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The Monday Roundup: The case against riding in bike lanes & more

Posted by on February 24th, 2014 at 9:19 am

Image by Keri Caffrey of CyclingSavvy.

Here’s the bike news from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Take the lane: “Being ‘in the way’ works,” writes a St. Louis biking instructor in her very thorough argument that riding in a bike lane is more dangerous than riding in the flow of traffic. “Even the multi-tasking French fry eaters change lanes to pass.”

Safety second: Two days after announcing “Vision Zero” traffic safety plans for New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s caravan was caught on tape running two stop signs and driving 60 mph in a 45 zone. NYPD, which operates the caravan, said it was using “special driving techniques for protective reasons.”

Itemizing safety goals: New York has a new website explaining Vision Zero’s concept that there is no more important value in street design than preventing traffic deaths. It also lays out the city’s concrete action plan.

Endorsing safety goals: Meanwhile in Portland, Transportation Commission Steve Novick explicitly endorsed Vision Zero, the idea, though Mayor Charlie Hales has not. (However, Bicycle Transportation Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky wrote in an email last week that Hales endorsed the idea during his campaign.)

Pre-spring training: Florida Marlin and National League rookie of the year Jose Fernandez “sounds every bit the kid” as he talks about his off-season “love affair” with his 15-pound bicycle.

Better plowing: Responding to the death of a man killed while walking in the street to avoid snow that had been plowed into the sidewalk, a Washington DC writer has a nine-point agenda for snow clearance policies that allow active transportation.


Week-long open street: This year, Bogota expanded one of its pioneering car-free streets events into an entire car-free week on several routes through its usually-congested central city.

Bike lane panic:The bicycle lobby is out of control” for supporting a “mostly untried complete-streets policy” on King Street in Alexandria, Va. that would remove 27 of 37 parking spots for a combination of shared and bicycle lanes, a resident writes. (“That’s where she’s wrong,” replied @BicycleLobby on Twitter. “We’re very much *in* control.”)

Risky exercise: A new study in London found that higher collision rates for young people and females counteract the health benefits of bike sharing, but don’t offset huge health benefits to older people and men.

Injury data wanted: A UK charity is soliciting donors to help create a database of biking injuries and fatalities that it says would help improve safety.

Bike-friendly schools: Portland State University’s Bike Hub, VikeBikes rental program and for-credit class in bike riding got it recognized as one of nine great colleges for biking.

Female mechanic scholarships: Ashland’s location of the United Bicycle Institute is offering two scholarships of up to $1,950 for female mechanics looking to attend its training school.

Privilege and biking: Chicago-based writer Echo has some thoughts about “microaggressions” within the “bike community”: “the cogs that keep the oppression machine running.”

Seattle targets: Seattle’s new mayor just set a goal of halving the share of residents who drive to work to 25 percent, though he doesn’t seem to have set a timeline, and of launching the “only” bike share system in North America that’ll launch in 2014. Hmm.

Alta rejected: Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share offered to buy its nearly-bankrupt Montreal supplier, Bixi, last December for more than $32 million, but was turned down because it failed to show Bixi that it had the capacity to pay.

Health payoff: Cost-benefit ratios in 16 studies show that investing in biking and walking infrastructure delivers “a 500 per cent return on my invested tax dollars” thanks to reduced medical bills, writes Toronto doctor Vincent Lam.

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

CORRECTION, 1:55pm: The item about the PSU Bike Hub original stated that the school offered a “four-credit” class. We were wrong (and Bicycling Magazine’s article still is). It’s a “for-credit” class. We regret any confusion.

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Comments
  • Justin February 24, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I’m totally using “special driving techniques for protective reasons” next time I’m pulled over.

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    • Ryan Good February 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Me too- “special cycling techniques for protective reasons.”

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  • Chris Anderson February 24, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Are there any groups actively working to repeal Oregon’s mandatory bike lane law? I take the lane anytime I want, and haven’t got a ticket yet. Changing this law would make it easier for vehicular cyclists and eight year olds to work together to improve conditions, instead of bickering about details.

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    • El Biciclero February 24, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Hear, hear, hear, hear, HEAR!! Then anybody can build any kind of “infrastructure” they want and I don’t have to worry about it, because I will HAVE A CHOICE about where to ride.

