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Bob Huckaby moves forward on statewide bike registration, licensing measures

Posted by on September 5th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

“Everybody has to be on the same playing field…I’ll share the road, but let’s share the laws too.”
— Bob Huckaby

Buoyed by support from across the state, Portlander Bob Huckaby is going full-steam ahead on a statewide ballot measure that would require all bicycles to have license plates and would mandate a bicycle law test for all adults who don’t already have a driver’s license.

We first reported on Huckaby last month, when he shared concerns over the City’s decision to partially close N. Wheeler Avenue at Broadway. Huckaby owns First Inc., a business just a few blocks away from the intersection. “Instead of making people obey the laws,” Huckaby shared with me on August 19th, “they’re penalizing everyone else, and that’s not right.” A few days after the closure, Huckaby told a local TV news station that he planned to take the bicycle license requirement to voters via a ballot measure.

Yesterday I sat down with Huckaby to discuss the issues and see where he stood on the ballot measure.

So far, Huckaby remains 100% dedicated to this effort. He’s building a coalition of support from around the state and he has hired a lawyer who is currently writing up the ballot language. While precise details are still being worked out, Huckaby says the measure (or measures, he might end up splitting them into two) would seek to create a new “bicycle endorsement” education program for people who have not taken the Oregon driver’s test. It would also mandate more police enforcement of traffic laws. To pay for the new bicycle-specific testing and the enforcement, Huckaby’s measure would require a fee for the endorsement test and would require registration via a license plate on all bicycles in Oregon.

At this point, Huckaby says the bicycle endorsement on your ID card would run about $10-12 every four years and the license plate would be $40 for every four years (or in my case, since my family has about 12 bikes, it would cost us $480 every four years).

The goal for Huckaby is simple: He feels there’s a big traffic safety problem brewing due to the growing number of people riding bikes in Portland (and across the state) who have never passed a test on how to ride safely and follow existing traffic laws. He sees his effort, not as being anti-bike, but as a way to “level the playing field” and make the interactions between road users more “compatible.” (Note: Huckaby says that while the Wheeler closure is a symbol of the problem, it’s not the main reason he’s doing this.)

“If you’re really going to talk about ‘share the roads’, and this is what it’s all about,” Huckaby said today, “everybody has to be on the same playing field…I’ll share the road, but let’s share the laws too… Let’s all operate the same way. And that goes both ways, I’m not after just bikes, I just think it needs to be a fair playing field. and that’s the only way you’re going to get it is to just register them.”

When Huckaby looks out at the roads, he sees a vast increase in bicycle traffic onto a system that isn’t ready for it. During our chat, he expressed frustration that the City of Portland has done so much promotion of bicycling, yet hasn’t built a complementary system of infrastructure to handle it (this is a point he and I agree on!).

“The problem our city has is it puts the cart before the horse.. when we go out say we’re bicycle friendly we better have our roads up to speed before we do that.” Absent infrastructure where bicycles can exist separate from cars, Huckaby feels working to improve education of the laws is necessary.

In his mind, bicycle licenses will increase compliance and therefore increase safety. “To me, it’s all about the safety. If everybody followed the law, you wouldn’t have the safety problem.” He added, “It’s going to educate people that don’t have a license… If knowledge of the laws will help bring the safety up — even if only 15% of the people learn the laws — we’d be better off.”

Huckaby believes that mandatory testing will educate more people and that having license plates on bikes will lead to more responsible behaviors and will make it easier for the police (and the public at large) to hold bicycle riders accountable for their actions.

Key to Huckaby’s perspective is the belief that a large percentage of people riding bikes in Oregon don’t already have a driver’s license (and the education, insurance, and accountability that goes along with it). However, according to a 2009 survey by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), 89% of the over 2,000 respondents said they own a car and have a driver’s license. Without significant revenue derived from people without a driver’s license obtaining the bicycle endorsement, even more pressure would be put onto the registration and license plate aspect of his plans (because without a stable funding stream, this measure isn’t likely to go very far).

As for fee-based bicycle registration schemes, history shows us that they do not work.

Just last year, the city of Long Beach, California scrapped its mandatory bicycle registration law in favor of a voluntary one. One Long Beach city council member told the LA Times, “Our mandatory system was antiquated and inefficient.” The city of Medford, Oregon scrapped their bike licensing ordinance back in 2010, with their police chief saying, “It really doesn’t work in the best interest of our community.”

Politically mandatory bicycle registration and/or licensing schemes have proven very unpopular. In March 2009, several members of the Oregon State House supported a $27 per year mandatory bicycle registration fee. The bill spurred outrage and died a quiet death without ever making it out of committee. Just last year, a bill was introduced that would have directed ODOT to study bicycle licensing. That bill never made it out of committee either.

Would a vote of the people lead to a different result?

Huckaby told me yesterday that since his plans went public last month, he’s had to take his name and contact information off his company’s website due to many rude and angry messages he’s received. But Huckaby seems undeterred by the potential controversy, the financial investment, and the hard road ahead to bring his ideas to a vote. In fact, he is quite confident his measures will get the 87,000 required signatures needed to make it onto the ballot in 2014 (if not sooner). He shared with me that he’s gotten eager calls of support from cities throughout Oregon.

“Hood River, The Dalles, Medford, Eugene and Salem — everyone’s like ‘God yes!’ There’s big support for this,” he said.

But despite these early signs of support, Huckaby realizes he’ll face a backlash. “Some people may be upset about it; but that’s what our laws are made from. If you feel there should be a law, you go out and get it.” And despite naysayers, he thinks it will work. “I think it’s going to help a lot. It’s going to help everybody think about it before they break the law.”

Whether you agree with his motives and ideas or not, Huckaby is ready to take the temperature of the state on this issue. “Let’s get it to a vote and see where it goes,” says Huckaby, “Whether it passes or not, it gave everybody their chance to have their say.”


— I’ll be joining Huckaby to talk about this issue on KATU TV’s “Your Voice, Your Vote” program later this week. I’ll share the video and other details once it airs.

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Comments
  • SilkySlim September 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I wish this was on Page 2, tagged as “haters gonna hate.”

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  • basketloverd September 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    So how is it going to work for us tourists?

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    • Richard Allan September 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Everyone coming to Oregon for Cycle Oregon or other bike tourism (STP, Reach the Beach, or just enjoying our growing number of scenic bikeways) would have to buy a license plate, and maybe take a test. Everyone from Washington who commutes by bike into Oregon would also need a license plate, and maybe a test. If you exempt people from out of state, you would never be able to enforce the requirements. Welcome to Oregon, where businesspeople favor less government, except when they are angry.

      I can’t wait to see the “fiscal impact” statement for these ballot measures (and it almost certainly will have to be two separate ballot measures, due to the “single subject” rule — licensing people and licensing vehicles are two different things).

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      • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

        “Everyone coming to Oregon for Cycle Oregon or other bike tourism (STP, Reach the Beach, or just enjoying our growing number of scenic bikeways) would have to buy a license plate, and maybe take a test. Everyone from Washington who commutes by bike into Oregon would also need a license plate, and maybe a test. If you exempt people from out of state, you would never be able to enforce the requirements. …” Richard Allan

        None of what you’re assuming would necessarily be true. It’s a proposal for a new law, one yet to be written, that Huckaby is suggesting. A new law could have any provision the writer, it’s supporters and those voting for it approve of. An exception for tourists and short term out of state people could be provided for in the law. If stopped for a violation, people wouldn’t necessarily have to be cited for not having certification/license, but they might be obliged from that point, to go through a process to get certification/license for future travel by bike in traffic.

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        • the "other" steph September 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

          What would keep the same person from out of state touring Oregon by bike to be stopped again and again within a discrete period of time for failure to have a license? How is this not a punitive measure against bicycling? Forgive me, I fail to understand how this is leveling any playing field.

          (In truth, wsbob, I have been previously on the fence about licensing and tipping towards registration, much to the chagrin and occasional shock of friends. This conversation – punctuated by your comment – has tipped me firmly to voluntary registration. Thank you. The fence is rarely comfortable)

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          • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

            “What would keep the same person from out of state touring Oregon by bike to be stopped again and again within a discrete period of time for failure to have a license? …” the “other” steph

            Maybe you could elaborate on the scenario you’re envisioning.

            I’d hope a person traveling by bike wouldn’t even be stopped specifically to see if they had bike in traffic certification/license. If they were stopped for a traffic violation and didn’t have bike in traffic certification/license, it doesn’t seem necessary that they be cited for not having that qualification, unless they’d been stopped previously for a violation, been directed to go through the procedure to get it, and declined to do so.

            It probably wouldn’t be practical to expect or have one-time, or occasional visitors to Oregon go through a certification/license, but it might be for regular visitors or commuters.

            It seems to me that what the public could most reasonably hope to seek from people that travel the road by bike, particularly in heavy traffic along thoroughfares and so forth, is that they more consistently have and use in-traffic techniques that help convey their presence and intentions to other road users, particularly those driving motor vehicles.

            And also, with those in-traffic techniques, help counter their inherent vulnerability as road users to motor vehicle traffic.

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            • Joe Suburban September 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

              So how are you gonna check if I am a tourist, resident, bike commuter, citizen, illegal alien or just plain alien visitor? Hint: I got 2 ID cards and 3 passports (one is a perfectly legal duplicate of the non-US one) and a life-long valid military photo ID card (not US Army).

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              • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

                Would the type of person you’re using yourself as an example of, not have I.D. with an Oregon license indicating they were a resident? The situation homeless people often find themselves in?

                At any rate, as I’ve suggested in other comments, unlike with people that drive, I tend to think people that ride shouldn’t be issued a citation for not having certification/license, unless they’ve had previous bike in traffic violations, been requested to go through the process of getting certification/license, and declined to do that.

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            • the "other" steph September 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm

              Hi wsbob, sorry to have been unclear. I was referring not to the endorsement component but to the license plate component. I would assume that, like a motor vehicle, any bicycle could be pulled over for lack of license plate as a primary, not a secondary, offense. This would be true of anyone cycling on the road, regardless of state residency or trip purpose. I just don’t see how this could be practically enforced for Oregon state residents without seeming punitive to out-of-state visitors.

              Is that more clear? I haven’t given this a great deal of thought and haven’t researched it, but that is how I would envision its implementation. You?

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              • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm

                “Hi wsbob, sorry to have been unclear. I was referring not to the endorsement component but to the license plate component. I would assume that, like a motor vehicle, any bicycle could be pulled over for lack of license plate as a primary, not a secondary, offense. …” the “other” steph

                Unclear? No problem. My thought, is that an effort shouldn’t be made to require bikes to be registered and have number plates…what are commonly called ‘license plates’, mounted to them, or worn by the person riding the bike. Such a requirement isn’t likely to address overall issues relating to vulnerable road user safety in traffic or aid traffic flow in general.

                On the other hand, I think that encouraging the use of bike specific techniques for traveling safely in traffic, by encouraging them to learn and test for skills, could be a positive step forward towards helping reduce the kind of mode travel conflicts that prompted the city to close Wheeler St, and Huckaby to decide to take action. Not just on Broadway, but any other busy thoroughfares where bikes and motor vehicles are used for travel or transport.

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          • matt picio September 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

            Personally, I’d be fine with licensing *everyone* on the public roadways, across the board – but the operator, not the bike. Licensing bicycles doesn’t make things safer, and it’s *definitely* punitive. A car owner might have 2 cars – that’s $86 total cost per year to license. ($86 per car for 2 years) But a bicycle owner can easily have 6 bikes per person. The car owner invests probably $10,000+ *per car*, the bike owner, $500-$1,000.

            How can it be viewed as fair when an unpowered vehicle which weighs 1% the weight of a car, travels 1/4 as fast as a car (highway, 1/2 as fast in the city), and costs 5%-10% as much of a car needs a license costing 1/4 of what it costs for a car? The majority of accidents are caused by cars. The majority of insurance payouts are due to cars. The majority of road damage is commercial semis, and #2 is cars. (bike wear to roads is “indistinguishable from weathering”) The majority of the direct costs and indirect costs are borne by *motorized* traffic – so why are we going to regulate bikes when we’re not even properly enforcing motorized traffic?

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            • Nathan September 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

              Not to mention that flat rate fees disproportionately affect the poor. $40 dollars for a business owner is probably well below the noise of daily expenses, where it would make or break a month for some people I know.

              Licensing a $80 bicycle at this proposed rate seems ridiculous.

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              • Spencer September 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

                This! During college I 15 dollar garage sale bike. No way would I have paid more than double to put a plate on it.

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        • Richard Allan September 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

          Sorry for offending you, Bob. The article reads: “Huckaby’s measure would require a fee for the endorsement test and would require registration via a license plate on all bicycles in Oregon.” That isn’t “all bicycles owned by Oregonians,” it is “all bicycles in Oregon.” Should I have assumed the ballot measure(s) will NOT reflect the sponsor’s desires?

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      • jim September 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

        They’ll just tatoo your number on your forhead

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      • John Murphy September 6, 2012 at 10:21 am

        The Healdsburg California Chamber of Commerce approves this measure!

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    • 9watts September 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      Or pedestrians? Are they next?

      When the Nazis came for the communists,
      I remained silent;
      I was not a communist.

      When they locked up the social democrats,
      I remained silent;
      I was not a social democrat.

      When they came for the trade unionists,
      I did not speak out;
      I was not a trade unionist.

      When they came for the Jews,
      I remained silent;
      I wasn’t a Jew.

      When they came for me,
      there was no one left to speak out.

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      • Elliot September 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

        Seriously 9watts, you’re going to trigger Godwin’s Law only 4 posts in? Bad form.

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        • Brad September 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

          At least he has moved on from stealing ideas from “The Long Emergency”.

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        • 9watts September 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm

          O.K. point taken.

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        • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

          Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

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      • Hugh Johnson September 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm

        Really dude, bringing up Nazis? A little over dramatic are we? (and tasteless).

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        • brickyardjimmy November 3, 2013 at 6:57 am

          It’s definitely a hyperbolic analogy. On the other hand–I get this feeling that the law is motivated by the same irrational outrage that fuels all dictatorial behavior. People who drive cars and not bikes seem to be totally outraged at what they see as an affront to them. I’ve seen it first hand from both the bike side and the car side. This seems less like a law to create a sensible equality and more like a “I see all these vermin riding around on bikes like they own the place and I want to stick it to them” kind of law.

          It makes little sense to me (again as someone who drives both cars and bikes.) I think the outrage is mostly fueled by fantasies as well. Kind of like people who get upset about tort reform and fly into a rage when they hear about the lady that sued McDonald’s over spilling coffee in her lap.

          That still gets used as the prototypical example of an out of control lawsuit happy public.

          The problem is–like many things people come to believe passionately–it has no basis in fact. The McDonald’s lady was actually badly injured when handed a coffee that had been heated to scalding levels. Unable to continue holding onto the cup, which would have burned her skin had she kept gripping it, she dropped it into her lap. The result was 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her pelvic region.

