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  #41  
Old 09-19-2008, 09:21 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Tait, I haven't really thought this idea through, but on the face of it, it sounds good to me.

(excerpt from comment #37)

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Originally Posted by Tait View Post
So how about this: If you really want to educate the "people who need to be educated" about safely riding a bicycle, advocate for stepped up police enforcement of bicycles violating traffic regulations. When people receive a their first ticket, they can go to bicycle traffic school and get taught all about how to safely operate their bike. If this is your third or better violation, then traffic school is not an option and your fine gets doubled, since apparently it wasn't painful enough last time for you to learn.
How would it be possible to have the police step up enforcement of bicycles violating traffic regulations? Obviously that effort wasn't popular with people riding bikes in Ladd's. At any rate, Ladd's is an isolated traffic situation, and isn't typical of the kinds of much more widely dispersed traffic violations by people riding bikes that are the source of distress to other road users.

Does the PD have the resources to step up the enforcement of violations by people riding bikes? Would voters approve giving the PD more money if it was earmarked specifically to this kind of enforcement? Seems like bike cops should be the ones assigned to this particular duty.

Also, if I remember right, the people receiving citations for violations in Ladd's were able to reduce the fine by taking some sort of city safety course. I remember people commenting that it was a good, conscientiously taught course, but I don't remember a lot said about the specific curriculum, and whether that included actual bike riding in traffic instruction. If it doesn't have it, for people riding bikes that have received moving violations, including this seems important to me.

I think the strategy of having persons riding bikes that have received moving violations take a bike in traffic training course is a good idea, but to the extent it's possible to do it, getting people interested in learning to run the bike in traffic before they develop dangerous, illegal riding habits, would be more desirable. As much as is possible, staying away from the punitive aspect that might be associated with a course offered to reduce the cost of a citation is something to consider.

I looked at Jason's League of American Bicyclists Bike Education course descriptions. They look pretty good. I may not have seen the entire brochure (old adobe acrobat)...didn't see anything about cost for the course.
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  #42  
Old 09-19-2008, 11:20 PM
Tait Tait is offline
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Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
How would it be possible to have the police step up enforcement of bicycles violating traffic regulations? Obviously that effort wasn't popular with people riding bikes in Ladd's.
I don't remember that well, but wasn't the complaint in Ladd's that citations were being issued for behavior that was neither harmful nor particularly risky? I agree that this enforcement should be done by cops who have plenty of experience as a bicycle in traffic. (Logistically, it make take a motorcycle to do the actual enforcement.) I think it's important for the citing officer to understand the shades of gray that are unique to bicycling, so they can give warnings or citations as appropriate to the situation, which might curb some of the anger people feel about being targeted unreasonably.

Then again, how many motorists complain about speeding tickets, etc.? Just the other day, one of my coworkers pulled my ear for a good 15 minutes complaining about a ticket he got (in his car) for not coming to a complete stop for a right turn at a red light.

Trying to catch and encourage the right behavior before it's a problem is better, when it's possible. Local bike shops can help, and maybe even not-so-local shops like REI. But you're not going to get Walmart or the guy selling his bike on Craigslist to afford that kind of due dilligence and concern for the buyer. By "help" I mean spread the word to new bicycle-buyers about how much they don't know, classes available, a handbook, or whatever education can happen at that level.

But people engage in questionable behavior even when they ought to know better. As they repeat this behavior and suffer no negative consequences, they grow more confident that what they're doing is not only acceptable, but even safe. So enforcement is a necessary part of the strategy no matter how well we do with other educational efforts. Let's just try to make the enforcement sensible, and more than being purely punitive, try to get something good from it too.
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  #43  
Old 09-20-2008, 04:54 AM
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djasonpenney djasonpenney is offline
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Default I'm so very sorry...

I expect that I will be teaching in association with WashCo BTC, so unfortunately, yet again, these Road 1 classes won't be in the city of Portland itself.

--jason "you know Scott Bricker of the BTA is an LCI, hint hint" p.

