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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 23, 2008 7:52 AM. The previous post in this blog was Another election loose end. The next post in this blog is Another lovely "law enforcement" project. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tri-Met operators: Shut up and drive

Tri-Met bus drivers continue to make ominous noises about the bike lanes that are going in around the Rose Quarter Transit Center. The fact is that there has never been a safe way for a person on a bike to get through there from the East Bank Esplanade, and the bike lanes will give cyclists at least a little margin of safety.

From firsthand experience, I can report that some bus drivers show downright aggression toward bicycles in what they perceive as their sacred territory around the Rose Quarter, and it is about time that they get the message that they have to share the road with others. If they don't like it, they can take a security detail on MAX through gangland in Gresham.

Comments (11)

The article says that "The new lanes are along both sides of a block-and-a-half stretch of Northeast Wheeler Street in the heart of the center that previously had been off-limits to bikes."

I'm not sure what the writer means by this. The north- and south-bound bike lanes are both on the west side of NE Wheeler - away from the bus stops that the bus drivers are using. The bike lanes are not on "both sides" of NE Wheeler.

The writer and the drivers also seem to miss that cyclists going north or south under the old system were still crossing the Max tracks, at two different legal spots and one illegal one, and were still interacting with buses on either end of the transit center. The new system prevents cyclists and buses from crossing paths at various random times. The times I've ridden through the new arrangement it seemed that bikes and buses coexisted with much less awkward and unpredictable interaction than happens on every normal street in town where buses are crossing busy bike lanes all the time.

Critics of bus drivers: shut up and get behind the wheel of a bus. You might understand them better if you actually know the challenges they face.

To be fair, it's hard enough going down some street like SE Hawthorne as a driver who tries to respect cyclists - try making right turns off and you have to leave a half block clearance min and it still takes a while.

Is it so difficult to segrate traffic types since the Steel bridge is more of a motorized transit bridge then say the Burnside?

the challenges they face.

There is no excuse for being a rude jerk, and I've seen bus drivers behave that way to cyclists around the Rose Quarter on more than one occasion.

There is no excuse for being a rude jerk, and I've seen bus drivers behave that way to cyclists around the Rose Quarter on more than one occasion.

me too. but:

on the bus I ride every day (in SE Portland, partly on Hawthorne), I see bicyclists routinely cheating death, ignoring bus signals, hitting the side of the bus with their hand, yelling, ignoring bus right-of-way (that cars can't), weaving in and out of the bike lane, moving suddenly into the bus's lane and making 40 bus riders clutching for their life, failing to signal in any way, and so on. in the past month, I haven't seen the bus driver be anything but respectful to the bicyclists(and probably constantly afraid of an accident).

We've all seen bicyclists do stupid stuff. We've all seen motorists do stupid stuff. Whenever this conversation turns into "There was a bicyclist who...." or "This driver almost killed me when..." well, it kinda misses the point.

What i think Jack is saying is fundamentally correct. If you are going to drive a 20 ton bus in a congested area, you have to be responsible to the point of passivity. Yes, some bicyclists are going to act like jerks. But when a bus driver acts like a jerk, he (or she) is more likely to kill someone. Same with motorists.

As with bicylists and motorists, most Tri-Met drivers I've seen have been courteous and careful. But there are always a few out there that need to chill. Rather than security detail in Gresham, how about the night shift cleaning out the buses?

If you are going to drive a 20 ton bus in a congested area, you have to be responsible to the point of passivity.

But when a bus driver acts like a jerk, he (or she) is more likely to kill someone. Same with motorists.

I think you're mistaken, and your view is the heart of the problem. *every driver*, including bicyclists, can cause death or injury by their actions. you don't have to run over another driver to kill them--in fact, most roadway deaths are by drivers *reacting* to vehicles (including bicycles).

in other words--no, a big buse is not any more likely to cause problems than bicycle. that's a widely believed fallacy, not borne out by reality.

the fundamental concept of operating a vehicle on a roadway (motorized or not) is not "be passive"--it's *drive defensively*. that's in every ODOT Driver's Manual since the 60s. not "be passive", not "big vehicles have different fundamental rules than small ones".

I find it a tad bit odd that a biker would demand passivity from a bus. I'm all for bike commuting, but such self-righteousness in the face of such one sided exposure to injury/death seems foolhardy.

In a perfect world everyone would conscientiously conform to predictable road norms (politeness and rudeness both cause accidents) and this would be a non-issue.

As this isn't the case, bikers, as a matter of common sense probably shouldn't rely on any motorist to see or defer to them.

This is the fundamental problem with the "mixed-mode transport" approach a lot of CoPo and Metro officials seem to like. They think that putting incompatible modes of transport at vastly differing speeds and functions "improves safety". Actually, it's just obnoxious, and makes getting from point A to point B stressful no matter what mode you're using that's being "mixed"--it's pure chaos.

I think it would be better for both bikes and motorized forms of transit if bikes were not on the road . . . but on separate trails/paths somewhere. It'd be a lot better expenditure of funds than more subsidies for Fake New York monstrosities, or more Streetcar lines (which I would classify as "vapid transit").

>>>>I think it would be better for both bikes and motorized forms of transit if bikes were not on the road . . . but on separate trails/paths somewhere. >>>>

Since we already have a city built the "somewhere" is the hitch. I suppose we could take half of all 4-lane roads for bike traffic, but there's an even better solution.

Alot of bike traffic in Portland is already on bike boulevards, which are designated residential streets that parallel the main arterials. This separates the bulk of car/bike interactions at a bargain price. The costs of bike boulevards are actually quite low... requiring some signage and some traffic blocks. By far most cyclists use the bike boulevards rather than the parallel aterials. Where this isn't an option bike lanes work pretty well.

We do have a river in Portland and most bike traffic converges on 3 bridges - Hawthorne, Steele, Broadway. There doesn't seem to be chaos at any of them, as far as I can see.

"Bike boulevards" or the side or residential streets that are recommended through streets on biking maps are far better than relegating bikes to bike paths. Bike paths treat bicycles like toys rather than legitimate forms of transportation (which they clearly are for many people).

In addition, bike lanes can get full of debris, aren't adequately cleaned and also get appropriated by joggers and dog walkers. It is legal to ride outside of a bike lane if the bike lane is dangerous to ride in. When I commuted to work that was often true of the Terwilliger bike path, particularly if you were headed downhill.

However, even if bikes were restricted to "bike boulevards" they'd occasionally have to traverse more heavily used streets in order to reach businesses and other destinations on those streets.

Asking bikes to stay off of heavily travelled roads is sort of like asking motorists to stick to the freeways and stay off of residential streets.

It works in theory if you're traveling through to someplace else but not when you have a destination in mind that forces you to ride with traffic.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
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St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
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Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
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Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
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Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
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Keith Richards - Life
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Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
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In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
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