          But the reaction has been to take away the ability from ordinary people to sue a corporation.

          Similarly, this proposed law seems like a fantasy-fueled persecution of bike riders. This guy has a bee in his bonnet about bikes and just wants to put his foot down on them. Which, apart from the difference in gravity, isn’t all that different from what fuels the passionate anger of a nazi (or modern day neo-nazi guy or rabid Tea Partier or any number of other people who want to impose themselves on others.)

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    • Paul in the 'couve September 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      And what about those of us in Vancouver? Will I have to get a license for every bike I ever plan to ride to PDX? At least I won’t have to register my younger kids’ bikes… I would assume out of staters would get a pass.

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      • Oliver September 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        You do not get a pass. No pass for you.

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      • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

        Not that I support either operator licenses nor bike plates/tags, but if (huge gigantic “if”) something like this were to go through, the only financially, pragmatic and logistically feasible way I can see this happening is that there is a single operator license and plate. What I mean is you would get a bike operator’s license that looks like a plate that you could transfer to whatever bike you are riding. It’s ridiculous that we’d expect every bike to have a separate license. It’s simply untenable.

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    • Pete September 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      I’ll continue to ride unlicensed in Oregon, as I doubt this will pass. If it does, I’ll simply pay whatever fines get levied on me, in the off-chance I’m caught. But don’t worry, this has as much chance of passing as a sales tax, especially if the costs to the taxpayer of administering it are revealed during the campaign.

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      • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

        “…this has as much chance of passing as a sales tax, especially if the costs to the taxpayer of administering it are revealed during the campaign.” Pete

        That depends on what will be called for in the actual proposal for a law…which according to this bikeportland story is in the process of being written, rather than already written and before people so they can look at and study it. What bikeportland readers have before them here from Huckaby, are general ideas he has about bikes in traffic, and about skills of people that ride bikes being compatible with the traffic demands made of road users today.

        If the proposal were for a relatively simple knowledge, skill development, testing and licensing/certification requirement, it might have a chance of getting somewhere in Salem. Certainly is likely to be far more popular amongst the public than a sales tax ever has been in Oregon.

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        • Pete September 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

          “Certainly is likely to be far more popular amongst the public than a sales tax ever has been in Oregon.”

          And far less beneficial, but that’s another story. I think someone else mentioned this, but if it winds up on the ballot it has to have a financial impact statement. There’s a myriad of evidence of communities getting rid of both mandatory and voluntary bike licensing programs because they don’t pay for themselves. I certainly don’t put it past the voting public not to apply logic, though – heck, we just paid another $30M for a stadium that passed ballot by saying it would cost our city nothing.

          From an enforcement standpoint I would have no qualms breaking this ‘law’, paying whatever fines might be levied on me in the off-chance an officer tickets me in the rural parts of Oregon I tend to ride. It’s been my general experience that police officers tend to know very little about bicycle law (including several of my friends who are also avid cyclists). I’ll take my chances that law enforcement where I ride in Oregon pay little heed to enforcing this – I know them, and they know where their bread is buttered.

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          • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 1:34 am

            In the manner it’s been presented, Oregonians don’t seem to feel a sales tax would be beneficial at all, so they’ve voted it down time and again. Money isn’t the objective of every law. Hopefully, Huckaby will choose to not make taking people’s money a key part of whatever proposal for a law he’s working on.

            There seems to be a lot of consternation, aggravation and anxiety over people that travel the road by bike, at least part of which, some of the people traveling by bike are directly responsible for.

            A law that would take a first step towards having people that bike be tested for in-traffic travel by bike, something on the order of testing for in-traffic travel by motor vehicle that people seeking to drive must submit to, could possibly turn out to be seen by the public as very beneficial…even if it doesn’t involve as much cash as a sales tax does.

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            • Pete September 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

              Money may not be the objective, but there’s no question a bicycle licensing law will require new administration with an impact to the taxpayer, regardless of how it’s written. There’s the cost of getting a new system going before fees could even be collected, even if fees could cover ongoing costs. Similar to the costs of not having a sales tax, which push Oregon to have higher than average property and income taxes.

              I’d have no problem being tested by bike exactly as many times as I’ve been tested to drive: once (about 30 years ago). Huckaby’s main premise is that cyclists disobey rules because they are ignorant, and forcing them to educate themselves will dissolve the city of all of the infrastructure issues caused by cyclists needing to be protected from their own ignorance – that’s how I read it. He seems convinced the Oregon Driver’s Test is adequate in educating both drivers and cyclists as to the rules of the road, and he’s even said that he thinks most cyclists are unlicensed (and therefore uneducated). So the metric here is that car-bike accidents should go down statewide with the newly-educated Oregon cycling population, since the accidents are in theory being caused by uneducated bikers.

              If this law passes the public will see a very poor return on investment, and I’m willing to bet the needle on accidents won’t move (and yes I use the term “accident” loosely).

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              • 9watts September 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

                Excellent summary, Pete. Thanks.

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              • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

                Whatever program or law…which of yet, any firm idea of is yet far, far from having been presented… Huckaby’s efforts might help bring about, will likely cost something; what the cost would be depends on what’s proposed. Most everybody would likely be interested in the lowest cost possible that would make any possibly good ideas be a success.

                In the excerpt of your comment below about what your impression of Huckaby’s main premise is, I think you may be exaggerating, over-simplifying, or misinterpreting his thoughts on people that use bikes for transportation. Not to say that this would be intentionally so on your part. At this point, everything Huckaby has presented to the public about this subject has been rather informal, off the cuff remarks, subject to a wide range of interpretation.

                Apart from anything else, while many others have done…nothing…to help derive means for some certainty that people riding bikes in traffic are consistently prepared to ride competently through something as relatively simple as rudimentary familiarization with basic ‘bike in-traffic’ skills and testing for knowledge of them, Huckaby has at least provoked some public discussion about the need for this sort of thing.

                “…Huckaby’s main premise is that cyclists disobey rules because they are ignorant, and forcing them to educate themselves will dissolve the city of all of the infrastructure issues caused by cyclists needing to be protected from their own ignorance – that’s how I read it. He seems convinced the Oregon Driver’s Test is adequate in educating both drivers and cyclists as to the rules of the road, and he’s even said that he thinks most cyclists are unlicensed (and therefore uneducated). So the metric here is that car-bike accidents should go down statewide with the newly-educated Oregon cycling population, since the accidents are in theory being caused by uneducated bikers. …” Pete

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                • 9watts September 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm

                  “Most everybody would likely be interested in the lowest cost possible that would make any possibly good ideas be a success.”

                  As I am doubtful that good ideas will come from this, I would not include myself in your ‘most everybody’ camp.

                  “Huckaby has at least provoked some public discussion about the need for this sort of thing.”

                  There is no need for this sort of thing.
                  There is great need for a different kind of thing, but the discussion he has initiated, though it has led to some excellent critiques here on bikeportland, will very unlikely lead to discussion of those different things that might become policy, in part because some are too eager to accept the terms of debate laid out by Huckaby.

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                • Pete September 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

                  I see where you’re coming from (and appreciate the discourse), but I don’t entirely agree. Yes it’s true we don’t know what any ballot measure(s) look like yet, but aside from us pontificating here on BP (aka preaching to the choir) I see Bob as stirring up no more intelligent debate on the subject on the whole than a KATU or Oregonian comments section after one of us gets hit. Since reporting on this began Bob’s stated aim has remained two-fold: 1) holding cyclists accountable for breaking laws, and 2) educating us on the laws. I don’t see that I’m oversimplifying anything, though I admit to reaching for a conclusion in how one might measure success in these goals.

                  As far as costs go, people won’t want the lowest possible, they’ll want ‘free’. Bike owners won’t want the law at all, and non-cyclists will want us to “pay our own way.” (OK, maybe that’s oversimplification).

                  The only way I see this as having any beneficial outcome is to put whatever is proposed (which we agree we don’t know what it is yet) under the same microscope as a business proposal. What are the upfront costs to whom? What are the stated goals – in measurable terms? What are the metrics for success, and how and how often are they administered? When are the upfront costs recouped (ROI projection), and when and how are the rules reviewed/improved/removed?

                  Other than that talk is cheap – even in the form of ballot measures. Rubber side down my friend!

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                • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

                  Re; Pete http://bikeportland.org/2012/09/05/bob-huckaby-moves-forward-on-statewide-bike-registration-licensing-measures-76881#comment-3205214

                  I think it’s at least somewhat of a ‘wait and see’ situation, as far as how Huckaby may present his views about bikes as traffic and questions of registration/licensing, in the future, as compared to the way he’s presented the so far. As word seems to be that any chance of a proposal he comes up with being on the ballot may be many months out, he may change, moderate his views some. He may get up to speed on the wonky details of active transportation issues and people, which he seems not to be now.

                  I say that based on my impressions of what I’ve been reading about him. Although he’s apparently somewhere in his 50′s or later and has some business smarts, those smarts don’t seem to include being savvy relative to active bike issues. That may account for his having made various statements that have set him up to be easy game for people that resent having to even consider the idea that some means might be put in place to have people become more skilled to ride in traffic. And easy game for people that love ridiculing someone with views different than their own.

                  As for costs of whatever measures he might propose, definitely…people will want ‘free’ if that can be had; and that’s what he should go for. I want ‘free’, but lacking that, the lowest cost possible. All depends on what he attempts to put together. If whatever that is turns out to be some big bureaucratic fee grabbing, cost prohibitive item…which his detractors most likely hope it will be…then it will most likely sink like a stone. If on the other hand, he works to assemble some kind of modest, low level program whose benefits to the public are great enough that the public is willing to assume the costs to make ‘free’ to individual members of the public, he could have an idea with some legs.

                  And also…the initiative process; unless the details of his idea in what goes on the ballot is very, very good and has very powerful appeal to the people, I guess I feel they would fail through the initiative process. Seems to me the legislative process is better…lots more intelligent, highly skilled people working on what the proposal actually calls for, before it even goes to the vote. The weeks and months to come with regards to Huckaby’s efforts could be very interesting.

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  • Goretex Guy September 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Well, look how well licensing has worked with cars! THEY never break the law.

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    • 9watts September 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      “If everybody followed the law, you wouldn’t have the safety problem”

      Ha ha. Good one, Bob.

      I can’t get over the underlying vindictiveness. Perhaps we are blinded here at bikeportland into thinking that the problem was and still is people driving cars not paying attention, or realizing that the machine they’re piloting is easily able to maim or kill someone, and does almost every day. Wanda Cortese: failure to maintain her lane anyone?

      How is this ridiculous and unfortunately predictable backlash from Huckaby going to make one whit of difference to safety, his chief claim?

      Not that it will succeed, but it will no doubt fan the flames. Oh, wait, it already has:

      “‘Hood River, The Dalles, Medford, Eugene and Salem — everyone’s like ‘God yes!’ There’s big support for this,’ he said.”

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  • peejay September 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Good luck, Bob. Be prepared to lose a lot of money and time, for no result, except angering a lot of people.

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    • JRB September 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I hope you are right Peejay. I never sign ballot measure petitions because I think it is far too easy to get a measure on the Oregon ballot. There’s a reason we elect legislators who hire staff to help them do in depth analysis of the pros and cons of any bill before voting to enact a law.

      I don’t trust John and Jane Q Public to spend the time needed to understand the issues and make an informed decision on bike licensing or registration measures. I fear instead a knee jerk emotional reaction as I’ve seen on other ill-conceived measures that made it onto the ballot and were passed by voters. We all know first hand the animosity out there towards cyclists and funding for cycling infrastructure.

      I guess I am just not as sanguine about this as you and will watch this issue closely.

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  • Bjorn September 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Which business does he own? I am curious because it informs how he might be impacted by the closure. It looks like it is first-inc, is it? Seems odd if it is because they claim to be minority owned, and in his TV interview he doesn’t appear to be a minority…

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    • Bjorn September 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Looks like he does own First-Inc, and I guess they do qualify, not sure how the certification program works:

      http://www.1-st.com/minority_owned.htm

      They install furniture at other locations, I can’t see how the closure will have any real impact on his business since access is still maintained via other streets.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

        And just so you know, Huckaby says Wheeler isn’t the reason he’s doing this. It’s a symbol of the problem, but not his prime motivator he says.

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        • Richard Allan September 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

          “He says.”

          Yep, pretty much a coincidence that a man running a business on Wheeler decides to push a couple of “punish cycling” ballot measures. Sure.

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        • Bjorn September 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

          That seems disingenuous beyond belief.

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        • SJ September 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

          So he was thinking of doing this before Wheeler?

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      • Bjorn September 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        I am guessing they have not updated their website in awhile, as this certification is expired and so are the contractors licenses displayed for both Oregon and Washington…

        http://www.1-st.com/what's_new.htm

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        • matt picio September 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm

          Their license is in good standing, the jpg on the website is just an old copy. License can be verified here.

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      • Dan V September 6, 2012 at 9:36 am

        On the website, he is listed as a member of a group in the Cherokee Nation (if I’m reading this right), and I think I saw that he owns 51% of the company.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Bjorn,

      He owns First Inc., which is just down the road from the Wheeler/broadway intersection. In the past I labeled him as “a business owner” or “Business owner Bob Huckaby” but I stopped doing that because it didn’t seem fair to label him. Putting “business owner” in front of someone’s name to me is similar to calling people who ride bikes “bicyclists”.

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      • Kiel Johnson September 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        How about Bob Huckaby Job Creator?

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      • Nick September 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        I like people-first language, but it seems weird to not mention him owning the business there by Wheeler at all.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

          Nick (and others),

          In thinking about it more, I decided to add the fact that he is a local business owner to the story. Thanks.

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    • Spiffy September 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      white people are now becoming a minority in the US…

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      • ConcordiaCyclist September 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

        And they’re going down kicking and screaming. Ugly sight.

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  • Eric September 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    The reason I don’t make a full stop at stop signs has nothing to do with ignorance of the law.

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  • encephalopath September 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Ooooh… a new stick law enforcement will use to beat the homeless and minorities.

    Nice.

    For equity issues alone, this is a terrible, terrible idea.

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    • Kim D September 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Yeah, so the PPB are going to start pulling over and ticketing all the homeless folk that get around by bike are they? Or 6 year olds? Or out-of-town folks that brought *their* bikes here to ride, instead of renting?? If there isn’t 100% compliance with the law with auto drivers, how does he think that licensing and “educating” bicycle riders is going to do???

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      • Richard Allan September 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

        Portland, OR (September 8, 2015) In an enforcement sting coordinated with Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff, the Portland Police Bureau today cited 214 elementary school students for riding bikes with no license plates or expired registration. Police Chief Mike Reese stated: “We felt it was best to crack down on these little criminals on the first day of classes. Maybe they’ll get the message and ask their parents to drive them to school, as God intended.”

