Today we suffered yet another right-hook collision on Broadway, a street has been plagued by right-hooks from downtown to the east side for many years. This morning’s collision was at the intersection with N. Ross which is just one block west of Wheeler, a street that was so right-hook prone former Mayor Sam Adams closed it to right turns two years ago.
In fact, just four months after Wheeler was closed we reported on a right-hook at the exact location of this morning’s collision. It has happened again and it will probably continue to happen until changes are made on Broadway.
Around 10:00 am this morning we heard from a reader who witnessed the collision. Here’s what Noel Mickelberry (who happens to be the executive director of Oregon Walks) shared with us via email:
“Just saw the aftermath of a right hook collision on Broadway and Ross. Person on bike was taken away in an ambulance but was able to walk… This stretch of Broadway is super dangerous (Oregon Walks office is across the street), as you know with the closure of Wheeler – is Ross now the new problem intersection? Red car in the photo is the one who hit the person on a bike – in the bike lane.”
We’ve checked in with the Portland Police to learn more details, but have yet to hear back. (Note that right turns are illegal only for trucks at this location.)
We also got a call this morning from Betsy Reese, a dedicated community safety advocate who used to own the Paramount Apartments one block away from the collision. “This is a problem we’ve been concerned about,” she said. Thankfully, because of Reese’s dogged persistence, the Oregon Department of Transportation is slated to make some safety improvements around this area; but so far there is no fix on the table that would address the right-hook potential on Ross and other intersections.
It’s extremely frustrating that after many years of knowing that right-hooks are a serious problem in Portland, thousands of people are being left at risk every single day on streets with inadequate bikeway designs.
For a city that says it cares about bicycle safety and “Vision Zero,” the inherently dangerous design of Broadway should no longer be tolerated. We don’t lack solutions, we lack the political will and sense of urgency to implement them.
I’m sick of writing these stories. Portlanders deserve better than this.