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Crunching numbers: A closer look at Portland’s road fatality rates

Crunching numbers: A closer look at Portland’s road fatality rates

1996-2015 Portland traffic fatalities

Portland traffic fatalities, 1996-2015

The past few weeks have been especially bad in terms of road fatalities in Portland. Within nine days between July 30th and August 8th we had four fatalities, which prompted me to run the numbers- so by the time you’re reading this, they have gone up.

For the year to date as of August 9, we’ve had 28 fatalities. I took PBOT’s fatality data and crunched some numbers:

Portland traffic fatalities, 1999-2015

Portland traffic fatalities, 1999-2015 with trendline

In the past 20 years our fatalities have ranged between 20 and 59 per year; the 59 in 1996 is an outlier (2.5 standard deviations away, in fact), and the following two years are high. From here on I’ll begin analysis at 1999, as the previous three years skew the trend terribly. So, since 1999 there has only been two years at or above 40: 2002 at 40 and 2003 at 47; the average fatalities are about 33 per year.

As of 8/8 we are 221 days into the year. That means we’re averaging nearly one fatality a week. To put it another way, we’re 60% of the way through 2016 and have 76% of last year’s fatalities; we also have 100% of the fatalities of 2014. If the current trend holds, based on the days remaining we’ll end up with about 46 fatalities, the second-deadliest since 1999.







Instead of assuming the rate is constant through the year and instead scale it by the rate of fatalities we had last year, we’re on track for 52 fatalities (last year, by 8/8, we had 20 of 37 fatalities).

While the trendline (linear regression) points down, it’s notable that we are above average in both 2015 and most likely again in 2016.

Histogram of fatalities, 1999-2015

Statistical footnote: I’m assuming a normal distribution of the data and generally using basic linear approximations. If you disagree, copy the spreadsheet and show your calculations. I can’t really make it easier to accommodate reanalysis than that. You’ll see that σ at 9 (and 6.3 post-1998) is fairly reasonable for the datapoints given. The R2 value of 0.06 for the post-1998 linear regression is surprisingly strong indeterminate.

Crunching these numbers is a grim task and it’s not our intent to stoke fear in anyone. But if we truly want to tackle Vision Zero we have to look in the mirror and be accountable for what we see.

Edit: on August 19, we had our 30th fatality. The lower bound of my estimate goes from 46.4 to 47.5.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

The post Crunching numbers: A closer look at Portland’s road fatality rates appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Wind topples tree onto woman as she bikes up Naito Parkway

Wind topples tree onto woman as she bikes up Naito Parkway

It’s windy out there. Very windy.

This afternoon there were reports of trees and branches falling all over the region. Before leaving the office for the day, Jonathan posted the following tweet:

Then, what he’d posted in jest actually happened to an unlucky woman riding downtown.

According to a Portland Police Bureau report, a woman who was biking in downtown Portland survived a tree falling on her in the bike lane. It happened just after 4 p.m., according to police. She received “traumatic but not life-threatening injuries.”

Check out a photo of the tree and the full PPB press release below the jump…

The Oregonian tweeted a photo of the tree…

And here’s more info on the woman who was hit by the tree via the PPB:

On Tuesday November 11, 2014, at 4:12 p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to Southwest Naito Parkway and Morrison Street on the report that a large tree fell onto the roadway and struck a passing cyclist and landed on an occupied vehicle.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the bicycle rider who was suffering from traumatic but not life-threatening injuries. She has been transported to a Portland hospital for treatment. Occupants of the vehicle were not injured by the falling tree.

Presently, both northbound lanes of Naito Parkway are blocked and only one southbound lane is open. No time estimate is available to have the road re-opened due to several reports of trees down in Portland.

Drivers should use alternate routes, such as Southwest 2nd Avenue for northbound and Southwest 3rd Avenue for southbound.

Did you ride in the wind tonight? How’d it go for you?

The post Wind topples tree onto woman as she bikes up Naito Parkway appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Carnage updates: Sun glare on 142nd, new crosswalks on SE 17th & more

Carnage updates: Sun glare on 142nd, new crosswalks on SE 17th & more

Should you be allowed to drive into this?
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As many people seemed to notice, last week was particularly thick with serious on-street collisions. We’re continuing to track relevant parts of several cases. Here’s the latest on four of them.