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  • spare_wheel September 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    If Huckaby wants cyclists to follow the law then he should advocate for a systematic rewrite of car-centric statutes. I am not going to blindly follow laws designed for 2-4 ton hunks of metal. These laws are often not applicable to cyclists and when they are, often have little or no effect on public safety. Civil disobedience is an essential part of democratic government!

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  • dennis September 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    The issue, is that this will do nothing to level the playing field. Cars can break the law all day long, endangering life-and-limb of cyclists and pedestrians. It’s been proven, that if you want to get away with murder, make sure the victim is on a bike, and you’re in a car. You’ll get away scott free every time. Just be sober and don’t hit-n-run. Remember these words “I didn’t see him/her”.

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    • Kristen September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      “He/She came out of nowhere!”

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  • bikelikemad September 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    If he doesn’t feel safe with me riding a bike, I’m sure he’ll love it when I climb back behind the wheel…

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  • Dan September 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    “Level the playing field”! AHAHAHAHA!!

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  • Shane September 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I’m wondering what age this will reach? Will my kids have to get a license when they are pedaling on a trail-a-bike? Riding on an Xtracycle, bike seat, or in the trailer? Riding alongside me?
    What about 10 year olds biking to school on their own?
    Or is it only 16 and above who have to get this bike license?
    Also of note…we’d have to pay for our 100 count bike education fleet too ($40 a bike would average the cost to $1,000 per year for our program currently and that’s just one of three districts in the area we are working to implement the program).

    This would also assume that if you have a drivers license you know how to operate a bike legally and safely. I don’t think that’s the case. I think the energy could be better spent putting more active transportation education into the existing licensing procedures. Something like the Mobility Education system that the BTA (and others) have talked about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobility_education

    Maybe Mr. Huckaby would like to put his energy into programs like the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education programs we are working to implement into the schools so that we actually educate people on the legal and safe way to walk and bike AND encourage that behavior rather than discouraging it with something so restrictive and bureaucratic as this measure. Fund funding and support for that rather than this stick of a measure.

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    • jd September 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      I saw a little three-year-old thug getting pushed around on training wheels just this weekend! There really oughtta be a law discouraging that sort of behavior.

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    • the "other" steph September 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      That was precisely what I was thinking, Shane, thank you. Aside from the myriad issues already raised, potentially asking 3-year olds to take a road test to ride their bicycles in kid-friendly ways is beyond the pale. This is not to cast aspersions on Mr. Huckaby, and I appreciate both Jonathan and Bob for taking the time to sit down for a frank chat. That said, there are plenty of details and potential ramifications that Mr. Huckaby has not considered.

      If Mr. Huckaby is looking to advocate for a bicycle endorsement, is now the time to (again) suggest an RV endorsement as a preliminary step? That would be awesome! We managed to get it on the “consider” list of ODOT’s Transportation Safety Action Plan; how about starting at the commercial-size vehicle that requires no commercial endorsement? Just a thought and something towards the top of my personal wishlist.

      All of that said, I would personally welcome a voluntary license program. The 1899 voluntary Bicycle Tax funded a number of significant streets in Portland, if memory serves: Division, Vancouver, 12th Ave., and Macadam, among a few others. (It would be awesome if they all had remained bicycle-friendly).

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    • are September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      plus one, shane.

      huckaby’s proposal appears to exempt holders of oregon driver licenses but does not include (yet, at this early stage) any component for requiring someone examining for that license to know anything about sharing roads with bicycles.

      i recently took the license exam, and noticed that the mechanism for randomizing questions allows the mix of pedestrian questions to drop rather low. and i did not see anything at all about bicycles. they need to add some questions, and they need to change the randomizing mechanism so these questions are always prominent.

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    • Kristen September 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      THIS, 10,000%:

      “This would also assume that if you have a drivers license you know how to operate a bike legally and safely. I don’t think that’s the case. I think the energy could be better spent putting more active transportation education into the existing licensing procedures.”

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      • wsbob September 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

        “This would also assume that if you have a drivers license you know how to operate a bike legally and safely. I don’t think that’s the case. I think the energy could be better spent putting more active transportation education into the existing licensing procedures.” Kristen

        Good idea on putting more active transportation education into existing licensing procedures…I presume you mean, for people getting driver’s licenses. Unfortunately, people choosing to ride bikes for transportation, but not get a driver’s license, wouldn’t be obliged to learn the material and be tested for their knowledge of it.

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      • i ride my bike September 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm

        It would also assume that by having an Oregon drivers license that you know how to safely operate a motor vehicle which is questionable at best

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  • Rol September 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    The “playing field” (a place where people on different teams compete against each other BTW) will never be “level” unless you can find some way to make 250 lbs (person & bike) the same as 4,000 lbs (car). Maybe he can start a physics petition to change the physics laws.

    And of course the question remains, why wasn’t he this big “advocate” for “bike safety” before they closed one of the roads to his business?

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    • takeaspin22 September 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Bob doesn’t understand that the “playing field” has historically been tilted at about an 89 degree angle in favor of car and truck drivers. Now it’s down to about 80 degrees.

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    • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Indeed. And the laws are most certainly not the same for motor vehicle operators and bike riders. There’s a huge overlap, but there’s significant differences in the laws (both in civic laws and in the laws of physics).

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  • Ethan September 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Clearly we have a man here who is in desperate need of a few weeks in the saddle. Perhaps then he’d have a very different take on the definition of a “level playing field”.

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    • Pete September 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Hey, that’s not the situation – some of his best friends ride bicycles! He understands, he’s just doing it for the good of us all. How magnanimous!

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  • David September 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    So this “would mandate a bicycle law test for all adults who don’t already have a driver’s license.”

    And it factors in no additional education/testing for auto drivers on how to operate a car in a city with above average cycling?

    Idiotic.

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  • Craig Harlow September 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    My first thought was, “well, it’s a good thing if it generates more conversations and more attention…”

    …but then I though that it’s likely to generate much more anti-bike and anti-bike-people rhetoric, and to embolden those who are already possessed of a twisted mentality that tells people that it’s just easy (and heck, it’s funny!) to vent personal hostility by endangering people on bikes via harassing them in traffic.

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  • SJ September 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Laws exist to eliminate cell phone use by drivers. How is that working?

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  • Andrew K September 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    This is so mind bogglingly stupid I don’t even know where to begin. Never mind the fact that this will do nothing at all to improve the relationship and accident rate between cars and cyclists, it is also completely unenforceable and totally unrealistic.

    How are you going to require a tourist to take a course? The state is actively trying to encourage people from out of state to come to Oregon and ride cross country. If I were to get “pulled over” what would be the punishment if I simply responded, “oh, I’m visiting from California”? Heck, what would be the punishment if I stated, “oh I’m borrowing this bike from a friend who lives in California and I’m giving it back next week”?

    How are you going to enforce something like this for all the people who ride their bikes once a year at events like the Bridge Pedal or the Naked Bike Ride?

    The bureaucratic nightmare a law like this would create is just totally and completely not worth the time and money. You might as well require a registration fee and license every time I buy a new pair of shoes.

    If Huckabey was really interested in making a difference he would spend his money on carrots instead of sticks. Why doesn’t he spend the money on free workshops for cyclists? Why not donate the money to the BTA, an organization that has made safety a top priority? Why not donate the money to PBOT to re-work the dangerous intersection near his place of business so accidents don’t happen?

    What Huckabey and his supporters always fail to realize is that the playing field will never be even. Why? Because when you get behind the wheel you are taking responsibility of a vehicle with the same destructive force as a howitzer. As gun owners often argue, that means YOU the operator have the ultimate responsibility. I agree we must all share the road but it is the DRIVER who far more often than not has the power to kill.

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  • Geebs September 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Eye roll. Also, a second-ing on the tourists complication. So, he’s going after a ballot measure based on his stereotypes? I know anecdotal evidence doesn’t equal data, but the least law-abiding/most-unfortunately-overly-intimate-with-cars cyclists I know are also licensed drivers.

    If this were a genuine scheme to reform state laws/statutes to make the road safer for everyone, I could possibly get behind it, but I’m unconvinced by what I’m reading here. Simply requiring licenses and testing isn’t really going to change much. The folks that run stops signs (especially when it’s unsafe to do so), jump lights, and otherwise don’t respect the rules of the road aren’t doing it because they’re ignorant, and I don’t think the police really have the bandwidth to make sure they’re accountable. I see a kid most mornings who sails through red lights, and a system of licenses and license plates won’t solve that (what am I going to do, call them in and report them? I see just as many cars sail through red lights with equal impunity daily, and no one is calling in those infractions that endanger other road users to a greater degree than that nitwit).

    Simply instituting bicycle licensing is silly. Really silly, and will not solve the safety problems exacerbated by poorly-engineered roads (which is exactly, as Jonathan Maus has pointed out before, what the Flint/Wheeler/Broadway intersection is). Mostly, all I can see it doing is over-stressing an already bursting-at-the-seams DMV and adding another law with disparate effects based on wealth, privilege and education (I expect most judges in Portland would much more interested in the case of a DUI driver with a suspended license trundling around the city than someone who is unhoused and couldn’t afford to license the rusty huffy they use to get around).

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  • andy September 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Any volunteers for monitoring the drivers of First, Inc., to document how many traffic laws they break during the course of a day?

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    • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Ooh. That’s a good one. Of course, we’d be doing it as concerned citizens. It would have nothing to do with a punitive or vindictive move.

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  • Bjorn September 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    When I said the site wasn’t updated I meant that I figured they were probably all renewed, but their website doesn’t indicate that. Sounds like they are up to date.

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    • velvetackbar September 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      yeah. I asked Jonathan to remove my post: I didn’t realize that it contained a residential address until after i had posted it.

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  • jd September 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    If he wants us all to follow the same laws, he’d better enjoy going 10 m.p.h. on the freeway. I am taking the lane.

    Or could this be really about him hating cyclists and wanting fewer of them?

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  • stephry September 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    His company recently put together my cubicle… seriously! Did a good job too. I’m not sure how effective this plan is though. Plus I wonder if administrative costs of registering and testing and licensing bikes would outweigh the fees they would collect. I think his is an emotional reaction to N Wheeler and if it goes to the vote I can’t imagine it passing. I like his tenacity though. Like a pit bull. Gwow Gwow

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    • Sunny September 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Nice try Mr Huckaby

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  • pdxbikeworm September 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Where would you mount the license plate? Can it be transferred from one bike to another? If the issues are with rider education, wouldn’t it make more sense to have some kind of endorsement, like a motorcycle endorsement? What about children under 16 years of age?

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  • Ross Williams September 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    The truth is this idea is a non-starter. He will not get it on the ballot without spending a ton of money. And it won’t pass if he does. My guess is once he tries to fill in the details, he will decide to find some other method of pay back for the Wheeler closing.

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    • nuovorecord September 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Correct. And even if it made it to the ballot and passed, it would likely be overturned by the court system.

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      • davemess September 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

        Can you really imagine it passing. What percentage of people in this state have at least one bike in their garage. I would venture that over 50% of people have at least a bike they every once in a great while ride. Now EVERY one of those people has to go out and spend $40? I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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  • Travis Fulton September 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Seems like this is going to cause a lot of headlines, hissy fits and then completely die. So many of the already mentioned reasons (previous failed attempts, tourism, neighboring states, loss of bicyle related revenue, etc.) point to this fundamentally flawed idea going nowhere. This is going to sap a ton of attention and resources away from the issues that really matter. Am I wrong? Do we really have something to worry about if we just ignore him and keep doing more important work?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Travis,

      I think it’s important to not ignore this stuff. That’s why I’m taking time to engage Bob, hear him out, offer my input, and explain his rationale to the greater public.

      Whether you agree with his ideas or not, I think the perceived (and real) lack of accountability people on bicycles have compared to people in cars will continue to be an issue.

      Portland is a unique situation. We have more urban bicycling on an auto-centric system than any place in the world. This situation is causing these controversial issues to come up. Like Bob himself realizes, if we had infrastructure like Amsterdam, we might not have to have this conversation. But we don’t have that infrastructure yet. Right now, we have a system that throws bicycle traffic right in the mix with auto traffic and we have a regulatory system (ORS and DMV) that is extremely lacking in how it deals with users of that system. For people on bikes, the fact that the same level of regulation isn’t required will continue to stoke anger and resentment at people who don’t bike and/or who don’t understand/care about/like the idea of biking.

      To me, the answer is to force politicians to wake up and start making the infrastructure reflect the rhetoric that’s been adopted in city planning documents and that’s spouted at press conferences and ribbon-cuttings.

      In the meantime, I think we ignore people like Bob Huckaby at our own peril.

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      • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        “…Like Bob himself realizes, if we had infrastructure like Amsterdam, we might not have to have this conversation. But we don’t have that infrastructure yet. …” maus/bikeportland

        This is true. It could be a very long time…years…decades… before bike specific infrastructure such as the Netherlands has, becomes consistently available even near heavily traveled thoroughfares in the metro area. Interim remedies are essential. Increased road user knowledge and skill sets would likely be the comparatively easiest and least negative of all possible, realistic remedies to helping motor vehicles and bikes become more complimentary in road use together.

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      • Burk September 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

        Really like how you are reporting on this Jonathan. I actually like the idea of exploring this. I can’t imagine it will get very far as a ballot measure but the discussion will reach people who are unaware of just how many bike infrastructure issues cyclists deal with every day.

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      • Tacoma September 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm

        Meant to reply to Jonathan’s post. Sorry to post this twice.

        “In the meantime, I think we ignore people like Bob Huckaby at our own peril.”

        I believe that and believe he will easily find enough support to get the required signatures. After that, I don’t know but I’m trying to understand what his “talking points” would be (more than just rhetoric I hope) and their fundamental flaws. I don’t have answers, just questions.

        What I wonder is why motor vehicles are licensed (registered?) and why drivers are licensed? Certainly most citizens have lost sight of the reasons. Furthermore, would those reasons be valid for bicycles and their drivers? If not, why not? Also, what do the license and registration fees fund? Preparing answer to these questions would be a sound idea.

        I believe the main issue is one of open travel on our roads. Would requiring a bicycle registration fee restrict “open travel”? Would the same apply to licensing? I am finding this link interesting:

        http://www.bicyclinglife.com/EffectiveAdvocacy/TheRightToTravel.htm

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        • 9watts September 6, 2012 at 9:11 am

          Tacoma,
          thanks for that link. I enjoyed it. This part in particular:

          “The most appropriate response to unacceptable levels of pedestrian and cyclist crashes is to improve the competence of all road users and improve the roadways to better facilitate safe sharing. After these efforts have been exhausted, if human-powered access to some destinations is still not acceptably safe then it is motoring that should be discouraged in those places, not walking or cycling.”