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    • scott February 24, 2014 at 10:23 am

      For what it’s worth, I beat that ticket with relative ease. I would have preferred not to go to court, but I did not have any trouble making my case for taking the lane.

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      • John Lascurettes February 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

        Could you provide a few more details about what you used to convince the judge?

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    • wsbob February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

      “…Changing this law would make it easier for vehicular cyclists and eight year olds to work together to improve conditions, …” Chris Anderson

      You first ask about whether anyone is working to repeal the law…then suggest that changing the law would somehow enable VC cyclists and kids to work together to improve conditions. There probably are people that would like to repeal the law, although the effort would likely be futile, and counterproductive.

      As for your reference VC cyclists and kids working together to improve conditions…that sounds as though it may have been intended as a facetious remark, but if you’re serious, offer some details of what you have in mind.

      Some people refer to Oregon laws regulating bike lane use as ‘mandatory bike lane laws’, but that’s incorrect terminology having the unfortunate tendency to mislead some people about the rights and responsibilities of all road users regarding the use of the road for travel by bike.

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      • Chris Anderson February 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

        I’m being sincere. I can’t count the number of arguments I’ve heard that essentially boil down to: “I wish we had better infrastructure because I’m not comfortable mixing it up with cars” on one side and “if you build that, I’m gonna be stuck behind slow riders / forced to ride where I feel less safe / etc” on the other. To me it smells like a classic case of divide-and-conquer.

        Repealing http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420 would go a long way toward removing that friction between folks with different preferences.

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        • wsbob February 24, 2014 at 11:51 am

          Or, much easier: people could either just read the law…which you found a link to the text of…or have some help having it explained, so it’s well enough understood that they know the range of their right to use the road. Then they’d know that they won’t necessarily be stuck behind slow riders or forced to ride where they feel less safe. Safe, responsible road use is a learned skill.

          Better infrastructure is a nice idea, but often is a tall order, in the short term and very short term. Often in the long term as well, it seems. It can be very difficult to get cities and counties to install even as little as a bike lane, so people riding don’t constantly have to mix it up in the main lanes with motor vehicle traffic.

          Rather than just working to throw out basic laws that people don’t really know enough about, encouraging and enabling familiarity with rights and responsibilities for use of the road that road use laws provide for, can be the more expedient means by which safer use of the road for all road users can be arrived at.

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          • 9watts February 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

            What did you just say?

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            • Tacoma February 24, 2014 at 8:19 pm

              So I’m not the only one!?!

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    • Pete February 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

      “I Am Traffic” seems to be (on a national level): http://iamtraffic.org/advocacy-focus-areas/equality/u-s-bicycle-laws-by-state

      Here’s where I got that link:
      http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2013/11/19/a-law-like-no-other

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  • Joe February 24, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I don’t think their are any groups fighting full lane law, but what really is the issue is most have no idea that it is legal so some autos will roll up and try to push you out of the lane :(

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    • wsbob February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

      “…most have no idea that it is legal…” Joe

      Exactly why more people should be encouraged to have a better understanding of what is legal use of the road with a bicycle.

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      • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 11:28 am

        wsbob, i’ve never understood why you support this discriminatory statute in the first place. it seems to me that you since you willing to accept a myriad of exceptions that essentially gut the statute it might be more efficient to merely repeal the law in it’s entirety.

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        • Alan 1.0 February 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

          Washington doesn’t have an MSP/MBL law. Purely anecdotal but in my 40+ years and ~700K miles of driving, mostly in that state, I can’t recall a single instance where such a law would have benefited me as a driver.

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        • wsbob February 24, 2014 at 11:12 pm

          814.420 addresses some of the basic questions road users are likely to have about situations where someone traveling by bike should be riding in the bike lane, and situations where they need not ride in the bike lane.

          As well as including laws that outline use of bike lane by people traveling by bike, Oregon regulatory statutes also include laws that exclude use of motor vehicles in bike lanes, so I’d say the discrimination suggestion is a moot point.

