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1. The green boxes offer a false sense of security for bicyclists to pass on the right in a manner that would be considered unsafe if not being done in a "protected zone".
Why is this sense of security false?
2. The sense of security is false because not everyone who drives in Portland and encounters a green bike box is from Portland and thus hasn't the slightest of ideas what the heck it is.
"Journalists" of Portland. Ask the Police Bureau to dig deeper into the numbers and determine how many of the motor vehicle drivers involved in these crashes live in Portland proper, the Metro area, or even in the state.
Fury builds over drunken driving
Belmont accident galvanizes, saddens bicycling community
By Jim Redden And Jennifer Anderson
The Portland Tribune, Jun 27, 2003, Updated Oct 30, 2009
Local anti-drunken driving activists blame weak Oregon laws for the early Wednesday traffic accident that killed two bicyclists and left another with critical injuries.
Lindsey Llaneza had pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges in a previous accident three months before he was charged Wednesday with hitting three bike riders near Southeast 42nd Avenue and Belmont Street.
Police said that Llaneza’s alcohol level on Wednesday was twice the legal limit of 0.08 and that he was driving with a suspended license because of previous traffic offenses.
Under Oregon law, even drivers repeatedly convicted of drunken driving can choose to enter counseling programs or perform community service work instead of going to jail.
“It makes me so angry. Nothing stops these people from driving. It just goes on and on and on,” said Gerrie Collins, a member of the Multnomah County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, whose son was killed by a drunk driver in 1993.
According to court records, Llaneza was arrested for drunken driving March 3. He pleaded guilty and was released April 1 after agreeing to enter a substance-abuse counseling program, as allowed by law.
Collins criticized the Oregon Legislature for refusing to increase the penalties for drunken driving this session.
The Legislature recently passed a bill House Bill 2885 requiring that drivers lose their licenses after a third conviction for driving under the influence of an intoxicant, or DUII.
“It’s a joke. You have to kill someone before there’s any jail time,” said Jim Whitehead, whose son, Mark, died in the same accident that killed Collins’ child.
Gretchen McKenzie, director of the Traffic Safety Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation, said budget problems prevented the Legislature from passing a tougher law.
“They considered jail time, but there’s no space,” she said.
Llaneza was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges of manslaughter, assault, hit-and-run and driving under the influence of intoxicants. The 49-year-old North Portland resident was arrested after police say he hit the three bicyclists with his van about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday.
Angela L. Leazenby, 26, of California, and Orion C. Satushek, 27, of Portland, died at the scene. Caroline J. Buchalter, 23, of Portland, was critically injured.
Sheriff begins review
Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Guisto said the fatal accident is prompting a review of options for keeping drunken drivers in jail. According to Guisto, a committee that includes representatives from the courts and the district attorney’s office is currently reviewing all sentencing and release policies.
“I remember when drunk drivers went to jail on the first conviction,” said Guisto, who began his law enforcement career in 1974.
Lt. Mike Shults, a sheriff’s spokesman, said people charged with DUIIs now are typically cited and released, rather than jailed until their court date.
It has to do with the nature of the charge, he said. Although DUII is a Class C felony, the typical DUII offender is “an average person who makes a stupid mistake,” he said.
Offender might be jailed until their court date if the officer deems it necessary, based on the offense, prior history and any additional charges.
Police said Llaneza was driving on Southeast Belmont Street when he came up behind four bicyclists on a recreational ride. Police said that although he swerved to miss one of them, he struck the other three.
“It was pretty horrible,” said Casey Spain, 27, who was awakened by the crash and came outside to see the aftermath, about 20 feet from his back door. “Initially, I thought, I don’t know how I’d manage to ride (my bicycle) again, but I will. It is scary.”
‘I find it very disturbing’
Another bicyclist was killed last Thursday by a driver later charged with DUII. Theodore Paul Hriskos, 45, of Southeast Portland, died when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a vehicle at the corner of Northeast 148th Avenue and San Rafael Street.
The fatalities have outraged many in Portland’s large and politically active bicycle community.
