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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 25, 2010 12:37 PM. The previous post in this blog was More wacky bike lanes. The next post in this blog is Door wide open for Blazer greatness. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rough night in the Multi-modal Mecca

If the gangbangers or the cops don't get you, the Tri-Met drivers will.

Comments (21)

I almost hit a 20-something yesterday southbound on SW Salmon and 3rd Street...I was going about 20 miles an hour, and my light had turned green about 3-4 seconds earlier...I got within two car-lengths of the intersection and he stepped off the curb (after looking at the Don't Walk sign), then he looked at me -- grimacing -- as if I should stop. When I accelerated, he walked backwards and flipped me off. The light was still green in my rearview mirror when he crossed, forcing the vehicle behind me to stop on the greenlight, which turned to yellow and red. That car had to wait for the next cycle.

Memo to hipsters: if you think you're too precious to wait for the "Walk" light, and you step in front of a moving vehicle, you're putting your life into the hands of a stranger who may be drunk, high, distracted, or just pissed off.

My prayers go out to the families of all involved. I'm sure they are just devastated from losing loved ones in such a horrible accident.

Mister T, The Oregonian has a much longer article which states:

The bus was westbound on Glisan as it turned left on to southbound Broadway, Stewart said. As the bus turned on to Broadway, it struck a group of westbound pedestrians crossing Broadway.

The bus had a green light and the pedestrians had a walk signal, he said.

So save your Hipster bashing for a situation where it is relevant. This appears to be the classic case of someone turning while not paying attention to the cross walk.

Hey! The couplet will stop this.

I see enough Tri-Met drivers running lights on the West side to pretty much think the driver was probably the cause of this one. I've also seen a couple of them struggle to stay in their own lane when making a right hand turn. In one case the bus hit a car stopped for the light because of his failure to negotiate the turn in his own lane.

This appears to be the classic case of someone turning while not paying attention to the cross walk.

I would agree with that, but in the case of a commercial driver, she must have taken her eyes off the mirror while she made that turn, which is a fatal mistake, as is now obvious.

Never ever take your eyes off the mirror that you are turning into!

And never ever take a turn quickly.

She could get jail time for this.

This job is one that can actually land you in jail, not too many professions have that risk.

People think that being a bus driver is easy, think again.

I wonder what the details are, how many hours had she worked that day? If she had a break how long was it? What time did she report in the morning? Was it foggy or wet? How many hours since she last worked before this day? The mirrors were all in good order? The traffic signals were all working properly?
Don't forget, the bus has camera's, they should get that film.

Everybody should see it, especially bus drivers.

Trimet never really goes into depth about the incidents that occur on the buses, I've brought it up numerous times.

Of course they ignore me, mostly.

Only through examination and analysis of actual incidents can other drivers learn.

They can teach the "smith system" till the cows come home, but it's not reality based.

One other point, Trimet has a serious shortage of bus drivers, Plenty of pencil pushers but not enough drivers.

Overtime is part of Trimet culture.

I've been railing against it for years. This is not the kind of job that people can do for hours on end without affecting performance.

I really want to know if this driver was on an overtime shift this day or anytime during the week.

I keep a video diary of my life as a bus driver at Trimet.

They are really boring except for me and a few other people, but at 18:53 of this
VIDEO
I am talking about my "numbness" which the bus route I am driving is causing me.

State of mind and its causes are all important when investigating why these things happen.

Of course it could be just a stupid driver error, but then again will we ever know all the details here?

So the westbound bus is turning left (south) on Broadway from Glisan and the pedestrians are westbound, crossing with the same light. Broadway is a two-way street, so the walkers have to have been past the middle of the street for the bus to hit them, unless the bus was turning into the wrong lane of Broadway. Frightening either way.

Eric K,

My criticism of hipster jaywalkers was specific to the event I witnessed with my own eyes, not the Tri-Met accident.

I've also seen lots of news reports of an event that is later contravened by the police report and named witnesses. That may not be the case here, but don't believe everything you read is gospel. Just because it's in the newspaper doesn't make it so.

"Broadway is a two-way street, so the walkers have to have been past the middle of the street for the bus to hit them, unless the bus was turning into the wrong lane of Broadway. Frightening either way."
===

Yes, but maybe no.

