(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
It took just four days after a man was seriously injured from a fall for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to smooth out some nasty lumps in the road on N. Vancouver Ave.
According to tips from readers, crews were out at the scene last night. This morning I stopped by and found the section of road just before N. Broadway as smooth as can be. (Unfortunately, they left a bunch of sand behind.) Below is another image I took this morning and a before/after shot:
Last Thursday, Michael Weaver hit the bumps as he approached the Broadway intersection and lost control of his bike. He spent three days in the hospital. Yesterday he shared with us that, “I am a mess and in some pain, but I have every expectation of a speedy recovery.”
This morning, PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck left a comment on our initial story saying that,
“PBOT is very sorry to hear about the serious fall and injury on North Vancouver. We wish the rider a full and swift recovery. Our work is focused on improving the safety of the traveling environment for everyone.
The pavement condition recently repaired on North Vancouver is called a stress bump. Extreme heat and heavy vehicle loads, such as the frequent bus service on North Vancouver, can soften asphalt and create bulges in pavement. Crews then have to cut and patch the area. Here’s a link to a story from 2009 about a similar problem on North Mississippi that includes an explanation from a former Maintenance Operations manager.
While PBOT does run a proactive pothole repair operation year-round, a stress bump at any particular location is not predictable, so we appreciate the public’s help in identifying these pavement problems. Our crews will respond as quickly as possible.
In general, the best number to call to report safety hazards or obstructions in the street and in bike lanes is our Dispatch line at 503-823-1700. Operators are on duty 24/7. The public can also report potholes to the hotline at 503-823-BUMP (2867) or use the City’s PDX Reporter mobile app.”
It’s great to see such swift action; but it would be even better if PBOT was more proactive in clearing these types of hazards — especially when they are present on very busy bikeways.