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New Portland Police Bureau videos aim to debunk “traffic myths”

Posted by on June 5th, 2012 at 11:55 am

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division just released a series of videos to debunk what they call “the top five most common traffic myths.” All the videos could apply to people riding bicycles and one of them is targeted specifically at bike traffic.

The PPB says the videos cover issues that officers frequently hear as excuses when citations are issued. The videos are narrated by PPB Traffic Division Sergeant Bret Barnum. Along with the videos, Sgt. Barnum shares the specific Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) that goes along with them.

Here they are:

#1 “The light was yellow; I thought I could speed up and make it through.”

ORS 811.265 – Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device requires vehicles to stop at a yellow light just as they would for a red light. A vehicle may only proceed through a yellow light if they cannot stop safety.


#2 “As a pedestrian, I always have the right of way over motor vehicles.”

ORS 811.005 – Duty to Exercise Due Care requires pedestrians to exercise care when entering onto a roadway.

From the video:

A pedestrian can’t just walk out in front of a vehicle approaching without some notice. All too often we see this with people out exercising. Joggers approach a corner or crosswalk, and continue to run across the street as vehicles approach. Although runners don’t like to interrupt their workouts, it’s important to note; vehicles most likely can’t stop in time when the runner suddenly appears in front of them. It’s much safer for a pedestrian to stop in an attempt to ensure the motorist can visually see you.


#3 “I can ride my bicycle on a sidewalk just the same as riding on the street.”

ORS 814.410 – Unsafe Operation of a Bicycle on a Sidewalk requires a bicyclist to operate at no faster than a walking pace when passing any pedestrian. The bicyclist also needs to give an audible warning when passing. In addition, a bicyclist on a sidewalk, needs to slow to no more than a walking pace when crossing a driveway entrance or exit; or when the bicyclist leaves the sidewalk into the roadway or at a crosswalk.


# 4: “I can use the left turn lane (or designated center turn lane), as a merging lane or a lane of travel to get up to my anticipated turning point.”

ORS 811.346 Misuse of Special Left Turn Lane requires a vehicle to use the continuous left turn lane only for turning into, or out of a driveway. However, you can use this lane to turn from a driveway in order to merge into a driving lane of traffic as long as you stop and remain stopped prior to merging with traffic. Using the lane to pass traffic in order to reach your turning point is against the law.



#5 “Slowing down or moving a lane away from stopped emergency vehicles is only a courtesy and not a law”

ORS 811.147 Failure to Maintain Safe Distance from Emergency Vehicles requires motorists to make a lane change away from an emergency vehicle–this includes police, fire, ambulances, roadside assistance vehicles, and tow vehicles.

It’s good to see some education efforts coming out of the PPB. These officers probably get sick and tired of explaining the ORS to people they pull over.

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Comments
  • BURR June 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    They missed at least one: “it’s still safe to drive 5 – 10 miles over the posted speed limit”

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    • Dave June 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      No, the myth is that absolute speed is the only thing you need to consider to be safe. Determining safe speed requires taking into account road conditions and design, vehicle condition and design, and prevailing speed of other traffic (including cyclists and pedestrians if present). That means sometimes the safest speed is well under the posted limit, and sometimes it may be well over.

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      • Ross Williams June 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

        No Dave. The posted speed limit is the maximum speed, not a target. It is never safer to go over it, although you are right that it often may not be safe even under the speed limit.

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        • matt picio June 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

          No, Ross – Dave is correct. The Speed Limit is only a maximum in daytime, dry conditions, and with unrestricted visibility. Change any of those factors, or add other ones, and the maximum speed becomes the nebulous “appropriate for conditions”. You are not permitted to violate the Basic Speed Law, regardless of the number on the sign. ORS 811.100 is the relevant statute.

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      • q`Tzal June 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        Let me know when you say that to the traffic officer.
        I want to be ready to stream the video to youtube.

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      • Peter Buck June 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        Safe speed for whom? The perspective of “safe speed” is different depending on which side of the windshield you’re on.

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      • Norman June 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        Dave, I’m sure your rational is a favorite for anyone who habitually speeds. The problem is this type of driver is overconfident in his/her driving abilities and lacks of good judgment which makes them a risk to anyone sharing the road with them.The best solution- obey the posted speed limit.

