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The Monday Roundup: Wi-fi bike share, safe driving, making parking pay, and more

Posted by on January 2nd, 2017 at 11:15 am

No.

No.

Happy New Year everyone! After a good and long break I am back and ready for action. There’s a lot of catching up to do, but let’s start with a few good links you might have missed over the holidays…

Here’s how to not kill people: This would have been a good safety primer to share with auto-centric family members over the holidays. Better late than never!

Wi-fi bike share: Vancouver’s Mobi bike share system has a new injection of cash — and free wi-fi — thanks to a sponsorship deal with telecommunications company Shaw.

Widening freeways doesn’t help: The freeway widening debate will be strong in the Portland region this year so let’s bookmark this cautionary tale from Los Angeles where they just threw $1.6 billion down the toilet.

“Impairment starts with the first drink”: The state of Utah is considering dropping the legal limit for drunk driving to .05, which would make just a few drinks of alcohol grounds for a violation.

Speed over safety: Michigan is the latest state where lawmakers think it’s no big deal to raise highway speed limits — despite the fact that higher speeds will lead to more fatal crashes.

How to build raised bikeways: As Portland’s road agency continues to experiment with raised bike lanes (like on NE Couch), we can learn something from this thorough analysis of the treatment in San Francisco.

Perspective training: Over 1,500 truck drivers from a London company took a full-day cycling class to learn how it feels to bike near large vehicles.

Makin’ bikeways in Macon: A city in Georgia installed a large temporary “pop-up bike network” made up of several different types of bikeways. It should be no surprise that people felt safest on protected cycle tracks.

Fame for tactical urbanism: Pop-up bikeways and other guerrilla tactics for safer streets are becoming more common. Case in point: A mainstream article about them on Wired.com.

DIY traffic calming hero: A woman in San Antonio was so fed up with speeding on her street she used her own body as a traffic calming device — and got a ticket for doing so.

Uber’s real-life R&D lab: Uber is so eager to use self-driving cars in San Francisco that they are putting human lives at risk during their beta testing phase.

Make parking pay: Portland has been on a roll with parking policy recently so here’s some inspiration from the UK: Their new parking tax is used to fund public transit.

Musk’s revolution: He’s a car guy so we’re skeptical of his motives, but Elon Musk says some important things about what it will take to overthrow the fossil fuel industry (hint: nothing short of a revolution).

Thanks to everyone for sending in links. Knowledge is power.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

99 Comments
  • B. Carfree January 2, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Kristi Flanagan, the San Antonio mother who was cited for trying to get motorists to slow down in her neighborhood, is part of a growing trend. Check out Pedestrian Man in Mexico City. I expect we’ll see some wonderful copy-cats in Oregon sometime soon.

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/nov/09/unmasked-mexico-city-superhero-wrestling-pedestrian-rights

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    • Bob A January 2, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      I used to play ball with my kids in our front yard most summer days when they were younger. People drove like maniacs on our street, 35-40 common when the limit was 25 (and should be 20). I would go and stand in the street when I saw somebody coming fast, make them stop, then point out my kids and tell them they were putting all the kids in the neighborhood in danger, and ask them to please slow down. Responses varied; most people seemed sheepish and apologized, others told me to go f myself.
      In the end, it didn’t seem to do much good. A neighbor who drove like a loon and who I had asked at least three times to slow down ended up running over and killing a middle school kid four blocks from my house. No ticket for her, btw. Cops told the mother of the girl who was killed that she would have gotten in more trouble if she’d run over the mailbox that was right next to where she was hit.

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    • Chris Anderson January 3, 2017 at 11:38 am

      There’s a guy who walks very slowly with a cane down the centerline of Going st in the mornings on nice days.

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  • eddie January 2, 2017 at 11:33 am

    What’s silly about Musk is, he might say all sorts of spot on things about the petroleum economy, but the reality is, he’s selling $100,000 electric luxury cars whose batteries require intensive natural resource extraction (mines), and envisions fleets of his autonomous vehicles taking over the cities like some creepy robot invasion.

    This will in no way make us safer, it won’t meet the transportation needs of most ordinary people, and it will only fill the road with more cars.

    I have a pretty hard time with this guy’s vision…. why not put all those millions into improving public transit, expanding light rail, encouraging municipal utilities to switch to renewables? Instead he talks about autonomous luxury cars. I don’t get the appeal of this dude.

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    • Hello, Kitty January 2, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Public transportation is great if it goes where and when you want to travel. Otherwise, not so much. And, from a network perspective, it’s not clear that public transport actually saves energy. Autonomous cars promise to improve mobility and safety, while, perhaps, reducing congestion (or at least making it more predictable), and hopefully also reducing cost.

      Tesla sells luxury cars because that market can afford to pay the (currently) high cost of producing small-batch autos, and he wanted to demolish the myth that electric cars were necessarily small and underpowered.

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      • Dave January 3, 2017 at 7:38 am

        The price of gasoline I’m sure has some bearing on how well many people think of how well public transportation works. Hey, think of this–wouldn’t it be interesting, the next time gas prices threaten to come home from Disneyland, if one of the local media outlets (NOT BP, an autocentric “mainstream” one) were to interview various people such as EMT’s, ER doctors and nurses, maybe undertakers too, on the positive effects of more expensive motor fuel.

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      • Chris I January 3, 2017 at 7:42 am

        I like that you claim that autonomous cars will reduce congestion (completely unproven) and fail to mention that public transit already does a much better job at doing that. Quite telling.

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        • soren January 3, 2017 at 8:33 am

          “and fail to mention that public transit already does a much better job at doing that”

          transit use in portland has declined by a quarter over the past 40 years. and until we adequately fund public transit and erect additional barriers to single occupancy vehicle use i doubt we will see any improvement.

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          • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm

            +1 for improving transit; -1 for erecting barriers. Net vote: 0

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        • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

          I claim only that it is possible automation will reduce congestion; if vehicles are able to drive cooperatively, road utilization could be improved. If we do go down the road of robot-cars-as-a-service, people will be able to choose which mode works best for them, and we’ll see what tradeoffs people make.

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          • Tom January 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

            Cooperative driving requires that most all vehicles would be AV, but surveys show that most people don’t even want a level 4. Some might like a level 3, but not for the $80k price tag. Under an AV based transportation system, the ‘communities if concern’ would grow to encompass the vast majority of the city who can not afford one.

            AV dreams are just the latest flavour of coolaid brought to us by the same people who promised time and again that widening freeways would fix congestion. More and wider freeways were the future, until they weren’t.