No criminal charge from SE Division and 148th: As KOIN reported yesterday, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office has declined to seek criminal penalties in the case of Neftali Cabrera-Escobar, 36, whose car struck and killed Brian Francis Kenny, 62, in April. The reason is that the DA determined that sun glare made it physically impossible for Cabrera-Escobar to have seen Kenny, and therefore that Cabrera-Escobar wouldn’t be found guilty of a crime.

He remains liable for civil penalties.

It may seem strange that it’s not illegal to drive a car at potentially fatal speed even when it’s physically impossible to see where you’re going. So we talked to Deputy District Attorney Kristen Snowden to discuss the law.

“In order for there to be charges in the case of serious physical injury or death, you have to have recklessness,” Snowden said. “When we typically file charges in connection with a case like that is when there’s alcohol or other intoxicants involved, or obviously when there’s very high speed … potentially even texting could rise to the level of gross negligence in certain circumstances. … In order to sustain a criminal charge, we have to prove that someone consciously disregarded an unjustifiable risk of serious injury or death.”

So what is and isn’t an “unjustifiable risk”? Snowden allows that there’s some room for interpretation, but said the only way to change practice in such situations would be to amend or add to Oregon’s laws governing manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Crosswalks coming to SE Milwaukie and 17th: Matthew Charles Casperson, 22, was still in critical condition Monday after being overtaken by a turning garbage truck as he rode across a wide crosswalk on his bike. ODOT and TriMet staff, however, say the intersection where he was injured will get a “substantial improvement for pedestrians and bicyclists” this November.

ODOT Transit and Active Transportation Liaison Jessica Horning contacted BikePortland Monday to spell out those planned changes, which will include pedestrian countdown timers for each crossing, “a new signal phasing so that the pedestrian crossing on McLoughlin no longer occurs at the same time as conflicting left turns from SE 17th Ave.” and crosswalks at all four crossings, instead of the three the intersection has now. (One of the four is currently marked as “closed” by a permanent barrier.)

You can see a sketch of the planned new paint markings here, and a diagram showing the new signalization plan (including the future light rail line along the northeast corner of the intersection) here.

Citation issued for Division and 122nd: Police issued a citation Monday to Hector Perez, 34, who collided with a van and suffered critical but not fatal injuries after heading on his bike through stopped traffic. Perez rolled in front of the van as it proceeded in Division’s left-turn lane, according to KOIN.

Benefit for Dave Collins: On a slightly happier note, co-workers of Dave Collins, who was injured last week while biking on Fremont, are organizing a benefit for his medical bills. “We will be meeting at Emmanuel Hospital at 4 p.m. to see Dave and then we’ll be leading a bike parade ride to the Lost & Found on North Gay,” writes Kyle Kautz, Collins’ colleague at PDX Pedicab. “There will be drink specials for Dave, and Brock from Adventure Galley will be spinning records.”

Get well soon, everyone.

Man severely hurt by collision with garbage truck on SE McLoughlin (updated)

Man severely hurt by collision with garbage truck on SE McLoughlin (updated)

The garbage truck that hit the man is at right.
(Photo courtesy Jason Lee.)

A man riding across a McLoughlin Boulevard crosswalk on his bike was “traumatically injured” Friday morning when a man in a garbage truck turned left on a green light and the two collided in the middle of the crosswalk, two witnesses said.

Police didn’t released the injured man’s name Friday, or any details of their own investigation.

Both the man in the truck and the man on the bike had been southbound on Southeast 17th Avenue at about 11 a.m. as they approached the intersection, witness Jason Lee said. The truck was making a left turn onto McLoughlin.

Lee, who spends most of the day on his feet as general manager for K&J Express Wash on the southeast corner, said the injured man was in his 20s and was not wearing a helmet when the flat-fronted garbage truck hit him on his right as it turned left across the crosswalk. The man’s head struck the windshield of the truck, which was moving at about 15 miles per hour, Lee estimated.

Men cross the 125-foot crosswalk where another man and a truck collided Friday morning.
(Photos: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

Carmen Liebing, manager at the AT&T store across 17th Avenue, confirmed Lee’s account.