“It makes me angry that the man already had a DUII, was driving on a suspended license, and it was going to be a hit-and-run that he kept going. I find it very disturbing that anyone out there can be that oblivious to the world around them,” said cyclist Karen Miller, 26, who lives a block away from where Wednesday’s accident happened.
The incident prompted her to take more safety precautions, she said. “I know I’m a dangerous bike rider because I don’t wear a helmet, but it made me a little more aware,” she said. “I think I might buy a helmet, although I know it’s not going to protect me if a drunk driver plows into me.”
Miller plans to participate in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride this afternoon. For the past decade, cyclists in Portland have participated in the event, designed to celebrate and promote cycling as a mode of transportation.
The ride is scheduled to leave from Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park under the Burnside Bridge at 5:35 p.m. and travel to Wednesday’s crash site for a memorial.
Traffic swells in summer
Local attorney Ray Thomas, who has handled bicycle injury cases for 20 years and recently wrote the book “Pedal Power,” said he sees hundreds of injury cases each year and has at least a dozen death and serious injury cases at any one time.
“This is so unnecessary and tragic,” he said. “What happened was that the driver, because he was driving drunk, failed to recognize the profiles of the bicyclists in time to avoid them.”
Thomas said road safety is a bigger issue in the summer months, when not only bicyclists but skateboarders, joggers, pedestrians and in-line skaters are active.
“People get in a hurry, and they forget the road has human-powered vehicles on it, especially in the summer, at all hours,” he said. “What we have to do in the city now is send a message to the police and court system that we think this is a big problem.”
Thomas holds a bicycle legal clinic every other month. The next one is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 16 at the office of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, 717 S.W. 12th Ave.
Contact Jim Redden at firstname.lastname@example.org. and Jennifer Anderson at email@example.com.
@Truth.set.u.free - So, people should pay attention to their surroundings OR get a car!? You should really pay attention all the time, whether you have a car or not.
I doubt these right hooks are about a false sense of security-- but about people bombing through intersections passing on the right. This is about having no common sense.
How about this: when going through a light, turn your head, LOOK FOR CARS NEAR YOU in every direction, then proceed through the intersection if nobody else is there. If you need to STOP to be safe, or god forbid get off your bike/ or go at pedestrian speed through a crosswalk (legal), do it. I have never been right hooked because 1) I do this, and 2) I assume nothing from cars, and 3) I can handle my bike.
Passing fast on the right with an expectation of safety is a very, very stupid idea.
Remember the old Diamond Lane on Barbur Boulevard, heading South out of Downtown? It was just ONE single lane, in the middle of the highway. In the morning, it was for cars with more than one passenger, headed North, into town. In the evening, it was for car poolers headed South. Of course, the exact hours are still a bit foggy as they were at the time, and HEAD ON COLLISION were RAMPANT. It took the City I don't know how many fatalities before they ever got the clue about THAT!
I see way too many bicyclists riding on the side speeding between traffic and parked cars without regard for the fact a car cannot see you all the time, not to mention at the same time having to look at other pedestrians cross the street, traffic signs, the uniqueness of the transit mall, differentiating between streetcar tracks and LR tracks, dodging clowns on double-decker bikes, etc., etc., etc.
This is dangerous. Be behind/in front of cars and you will be seen by ALL traffic. I have to admit, some bicyclists are really oblivious to what's going on around them, as if they're the only things on the road.
Act like people cannot see you, and safety will increase.
Please, be safer people!
HIS POOR DRIVING KILLED HER!
I hope her family sue's him and whoever he was working for for everything they have!
If drivers don't like it that's just too bad, it's THE LAW!
Riding a bicycle on sidewalks north of Hoyt is also permitted.
I'm not sure why since the streets are far less crowded there than the downtown area.
i know it must sound impossible to you, but sometimes the bicyclist is at fault. that doesn't mean she was dumb or deserving of it, it just means that she made a poor decision and/or had some bad luck. it's horrible from all sides -- i'm pretty sure i read in an earlier article that the trucker was in tears just like the rest of us -- i would be, too, if i was in his shoes, her fault or not.
try not to be so quick to condemn -- or at least not until you've done a little more homework on your subject.