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      • oskarbaanks June 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

        Dave, let me see if I can help you out a bit here… It is clear that your statement is directed at the operational combination of human ability and technological/mechanical integrity. These elements, when combined with physics, in a multitude of variables(ie; weather,road conditions,unforeseen obstacles such as animals/children chasing balls..) are the focus of your statement.
        I for one understand your statement, and its astute, yet contrary position to the timid road user’s outlook.
        For instance, I offer one example….
        Perhaps while riding a 1973 BMW R/90s safely, (yet 63mph OVER the posted 55mph limit), in the rain, while signaling your lane changes around people driving ANY manner of speed ( some MUCH lesser than or mildly over than the posted 55) in ANY lane they choose, no matter the traffic around them, (which BTW, they pay little attention to!) you happen to come upon an OBVIOUSLY DRUNKEN driver straddling TWO lanes of traffic in the MIDDLE of the apex of your turn!
        This turn (left,BTW) is at the top of a 7% grade at the end of a 1/4 mile straight, with a mild off camber to to the outside!
        WHAT DO YOU DO?
        A. Slow down to the posted limit and follow safely ?
        B. Apply BOTH BRAKES firmly and RAPIDLY and come to a complete stop? C. Pull out your cell phone to call the authorities to report a drunk driver? D. None of the above.
        If you answered D. You are correct!..
        Especially if the a fore mentioned BMW motorcycle is in good tune, with properly inflated Metzlers.
        The correct answer is to take the inside line, on the apron applying the proper balance of throttle, clutch, and counter steering to leave the drunk driver behind you before he even exits the corner!
        That way you are almost another 1/4 mile down the road safely away from him! Is that kinda what you had in mind Dave?

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    • aaronf June 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      ORS is pretty specific: driving over the speed limit is speeding. However, the reason that (I think) folks aren’t ticketed for every 5mph infraction has to do with Spirit of the Law (why was the law written?) vs. Letter of the Law (What does ORS actually say?). When writing a ticket, an officer should consider both the Spirit and the Letter of the Law.

      Someone might be in violation of the law as it is written, but writing a ticket at that time might still be inappropriate. For example, if I’m driving 70mph and everyone around me in traffic is driving 70mph… you’re going to ticket me? Why?

      On a sunny day, with light traffic, I can drive 70mph without really endangering anyone more than I would at 65mph. If the Spirit of the Law was to keep people from going out of control, I think it mostly accomplishes that even if I don’t get a ticket for going 70 in a 65. And since the law allows diabetic little old folks drive 65, surely I can safely drive 70ish. (I look very alert!)

      Even when the law looks black and white, application of the law is never going to be black and white. Any officer that writes things black/white is going to run into problems all over.

      I actually watched a guy win at traffic court because he had extensive defensive driving training (military) and he had observed that the conditions allowed for him safely go 75mph in a 55mph zone at the time he got his ticket.

      Finally, an “everybody’s speeding” observation. When I set my cruise control to the speed limit, everybody I see is speeding. When I speed, I pass slowpokes right and left. Hmmmmm.

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  • Gregg June 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    What would BikePortland.org readers like to see for Myths #6- Myth #10?

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    • oskarbaanks June 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      That Police officers are our friends.

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      • rain bike June 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

        An Officer appropriately yielded the right of way to me last night on my ride home from work. I smiled and waived. We may not be best friends forever, but we’re cool.

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    • rain bike June 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      How about this: Paint on the road (be it a solid white line or a green box) is more of a guideline than an actual rule.

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    • Dave June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      My personal favorite: If I have my hazard lights on, that excuses whatever glaringly unsafe thing I’m doing, like towing my buddies disabled car on the freeway with an ancient hemp rope.

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      • A.K. June 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

        OR it allows me to park wherever I want, or block a lane of traffic, no matter how trivial my errand is.

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  • Nick V June 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    #6 – “No one can use their cell/smart phones while driving or riding……except me.”

    #7 – “Stop signs are optional depending on how cool a cyclist THINKS he is.
    (Keyword being “thinks”.)

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  • bendite June 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Is #3 correct about riding on the sidewalk? I thought you had to slow to walking speed when entering a crosswalk, pull-out, or driveway, not walking speed all the way through it. Also, can’t you ride faster than walking speed when passing a pedestrian? I just thought you had to give an audible signal when passing and yield to them when necessary. If you can only go walking speed at any time on the sidewalk, you would never pass a pedestrian.