McLoughlin, a state highway, divides the Sellwood and Moreland neighborhoods from the rest of the city. At 17th, it’s seven lanes wide, divided by a center median without a pedestrian safety island.

Lee said near-collisions occur at the intersection crosswalk several times each day, and predicted that more will take place after TriMet’s Orange Line brings more foot traffic to the area.

“The speed limit’s 45 here, which means people are going 60,” Lee said.

Jason Lee, who manages the auto service station at
SE McLoughlin and 17th, said the intersection is unsafe.

Standing in the gas station lot, Lee gestured to a woman who was waiting to cross the same intersection on foot.

“I would almost willing to bet you money that they’re going to cut her off,” Lee said. Sure enough, two cars turned left, several lanes in front of the woman, as she set out across the 125-foot crosswalk. “See, they don’t pay attention.”

It’s a harrowing street to cross on foot: though 30 seconds is enough time for most people to walk across McLoughlin, the “walk” light displays for only four seconds, followed by 26 seconds flashing “don’t walk,” with no countdown. Because someone crossing has no further indication of how long before the signal changes completely, it’s little wonder why someone crossing with a bike would be tempted to hurry.

Under Oregon law, a person is allowed to ride across a crosswalk using a bicycle but forfeits the right of way if the bike is moving faster than walking speed. Even if a person is moving at walking speed, vehicles are not required to yield to them as long as at least half a traffic lane separates them.

Lee, the witness, said he thinks McLoughlin should have a pedestrian bridge, like the one that crosses Powell Boulevard half a mile to the north.

The police investigation is ongoing. Whatever the details of this incident, however, there’s no question that McLoughlin is one of the worst places in town for people on bicycles. The street is difficult to avoid for people coming in or out of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood.

As a state highway, McLoughlin’s design is largely controlled by the Oregon Department of Transportation rather than the City of Portland; as a designated corridor for wide-load freight, it’s one of a handful of urban streets where wide-load freight access would be a higher priority than other uses under interpretation of a new state law whose public comment period closes Monday.

I’m sure it’s been depressing to read about this week’s awful run of bike-related injuries, and it’s depressing to write about them, too. It’s important to remember, of course, that even in a terrible week like this one, riding a bike (and driving a car) in Portland have been getting safer and safer. We write about the times when it isn’t because if everyone accepted traffic crashes as normal and inevitable, we’d be unlikely to take steps to further improve our streets for everyone.

This weekend will bring some happier bike-related news, I promise. Let’s work together to make sure that future weeks will be happier, too.

Update 7/16: Police have identified the injured man as Matthew Charles Casperson, 22, and ODOT and TriMet have shared their plans for improving this intersection.

As hit-and-run victim leaves coma, suspect remains on the loose

As hit-and-run victim leaves coma, suspect remains on the loose

Mike Cooley, shown here ready to head out on his
daily bike commute, may never walk again.
The man who drove his truck into him
is still on the loose.
(Photos courtesy Lisa Cooley)

Update, July 5: The Cooleys have set up a fund for those wishing to support Mike’s recovery. See below for details.

Two weeks after a white Ford pickup reportedly hit him from behind at 60 mph, postal driver Mike Cooley is still in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and the person whose actions nearly killed him is still at large.

The crash took place June 15th on North Interstate Avenue near Greeley. Police have distributed photos of the truck that may have hit Cooley, with little results so far.

“There’s only been one tip, and it was completely bogus,” said Cooley’s wife, Lori Cooley, in an interview with BikePortland yesterday.

Lori and Mike Cooley.

About five days ago, Lori Cooley said, her 59-year-old husband regained consciousness. He can now make efforts to speak, but he remains without sensation in his legs.

“They’re telling me he has a five percent chance of walking,” Lori Cooley said. “I’m trying not to believe that.”

Mike Cooley, a 15-year bike commuter who also builds bikes as a hobby, was pedaling a narrow, northbound stretch of Interstate at 11:30 p.m., up the hill when a white Ford pickup that witnesses said was “driving erratically” hit him from behind, sending him flying through the air, crushing all but three of his ribs and completely crushing two vertebrae.

“He doesn’t remember anything, which is good,” Cooley said of her husband.

It’s been a frightening two weeks for Cooley, who said she has a life-threatening illness herself.

