No Criminal Charge or Ticket for Driver In Fatal Crash With Kathryn Rickson

Comments

1
I FEEL BAD FOR THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF THIS PERSON, BUT THE FAULT OF THIS COLLISION LIES CLEARLY WITH RICKSON. THE DRIVER OF THE TRUCK SIGNALED THEIR TURN AND WAS IN THE INTERSECTION WHEN THE CYCLIST HIT THEM. IF THE CYCLIST HAD BEEN RIDING IN A SAFE MANNER, THIS WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED. WHAT MORE CAN YOU EXPECT OF THE CITY OR DRIVERS WHEN CYCLISTS AREN'T DOING THEIR PART TO MAKE THE STREETS SAFER?
2
I think you’re making some assumptions here, Mirk. Mainly, “Rickson was unlucky. She was doing what thousands of Portlanders do every day—biking safely on a "bike-friendly" street in the center of town.” – I read this story and think there’s two possible conclusions, either A) this was a total accident and no one was at fault, or B) Rickson was at fault.

So, I guess I’m really curious how you made those assumptions that make “B” not true. I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way to the Rickson family, but I very regularly see bikers doing unsafe things on the road. In fact, yesterday, I was nearly hit by a bike while walking on the sidewalk.
3
This is not a very high standard - the high standards are intentionally and knowingly
4
It was an awful tragedy, that is true. Luck has nothing to do with it.

I feel terrible for the family of the poor lady. I hope they are able to find peace. I am sorry.

Truck driver is probably going to feel shitty for the rest of his life. I think that is punishment enough for what seems, by all accounts, to have been an accident.

This blog post seems to indict the driver somehow, as though he was let off the hook unfairly. Perhaps my reading is wrong.
5
Turning across a lane of traffic is unsafe, period. The city added those "bike boxes" - have no idea how effective those are. You see cyclists with bloodied limbs downtown from a vehicle making an unexpected turn. I try to look out at intersections, but what can you do, besides either stop there until no cars are in sight, or take the lane? And it's not enough just to watch out for intersections: Last month, on my way into work, a car turned right across the bike lane to park on the curb, in the middle of the block and I hit the side of the thing and lost a piece of my leg.
At least if bike traffic is in the auto lane, cars aren't turning across it at whim - cyclists would be visible to autos if they were in front of them, rather than to the side, in the blind spot, in a lane they don't even know is there.
-Leif
6
This was a tragedy. But if anything can be learned from this it is, if there is a vehicle ahead of you with a right turn signal on, especially a large one with a major blind spot like a tractor-trailer or a box truck, pass on the left. It is never a good idea to continue riding direct into the right hook.
Take the lane and hang back til the vehicle ahead is out of the way or pass on the left.
7
If you're nearing an intersection on a bike, passing on the left is probably going to get you honked at (maybe killed). If I saw a truck turning ahead of me, I'd signal a stop and wait for it to pass.
8
This might be a case of assumptions. As both motorist and cyclist, I assume different things while using either. I assume that I cannot always see cyclists in my car. I assume motorized vehicles do not see me or regard my rights as a cyclist. I drive accordingly. I also assume that being a bike friendly city means that we have laws and lanes, but that assumption stops with individual drivers. It scares me what some bicyclists do in our city. I've been flipped off, cut off, and pissed off enough to have it make me a safer (more defensive) driver of any vehicle. The story, Mirk, is also the story of a public that lost a human being at the crossroads between assumption and what's perceived to be our right to share roads. I don't like it either. I'm glad that you wrote this. I hope it raises more awareness, and maybe even saves a life, we may never know. I'm still giving everyone else on the road a lot more space. My heart goes out to all involved in that death. Calling it an accident is insufficient, it's a tragedy because it was preventable. We just haven't yet the will to accept the responsibility to prevent these types of tragedies as a city.
9
I'm wondering when this city is going to move past the concept of "sharing roads" - it's perceived as a "right" but it's not, and it's dangerous. We don't allow pedestrians to "share road" with cars, although people do walk on roads without sidewalks, it's an obvious risk for the pedestrian. If this city is going to get serious about solving bike accidents, we just need designated bike-only paths downtown. There's already perfect candidates: the Portland Transit Mall (i.e. westside 5th & 6th ave) just need to be closed to private vehicles: buses, trains, and bikes only. It’s only one lane of vehicular traffic as it is, that wouldn’t cause serious traffic congestions if the traffic is moved over to Broadway or 4th. I can’t think of any parking garages or car-only features that are only accessible via 5th & 6th Ave. 5th & 6th are already confusing to out-of-town drivers, just solve the problem and close them off.
10
@fideilty, really the issue was the semi non sharing system of bike lanes as much as anything. Sounds as if being in lane with the car would have safer.