          Oregon’s bike lane use laws serve as a response to people under impressions that people riding bikes shouldn’t be riding outside the bike lane for various reasons, maybe ‘any’ reason. I, when riding a bike, know the bike lane use laws support my use of main lanes of the road…and by generally prohibiting use of the lane with motor vehicles, offer me some protection against motor vehicle traffic.

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          • Pete February 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

            Maybe the laws there have changed, but when I took Ray Thomas’ class ~2005 or so he pointed out that, technically, ORS doesn’t actually disallow people from driving in a bike lane – provided no bicyclist is present.

            As I read it, 814.420 forces me to use a MUP when there’s one present. Compare it as written (http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420) to California’s 21202 (https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21202.htm). In my opinion, the OR law is more readily interpreted as “mandatory sidepath,” whereas the CA law seems to describe a sensible approach to riding in traffic.

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            • wsbob February 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

              “…Ray Thomas’ class ~2005 or so he pointed out that, technically, ORS doesn’t actually disallow people from driving in a bike lane – provided no bicyclist is present. …” Pete

              Oregon law mostly prohibits people from driving motor vehicles in the bike lane. Read the text of the ORS detailing very limited circumstances in which motor vehicles may be operated in the bike lane:

              http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.440

              ORS 814.420 details a vast range of circumstances in which people traveling by bike are not obliged to ride in the bike lane. If none of those circumstances present themselves in a given bike lane, a person traveling by bike is obliged, but not forced, to ride the bike lane.

              The California ‘road use with a bike’ law, doesn’t mention or clarify use of bike lanes, MUP’s, etc, which leaves use of bike lanes open to doubt and speculation. Personally, in that respect, I think ORS 814.420 is more beneficial to and supportive of people traveling the road…which bike lanes are part of…by bike.

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    • wsbob February 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Joe
      hey wsbob that’s tricky and fine line I’d have to say, why do ppl get jump all over eachother’s ride skills these days? like really can we just back eachother up. * I only take the lane when need and if no bike lane is around should be able to ride in the middle for a bit and move over when safe. :) but nooooooooooooo autos roll up and honk and get worked up!
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      If you have some idea that eliminating Oregon’s bike lane use laws would eliminate the behavior you describe, perhaps explain what that idea is.

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      • Spiffy February 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        drivers would no longer think that we belong out of their way…

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        • Gezellig February 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm

          Not to be too cynical and I wish it weren’t true but a lot of them probably still would despite what the text on the law books said.

          For a somewhat comparable example my experience with California’s 3-ft. passing law–while indeed a welcome and appreciated triumph for on-paper legislation–is widely ignored both by drivers and cops. Probably due to indifference and sheer unawareness from both camps.

          Which is definitely not to say that people shouldn’t fight to repeal something like mandatory sidepath laws, just that in everyday practice results may be limited. Though certainly at the very least it should theoretically cut down on police harassment, if not average driver (micro/macro)aggressions.

          I know this seems more far-fetched but the holy grail of shared-space vehicular biking would be if Oregon could pick back up on the effort to introduce Idaho-style stop-sign laws for bikes. In addition to mandatory stops obviously discouraging bicycling on stretches with frequent blocks, there’s also the shared-space aggressions/dangers of car drivers not being aware/not taking into account that it takes bikes longer to get going from 0.

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          • Pete February 25, 2014 at 11:31 am

            My neighbor is a cop and also a cyclist, and yesterday was raving to me about the 3′ passing law (which takes effect in September 2014 btw), which he believes is going to cause problems with people driving over solid yellow lines. I don’t agree with him but have mixed views on the law – we already have “unsafe passing” and I want to see laws passed which help bicyclists without alienating us. The Idaho Stop Law you mention is one I believe would better educate the non-cycling public about how we ride.

            Repealing FTR (far-to-right) laws might possibly result in more integrated cycling (behavior and understanding), so I tend toward supporting that. In reality many FTR laws describe exceptions that I use on a regular basis, but given the number of lectures I get on how I’m supposed to be in the bike lane – or not supposed to be in the road – I see repealing them as a step to educating the “motoring public.”

            Here’s a link to the best article about FTR laws that I’ve seen to date:
            http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2013/11/19/a-law-like-no-other

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            • GlowBoy February 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

              You can tell your cop friends that drivers are already allowed to cross a solid yellow to pass a cyclist, and the 3′ rule will do nothing to change it. That was a victory that the BTA won for us several years ago.