“Mike’s always the one to take care of me, and now he’s sick,” she said. “We’ve got to find the guy that did this, and hopefully he’ll have insurance that’ll help. His car was really in good shape, so we’re hoping he had insurance on it. But you never know.”

(Note: police haven’t made any statements about the gender of the driver.)

Though he remains on a ventilator and is “still very confused” much of the time, Cooley said her husband has been repeating one message for media.

“He keeps trying to talk and he keeps saying tell people to wear helmets,” Cooley said. “The helmet saved his life, no question.”

Mike worked at the downtown post office and had been commuting by bike for 15 years.

Here’s the police’s description of the truck they suspect of hitting Mike Cooley:

A white 1993-1997 Ford F350 Crewcab pickup. The truck is believed to have two chrome step-up bars, at least on the driver’s side, and damage to the right front headlight area.

There’s a $1,000 cash reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.

If you know anything, please leave a tip at CrimeStoppers online, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call (503) 823-HELP (4357).

Update: Lori Cooley writes to add that you can support the family’s “horrific” medical expenses by donating in Mike Cooley’s name by visiting or calling any U.S. Bank branch. “I’m disabled as well and have virtually no income and absolutely cannot work on any level,” she writes. “Therefore, we are desperate for money. Anything would help. It is very awkward to even bring it up, but I know the people of Portland care and donate when they can. I myself have donated to many of these kinds of funds. If we all cared a little less about ourselves and a lot more about others, the world would be a gentler and more serene place.”

Photos of the truck suspected in the crash are below.

Keep your eyes peeled for a truck like this with front-end damage.

Read More Read More

Driver in Interstate Avenue crash cited on two violations

Driver in Interstate Avenue crash cited on two violations

Curtis Crothers crash aftermath

The aftermath of last week’s crash on North Interstate
Avenue. Photo by Neighborhood Notes.

The driver of a pickup truck whose illegal right turn led to a bike/truck crash last Wednesday has been cited for two traffic violations typically associated with $695 in fines, Portland police said Tuesday.

The man whose bicycle hit the side of the truck, meanwhile, remains in the hospital but continues to recover from eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and other injuries.

Here’s what police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson wrote in an email, confirming the summary of the commuter on the bike, Curtis Crothers:

The vehicle was southbound on Interstate and made an illegal right turn onto Greeley Avenue. Sign posted “No Right Turn.” Bicycle rider was coming downhill on Interstate in the bike lane and was unable to stop in time and was hit by the car making the illegal right. Rider was injured but not traumatic injuries. Car driver was not impaired. Cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device and Careless Driving.

Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device is a Class B traffic violation, which carries a “presumptive fine” of $260. Careless Driving, when it leads to a crash, is a Class A violation, which carries a presumptive fine of $435. If a judge finds that Careless Driving led to “serious physical injury,” he or she can also assign a driver to complete a traffic safety course or 100 to 200 hours of traffic-safety-related community service. The largest legally allowable penalty for the two violations would be $3,000. Participants in the crash may also be subject to civil liability.

Meanwhile, the crash has reactivated conversations in city government about improving the difficult intersection, which has been modified after other crashes on the same site, and lent urgency to efforts to improve and open the privately owned Cement Road to public traffic.

Swan Island TMA Director Sarah Angell said Tuesday that she’d met that day with the chief of staff to newly named Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and other city officials about transportation issues in the area.

A safe connection over the private road could theoretically connect North Tillamook Street directly to Swan Island, letting more riders bypass the troubled spot and extending the North Portland Greenway trail near the waterfront rather than sending it up the side of Greeley Avenue. The land is owned by Union Pacific Railroad, which operates trains alongside the pathway.

Man severely injured after bike/pickup crash on Interstate Avenue

Man severely injured after bike/pickup crash on Interstate Avenue

Curtis Crothers

Daimler Trucks engineer Curtis
Crothers, who suffered extensive
injuries from a crash on
Interstate Avenue Wednesday.

An engineer biking home from his job on Swan Island was severely injured by colliding with a pickup truck after its driver allegedly made an illegal 135-degree turn onto Greeley Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

Curtis Crothers, 53, was in good condition at Legacy Emanuel hospital Friday after suffering eight broken ribs, a broken scapula, a punctured lung, internal bleeding, a dislocated shoulder and 24 hours in intensive care.