            At least China is not buying into the AV nonsense, as they recently committed to building thousands of miles of high speed rail.

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            • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

              If it works, people will want it.

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        • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm

          Here’s an article about how robot cars might reduce congestion in NYC:

          http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/2/14147286/mit-research-nyc-taxi-carpool-uber-lyft

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      • Tom January 3, 2017 at 11:34 am

        AVs will increase convenience, thus dramatically increasing VMT and making congestion much worse. AVs ability to avoid parking will further increase VMT and congestion.

        Congestion is better lowered by land use policy, density plus mixed zoning. Special cars are not the answer.

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        • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 12:10 pm

          You mean how, with it’s high density and mixed landuse (not to mention good subway system) NYC has low congestion? (See also Vancouver, which Forbes ranked #2 for traffic congestion in North American cities).

          More cars may not be the answer, but I’m not sure landuse policy is the answer either.

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          • Tom January 3, 2017 at 12:22 pm

            NYC and Vancouver both have suburbs which do not have good land use policy and are responsible for the congestion in those cities. A fair test would be to block off the roads leading to the suburbs that choose bad land use, then watch how the congestion in the city drops like a rock.

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            • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm

              Portland is in the same boat; we cannot rely on making a few neighborhoods denser to solve what is in effect a regional congestion problem.

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        • Alex Reedin January 3, 2017 at 12:18 pm

          I’d say the goal is giving people options to get their needs that aren’t stuck in the congestion. The fact that those options increase people’s health and mental wellbeing, pollute the local air less, and cost less total out of the public purse + the private purse is a bonus.

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          • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 10:04 pm

            I totally agree with this; I would love to see more economic development in East Portland, starting (but not ending with) a new urban core at Gateway.

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            • Alex Reedin January 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

              That’s a great idea. Would need a huge change in public policy from “yeah, Gateway, sure, here are some MAX lines in auto-oriented sprawl, WHY AREN’T YOU DEVELOPING??” To “How can we create the necessary conditions to eventually get to self-funding dense private development?”

              Also, I’d like to note – making good options for people to get their needs met not stuck in traffic doesn’t mean no one has to give up anything. We need to reallocate space from cars to buses and bikes, not because driving is bad and anyone who does it should be punished, but just because it’s financially impossible to create good bus and bikeways in any reasonable timeframe without reallocating ROW.

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    • wsbob January 2, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Musk is an innovator, and while electric cars, autonomous and not, probably with society’s 21st century transportation mentality, could never be the magic lamp solution to transportation and congestion problems, they do seem to hold some promise of countering the downsides of relying solely on internal combustion powered motor vehicles for personal transportation.

      I personally like not having every car on the road constantly pumping out exhaust fumes. Maybe having the energy produced to power them, take place out in coal fired plants out in rural parts of the state isn’t the best answer, but for now, that’s kind of an improvement. By the way, I haven’t read the article, yet.

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    • Pete January 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Well, you’re not wrong about the lithium mining, but he is a pretty broad thinker who generally tends to support renewable energy. I’m certainly no Tesla fanboy (turned down a lucrative job there) – though a P85D is insanely fun to drive (and there’s now a “ludicrous” mode, like that’s a good thing) – but Musk is an inventor and innovator, reminding me a little of my childhood heroes Dean Kamen and Ray Kurzweil.

      If you compare an I-5-based L.A. S.F. Hyperloop with the proposed California high speed rail project, the long-term environmental impact would be much better, not to mention a lower OPEX – I say this because there are already a number of reachable solar and wind farms to power it. (Of course, that’s from a passenger transport perspective; freight has more significant technical challenges).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

      Also, just factor in the number of deadly I-5 crashes per year in that corridor, and assuming Hyperloop were to meet its safety goals the ‘savings’ would be tremendous.

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      • B. Carfree January 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        Actually, I think eddie is wrong on the mining. Lithium should exist as a simple salt that would be extracted mostly with water, not strip mining like coal or copper. I’m not saying it is brought to market without impact, but saying it is mined, with all that is implied by that, might be a bit of a stretch.

        That said, there is an internet meme popular among my right-wing friends that shows a huge copper mine that it tries to pass off as a source of lithium that has been debunked over and over to no avail.

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        • Pete January 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm

          Thanks; I’d read some things about lithium mining and Musk investing in huge tracts of land, but maybe I’d fallen victim to the propaganda.

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      • Chris I January 3, 2017 at 7:44 am

        How can you compare proven high-speed rail technology with a literal pipe dream? Hyperloop is incredibly flawed. The ROW requirements to get tubes that straight will be impossible. Just look at the problems CHSR is having, and they are building primarily on existing ROW.

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        • Pete January 3, 2017 at 12:18 pm

          Good points; I hadn’t followed the technical issues too closely. The ground has a tendency to move around frequently here, too – and that’s not even considering fault lines and earthquakes.

          My understanding is that most of the Cal high-speed rail problems seem political, around budget and location (NIMBYism). The cost is hard to sell a taxpayer who’s used to paying <$3/gal for gas now, and just voted in a sales tax increase for road maintenance that will undoubtedly (in their mind) reduce traffic. The question I hear from most people here is, "Why would we spend so much money on a train when it's so much cheaper and easier to drive, especially around town once I get to S.F./L.A.?".

          While NG-based locomotive platforms are in the works, locos are still powered by and subject to the unpredictability of oil, as well as the pollution (which won't matter so much with the next administration). That said, my company was first to achieve EPA Tier 4 compliance and is one of a few involved in technologies to optimize fuel consumption, and the technologies around it continue advancing (though incrementally).

          Hyperloop may fail for many reasons, but it's approaching the problem out of the usual "proven platform" box that I think is important. (Like him or not, you can't deny that Musk thinks pretty big).

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    • soren January 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      “lithium mining”

      i saw that fake meme on my climate change-denying uncle’s facebook page:

      http://reagancoalition.com/articles/2016/meme-these-photos-illustrate-the-problem-with-green-energy.html

      a genuine lithium mine in the atacama desert:

      http://www.sqm.com/portals/0/soporte/img_rn/salmuera.jpg

      “creepy robot invasion”

      40 ton buses carrying 10-12 people (on average) while spewing pollution versus shared vehicles with no tail pipes? i welcome the creepy robot invasion…

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    • Middle of the Road Guy January 3, 2017 at 9:32 am

      He probably appeals to the same people that buy iPads. Overpriced luxury items that use batteries

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  • B. Carfree January 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Regarding the proposal in Utah to lower the presumed intoxicated blood alcohol level from 0.08% to 0.05%, we already have a lower limit on a small subset of our motorists. Commercial truck drivers are already held to a standard of 0.04%. I think California just lowered the limit for Uber/Lyft drivers to 0.04% as well.

