home

TriMet will take ‘Be Seen Be Safe’ message to the streets in November

Posted by on October 5th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

TriMet plans to change things up a bit with their annual “Be Seen, Be Safe” promotion. This year, instead of the hi-vis clothing fashion show they’ve held at Pioneer Courthouse Square in years past, they’ll have “street teams” taking the message directly to the people. With the theme of, “Taking safety to the streets,” TriMet says the campaign will focus, “on walkers and bike riders, but also reminds drivers to be especially attentive in the dark and on the lookout for those on foot and on bike.”

TriMet says the street teams will, “be out interact with the public encouraging them to wear bright clothing, reflective gear or take other precautions to stay safe in the dark.” They’ll be at work during the evening rush hour at transit centers, high-crash corridors, and so on. Check out Metro staffer Dan Kaempff below in full reflective gear…

(Photo from an article about the campaign prepared by TriMet)

TriMet is also planning a “Bright Ideas” contest where people can submit their favorite bright ideas (get it?) and photos of how to be seen and stay safe while biking, walking, and taking transit at night. Also expect a full promotional blitz via transit, TV (KGW is a sponsor), and print ads.

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • Paul Hanrahan October 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I really wish they would push “no cellphone use in your car”. That would do more for the public’s saftey than bright clothing

    Recommended Thumb up 34

  • John Lascurettes October 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Oh good lord. I usually say, there’s no such thing as being too visible. Looking at that photo, I stand corrected.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • John Lascurettes October 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      PS: Will dressing like the guy make me magically visible through the bus driver’s bus’s front pillar.

      A: No it won’t. But a high intensity LED front light hitting the ground out in front of me might.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Nick October 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    This is out of touch and embarrassing. People do not enjoy looking ridiculous, which is why no one would dare advocate for motoring helmets or day-glo car paint. And certainly, no one looks to Trimet for fashion advice. Who comes up with this stuff?

    Recommended Thumb up 28

  • mikeybikey October 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Yup. Out of touch. Its time to move on from this kind of thing. If the infrastructure for cycling (or walking) in the city requires people to wear anything besides their normal clothes in order to expect safety, then we are doing it wrong. 400% wrong.

    Recommended Thumb up 37

  • Terry D October 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Dumb. We have these things called LIGHTS.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • wsbob October 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      “Dumb. We have these things called LIGHTS.” Terry D

      Lights, which unfortunately, many people on bikes either don’t equip their bikes with, or if they are equipped with lights, often are offering such poor illumination, they’re virtually offering no significant improvement to safety.

      Reflective material is great. Perhaps even better than bright clothing. It don’t mean much to look cool in subdued gear on a bike if doing so increases one’s chances of being hit, injured or killed, which dull, black, muted, non-reflective gear probably does.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • katie October 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

        just putting it out there, if anyone has been at the tail end of a naked bike ride, it is very obvious that almost everyone has a bike light.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Alan 1.0 October 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

          ahh…mmm…yes, there is always THAT way of getting more noticed by drivers…

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • spare_wheel October 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        do you have any statistics to back up your claim that “many people on bikes either don’t equip their bikes with [lights]“.

        sweeping claims based on anecdotal observations are not convincing.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Opus the Poet October 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Drivers have headlights, and a law that requires them to drive at a speed no greater than they can stop in the distance they can see clearly. I can’t remember the last time a driver was charged under that law in any state.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Over and Doubt October 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

        Yep. A campaign like this may make it easier for them to offload responsibility onto the clothing choices of other road users–which is in the same ballpark as, say, insisting that rape prevention depends on how women dress. It’s more than a little Taliban-ish.

        But, that said, being reflective ain’t a bad thing in and of itself.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Vinny October 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    The TriMet employee in the photo should be embarrassed. He’s dressed up in a silly dayglo Gumby outfit but only has one tiny light (maybe) on the handlebar. I don’t see any serious lights on the bike let alone any reflectors.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

  • encephalopath October 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Clownsuit…

    Show me some evidence that this contributes something to my safety beyond what proper lighting does.

    Or is this another magic talisman like the syrofoam hat?

    Recommended Thumb up 12

  • Andrew Squirrel October 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Why not advocate for reliable and bright dynamo powered lights, a brightly colored bicycle (look at that guy’s black bike!) and reflective tire sidewalls, rims and bits of reflective tape that match the paint color. The united states needs to grow up, dressing like this is absurd and discourages cycling overall. Visibility needs to be integrated into bicycles, helmets and only low-profile touches of reflective material into normal looking clothing items.

    Recommended Thumb up 11

    • John Lascurettes October 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Reflective sidewalls are awesome. They’re not only amazingly visible to cars, but even to other cyclists with just LED lights.

      I also second the dyno lights. Love them. I never worry about battery power.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

  • El Biciclero October 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    How about “Look! for Safety”, or “See More in Slow Motion”, or “Grab Your Attention…and Take It With You (when you drive)!”, or “Lerts Get There Safely…Be a Lert!”, or “Safe Cars Have Safe Drivers”, or “Start Seeing People!”

    Why are these things always targeted at would-be victims of non-vigilance by others? And, to echo some of the sentiments above, why, oh why does anyone think those who ride a bike want to dress like the unfortunate fellow in the photo???

    Recommended Thumb up 20

    • Arem October 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      I like the motorcyclist bumper stickers that say “Look twice to save lives!” Since I see so many often not even look once.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Sbrock October 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    OMG !! Who comes up with this stuff?
    Am I being “punked”?

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • al m October 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Oh no-bike portland is moderating now? What a dissapointment

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Spiffy October 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      yeah there are certain key words that will mark your post as Awaiting Moderation…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Hi al m,

      I’ve been moderating since Day One. Why is that disappointing? And no, I don’t plan to post your comment that included the term “mcdouchebag”.

      Recommended Thumb up 16

  • Spiffy October 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    again with blaming the victim…

    “I didn’t see them” is an admission of negligence… you can’t drive into a dark place just because you can’t see into it… you need to be able to see into it and be able to know that there’s nothing there… this is why automobiles have lights…

    we’re setting a bad example by promoting the idea that people should dress like HazMat workers if they want to avoid being run over…

    I can just see the O-Live comments now… “He deserved to be hit dressed in all black! He should have been wearing bright clothing!”

    is this really what we want to be teaching to drivers?

    Recommended Thumb up 17

    • q`Tzal October 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Spiffy
      again with blaming the victim…
      I can just see the O-Live comments now… “He deserved to be hit dressed in all black! He should have been wearing bright clothing!”
      is this really what we want to be teaching to drivers?
      >

      I does seem strikingly similar to blaming a rape victim because of her clothing.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Opus the Poet October 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Yep, not wearing the glow-in-the-dark clown suit means you’re asking to get hit.

      I deal with this at least once a week if not several times during the week in my blog.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • spare_wheel October 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      i frequently dress in black…and yet…motorists often complain about just how blindingly visible i am.

      pobrecitos.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • El Biciclero October 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “…the street teams will, ‘be out interact with the public encouraging them to wear bright clothing, reflective gear or take other precautions to stay safe in the dark.’ They’ll be at work during the evening rush hour at transit centers, high-crash corridors, and so on.”