Crothers is a regular bike commuter to Daimler Trucks North America, which employs 3,000 workers in the North Portland industrial park. The bike commuting route to Swan Island has been subject to controversy; many of the area’s hundreds of bike commuters avoid the area where Crothers was hit by illegally using the Ash Grove Cement Road, a private path owned by Union Pacific Railroad.

Crothers, however, had stopped using the Cement Road after concluding it was itself unsafe due to train tracks that curve across it and after a run-in with railroad security.

“He was busted some months ago by Union Pacific police,” Swan Island TMA Director Sarah Angell, a transportation advocate and friend of Crothers, said Friday. “So he laid off of it.”

Crothers said he was injured at about 5 p.m. Wednesday after the driver of a pickup truck, headed southeast on Interstate Avenue, made an illegal right turn into the northbound lane of Greeley. Crothers, who was riding southeast in Interstate Avenue’s downhill bike lane, collided with the side of the pickup as it turned.

Curtis Crothers crash aftermath

The aftermath of a crash that injured Curtis Crothers.
(Photo by Ken Aaron of Neighborhood Notes.)

“I hit it doing maybe 35 mph,” Crothers said. “As far as I know, I didn’t a mirror, I didn’t hit glass and I didn’t hit a door handle.”

In 2007, Brett Jarolimek was killed at the same intersection after his bicycle collided with a right-turning truck. After that crash, the city installed a concrete barrier and prohibited right turns from Interstate onto Greeley in an attempt to block right turns such as the one that injured Crothers.

Portland police haven’t yet responded to a Wednesday night request for information about the latest crash.

Angell said she doesn’t think either road should be striped with bike lanes at all.

“When I make trip plans, I go to great lengths to not send people down Greeley or Interstate,” she said. “They should not have bike lanes on them. It makes me furious – it’s just not safe … Proximity to traffic is too close.”

Angell, who visited Crothers in the hospital Friday, said the injury of a seasoned commuter like Crothers shows the need for safer north-south access to Swan Island.

“He wasn’t going excessively fast, he was following the rules, etc.,” Angell wrote in an email after her conversation with Crothers.

Angell’s colleague Lenny Anderson, director of the Swan Island Business Association, went further.

“We need to remove the bike lane there down the hill on Interstate s-bound and put in sharrows, and get moving on the Ash Grove Cement Road,” Anderson wrote. “If Curtis had taken the lane (illegally), we would be doing just fine at work today. To all those auto-butts out there bitching about bikers breaking the rules, I say ‘F*** you! and your rules!'”

Speaking from the hospital, Crothers said he’s “not a transportation person” and was taking “the route I feel most comfortable with” – avoiding both Greeley and the current cement road by taking Going Street to Interstate Avenue, then heading south on Interstate toward the Rose Quarter and his Woodstock home.

“I think it’s a logistical nightmare to have a very safe route for everybody,” Crothers said.

Crashes on Sam Jackson Park Road underscore ice dangers

Crashes on Sam Jackson Park Road underscore ice dangers

A Portland Fire & Rescue truck slid on ice
on Sam Jackson Park Road yesterday.
(Photo: PF&R)

A man crashed while bicycling downhill on SW Sam Jackson Park Road yesterday. Then, when Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the crash, their fire truck slid on the ice and smashed into a guard rail.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, the crash happened during yesterday’s morning commute. When they arrived, the man who crashed his bike was up and walking around. Here’s more from PF&R about the conditions that led to the crashes:

“The ice was reportedly caused when the drainage along the side of the road became blocked with leaves. This caused water to flow over the roadway and subsequently the cold weather created ice.”

Sam Jackson Park Road is a narrow and windy road that leads directly up to the hospitals and campus buildings of Oregon Health & Science University. Anyone that’s ridden it knows the road is prone to getting wet from runoff in the heavily wooded areas around it. When temps drop, that water turns into ice.

A reader that emailed us yesterday about this crash feels people on bikes should avoid using this road both for ice and other reasons:

“… Cyclists really should avoid this road both up and downhill. Ambulances use it as the primary route to the emergency room and cars swing wide around the corners so a downhill cyclist runs a pretty high risk of getting struck head-on. I know I won’t be using this route any more myself.”