    Personally, I’d like us to go the route of Poland and lower the limit to 0.02%. I simply cannot understand the mentality that allows someone to consume any alcohol and then get behind the wheel, with rare exceptions like an unexpected need where a life is in the balance (actually happened to a friend of mine).

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    • Chris I January 3, 2017 at 7:46 am

      .08% is an insanely high limit. In an ideal world, we would have a .02% limit and cell phone jammers in every car, but freedom.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy January 3, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it unreasonable. If any consumption impairs the operation of a vehicle, shouldn’t it be extended to bikes? Sure, one will make the argument about degrees of impact of a particular vehicle type, but millions of people consume a beer and drive without issue or mishap.

      Some people are also simply better drivers. I’d wager there are people who have consumed a few beers who are still better drivers than other sober ones.

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      • Chris I January 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm

        If only we had systems that could enforce traffic crimes automatically, regardless of the operator’s underlying ability or level of impairment, thus improving the safety for all road users. But, alas, even modest efforts like speed and red light cameras are met with vitriolic opposition in nearly all corners of this free nation.

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  • B. Carfree January 2, 2017 at 11:50 am

    A couple of decades ago I did the truckers on bikes thing in reverse. I was living in the Sacramento Valley and was frustrated by the horrid behavior of the tomato truck drivers, particularly towards cyclists.

    Since I had a summer off, I joined the largest tomato-hauling firm in the area. After I got my CDL, I started driving tomato trucks. I learned that those folks work 16-hour days with every eighth day off. They can also go up to 28 days with no day off and mostly live at the processing plant. No wonder they were jerks; who wouldn’t be with that little rest? It probably doesn’t help that they are paid by the load, not the hour.

    I also learned that safely driving big rigs is amazingly easy. However, I had the advantage of high quality teachers, which is definitely not the norm in the industry.

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    • Dave January 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

      You make a great case for re regulating transportation jobs with the complete elimination of productivity incentives.

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  • Jonathan Gordon January 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Interesting that the rule in California about turning right from a car when there’s a bike lane present is so different from here in Oregon.

    California:

    https://www.sfbike.org/news/bike-lanes-and-right-turns/

    Oregon:

    https://www.stc-law.com/bike_right_turn/

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    • Hello, Kitty January 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Oregon law is ambiguous at best, and similar to CA at worst.

      From the article, “811.440 When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane” states “(2) A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when: (a) Making a turn”.

      Further, 811.355 states “(1) A person commits the offense of making an improperly executed right turn if the person is operating a vehicle, is intending to turn the vehicle to the right and does not proceed as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway:
      (a) In making the approach for a right turn; and
      (b) In making the right turn.”

      I can’t see how Thomas concludes that you can’t drive in a bike lane to make a turn. Even if you accept his argument that the bike lane is not on the roadway (which it plainly is), drivers still have the option or obligation to proceed as close as practicable to the curb, the location of which is not debatable.

      I guess that’s why he’s the lawyer and I’m not.

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      • Hello, Kitty January 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        For completeness, I should add that Oregon defines the roadway thus:

        “Roadway” means the portion of a highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term “roadway” shall refer to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively. [1983 c.338 §83]

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      • Pete January 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        When I took Ray’s class in 2005, he told us to always consider that cars will legally use the bike lane to make turns. It seemed to be his view at the time that the law was ambiguous.

        After moving to California it took me a little while to get used to the difference, but I’ve come to prefer it. I should say that it works for my style of riding, as I’m comfortable signalling and taking the lane in traffic to pass right-turning cars, and I tend to make liberal use of California’s CVC 21202 exception 4 – leaving the bike lane “anywhere a right turn is permitted” – depending on the dynamics of traffic conditions, that is.

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        • Hello, Kitty January 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

          Having vehicles turning right across a bike lane where cyclists are going straight is dangerous; we would never ask drivers to turn right across an auto lane.

          It’s part of what I see as a double-standard when we build for cars vs. for bikes.

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          • B. Carfree January 2, 2017 at 7:21 pm

            It amazes me just how badly this can be done. In Eugene, there is an on-ramp for eastbound Beltline that can be accessed by northbound vehicles on River Road. The on-ramp is two lanes for a hundred feet or so and then becomes one lane to merge onto the freeway. Looking from the curb, you have a right turn lane (to access said on-ramp), a bike lane and then a lane from which one can proceed either straight or turn right.

            Good grief! The former traffic engineer, who was working without a license for most of the time he was the city’s head traffic engineer, thought it was so important to allow as many cars as possible to access this often bumper-to-bumper freeway that he put a right turn option to the left of the bike lane even though there is a dedicated right turn lane adjacent to the curb.

            As you note, it’s hard to imagine anyone putting a right turn lane to the left of a lane that motorists will be proceeding straight from.

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          • GlowBoy January 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

            “we would never ask drivers to turn right across an auto lane.”

            Wrong. We ask drivers to turn across auto lanes all the time. Anytime they make a left turn from a two way street, they are turning across an (oncoming) lane. There’s really nothing absurd about having cars turn across bike lanes, just a matter of making drivers get used to it. And the fact that different states have different standards.

            Here in MN, our law is similar to CA’s and I hate it. When right-turning cars wait for pedestrians to cross the street they’re turning onto, they block the forward progress of bikes. This is a huge problem in downtown Portland (and Minneapolis) at rush hour, for example.

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            • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm

              Turning across an oncoming traffic lane, where you can see the oncoming traffic, is different than turning across a lane where a faster driver/rider can be approaching from behind, in a driver’s blind spot.

              It would, however, be equivalent to turning left from the right-most lane.

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              • wsbob January 7, 2017 at 2:57 am

                “Turning across an oncoming traffic lane, where you can see the oncoming traffic, is different than turning across a lane where a faster driver/rider can be approaching from behind, in a driver’s blind spot. …” h kitty

                Virtually the same thing…the same problem, if the person driving, merges into the bike lane at some point for a turn, in advance of an intersection: same potential for a faster rider to be positioned within any blind-spot the person driving may have.

