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Motorcyclist Dies in North Portland During Street Racing Event

The death comes just weeks after nearby business owners asked the mayor’s office to address increased street racing as warmer weather approaches.

A motorcycist died in a collision early Monday morning during an illegal street racing event, what participants call “sliding,” in the 6200 block of Marine Drive in North Portland, just north of Bybee Lake.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, the motorcyclist collided with a Mercedes sedan during the event, just shy of 1 am. The driver of the sedan was cited for reckless driving.

About 350 people were in attendance, according to the bureau.

Last week, WW reported that a group of businesses owners in industrial North Portland wrote a letter to the mayor’s office asking that it crack down on increased street racing events, citing damage to businesses, noise and endangerment to employees going to and from their jobs.

“We are requesting a meeting with you to discuss our concerns and explore opportunities to proactively get ahead of this matter before summer is upon us and industrial sector employees are again faced with the unfair burden of navigating through large crowds and racing vehicles in order to simply move between their homes and work,” the North Portland Coalition for Safe Streets wrote in the letter. “Last summer, we saw too many close calls and some very frightening circumstances as industrial sector workers were harassed by crowds of street racers or even experienced collisions with racing vehicles.”

WW spoke with local business owner Dan Legree, who co-signed the letter and is a witness to these events every weekend. One of the streets he told WW is a hot spot for the events is Marine Drive.

“They post spotters, because this is Marine Drive, there’s two ways in and two ways out, they’ll post someone at the end and the beginning of Marine Drive, and if they see cops they’ll call everyone and everyone will scatter and rip out of here,” Legree said.

This is the city’s 21st traffic fatality this year.