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Another Bike Fatality...

what are we going to do?
Another cyclist was killed today, another hit and run. Here's the link to more information...


This is getting out of hand 06.Sep.2005 17:00


Someone in Portland's political leadership needs to stand up and do something for bicyclist rights. Where is the mayor and city council on this? You can bet if the downtown business community was upset, Potter would be squeeling like a pig about dangerous cars.

I'm sick of this shit. I gave up my car to do what I believe is right, and these yahoos from gresham drive around our town in thier big trucks and act like I'm the one who doesn't belong on their road. I pay property and income tax for roads that I don't even use, and the city can't be bothered to save the lives of bikers. All they want to do is site statistics and claim that it's not that unsafe.

We need a comprehensive pro-bike reengineering of the city's transportation system. For god sakes, the streets are a grid and all go the same direction, why can't we close down every fifth street (north-south, and east-west) to cars and make them bike and pedestrian only. This would be easy to do, all we need are traffic blockers that let bikes through (like se ankeny and 20th) and signs that say "resident vehicles only" I'm sure that the taxes paid by all the bikers in town could easily cover this, instead of subsidizing wasteful traffic.


eyes wide open 06.Sep.2005 21:08


While reading your link, I noticed the following--"Christopher Burris, 21, was northbound about 2 a.m. Saturday on Portland's Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard when a car hit him from behind and left. The bicyclist died at the scene."

I live on mlk, I walk down it every single day, and usually I ride my bike elsewhere. Why?
Because not one day goes by where I don't see an accident or a near accident.
Just today for example, on the corner of Broadway and MLK, I saw two teenage boys decide to cross the street against the light. One cleared the road before traffic started moving, but his friend was nearly hit. The funny thing is, I don't think the kid on the bike had a clue that he was nearly run down...

Usually though, what I see is motorists not paying attention to bikes in the bike lane. Or making turns on red without watching for bicyclists or pedestrians who have the right of way in the crosswalk. yep. Every day I see this same shit. Over and over and over.

While outraged by what I see, I'm past the point of assigning blame though. I have just come to the conclusion that people in Portland, for whatever reason, can't drive for shit and it doesn't get 'em down a bit. Seriously, I've seen better driving in New York City. Yep, people in cars here would much rather focus their attention on cellphones, gleefully turn without looking, and senselessly pull out in front of moving traffic whether or not it really is a good idea. I think the pursuit of consistently bad driving is a way of life for the majority of car owners in portland, and unfortunately observation bears this out. (These aren't Washington plates I'm seeing folks).

The real problem though as I see it is not so much rudeness, but that nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. The most outrageous incidents are perpetuated by hit and run drivers, the lowest form of scum on earth. You just ran some poor guy over and you're going to drive off like it never happened? gross. Likewise, the vacant forms of life behind the wheels of vehicles all over America with their cellphones glued to their ears.

About the only way to stay safe on the streets is to realize is that the bad drivers of portland are indeed out to get you. Due to the miracle of sheer incompetence, people can and will run you down on the streets. Keep your eyes wide open when you are out on the street. You must be watching them, because I guarantee they aren't watching you.

Critical Mass here I come.... 07.Sep.2005 11:08


i haven't been on Critical Mass in a long time. I'm going this month. This is fucked. Time to make a fuss.

Sharrows are on the way 07.Sep.2005 11:47

Purple Punk

It's not enough, but city government is doing something and it is good news. I am sick and tired of being told to get into a bike lane next to parked cars whose drivers open doors without even looking. I am sick and tired of street sweepers brushing glass, gravel, and assorted pointy stuff into bike lanes. I am sick and tired of vehicles parking in the bike lane on busy streets. Tired of drivers turning in front of me as though I don't exist or shouldn't have the right of way. Tired of drivers crossing bike lanes without even looking for bikes. Tired of those dotted lines where cars are about to turn right and bikes shift a lane to the left (wouldn't it be safer to have the bike lane stay snug against the curb and then cars would cross the lane roughly perpendicular as opposed to easing into it over a much longer distance?).


the fun 07.Sep.2005 12:17


well I have found, have I, an aisle; yes it is so close to the rear view mirrors of parked cars I can crack my elbows on them as i go by hmmmm and then the cars coming by on my left yes if I'm lucky they won't notice me until they are close enough to give me that good scare they enjoy so much inside there those cars I mean I mean those mean cars and all that amazing car pooling they have learned to do ONE person and what? a pool of blood?

