right at the top of the ramp of the Portland State University Urban Plaza outside Cafe Yumm! and the Rec Center. Another victim was lying south of that near the transit stop outside the cafe.
The driver fled the scene and police are on the hunt (they typically don’t update media with cases like this because they don’t want to tip off the suspect who might be watching the news). [Read more…]
Sign from a protest outside Cleveland High in May 2015. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Today across America school students are walking out of class to bring attention to gun violence, the need for comprehensive reform of gun laws, and to say “Never again!” when it comes to school shootings.
Most Portland Public Schools administrators support the walkout. As a parent of kids in three PPS schools, we’ve gotten detailed emails and notices from each one in preparation of today’s actions.
Last night I heard from a parent of a student at Cleveland High School that the email sent by Principal Ayesha Freeman included a strong warning about a major safety concern that has nothing to do with gun violence. Freeman shared four specific items in her email aimed at getting parents and students ready. One of them was about SE Powell Boulevard — the state-controlled arterial road that runs outside the school on its southern side.
Unfortunately it’s a recurring one for many of us who ride bicycles in cities.
The idea that cars are weapons is not new to us. What’s new — now that even more innocent lives have been lost — is that thinking of cars as weapons isn’t as radical of an idea as it was 24 hours ago.
Cars are weapons. When someone drives one it becomes a loaded weapon. But unlike guns, cars are used by nearly everyone, everywhere, everyday. And unlike guns, cars don’t attract attention from authorities and they carry none of the constroversial stigma that guns do. On the contrary, cars and trucks are incessantly glorified in ways that normalize reckless disregard for everyone on the road except the all-important, all-powerful person behind the wheel. “Keep streets mean,” is Dodge’s irresponsible tagline.
Yesterday everyone saw just how “mean” streets can get when a man opened fire with a rental truck on that bike path. It has been officially tagged terrorism by authorities, making it just the latest in a disturbing global trend. Terrorist groups like ISIS encourage followers to use cars to inflict mass murder. These extremists have found our gaping weak spot. Like a Trojan Horse, weaponized automobiles are an easy way to breach America’s trillion dollar homeland security complex. [Read more…]
Another person was killed in a collision involving an automobile user just after midnight this morning. It was the 20th 24th fatality on Portland roads so far this year and the 10th in just the last three weeks.
Portland Police say the latest tragedy occurred on Southeast Powell Blvd east of 50th. In a statement they wrote that,
“Preliminary information learned from the investigation suggests the pedestrian crossed southbound over Southeast Powell Boulevard east of Southeast 50th Avenue and was struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian reportedly made an unexpected movement in front of an oncoming vehicle while crossing… The pedestrian was not in a cross-walk at the time of the collision. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene, contacted 9-1-1 to report the crash and is cooperating with the investigation. At this time it does not appear the driver of the vehicle was impaired while driving.”
While the PPB includes a boilerplate paragraph about Vision Zero in all their traffic crash statements these days, the statement fails to live up to the spirit of that goal.
A city committed to zero traffic deaths by 2025 should not publish blame-oriented statements about a traffic crash so soon after it happens. Especially when the victim is a vulnerable road user. That type of tone and framing is speculative, unnecessary, and makes the culture change we need much harder to accomplish.
Beyond this death on Powell, it’s clear that Portland isn’t doing enough — fast enough — to achieve Vision Zero. [Read more…]
In just 48 hours many lives were changed forever because of dangerous driving. And it was all preventable.
I often feel that what’s often lost in our debates about transportation projects, policies and funding is a conversation about the staggering toll driving extracts from our city.
In 48 hours starting last Thursday evening, I noticed a stream of police alerts come across my computer. It was a startling spate of incidents that underscored this toll. They involved people using cars dangerously and without respect or consideration for others. [Read more…]
Roadway assaults between motor vehicle operators and people on bikes and foot happen all the time. They usually don’t end well. This one did. At least for the victim.
On August 27th, Portland resident Paul Jeffery and his friends were trying to cross SE Division near 48th when he was assaulted by a woman driving a car. Jeffery says that about mid-way across the street the woman, “swerved around me close enough that my hand come into contact with the passenger side mirror.”
After that close call he says the woman — who is employed by Uber — turned around and approached him. The two had a heated back-and-forth about what happened and then, Jeffery says, the woman accosted him. She walked up to him, yelled loudly, then tore the $400 prescription glasses off his face, crushed them to pieces, threw them into the street, got back in her car and drove away (despite Jeffery and his friends sitting on her hood to prevent her from leaving).[Read more…]
A man who killed a person on foot with his bicycle last year won’t serve any jail time in what’s thought to be “the first vehicular manslaughter conviction in the nation involving a bicyclist.”
Prosecutors said Chris Bucchere, 37, of San Francisco, ran “several red lights” and was moving at an estimated 30 mph when he lethally collided with Sutchi Hui, 71, in a crosswalk, as Slate and other outlets reported Tuesday. Hui survived for four days before dying.
In the past 24 hours alone, three people failing to control their cars has led to serious injuries and significant property damage.
At about 8:15 pm last night, the Portland Police reported that two people driving in the intersection of SE 92nd and Foster (map) collided with each other. The driver of a Jeep then rolled his/her vehicle and it went up onto the sidewalk where two people were standing. Both people standing on the sidewalk appear to have been either riding bikes or standing their bikes and both sustained “serious but not believed to be life-threatening injuries.” The driver of the Jeep was also injured and taken to the hospital. [Read more…]
“A 35-year-old driver who struck a bicyclist while reversing his SUV was sentenced to three years of probation Tuesday after a judge found him not guilty last month of intentionally slamming into the cyclist.
Wayne Conrad Thompson of Southeast Portland would have received a mandatory minimum 7 1/2 years in prison if found guilty of the crime — first-degree assault — that police and prosecutors thought he committed. But in trial, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Henry Kantor found Thompson guilty of the lesser crime of third-degree assault — then sentenced him to probation, two days of anger counseling, a drug evaluation and treatment if necessary and a five-year suspension of his driver’s license.”