The front of the bus, and the front wheels could have gone into the correct lane of travel, but as you probably know, the rear wheels do NOT follow the exact path of the front wheels. The rear wheels track inside the turn. The peds could have been mowed down under the front wheels, or the middle of the bus, or under the rear wheels. For each scenario, the peds would be in different parts of the cross walk.

But having said all that, I am in no way excusing the bus driver. I have a hard time understanding how she could have taken out so many peds without being careless, in a hurry, absent minded, or just vindictive. Whatever, but she was the one who killed peds in a crosswalk with the walk signal in the WALK position.

The peds could have been mowed down under the front wheels, or the middle of the bus, or under the rear wheels. For each scenario, the peds would be in different parts of the cross walk.

Looks like the rear wheels to me:
PIC 1
PIC 2

The situation looks worse and worse.

OREGONIAN

There is no coming back public relations wise from this disaster it appears.

I just don't understand for the life of me how a 'professional' could actually let something this grievous happen.

Another psycho TriMet driver grinds up innocent people under her wheels. I too have seen way too many agressive and hostile bus drivers in this city. They are as rogue as PPB officers. If this was Joe Motorist, they would have been arrested, breathalyzed, printed, mug shots, etc.
Note to KATU: I find your online story offensive and appalling in that you highlight the "traumatized bus driver" in your first sentence but don't even mention the innocent victims until the second paragraph. Disgusting. All the way around. Oh, and don't bother waking up Fred for this, he's been in retirement mode since Christmas...

Was the Tri Met driver texting? How else could you plow head-on into a crowd in the middle of an intersection? Either way, bring on the lawsuits and get ready for another fare/tax increase.

If this was Joe Motorist, they would have been arrested, breathalyzed, printed, mug shots, etc.

The driver was drug tested.
The mug shot can come anytime.

You folks bringing up tax increases over this crack me up.

All the waste at all levels of government, this sort of thing isn't even a drop in the bucket.

And I know how worked up some of you folks get so excited over Trimet related stuff, so just to keep things in perspective you may want to review the
FATAL ACCIDENT STATISTICS FOR PORTLAND.

I realize that some of you have no interest in anything resembling facts, but look at the facts anyway.

It seems to be a clear case of driver error. I have to wonder, though - if the pedestrians had been paying attention to traffic, would they still be alive?

Any time you cross a street, your life is at risk. It's in your best interests to put down your cellphone and pay close attention to surrounding vehicles. Look both ways, even if it's a one-way street. Identify potential threats, try to make eye contact with the drivers of those vehicles, and look for signs of distraction. Never, ever trust a driver to do the right thing. Have a plan for jumping out of the way if they do the wrong thing. The life you save may be your own!

Yep. But this group was coming out of a comedy club -- not exactly anybody's most alert moment.

JD - Oregon law is very clear when it comes to pedestrians in crossings. Motorists may not enter the intersection until all pedestrians have cleared or at least one full lane is open. There were some sting operations in town when the laws first got tightened. The pedestrian always has the right of way, regardless of whether they are inebriated, attentive or unattentive, talking, texting, mute, crawling, or any other state of being you can imagine. In this case the sign was green and said 'WALK' so the driver should face charges of negligent homocide at the very least.

This event is so utterly shocking that I am really unable to process it completely.
How does a 'professional" run into a group of 5 people in a crosswalk?
Fall asleep maybe? A small stroke that she didn't even know happened?
It's truly incomprehensible.
And how do the pedestrians not see the bus coming, there was five of them, didn't anybody see that bus coming at them?
The bus must have been out of control somehow, that is the only logical explanation. Either she was distracted, had some sort of medical problem, or there was a mechanical failure.
I just don't see any other possibilities in this case, unless we have a complete incompetent at the wheel.

Stopthemadness -

The law didn't stop that bus driver from running over those people, did it? My point is, the law will never protect you as well as common sense, so you shouldn't rely on it to. I'm not blaming the victims or excusing the driver; I'm saying pay attention to your surroundings. That's all.

I hope we can all agree the whole thing is a tragedy. It's a peculiar human trait, trying to make sense of tragedy, when usually it doesn't make any sense. :(

I'm sure the driver will skate on this, just like when our mayor goes for a demolition derby drive at Jantzen Beach with one hand down his pants and a beer in the other....


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