We LOVE YOU CHRIS 07.Sep.2005 12:29

Dandelion and the RYC

I'm holding back the tears about this incident while I write. We loved you Chris, we still love you Chris. we just found out last night, and we can't believe that such a beautiful soul is gone to the world. Your smile still makes my world light up, everytime I think about it, I think about the love you spread! I'll miss your bio diesel talks, your dumpster dove meals, Ape, Nero. Oi buddy! If we could drive out there for your wake, we'd be there!


A Critical Mass should be being organized as we speak. It is in the works. Please ride for our friend, because we can't make it!

In solidarity Chris!

Crappy drivers on cloud 9, giant SUVs, etc. 07.Sep.2005 12:44


I bike alot myself instead of drive in Portland. The poster above is absolutely right: Portland drivers seem like they are on Xanax or heroin the way they drive, all dopey and sloppy, just plain oblivious and not giving a shit what happens. There's no sharpness or edge to their driving, like back east. The solution for myself to this problem is this: I don't assume ANYBODY will obey traffic laws. That is to say for example, like at a stop light when it turns green I don't just start peddling across the intersection; instead I carefulyl look all around me to make super-sure there are no idiots trying to run the light or plow into me because they are yapping on the cell phone and don't see me. I don't assume drivers will stay out of bike lanes, and if traffic gets too busy I get off the road and go onto the sidewalk! I know it sounds wimpy to do this, but we are dealing with giant SUVs (with televisions on in them fer chrissakes!), semis, drunks, druggies, and old farts who definitely should be taking a cab instead of driving. It is really dangerous to be biking in the city and every precaution should be taken at all times. Also I don't rush. Rushing causes accidents. That is the key to survival in my opinion. I always basically err on the side of caution rather than riding in/amongst heavy traffic, and take a sidewalk, walk the bike across the super-busy intersection, and find less busy side streets to take. Also I think a rear view mirror is a MUST! You MUST know what is coming up behind you and be prepared to take evasive action. Your body is on the line out there. If you fuck up you could be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life!

I don't trust or have any faith in any drivers out there. Heck, read the current Willamette Week with the lady in a body cast on the cover. Good luck and happy riding!


less talk, more action 07.Sep.2005 14:11


There is a meeting tonight of Shift to Bikes, the local "bike fun" organization, and while cyclist deaths are never "fun", we embrace action when it educates motorists and empowers cyclists. At the meeting, there is bound to be some discussion of how to respond to recent deaths, along with the main topic which is how we'll make Portland the first "platinum" rated city for cycling. Safe riding strategies and motorist education would be a big part of that goal.

Much discussion happening on the mail list:

Our website, we just turned three this month:

The meeting:
Wednesday, Sept 7th
Urban Grind Coffee
2214 NE Oregon

help with some bike safety projects? 07.Sep.2005 14:16


Some projects planned for the following weeks:
- Get a lot of footage of dangerous intersections (illustrating how poorly motorists are following traffic laws) to bring up to City Council, the PPD, and "the media"... also possibly for use in a public service announcement such as TV spots. YES, I REALIZE A LOT OF CYCLISTS don't obey the laws either (lest that become a whole new thread here), but generally people are not going to die from a cyclist blowing through a light.
- Set up "ghost bike" memorials at locations where cyclists were killed. Info on the Ghost Bike concept here:
- Guerrilla education campaigns, such as holding signs downtown at rush times.

Would anyone like to help with these? Have any ideas for public education campaigns? There was a recent meeting at SE Uplift to dicsuss these and more, quite a few people were really fired up and ready to take action. Some people are already involved but we could use more help and resources. Either get on the Shift email list:


or send an email to this temporary address:

bikefun2005 [at] riseup [dot] net

This has got to end 07.Sep.2005 14:17


Mayor Potter:

In the immortal words of your colleague the mayor of New Orleans "...get off your asses and do something..." Portland is a cycling community "...this is unnacceptable..." DO SOMETHING NOW!!!!

some cyclists are interested in attending the funeral 07.Sep.2005 16:57


Some cyclists are interested in showing support at Chris's funeral, so if it is open to "the public" then I hope that a friend or family member will post details here or write to:
bikefun2005 [at] riseup [dot] net

Would the family of Chris be supportive of a memorial at the site? Some ideas are in the works for the recent victims.