          Improving competence can and should be distinguished clearly from licensing. As I posted in an early Huckaby-inspired discussion here, the distinction between certification and licensing may be helpful. It was buried quite a few levels deep so I’ll link to it:

          http://bikeportland.org/2012/08/24/opinion-licensing-debate-should-focus-on-reform-not-revenge-76495#comment-3186946
          A license is a permission to do something that otherwise is forbidden….A license is given by the government, and is a government privilege.
          Certification is a statement or declaration that one has completed a course of study, passed an examination, or otherwise met specified criteria for certification.
          Certification is not a permission to act, but rather a statement of completion or qualification.

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          • Tacoma September 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

            Important clarification re: licensing vs. certification. Thank you.

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      • Travis Fulton September 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

        “We have more urban bicycling on an auto-centric system than any place in the world.”

        This really sums up the situation quite well. It’s based much more in reality than saying Portland is “bicycle friendly” or some sort of bike Mecca. Thanks for the response, maybe this will lead to some good conversations.

        I’m appreciative of your diplomatic approach, level headedness and willingness to go beyond “us/them” thinking with these contentious issues.

        Cheers man.

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  • Vivian September 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    A licensing process for bicycles puts the greatest amount of burden upon those in our society who can least afford it and are least literate in navigating bureaucratic channels. The equity implications of this run deep for many low-income, immigrant, housing and job insecure communities, whom clearly are not of any concern nor thought to Mr. Huckaby.

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    • Pete September 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      You mean like voter ID?

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    • matt picio September 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Except that most people understand why the right to vote is important – not as many people understand why the need for non-motorized travel is so important, including many of the disenfranchised individuals who would be most impacted by any registration requirements.

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  • Chris I September 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I feel like I’m reading The Onion.

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  • A.K. September 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    “Key to Huckaby’s perspective is the belief that a large percentage of people riding bikes in Oregon don’t already have a driver’s license”

    Soooo…. his whole argument is based on a easily disproven false premise?

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    • nuovorecord September 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Hey, facts have no place in this discussion!

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    • davemess September 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Seriously I did a double take on that one. I honestly don’t know a person in the city who doesn’t have a drivers license and bikes (even occasionally recreationally). Granted that’s not a very big sample size, but I think he’s really going out on a limb there.

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      • davemess September 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

        Jonathon, do you think you could put a poll on the front page to check out this “fact” that most of us do not have driver’s licenses. I would love to get some data on this and it seems like this site would attract a lot of cyclists to poll.

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        • davemess September 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

          apologies Jonathan (don’t know why I always mess it up).

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      • Fiona September 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

        I personally don’t have a driving license and I bike (not in Portland albeit), but I’ve learned the rules of the road – why? Because it massively extends my life expectancy!

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    • are September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      depends what he means by “large.” any percentage over about three or five could be considered rather significant in terms of actual numbers on the street.

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  • Spiffy September 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    bicycles are not a danger on the roads, it’s the cars that make the roads dangerous… very few people have been killed by bicycles, pedestrians, and horse-drawn carriage…

    there’s already infrastructure that exists in the entire city that was built for bicycles, it’s called roads… and automobile drivers should be eternally grateful that we let them menace us on them… we should ban all automobiles from the roads (because we know that bicyclists are the reason the government built them for us) and then start creating specific infrastructure for automobiles…

    I would love to level the playing field… all vehicles must now go under 35 mph and weigh less than 200 lbs…

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  • NW Biker September 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I’d like to hear Mr. Huckaby explain how a license will make riders obey the laws…right after he sees the video of that big white truck making an illegal right turn onto the street that has been closed to right turns.

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  • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Requiring some age groups of people that ride bikes to acquire specific skills and ability for riding in traffic amongst motor vehicles is a fairly reasonable proposal. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the metro areas and across the entire state, there turns out to be a lot of solid support for a well crafted proposal for seeking to accomplish this.

    I’d guess a requirement that people register their bikes and mount a license plate…something almost inevitably awkward and ugly…to bikes would probably not get very solid support and would be an obstacle to any proposal for advancing efforts to have people riding bikes in traffic be better skilled and certified/licensed for that type road use.

    If seeking to have people that bike in traffic be better prepared for that type road use stands any chance of at least some serious discussion as a possible proposal for a bill to become law, it should probably not be in proposed in the same bill as one calling for bikes to be registered and have license plates mounted to them.

    Someone venturing a controversial idea from the perspective Huckaby is, in the motor vehicle-bike context using sports references such as ‘level the playing field’, isn’t a good choice. It would have been better if he’d thought carefully before deciding to use that kind of metaphor before participating in this interview with bikeportland.

    I think many fair minded people across Oregon will agree Huckaby is right about what this bikeportland story excerpt says is his view:

    “…The goal for Huckaby is simple: He feels there’s a big traffic safety problem brewing due to the growing number of people riding bikes in Portland (and across the state) who have never passed a test on how to ride safely and follow existing traffic laws. …” maus/bikeportland

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  • Alex Reed September 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Another reason we need to reform the initiative system. Why should Mr. Huckaby be able to put a law like this before the voters just because he’s a business owner and probably relatively well-connected to wealthy people? If most Oregonians got it in their heads to put something on the ballot, they would be utterly unable to gather the money required to get the signatures needed. The initiative process has become a tool for the wealthy rather than a haven of direct democracy.

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    • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      “…Why should Mr. Huckaby be able to put a law like this before the voters just because he’s a business owner and probably relatively well-connected to wealthy people? …” Alex Reed

      Don’t be so hasty in concluding the idea is on the ballot. It’s along way from that. I don’t know much about the procedure, but I believe…even if he on his own had the money to fund the effort, the proposal would still have to pass a lot of scrutiny before it ever became a proposal before the House of Reps or the Senate in Salem.

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      • Alex Reed September 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        My understanding is that if you can gather X number of signatures, you can bypass the House and Senate entirely and put it on the ballot. If it goes on the ballot and gets passed, it has the force of a constitutional amendment. In general, the major determinant of whether a given cause can gather X number of signatures is how much money the cause can raise for paid signature gathers. For example, Jeff Bernards (I think that’s his name?) tried to get a studded tire ban placed on the ballot and failed (in my opinion) largely due to lack of funding.

        And no, Mr. Huckaby clearly hasn’t gathered all the signatures yet to get this on the ballot. But I think the reason it’s even a possibility is because he has access to money.

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        • wsbob September 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm

          “My understanding is that if you can gather X number of signatures, you can bypass the House and Senate entirely and put it on the ballot. …” Alex Reed

          Yeah…as Richard Allan notes below, that’s the initiative process. Do a search, check it out online. That process has a long storied history in Oregon. It takes a lot of signatures and money to get a proposal on the ballot that way. I’m going to say off hand that not many proposals actually get made into law that way.

          I read in this bikeportland story that Huckaby “…has hired a lawyer who is currently writing up the ballot language. …” to write a proposal for a law, but not that he’s going to use the initiative process to get it on the ballot. Personally, I’d hope he wouldn’t use the IP to bring a proposal for a law before the public, although sometimes it seems, the IP process can bring about extended public discussion that the legislative process often seems not to…and with the ideas Huckaby has in mind, extended public discussion would be very good.

          There should be a lot of grass roots exchange of ideas about the irrefutable reality of bikes as transportation being a mode of travel more and more people will be using, and how best to make mixed travel mode use of roads work out within the infrastructure situation present today.

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          • Alex Reed September 7, 2012 at 7:26 am

            Huh, I read “ballot language” as a clear sign that he was intending this effort to be at the ballot box AKA the voting booth. I wouldn’t have any (fairness/process) problem with Mr. Huckaby advocating for a law like this at the State Legislature. Not that I think it would be a good law, but the initiative process is not the place to decide this question.

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        • matt picio September 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

          Right – the problem with *this* initiative is it may have enough anti-bike *voluntary* signature gatherers that paid gatherers are unnecessary. There is also the possibility that business interests not favorable to bikes may spend the money to do it – including businesses at the national level who want to give Portand a black eye. (no, that’s not paranoia – there are plenty of historical examples of similar behavior)

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      • Richard Allan September 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

        The whole point of the initiative process is that it never becomes a “proposal” before the state legislature. If he drafts an inititative, gets a caption and summary from the Secretary of State, and collects enough valid signatures within the allotted time, the measures goes directly to the voters.

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  • A.K. September 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    And another thing… all these vindictive drivers (and I drive too, most every day!) that have called Huckaby to express support for this licensing scheme, I sort of doubt they’ll be for it when they finally think it through and realize they need to pony up all the same time and dollars when they want to drag their bikes out of the shed once a year to ride around with their kid, or take everyone’s bikes to Sunriver, etc.

    Have fun with THAT – this will impact everyone, and even people who don’t relate to those of us who cycle a lot will have a hard time swallowing this pill when it impacts their yearly family vacation or whatever.

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  • Michelle September 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    A better idea, since so many bicycle riders are also auto drivers, would be to have a comprehensive bicycle section in the current licensing test. Then, auto drivers would also know what the bicycle laws/rights of the road are.

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    • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Hello!

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    • Kristen September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      And, require everyone to re-take at least the written portion of the license test when they renew. Change the renewal period to two years, instead of the current 8.

      Heck, they could even make the test open-book, like the notary test is. Make the renewal test 100 questions, covering all aspects of road use in Oregon.

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  • Sunny September 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I wonder how many of his employees ride a bicycle to work.

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  • scdurs September 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I’d like the owners of all of the bicycle shops in Portland to weigh in with their concerns about how bicycle licensing will affect their business. People will think twice about becoming cyclists with the additional testing and licensing required. People will think twice about buying another bicycle and just use the only one they have for commuting/recreational/touring bicycling. Think of the lost sales to all those who dream of owning an additional bike but don’t want the additional licensing expense. Think of all those kids who will never get to ride a bike until they are 16 (if that’s how the law is written), and the loss of all those bicycle sales.

    Just think if Oregon ever tried to have a motor vehicle licensing program like Washington used to where your fee was based on the value of your car. The auto dealers would stand up and scream bloody murder and this would go nowhere.

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    • A.K. September 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Yes, I agree – would the bike industry here in Portland be larger than the office furniture installation industry? I wonder which has more clout to influence others?

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    • JL September 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      I would be happy if the bike shops in all of oregon ( and all helmet manufacturers) made a push for all motor vehicle occupants be required to wear a helmet.
      It would be as easy and cost effective as monitoring the seat belt law and safe many of our loved ones lives.

      Would you be willing to look into that option Jonathan?

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  • Allan Folz September 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Yawn. It’s all been said (and tried) before. It doesn’t work on so many different levels it’s impossible to even decide where to start addressing its failings.

    Ultimately though, you can’t fix a problem of non-compliance by adding yet more compliance burden. It’s like the old economist joke about opening a can on deserted island… first assume we have a can-opener. Mr. Huckaby, when faced with scofflaws, wants us to assume the scofflaws will stop being scofflaws long enough to get themselves licensed, registered, and educated, and then once educated they will stop being scofflaws. All accomplished with a regressive tax that, were it applied to motor vehicles on an identical relative basis, would equal around $1000/yr. Good luck with that Mr. Huckaby.

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  • Fred September 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Will the bike license plates be offered in carbon fiber?

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    • Mercier531 September 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      I was hoping for titanium!

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  • Matt September 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Sour grapes or what? Jeez.

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  • Rebecca September 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    If he does move forward with this, my hope is that the experience will provide a recent, local example of why bicycle registration is not a feasible or reasonable program.

    If the intent is truly improved road user education…given that 89% of cyclists also drive cars, it seems like a more efficient and cost-effective way to achieve that goal would be to lobby for more bicycle law & operation content in the existing Drivers’ Ed curriculum and drivers’ license test. You’d even raise awareness & education among car drivers with no intention of riding bikes themselves…that would be great.

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    • A.K. September 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      YES, this exactly! More education during the learning portion of getting a drivers license would go a lot further in helping everyone get along out on the streets.

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  • Lenny Anderson September 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    At some point maybe its time for a “BikeStrike!” We all drive a car for the day and shut the City down.

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  • Mercier531 September 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I wonder (hope?) if his ballot initiative will also include stepped up enforcement of the car registration law. Next time you are out in the city look at the tags on cars. It won’t take you long to see cars that are being driven with expired tags (and some of those tags will be expired by a year or more).
    I say, “Bring it on Bob”. I believe that Oregonians will overwhelming defeat this futile ballot measure.

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  • El Biciclero September 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Can’t even comment. The rationale is completely backward. “Level the playing field”? What? Now drivers can start running over legally licensed cyclists? OK, I’m commenting.

    This is another punitive, revenge-motivated idea that will not solve anything. If the goal is education, what is bike registration about? What it sounds like is, “if we can’t get ‘em with the endorsement/test fee, then we can at least hit them with a bike reg fee!”

    If you want to require additional testing, it should start with those who already have driver’s licenses. Next time you go to renew, require a re-test, but this time put some relevant bike-oriented questions on the test!

    And license plates. That is so laughable. Even if the haters voted this into law, license plates would be by their very nature transferable from bike to bike. Since no single attachment location will be consistently usable for any given bike, they must be movable. If they are movable, they are movable. If cops start running bike plates to match to make and model of bike, they truly have nothing to do.

    $10/year for registration? This whole package will do nothing but discourage new cyclists, but I guess that’s really the goal–get cyclists off the streets!

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    • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      I made a similar argument in another comment that the license and the “plate” must be one in the same. The license should travel to whatever bike the operator is on. That said … Hogwash.

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      • Tacoma September 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        Frankly, I think the “plate” will be of an item of clothing (vest, jersey, t-shirt?) that must be worn when riding your bike. One must always wear the “plate” when riding. WNBR not withstanding.

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        • El Biciclero September 6, 2012 at 9:23 am

          I wondered about this myself after attempting to think of a consistently usable bike-mounted attachment point. Hey, we could all look like racer wannbes if we have to wear race-style registration numbers pinned to our clothes. But, if we start requiring cyclists to wear a license, couldn’t we require pedestrians to do the same? Why not everybody? “Hey! That guy stole my purse and ran off! Lucky thing I got his license number…”

          Does the language of a bicycle registration ballot measure have to address the “how” of displaying said license?

          At a time when most cities are scrapping their $4, one-time-fee bike licensing programs, it seems far-fetched that a $10/year bike license plate law could be enacted.

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        • are September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

          maybe an implanted chip

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          • nuovorecord September 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm

            …or a tattoo. More Portlandia-ish that way. ;-)

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  • Alain September 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I find it amusing that for Huckaby it’s an equity issue. I would be surprised (1) if Huckaby manages to sustain his frustration long enough to run a campaign (along with his business), and (2) if this really goes anywhere and is able to build support. If Huckaby does build support, then I guess we have something to be worried about, but he is really making a big deal over a slight inconvenience. In fact, it’s convenience at all cost, and if a few people have to get seriously injured or killed, well ‘so be it’ Huckaby seems to be saying. I wish people like Huckaby were as passionate about low-cost healthcare for everyone. Speaking of equity.