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    • bendite June 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      “I’d love to pass, but the law requires that I creepily ride alongside you”.

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    • aaronf June 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I’ve walked faster than a fellow pedestrian before. You’re being silly.

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    • matt picio June 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      ORS 811.410 says you must slow to a walking speed when entering a crosswalk, or when on a sidewalk and crossing a driveway, curb cut, etc if there is a motor vehicle approaching the same. (ORS 814.410(1)(d) – notice the “and”, which requires BOTH conditions to be present for the statute to apply) It does NOT say you must slow to a walk to pass pedestrians. (and, indeed, if you slow to the speed of an ordinary walk, you *can’t* pass most pedestrians, who walk at the speed of an ordinary walk)

      None of that means you won’t be ticketed, but it’s good to know the particulars of the law if you’re going to court. #3 as worded doesn’t appear to conform to the statute. I am not an attorney, however, so it’d be interested to know what Mark Ginsberg or Ray Thomas think about this one.

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  • RonC June 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Misuse of Special Left Turn Lane? What about misuse of bike lane by motorized vehicles? You could even use the same wording. “Using the lane to pass traffic in order to reach your turning point is against the law.”

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    • Spiffy June 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      I vote for this one… I see it every day… an officer could spend all day on Powell between the bus garage and Gresham writing tickets for people passing on the right in the bike lane while somebody is waiting to turn left across traffic…

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  • Scott June 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Barnum and Balzer are the kings of downtown citation followed only by that motorcycle cop with the braces. I have seen them right by the courthouse cruising and intersection and issuing jaywalking tickets and engaging in jaywalking to do so.

    I wonder if they ever thought they were going to make a difference, or if they knew they were going to be glorified (ie. armed) meter maids charged with generating revenue for the city by exploiting minutae?

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    • Scott June 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Officer Forte is the other one. Thumbs way down on those three.

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  • El Biciclero June 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Regarding additional myths we might like to see “busted”:

    “The PPB says the videos cover issues that officers frequently hear as excuses when citations are issued.”

    The key phrase in this quote is “when citations are issued.” My favorite myth is, “having my turn signal on grants me right-of-way.” That one is how many right hooks happen, but since citations are rarely (dare I say, “never”) issued for right hook close calls, the myth persists. Same with the speed limit myth. Since citations are not issued for driving a mere 5 or 10mph over the limit, there is no perceived need to correct driver thinking here. Same with using the bike lane as a right turn approach, not stopping before crossing the sidewalk when exiting a driveway, buzzing cyclists to “teach them a lesson” about riding in the street…

    I applaud any effort to educate the traveling public in an unbiased way. However, I have to disagree with Sgt. Barnum about ORS 814.410:

    814.410 Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:
    (a) Operates the bicycle so as to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and move into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
    (b) Operates a bicycle upon a sidewalk and does not give an audible warning before overtaking and passing a pedestrian and does not yield the right of way to all pedestrians on the sidewalk.
    (c) Operates a bicycle on a sidewalk in a careless manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.
    (d) Operates the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp. This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles at places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic.
    (e) Operates an electric assisted bicycle on a sidewalk.
    (2) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.
    (3) The offense described in this section, unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §699; 1985 c.16 §337; 1997 c.400 §7; 2005 c.316 §2]

    I don’t see in there where it “requires a bicyclist to operate at no faster than a walking pace when passing any pedestrian.” Unless this is a Portland city ordinance, it is the kind of made-up (or at least over-inflated) “law” that gives rise to myths in the first place. The requirement to slow to a “walking pace” when crossing driveways, ramps, or entering crosswalks also only applies if “…a motor vehicle is approaching…”. If there is a clear view of the driveway, etc., and no vehicles are approaching, there is no requirement to slow down. I know it might sound like I am advocating speeding down the sidewalk, but all I am intending is to point out how laws are misinterpreted and citations issued for legal things. Those citations then serve either to extort fines from law-abiding citizens for not breaking the law, or to require said law-abiding citizens to give up their time and resources to fight a bogus citation.