    So I assume they’ll be approaching drivers stopped in traffic and tapping on their windows to spread the message? What? That’s not cool? It might be met with resistance or hostility? Then why should it be OK to accost pedestrians and cyclists?

    I’m being overly grumpy, but really–why do we think it’s fine to approach non-drivers on the street with a random safety message, but not to go knocking on car windows? I suppose it’s all just part of the increased vulnerability I choose for myself when I go anywhere without my car.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • Opus the Poet October 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      I think it’s because you don’t go up to the person with the deadly weapon ans ask politely not to kill anyone.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Joseph E October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Why is Trimet spending money on this? I hope they have a federal grant for it, because this isn’t the job of a Transit company.

    Like others, I agree that hi-vs clothing is not the answer. Reliable front lights and rear reflectors (and preferably rear lights) are a great idea for bikes. But people have the right to walk around on the sidewalks and cross streets legally at night without wearing dayglow, reflective clothing.

    Instead of education, these hours of government employee time should be spent on enforcement. Have people try to walk across streets on marked and unmarked crosswalks at night, and educate drivers (and bike riders) about their responsibility to stop for pedestrians. Tickets work well at reinforcing the safety message, and are revenue positive, I hear!

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • BURR October 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    They’d get more mileage out of funding the ‘Get Lit’ program, which gives bike lights out to folks who don’t have them.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Erinne October 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Jesus, really? Are we really supposed to ride around looking like that? Ridiculous. I will not ever ever wear neon yellow covered in reflective strips. I hope Trimet gets wind of all this feedback before wasting any more of their time, money and energy.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • 9watts October 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      I’m not holding my breath. We had a similar conversation here last year about this issue (Bike Gallery and ODOT were pushing the reflective clothing thing then), with similar responses. I thought I saw some reflection (ha) of that in Jonathan’s opening paragraph: “but also reminds drivers to be especially attentive” but then I realized what El Biciclero also noted: easier to accost those not in cars with ‘helpful’ messaging, so this year’s effort seems more like a paltry attempt to level the playing field than any real attempt to think this through a bit, avoid some of these pitfalls.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • wsbob October 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      “…I will not ever ever wear neon yellow covered in reflective strips. …” Erinne

      And in refusing to do so, if you get hit in a low visibility situation, you’ll be supporting the ‘I didn’t see them.” refrain.

      You don’t have to use the same goofy looking gear the guy in the picture is wearing. Plenty of cycling specific gear, and non-cycling specific gear comes in lower-key colors with reflective strips attached. You could get some reflective material and sew it on some of your own stuff.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • CaptainKarma October 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Only slightly worse than a lot of spandex getups I see sunny day weekend warriors wear.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • dmc October 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

      I’d rather wear the reflecto suit….

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • A.K. October 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

        Hur!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Randall S. October 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    And how about some tips for women on how to avoid getting raped by wearing “non-seductive clothing?” I mean, why limit victim-blaming to cyclists?

    Recommended Thumb up 13

    • KYouell October 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      I’ve been seeing that similarity for awhile too. Glad I’m not the only one.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Brian E October 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I was speaking to a fellow from Estonia yesterday. He says that pedestrians there are required to wear reflectors at night or it’s a $40 ticket. They must have a different set of priorities than we have here.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Barbara October 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    In Germany, kids jackets are required by law to have reflective stripes on the jacket. After all it’ s the expectation that they walk to school and are not driven there…

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Spencer Boomhower October 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    This is fine as long as there’s a corresponding and more emphatic, “watch out when you’re driving” campaign to go with it, like this awesome “awareness test” video from the UK:

    http://youtu.be/oSQJP40PcGI

    I’ve never seen such a corresponding campaign here, though. If there isn’t one, then the greatest responsibility for safety is being put on the people causing the least amount of damage.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • wsbob October 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      The greatest responsibility for vulnerable road users personal safety should be taken by vulnerable road users themselves. It’s far easier to control one’s own actions than it is to control the actions of others, or rely on the actions of others for one’s own safety.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Spencer Boomhower October 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        Yep, and I take responsibility for my own safety by proposing that those of us maneuvering big and immensely powerful machines into the public realm be frequently reminded that we can hurt someone really badly, really easily, and we have the responsibility of watching out for even the people walking around in all black on a rainy night; that there should be at least as many, “be seeing” messages as there are “be seen” messages injected into the public conversation. And I light my bike up like a Christmas tree.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • wsbob October 6, 2012 at 1:28 am

          “Yep, and I take responsibility for my own safety by proposing that those of us maneuvering big and immensely powerful machines into the public realm be frequently reminded that we can hurt someone really badly, really easily, and we have the responsibility of watching out for even the people walking around in all black on a rainy night; that there should be at least as many, “be seeing” messages as there are “be seen” messages injected into the public conversation. And I light my bike up like a Christmas tree. …” Spencer Boomhower

          In fact, it seems this very TriMet campaign will be, in addition to urging vulnerable road users to help themselves be more visible…also reminding drivers to be especially attentive for vulnerable road users traveling about in the dark:

          “…TriMet says the campaign will focus, “on walkers and bike riders, but also reminds drivers to be especially attentive in the dark and on the lookout for those on foot and on bike.” …” maus/bikeportland

          “…but also reminds drivers to be especially attentive in the dark and on the lookout for those on foot and on bike.” …” maus/bikeportland

          Recommended Thumb up 1

  • dwainedibbly October 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    So much for Portland Cycle Chic!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • q`Tzal October 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Hold on we can work with this.
      A few years ago I spotted an older woman cycling in a full coverage neon outfit. It seemed to have every color in the neon rainbow and was a tour de force example of fashion’s self defeat.
      The important bit is that despite the hideous fashion statement you couldn’t help but to see her.
      In fact it was so jarringly vivid that it was like trying to stare at the sun and people would veer away.

      So perhaps this is the lesson that TriMet wants us to learn: the only way to be a safe vulnerable road user is to project a visage so disturbing that drivers will actively drive away t

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • q`Tzal October 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        … away to avoid using.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

      • q`Tzal October 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

        … away to avoid us.

        F#*! @$ SwiftKey AC

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Sunny October 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Might as well make everyone wear a six point star.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Help October 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Yes, TriMet’s campaign is the rough equivalent of the prelude to the Holocaust.

      Impressive.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • drew October 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Like it or not, some drivers will not notice you at night without your effort at being visible. It is like that now, and will be like that for a long time to come, so might as well get used to it if you would like to avoid getting smashed.

    I wear an ODOT safety vest; always. Not nearly as bad as the yellow clown suit pictured above. If the courtroom defense is “I didn’t see him”, that means the driver is unable to see highway workers; which wouldn’t sound too good.

