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Psyfalcon
10-15-2007, 04:39 AM
Leading from the various discussions on the main site about Kruger's support for a California style law.

How can it possibly work that a car be allowed in the bike lane within 200 feet of the intersection as per Cal. law if Portland blocks are only 200 feet? Strictly speaking, that negates the bike lanes entirely.

You could shorten the allowed distance, but if you back up 3 cars at the light you loose about a quarter of the entire block for bikes meaning that biking is far less efficient.

K'Tesh
10-15-2007, 07:38 AM
Amen...

Bike Boxes seem like a much better idea... (better still, getting people out of their cars)

Rubberside down
K'Tesh

I am *NOT* a hood ornament...

Haven_kd7yct
10-15-2007, 03:13 PM
Sigh.... evidently, you guys don't ride much outside of downtown.

This sort of thing happens all the time in the SW suburbs. Changing the law would just be bringing the law into line with what people already do.

Try riding around Tigard, LO, Tualatin sometime... any intersection without a dedicated right-turn lane will have at least one car in the bike lane waiting to turn right.

devtchkajenn
10-15-2007, 03:25 PM
Try riding around Tigard, LO, Tualatin sometime... any intersection without a dedicated right-turn lane will have at least one car in the bike lane waiting to turn right.

Heh. I have never rode in those areas, but before I moved to Portland and gave up driving I use to drive mostly off of Hwy 99 West (Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, Etc..) and they are really bad there.

The thing I get from having been a long time motorist is that they think that solid white line is their mini shoulder. On the outter west side, I generally never saw that many cyclists as I do in Portland so therefore a lot of them cross it out in their minds.

Having a law simular to California's would only increase crashes in my mind. Motorists would be assume and expect all cyclists to slam on their brakes for them and just give them another reason to honk and heckle...or better yet squish us from the side :/

donnambr
10-15-2007, 07:35 PM
Having a law similar to California's would only increase crashes in my mind. Motorists would be assume and expect all cyclists to slam on their brakes for them and just give them another reason to honk and heckle...or better yet squish us from the side :/
And when I discuss this issue with cyclists from other states including California, that's exactly what they say happens.

Here's something else to consider: right hooks don't usually result in death for the cyclist. If the motorist is found to be at fault, there's a chance the cyclist will be able to get some medical and/or bike repair/replacement bills covered. If the motorist was where the law allows him/her to be, it seems to me the cyclist might have a hard time establishing any kind of claim. Just a thought...

Psyfalcon
10-15-2007, 09:02 PM
While my original post was downtown centric, I think it is still a valid point. All of inner Portland, in any quadrant has rather tiny blocks. Its not until the SW Hills or halfway out to Gresham that any blocks appear that much larger. It is Portland-centric though. Why should Portland's own police force support a measure which is incompatible with road conditions in their own city? If it is really the best way to do it, they should be looking for a way to make it work in Portland.

Cars will improperly enter the bike lane, thats true. I think it becomes something like stops signs then. They know they should stop but don't. They do tend to slow and at least look around a bit, at least for police cars. Take the stop out and people tend to fly into their right hand turns without looking at all for pedestrians. Hopefully, cars will at least not cut off bikes if they know they are not supposed to be there. If you let them in the lane legaly, they will take it more often, and likely with less thought to bikes. They are allowed to be there of course!

I had a low speed hooking stand off today in Beaverton. I stop at the crosswalk for a light, car stops. No blinker. Look again blinker is on. Wonder whats going on, notice no pedestrains, I slide into the crosswalk for my own bike box. Car notices, accelerates into crosswalk, and into intersection on red to hook around me. If people really are that impatient no law is going to help.

Haven_kd7yct
10-16-2007, 10:34 AM
Maybe the bicycle lobby can bargain with the Portland police on this one:

You get the Cali law, we get the Idaho law.

Anyway, I agree with what people are saying. Keep the bike lane sacred to bikes.

FollowtheLeader
10-19-2007, 02:54 PM
Terrible idea. The bike lane is the bike's area - no questions asked. Whenever a car is idling in the bike lane at a stop light (rare), I ease along the curb and then I like to tap the car with my hand in some way. I live in the 'burbs and my aggressiveness hasn't backfired yet.

Tait
10-20-2007, 06:25 PM
Speaking from experience, CA's law doesn't work. Motorists are not even aware of cyclists, and they often pull into the bike lane to make a turn without even looking.

Motorists coming to a stop for a right turn are looking in front of the car (and/or to the left to see any traffic to which they must yield), not to its right side. If, as in Oregon, they're at least not supposed to enter the bike lane, there's a better chance they'll stop before entering the bike lane. There's a better chance they'll look to their right when stopped (and see the cyclist they should avoid running over). By the time a car in California stops, it's already run over the cyclist. Oregon's law is safer in that regard.

The other aspect of California law that is very frustrating is that cars stack up in the bicycle lane waiting to turn, forcing oncoming bikes to veer left into traffic to avoid having to stop (or when cars cut them off, crash into someone's trunk). This is a very dangerous move and any legal framework that increases the frequency of such action should be avoided.

donnambr
10-22-2007, 11:20 PM
The other aspect of California law that is very frustrating is that cars stack up in the bicycle lane waiting to turn, forcing oncoming bikes to veer left into traffic to avoid having to stop (or when cars cut them off, crash into someone's trunk). This is a very dangerous move and any legal framework that increases the frequency of such action should be avoided.
It's ironic that you mention this, as it is one of the main reasons people from other states give when they want to argue that bike lanes never, ever work. I understand that cars in California are supposed to merge into the bike lane 200' before the intersection to make their turns. Anyone know how long the average Portland city block is? :rolleyes:

Psyfalcon
10-22-2007, 11:50 PM
I do! ;)

The average Beaverton block isn't much better either.