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                • Pete January 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm

                  In practice here in CA, this is not a frequent occurrence – except in certain places. In those intersections the reason it occurs is because the intersections were designed for a volume of traffic that’s now exceeded, and/or there have been additional turns (i.e. corner malls) put in since the road was laid out. I’ve learned to take the lane a little earlier in the ones I know of, and some cities we’re actively working with to start the dashing earlier as a signal to both cyclists and motorists.

                  I think you’ll find block length makes a difference, as well as slip lanes. In many of the turns here there are slip lanes (for better or worse) which buffer cars around corners, giving space for cyclists and drivers to navigate by each other (in normal traffic; rush hours there’s much more corkage). In Oregon you tend to have 90-degree turns. In those cases where traffic flow is going to prevent right-turning cars from proceeding, it does seem to make sense to keep them from buffering in the bike lanes.

                  Look, I hope you don’t think I’m advocating the merge as ideal – like I said, car-free streets are ideal. I am still very curious (in the other thread) if someone can provide data on how many states ‘prohibit’ the merge like Oregon does (and I use that loosely). I’ve searched around a bit but don’t see anything consolidated and comprehensive on the subject (just lots of debate).

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      • Pete January 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm

        I should add that you can always expect a California driver to move far to the right to turn right, whereas in Oregon the behavior seems to vary widely (probably because so many Californians have migrated there). CA bike lanes are marked with dashes at merges, which helps remove much of the ambiguity (although there are places where they should start the dashing before the 100′ mark due to realistic traffic conditions, in my opinion). In my experience, drivers typically aren’t surprised when I signal and take the lane around where the dashing begins, and if they’re signalling a right turn and I catch it in my mirror, I’ll typically move over earlier which smooths their flow.

        They put in a 1′ buffer on a local roadway a few years ago, and in doing so they dashed the inside line but left the outside line solid (https://goo.gl/maps/pfj7617HXZP2). I noticed when this went in that drivers started to make this turn more “Oregon style”, as I described it at the time. My inbox started lighting up with emails copied from a few of my fellow local riders complaining to the city (Sunnyvale) that this is much more dangerous, and that the city should dash both lines so that drivers would know to turn in the “normal”, predictable manner.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy January 3, 2017 at 9:38 am

          it was my experience in the midwest also…go to the far right. Just like pulling out into an intersection when making a left so traffic behind you can still move.

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      • wsbob January 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        “…I can’t see how Thomas concludes that you can’t drive in a bike lane to make a turn. Even if you accept his argument that the bike lane is not on the roadway (which it plainly is), drivers still have the option or obligation to proceed as close as practicable to the curb, the location of which is not debatable.” h kitty

        Some of the relevant Oregon laws could stand to have their language clarified to be consistent with the obligation of people driving motor vehicles relative to their use of the bike lane, but the fundamental principle of Oregon bike lane law, is that people driving motor vehicles, are obliged to not drive in the bike lane: …at intersections, they’re allowed to cross over the bike lane, but not drive in it for 100′, or 50′, 20′ or whatever.

        That helps to make the bike lanes in Oregon, relatively free of motor vehicle use. I don’t like California’s bike lane law at all. It allows people driving, in preparation for a turn, to enter the bike lane 50′ to 200′ before first signaling for the turn. Can you imagine that law in Portland? The blocks there are 200′ square.

        As someone riding, I can’t control whether or not the person driving,in the adjacent main lane, signals for a turn across the bike lane. At least with Oregon’s law, there is some degree of likelihood that persons driving and intending to turn, will not encroach on the bike lane until they actually get to the intersection for the turn they intend to make…whether or not they signal for the turn.

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        • Hello, Kitty January 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm

          >>> the fundamental principle of Oregon bike lane law, is that people driving motor vehicles, are obliged to not drive in the bike lane <<<

          This "fundamental principle" is not clearly spelled out anywhere, as far as I can tell, aside from a general pronouncement in 811.435, which links directly to a bunch of exceptions, including the ability to use the bike lane to execute a right turn.

          I cited law earlier that, when preparing for or executing a right turn, I am explicitly permitted/required to be adjacent to the curb. Does anything directly contradict this?

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          • soren January 2, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            the fundamental principle of oregon bike law is that people who bike are second class road users.

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          • wsbob January 2, 2017 at 9:45 pm

            I don’t think what I’m referring to as the fundamental principal underlying use of the bike lane, is clearly spelled out in the Oregon statutes. That’s why I wrote that language of certain of Oregon’s relevant laws could stand to have their language clarified to help eliminate vagueness. I’m looking over the rules of the road for drivers statutes, here: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/chapter/811

            To my thinking, chief among those statutes in terms of specifying the limitations of use of the bike lane by people driving, is 811.440 https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.440

            Refer to (2)(a), the part of which, relative to this discussion says:

            “…(2) A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when:

            (a) Making a turn; …”

            I read that as saying to road users that they can drive a motor vehicle upon the bike lane to, as I wrote earlier, cross over the bike lane when making the actual turn, as opposed to traveling in the bike lane in preparation to making the eventual turn.

            This statute, 811.440, specifically refers to use of the bike lane, whereas 811.355, which you referred to earlier, does not. I believe that 440 then, takes precedence over the requirements of people driving and making right turns, stated in 355: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.355.

            In Oregon, people driving are prohibited from traveling in the bike lane. My point of view, and what I feel is the spirit of Oregon law relating to use of the bike lane, is that the bike lane is intended to be an area of the road serving as a comparatively safe zone of travel for people traveling by bike. The bike lane is not there for people to drive on with their motor vehicles as they’re allowed use the main lanes or turn lanes of the road.

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            • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 12:16 pm

              The larger point is the law is unclear, and means whatever a judge says it means. It think we’d need to see some case law and precedents in order to understand what the law is. Which is a pathetic state of affairs.

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              • wsbob January 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm

                “The larger point is the law is unclear, and means whatever a judge says it means. …” h kitty

                I think Oregon law about people driving, not being allowed to use the bike lane for travel, is quite clear, though again, some related laws should be checked and perhaps amended for consistency.

                Judges are obliged to make their decision based upon what the writers of the law intended the law to provide for. They are not entitled to arbitrarily say the law means whatever they feel like saying it means.

                When I suggest as I have earlier, that with regards to Oregon’s bike lane law, that law means people driving are by law, not allowed to travel in the bike lane, I’m drawing from what I believe would likely be found to be the spirit of that law intended by its creators, if anyone were so uncertain about its intent as to go to the legislative archives and dig out the record of the law’s creation. This reliance on the spirit of the law, is also the reasoning as I understand it, that a judge is obliged to adhere to.