    I use dynamo generator lights that are always on, night and day. No reason ever to turn them off. I suppose if someone was paying me to race my bike, I would consider turning them off. Paying me to race my bike is not a good investment however.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • 9watts October 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Let’s not forget that Christeen Osborn was by eye witness accounts wearing day-glo colors. It was the middle of a summer day, and on a straight stretch of highway, yet she was still run over.
      And as far as we know Wanda Cortese’s $260 ticket for failing to maintain her lane is the sum of the penalties (I’m eager to learn otherwise but so far we’ve heard nothing to the contrary, and have little reason to suspect it will go much deeper).

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • wsbob October 6, 2012 at 1:36 am

        “Let’s not forget that Christeen Osborn was by eye witness accounts wearing day-glo colors. It was the middle of a summer day, and on a straight stretch of highway, yet she was still run over. …” 9watts

        Point being?

        I’d like to think nobody would seriously advise vulnerable road users not to wear gear that helps them be more visible to people driving motor vehicles, because doing so can’t completely guarantee their safety as a vulnerable road user on the road along with motor vehicles.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • 9watts October 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm

          wsbob,
          it seems to me that you are willfully ignoring the possibility that there might be more than just two possible themes to such a campaign:

          (1) focus on people not driving and convince them to be more visible (the one under discussion), and

          (2) convince people NOT to wear clothing that makes them particularly visible (your straw man/counterfactual).

          As several of us have been at pains to point out, high viz clothing is no guarantee of anything if the drivers are not paying attention. It is neither necessary nor sufficient. So why not have an altogether different campaign?

          (3) Whereas people driving routinely claim not to have seen someone on foot or on a bike it is the responsibility of those in cars to see all traffic participants. Being aware of one’s surroundings, driving slower if necessary, taking in what one’s headlights illuminate are all important techniques for seeing those who may be smaller or less visible than cars. Well illuminated bicycles, or clothing with reflective bits worn by pedestrians at night, are both good complements to perspicacious driving, but no substitute for it. It is chiefly your responsibility not to run over a pedestrian or person on a bike, whether in broad daylight or in the middle of the night. Your being in a car does not put you above the law when it comes to preventing or avoiding injury to others.*

          * of course we know that last sentence to be false, but one can always dream….

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • wsbob October 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

            “…As several of us have been at pains to point out, high viz clothing is no guarantee of anything if the drivers are not paying attention. It is neither necessary nor sufficient. …” 9watts

            Possibly, you have some idea in mind, of what percentage of all people driving, you believe “…are not paying attention. …”. I’d say it’s a small percentage, at least for the majority of time they’re behind the wheel. There’s a lot of people driving, and distracted driving is a big problem on the road, so it could probably be reliably said that the actual number of people driving cars and not paying attention as much as they should be, is bigger than anyone likes.

            I think it’s true that most of the people behind the wheel are paying attention to the road. Because privilege to drive is extended to a population of such a wide range of driving ability, many of them probably aren’t such excellent drivers, even though they paying attention to the road.

            Hi-vis clothing and gear worn by vulnerable road users guarantees that people driving motor vehicles…excellent and not so excellent drivers…will find said vulnerable road users to be more visible. Under certain conditions, that vulnerable road user enhanced visibility can mean the difference between a collision occurring, and a collision not occurring.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • 9watts October 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

              “Hi-vis clothing and gear worn by vulnerable road users guaranteesthat people driving motor vehicles…excellent and not so excellent drivers…will find said vulnerable road users to be more visible. Under certain conditions, that vulnerable road user enhanced visibility can mean the difference between a collision occurring, and a collision not occurring.”

              High-vis clothing does not guarantee anything of the sort.

              Instead of backing into a corner with verbal contortions that feature lots of subordinate clauses and qualifiers, why not cut to the chase? Call a spade a spade.

              Once upon a time the still new car was recognized as the menace it presented to established users of the streets and roads. Local jurisdictions passed ordinances requiring a man waving a red flag to precede an automobile when entering town. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_laws This present campaign is a curious inversion, placing the onus not–as would still make sense–on the drivers, but on everyone else to make themselves more visible…

              “Under present conditions there is a deadly competition between pedestrian and motorist for the use of those strips of territory we call streets–a conflict deadly to the wayfarer, with the victory to the motorist.” (W. Bruce Cobb, magistrate, NYC Traffic Court, 1924) cited in Peter Norton’s Fighting Traffic

              Recommended Thumb up 3

      • wsbob October 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        I’d like to think there isn’t anyone that would seriously advise vulnerable road users not to wear gear that helps them be more visible to people driving motor vehicles, due to that measure not being able to completely guarantee their safety as a vulnerable road user on the road along with motor vehicles.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • 9watts October 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm

          “I’d like to think there isn’t anyone that would seriously advise vulnerable road users not to wear gear that helps them be more visible to people driving motor vehicles, due to that measure not being able to completely guarantee their safety as a vulnerable road user on the road along with motor vehicles.”

          You misunderstood & inverted my point, wsbob. I think I was pretty clear. Day-glo at noon or black at midnight, it doesn’t really matter.

          I don’t feel comfortable letting my kid play in the (neighborhood) street in front of our house in the day time, regardless of the color of her clothing. Because cars rule the streets they are not what I would consider safe for children, adults, or other living things. They have been usurped by and for cars. No one else is particularly welcome or safe. That is the problem.

          Pragmatically it is of course reasonable to take all sorts of precautionary measures, but this in no way addresses–in fact shifts attention away from–the source of the problem. Inverting what I said to suggest that no one would discourage anyyone outside an automobile from wearing visible clothing is ridiculous.

          My point about Christeen Osborn was to illustrate how we’re damned if we wear day glo even in broad daylight and damned if we don’t in the middle of the night. It really doesn’t matter. This campaign and others like it suggest that it does matter, that we are or can be responsible for our safety, and that is what bothers me most.
          You wrote: not being able to completely guarantee their safety Why not start with what can? Remove the distracted drivers who–in case you forgot–aren’t even paying attention to us in the first place, and I’ll swallow this message, but not until then.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • wsbob October 9, 2012 at 1:00 am

            I didn’t misunderstand your point. It was you that left your point vague and subject to various interpretations that perhaps you didn’t intend.

            “…Day-glo at noon or black at midnight, it doesn’t really matter. …” 9watts

            Hi-vis clothing and gear help enable vulnerable road users to be more readily visible to other road users. That’s a simple, on the road observable fact.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Help October 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

            Being safer doesn’t mean being completely safe. Nothing guarantees that to any road user (driver, pedestrian, or motor vehicle).

            Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Brian E October 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Having the light on all the time, I’ve heard people call it “passive lighting”.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • esther c October 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Yes, punishing drivers for failure to bother to look would be nice. Perhaps if they knew there was a price to pay they might pay attention.

    But we do need to meet them half way. I think the guy in the photo is going way more than 1/2 way. There is a happy medium between the ninja cyclist/pedestrian and that look.

