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Bicycle rider hit by an SUV at 34th and Belmont at about 6:45

I don't think he even slowed down before hitting her. I was across the street and heard her scream. I know she was hit hard because I saw her flying and tumbling head over heels in air before she landed still on Belmont.
Sad to see. I hope she lives.

I'd like to see some urban thorooughfares (like Belmont) closed to cars. I know it is an convenience to drivers. But, it is time to break some eggs. Cars are just a bad habit.

Anybody else want to pick a target street and shut it down to cars? Fight for it in a protracted way?

Not an SUV 09.Sep.2006 20:29

fact checker

The driver, a young white male, is in police custody. He was driving an early model 4 door red Toyota Camry with Oregon tags, speeding westbound on Belmont. Eyewitness said he blew through a 3 second red light around 45-50mph and the cyclist was traveling south saw him before she was hit. The bike sustained little damage (very good frame) but the rider was not wearing a helmet and latest reports by police were not very optimistic on her condition - they would not release her name. Another eyewitness who ran to her aid said she was not conscious and had severe head injuries. Others saw her combative on the stretcher as paramedics took her on the ambulance. PLEASE riders, lets wear our helmets. It doesn't matter how safe you ride, cars can kill. Let's all pray for her survival.

Cops still on scene. 09.Sep.2006 20:58

witness

Thank you fact checker, you are correct. I was mistaken, it was not an SUV.

The area is now roped off with yellow tape and lit up. Belmont is still shut down. The cops appear to be treating it as a crime scene. I just saw cops taking photographs of the vehicle (parked down the street toward the entrance to zupans) and, it appears, of skid marks at the intersection.

Crazy driver on Wednesday, too 09.Sep.2006 21:37

jennifer

On Wednesday night, myself and some friends were crossing 34th at Belmont and a car came flying around the bend, making a right onto 34th from Belmont, going south. They came within a foot of smashing several parked cars, and had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting a woman crossing the street. You would think they would have slowed down after that, but they then sped up quickly, again having to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting a car making a left onto 34th from Yamhill. That car's driver, probably scared shitless, pulled over and let them pass. Again, they slammed on the gas and sped down the street.

Although this may not have anything to do with what happened tonight, it's another reminder that anything can happen at any time. It seems like this region, especially, it pretty dangerous. Yes, and PLEASE wear a helmet. I can't believe how many bikers I see riding at night with no lights or helmet. As as this incident illustrates, even during the day anything can happen. Helmets may be uncomfortable on a hot day, but it's really a neccessity.

Drinking driver? 09.Sep.2006 23:25

gk

I suspect the driver was intoxicated. Alcohol is such a social thing and people drink too much (without knowing it), and then drive. Please stop drinking and driving! I am so sorry for the bicyclist.

The Corp. Media Says... 10.Sep.2006 00:22

Phil

Pretty much what was said here. A bit more about the driver; the Police didn't say he was intoxicated, which they usually do if the driver was. He said he didn't see the light because the sun was setting behind it, which I would usually call total BS on except that yesterday while sitting at a light with the sun setting behind it I couldn't tell if it was red or green. Luckily I was making a right so it dodn't matter, but still, it is plausable. Anyway, the cops said they would not be pressing charges tonight because of the sun in eyes story, but there will be an investigation. And Belmont is now open again.

photos 10.Sep.2006 01:02

fact checker

wish this hadn't happened... Police led driver away on foot - his car was towed. Y'know if you can't see whether the light is green or red - SLOW THE FUCK DOWN! According to the eyewitnesses I spoke with, he was speeding. There's no excuse for that on a busy street at sunset. None. If you can't see traffic signals or signs, you should be crawling through intersections. There's no excuse for this recklessness. I hope to god she's pulled through.
above the scene
above the scene
'major crash' photographer
'major crash' photographer
bike where it landed
bike where it landed

deranged sociopath 10.Sep.2006 01:48

GB

The driver was either a total mental incompetent or deranged sociopath, or both. This intersection is narrow, especially with parked cars, and, at that hour, frantically busy with pedestrian and other activities. Anyone driving at such velocities in such a place is either mentally incapacitated, or deliberately looking to kill someone, or posseses an absolute and total disregard for human life. The public direly needs to protect itself from an individual like this.

the driver 10.Sep.2006 01:50

should have been charged

with a minimum of assault with a deadly weapon even if he claimed the sun was in his eyes, meaning he admits he couldn't see and was not driving a cautious speed - hopefully it won't turn into a manslaughter charge