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  • Kerry September 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    What about alcoholics? Wouldn’t it be a huge liability to register or endorse repeat DUI offenders? And if the state declined to register them, doesn’t it seem likely that a non-trivial percentage would say “bleep it, I’ll just drive”?

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  • Grandpa September 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Huckaby’s issues would be addressed with more enforcement. There are a lot of concerns by cyclists that would also be addressed by more enforcement. The state, the county, and each city is tapped as far as funding for more police go, so any new law would be an unfunded mandate. The net result would be no change, because there would be no officers to enforce the new law.

    Huckaby is engaged in a spectacular waste of time.

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    • El Biciclero September 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

      This is really what people like Huckaby want–punishment for cyclists.

      The argument tends to sound like this:

      “It’s no fair that cyclists get away with running STOP signs while motorists have to have licenses!”

      Lewis Carroll would be proud (or maybe not, since he was actually quite the logician) of this Rabbit-hole logic.

      So if he wants cyclists to be punished, then what makes sense to me is more enforcement now, rather than enact a new law that needs its own enforcement. What is the expectation? That cyclists will be busted more frequently for violating currently existing laws once they are required to be licensed? If so, why not just start stepping up enforcement now? If we can’t step up enforcement now due to lack of police resources, then how could we expect increased enforcement later, after the presumed passing of a new law?

      Given our current situation with respect to enforcement, the only real outcome of this proposed law will be to increase the monetary cost of cycling and regulating cyclists. That’s it. Does Huckaby suppose that licensing fees will pay for more enforcement resources? Does he mistakenly imagine (as so many O-Live commenters seem to) that drivers will now be able to start calling in bike plate numbers and getting tickets mailed to scofflaw cyclists?

      The whole rationale for something like this is backward nonsense.

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      • 9watts September 6, 2012 at 10:39 am

        I think ‘backward nonsense’ is a generous assessment.

        But about calling in license plates and having tickets mailed to offending parties, I didn’t think that worked even now, with cars. Or am I mistaken? What recourse do I have to register my concern about people who are bent on terrorizing others with, or from within, their cars with the authorities?
        http://bikeportland.org/2012/09/05/what-se-hawthorne-would-look-like-if-our-streets-match-our-rhetoric-76903#comment-3199619

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        • El Biciclero September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

          This is my point. Calling in license numbers–unless you are currently following a drunk driver down the freeway–gets virtually no response from law enforcement. Generally, an officer has to witness a violation to be able to cite an offender. I’m calling attention to the false “accountability” having a license plate is presumed to create.

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  • John Lascurettes September 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    a statewide ballot measure that would require all bicycles to have license plates and would mandate a bicycle law test for all adults who don’t already have a driver’s license.

    Oh please, if this goes through, please make it mandatory for all people renewing their licenses. We’d see an awful lot of know-it-all [cough *huckaby!* cough] people fail the test.

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  • Tacoma September 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    “In the meantime, I think we ignore people like Bob Huckaby at our own peril.”

    I believe that and believe he will easily find enough support to get the required signatures. After that, I don’t know but I’m trying to understand what his “talking points” would be (more than just rhetoric I hope) and their fundamental flaws. I don’t have answers, just questions.

    What I wonder is why motor vehicles are licensed (registered?) and why drivers are licensed? Certainly most citizens have lost sight of the reasons. Furthermore, would those reasons be valid for bicycles and their drivers? If not, why not? Also, what do the license and registration fees fund? Preparing answer to these questions would be a sound idea.

    I believe the main issue is one of open travel on our roads. Would requiring a bicycle registration fee restrict “open travel”? Would the same apply to licensing? I am finding this link interesting:

    http://www.bicyclinglife.com/EffectiveAdvocacy/TheRightToTravel.htm

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  • Bjorn September 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I am curious is Bob Huckaby prepared to turn over his driving record? Can the press file a FOIA request for this information? If this is about the safety I wonder how safe Mr. Huckaby is on the road?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 5, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      He told me today he’s had three speeding tickets. He’s not trying to hide anything. He sped. He got tickets. He paid them.

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      • Chris I September 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

        Well, he has more than I do, and I’ve been scoflaw cycling around town for years. Maybe he should be pushing for more stringent requirements for scoflaw drivers like himself?

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      • Bjorn September 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

        Interesting, he is an older guy if he really has only had 3 tickets for speeding in his life that is probably better than average. I still wonder if he isn’t bitter because he or someone he knows right hooked one of the cyclists and ended up with a ticket for it.

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      • Seth Alford September 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

        Were those 35 mph in a 30 mph zone? Or 80 mph in a 20 mph school zone? It would be interesting to know.

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  • Ryan September 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Portland is going through some exciting times! I’m very excited to learn what happens in the coming months about Huckaby’s licensing plan. I know for a fact that if this passes I won’t comply with the law. I refuse to be licensed to ride a bicycle. Huckaby is a bitter man who probably hasn’t battled a single day in traffic on two wheels. There is no level playing field between bicycles are 2+ ton behemoths.

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    • A.K. September 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I’ll be damned if I’m putting an ugly license plate on my sweet road bike.

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  • Joe September 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I rode my bicycle in Long Beach, CA for years and never noticed they had a bicycle licensing system. Seems like a waste of police time to enforce this when there’s plenty of drunk drivers and inattentive drivers going around in 2,000 lb metal bombs.

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  • Opus the Poet September 5, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Right off the bat I can say this won’t fly. The first tourist or out of state commuter that gets pulled over will cause the whole mess to get chucked for interfering with interstate commerce. Only Congress is allowed to do that. The agricultural inspection stations at the CA border were only allowed after an act of Congress. Driver’s licenses were only allowed because there were bicycles and other muscle-powered modes of transport that let people go from state to state without using a car and therefore without having to get permission from a state to travel.

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    • Donna September 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      You’re absolutely right, Opus, and I’m surprised this hadn’t occurred to me already. These points would be very good to point out to people that might support this initiative out of frustration from bicyclist behavior but otherwise feel strongly about the aspects of the US Constitution that you mention.

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  • 9watts September 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    He told me today he’s had three speeding tickets. He’s not trying to hide anything. He sped. He got tickets. He paid them.
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    In his mind, bicycle licenses will increase compliance and therefore increase safety. “To me, it’s all about the safety. If everybody followed the law, you wouldn’t have the safety problem.”

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  • JC September 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    There are too many comments to enable me to digest everyone’s opinion on this. My questions is simple – does this proposal require drivers of motor vehicles to pass additional tests, meet requirements, whatever as it relates to operating a car and being specifically aware, considerate and cautious about cyclists as a part of acquiring a driving license? I hope so.

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    • are September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      nope

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  • TonyH September 6, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I wish I understood law. Imagine that I live in Washington and, furthermore, there is no car license/registration. Upon driving into Oregon I get pulled over, and I tell the Police Officer that my state doesn’t require cars to be registered. Would this be accepted? Why would bicycles be different?

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    • wsbob September 6, 2012 at 8:44 am

      It would or could be different for people riding bikes, or for their bikes, because this a proposal for a new law that’s being considered. There’s no inherent obligation that new law possibly requiring certification/licensing for bikes, or registration/plates for bicycles follow that set for licensing people that drive, or for registering and putting plates on their motor vehicles.

      See my comment here as well:

      http://bikeportland.org/2012/09/05/bob-huckaby-moves-forward-on-statewide-bike-registration-licensing-measures-76881#comment-3199868

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    • Psyfalcon September 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Oregon does not require Canoes or Kayaks to be registered. Minnesota does. If I take my canoe to Minnesota they would require me to register it there. If Oregon did have canoe registration I would not have to.

      I’d imagine we’d need to use the “you’re out of luck, register it” system here.

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  • Rick Hamell September 6, 2012 at 7:14 am

    If this does pass, I forsee a growing black market in stolen bicycle license plates.

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    • El Biciclero September 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Theft of required equipment does not prevent one being tackled off of one’s bike for not having it…

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  • Andy September 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

    As an avid bicycle rider and promoter, I have always opposed things like this. But, after a trip to Portland last week, I am having second thoughts. There is a small minority of bicyclists, less than 5%, that are totally out of control. They are rude, obnoxious, have contempt for the law and people in cars, ignore traffic laws even when doing so puts people, including themselves, in grave danger. If you truly support the idea of sharing the road, something must be done about these people. They create antagonism and anger that harms the rest of us. It may take a license plate to hold them accountable.

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    • 9watts September 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

      ” If you truly support the idea of sharing the road, something must be done about these people. They create antagonism and anger that harms the rest of us. It may take a license plate to hold them accountable.”

      Andy,
      the sense of the problem you (and perhaps Huckaby) share, and these schemes for ‘sticking it to those scofflaws by holding them accountable’ do not and will not line up like you seem to think. This is a failed agenda, and punitive, and is based on misunderstandings of how society can effectively deal with problems like this.

      The same behavior you ascribe to a minority of people who bike I can assure you is found among licensed drivers. So, how is this scheme anything but an ill-considered vindictive and expensive boondoggle?

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    • Dan September 6, 2012 at 8:54 am

      And….licensing isn’t going to stop those people.

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      • Dan September 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

        And really, you should be more concerned about the people in cars. We’ve got some real wackos here.

        This morning I was on my bike in the left turn lane approaching an intersection and the light turned yellow. I slowed and stopped. The Suburban behind me SPED UP AND SWERVED AROUND ME so they could fly through the red light. Could be that they just weren’t properly licensed…

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    • Over and Doubt September 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Andy, the very same observation holds true for those piloting 4,000 machines that can far more readily maim and kill you and your loved ones; 5% may even be conservative. (Count yourself lucky if you didn’t encounter them on your visit.) Seems like we ought to first figure out how to neutralize the safety threat from those folks, since licensing and registration clearly haven’t done the trick.

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      • Andy September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        I absolutely agree with you. The fact is that there are a small minority of both drivers and cyclists for whom no amount of education will suffice because they already know and don’t care. It’s also true that it is inherently more dangerous when driving a car. What I would like to see is more enforcement taken toward both because that is the only thing they will respond to. The cyclists I encountered clearly knew better and didn’t care. Even though I was driving carefully and lawfully, I could easily have hit one of them or injured my family as a direct result of their lawless behavior. They went on to do it to other motorists down the block.

        I am not nitpicking. I don’t come to a complete stop at stop signs on my bicycle, but I make sure to do the functional equivalent from a safety respect for others perspective. Riding through a stop sign at 20 mph and screaming at a motorist with the right of way to “get the f*** out of my way” then veering in front of them to continue straight through the intersection must not be tolerated. How would you deal with this behavior?

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        • are September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

          probably mutter under my breath for a few seconds

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        • Kristen September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

          A license plate isn’t going to stop those people from riding or driving the way they are comfortable doing. As has been noted previously, the police won’t ticket someone just because you’ve called in a license plate. Often, the best they can do is have a form letter sent that basically, says, “someone saw you doing X and you should stop that because it’s against the law and here’s what could happen if the police saw you doing it”. Which doesn’t stop anyone from doing X, again.

          As you’ve noted, a large portion of that 5% who are breaking the laws know what they are doing and they don’t care. Registration, licensing, etc won’t change them.

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          • Andy September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm

            You make a valid point that I think could be a basis for a constructive response: licensing won’t solve the problem. I think we should acknowledge that there is a problem with a minority of bicyclists, just as with a minority of drivers, that can only be solved with enforcement and then support it both ways. Perhaps the author of this petition would be receptive to a sincere approach like this.

            For some drivers education really would help. I was following my wife recently when she turned right across a bicycle lane too close in front of a cyclist. I talked her about it and asked her to think about the consequences. She was very concerned and am sure will be much more careful in the future. My point is that both education and enforcement are essential and that we need to take the initiative in being evenhanded. More education and more enforcement for motorists and for cyclists.

            We need to keep “share the road” from becoming an ironic statement. We cannot ask motorists to share the road if we are unwilling to. Obeying traffic laws is a fundamental way of sharing the road. Good for the goose and all that.

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    • dr2chase September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      You say “grave danger”, but I doubt it is really that grave. Cars kill 3000+ pedestrians in the US, cyclists, about 1 (I think this year may be worse because of 2 in SF so far). 1 death per year is “grave danger”? Compared to 3000? What sort of danger is 3000 times worse than “grave”?

      Always check the numbers before engaging in hyperbolic flourishes. Cyclists are the safety experts — the results prove it, no matter what you may think of their behavior.

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  • Tom September 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

    in addition to stealing your Brooks saddle, stolen plates will be the new items for CL ads.

    So the state is going to have to start a database of issued plates ? they don’t even have the money to cover todays expenses, much less new ones.

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  • Terry D September 6, 2012 at 9:32 am

    This is a waste of time and resources unless we update all of our laws and infrastructure to take bikes into account. Even then I am not sure what it would accomplish. There would have to be so many exemptions and loopholes…..that does not always stop people though. Voters across the country have voted in some really stupid ballot measures.

    I always find it interesting that the same “business community” that loves to eliminate regulations and keep “government off our backs” are always the first to cry foul and ask for new laws when something happens they do not like.

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  • Ben DuPree September 6, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Long road here.

    Hope Huckaby has several hundred thousand dollars, at least, to spend on qualifying his measure or measures for the ballot. If he doesn’t have an army of grassroots help too, he’ll need it. At a minimum.

    Then he’ll need significantly more money to turn out votes outside of Portland, Eugene, and the coasts. I mean a lot of votes. Because I can imagine the BTA and other environmental groups mobilizing to get out the base.

    And he’ll have to spend for a “YES” campaign, which is more difficult to pass than a “NO” campaign.

    And then he’ll have to explain to Oregonians why he wants to increase fees on most people across the state. And why he wants to divert police attention from violent crime. True or not, it’s an argument.

    Like I said, long road.

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  • Chuck September 6, 2012 at 9:40 am

    If this happens, can the license plates be rethought and not just small car license plates? How about something closer to racing numbers? I still think this is silly, but if by chance it does happen let’s at least make these look good.

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  • Dan V September 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I, for one, am in favour of more education (for all) to make for safer streets. How about Dutch-style safety training where they teach you in third grade about your rights and responsibilities as a driver, rider, AND pedestrian. Everyone gets the training, and I think it will make for better drivers, riders, and pedestrians. Takes the onus off of the cyclists. Registering the vehicle is a non-starter, but the beauty of democracy is that you can put your idea up for a vote and see if others agree. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  • Ted Sweeney September 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Jonathan, at what point will you feel that you are giving this movement, which I continue to feel is actually a non-starter, more coverage than it deserves?

    Ballot initiatives are very expensive. Is Huckaby really ready to foot the bill for paid circulators? Calls of support from “cities,” whatever that means, will definitely not equal contributions towards an expensive campaign.