    It is amazing how even during the day how much further off in the distance you can see someone on a bike when they’re wearing dayglo. It improves the chance that someone who is not bothering to look will see you.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Alan 1.0 October 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    From my experience behind the windshield, my thanks to riders who use hi-viz, reflective material and/or lights appropriate to the conditions. I appreciate your effort which makes my job to drive safely that much easier. I will return the favor when I ride (even if I do so out of self-preservation).

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Bill Stites October 6, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Everything considered, life is a percentage game, and rendering yourself highly visible decreases your chances of getting smashed.
    IMO lights alone are not enough, reflective gear helps safety immensely.

    We can thank Tri-Met for making those of us who wear ‘dorky’ hi-vis vests look good.

    And we shouldn’t fully equate hi-vis with lo-fashion. At one time I suggested a collaboration with Showers Pass to design a cool hi-vis vest or sash … they have the design chops to pull it off.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • mabsf October 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Once a week my son has to cross Stark at 57th around 7:00 at night: Marked crosswalk, school zone (although only until 5:00) and every time I sweat bullets. At this time of year drivers seem to travel in their own bubble – nothing exists besides them. I put my son is a high reflective vest, headlight… but I am pissed: It’s a neighborhood, so yeah, people walk there, it’s a marked cross walk, it even has the neon signs of the school zone… but drivers still zone out! The last close call we had: Police car with driver on the phone!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • jen October 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I should know better than to read the comments. Predictable. A bunch of people who just want to be outraged instead of do simple things to keep themselves safer. The article above doesn’t say Trimet advocates the suit seen in the photo. Yet that doesn’t stop people from screaming about “blaming the victim”. The point is to reduce or eliminate the number of victims. Do your part.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Seth Alford October 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      I do do my part. 2 Planet Bike blinkies on the rear rack. Another on the helmet. Cat Eye Opticube on the handlebar and another on helmet. Nite Rider Pro 3000 also on the handlebar, usually on one of its middle settings. Orange safety vest most of the time, or yellow bike jacket. LED armbands and a legband at dusk or night. I know K’Tesh has more lights than me, but I haven’t seen very many others who do.

      I still think that Tri-Met is just trying to cover its financial rear end. I hope that this does NOT happen, but in case there’s another injury or fatality at night involving a bus or MAX, with this campaign, Tri-Met can point to how Tri-Met asks the public to “be responsible and be visible.” Then they can ask a jury to possibly reduce damage awards in a lawsuit.

      I’d rather see Tri-Met use the funds for this publicity campaign to cover its actual rear end. Or rather, the actual rear end of its buses, along with the sides, with video cameras with screens visible to the driver. That way the driver can know that there’s possibly a bicycle between the bus and the curb. That might have been helpful for the bus driver when I took this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c61gtJ_Lo0

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • El Biciclero October 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      I would bet most everyone commenting here is doing more than “simple things” to keep themselves safer, as Seth Alford mentions above. If Tri-Met doesn’t want to be seen as promoting the hilarious outfit in the photo, why did they use it as part of the article about the program (according to Jonathan’s caption)? I don’t think anyone here is advocating that pedestrians and cyclists should wear dark clothing at night with no lights on their bikes. I think what irks people is that campaigns to keep people from being run over don’t focus more on those doing the running over. Further, it suggests that the best way to avoid getting yourself run over is to dress in a way that most “normal” people would consider bizarre and would be likely to make you the target of ridicule. Consider that drivers don’t make themselves visible, their vehicles are what people see. Why not promote visibility of bicycles instead of–or at least in addition to–their riders?

      I’ve managed to spot quite a few black-trenchcoat-wearing, non-reflective pedestrians walking at night along gravel shoulders while I’ve been driving around suburban neighborhoods–it’s not that hard to do if you are LOOKing for them and driving at a reasonable speed.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

      • wsbob October 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm

        “…If Tri-Met doesn’t want to be seen as promoting the hilarious outfit in the photo, why did they use it as part of
        the article about the program (according to Jonathan’s caption)? …” El Biciclero

        Could be a lot of reasons. Maybe Tri-Met was trying to get people to focus their attention, and add a bit of lightness to a serious subject. The goofiness of the hi-vis overload guy’s outfit is certainly a less grievous way to remind people about danger associated with being a poorly visible vulnerable road users, than is an image of someone lying injured or dead in the street after a collision.

        “…I think what irks people is that campaigns to keep people from being run over don’t focus more on those doing the running over. …” El Biciclero

        Tell us exactly who you’ve figured out it is that’s doing ‘the running over’, because it’s almost certainly not the vast majority of the 90 percent of road users that are people either driving or riding in motor vehicles. If you have a campaign suggestion of your own to propose to Tri-Met, that you think would effectively get the message across to whoever it is you’ve identified as doing ‘the running over’, pass it on to the transportation agency, or post it here.

        “…I’ve managed to spot quite a few black-trenchcoat-wearing, non-reflective pedestrians walking at night along gravel shoulders while I’ve been driving around suburban neighborhoods–it’s not that hard to do if you are LOOKing for them and driving at a reasonable speed. …” El Biciclero

        “…not that hard…”, which implies hard, not easy, even when people “…are LOOKing for them and driving at a reasonable speed. …” . Exactly the type situation people as vulnerable road users should want to help alleviate by opting to make themselves more visible to other road users.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Kristen October 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

          Regarding suggestions, El Bic had some already:

          How about “Look! for Safety”, or “See More in Slow Motion”, or “Grab Your Attention…and Take It With You (when you drive)!”, or “Lerts Get There Safely…Be a Lert!”, or “Safe Cars Have Safe Drivers”, or “Start Seeing People!”

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

            “… “Lerts Get There Safely…Be a Lert!” …” Kristen

            That’s kind of a cute slogan…weird, but cute.

            I do think Tri-met could possibly have improved on their campaign’s name just slightly, and been a bit more accurate. For example, with the addition of an ‘r’ at the very end, it could have been:

            ‘Be Seen, Be Safer’

            instead of what bikeportland reports it as being:

            “Be Seen, Be Safe”

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • El Biciclero October 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

          “Tell us exactly who you’ve figured out it is that’s doing ‘the running over’, because it’s almost certainly not the vast majority of the 90 percent of road users that are people either driving or riding in motor vehicles.”

          I know I shouldn’t, but I tend to answer some questions with questions. In this case, why don’t you tell me who is getting run over! it’s almost certainly not the 90+ percent of cyclists and pedestrians who reach their destinations safely regardless of what they are wearing.

          If you had to, what would you guess I meant by “those doing the running over”? Of course I’m not going to name individual drivers, but guess what they would all have in common…? They’re drivers.

          “hard, not easy”

          Dude, driving–especially at night–is hard! That’s what people are so much in denial about. Everyone wants to be able to drive with the carefree ease of a stroll on the beach (thanks, car ads!), but it ain’t so. If driving is too hard for some people, they shouldn’t be doing it, but then that’s a non-starter, isn’t it?

          “Well”, people say, “drivers are always going to be distracted–you’ll never get them all to pay more attention–so you might as well suit up in day-glo reflective to help them out!”