Westwood Village, Los Angeles 10.Sep.2006 09:45

ne1

In some busy pedestrian areas, after repeated incidents of mayhem by deranged motorists, cities have opted to close down intersections and whole blocks to motorized traffic, between Friday and Saturday nights, weekly, for example. This might be a workable option for the stretch of Belmont in question, provided motorists had a place to park vehicles off site and walk into the area. There is the large parking lot at the Walgreens down the street, for example. Businesses such as bars and restaurants, who might be expected to oppose vehicular traffic restrictions, might actually be huge beneficiaries of a plan like this, as intermittent pedestrian malls have often proven hugely popular with both tourists and locals elsewhere.

Shut down some streets 10.Sep.2006 10:25

It's time

It's time to think about the original posters idea. Shut down some streets. I was in Eugene in 1970 when we took over 13th Street through the U of O campus, because it was dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists. About 300 to 400 of us erected barriers to keep cars out. We won. 13th Street is still closed down through campus. Non-violent guerilla action in closing some streets would bring attention to the issue at least.

NEW DISCUSSION GROUP: how to reduce dangerous driving 10.Sep.2006 13:49

CaptainPlanet

There is a new email list group just for the purpose of creating change in this area (dangerous motorists), it was started after Mike Wilberding was killed in Beaverton by a driver who said "the sun was in his eyes" and turned into Mike who at the time was riding in a bike lane. This was about the third time at least that in the Portland area a cyclist has died totally because of the carelessness of a motorist.

The list is here, please join in if you want to do something about dangerous drivers:
 http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/trafficsafety

IMPORTANT: this is an action-oriented discussion group, focusing on what can be done about dangerous motor-vehicle driving. Please join only if you intend to dedicate some time to action that can reduce deaths from motor vehicles and can work well with others.

We've had some great discussion on the list, which has grown to over 100 subscribers in just a few weeks. Also, I just discovered there is a new effort to change public perception about driving and reduce traffic collisions, it is called The Traffic Justice Institute:
 http://www.bikewalk.org/conference/tji.html

opportunity to get together with cyclists to talk about this: Shift Picnic 10.Sep.2006 14:01

CaptainPlanet

Oh, also the birthday picnic for the bike-fun group Shift to Bikes is happening... right about now, from 2-9P on Sunday. Show up with some food and we can talk about stuff like how to get more people on bikes and how to make streets less dangerous. The Carfree Day Street Fair is coming up soon (Sept. 22-24) and we have been doing a lot of discussing about car-free streets, and methods for calming traffic.

More info here:
 http://www.shift2bikes.org/index.shtml

Also I meant to write in the last post "the third time at least this summer that in the Portland area..." rather than "the third time at least that in the Portland area..." I'm sure there have been a lot more than three deaths of cyclists because of careless drivers in the history of Portland.

Closing streets is a start. 10.Sep.2006 22:26

exile portlander_in_exile@yahoo.com

They've had the the streets to themselves for long enough. Bicycles have been forced onto shoulders, honked at, and even had objects thrown at them for years. Our experience of being marginalized should come to an end. I think closing parking lots should also be on the agenda. If driving a car was inconvenient enough, people would look for alternatives.


we need to open up a fund for victims of wreckless drivers 23.Sep.2006 18:09

exbiker ee@freeshell.org

Is there any word on her condition. This is totally saddening.

This trend of disregard for life and ADD type driving must be brought to a stop. I'd say this is the number one problem portland is facing.

Speeding or not driving way below the speed limit is an act of wrecklessness that should be prosecuted to the full extent. What the portland police did here was absolutely absolutely wrong. Just because this is a car based society it doesn't mean we should go easy on each other. We should accept no less than safe driving and accept our responsibility if we choose to break from that promise.

If there's any thing the community can do, in terms of time or financial aid, to this victim and to the serious biking community (i.e., those that ride responsibly, not on sidewalks or going the wrong way without lights to embarrass the rest of us bikers) at large, please post some information.

Let's hope she makes it.

[edit for above] 23.Sep.2006 18:32

exbiker

Sorry, I meant speeding under conditions of poor visibility.

"Speeding or not driving way below the speed limit is an act of wrecklessness that should be prosecuted to the full extent." should mean"

Speeding or not driving way below the speed limit in conditions of poor visibility is an act of wrecklessness that should be prosecuted to the full extent.