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Originally Posted by donnambr View Post
Does this mean that we'll finally be getting some Road I classes that aren't out in the suburbs? <insert hopeful look here>
__________________
ORS 811.065 (1)(a):

The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “safe distance” means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic....

LCI #2105 Lambchop Rides!

Last edited by djasonpenney; 09-20-2008 at 05:03 AM. Reason: added quote
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  #44  
Old 09-20-2008, 09:29 AM
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I think the real issue here should not be registering all bikes (stupid idea) and not even mandatory registration of older bike riders ( even stupider) -- but voluntary registration for commuters or avid bike riders. Basically voluntary for anyone who rides on the roads.

Why ---- well 2 reasons: First would be the $ you pay to the local / state government ... that money would go to bicycle lane maintenance and creating new routes. And would also cover the inspection to say that your bike has a headlight - tail light - horn or bell and is basically safe.

The second reason is the real reason all this would benefit serious bicyclists -- having registered and passed an inspection ... you would now be eligible for road insurance (one would think this is a blooming opportunity for insurance companies). Now when you get in an accident there are insurance companies and lawyers involved ... a true hassle all drivers want to avoid.

So while the cops / DA might not pursue an accident even though the driver was at fault - your insurance company would via a civil suit.

And since it wouldn't be super obvious which riders were registered -- all drivers might think twice before cutting a rider off.
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  #45  
Old 09-20-2008, 12:48 PM
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djasonpenney djasonpenney is offline
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Default Who would pay to get nothing?

Intriguing...but could we make the carrot and the stick larger?

On the stick side: how about larger fines if you're convicted of a traffic violation? Or, if you're convicted of a traffic violation and aren't endorsed to operate a bicycle, you face the same penalties as if you drove say, a motorcycle or school bus without the proper endorsements.

On the carrot side...I'm drawing a blank. I'm looking for something associated with operating the bicycle that would make you day easier/safer/faster/more convenient. Ideas, anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCog View Post
I think the real issue here should not be registering all bikes (stupid idea) and not even mandatory registration of older bike riders ( even stupider) -- but voluntary registration for commuters or avid bike riders. Basically voluntary for anyone who rides on the roads.
__________________
ORS 811.065 (1)(a):

The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “safe distance” means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic....

LCI #2105 Lambchop Rides!
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  #46  
Old 09-21-2008, 09:29 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Originally Posted by Tait View Post
I don't remember that well, but wasn't the complaint in Ladd's that citations were being issued for behavior that was neither harmful nor particularly risky?(excerpt from #42)
Ladd's, a residential neighborhood, has the kind of unusual street configuration that places it's central streets on a diagonal through the square plot of land it sits on. This removes it from much of the kind of heavy general traffic that flows through traffic situations such as downtown, or on high volume traffic streets like Hawthorne, Everett, Burnside, or out in Beaverton, on roads like Farmington, Murray, Cornell, Hall, Canyon, Beav-Hillsdale.

It seems more likely that the kind of concerns or complaints people are making about people riding bikes riding unsafely, illegally, and unpredictably, are generally arising from encounters on bigger streets like the ones named above, rather than quiet little neighborhoods with unusual street configurations. It's these bigger streets with their high traffic volumes where people riding really need to know their stuff; such things as knowing how to clearly indicate presence and direction of travel to other road users, make lane changes with advance notice to other road users, and more.

Quote:
djasonpenney: On the carrot side...I'm drawing a blank. I'm looking for something associated with operating the bicycle that would make you day easier/safer/faster/more convenient. Ideas, anyone?
I think the 'carrot', in terms of incentive for greater numbers of people riding bikes to ride more safely, visibly, and predictably legal in traffic, is that they're probably going to get a much more favorable response from other road users to their presence on the road, than they may be getting now. They'll be likely to experience less behavior from other road users that is, or appears to them to be threatening or intimidating.

To a clearly indicated hand turn signal made sufficiently in advance of the turn, other road users will be more inclined to help the person make the turn by slowing down somewhat and keeping distance. The same would apply to lane changes.