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              • Pete February 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm

                Sorry, I should have specified – California law doesn’t allow it. I pointed out to him that Oregon law does but that just started him on another tangent. He’s my neighbor so I maintain a diplomatic relationship, but I disagree with this guy in so many ways, and I also won’t ride with him anymore because he’s one of the most unsafe and disrespectful bicyclists I’ve ever accompanied.

                Personally I believe having each state maintain individual laws regarding bicycles, pedestrians, and automobiles is ludicrous in this day and age. (In my Utopian mind the “Idaho Stop Law” just becomes “Bicycle Stop Law” ;).

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          • GlowBoy February 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm

            Wow, shared space VC as a holy grail? Not in my book, at least not when it comes to anything busier than minor arterials. Especially out here in Beaverton, getting rid of bike lanes would probably put me back in a car. They’re the main thing that makes biking tolerable out here. Murray or Walker without bike lanes? Forget it! It’s bad enough for me that Cedar Hills and Hall in the vicinity of Cedar Hills Crossing lack them.

            For those of us in the large E&C group, shared space with cars only works on quieter or very wide streets where it’s possible for most cars to easily pass. Some of the S&F types might either be comfortable with frequent motorist conflicts, or go long periods without serious conflicts because they average 20+mph. However, I average 12mph coming home from Beaverton or (due to the laws of physics) even less on any kind of uphill grade. Combining 10-12mph bike speeds with busy roads and even 25mph arterial car traffic is IMO not a recipe for conflict avoidance. You can pry the bike lanes we already have out of my cold, dead, uh … well, don’t take them away. Please!

            Funny, most of the streets cited by spare_wheel as not being dangerous to take the lane are specific ones that I will go out of my way to avoid having to ride on. In most cases I’ll pick my way down the side streets even if it does cost me a couple of minutes.

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  • Ian February 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Re: microaggressions, my wife experiences these all the time, especially in the summer. Really unfortunate that this is even an issue in a city like ours.

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  • c-gir February 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I think the bike lane should be a choice, because often it’s not safe – but often it is. When it is safe, we should ride in it if we are going slower than traffic because that’s polite.

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    • PdxMark February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

      I would say it’s considerate, rather than polite. On many roads, with car travel actually at 25 mph or higher, for the vast majority of cyclists, taking a lane rather than being in a bike lane is terribly dangerous, uncomfortable, and inconsiderate to other road users. The timing of downtown Portland’s light signals makes taking the lane reasonable, effective, and safe. On other faster streets that usually isn’t the case.

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      • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

        “terribly dangerous”

        i believe that the majority of cyclists killed in portland in the past decade were riding in bike lanes*. moreover, by grossly exaggerating the risks of cycling you are engaging in the same kind of fear-mongering as bike-hating oregonian posters.

        *i support well-engineered bike lanes

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        • dan February 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

          I believe that the majority of bike traffic in Portland is in the bike lanes, so this statistic is maybe not as telling as we might imagine.

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          • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm

            the large number of right hooks in portland is a pretty telling, in my opinion. and besides the description of cycling in lane as “terribly dangerous” is completely unsupported. can you provide some data to back up this claim?

            here is some actual data: an FHWA survey found that 70% of cycling injuries (that required emergency room visit) did not involve another vehicle:

            http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/99078/chapter3.cfm

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            • Spiffy February 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

              people have the bad habit of avoiding collisions with other objects even when it’s the other object’s fault…

              many accidents don’t involve other vehicle because the people swerved to avoid the other vehicle and crashed alone…

              when driving I never avoid idiots… I’ve crashed into several people that were breaking the law… so many that my insurance dropped me even though I never got a ticket…

              when riding I generally only avoid the actual collision, but still end up inches away and almost hit so that the person knows they almost hit me…

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            • 9watts February 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm

              this takes us back to Pete’s ‘difference between unnerving and unsafe’ comment he made about Barbur a few month’s back.

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        • Chris I February 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm

          I invite you to come take the lane on outer NE Sandy Blvd, where I commute. You’ll be “sharing the road” with 60mph cars and 18-wheelers. I’m thankful for my 5ft of bike lane.