          I say, “Well, peds and cyclists are always going to wear what they want–you’ll never get them all to dress up in day-glo reflective–so drivers might as well slow down at night and pay more attention to avoid killing them!”

          We should likely be saying both of the above, yet when it comes to “safety campaigns”, we tend to focus on the former. Why is that? Because we tend to have the attitude that if you don’t protect yourself from the irresponsibility of others, you, yourself are irresponsible and deserve what you get.

          We say, “Well, peds and cyclists have to take more responsibility, because they could die! Drivers would only get their paint scratched!”

          Instead, shouldn’t we be thinking more along the lines of, “Well, drivers have to take more responsibility because they could kill someone! All a cyclist or pedestrian could do is scratch somebody’s paint!”

          http://bikeportland.org/2012/10/05/trimet-will-take-be-seen-be-safe-message-to-the-streets-in-november-78402#comment-3272809

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

            What you said, which I excerpted in my comment here: http://bikeportland.org/2012/10/05/trimet-will-take-be-seen-be-safe-message-to-the-streets-in-november-78402#comment-3278771

            …is that it’s not that hard to see vulnerable road users that haven’t taken pains to make themselves visible to people on the road operating motor vehicles. I replied that it was hard to see such people on the road.

            In the same post, I encourage you to tell us who it is you you’ve figured out it is that’s doing ‘the running over’, because I thought you might have some type of person in mind rather than simply generalizing that it’s “…drivers…”.

            Regarding focus and direction of safety campaigns: Sure, it helps to keep reminding people that drive to be on the watch for vulnerable road users, but along with those reminders, vulnerable users must also be taking measures to have themselves be generally visible within given road and traffic conditions.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

              “but along with those reminders, vulnerable users must also be taking measures to have themselves be generally visible within given road and traffic conditions.”

              On what authority to you make that claim, wsbob?

              We’ve already established in conversation here that
              + heightened visibility through special clothing does not guarantee greater safety for anyone;
              + the danger emanates disproportionately or even exclusively from those in cars, not those deemed insufficiently visible to them;
              + when the victims of motordom are deer the campaigns focus on driver awareness, moderate speeds, etc. so why should it be any different with bi-peds whose presence occasionally surprises those in cars?

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • El Biciclero October 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

                He could base part of it on the authority of ORS 815.280:

                “[Bicycle] lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.
                [Bicycle] lighting equipment must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.”

                Beyond that, we only have the “authority” of safety mavens who appear to claim that the above requirements aren’t enough–drivers still “can’t” see you.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

                9watts…it’s not a claim. It’s just an opinion. Authority to express opinions seems to supported here at bikeportland.

                By the way, your analogy here was kind of amusing:

                “…+ when the victims of motordom are deer the campaigns focus on driver awareness, moderate speeds, etc. so why should it be any different with bi-peds whose presence occasionally surprises those in cars? …” 9watts

                If ever vulnerable road users, that is…generally intelligent people on foot or riding bikes, become creatures of intelligence on the level of deer, those other campaigns you allude to probably would be fitting.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • El Biciclero October 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm

              “Regarding focus and direction of safety campaigns: Sure, it helps to keep reminding people that drive to be on the watch for vulnerable road users, but along with those reminders, vulnerable users must also be taking measures to have themselves be generally visible within given road and traffic conditions.”

              This is the essence of what people here are mostly taking issue with (as I read it). Your comment has the correct sense of focus: that reminders to drivers should be the main focus, and “along with” that main focus we should remind others to be mindful of their visibility. This campaign reverses that and puts the main focus–and by association, responsibility–on non-drivers, and in essence then says, “oh, yeah, drivers–keep your eyes open as long as it isn’t, you know, too much trouble.”

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

                “…This campaign reverses that and puts the main focus–and by association, responsibility–on non-drivers, and in essence then says, “oh, yeah, drivers–keep your eyes open as long as it isn’t, you know, too much trouble.” “. El Biciclero

                Vulnerable road users should be taking the main share of responsibility for their own safety, upon themselves. Within that context, which seems to be the substance of the campaign, the focus of Tri-met’s campaign is correct.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

                • Paul in the 'couve October 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

                  What you say amounts to: We just have to live with all these dangerous cars speeding around with inattentive drivers going too fast for conditions and the responsibility is us to look out for ourselves.

                  That is insane. It’s like saying that in Syria there are all these people shooting guns all the time and bullets flying everywhere so all the people on the streets need to just suck it up and where kevlar.

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

                  “What you say amounts to: We just have to live with all these dangerous cars speeding around with inattentive drivers going too fast for conditions and the responsibility is us to look out for ourselves.

                  That is insane. …” Paul in the ‘couve

                  Those are the conditions that vulnerable road users have to equip themselves for. It is the responsibility of vulnerable road users to look out for themselves, at least in part. Plenty of people that are driving motor vehicles, are looking out for vulnerable road users, but they can’t do all the work; and good, watchful drivers have little or no control over people that aren’t good drivers.

                  Road and traffic conditions can at times be insane, accounting for the stress and anxiety people as road users are subject too. Would by no means compare it to war zone conditions in Syria…but at times, conditions are bad enough.

                  There’s little chance of changing any of that in the immediate future…the weeks and days ahead until sun in Oregon returns in spring. In the meantime, vulnerable road users thinking about whether they could improve their visibility to other road users by maybe adding a light, or upgrading an old one, maybe getting or adding some kind of reflective accessory or gear, would help themselves and everyone else a lot, towards traveling safer.

                  Just this past week, I’ve had some reflective tape sewed onto a budget messenger bag. Haven’t picked it up/seen it yet, but it should be pretty good…three bands of 2″ reflective silver, one with the orange strip down the center. Maybe $20 total investment, plus barter labor. The basically free hanging flap should be perfect for presenting the reflective material to car headlights approaching from the rear of the bike.

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Paul in the 'couve October 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

            El Biciclero

            That was Awesome! I love it when you get on a roll!!!

            Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Help October 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

        “I’ve managed to spot quite a few black-trenchcoat-wearing, non-reflective pedestrians walking at night along gravel shoulders while I’ve been driving around suburban neighborhoods–it’s not that hard to do if you are LOOKing for them and driving at a reasonable speed.”

        And we’ll never know how many you didn’t see will we.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • El Biciclero October 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

          That’s right; I don’t count them. But the number I have run over with my car so far is zero.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Alex Reed October 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I submitted a comment to TriMet about this frankly embarassing campaign. I am PISSED that my tax dollars are going towards this.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • K'Tesh October 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

    For all those who think that the idea of riding dressed like a clown is bad, I encourage them to try trading that outfit in for a hospital gown, then presenting their thoughts. Being hurt SUCKS!

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • velvetackbar October 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

    The reason we can’t be seen?

    In 1983, the tungsten/halogen headlamp bulb was introduced at 700-1500 lumens.

    HID bulbs that are now common produce up to 3500 lumens at peak, with 3200 lumens common.