John Landolfe, the transportation options coordinator at OHSU, says they put out an alert to bike program members about the conditions on Sam Jackson. As a detour, he recommends using SW Terwilliger and the Aerial Tram. “Sam Jackson Park Road is just too steep, narrow, and shaded for two wheels in freezing temperatures,” says Landolfe.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured in the incidents yesterday; but they are an important reminder that chilly temps lead to slippery, icy roads and that you should avoid riding on Sam Jackson Park Road during freezing weather.

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Crashes on Sam Jackson Park Road underscore ice dangers

Crashes on Sam Jackson Park Road underscore ice dangers

A Portland Fire & Rescue truck slid on ice
on Sam Jackson Park Road yesterday.
(Photo: PF&R)

A man crashed while bicycling downhill on SW Sam Jackson Park Road yesterday. Then, when Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the crash, their fire truck slid on the ice and smashed into a guard rail.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, the crash happened during yesterday’s morning commute. When they arrived, the man who crashed his bike was up and walking around. Here’s more from PF&R about the conditions that led to the crashes:

“The ice was reportedly caused when the drainage along the side of the road became blocked with leaves. This caused water to flow over the roadway and subsequently the cold weather created ice.”

Sam Jackson Park Road is a narrow and windy road that leads directly up to the hospitals and campus buildings of Oregon Health & Science University. Anyone that’s ridden it knows the road is prone to getting wet from runoff in the heavily wooded areas around it. When temps drop, that water turns into ice.

A reader that emailed us yesterday about this crash feels people on bikes should avoid using this road both for ice and other reasons:

“… Cyclists really should avoid this road both up and downhill. Ambulances use it as the primary route to the emergency room and cars swing wide around the corners so a downhill cyclist runs a pretty high risk of getting struck head-on. I know I won’t be using this route any more myself.”

John Landolfe, the transportation options coordinator at OHSU, says they put out an alert to bike program members about the conditions on Sam Jackson. As a detour, he recommends using SW Terwilliger and the Aerial Tram. “Sam Jackson Park Road is just too steep, narrow, and shaded for two wheels in freezing temperatures,” says Landolfe.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured in the incidents yesterday; but they are an important reminder that chilly temps lead to slippery, icy roads and that you should avoid riding on Sam Jackson Park Road during freezing weather.

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Man suffers serious injuries in crash after hitting bumps on N Vancouver

Man suffers serious injuries in crash after hitting bumps on N Vancouver

Scene of this morning’s crash.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning just before 8:00 am, a man crashed and fell off of his bicycle while riding south on N. Vancouver Avenue just north of Broadway.

The man was taken away in an ambulance and I have yet to hear official word about his condition. What I do know is that a woman who saw the aftermath said the man was, “hurt badly.” I spoke to a witness at the scene shortly after the roadway was cleared who watched the entire thing unfold (he was standing on the corner when it happen). The witness said the man on the bike was coming down Vancouver as it approaches Broadway when his front wheel rolled over a large and long lump in the road. The bike bobbled, the witness claims, and then the man crashed on Broadway just a few feet south of the tip of the median island that separates Vancouver from the I-5 off-ramp. The witness said the man didn’t move for several minutes and was convulsing before EMTs arrived on the scene.

While it’s hard to say what role the rider played in his crash (he was apparently speeding up to make a green light), the lump in the road is significant. Below are some photos of the lump I took a few minutes ago…

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-3


Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-4

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-2

Lumps on N Vancouver at Broadway-5

I hope PBOT sends a crew out immediately to warn road users of these bumps (bright spray paint would help) and then follows up by smoothing them out as soon as possible. As we learned from a 2010 study performed by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, “injury prevention should focus on improving the safety of the bicycle commuting environment.” That study found that about 20% of frequent bike commuters experienced an injury while biking over the course of a year. The key takeaway from that study is that cities need to prioritize the quality of bikeways (keeping them free of hazards), not just the quantity.

Bumps, lumps, streetcar tracks, potholes, debris, gravel and cracks are barely noticeable in a car; but on a bike they test riders’ tolerance. And, as we have unfortunately seen this morning, they can also lead to serious crashes.

Let’s hope this guy makes a full recovery and gets back on his bike soon.