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    • Spiffy June 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      they should not be creating more myths while they try to debunk others…

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    • wsbob June 6, 2012 at 12:24 am

      “I don’t see in there where it “requires a bicyclist to operate at no faster than a walking pace when passing any pedestrian.” … El Biciclero

      In his presentation, the officer made an effort to offer a more readily understandable summary of what the law says, rather than a word for word statement. There was no “…made-up (or at least over-inflated) “law” …” here.

      bikeportland readers: check out (b) and (c) and (2) of ORS 814.410, El Biciclero has posted in his comment, or use the following link to a copy of the law posted where in a form that’s easier to read: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.410

      Actually…start with (2), then proceed to (c), and then (b).

      While these elements of the law don’t describe a specific speed at which people using bikes to travel on the sidewalk are limited to…(conveniently allowing people that travel by bike to pick up the speed when pedestrians are not using the sidewalk)…the language of the law obliges people riding, to assume the duties of a pedestrian to other people using the sidewalk.

      That people riding bikes should display courtesy, consideration, respect for other people using the sidewalk, is implied in the law. Of course, it’s open to some interpretation relative to passing a person on foot on the sidewalk, but 5-6 mph sounds about right.

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      • El Biciclero June 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

        “…made an effort to offer a more readily understandable summary of what the law says…”

        A readily understandable summary would have been, “…requires a bicyclist to yield to any pedestrian on the sidewalk…”

        What Officer Barnum offered was a readily understandable interpretation of the law to suit his own beliefs about how bicyclists should operate.

        If the laws we are to abide by in everyday travel from here to there aren’t already “readily understandable”, then they are either too complicated, or folks who don’t “readily understand” them shouldn’t be operating vehicles on the street (or the sidewalk).

        wsbob: we have to find something we can agree on… ;-)

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        • wsbob June 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

          I’m just going on the quote in the story:

          “… Unsafe Operation of a Bicycle on a Sidewalk requires a bicyclist to operate at no faster than a walking pace when passing any pedestrian. …” from the PPD ‘traffic myths’ video/bikeportland

          Actually not sure whether that’s a transcription of the officer’s exact words, narrative from the vid, or maus’s summary of what was presented.

          …haven’t seen the video, but in that statement, offering the advice that people biking on the sidewalk have to yield to pedestrians doesn’t seem like what the officer was after. It does seem though, that he may be in need of studying that particular law some more, hopefully coming up with something having to do with due care of sidewalk users, that’s more consistent with what it says.

          In my immediate neighborhood, Central Beaverton, Center St to Canyon Rd, riding on the sidewalk isn’t uncommon even though there’s a good bike lane on both sides of the street. Plenty of the people riding seem to be oblivious or indifferent to the presence an approaching bike on the sidewalk represents to other people traveling the sidewalk on foot.

          Writing laws so that ordinary, otherwise capable joes and janes can understand them as readily as a light novel or movie: that’s probably a particularly challenging task, maybe not even a realistic goal. With help and encouragement, people can read the laws and come to understand them. Who it is that writes the laws can make a difference. Couple weeks ago, was trying to read and understand some California laws relative to biking and skating. Whew! Harder to understand than Oregon’s.

          “…wsbob: we have to find something we can agree on… ;-) ” El Biciclero

          How ’bout … ‘More people should be riding bikes!’ hey-hey.?

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          • El Biciclero June 7, 2012 at 9:53 am

            “Actually not sure whether that’s a transcription of the officer’s exact words, narrative from the vid, or maus’s summary of what was presented.”

            It’s a transcription from the video of the officer’s words. He emphasized the word “any” before “pedestrian”.

            I think we do agree that everybody needs to employ common sense and courtesy when using the roads (or sidewalks). I just get peeved when it seems the requirements are placed so heavily on the vulnerable to go out of their way, above and beyond, in a seemingly subservient fashion to mind their P’s & Q’s, or else! While it seems drivers–even when they run over people due to their own carelessness–suffer negligible consequences for their actions. Many times this is the case because laws are written to protect drivers (witness the “no faster than a walking pace” clause that has generated so much discussion) from having to pay too much attention. It almost seems that society, law enforcement, and the legal system will bend over backwards to protect drivers, while being all too willing to throw the book at cyclists, in particular, for trivial infractions. Many times those infractions are the direct result of poorly-designed roadways that all but force (or sometimes merely lure) pedestrians or cyclists into sketchy moves that result in trouble.