                811.355, the law specifying that people driving must stay close to the curb or edge of the roadway in approach to a turn, could be easily clarified by amendment with an addition possibly saying something like: ‘With the exception of roads where there is a bike lane adjacent to the curb or edge of the roadway’.

                What people driving are supposed to do when they plan to make a right turn, or left turn as the case may be, and are approaching an intersection on a street or road where there is a bike lane between them and direction at the intersection the intend to turn at, is…signal well in advance of the turn…wait until reaching the intersection to at that point, begin their turn.

                If there is a bike lane also on the street onto which they’re turning in the same position relative to their vehicle as was the bike lane they’re leaving, it should be obvious that the person driving would stay clear of that bike lane as well…rather than stay close to the curb as some may feel 355 specifies.

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                • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

                  No one is suggesting drivers can or should travel in a bike lane. Or course they shouldn’t. The only question is, legally, can they enter one while preparing to make a right turn. The law says that they both can and must. What “preparing” means is open to interpretation.

                  Like I said… this is something a judge will have to decide, and until she or he does, we are only speculating.

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                • wsbob January 4, 2017 at 6:15 pm

                  Hello, Kitty at: January 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

                  “No one is suggesting drivers can or should travel in a bike lane. …” h kitty

                  California says people can drive in the bike lane in that state, for up to 200′. Oregon laws for people driving, say they can’t drive in the bike lane.

                  “…The only question is, legally, can they enter one while preparing to make a right turn. The law says that they both can and must. …” h kitty

                  Oregon law says people can ‘drive upon a bike lane when making a turn’. They’re not allowed to drive in the bike lane in preparation for the turn. They’ve got to wait until they reach the intersection where they’re going to turn, before actually starting to turn.

                  Of course they still are required to prepare for the turn, according to Oregon law, by starting to signal 100′ before the turn.

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            • Pete January 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm

              But this is where “road rules” become subject to arbitrary interpretation anyway, because people behind the wheel aren’t using ORS to guide them anyway, they’re using the yellow or white solid or dashed lines on the road. Dashed means you can cross it, solid means you shouldn’t. Simple!

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              • wsbob January 4, 2017 at 6:27 pm

                Sure…California’s right turn law as it relates to roads on which bike lanes are provided, is simple for people that don’t mind having people driving in the bike lane they’re riding in.

                Speaking for myself, though I doubt I’m the only person that feels this way…I don’t want people driving in the bike lane I’m trying to use in order to stay out of generally faster traffic on the main lanes of the road. I want less of the game of trying to figure out whether the motor vehicles pulling up alongside me in the main lane, as I’m riding in the bike lane, are going to suddenly swerve into the bike lane when the California dashed dividing lines start, or whether the people driving are just going to continue on straight through.

                There’s enough occurrences of people swerving into the bike lanes as is, in Oregon. At least in this state, we have have the law prohibiting use of the bike lane for a driving lane, as some deterrence to that happening.

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                • Pete January 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm

                  Nobody likes having drivers in the bike lane, really, either here, there, or pretty much anywhere. Where Oregon’s law could use some adjustment is getting rid of the mandatory sidepath / FTR crap. California bicyclists are free to choose whether they maintain their position in the bike lane, or move to the left and take the lane to uncork right-turning motorists. Drivers here are used to bicyclists doing either; they’re generally not stoked about being corked, of course.

                  At a red light, I much prefer not waiting to the right of a right-turning line of cars – especially if I’m in a line of cyclists (drivers tend to be more impatient then). At a green, I know the flow, and again, when I bike in Oregon – especially in later years – I see many more drivers moving over than in years past. And I’m limited to staying in the bike lane there, period.

                  When I bike on roads here, I frequently signal and take the lane at busy intersections (or lane drops), and as a result have limited my near-misses and right hooks to nearly zero since moving here. I get more when I ride in Oregon now.

                  Frankly, if every state’s law was the same as Oregon’s, and a majority of drivers predictably obeyed it, my preference would be 100% aligned with yours.

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                • wsbob January 7, 2017 at 2:44 am

                  Pete, at January 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm …

                  People riding in Oregon, by the provisions of 814.420, are able to do all the road maneuvers you describe California’s law allow people riding in that state to do. People riding in Oregon can signal to leave the bike lane for the main lane in order to avoid the potential for conflicts at intersections. The law allows people biking, to leave the bike lane for turns.

                  I don’t want my words to be mistaken for trying to ruffle anyone’s feathers, but this law lays out as clearly as it probably can, using a small number of expressed provisions, that people biking in Oregon have full access to the use of the road. Can’t arbitrarily hold up traffic in the main lane if there’s a bike lane adjacent that’s open and in reasonably good condition to use. That’s about the extent of the restriction to the bike lane.

                  I think there’s a need for a much broader, in depth discussion of this law, and what it provides for, than just on this weblog. The public needs to think about what role it wants people biking to serve in meeting city and state transportation needs.

                  Biking conditions provided for in ways that can help resolve major motor vehicle traffic congestion the public increasingly faces, are I think, extremely important. And I think, going back many decades, people aggressively encouraging improved conditions for biking, understood this well, which I think is why they would create a law that would allow people biking so much access to the road…more actually than is available for use by people using motor vehicles.

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        • Pete January 2, 2017 at 4:59 pm

          Don’t knock it ’til you try it… 😉

          The problem with the California approach in practice is that most drivers simply don’t signal properly, if at all. I’ve not seen in this bad in pretty much any place I’ve traveled. The few people who do signal turn it on as they’re turning – I get a kick out of people in left-turn lanes here who’ve just crossed three lanes without signalling, waited for the light to turn green, and then hit the stock as they’re navigating the turn… why bother now??

          The 50′-200′ is, in practice, generally 100′ based on design practice here (dotted line on the bike lanes, parking clearances, etc.). Again, everyone has their preferences – both driving and biking – but most of the experienced riders I know here (including myself) find it more comfortable and predictable. The generally high volume of cars buffering for turns is also a big factor – cyclists would frequently be sandwiched or trapped for entire light cycles if they weren’t to pass right-turning cars (on the left).

          https://www.sfbike.org/news/bike-lanes-and-right-turns

          Also, as HK says, car drivers tend not to turn across car lanes (or face the wrath of horns and fingers), so why should bike lanes be different?

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          • wsbob January 3, 2017 at 12:47 am

            pete…I recognize that many experienced riders probably can handle the do-se-do type lane switcheroo you describe you and your friends using with California’s bike lane law. I myself certainly could, with little problem.