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          • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

            “On many roads, with car travel actually at 25 mph or higher… taking a lane…is terribly dangerous…”

            Hawthorne and Belmont are posted at 25.
            Alberta and Missisipi is posted at 25.
            Woodstock is posted at 25.
            SE/NE 20th and 28th are posted at 25.
            SE 13th is posted at 25?

            I think anyone who has ridden these roads would not consider lane taking to be “terribly dangerous”.

            As for outer NE Sandy, I think it’s a great candidate for a road diet, speed reduction, and separated infrastructure or a buffered bike lane.

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            • Chris I February 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

              How do you put a two lane road with 4-5ft shoulders and no turn lane on a diet?

              I would love a cycle track or buffered bike lane. ODOT just added sidewalks and a 12′ turn lane to a small section, but they just installed the standard 6ft bike lanes because the “ROW was restricted”.

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              • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

                remove a lane or two. (there is also on street parking or a turn lane on large stretches of outer sandy.)

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            • davemess February 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm

              I think you left out the “parts” of the above roads. For Example Woodstock is 35 west of 52nd (and has a bike lane).

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            • davemess February 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

              And yet, Spare, MOST cyclists avoid the routes that you described. Even if they don’t find them “terribly dangerous”, they clearly are saying (with their actions) that they don’t want to ride there.

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              • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

                i’m not arguing that the status quo on these roads is ideal. it’s not. i’m only objecting to the idea that lane taking in portland is a high-risk or extreme behavior. imo, it’s a low risk behavior that can, in some circumstances, be higher risk than riding in dedicated infrastructure.

                Some more context of the terrible risk of cycling in portland:

                2013: 0
                2010: 0
                2008: 0
                2006: 0

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                • davemess February 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm

                  “imo” That is the key to your statements, just like it was the original posters opinion that you jumped on. Who are you to say he doesn’t find it “dangerous”?

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                • spare_wheel February 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm

                  “…for the vast majority of cyclists, taking a lane rather than being in a bike lane is terribly dangerous…”

                  mountain climbing above 20K is dangerous. war reporting ins syria is terrible dangerous. riding a bike on the typical portland commercial/residential street is not very dangerous at all.

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      • Spiffy February 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

        when I drive I go the speed limit or lower… many drivers think I’m terribly dangerous and inconsiderate to other road users and my presence makes them uncomfortable…

        in other words, when I’m obeying the law I don’t care at all what those behind me think and generally just ignore them…

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        • Jane February 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm

          Exactly. I’m not in anyone’s way because it’s not “their” way to begin with.

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  • colton February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Yes, but the article makes me think again if Willamette Street is best served without bike lanes. I’m fearful that the bike lanes will lull people into thinking they are safer than they are today.

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    • MaxD February 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Colton
      great example! Many motorists are just using Willamette because it has fewer signals than Lombard and they just want to drive fast! THe traffic is too fast for the skinny little bike lanes. I owuld prefer to have marked with sharrows, and put in some diverters. I aslo think it could be one-wy northbound with one parking lane, and the western/river side of the street could be made into a 2-way MUP.

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      • GlowBoy February 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        I’m not sure removing the bike lanes on Willamette and turning it into a shared space would make it safer. Seems like an anti-traffic-calming measure that would increase the perceived lane width, potentially resulting in an increase in vehicle speeds.

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  • Joe February 24, 2014 at 11:08 am

    hey wsbob that’s tricky and fine line I’d have to say, why do ppl get jump all over eachother’s ride skills these days? like really can we just back eachother up. * I only take the lane when need and if no bike lane is around should be able to ride in the middle for a bit and move over when safe. :) but nooooooooooooo autos roll up and honk and get worked up!

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  • Joe February 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I bet get labled on the road too, most so worried about oh if you do this and that it makes me look bad. nah we need to just pedal the bikes and come together as one regardless of lycra or jeans, hot pants whatever.. lol
    wore all three BTW, use to race alot and train countless hrs on the road now prefer ” road warrior “

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  • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 11:44 am

    “We have discovered that when cyclists act as drivers, and when all drivers follow the rules of the road, traffic flows beautifully.”

    bike stockholm syndrome.

    these so-called “rules of the road” were written for and by motorists and are often irrelevant to safe cycling. i’ve foudn that i get to point B more efficiently and safely when i act like a cyclist instead of a driver. this means that i happily pass motorvehicles on the left or right. i also insert myself in front of motorvehicles at signals and choose to run signals/stop signs when it’s safe to do so. my safety and efficient freedom of movement trumps irrelevant motorist-specific statutes.