            We need to consider all traffic as traffic, all lanes as lanes, and stop regarding driving privileges as some kind of constitutional right. Last I looked, there was no “Bill of Privileges” in the constitution. Consequences for those that use their cars carelessly need to be commensurate with the damage–or potential damage–they cause. The result of carelessly running over someone needs to be as painful, one way or the other, to the driver as it is to the victim or victim’s family. I also think we need to lower the threshold for “negligent” when it comes to driving offenses.

            Anyway, nothing makes one think through one’s opinion more carefully than a difference of opinion…

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            • wsbob June 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

              I understand frustration with public ways that have undergone decades of prioritization favoring travel by motor vehicle. Same with some of the laws that favor the use of motor vehicles over travel by non-motorized means…foot, bike, skateboard. Changing ideas and design, rules and laws to those that more realistically support non-motorized travel is a slow laborious process.

              Some laws aren’t written well, but not all of them are poor in that respect. It seems to me that ORS 814.410 has been written fairly well; not too complicated, touches on important considerations sidewalk users should make a routine practice of. It’s an example of a law that people do have to read, think about and discuss to understand, but I think understanding it, maybe with some help, is probably manageable for most people.

              “…Many times this is the case because laws are written to protect drivers (witness the “no faster than a walking pace” clause that has generated so much discussion) from having to pay too much attention. …” El Biciclero

              At intersections such as those at the Sylvan overpass, I think their complexity presents people that drive with too much to pay attention to, posing the potential for problems like this recent, minor but alarming collision. The objectives and required procedures of ORS 814.410 are important at any intersection of street and sidewalk, but especially important in complex intersections like those at Sylvan.

              Knowledge of what streets and sidewalks are, is common knowledge, but not so with Multi-use paths, or MUP’s. I’m fairly sure if I asked people at random: ‘Hey, do you happen to know what a multi-use path is?’, they’d mostly draw a blank. In a related question, asked how they were to respond at intersections to people using MUP’s, I’m not sure what the responses would be. Interesting to consider, maybe somehow check out.

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  • Fred Lifton June 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I wish they had de-bunked the widely held view that it is always illegal to cross a double-yellow.

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    • El Biciclero June 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Again, since citations are never issued for unsafe passing of a bicyclist, there is no need for this point of education.

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  • nuovorecord June 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    So does this mean the woman who got clipped by the car at the Skyline/US 26 interchange was partially at fault, according to #3? Is the crosswalk there part of a sidewalk, or a MUP? Or does that even matter? The driver of the car obviously should have made sure it was safe before he moved his car, but the woman on the bike didn’t exactly use the best judgement, either.

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    • oskarbaanks June 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      I would love it if someone from the WPC would chime in on this. I know there are great minds than there. I want to hear their thoughts.

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      • Evan Manvel June 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

        I think a very common myth is “if there’s no striping, the intersection is not a crosswalk and pedestrians who cross are jaywalking and I don’t need to yield to them.” Unmarked crosswalks.

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    • GlowBoy June 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      After reading all the comments, I came away with the conclusion that both of them violated the law. The driver failed to stop before the crosswalk, and obstructed it while waiting to turn. The cyclist entered the crosswalk at an excessive speed.

      I’m still not clear on who (strictly speaking) would have been liable if she’d been hurt, though. But I am fairly certain a jury would have sided with the driver, simply because he wasn’t the one on a bike.

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      • NW Biker June 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        If recall correctly, the driver clipped her rear wheel. If she’d been going any slower, what was a minor, but scary, incident could have been a lot worse.

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        • GlowBoy June 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

          True, but it was her timing, not her speed, that saved her there. Any number of random changes to the scenario could have produced radically different outcomes. But that wasn’t the question being asked.

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        • wsbob June 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

          Someone traveling on the sidewalk, on a bike at a normal walking speed upon approach and entry to the crosswalk, as the law specifically requires…helps provide persons driving cars in the street with the opportunity necessary to see the person on the bike approaching the intersection from the sidewalk.

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  • Jeremy Cohen June 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Myth #7: Most of the law breaking around here is caused by cyclists.