    Each car in the opposing lane has two of these bulbs is coming at you, causing temporary night blindness, and stark shadows.

    no wonder the little 60 lumen blinky isn’t keeping us safe. Nor the bright clothing. the drivers can’t *see* us.

    Have drivers slow down and lower their light wattage by law, and you will see deaths drop.

    Lets hear the rallying cry for 25mph everywhere in the city.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • K'Tesh October 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Now for TriMet… If they don’t fix the #12/#94 mess that they just created, I’m certain someone will be hurt, KILLED, or disappear. There’s few shelters between Tigard Transit Center, and with the wet and cold weather, I’m certain that someone will try walking or riding home rather than wait the 61 minutes between buses, and end up getting hit by a car. If they do wait, someone w/compromised health may end up dying from exposure, or disappear when they accept a ride from a “kind stranger”.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Justin October 8, 2012 at 10:48 am

    So much arguing when we don’t even disagree. We all want the roadways to be safe for all users and should work to make that happen. That’s a planning and design solution.
    Until we get to that point, there really is danger in a complex environment with several modes mixing. TriMet should be able to point out that it is safer to be visible without being accused of blaming the victim.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Skid October 8, 2012 at 11:00 am

    It is the responsibility of the motor vehicle drivers to see us. “I didn’t see him/her.” is an admission of negligence and should be penalized as such. By law you are required to have a headlight and a red rear reflector on a bicycle and no more. And I honestly think that as a driver you should be able to see someone in the road in front of you with 50 watt halogen headlights. I was able to see what was in the road in front of me in a VW that had 6-volt lighting.

    I am all for improving your visibility with some red blinkies and a brighter headlight, or one on your bike and one on your helmet for “making eye contact” but I do not see the necessity of being neon yellow head-to toe. Reflective stripes on dark clothing would be just as effective. With today’s technology you can have something be reflective regardless of its color and thanks to velcro it doesn’t even need to be part of the outfit you are wearing. There are options, you don’t have to look like a road construction worker. I also like the idea of reflective sidewalls and I think some rim companies are making reflective rims. Reflective paint or graphics on bike frames could be made to look cool as well. It seems like most people’s objections to being visible stem from not looking cool, but this is a problem that can be easily addressed.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Alex Reed October 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      “Looking cool” is not petty – it is a deep-seated desire that transportation officials need to accept and work with rather than ignoring wholesale. The fact the the fashion industry is multi-billion dollars and most people choose to look “cool” in their own definition of the term most of the time leads me to believe that we should allow people who walk, bike, or take transit to “look cool” without shame. It’s completely unfair if only people who drive are allowed to “look cool.”

      Also, in many contexts, we’re not talking about “cool” – we’re talking about professionally presentable.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • K'Tesh October 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Motorcyclists need to ride like they are invisible
    Bicyclists need to ride like they are visible… and are actively being targeted.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • K'Tesh October 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

      that was a quote to me by someone recently.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • al m October 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

    This post is a CLASSIC due to the comments!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Tomas Quinones October 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I’ve never wanted to swear so much in my life.

    UFCK THIS.

    In 2008, I was wearing a bright yellow jacket with reflective strips on an over-cast day and still got left-hooked by someone that “didn’t see me”.

    Even though my right thumb was jacked and I couldn’t properly grasp for months, nothing was done by the police because I didn’t get an ambulance.

    This placement of safety solely on the victim is total bull-sht.

    “He was hit because he wasn’t wearing a full-reflective banana suit.”

    “She was raped because she wasn’t wearing a iron-clad safety locked bikini.”

    “He was shot because he wasn’t wearing a ceramic plate under his kevlar vest.”

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • wsbob October 8, 2012 at 11:56 am

      “…This placement of safety solely on the victim is total bull-sht. …” Tomas Quinones

      And blaming the victim is not the intent, the essence, or the effect of safety campaigns such as this one Tri-met is running. As individuals, people can each do some little thing to increase their visibility to all road users, and consequently help reduce the chances of close calls and collisions. That’s what the transportation agencies campaign is saying.

      I hope that your having been involved in a chance incident of bad luck despite wearing a hi-vis outfit, wouldn’t lead you advise people not to do something to help increase their visibility to other road users.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Opus the Poet October 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        It might not be the intent, but blaming the victim is certainly the result of campaigns like this. Even though most of my closet uses the “ANSI Safety palette” I still don’t like being forced to wear a glow in the dark clown suit or be blamed for getting hit when the issue is not if I can be seen but that drivers don’t look, and don’t drive at the speed they can stop in the distance in which they can clearly see in their headlights or in areas of reduced visibility.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • wsbob October 9, 2012 at 12:27 am

          “It might not be the intent, but blaming the victim is certainly the result of campaigns like this. …” Opus the Poet

          Vulnerable road users, failing to make an effort to have themselves be visible to other road users, could be setting the groundwork for a greater degree of being at fault for consequences occurring from collisions in which, for example, someone driving a motor vehicle could justifiably claim the vulnerable road user wasn’t sufficiently visible for the conditions in which the collision occurred.

          I believe road user visibility would be a valid factor to consider within the concept of ‘Strict Liability’. A vulnerable road user having made efforts to be more visible to other road users…bright clothing, reflectors, lights, etc …would likely fare better in a determination of responsibility than the vulnerable road user not having made any effort to make themselves visible to other road users.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • 9watts October 9, 2012 at 12:34 am

            You are using the subjunctive. It is fine to dream, but important to be clear that in the present no such deference to the well (overly?) visible is extended. Christeen Osborn? Did she get points with the Clatsop Co. DA for wearing high-viz outfit before being run over by Wanda Cortese?

            I didn’t think so.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • wsbob October 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

              “…but important to be clear that in the present no such deference to the well (overly?) visible is extended. …” 9watts

              Not deference. Consideration. Relative visibility most likely would be a factor considered in determining responsibility for collisions.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • 9watts October 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

              “most likely would be a factor”

              On what basis do you make that claim. I see no difference in the way that the cases, for instance, of Brett Lewis (dark rainy unreflective clothing) and Christeen Osborn (sun, day-glo) were handled.

              In the world I’d like to live in I too would think that the punishment for hitting someone like Christeen would be much higher, but I see no evidence for this actually occurring. Can you point to any?

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

                Oregon doesn’t use ‘Strict Liability’. At least, I haven’t heard it does. ‘Strict Liability’ seems to be one of those periodically referred to, European concepts, like Amsterdam’s separated bikeways and whatnot.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

                • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

                  so are you saying that your claims about the benefits to high-vis wearing folks outsides of automobiles don’t apply to situations here, but only where strict liability obtains?

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • wsbob October 13, 2012 at 12:18 am

                  “so are you saying that your claims about the benefits to high-vis wearing folks outsides of automobiles don’t apply to situations here, but only where strict liability obtains? …” 9watts

                  What I’m saying, is that I haven’t heard that U.S. or Oregon court systems don’t determine parties’ responsibility for collisions based on ‘Strict Liability’, the Europe associated legal concept that’s mentioned in bikeportland stories and comments from time to time. Honestly though, I don’t know much about whether it is used here, or not. It may be, at least to some extent.

