Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 2nd, 2011 at 12:06 pm
(Photo © J. Maus)
Senate Bill 130 (text), which would add bicycle-only signals to Oregon's list of traffic control devices, passed out of the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development on Friday.
SB 130 passed the full Senate back in February and it's now poised for a House vote and eventual passage into law.
Paul Mather, a highway division administrator for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), testified on behalf of the bill on Friday. In response to a question from Committee Chair Rep. Cliff Bentz about what benefits the bill might have for automobile drivers, Mathers said,
"The benefits for the driver would be more predictability in intersections... By having a separated, dedicated signal, we're able to stop the cyclists and have motorists move through the intersection without worrying about what cyclists may or may not be doing... and of course vice/versa."
In addition to improved safety, having bicycle-only signals officially in state statute would make it easier (legally) for police officers to actually enforce violations of the signals (a $287 fine if you were wondering).
In addition to ODOT, SB 130 has strong backing from the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation.
SB 130 passed the Senate by a vote of 28-1. With no objections or serious concerns about the bill in House committee, it's likely the bill will also pass the House.