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  • Spiffy June 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    who is seeing these videos?

    most people certainly don’t go online looking to educate themselves about local vehicle laws…

    they should be getting commercial airtime on a local TV station if they wish to have the most impact… at the very least they should be playing at the DMV like the green bike box video…

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    • oskarbaanks June 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=publicservic
      I think PSA’s are a thing of the past.

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      • q`Tzal June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        Yeah, blipverts are the hip new thing 20 minutes in to the future.

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        • matt picio June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

          Sure, but they tend to make people’s heads explode. Nice to see a Max Headroom ref on bikeportland, though. :-)

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    • Erik June 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      It was on Ch8 news last night

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  • Jeff June 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Where’s the “Myth #6: It’s ok to park in a bike lane.”?

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    • El Biciclero June 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Again, not a myth if citations are never issued for the offense. If nobody gets tickets for it, it must be OK.

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  • Kevin Wagoner June 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    This is great, love it. In my opinion PPB really needs to become move visible so this is cool to see. I haven’t seen anything about this anywhere else (yet) so thanks Jonathan.

    I am curious about Myth number 2. Are there many accidents with people running out into traffic during exercising? I don’t know the stats but I don’t recall reading that as a cause when reading about all the preventable accidents we have all the time. Point well taken on the law thought, I get it.

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    • matt picio June 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Just this morning, I was on SE 42nd crossing Powell. The light went green for me (northbound) and I started into the crosswalk from a stop. 2 pedestrians stepped directly in front of me, another cyclist, and an automobile without looking in our direction. Fortunately, all of us were able to stop without hitting the pedestrians OR each other. On the same trip this morning 2 other pedestrians in SE stepped into the roadway in front of me close enough to prompt a hard brake. I also confused two more when I stopped for them because they’d stepped from the curb onto the street. (as required by law) Many pedestrians are not cognizant of or choose to ignore the law. (but probably no more than the number of drivers or bikers – this is a “people” problem, not a “mode” problem)

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  • Mabsf June 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

    #2: Great, just go on telling cars they don’t have to stop for pedestrians, ’cause drivers couldn’t stop safely…. Try to cross at Belmont and 33rd during rush hour and see one car after the other going by while you stand at a marked cross walk…

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    • matt picio June 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      The law says you have to stand there until there is a safe opening That’s exactly why the proposed law change allowing an “intent to cross” hand signal was promoted by the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and other groups – there is a real need at some intersections to create circumstances where this can occur.

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  • Al from PA June 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    How about the biggest myth of all: “I didn’t see the guy on the bike.”

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  • Alicia Crain June 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I’d like to see the Oregon DMV take on some responsibility for not educating drivers well enough when laws change. If there were adequate and appropriate education, this video may not even have been necessary. But that might put too much responsibility on vehicle operators…especially those operating motor vehicles.

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    • matt picio June 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Amen. At the least, DMV should send out something in the mail. Ideally, they would send out something in the mail with the changes, a quick quiz immediately underneath, and require the quiz to be returned within 30 days or get an automatic license suspension. (that would also help solve the “didn’t update my address” problem)

      It’s far too easy to get a license, far too hard to lose it, and there aren’t enough consequences for driving without one.

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      • El Biciclero June 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

        “It’s far too easy to get a license, far too hard to lose it, and there aren’t enough consequences for driving without one.”

        Amen.

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  • 180mm_dan June 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I like all the videos, and the low-key narration. A good pro-active step by Portland Police.

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  • ScottB June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Exception to Myth #3:

    City Ordinance 16.70.320 Operating Rules, No person may:
    E. Ride a bicycle on a sidewalk, unless avoiding a traffic hazard in the immediate area, within the area bounded by and including SW Jefferson, Front Avenue, NW Hoyt and 13th Avenue, except:

    1. On sidewalks designated as bike lanes or paths;

    2. On the ramps or approaches to any Willamette River Bridge; or

    3. In the area bounded by the west property line of SW Ninth Avenue, the east property line of SW Park Avenue, the north property line of SW Jefferson and the south property line of SW Salmon Street.

    4. For police or special officers operating a bicycle in the course and scope of their duties; or

    5. For employees of the Association for Portland Progress and companies providing security services operating a bicycle in the course and scope of their duties. These employees must have in possession an identification card issued by the Chief of Police certifying the rider has completed a training course in the use of a bicycle for security patrol.

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