            What about the many thousands of people biking advocates wistfully hope will one day start riding? Will they be able to handle that kind of use of the bike lane by people driving? And will they even want to, or will that hassle just be one more reason for them not to ride?

            Here in Oregon, getting people to ride, those having any hesitation at all about riding in or near motor vehicle traffic, is hard enough even with Oregon’s ‘motor vehicles don’t drive in the bike lane’, bike lane law. Opening the door to use of the bike lane for travel with motor vehicles, to me just seems to be something that will further repel many people from riding.

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            • Pete January 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm

              But the point is that door is already open, as it’s the norm for a majority of American drivers, regardless of how clear or ambiguous ORS is on the subject.

              “What about the many thousands of people biking advocates wistfully hope will one day start riding? Will they be able to handle that kind of use of the bike lane by people driving?”

              Biking advocates have wanted many thousands of people to start riding since about the mid 1970s (or the gas crisis, for those of us old enough to recall). If that was to happen – especially overnight – then those people will fare best when they prepare to navigate intersections based on how drivers actually behave, and not how we think they should. There will never be protected infrastructure that’s entirely free of vulnerable intersections – ever. I’m sorry.

              I feel like I have to say it again on this site: I am not against cycling infrastructure designed for the “9-90” crowd. What I am for is consistency in the laws governing our use of American roads, practicality (for all users) in roadway marking and layout, and most importantly effective training for both drivers and bicyclists in how to interpret those laws and markings in practice. I do get it – elderly on adult tricycles (I’ve trained them, and ride along with my 90-year-old neighbor), handcycles, recumbents, laden cargo bikes and trailers – not practical to take the lane with 25+ MPH traffic. But all should be aware of the risks and techniques at their disposal. I don’t have the answer, other than the more of us that get out there more often, the better.

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              • wsbob January 4, 2017 at 6:57 pm

                Regarding use of the bike lane for a travel lane with motor vehicles:

                “…But the point is that door is already open, as it’s the norm for a majority of American drivers, …” pete

                Not here in Beaverton, that I’ve noticed while riding. No majority of people driving in this fairly big city, are driving in the bike lane in approach for turns. It’s not even a common practice from what I’ve seen. It’s an occasional occurrence. Busier city, maybe it’s happening a lot in Portland Downtown, or some of the neighborhoods.

                We stay out of the bike lanes here. People driving, wait until they get to the intersection, and make their turn at that point.

                From what I’ve observed, age of rider is rather irrelevant as to whether people feel conditions the city can provide for biking, are comfortable and safe for them to use. I found that routes on which there will be significant motor vehicle traffic, is a major common denominator having many people of all ages in basically good physical condition, decide ‘well uh…. I don’t really want to ride where there’s going to be traffic.’.

                Just as a reminder, in referring to people that are averse to riding in traffic, I’m not talking about bike commuters, or road race style riders that develop thick skins. I’m referring to more average type people that like to do things like play tennis, go to the gym, play golf, hike, but have ongoing thoughts about maybe giving biking a try. To them, motor vehicle traffic is like a ferocious beast just waiting to ruin their day.

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      • Spiffy January 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        yes, when making the turn, not when approaching to make a turn… you can only drive in the bike lane when you’re turning, not when you’re preparing to turn…

        as for turning from the far right of the roadway…

        http://bikeportland.org/2011/07/06/bike-law-101-whos-on-the-roadway-55920

        that’s the far right side allowing motor vehicle travel, which does not include the bike lane or parking areas…

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        • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 10:10 pm

          The law says you must be as close as practicable to the edge of the roadway or the curb when preparing for and executing a right turn. The law on this is explicit. Since the bike lane doesn’t extend through the intersection, there is never a need to operate upon it (as is explicitly permitted) while turning unless you enter it before executing the actual turn.

          In one hand we have a bunch of explicit requirements/permissions and in the other some vague and not-spelled-out rules and assumptions about what the law must mean.

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        • wsbob January 4, 2017 at 7:16 pm

          “yes, when making the turn, not when approaching to make a turn… you can only drive in the bike lane when you’re turning, not when you’re preparing to turn… …” spiffy

          I suppose the correct action of turning across a bike lane at an intersection could be said as “….only drive in the bike lane when you’re turning, …”, as you have done using the word ‘in’, though I think substitution of “…upon…”, as the word the law uses, helps provide a clearer description of what people driving are allowed to do in making a turn in Oregon where there is a bike lane present.

          People that bike are vulnerable road users, compared to people driving and riding in motor vehicles. If we allow the bike lane to be used for travel by people driving motor vehicles, what good does that do these vulnerable road users…people biking? The bike lane is that part of the road that’s been assigned nearly exclusively for the use of people biking, as some defense against the real and potential danger posed by motor vehicle use on the road. To let people drive in the bike lane, seems to me to be throwing away some of the defensive measure, I feel the bike lane was created to provide.

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    • q January 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      It almost doesn’t matter what the Oregon law really is, if it’s so confusing that people don’t all interpret it the same way. Even the clearly-expert author said he changed his interpretation to the opposite view over time. And even with his lengthy explanation, people here (who analyze the laws more than any typical road user, and probably more than many who enforce them) still don’t believe it’s clear.

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      • wsbob January 3, 2017 at 1:28 am

        I suppose I can understand some reasons you and some other people find Oregon’s road use laws confusing, particularly in this conversation, those laws related to use of the bike lane.

        Those laws really aren’t as confusing as they may seem to be, because the principles they draw upon are fundamentally simple. Everybody generally has rights to use of the road, with various conditions specified according to their mode of travel.

        People don’t talk in everyday conversation using the language and phrasing of that in the laws…so reading the laws and thinking about what they’re saying and providing for, takes more effort for many people, than does just sitting down for a casual conversation about whatever. Just go slowly, and break down what each of the three or four laws say, that links to the text of have been provided for in comments here.

        The specified conditions essentially articulate what in casual manner of speaking, is common sense rules of the road. If you’re driving: ‘Stay out of the bike lane. For a turn, you may cross over it an intersection, but you can’t be driving in it’. What’s so complicated about the law when it’s spoken that way?

        I don’t mean though, to over-simplify the problem many people are having in understanding and using the road according to the laws on the books. Because I think there are a number of factors other than the language of the laws and inconsistencies in it from law to law, that are making it difficult for people to be good road users.