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

          • El Biciclero October 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

            “Vulnerable road users, failing to make an effort to have themselves be visible to other road users, could be setting the groundwork for a greater degree of being at fault for consequences occurring from collisions in which, for example, someone driving a motor vehicle could justifiably claim the vulnerable road user wasn’t sufficiently visible for the conditions in which the collision occurred.”

            Especially when campaigns like this one reinforce the idea that if you didn’t see me, it was my fault. Same as if I get hit next to a bike lane that I wasn’t riding in–I may have had a legit reason for not using it, but if somebody left/right hooks me, I have no legal protection, even though they failed to yield. We cannot allow the defense of “he was asking for it” when someone gets run over while legally operating on the road–yet that’s just what these kinds of campaigns bring about as a side effect.

            The American idea of “Rugged Individualism” and looking out for Number One is the problem. Those with the greater ability to–and proven record of–destroying things and people don’t want to take the necessary amount of responsibility to look out for other people, regardless of what those other people might do. Lots of folks think it is their responsibility to drive the biggest, most unwieldy vehicle possible to fulfill their duty to protect themselves–and anybody that doesn’t do the same is a fool. With that mentality, they can justify running over anyone regardless of clothing choice. To re-phrase a popular meme, you can be bright, but you can also be dead bright. Until drivers are held accountable for failing to keep a proper lookout or to exercise due care, it won’t matter what I, you, or anyone else chooses to wear. Heck, the things drivers run into most are other freakin’ cars! Often because they failed to see a really bright stop light!

            Sure, if all non-drivers wore bright/reflective clothing any time they set foot out the door, it might make a small difference in the number of those killed by cars. What would make a bigger difference would be getting more people out of cars–which is hard to do when potential cyclists are faced with the false choice of “either look like an idiot or die”–and holding drivers more accountable for running over people.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm

              Bottom line, is that vulnerable road users should be taking measures to be certain they’re generally visible to other road users, which, people riding bikes, even with the legally required front light and rear reflector, and depending on a variety of other conditions, all too often are not.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tomas Quinones October 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Here’s what I looked like when I got hit
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomascosauce/2207489149/in/photostream/

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Dan October 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I’ve had people stare right at me then accelerate to get around me and cut me off or almost hit me. No one can tell me that wearing more hi vis clothing will help with that.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Paul in the 'couve October 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      That’s why I take the lane. Going down 47th last night for example heading down hill from Sandy. Where the bike lane ends I took the lane especially since a car was approaching on my rear. I held the lane for 5 blocks before turning on Hancock. The driver yelled as they turned the opposite way: “Move Over”. But that is why I DON”T move over. IF the lane isn’t wide enough for a safe pass I take it. If they want to pass they need to almost fully cross the center line.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Fred Lifton October 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        Yep, if they’re honking or yelling, they see you. Mission accomplished.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

  • al m October 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I think THIS would be a more suitable outfit

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • A.K. October 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Certainly that is more appropriate for many members of the TriMet driver’s union and management, I’d say…

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • nuovorecord October 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    80+ comments discussing the importance of cyclist’s visability…I’d say TriMet accomplished their mission quite nicely.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Nat October 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Curious what thoughts there might be here on the bright clothing worn by construction workers, flaggers and other non-cyclists that frequent our roadways in a vulnerable way.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • 9watts October 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      That is an excellent question and reminds me that
      - working as a flagger is apparently one of the most dangerous jobs
      http://roadrules.ca/content/dangerous-job-flagger
      - despite the fact that they wear day glo.

      Hm. Maybe it isn’t about the clothing?!

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Help October 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        Your ability to miss the point is staggering.

        So because road workers are killed wearing reflective gear, reflective gear doesn’t work.

        Just because you can’t save EVERY road user, doesn’t mean attempting to be safe with brighter clothing isn’t the smart or wise thing to do. How many lives are saved yearly by road workers, pedestrians, and cyclists wearing hi-vis gear? It’s safe to say the number is larger than zero.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • 9watts October 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm

          I may not have been attentive to your point, but think there are others possible points to be made. I never said wearing high-vis clothing wasn’t smart, pragmatic, even advised. I do myself. But the notion that
          (a) we can keep ourselves safe by wearing said garb, or
          (b) campaigns that admonish us thusly are reasonable
          are both questionable.
          I would never suggest that flaggers not wear day glo. But the onus is still on those in cars to pay attention. The fact that day-glo wearing flaggers and bikers still get run over and killed, sometimes in the middle of the day, suggests the problem is larger and different than the Tri-met/Bike Gallery/ODOT campaigns suggest.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Help October 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

            “But the notion that
            (a) we can keep ourselves safe by wearing said garb”

            Define “safe”. Can you be completely safe. Of course not. But you can certainly be safer.

            “But the onus is still on those in cars to pay attention.”

            And who says all these drivers don’t pay attention? You can “pay attention” and still hit something. They aren’t mutually exclusive despite what you might think.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 9:51 am

              “Can you be completely safe. Of course not.”

              Help,
              we’re talking about cars and trucks and buses here, and the dangers they pose to people in general. I’m not willing to concede your ‘safety is relative’ stance. The idea that we can’t be completely safe from motordom is a social construct which I reject. You and others who argue this are in effect saying that inattention, speed, entitlement wrapped up in metal boxes is just more important than some nonzero number of people who happen to be ‘in the way.’

              Insisting on bright clothing is an end-of-pipe ‘solution’ to a problem that for the most part does not have anything to do with behaviors of people wearing clothes outside of metal boxes, ODOT’s selective statistics notwithstanding.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Help October 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

                Based on that comment, I take it you want to outlaw the motorized vehicle. Because that’s the ONLY way you prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths from motor vehicles. You will NEVER get perfect drivers because all drivers are human. That’s just reality.

                If that is your belief, there’s no point in having a discussion as that idea is so reactionary it defies any reason.

                If it isn’t, your comment puts blame entirely on the driver and exonerates cyclists of any responsibility to be safe. Which, ironically, is a great way to increase cyclist fatalities.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

                • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

                  No need for hyperbole. Saying that driver’s have primary responsibility to prevent injury and death does not equate to asking to outlaw cars.
                  You are confusing two different issues.
                  (1) who needs to take responsibility, be held accountable, and
                  (2) what we do about safety in the imperfect world we inhabit

                  “If it isn’t, your comment puts blame entirely on the driver and exonerates cyclists of any responsibility to be safe.”
                  I am reacting to a lopsided campaign that hues to the view wsbob holds too, which prefers to assign responsibility for safety to pedestrians and cyclists. Given all that we’ve discussed here that is ridiculous since they are not the ones meting out injury and death, but are with some frequency on the receiving end.
                  But you made a much stronger claim to that effect than I did, and I quote:

                  “…outlaw the motorized vehicle [is] the ONLY way you prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths from motor vehicles.”

