Saturday, October 16, 2021

Person Biking across Parkway along Cherry Avenue Killed

Last night while apparently crossing Cherry Avenue on Salem Parkway with a green light, a driver operating a semi-truck struck and killed a person biking north on Cherry Avenue against the light.

From Salem Police:

On October 15, 2021 at approximately 7:50 p.m. Salem Police and Fire personnel were dispatched to the intersection of Salem Pkwy and Cherry AVE NE on vehicle versus bicycle crash. When officers arrived they determined a semi-truck and trailer driven by Montaque Annear, age 55 of Dallas, had struck a bicycle, killing the male adult rider.

The Salem Police Traffic Team responded to conduct the investigation. They have initially determined that Annear was traveling southwest on Salem Pkwy on a green light when the bicyclist proceeded northbound through the intersection at Cherry AVE and was struck. Annear stopped, remained on on-scene and cooperated with the investigation. Additionally, a Level I truck inspection was completed on the semi and trailer, and no violations were found.

No arrests were made and no citations were issued. The bicyclist has been identified but his identity will not be released until his next of kin have been notified.

This is the sixth fatal pedestrian or cyclist crash in Salem this year.

Parkways: "high capacity, high speed" - Salem TSP

If the preliminary investigation is verified as correct, and it might not be since there is so often a bias in favor of the operator of a motor vehicle, and the dead are not able to tell their side, but if further crash analysis confirms the account, it will be pretty clearly an instance of a person biking at fault and making a grievous error.

It's hard to know what to advocate for here. Even on streets classified as major arterials it is plausible to argue for comprehensive reductions in posted speed such that crashes are less likely to be fatal. But parkways are structured to be quasi-highways, and speed reductions there seem very unlikely and implausible. (Kuebler/Cordon pose the same problem.)

Still, there's a pattern of problems near that intersection on the Parkway and on Cherry Avenue.

You may recall an impaired driver struck and killed Travis Lane while he attempted to cross the Parkway at Cherry in 2015, and right after we saw a number of crashes there.

A little south of the Parkway on Cherry Avenue, a different impaired driver struck and killed Jolene Braasch Berry as she was biking.

"Needs, Opportunities, and Constraints" memo
Winter-Maple bikeway study, Jan. 2017

The intersection was identified in the Winter-Maple bikeway study as needing attention, but the final recommendations were not very strong for it, perhaps in acknowledgement that ODOT and freight interests would oppose most changes.

Maybe there will be more to say. If the person biking is identified, we'll update with that for sure.

Earlier this month

Separately, earlier this month, a driver struck and killed a person biking north of Independence.

From Oregon State Police:

On October 5, 2021 at approximately 7:36 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a bicyclist on Hwy 51 near milepost 4.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a southbound bicyclist, Frank Koch (80) of Independence, was struck from behind by a southbound Toyota Prius, operated by Krystal Kamback, (33) of Independence.

Koch sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Kamback was uninjured, remained at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement.

Even though the Police report named the driver, the paper literally erased the driver in their story, and used the "hit by car" formula.

On erasing the driver - Columbia Journalism Review

For more discussion of language see these recent examples:

For more on the cultural and legal context of our autoism in which we minimize the responsibility of drivers see:

1 comment:

Mike said...

I would say the point of a parkway is to allow efficient car travel, not necessarily high speed. But Salem has allowed a bunch of businesses to be built up along it, attracting eyes and vehicles. Keizer would have too if it could. The Parkway should have been kept a parkway. No businesses within 100 feet of the ROW. And no signs either.

I would also lower the speed limit west of Cherry to 30 mph, turn the Broadway/River Road intersection into a roundabout and west, south and north of that the speed limit should drop down to 25 mph. Cherry should also be 25 mph, narrow the intersection and any other traffic calming measures.