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        • q January 3, 2017 at 12:39 pm

          First, that’s awfully condescending, isn’t it? Especially when the author of the article about the right-turn issue is clearly an expert, and changed his own view? Plus, I don’t think anyone commenting here needs an explanation of how to read laws, “Just go slowly…”. Really?

          Second, your explanation of the right-turn law is NOT the only reasonable way to interpret it. Others who’ve commented clearly understand that, and even if their interpretation matches yours, they understand how arrogant it would be to claim it’s the ONLY reasonable interpretation, or that anyone who disagrees would agree if only they would read the law more slowly and carefully.

          Third, you’re missing the whole point. Maybe .01% of drivers have ever read the road-use laws. What’s relevant is what people do when they drive. The fact that there’s not consistency in how people make right turns across bike lanes proves the law is confusing, and it’s not just “(me) and some other people” who find the laws confusing.

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          • wsbob January 4, 2017 at 5:59 pm

            “…The fact that there’s not consistency in how people make right turns across bike lanes proves the law is confusing, and it’s not just “(me) and some other people” who find the laws confusing.” q

            If people are confused about the law, they should do something to resolve their confusion.

            I didn’t say my explanation of the right-turn law is the only reasonable way to interpret that law: you did. If you want to interpret that law some other way you feel is legal and best for you in using the road, go right ahead…it’s your choice to do that.

            Anyone that’s studied the driver’s manual, taken the written and road test Oregon offers, has read a version of Oregon’s road use laws applicable to travel by foot, bike, and motor vehicle, although, it’s a simplified version that may leave some people uncertain about all that the actual laws provide for. I think reading the complete language of the laws, which the creators of oregonlaws.org have thoughtfully presented in a form that’s much more reader friendly than are the text of the laws on the Oregon legislatures website…can be very helpful towards answering questions about the law, and clearing up confusion.

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            • q January 4, 2017 at 9:23 pm

              Yes, of course people who are confused about the law should do something to resolve their confusion, and of course reading the drivers’ manual and the actual laws is a good idea. But the reality is that almost nobody reads the laws, and few read the drivers’ manual once they pass their test, even if that was decades ago.

              The other problem is that some of the laws aren’t clear, even if we all take your advice and read them slowly and carefully, so they can be interpreted differently, as is so clear here every time laws are discussed.

              And the biggest problem that results from all that may be that people are coming to differing conclusions but do NOT feel confused. They may go for years driving incorrectly until they find out via a ticket that they’re wrong.

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            • q January 4, 2017 at 9:42 pm

              You wrote, “I didn’t say my explanation of the right-turn law is the only reasonable way to interpret that law: you did.”

              No, you didn’t actually write those exact words, but you did accompany your interpretation of the law with your condescending, “What’s so complicated…” remark.

              And prefaced that with your condescending, “Those laws really aren’t as confusing as they may seem to be…” remark.

              And prefaced that one with your condescending, “I suppose I can understand some reasons you and some other people find Oregon’s road use laws confusing” remark.

              And in the midst of all that, you gave us your condescending advice about how to read: “Just go slowly…”, “…break down what each of the three or four laws say…”.

              And you even threw in your several condescending observations about how laws are not written the way people talk in every conversation…how reading the law takes more effort for many people (especially people like me who find laws confusing?) than casual conversation, etc. etc. etc.

              But you’re correct, you didn’t actually say your interpretation was the only reasonable one.

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        • q January 3, 2017 at 6:02 pm

          wsbob wrote: “Those laws really aren’t as confusing as they may seem to be, because the principles they draw upon are fundamentally simple. Everybody generally has rights to use of the road, with various conditions specified according to their mode of travel.”

          Yes, that obvious statement is no doubt true in all 50 states and much of the rest of the world. But it’s so general it’s worthless when it comes to using it to decipher specific laws. After all, those fundamentally simple principles apply equally to Oregon and California, but their right turn laws are complete opposites.

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    • Pete January 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      ORS and CVC aside, there is indeed a big difference in presentation:

      https://www.dmv.ca.gov/web/eng_pdf/dl600.pdf
      Page 40, California Driver Manual:
      “When you are making a right turn within 200 feet of the corner or other driveway entrance, you must enter the bicycle lane only after ensuring there is no bicycle traffic, and then make the turn. Do not drive in the bicycle lane at any other time.”

      http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/37.pdf
      Page 30, Oregon Driver Manual:
      “You may turn across a bicycle lane, but do not move into a bicycle lane in preparation for a turn. Always check for bicycles in your blind spot before turning.”

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      • wsbob January 5, 2017 at 10:08 am

        Pete…excellent! Thanks for finding and posting those excerpts, particularly the one from the Oregon Driver’s Manual:

        “…http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/37.pdf
        Page 30, Oregon Driver Manual:

        “You may turn across a bicycle lane, but do not move into a bicycle lane in preparation for a turn. Always check for bicycles in your blind spot before turning.” …”

        I hadn’t looked up the driver’s manual to see how consistent it is with Oregon statute 811.440. In fact, the driver’s manual excerpt seems to me to do quite a good job of clarifying simply, to people driving motor vehicles, and all other persons that have occasion to read the manual or this part of it, that they may only cross over a bike lane, but are not allowed to drive in the bike lane in advance of the turn they’ll be making at a further point down the road.

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

        I’m glad if people in California are happy with their bike lane law regarding turns made by people driving, and prefer it over Oregon’s law, but I think Oregon’s law provides a greater margin of road safety and functionality for people biking in this state. Despite some difference in opinion, I feel that most people in Oregon, probably feel similarly, at least people that live here.

        If it came to a wider public discussion than this bikeweblog, such as in a bill presented to the Oregon legislature, and was covered in a number of higher profile media, televisions stations, newspapers, I doubt that the Oregon public would support a change to the California bike lane law.

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        • q January 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

          “If it came to a wider public discussion than this bikeweblog, such as in a bill presented to the Oregon legislature, and was covered in a number of higher profile media, televisions stations, newspapers, I doubt that the Oregon public would support a change to the California bike lane law.”

          I’m not sure about that. The change side could argue it fixes the current situation where drivers have to dangerously and inconveniently clog traffic lanes when they slow to turn instead of the safer method of maneuvering into the empty bike lanes that drivers already pay for with their gas taxes. They’d say it’s an obvious common sense and safety issue, and that drivers are expected to share their lanes with bikes, so this is only fair to allow cars into bike lanes for this token amount.

          They’d add that even liberal California recognizes all that with their law. And that even cyclists benefit because it eliminates “right-hook” accidents.

          And almost all state voters are drivers, but few are cyclists.