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    • Mike February 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      “acting like a cyclist”, That is your definition. So you are basically saying you make up your own rules or do what ever you want so you can get from point A to point B. Perhaps you are joking a little?

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      • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

        have you ever jaywalked, mike?

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    • Sho February 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      How exactly is it safer to run a stop sign or signal than stop? With that argument you could state the same for when driving a vehicle.

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      • Dan February 25, 2014 at 10:51 am

        Define ‘run a stop sign’.

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        • Sho February 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm

          That would be for spare_wheel to answer but my definition is the same as the law. I’ve seen multiple scenarios of both people running a stop sign/signal going quickly or slowly causing accidents and near misses.

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          • Dan February 27, 2014 at 8:06 am

            If you approach a 4-way stop and you’re the first one there there, it is safer for you to slow down, check the intersection and proceed without stopping. Bad things can happen when you stop and wait for car traffic to show up.

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  • Scott H February 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

    What does Charlie Hales endorse? It seems like he’s been hiding under a rock ever since he stepped foot in city hall.

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    • Mossby Pomegranate February 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Charlie who?

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  • colton February 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    “snow clearance policies that allow active transportation” is a bad link. Should it be http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2014/02/agenda-setting-snow-clearance-in.html ?

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  • davemess February 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I find the first author’s utopic view a little well, utopic. Sure it would be nice for everyone to feel safe taking the lane, and all autos SHOULD give you wide bearth and pass in the other lane. But we all know this does not happen often enough. I was just buzzed by a huge truck on Saturday riding along the Sandy river. We were on a straight stretch of road with no other traffic, and he still felt the need to drive by me in the lane with less than a foot to spare. There are plenty of people out there like this.

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    • Chris I February 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      There are a lot of A-holes in east county, particularly in and around Corbett. Ride with care, and always expect the worst. If I owned a firearm, I would probably ride with it.

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    • are February 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      and yet, if you are claiming a larger part of the lane you have more room to move to the right if you get buzzed

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      • davemess February 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        but you’re likely to get buzzed a lot more, so……

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        • Paul in the 'Couve February 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

          I don’t find that at all. What I find is that nearly all cars quickly realize that if they want to pass they need to cross the lane marker or center line by at least a couple of feet. About 2/3 of drivers will either (safely) take the left lane, or (safely) wait until clear and cross the center line, the reaming 1/3 will wait behind me until I move left or until we reach an intersection. Only a very few drivers, like ~1% or 2%, in my experience, either intimidate me from behind and honk, or attempt to pass me unsafely and deliberately buzz me and in those cases I have PLENTY of room to move right without hitting an obstruction (parked car or curb extension.)

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          • Paul in the 'Couve February 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

            move right not “move left”

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  • q`Tzal February 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    The problem with painted bike lanes is that the only serve to make the automobile driver feel safe and complacent enough to ignore people on bicycles so we are forgotten and collided with.

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    • Dan February 25, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I think they mistakenly believe they are always entitled to the entire area between the painted lines. I believed that for many years, before I started riding.

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  • Elliot February 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Michael, I read the article at the link you provided about the Seattle mayor’s mention of transportation goals in his State of the City speech, and the announcement of bike share. The full quote given in the Seattle Bike Blog article is “it will be the only one launched in 2014 in North America.” (Emphasis mine).

    So, the mayor’s not ignorant of other bike share systems in North America, as your “the only” quote appears to suggest. He’s just saying that they’re the only city to announce a system launch in 2014, at least so far.

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  • Joe February 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    5ft add another 3ft and hmm we got some lane. oh passing law diffrent subject sorry I ride alot of country roads would be amazed what happens out there. its not all about PDX its about making riding in OR. good ;)

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  • TOM February 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Chris I
    There are a lot of A-holes in east county, particularly in and around Corbett. Ride with care, and always expect the worst. If I owned a firearm, I would probably ride with it.