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • Help October 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

                  “No need for hyperbole. Saying that driver’s have primary responsibility to prevent injury and death does not equate to asking to outlaw cars.”

                  That’s not remotely what you wrote–”The idea that we can’t be completely safe from motordom is a social construct which I reject.”

                  So how are “we” going to be “completely safe from motordom.” Because I’m dying to hear a solution that doesn’t involve your reactionary belief to outlaw the motorized vehicle.

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm

                  Well, a start would be having a goal of zero fatalities & injuries. Some jurisdictions are already outlining a strategy in this direction.
                  http://www.visionzerooregon.org/
                  http://www.zerofatalities.com/
                  We know how to approach this:
                  reduce speeds, enforce speed limits, punish actions that result in injuries or death to those not in cars (I don’t care for ‘vulnerable road users’ because it redefines people not driving as potential road kill). Crack down on distracted driving, explore strict liability, etc. There are lots of strategies we could adopt, implement, try out that we are not.

                  You can surely appreciate that this is a process, not a decision, but what you may not realize is that your saying we can’t achieve it; it’s impossible sounds a lot like, so let’s focus on something else. My disagreement is that we should focus on this, try it, make a serious commitment to it, and to the extent that we fail figure out why and keep refining our approach. Shrugging it off does not seem acceptable.

                  Talk of banning cars is needlessly distracting and polarizing. When I talk about the absence of cars and the safety implications that would have, I am not in any way meaning to invoke a ban – I don’t know anyone who talks that way, or seriously thinks of that as a way to solve anything. No, I am extrapolating my belief that the future of the car is far from certain, that we’ll soon find that the (voluntary) shift away from cars already underway will accelerate.

                  Finally, if you think refusing to accept carnage on our roads as a fact of life & suggesting we should and could work toward ending it is reactionary so be it. I’ve been labeled worse.

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

                  a better link:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

                  Recommended Thumb up 0

                • wsbob October 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

                  “…I am reacting to a lopsided campaign that hues to the view wsbob holds too, which prefers to assign responsibility for safety to pedestrians and cyclists. …” 9watts

                  (snipped excerpt below):

                  “…the view….which prefers to assign responsibility for safety to pedestrians and cyclists. 9watts

                  That’s not happening here. There is no preferential assigning going on. What I have noted, is that vulnerable road users have a responsibility for taking measures that can help preserve their own safety, rather than assigning that responsibility entirely to people that drive.

                  Recommended Thumb up 1

          • wsbob October 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

            I’m wondering if any part of either Tri-met’s safety campaign, or the Bike Gallery’s has said or otherwise implied that use of hi-vis gear by vulnerable road users will have an all encompassing safety capability. In other words, something on the order of: ‘Wearing these very bright colors will make you completely safe from any motor vehicle’. I very much doubt they have.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

              wsbob,
              there you go again with the hyperbole.

              One more time, my critique of the campaign is that it focuses on a group who are doing nothing wrong, who are for the most part not even culpable in their misfortune. You seem to have accepted the social construct that car driver’s restricted ability to use their senses, or pay attention, or refuse to slow down under certain conditions is usefully compensated for by potential victims of said dressing up in special garb, mindful of the fact that even doing so guarantees nothing in terms of their marginal safety.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

                People as vulnerable road users riding bikes on roads along with motor vehicles…that do not acknowledge road and traffic conditions, taking measures accordingly to allow themselves to be visible to other road users, could be to some extent, culpable for collisions they may come to be involved in.

                This would be a common sense culpability, or responsibility for taking due care where conditions call for it, rather than ‘due care’ that seems to be very briefly touched upon by Oregon law 811.005.

                Hi-vis gear can help a lot to enable a person’s figure to be visually distinguished from the surroundings…foreground and background, in which they may find themselves. Flaggers, and other people working where motor vehicles are present and moving, wear hi-vis gear for that reason. They don’t wear camouflage pattern garments, which street wear often can have a similar effect to, because they don’t want to disappear into their surroundings; they, or at least the people that employ them, want them to be visible to road users.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

  • q`Tzal October 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    High Visibility clothing is pointless for reasons that Al M and every other professional driver of large vehicles can attest to:
    People are capable of amazing lapses of attention and situational awareness.

    I can’t speak to Al M’s problems with cyclists but I’m certain he has had the same sort of problems with auto drivers too.
    In a combined 6 years of driving 53′ combo trailers I am still stunned when the “4 wheeler” obviously tries to merge INTO THE SIDE of my truck or trailer; this has happened more than 5 times in just my last 6 months of driving. Other scenarios more complicated to describe all point to auto drivers thinking that me and my truck “came out of nowhere” and it blat

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • q`Tzal October 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      … blatantly obvious that they “didn’t see” me despite being a very large trucks connected to a very long trailer.

      If drivers can’t be bothered to see a vehicle that big that can kill instantly then why should we expect they will see neon clothing?

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • q`Tzal October 10, 2012 at 2:04 am

    If TriMet is serious about this pedestrian and cyclist avoidance problem they need get the Google Self Driving car’s LIDAR setup on every bus.
    Not to take over driving, though I can think of some ranting bus drivers I wouldn’t miss, but to augment the sight of drivers by keeping an “eye” out for pedestrians in blind spots and providing an alert that something deadly is about to happen.

    In theory a safe experienced bus driver could manually operate a self driving bus as well as the computer but in those infrequent occasions when the driver misses something the automated driving system could yell out to the driver to pay attention over there.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • spare_wheel October 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    i want to know when they are going to do a psa on the dangers of dark colored automobiles. i’ve always thought that driving a black car is akin to be asking to be hit.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • jen October 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      I agree, and I feel the same about dark colored bikes. I refuse to buy a black or dark brown bike for that reason, but the shops are full of them. I even wrote to Trek about this (and got no reply).

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • wsbob October 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

      spare_wheel
      i want to know when they are going to do a psa on the dangers of dark colored automobiles. i’ve always thought that driving a black car is akin to be asking to be hit.
      Recommended 0

      Dark cars often are harder to see than lighter colored vehicles. Countering the difficulty in seeing them to a large degree, is that cars have…or at least used to almost universally have…big, bright headlights and tail lights and reflective windows. The ‘stealth’ mostly custom styling trend in motor vehicles…everything dark; bumpers, wheels, windows, tail lights, to some extent, even headlights, is not a great advance in road user safety.

      Similarly, even with the legally required front light and back reflector, people on bikes commonly are less visible than the average motor vehicle on the road, due to their smaller size and smaller illuminated area of their lighting equipment. Use of hi-vis gear by people that ride, helps a lot to allow them to be more visible, which isn’t to say that this type of gear need be worn in every street traffic situation. The person riding having the advice, and even better…knowledge, judgment and experience to know whether the street and traffic situations they may be traveling through, calls for the use of such gear, is of key importance in improving their level of safety on the road. Safety campaigns relating to visibility on the road help encourage people to learn about and prepare visibility measures that can help them.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.