Portland bike crashes spike in August and September

Portland bike crashes spike in August and September

Print
Email
|

by PAT DOORIS, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:04 AM

PORTLAND -- The Portland area is approaching the time of year when bikes and cars crash into each other at a rate of more than one a day.

On Friday there were two crashes.

In the first crash, a rider turned in front of a car onto Northeast Killingworth Street around 8 a.m. 

Two-and-a-half hours later, a garbage truck hit a man as he rode his bike across Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard in a crosswalk.

Jason Lee ran up to help.

“It was terrifying. Everybody here was really distraught and scared,” he said.

Police said it appeared the bicyclist rode through the cross walk too fast and ended up in front of the garbage truck as it turned.

“I don’t believe people get it,” Lee said.

"It" is a realization that both bicyclists and cars need to watch out for each other.

“People in Portland really need to have a realistic idea of what’s going on out there,” said Jonathan Maus, who runs the popular website, BikePortland.org.

Maus said he'll start reporting every bike crash, not just the big ones as he has in the past. 

“Maybe it will be more impactful and actually get people to care a little bit more if they start seeing the carnage that happens on Portland streets," Maus said.

Portland Police Bureau statistics show that over the last five years, the number of bicycle crashes spike each August and September with as many as forty or more per month. 

On Northeast Killingsworth Street, KGW asked riders and drivers if they had suggestions for solutions to the problem.

Cyclist Devon Shirley said riders need to be more aware.

“You just gotta not wear headphones and just be observant. I mean, it’s your life that’s in your hands," Shirley said.

Driver Andrew Byers said those behind the wheel need to watch out too, especially turning right in front of bikes.

“Whenever someone comes in from out of town, I tell them right away, check your right mirror,” Byers said.

Police are not immune to the danger, either.

As he helped investigate the day’s crash on McGloughlin, Sergeant Ty Engstrom said he nearly got hit yesterday.

“On my way home from work yesterday I was riding my bike leaving the office and a bus pulled out right in front of me,” he said.

It was a close call.

“It wasn’t until I made eye contact with [the driver] that he realized I was there," Sgt. Engstrom said.

Engstrom suggested drivers and riders look each other in the eye to help cut down on crashes.

For the Portland Police Bureau's report on bicycle traffic crashes, click here

Print
Email
|