    Clearly this man likes attention. He got a little bit with the Wheeler controversy, he seized it by spewing this plan. From my read of the media right now, it’s you that’s giving him the most exposure on this. You must have a better sense of it than I do, but I worry that you are encouraging this. When will you feel that that line has been crossed?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 6, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Thanks for the question and thoughts Ted.

      I disagree with your premise though. I am giving this attention out of respect for Bob’s perspective and because I feel his views represent the feelings of a lot of people in Portland and throughout the state. If we ignore Bob and others who agree with him, we have no chance to have a productive discussion that could actually move the needle on this issue.

      I am tired of having both sides fight for their perspective while nothing gets done to actually solve the issues at hand. I sense with Bob that he cares enough about traffic law compliance and the lack of good testing and enforcement that he just might be a potential partner and/or bridge to more focus and change around this issue. I might be wrong, but my hunches have served me very well through the years.

      I would be crossing the line if I was unfairly representing Bob’s opinion and/or I was pushing my own personal agenda. I’m not doing either of those things.

      Also, I want to share his plans here on BikePortland so that people like you and other commenters can help educate me and the rest of the community about how his plans might be improved and/or be off the mark… and I’d much rather do this here than in the comments of KATU, OregonLive.com, and so on.

      Thanks.

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      • dr2chase September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        His “views” however, are (at best, but never attribute to malice…) based on ignorance. There is no “bicycle safety problem”, not compared to the “automobile safety problem”, which is thousands of times larger (cars are much less safe, and there’s much more of them).

        And no, I don’t have a lot of “respect” for ignorant, innumerate views. Anyone who actually cares about safety will take the time to do a little research, which is darn easy on the internet.

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    • wsbob September 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      “…this movement…” Ted Sweeney

      At this point, there is no movement. It’s just one guy…Huckaby, who’s hire a lawyer to draft some ideas into, what exactly, nobody outside of Huckaby and lawyer really knows, other than that he’s mentioned licensing bikes and people that ride them.

      Despite the fact that Huckaby hasn’t presented to the public, even a single draft of any law he may propose, we have plenty of people commenting to this story, in a panic, imagining the world as they know it, of people being able to ride around on their bikes in the most challenging traffic conditions imaginable, with virtually no obligation to prepare for that by learning and testing their ability for in-traffic bike travel…is on the verge of ending, because of this one guy…Huckaby.

      At this point, Huckaby is on his own, but depending on what’s included in his proposal for a bill, that may change. He’s got no real support yet, from the public, advocacy groups or legislative representatives, but if he were to come up with some solid, practical proposal, he may get plenty of support…for whatever the law draft he eventually produces, indicates a new law should call for.

      The worst part of this whole bikeportland brouhaha, is that many of Huckaby’s detractors commenting to this story, gleefully ridicule him and his ideas, yet fail to make even the slightest effort to help build a reasonable counter proposal to help accomplish even one of the objectives it seems he hopes to accomplish with his yet to be released proposal for a law.

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      • dr2chase September 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        Why is a counterproposal necessary? He’s addressing a non-existent problem. Bicycles are far safer for other people than cars, and there’s far fewer of them. There’s no need. They’re also safer for their owners, because people who don’t get enough exercise (a subset of people who don’t ride bikes) die from couch potato diseases, and many more of them are killed that way than are killed in bicycle accidents (their measured mortality rate is higher). So here’s my counterproposal, which will ensure that bicycles are much safer than cars, both for cars and for other people: do not one damn thing. I can back this up with statistics, if you don’t believe me.

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        • wsbob September 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm

          “… So here’s my counterproposal, which will ensure that bicycles are much safer than cars, both for cars and for other people: do not one damn thing. …” dr2chase

          Sounds very much like the attitude of ‘The party of ‘No’ ‘.

          Don’t do anything is what you seem to be saying your counter-proposal is…that you’re happy with the status quo of bikes being vulnerable road users in traffic, many of whom are especially vulnerable beyond the inherent vulnerability of a person on a bike in traffic relative to people driving or riding in motor vehicles, in part because they either do not know, or do not adequately use basic techniques for traveling on a bike in traffic.

          There are commonly known, growing problems arising from heavy demand of streets and roads by a wide array of travel modes. Huckaby’s interest and his efforts appear to fundamentally be directed towards addressing those problems, specifically with regards to use of bikes for travel in traffic. To date, people using bikes for travel haven’t been obliged to test for their ability and skill in using good technique for traveling in traffic. If they were so obliged, and did more consistently use such techniques in traffic situations like Broadway-Flint-Wheeler, it’s conceivable this could help traffic flow more safely, and better for everyone.

          What Huckaby produces in the form of a bill proposal is yet to be seen, but if it would be something that would introduce measures to encourage people that travel by bike to learn safe techniques for riding in traffic amongst motor vehicles, or improve techniques they already have, that could be a step forward to addressing some of the problems associated with traffic congestion, of which bikes are increasingly a part of.

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          • 9watts September 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm

            “There are commonly known, growing problems arising from heavy demand of streets and roads by a wide array of travel modes. Huckaby’s interest and his efforts appear to fundamentally be directed towards addressing those problems, specifically with regards to use of bikes for travel in traffic.”

            I don’t for a moment believe that to be true, except insofar as reducing ridership might conceivably be construed to address this problem.

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            • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 1:03 am

              The meaning I intended may not have been clear.

              Rather than implying Huckaby’s efforts were specifically directed towards having more people ride, I meant to say that possibly, Huckaby’s efforts are at least in part for the purpose of having people that ride be more consistently skilled and using in-traffic techniques, towards having road use be safer for people traveling by bike, help traffic flow better, and help reduce bike-motor vehicle close calls, particularly in challenging traffic situations such as Broadway-Flint-Wheeler.

              What I wrote here, I think is definitely true:

              “There are commonly known, growing problems arising from heavy demand of streets and roads by a wide array of travel modes. …”

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            • DIMcyclist September 12, 2012 at 1:12 am

              Just to chime in, the use of phrases like, “commonly known” is usually an indicator of pure rhetoric- an assumption of, an appeal to, a nebulous ‘generally shared knowledge.’ It’s a pretty common propaganda/advertising tool. If it isn’t a direct empirical statement (which is impossible to defend without supporting data), it remains only a subjective assertion.

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              • wsbob September 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

                In the specific example of the excerpt of my comment in which I used the phrase “commonly known” and what it refers to, would you care to venture your own subjective
                assertion as to whether or not there are growing problems arising from heavy demand of streets and roads by a wide array of travel modes?

                “…There are commonly known, growing problems arising from heavy demand of streets and roads by a wide array of travel modes. …” wsbob

                Thoroughfares and streets are becoming busier, more congested and challenging to travel on because increasing numbers of people need to use them. People know this, because they’re the ones using them, in their cars, on buses trolley and train, and on their bikes. If you think there’s some possibility this isn’t true, or that there’s something nebulous about it, ask around.

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          • dr2chase September 7, 2012 at 4:47 am

            wsbob – there are programs in place to restrict traffic at problematic intersections. Continuing those programs seems like a good idea. They’re politically feasible, and they work. No change required, at least right now. Might look into accommodating local truck traffic at this recently changed intersection — if it’s just trucks, that’s not so many — but I don’t see how I could get much support from the biking world for that right now, since they are worried/busy about this idiotic Huckaby proposal (that’s a hint).

            My other counter proposals, though employed in other places and proven successes, are so “unAmerican” that I doubt they would be taken seriously here, so I did not propose them, but since you asked, here they are. We could tighten driver licensing; require safety skirts alongside the wheels of big trucks (saves gas on the highway, too); change liability laws to default-assign-blame to the larger vehicle (cyclists are “larger” than pedestrians); get serious about segregated infrastructure for cyclists; institute a gas tax that incorporates the appropriate costs of CO2 emissions and wars. Toothy penalties for driving (not cycling) drunk would help.

            These have all been tried elsewhere, in particular in that half of Europe whose economy is not so sucky (since that is the inevitable response, we tolerate uncivilized roads because it is “good for the economy”, never mind that Euro problems are caused by uncompensated capital flows in a fixed currency, not social policies). There’s laws regarding use of signals by automobiles and stopping before turning right on red; those need to be enforced vigorously.

            A not-tried-elsewhere proposal would be to roll the cost of legal-minimum-required insurance (for the default-quality-driver) into the gas tax. You’re still required to have insurance, but the standard unit is paid at the pump. If you’re a better-than-average driver only signed up for minimum insurance, your insurance company gets money back from the state, which in turn is sent to you in a check; otherwise, depending on policy and driving quality, the net changes hands. This converts that (non-trivial) cost of driving into a marginal cost, where it is more effective in changing behavior (reducing driving).

            There are some changes I would recommend for cyclists, and some of these I could actually help with myself. Number one, is use of daylight running lights. Bright LEDs, run off a hub generator (downside — more to damage running your bike through deep water). Makes you far more visible. Kinda wonder why the “effective cycling” crowd is not all over this, since being visible is one of their mantras. Number two, is teaching cyclists how to read traffic for the specific case of right hooks. I think this has to take the form of instructional videos; there’s signals, but there’s also lane position, and tire position, and changes in these as a car approaches a stop. I know I read this at every intersection, but I’m not entirely conscious of how I do it. I hate to think it all boils down to “pay attention” but maybe it does. Would be a good use for a GoPro.

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            • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

              Items mentioned in this excerpt of your comment, particularly Number Two on, are examples of what I think could be important elements of a ‘bike in traffic’ techniques and test procedure people that bike in traffic might well be encouraged or obliged to follow, that could equip them to travel in traffic more safely, help traffic to flow more smoothly and with fewer close calls and collisions between motor vehicles and bikes.

              “…There are some changes I would recommend for cyclists, and some of these I could actually help with myself. Number one, is use of daylight running lights. Bright LEDs, run off a hub generator (downside — more to damage running your bike through deep water). Makes you far more visible. Kinda wonder why the “effective cycling” crowd is not all over this, since being visible is one of their mantras. Number two, is teaching cyclists how to read traffic for the specific case of right hooks. I think this has to take the form of instructional videos; there’s signals, but there’s also lane position, and tire position, and changes in these as a car approaches a stop. I know I read this at every intersection, but I’m not entirely conscious of how I do it. I hate to think it all boils down to “pay attention” but maybe it does. Would be a good use for a GoPro.” dr2chase

              Whatever Huckaby presents in the proposal he’s preparing with the help of the lawyer he’s said to have hired, these are the kind of bike in traffic related considerations more people should be thinking about. Getting people to think about them should not require someone like Huckaby doing something dramatic such as bringing up the idea again, of having people put license plates on their bikes.

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              • dr2chase September 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

                I have several problems with my second proposal, though I’m not surprised that you liked it, given what I’ve seen you write. First, it is “education”, which is difficult and does not scale. Second, I am not 100% sure what I would be teaching; I know I can “intuit” what cars are likely to do, but I’ve been driving and biking for decades, and I am not entirely sure how I do it, except that I am better at it than I used to be. It’s darn sure not taught in driver’s ed manuals; it’s got something to do with engine noise, and doppler shift, lane position and tire angle — stuff that you mostly can’t even perceive from a car, so it’s not going to appear in a car book. Third, the people that I propose to educate are not the cause of the harm; that would be careless/clueless/hasty motorists. It seems like a better idea to reduce the harm, and to inconvenience the people who cause it (“here, view this annoying instructional video”), than those who do not.

                I still from time to time get almost-right-hooked, by people who actually pass and then (attempt to) turn right. This, despite riding an enormous bicycle (20″ Big Dummy on Big Apples with upright bars, so I am sitting really high) with two high power LEDs on the back (one amber, one red) and a load of reflective tape on the fender and rear-facing tubing. So driver education would be better (assuming education worked at all), since the fast-pass-and-turn hooks are harder to spot in a graceful, non-scary way (both times, I followed the car into the parking lot, one I yelled at, the other noticed me and I think decided that I had intentions on his paint, and he drove off without parking. Works for me, if he figured out what he did and realized that I was that unhappy.)

                For all these reasons, I most favor infrastructural change (no need for education) and changes to the marginal cost (though not necessarily the overall cost) of driving that might just get people off the road.

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                • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm

                  dr2chase, yes…it’s ‘bike in traffic’ skills I think many people riding bikes could benefit from either an introduction to or a review of. Some of what you mention about sensing the presence and approach of motor vehicles is part of it, but there would be more. Various people reading and commenting to bikeportland have experience and knowledge that could help to build and critique a basic Dept of Vehicles bike in traffic manual, exam and test procedure.

                  And there certainly is room for improvement in the process involved in getting a driver’s license, improvement that could consist of better advise and testing of ways people behind the wheel could to allow for people traveling by bike on the road. This is something bike advocates could use as a kind of bargaining chip, if a certificate/licensing program proposal with some substance were ever to approach being on the ballot. People that drive motor vehicles must bear certain responsibility for taking care to allow safe passage for people that bike, but they can’t be expected to take all the responsibility for safe passage. People that bike must take some as well.

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                • 9watts September 8, 2012 at 12:39 am

                  “People that drive motor vehicles must bear certain responsibility for taking care to allow safe passage for people that bike, but they can’t be expected to take all the responsibility for safe passage. People that bike must take some as well.”

                  I agree with this principle, wsbob, but let’s pause for a moment to ask who is in fact found to be at fault in collisions that occur involving both modes, how fault is distributed. Once we’ve ascertained that, then we should revisit the plausible sounding principle you articulated.

                  We’ve learned of several studies recently here on bikeportland:
                  “between 1995 and 2009, 60 percent of fatal New York City pedestrian and cyclist crashes with known causes were the result of motorists breaking traffic laws.”
                  If I am reading the report correctly, when you add in serious injuries, the share of the carnage for which drivers are responsible goes up:
                  “Driver inattention caused 36 percent of crashes that killed or seriously injured pedestrians. Failure to yield resulted in 25 percent of crashes. High speeds caused 20 percent of these crashes.”
                  http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/08/06/ta-most-city-pedestrians-and-cyclists-killed-by-drivers-who-broke-the-law/

                  (& from Monday Roundup Nov. 29, 2010)
                  Researchers in Melbourne found that in the course of a study http://tinyurl.com/czcoakp using helmet cameras in city traffic, the person in the car was at fault for 87% of the collisions and near-misses they observed.

                  Now let’s review how responsibility for causing injury or death in these few studies is distributed: 60:40, 81:19, 87:13 driver:pedestrian/cyclist. Others could no doubt find additional studies; these were just a few I found this evening. I think it would be fair to say, based on these statistics, that in the majority (supermajority?) of crashes, Huckaby’s ideas that focus on the problem of ill-informed cyclists are unlikely to achieve a reduction in carnage. Worse, they mystify the matter by reinforcing the notion that they are at fault, the cause of the trouble, the ones whose training is inadequate.

                  Those who are causing the majority of crashes have passed the kinds of training and licensing Huckaby wants those who bike to undergo. So if we’re leveling the playing field, requiring bikers to be more like drivers, who’s to say that things won’t get worse?!