BilBo 07.Sep.2005 17:07

Purple Punk


Isn't this something? I mean, this isn't New Orleans, where the solutions to the hurricane disaster were and are obvious. This is Portland, which is rated as a very bicycle-friendly city.

Rather than yelling for Potter to do something (by the way, I'm not sure he reads Indymedia), why not come up with innovative solutions and tell him _what_ to do? Personally, I think that sharrows are a good idea. Unlike bike lanes, cars will continually drive over the sharrows. IMO, that puts us cyclists more in a driver's mind than do bike lanes. That reminds the driver to be more careful. Careful driving will cut down on the number of cyclist deaths. And that's something.

If a person wants more pavement dedicated to bicycles, then wait until gas hits 5 dollars a gallon. With fewer cars on the road, it becomes more politically expedient allocate space to 'cycles.

Captain Planet! 07.Sep.2005 17:39


If I remember correctly the wake is at his parents place, and I think that it is closed to the public actually, but i may be wrong.

BUT Chris's best friend is making a memorial for him, it should be up now as we speak. He would be all for a memorial at the site, and want's to organize a critical mass in his memory. But their not from Portland, their from Eugene, so I don't know where the CM is at the moment. I will write them, and let them know that they have your support.

Chris would love to see thousands take to the street not only to remember him, but to show the world that bikes are a liable, and enviro friendly form of transport. Bikes where one of the biggest parts of his life.

i'll be back

the suspected killer of the cyclist on 99W has been apprehended 08.Sep.2005 15:43


 link to www.oregonlive.com

State police arrest man in bicyclists' death
OREGON CITY - A tip from an Oregon City resident led to the arrest early Wednesday of a Vancouver man in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist.

Christopher Lee Amick, who formerly lived in Canby, was arrested on accusations of manslaughter and felony hit and run in the death of a 59-year old Portland man, Oregon State Police reported. The victim's name is being withheld until family are told of his death.

An Oregon City resident reported a red 1996 Nissan pickup with right front and windshield damage parked on South Finnegans Way in Oregon City, about three miles from the crash scene.

Investigators responded and seized the pickup.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone who may have seen a red Nissan pickup Monday night on Oregon 99E is asked to contact Oregon State Police Sergeant Eric Altman at 503-731-3020.

State Police found the injured man on the ground along Oregon 99E about four miles south of Oregon City at 7:16 p.m. Monday, after a report from a nearby resident.

The bicyclist died of injuries later that night at OHSU Hospital.

Tomorrow Front Page Oregonian 21.Sep.2005 12:41


This was a forwarded email from the Shift list...send him a comment or 2..


Hello everyone,
This year's bike fatalities and collisions(not to mention the fact that
my 11-year-old daughter was nearly hit by a car this morning during our
ride to Da Vinci Middle School has) has prompted me to write about
Portland's new Ghost Bike project. It looks like the first one has gone
up at MLK and Wygant. Would any of you be willing to share your thoughts
on the need for these types of memorials/reminders in Portland? The
story is aimed for Thursday's front page.

Joseph Rose
The Oregonian
Crime & Justice Writer
1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR, 97201

Chris / Ghost Bikes / and more 28.Oct.2005 18:12

Chakra Lu (Chris's partner and dear friend) chakra_lu@yahoo.com

We all appreciate the support that has been given. Jesse (his Ape bandmate) and I, with a couple of other friends put up a ghost bike for him. His oldest brother and I are doing ghost bikes...if you want to get involved with more memorials go to ghostcyclepdx.org and you can email the contact just below the picture. We are working on the ones who died first and then try to put something up for the ones struck by a car.
A critical mass would be great, and i would have liked to have organized one for him, but i have been having a hell of a time dealing with this since he saved me and my daughter...it just still doesn't make sense...perhaps a critical mass can be put together soon...i had thought maybe block the ENTIRE MLK area, massers on both sides going in a circle to take over that entire block, or atleast where he got hit in the half block at the pedestrian crosswalk...
be safe...be aware - cuz those shitheads in the metal aren't watching for anyone but their beers and cell phones!
chakra lu