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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Death Wish Cyclist of the Year

If you've ever tried to get on southbound I-5 at the Portland Rose Quarter, you know what a mess that area is. Drivers often must pass through three traffic lights, and then an on-ramp meter, to get to the freeway. By the time they get to the third light, at the intersection of Wheeler and Williams, they're pretty impatient. And there are bicyclists coming through that space, northbound on Williams, which becomes one way northbound beginning at that corner. Conflicts are frequent. (Not to mention the requisite bum asking for beer money.)

Just about the last thing in the world a driver would be looking for coming through there is a cyclist going the wrong way on Williams, headed southbound. That's just what this one did at 10:00 last night. He "was not wearing a helmet, had no lights on his bike and was wearing dark clothing," according to the police. Now he's in the hospital. Our condolences to the motorist who hit him.

Comments (15)

This is a great argument for the theory that modern medicine is preventing darwinism from running it's course.

This guy is in the hospital because he made several stupid choices all at once. Let me guess, no medical insurance, so us taxpayers get to foot the bill for his moronic decision making?

Can we please fix the education system now?

Well, there are "cyclists" who should know and follow the laws as well as safe-riding rules. And then there are people riding bikes who really have and know almost nothing about that or much else.

Now the PDOT will close the intersections to all motorized traffic, problem solved.

Sally, I hear you. I've been a serious commuting cyclist for two-thirds of my life, and I used to dress like this idiot, not realizing that the combination of streetlight glare and windshield interference makes most cyclists nearly invisible under the best of circumstances. I now bike to work lit up like the Electric Horseman to make sure people see me, and I get high-fives and waves for doing so. (Hell, I've even been offered phone numbers for doing so, and I have to explain that while I'm flattered, I'm also very married.) That's why I want to smack the Bike Portland dolts, such as many of the commenters on that article, in the head. Will it really kill them to take the initiative, demonstrate that they're willing to work with motorists, and stop being such flaming entitled asses at every opportunity?

I hear you Triffid. In my town (Hermiston) you never see bikes. I mean it. Never. Not even kids ride them. So riding here, even all lit up, is very dangerous due to the unfamiliarity, lack of street lighting, etc...People just aren't used to looking out for you.

Pedestrians are almost as rare. So when I go walking I wear this enormous day glow hunting vest. It's nuts, makes me look like a light bulb, but at least I'm seen. Still I get offered rides on almost every outing. Like anyone would dress like a christmas tree and NOT be out for a leisure stroll, nope, they think I must be stranded and have bad taste in clothing.

There was no point to this post, other than to relate my experience.

"There was no point to this post, other than to relate my experience."

That should be the new motto of the internet!

Now, Jo, you'll either entice the BikePortlandNazis to move to Hermiston to indoctrinate you all, or you'll entice those tired of COP antics, including BPN, to move to Hermiston.

And let me guess about this cyclist - he was also on his cell phone, texting or talking.

Unless the bicyclist is given a citation by the police, the not at fault motorist's insurance company will likely pay medical costs for the AT FAULT BICYCLIST.

Then the motorist will either face a huge premium increase or cancellation. And the rest of us will get smaller premium increases.

The bicyclist was going the wrong way, not wearing a helmet, no lights with dark clothing and NO CITATIONS were issued by police. This is so typical. If the driver did not have the lights on or was not wearing a seatbelt, the driver would have received a citation. With the coziness between Sammyboy, the Bicycle Terrorist Alliance and blogger Jonathan Maus, a bias double standard continues to exist. Even with all the rhetoric about safety, none of the aforementioned will support or commit to mandatory helmet laws using the excuse that it will keep people from bicycling and growing the mode.
Likewise, bicyclists constantly are ready to blame motorists for the unsafe driving while arrogantly ignoring traffic laws themselves. Just with in the last week I was about the fifth car waiting at a red light in the eastbound left turn land on East Burnside at 60th. Just as I came to a stop a bicyclists –without a helmet – passed the line of cars on the left traveling the wrong way in and cutting across the westbound lanes on Burnside, then going through the red light tuning left on to 60th. There is hardly a day goes by when I am driving around Portland that I don’t observe this kind of overconfident behavior. An acquaintance of mine that lives in one of the smaller towns in the Columbia Gorge has told me story after story of bicyclists running stop signs, blocking traffic on the highway, flipping off law enforcement or being involved in a crash either using the excuse they don’t have to follow the laws in Portland, or if a crash, it is the other guys fault.

I was involved in a wreck years ago where another motorist made a sudden left turn in front of me going the opposite direction.

I demanded she be issued a ticket, and the responding officer (who was utterly worthless as a security guard, why he had a high-five figure government job is beyond me) eventually had to call in his supervisor. He was told to issue the ticket, for which the other driver plead guilty to. That whole process meant everything as otherwise it would have been a long drawn out battle, and the other driver was driving a company car (read: highly paid staff of lawyers). When she plead guilty we were able to quickly settle out of court.

It's long past time that if you are a motorist involved in a situation like this, you don't accept the officer claiming "he was injured, that's punishment enough" - no, issuing a ticket is NOT negotiable. The officer's job is to issue the citation; it's the judge's job to decide innocence or guilt. If the officer won't write the ticket, threaten to issue a citizen's citation (legal in Oregon)... That way the officer is going to write a ticket one way or another; the only difference is who will sign it.

There are way too many assumptions in this discussion. First, was this "bicyclist" a serious cyclist being an idiot or *******, or was it some permanently-down-on-their-luck type (maybe one of the "requisite bums" quitting for the night) just getting around on a beater who may not even know that bikes are not supposed to ride the "wrong way."

Neither would change any liability, for which it is nearly impossible to imagine anyone finding against the driver of the car.

The claim that the driver's insurance rates will increase is pretty wild.

A citation doesn't have to be issued; a police report will be available. Witness names are always a great thing to have or get.

If the bike rider was a "bike *******" instead of a bum, then the driver of the car (who has my sympathy regardless) might do well to get the police report and witness names and take him to small claims court for his damages.

Sally, what? You want officers to become an "assumption" analyst? Officers should cite the infractions seen on location and reported by witnesses. Are you advocating that laws should be different for an "idiot or *******" versus "requisite bums"? How is an officer going to assess which category he should pick while on the spot?

First, police officers use all kinds of calculi to determine whether or not to issue a citation. Second, I'm saying it is of no critical importance to a determination of liability.

Don't worry, I have been assured (in the recent green lane topic) that driving around Inner Portland should be straightforward, no problem.

If your trip gets complicated or frustrating, then maybe you're just not really up for it. The green boxes, etc. insure that nothing can go wrong.

Thanks Sally. You solved it for me. If I'm ever stopped or involved in an incident where a citation might,or will be given, I'll just claim I'm a bum. And if I'm still cited then I'll claim discrimination.

Life is getting too complicated when we have all these endless variables. And please don't claim I'm asking for a police state. I'm just asking for a little order in this "keeping Portland weird" city.

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