                  Jonathan, can you ask Bob Huckaby this question the next time you talk to him on camera?

                  But back to your point about everyone taking greater care. Sure. I still think that is wise, and I’ve suggested as much here in the past. The trouble is that we’re not talking about everyone taking greater care, taking responsibility. We’re talking about forbidding a large subset of non-motorized use of public roadways until and unless those who would do so–have done so for generations–pay fees and submit to procedures that have almost no bearing on the statistics above.

                  As the Netherlands have discovered, universal traffic education and certification works extremely well. But that is not to be confused with what is being proposed by our friend from First, Inc. who likes to speed.

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                • dr2chase September 8, 2012 at 6:06 am

                  We’re well down a rathole here, but:

                  I think relying on education is a poor plan; if it worked well, I think Effective Cycling would have been more successful. We don’t rely very much on education for automobiles, after all — education removes the need for airbags, and much of the need for ABS. Why do we need this complicated system of road striping (complete with national standards boards), why do we need guard rails, etc? We deploy a ton of infrastructure to make proper driving easier and more obvious. And from my limited sample of motorists who felt qualified and motivated to lecture me on traffic law, they don’t know the law at all. You can confirm this by observing motorist behavior — they break traffic laws on a regular basis.

                  The other problem with cyclist safety “education” is that I provided for you what I consider the best example of it; my other rules for cycling include a model for driver behavior that is pretty insulting to drivers (deaf, nearsighted, stupid, hasty, irresponsible, tribal). You work from that model for long enough, you internalize it, it does not make for default civil discourse (everything I post, is through a self-imposed civility filter). When you add all the data that has been recently collected (on accident fault, mortality rates, pedestrian deaths) and made easily available over the internet, it only gets worse. The best opinion that I have of people driving when I ride my bike, is that they are sheep (keep in mind that I own and drive a car often, and I’ve been biking and driving in traffic for 40 years now).

                  But 9watts — I don’t think that the Melbourne study is trustworthy. The people on the bikes knew that they had those cameras, and that almost certainly affected their behavior. The one interesting part of it that is statistically safe is whether the drivers ever knew that they had almost hit someone (that was part of it, wasn’t it?). This might establish a third suggestion; well-publicized ubiquitous cameras at (urban) intersections to establish fault in any accident — and to suggest changes to infrastructure, if common accident scenarios can be detected.

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                • wsbob September 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

                  Re; http://bikeportland.org/2012/09/05/bob-huckaby-moves-forward-on-statewide-bike-registration-licensing-measures-76881#comment-3206052

                  “…We’re talking about forbidding a large subset of non-motorized use of public roadways until and unless those who would do so–have done so for generations–pay fees and submit to procedures that have almost no bearing on the statistics above. …” 9watts

                  What you’re claiming in the above excerpt of your comment seems to be one plan you’re thinking of, that could conceivably involve some form of registering bikes and having plates displayed on them, and/or having people that ride bikes learn/review some standard use of the road on a bike, be tested for that knowledge and skill and carry a document indicating they’ve successfully done so.

                  I doubt very much that your plan definitely is, or should be the only one people are thinking of. Huckaby certainly hasn’t released any document or proposal that would, by imposing fees, effectively or otherwise forbid people from riding bikes. At this point…although I’ve yet to see the tv interview…he’s seems only to be touching on general ideas about plates/registration, fees, licensing individuals. I’m interested in what he puts together in his proposal document. There’s no certainty at this point, what will be called for in that proposal, or whether it will include paying fees or undergoing and passing tests as a condition for use of the road with a bike. Or…if such things are in the document and make it to a ballot measure, whether the public would pass them in a vote. You seem to be counting many, many chickens before they’ve hatched.

                  I kind of looked over the stats you offered to attempt to support an argument…seemingly against obliging people that bike to take any responsibility whatsoever for knowing and testing for their ability to travel about safely and competently in traffic on a bicycle. Whatever significance you feel is helpful to attach to those stats, and whatever you feel they tell you…does not change the basic fact that people biking in traffic are presently not obliged to acquire standardized, approved knowledge and skills specific to the use of bikes for travel in traffic.

                  Statistics and arguments about how bad this or that travel mode group is, or which of is the greater or lesser contributor to collisions or whatever, shouldn’t allow the fact to be lost that people biking in traffic are presently not obliged to acquire standardized, approved knowledge and skills specific to the use of bikes for travel in traffic. Everybody that operates any type of vehicle in traffic on the road should probably be obliged to learn corresponding travel mode specific skills and test for their knowledge of and ability to use them.

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                • 9watts September 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm

                  You use lots of words, wsbob, but what is your argument, what are the grounds for your easy dismissal of my points?
                  “Statistics and arguments about how bad this or that travel mode group is, or which of is the greater or lesser contributor to collisions or whatever, shouldn’t allow the fact to be lost that people biking in traffic are presently not obliged to acquire standardized, approved knowledge and skills specific to the use of bikes for travel in traffic.”

                  People who drive cars (we have to assume) have acquired what you call standardized, approved knowledge and skills.
                  People who drive cars in places where studies have been conducted to determine this seem to be the disproportionately dangerous category in crashed involving people biking or walking, despite acquiring those skills and knowledge.
                  You and Huckaby seem to think that people biking should follow suit and acquire this standardized, approved package of knowledge and skills.

                  But on what logic do you assert this? How has this package of knowledge and skills served those driving? Not very well, statistically, or at least in terms of staying out of trouble. You dismiss my statistics and arguments about the fact that drivers have been found to be more dangerous in the aforementioned situations than bikey folk and walkers, but on what grounds? Maybe the (lack of) standardized package of approved knowledge and skills isn’t the problem, but human frailties when it comes to operating automobiles?

                  You and Huckaby are so focused on the means (absence of standardized, approved knowledge and skills acquisition) that you’ve failed to notice the tenuous (inverse?) relationship this has to the end (safe interactions with other types of traffic).

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                • wsbob September 11, 2012 at 12:14 am

                  Re; 9watts http://bikeportland.org/2012/09/05/bob-huckaby-moves-forward-on-statewide-bike-registration-licensing-measures-76881#comment-3212361

                  Forget studies. This is real life, out in traffic everyday. Using studies to rationalize doing nothing to encourage people that bike to increase their ability to competently travel in traffic is an example of the worst use that people sometimes make of studies.

                  Despite improvements to study and testing that driver’s license applicants are obliged to undergo to be approved to operate a motor vehicle and receive a driver’s license, I believe most people, would readily recognize and agree that the study and testing that driver’s license applicants undergo is better….way better than not undergoing any such process at all.

                  Ask the public whether they believe it would be a good idea to allow people to drive a motor vehicle in traffic without at least learning basic knowledge specific to that activity and testing for it, and I believe the answer will be if not unanimously ‘No’, a very high majority answering ‘No’.

                  Given that bikes in traffic on roads and streets are becoming increasingly more numerous throughout the metro area, I suspect that many Oregonians would give some very serious thought to suggestions that people that bike should possibly study and be tested for their knowledge and ability to competently bike in traffic, and agree that ‘Yes’…they should study and be tested for their knowledge and ability to competently bike in traffic.

                  I’ve never met Huckaby, and have no knowledge of his views other than what everyone else has read of them here on bikeportland. Probably the only main point of Huckaby’s that I believe he may be making, and that I may agree with, as I’ve mentioned before…is that people that bike…that is, at least certain of them, should probably be obliged to study specific knowledge and skills for bike in traffic travel, and be tested for that.

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                • dr2chase September 11, 2012 at 5:31 am

                  Wsbob, “Forget studies” is not a winning argument. You want fewer dead and injured people, you figure out what is killing them, and you do something about it. If the study says that what kills cyclists is drivers breaking the law in their cars, then either you fix the drivers, or you teach cyclists to expect dangerous behavior from people in cars. Neither Huckaby nor you proposes to fix the drivers (who also manage to kill 3100 pedestrians per year — should the pedestrians also be required to study the drivers’ manual, or do we need a program of Effective Walking? Perhaps helmets and day-glo reflective vests?)

                  That leaves “teach cyclists to expect dangerous behavior from drivers”. The drivers’ manual teaches you rules to follow; it does not teach you that you are sharing the road with a bunch of clueless, careless, impatient 10x-overweight oafs. That lesson (which I acquired quite quickly before I was even a teenager, decades ago) — spotting unsignaled turns, expecting drivers to run red lights, expecting them to speed, expecting them not to stop at crosswalks — works. However, what is the effect of this lesson on my behavior with respect to the law, while biking? Do you think it makes me a more law-abiding cyclist? Why should it? Do I want to demonstrate that I am a better person because I obey the law? (I’m already a better person, because I choose to ride a bike — safer for others, see physics and mortality stats). No, like drivers, I want to get where I am going as quickly as possible. Therefore, I look carefully (and you have to look carefully even when the law says you have the ROW, see dangerous behavior from drivers) and go.

                  For example, here’s a specific rule not taught in drivers manuals. “Don’t ride your bicycle into the sun”. Why is that? Because drivers will be blinded by the sun, and driving-while-blind is both socially acceptable and de facto legal in this country.

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      • 9watts September 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        ” yet fail to make even the slightest effort to help build a reasonable counter proposal to help accomplish even one of the objectives”

        wsbob,
        why would I be interested in helping him accomplish even one of his objectives.? I don’t agree with any of them. The problem he misidentifies (bikers getting off scot-free) is not on my list of social ills I’m motivated to address with time or energy. I doubt he’s motivated to help me reduce carnage from cars by increasing licensing requirements – why should I want to carry water for his misconceived crusade?

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        • wsbob September 7, 2012 at 12:29 am

          “wsbob,
          why would I be interested in helping him accomplish even one of his objectives.? I don’t agree with any of them. …” 9watts

          The very idea of a counter-proposal, is it being a response to a proposal one does not agree with.

          Since you don’t agree with what can be known at this point, about the proposal for a law Huckaby is said to be preparing that will likely have something to do with registering bikes, certifying/licensing people that ride them…either one or the other, or both…let’s hear your own proposal, or that of anyone that thinks they have a good idea…to better prepare people for riding in traffic. Fundamentally, that’s what Huckaby’s efforts would seem to address.

          No simple, cynical, sarcastic retorts to Huckaby…but instead, serious, realistic proposals that could have some actual merit, practical possibility of accomplishing improvement on the multi-mode travel roads of today.

          Avoid or minimize reliance on the punitive approach in any proposal offered: the ‘more enforcement’ suggestion. An increase in enforcement may be important, but it’s a negative response rather than a positive one and to be avoided in favor of more positive approaches if at all possible. The old, oft used adage: ‘You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar’.

          And also, no rationalizing not doing anything, attempting to use the lame excuse that ‘people that ride, already have driver’s licenses’. While that may possibly be true of the commute crowd on Williams Ave or some of Portland’s other major bike commute routes, as things stand, anyone capable of riding a bike, regardless of how young or old, otherwise capable or not, is allowed free access to almost any road or street in the heaviest of traffic conditions. Across the metro area, that could be a lot of people on bikes that have never gone through the process of getting a driver’s license.

          Those under 16 years of age won’t have driver’s licenses. There may be fewer numbers of people older than 16 deciding to get a driver’s license. The numbers of people of people that don’t have, have never had a driver’s license, and may never get a drivers license, that are riding bikes, could be increasing.

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      • are September 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

        well, now, let’s give wsbob some space here. what he seems to be asking is this. you have all these cars out there, and all these intersections and lanes and traffic control devices. and you have all these cyclists who let’s say don’t have a real solid grounding in how it all is supposed to work so that everyone can work around each other and arrive safely.

        paraphrasing here, robert, so if i get it wrong just chime in.

        and wsbob’s question is, what do you propose to do about it, if anything. this fellow huckaby seems to think requiring cyclists to get some education would be a good thing.

        and let’s set aside for the moment huckaby’s possible motivations, because that is ad hominem. either his idea has legs or it does not. and let’s set aside for the moment that a lot of motorists also do not seem to have much of a clue how to share the roads with one another, let alone with non-motorized users, although a clue to how we might frame a “counterproposal” might be lurking in there somewhere.

        it either is true or it is not that a lot of cyclists either do not have a clue how to operate or behave as if they do not. it actually may matter which it is, because if this is simply a behavior problem it could possibly be addressed by social reinforcements, including or not including traffic court.

        but let’s suppose it is simply lack of information. or let’s suppose that if we “require” people to have a certain level of information it will make more sense to hold them to a specified set of behaviors.

        how do we go about “requiring” this, and at what point are we stepping on what you might call a basic right of mobility?

        we license drivers of motor vehicles because they are operating very dangerous machines. we might, as part of that licensing process, greatly increase the motorist’s sense of responsibility to watch out for cyclists and pedestrians, leaving the cyclists and pedestrians to do what they will and harm none, as the saying goes.

        that would probably be the nature of my counterproposal. not saying i am never slightly annoyed by the behavior of some other cyclist, but in the larger scheme of things, i am more annoyed by people who sound their horns unnecessarily (like when they are locking their cars), or smoking too close to the door or demeaning their children or whatever.

        once you start down the path to certifying or licensing cyclists, you really have to start asking, well, what about my basic right to just move around under my own power?

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        • dr2chase September 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

          Hypothetically, suppose that 2% of drivers, and 10% of cyclists, could benefit quite a bit from more driver education (note that 90% of cyclists are drivers or are at least licensed — so they already know everything there is to know, right?).

          If you have a 10% ride share, twice as many drivers as cyclists need additional education. The only number much in question here is the percentage of drivers who need education — we know about what the ride share is, we know about how many cyclists have drivers’ licenses. Do we seriously think that only 2% of drivers are unclear on some valuable driving concepts?

          Huckaby’s proposal is utterly innumerate.

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  • Peter Buck September 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I don’t think licensing bicycles or cyclists has any merit but I do think both cyclists and drivers could benefit from better and more frequent education. I got my Oregon drivers license in 1989 with a simple written test based on the driver’s handbook, a vastly condensed version of the relevant ORS sections. Since then there’s been no state-imposed requirement to review the law. I think drivers should have to take and pass an on-line test upon license renewal that refreshes their knowledge of the rules and reviews recent rule changes. The infrastructure for this already exists at the Oregon Marine Board for licensing boat operators. Cyclists should get their education in school. I rode by Aloha High this morning and counted 437 cars and 28 bikes. The latest statistics I could find says there are 161 teachers and staff and 439 seniors out of a total class size of about 2000. If I assume that all teachers and staff were at school and all of them drive a car themselves that leaves conservatively 276 students driving to school, or the equivalent of 63% of the senior class. A woeful 1.4% of all students biked to school. A 2008 report on the cost of parking estimates the annual cost of a parking space in a suburban surface lot to be $671. Do the math, this represents ~$185k per year spent on student parking subsidies at one high school. Since the lot was maybe only half full, the total cost is even higher. We could easily divert some of the parking subsidy into cycling education classes at the high school level, maybe by charging for parking for school attendance and for sports events. High school is when kids reach driving age and therefore is the right time to educate them about the benefits of cycling, how to do it safely, and what laws apply to them if and when they get a drivers license.