    I’ve thought that riding with a paintball pistol and marking the A-holes that right hook me would be appropriate.

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    • dan February 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

      A paintball pistol would be extremely satisfying, but you know that you would then be inviting them to run you down. Sucks, but there it is.

      You’re probably better off with front/back cameras: that might let you get somewhere in court / with their insurance company.

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  • PdxMark February 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    spare_wheel
    “On many roads, with car travel actually at 25 mph or higher… taking a lane…is terribly dangerous…”
    Hawthorne and Belmont are posted at 25.
    Alberta and Missisipi is posted at 25.
    Woodstock is posted at 25.
    SE/NE 20th and 28th are posted at 25.
    SE 13th is posted at 25?
    I think anyone who has ridden these roads would not consider lane taking to be “terribly dangerous”.
    As for outer NE Sandy, I think it’s a great candidate for a road diet, speed reduction, and separated infrastructure or a buffered bike lane.
    Recommended 2

    You should actually read what I said… “with car travel actually at 25 mph or higher…” For relevant sections of the roads you mention, car traffic is usually going a good bit less than 25 mph.

    In the 20-25 mph range, strong fast riders can take a lane easily, the other 85%-90% of riders can’t. So yes, a few people who have ridden those roads have done so without danger, in no small part because a good fraction of the cars on your cherry-picked are moving below the posted speed limit. My point remains: “On many roads, with car travel actually at 25 mph or higher, for the vast majority of cyclists, taking a lane rather than being in a bike lane is terribly dangerous, uncomfortable, and inconsiderate to other road users.” Nothing you said about strong confident riders on cherry-picked lower- speed roads addresses my point.

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  • Andy K February 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    If an average Portland-area cyclist riding 50 miles a week took the lane on all streets in the name of safety, I think they’d get road raged almost daily, and at least a few tickets per year. Is it worth it?

    Also, the “Cone of Focus” at high speeds is frightening.

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    • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      i must be very lucky since i average a road rage incident about every couple of years. ironically, the last one occurred when a cyclist screamed at me for taking the lane on the hawthorne bridge ramp. go figure.

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  • Jolly Dodger February 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    RE: & speaking of ‘microaggresions’ … just the other day, on 28th (of all places) after crossing Burnside, heading North, i was claiming the lane with one car length behind the driver in front of me when an elitist road biker type behind me got antsy that i wasn’t ‘keeping up’ as well as i should and he passed on my right. I just don’t like riding within door-ing proximity on 28th for some reason….oh yeah, it’s the careless auto users who park there that scare me senseless, and the fact that i CAN legally claim my lane.

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    • Mossby Pomegranate February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      So what exactly defines an elitist road biker?

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    • spare_wheel February 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      it is both legal and safe for an “elitist road cyclist” to pass you on the right. in fact, i do this to motor-vehicles all the time. and i really wonder what makes one an elitist road biker [sic[. were they wearing a jersey and bibs or were they simply not riding a “city bike”, “fixie”, or mtb.

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    • Dan February 25, 2014 at 10:58 am

      You don’t like being passed by another cyclist within a full car lane? There ought to be plenty of room…

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  • Mark February 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Seattle mayor Ed Murray’s stated timeline to reduce Seattle’s private motor vehicle commute mode share to 25% is “ten years” according to his remarks at the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Wonkathon on Saturday afternoon.

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    • Jane February 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Given that Seattle never, ever elects an incumbent mayor, that little ten year plan is the definition of pie in the sky planning.

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  • Joe February 25, 2014 at 8:41 am

    never pass on the right that is a rookie elitist road biker move lol unless you attack in a race and the front lets up so you surge on the right.
    this brings me to the friendly reminder get along with each other on the streets, grab a seat rail say hi ;)

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  • Gumby February 25, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    There is more to the debate than to be or not to be for bike lanes. It depends on the street and the situation what is the best solution. In Copenhagen they have different classifications and solutions for each type of transportation mix. Which makes both sides of this debate right – some of the time.

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    • spare_wheel February 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      except that riding in a motor-vehicle lane adjacent to a bike lane is legally wrong all the time in Copenhagen.

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