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        • Pete January 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          Whoa whoa whoa… nobody said “happy” about driving in bike lanes, just that more experienced riders I’ve talked to here tend to be comfortable with it (as I mentioned, when they made the outside line of a buffer solid and drivers started turning across the lane instead of merging into it, many bicyclists even complained to the city). “Happy” is when roads are car-free… 🙂

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  • Pete January 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Uber’s autonomous rollout was quickly revoked by California DMV so they went to Arizona. AZ’s governor welcomed them with open arms, while SF city supervisors publicly stated they were not willing to put citizens at risk before the program was mature.

    http://www.curbed.com/2016/12/22/14057046/uber-driverless-car-san-francisco-fail

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    • Hello, Kitty January 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      A classic race to the bottom. Arizona and Uber deserve each other.

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  • Dan January 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    .05 limit for DUI seems pretty darn reasonable. The article says that comes out to 3 drinks in an hour for a 150-pound person. (actually the article said “man” but not sure that gender makes a difference?). Not sure if those figures are right, but if you can have four drinks in an hour and blow under .08, that seems too lax to me.

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    • Oliver, the other one. January 3, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Remember that Utah has strange laws about alcohol content. Beer of the type we make here is regarded as liquor under Utah law.

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      • Hello, Kitty January 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        I think you are misstating the law in Utah. Oregon beer is classified as a variant of meth there. They originally wanted to set Breaking Bad in Utah, but decided brewers weren’t compelling villains in the rest of the country.

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    • GlowBoy January 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      BikePortland says: “which would make just a few drinks of alcohol grounds for a violation.”

      Wow, this is a really sloppy statement on multiple levels. First of all, DUII/DWI/DWA (as it’s called in various states) is a serious criminal offense, NOT a violation. “Violation” means a ticket, no big deal for most people. DUII means jail time, thousands of dollars in legal costs, possible vehicle impoundment, and limited employment opportunities due to having a criminal record.

      Worse, the wording “just a few” drinks is 50s-era dismissive of how quickly people can become impaired, and factually incorrect to boot. Only very large people or those with a very high physical tolerance can have “a few” drinks and stay under .08%.

      Realistically, .05% would make ONE drink the limit for most adults. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but let’s be clear.

      FWIW, here in Minnesota the limit is .08% as in other states, but .04% is the limit if alcohol was found to contribute to a collision.

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  • Kathy January 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    From someone happy with the widening of the 405 in LA: “He said he leaves his office after 7 at night, to miss the worst of rush hour, and it takes about 75 minutes to go 15 miles, which he said saved him 15 minutes a night on his old commute.”

    So all of that to go from an average speed of 10 mph to 12 mph. I would much rather do that on a bike.

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    • B. Carfree January 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      But he’s very old. Maybe he needs an electric bike. Fortunately for him, that would up his speed to closer to 20 mph.

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      • Dave January 3, 2017 at 7:35 am

        And, Sepulveda Pass, the frontage road between the SFV and Westside, is an easy, well-surfaced grade, too.

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    • BradWagon January 3, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      So he gets home after 8pm? That blows my mind. Does he eat dinner at his desk as well as lunch? If you’re sitting in traffic for over an hour, 15 more minutes would be well worth it to be home for at least a reasonable dinner time.

      But yes, 15 miles would be an wonderful hour ride in warm Southern California for me…

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  • Mark Smith January 3, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Speaking of the Macon Georgia piece…the same state where it is a crime (sure to bust more dark people than light) to ride your bike anywhere but in the road.

    So yeah, I find it interesting that this is happening in Georgia.

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    • Spiffy January 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      I think sidewalk riding is illegal in Wisconsin as well, unless a city specifically authorizes it…

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      • GlowBoy January 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        Wow, you made me look that up Spiffy. You’re right, Wisconsin generally prohibits sidewalk riding except where authorized by the individual municipality. Madison appears to have legalized it except where buildings abut sidewalks. Good to know since I sometimes ride in WI, and it’s otherwise considered one of the most bike-friendly states.

        Here in Minnesota it’s legal except in “business districts,” which have been specifically defined for this purpose as anywhere that more than half the addresses on a block face abut a sidewalk. Many of these districts (e.g., Uptown) have “NO BIKING” stenciled on the sidewalks, which helps make things clear, but with or without the stencils it’s easy enough to figure out the legality of riding in any given spot.

        In Oregon it’s legal except where prohibited by individual cities. In Portland and many other cities, sidewalk riding is prohibited in downtown areas, but it varies. The worst thing about Oregon’s sidewalk-riding laws, though is that cyclists are automatically found at fault if they are involved in a collision in a crosswalk while riding above a walking pace.

        Personally, I like the Minnesota law because (although not well known) it is easy to understand and I don’t need to memorize any city-by-city laws that may or may not be easy to find out. This is important in a metro area with over 100 municipalities, of which I might pass through 5 to 15 on a half-day ride, and many suburbs having extensive MUP and sidewalk networks (of varying widths!) in lieu of bike lanes.

        All that said, getting around by bike is a right, not a privilege like driving. I have the right to use every street and road (except freeways). I do my best to pick safe routes, but our system makes that difficult … if I find myself on a road that isn’t safe for riding, I’m taking the sidewalk and the law can eat it. (Unless the sidewalk is crowded with pedestrians of course, in which case I will walk my bike through the congestion. I’m not a barbarian!)

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  • Jeff January 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I’ve been slow-walking across busy streets like Hawthorne lately to slow cars. Of course I keep an eye open and I’m ready to run but I always make a lot of eye contact and keep a steely gaze. Not sure if helps but it’s kind of entertaining.

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    • bikeninja January 3, 2017 at 10:55 am

      I have been thinking about getting myself a personal shopping cart with a thousand pounds of cement or cast iron in it to push ahead of me as I cross streets like Hawthorne. Big suprise for the first scofflaw,

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      • Chris I January 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        I love walking with a full cart in the Costco parking lot. It’s amazing how people yield to you.

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  • BradWagon January 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    A past article related to the LA 405 piece…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/us/17freeway.html

    Residents are shocked how nice the city is without cars everywhere. It honestly reads like an onion article at times.

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    • BradWagon January 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Hope it was worth $1.6B to head the opposite direction…

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  • Tony Rebensdorf January 8, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Thanks for the story about Mobi. Yet I was disappointed to see that it was a story that referred to the city in Canada, not just across the river. Would it be possible to note the difference next time? After all; Vancouver Washington as a nearby suburb of Portland is much more relevant!

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