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  • Brian Willson September 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I find this a near Draconian proposal. Worse, it is a DISTRACTION from the more fundamental issue – the need to quickly build infrastructure that discourages the burning of fossil fuels to move weight in deference to rapidly expanding pedestrian walkways and bicycling lanes and throughways.

    The inevitable decline in available cheap and easily accessible fossil fuels, AND the emergency presented by climate instability caused significantly by human lifestyles dependent upon burning fossil fuels that emit molecules of carbon (particles equivalent to mass destruction) into the atmosphere, urge an immediate radical shift in policy.

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  • Over and Doubt September 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Jonathan, did Huckaby have any comment when confronted with the BTA stat that 89% of riders already have licenses (’cause they’re also drivers)?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Over and Doubt,

      I didn’t share that BTA stat because I didn’t know it off the top of my head. I said my hunch was that the vast majority/over 90% of people probably already have driver’s licenses. His hunch was that the number was much lower. We agreed to disagree. It will be interesting to see how/if his proposal changes now that that stat is out there.

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      • Alan 1.0 September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

        Another figure I’m curious about is the fraction of bike riders cited in the recent Ladd’s Circle stop sign enforcement who identified themselves with a driver’s license. I know they aren’t required to show it but I bet the vast majority of them did so, and I bet that PPD could pull those numbers fairly easily.

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        • DIMcyclist September 12, 2012 at 12:31 am

          I’d also be curious to know- that would be direct statistical data, not hearsay or assumption; the only downside is that it would be such a small & localized data sample.

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    • davemess September 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      That stat (89%) was for cyclists who had driver’s licenses AND owned cars. It goes over 90% for sure if you quantify it to “has a driver’s license”.

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  • El Biciclero September 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Let’s see if we can parse the rationale for this proposal as put forward by Mr. Huckaby:

    I.
    a. Cyclists frequent running of a STOP sign resulted in lots of crashes.
    b. Due to the high frequency of crashes, PBOT closed a street that provides convenient access to Mr. Huckaby’s business.
    c. Therefore, cyclists must quit running STOP signs.

    II.
    a. Cyclists run STOP signs because they don’t know they are supposed to stop at them.
    b. If cyclists are required to pass a test and be licensed, they will learn that they must stop at STOP signs.
    c. Therefore, cyclists will stop at STOP signs, making the streets safer for everyone.

    III.
    a. Having a driver’s license ensures that one knows all the laws relevant to cycling on the street.
    b. We can’t be sure that cyclists that don’t hold a driver’s license know the law.
    c. Therefore, cyclists without driver’s licenses must be tested and licensed, making the streets safer for everyone.

    IV.
    a. Cyclists run STOP signs because they don’t think they will get caught due to their anonymity resulting from lack of license plates on their bikes.
    b. If cyclists are required to put license plates on their bikes, they will feel more pressure to obey the law.
    c. Therefore, cyclists will stop at STOP signs, making the streets safer for everyone.

    V.
    a. The “Playing Field” isn’t level because drivers have to pay to be licensed and have their cars registered.
    b. The “Playing Field” would be level if cyclists also had to pay to be licensed and have their bikes registered.
    c. Therefore, cyclists must pay to be licensed and have their bikes registered, making the “Playing Field” level and the streets safer for everyone.

    VI.
    a. The streets are unsafe for bicycle travel because they weren’t designed to accommodate it.
    b. If everyone followed the law, the streets might become safer in spite of their design.
    c. Therefore, cyclists must be licensed and registered, making the streets safer for everyone.

    Dismantling of this rationale is left as an exercise for the reader.

    (Hint: licenses are required to operate dangerous machinery)
    (Hint: education is lacking on the part of all road users)
    (Hint: no new law is worth anything without enforcement)
    (Hint: enforcement is possible now…)

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  • Spencer September 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Thank you. I have said it before. I emailed him when he started his whole hissy fit. Hoping that maybe putting a face with someone who was in a cycling crash could help him see the importance of the closure. I offered to take him on a bike tour of that part of the city and got NO responce. He stayed silent when cars were crashing into cyclist on wheeler. Where was he suggesting this plan years ago when PBOT was beginning to look at all the measures to help fix this dangerous intersection.

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  • spare_wheel September 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

    since trikes have the same rights as bicycles in oregon i wonder whether the toddler next door will have to license their big wheel.

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    • El Biciclero September 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Well, technically…a Big Wheel ™ would be classified as a “low rider”, not a tricycle. Although I’ll bet some language could be drafted to include them…

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  • Jeffery September 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I have no problem licensing my bikes if it can be done in bulk. Many cyclists have many bikes, some of which only see tens of miles a year. There is no justification to charge such a high fee per bike.

    I also want provisions to justify having to have a license.
    1) Every roadway and bridge is now open to me.
    2) Every roadway/bridge is brought up to standards to make cycling safe among cars. Every road.
    3) Car drivers need to be held more accountable for their actions and with a stronger punishment…from poor or aggressive driving to threatening the cyclists.
    4) Anyplace a car can park, a bicycle should also have a parking lot to park with secure and safe lockup.
    5) On and on and on….I expect a lot in return, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.

    I’m sick of the statements that cyclists don’t pay our own share of the costs. Many of us own cars as well, pay the gas taxes, pay the license and plate fees, pay our taxes, etc. We do our fair share of paying the costs, yet often use our cars far less than non-cyclists do.

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  • Ben McLeod September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    This is a great idea. Clearly, everyone who drives a car knows and follows ALL the laws of the road. Just take a look at your nearest road. Perfect order.

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  • Chris Tuttle September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Why stop with bicycles? Pedestrians have to interact with bicycle and car traffic. Who knows what might happen when unlicensed walkers cross the street? And skateboards. And razor scooters. And tricycles. And Segways. And those 4-passenger thingies that people pedal on the Esplanade. That’s exactly what we want – let’s have the government require licenses for a whole range of activities, regardless of any inquiry into the harms / societal cost of those activities.

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  • dwainedibbly September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    It looks like his business has some large clients. I wonder how they’re going to like it when it becomes public knowledge that someone they’re doing business with has taken such an anti-bicylist stance.

    Regence Blue Cross is one example. This initiative will get people off bikes, almost certainly resulting in a less healthy population, resulting in higher healthcare costs.

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    • Jeffery September 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Unfortunetely, this is far too true. Something like this made into a law means far more people aren’t going to make an effort to cycle. Besides the costs of bike, helmet, clothing, etc they now also have to pay for a license and bike registration.

      It’s tough enough to get people to get out and cycle without that cost. Add it in, and many will say it’s not worth their time or money. Others are going to choose or be forced to ride a bike illegally.

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  • Brad Hawkins September 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Let’s see, you would never have to license a mountain bike because they aren’t used on the road, you might as well license roller blades, Segways, skate boards, and push scooters because you can ride those on the roads as well as the sidewalk. Any kid riding on the road would need an endorsement since the playing field must be made level, and I feel that anyone setting foot on a roadway would need an endorsement too. Any pedestrian crossing the street would need an endorsement to do so as not having said endorsement would lead to vast and flagrant abuses of the law.

    The best part is that you no longer have to ride in a bike lane if the car lane is safer. You no longer have to ride to the right since your very payment of a license fee ensures your equal access to the road. The flattest and safest of all roads, the freeways are now at your beck and call, luring you to far away lands of Woodburn, Biggs, and Turner.

    I’m fine with licensing bikes as long as the state assesses the fee by the weight of the vehicle. If we are looking at $40/year for a 25lb bike, then it should be no problem to assess $7040/year for your garden variety 4400lb Toyota Sienna. Level away.

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  • Josh H September 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    America, land of the fr- scratch that, freedom only by government license.

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  • bicycle rider September 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    nothing would energize bike riders more than fighting this off, throughout history overreaching laws have scared their targets into powerful action to not only fight it off defensively but to continue the fight offensively.

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  • Ben B. September 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

    “Let’s all operate the same way.”

    I think he is very misleading. That means no car should go over 20 mph. because no normal bicyclist can go over 20 mph.

    And we should all operate the same way Like little robots. Rather then accordingly to the danger we pose.

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  • lil'stink September 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    The idea of having some sort of a license plate on a bicycle is downright laughable. Do people who advocate for this somehow think police will magically start enforcing traffic laws more than they do now because a cyclist has a license plate on their bike?

    I certainly hope there will be options for custom Ti and carbon fiber plates, or will the plates simply be like the ones at the local toy store with your first name in capital letters?

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    • DIMcyclist September 12, 2012 at 12:22 am

      I’d want mine in Tange Prestige! Or maybe Reynolds 853!

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      • DIMcyclist September 12, 2012 at 12:23 am

        Or maybe a ‘Dutch/city’ version inn Hi-Ten!

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  • Allison (@allisons) September 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Just reminding everyone – when someone is collecting signatures, ask what it’s for and if you don’t support it, it’s ok for you to say no thank you.

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  • Galen Denney September 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I’m going to move to Portland and open an office, just so that when I decide to furnish that office I can actively boycott Bob’s business.

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  • The dude September 8, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I hope it passes. Cyclists should endorse it wholeheartedly. If it passes, then cyclists will have an argument to force every town and county in the state to upgrade their roads with room for bikes. Every damn bridge, and I-5. And detectors at every damn light so they will turn green. Hell, if I’m paying for a plate and endorsement, I ride on the level playing field WITH the cars, and am protected. Granted, it will bankrupt the state, but it doesn’t appear Bob has thought this through very well.

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    • DIMcyclist September 12, 2012 at 12:19 am

      I’d be paying more to register my bikes than I ever did for registering a car.
      While I’m sure your intention is in the mien of, ‘buy the stock so that we’re shareholders in the company’, you have to remember: we’re ALREADY shareholders. You don’t need to buy shares you already own.
      To put it another way, if you already have a club, you don’t need to cut off your arm in order to use it as club.

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  • 007 September 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    It’s time Oregon DRIVERS were required to take DRIVERS’ ED as required in Washington state.

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    • Alan 1.0 September 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Only drivers under 18 need to pass a traffic safety education course in order to get a Washington license. Over 18 requires a knowledge test and a road test, or a valid license from another state.

      http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/steps.html

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  • Atbman September 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    dr2chase
    Not from my backside: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mor_ped_inj_in_col_wit_ped_cyc-pedestrian-injured-collision-pedal-cycle
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mor_ped_inj_in_col_wit_car_pic_up_tru_or_van-car-pick-up-truck-van
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/06/15/new-data-debunks-bike-bedlam-sensationalism/
    I once saw data from England (on a blog, somewhere) that was roughly consistent with this, but can’t find it anymore.

    Recommended 1

    In the 8 years to 31/12/08 (oh, all right, 12/31/08) on pavements,(oh, all right, sidewalks) 2 pedestrians were killed in collision with cyclists, while 382 were killed by motor vehicles
    In the same period 530 pedestrians were killed on pedestrian crossings by mv’s and 3 by cyclist collisions.

    Do we really want to level the playing field? Except by improving driver safety, that is.

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    • dr2chase September 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Do you have a link for that? Not to argue, but to add to my list of references.

      And I think inventing more and more annoying rules for motorists until they are as good at safety as cyclists would be an amusing activity. Level the playing field, indeed. Results don’t lie — cyclists are the safety experts. People should be coming to us for advice, not lecturing us on our behavior.

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  • are September 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

    wsbob
    Ask the public whether they believe it would be a good idea to allow people to drive a motor vehicle in traffic without at least learning basic knowledge specific to that activity and testing for it, and I believe the answer will be if not unanimously ‘No’, a very high majority answering ‘No’.

    ask the public whether they believe it would be a good idea to set the examination and competency requirements for operating an automobile on public roads at such a high level that relatively few people would be certified, and i believe the answer would be almost unanimously “no.”

    but it is our collective refusal to take this measure that makes all the rest of this discussion “necessary.”

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  • DIMcyclist September 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    What a poor, irate schlep.
    Why do they ALWAYS bark up the wrong tree or try to climb it a**-first?
    Are cyclists REALLY such low-hanging fruit?

    Let’s see- does this that mean that every 5-year old peddling around on a baby Schwinn in his parents’ driveway will have to go through drivers’ ed, yet the drivers themselves still won’t have to?

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  • derp September 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Yeah rule #1, don’t get hit by a car.

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  • Glenn March 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Well, this license proposal is to make bicycle riders “safer road users”. It applies to all adults (16 and over?). By inference, those under 16 would not be licensed, and therefore, not permitted to use the roads or other public right of way. They would not be “safe road users”. So the logic of this nonsense would be to totally ban children from using bicycles as transportation.

    Mr. Huckaby’s “modest proposal” could go a long way to worsening the growing childhood obesity problem in Oregon.

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    • wsbob March 2, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Glenn, I don’t think Huckaby ever has presented a full proposal, favoring some form of registration-licensing for people traveling by bike. In publicly presented comments, he said he was going to work out some details for a proposal and eventually present it, but apparently that so far, hasn’t come to be.

      So your inference is imaginative, but doesn’t correlate with anything Huckaby has presented in a proposal for registration-licensing.

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  • Glenn March 3, 2014 at 5:31 am

    He presented it as a safety issue, and said it should apply to adults. The rest follows by logic. Of course, it could really be punitive on his part, with safety as a smokescreen. This being two years later, and me being in Washington state reading the BP archives renders it moot anyway. I brought it up because no one else commenting mentioned what seemed an obvious conclusion to me.

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    • wsbob March 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

      “…I brought it up because no one else commenting mentioned what seemed an obvious conclusion to me.” Glenn

      Again, except that: no full proposal, that is, details of who it would apply to and who it wouldn’t, what the conditions and costs associated with it would be(registration-licensing for people traveling by bike.), was ever presented by Huckaby.

      Other people in comments before yours, to bikeportland stories about Huckaby’s idea, with no real basis for it, have also jumped to the conclusion you have.

      It sounds as though he hasn’t done so, but had he moved forward with his idea, coming into contact with other people’s insight and experience with the general situation of vulnerable road users, changes and modifications to his idea likely would have occurred, and some kind of good, actual progress towards improved safety on the road for vulnerable road users may eventually have come about.

      Would Huckaby ever have been able to draft and have accepted as an initiative proposal or a bill to be considered in the legislature: a proposal for licensing people to ride bikes in traffic, applying to people as do driver’s licenses and motor endorsements? Probably not.

      His efforts may though, have been able to eventually help bring attention to, and bring about some ideas and solid plans for enhancing the knowledge and abilities necessary to safely ride a bike as a viable means of transportation, in traffic amongst motor vehicles.

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