The funny hand stop signal (left hand and arm at a 45 degree angle to the ground) increases the area of the rider's body that is visible to other road users, and can help them understand better that the rider is slowing and stopping. I use this signal, but I can't say I actually know what it looks like to other road users, because I've rarely seen people riding bikes use it. I know it works, and works well, because I've tried it both ways and seen the results for myself. Presented with that signal, road users approaching will slow down sooner and keep a slightly greater distance from the person using the hand stop signal.

Last edited by wsbob; 09-21-2008 at 09:35 AM.
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  #47  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:54 AM
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Today, I was looking online for his column of the 11th in the print edition of the Portland Tribune, because in that column, he includes a little tidbit about a conversation he had with the editor of bikeportland, Jonathan Maus, in which Maus is quoted as saying something to the effect that he 'supports licensing of bikes, but not by a government agency'. I'm not sure what he considers a workable alternative might be, but there's no elaboration on that idea in the Stanford column. When I find the column, I'll repost the quote here.
Way back in comment #7 of this thread, posted on the 14th of September, I noted that Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford had quoted bikeportland.org editor Jonathan as supporting some form of licensing for bikes or people that ride them. Never could find that column on line. Since I don't regularly read Stanford's column, surprised I was then to learn from the main page thread about this weblogs's recent software upgrade(people commenting there brought up the subject of Jonathan having made the comment), that Stanford, in his column of the 19th, had again printed a quote from Jonathan Maus about the topic of licensing, bikes, and riders:

Bike riders pay a price for success: a new license Stanford Ptlnd Tribune

In response to the comments mentioned in the main page software upgrade thread, Jonathan says that he will bring up the subject of licenses for bikes/riders.

It's interesting to me how, when the subject of licensing bikes, or their riders comes up, some people seem to embrace the idea without necessarily seeming to consider what is hoped to be accomplished by doing taking this action, or how, in a practical way(Karl Rhode, BTA spokesperson is also quoted in the column). Here's the excerpt from Stanford's column of the 19th that includes the quote from Jonathan Maus:

Jonathan Maus, who edits the influential Web site www.bikeportland.com, says licensing in some form could even be beneficial for biking by giving it more “legitimacy” as mode of transportation. “It would be a sign,” he says, “that the city respects biking and bikers enough to make them accountable.”


That sounds great. Biking could benefit from more legitimacy and respect from many quarters. A big question seems to be though, from a practical standpoint, how would the city be able to use a policy crafted around this idea to make bikers more accountable?

Will the city prohibit anyone not having a license from riding on city streets? Will the city issue citations/extract fee penalties to bikers that do not have licensing? How will the city be able to effectively step up enforcement of regulations that some people riding bikes currently violate to the extent that the greater road using public is having problems with more bikes on the road?

I think it's a great idea to encourage and promote, safer, legal and predictable riding amongst people riding bikes in traffic, if that's the idea behind licensing of bikes and or their riders, and if that is the measure that's really necessary to accomplish that goal. It should be very interesting to see whether people advocating licensing of bikes/riders, will be able to propose a substantive licensing program that will do this.

Here's some comment/responses to Stanford's column that don't make the advisability of licensing look too good:

Re: Bike riders pay a price for success: a new license

I get as sick as anybody about how city hall kisses the rears of bike riders, but will this serve any real purpose? The license plates will be too small to read mostly likely unless you're within 30 ft or so. I doubt that it will of much value in reporting bad riders. And then if you do, so what? And knowing the city, it will create a whole new layer of bureaucracy that probably won't pay for itself.

If this will serve a real purpose, that's one thing. If it's just to jerk the chain (no pun intended) of bicycle riders, then forget it.

"Ret"

(email verified)

Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 08:01 AM


Re: Bike riders pay a price for success: a new license

Will Oregon DMV issue bike licenses to illegals?
"Jack"

(email verified)

Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 06:15 PM


Re: Bike riders pay a price for success: a new license

What about mountain bikes? What about people who live well outside of Portland, but who, on occasion, bike in to the City? What about children? Although I think that licenses are an intriguing idea, I worry about the layers of bureaucracy that this will create. How will it be enforced? We don’t even have enough police officers to enforce traffic laws.
"eaf"

(email verified)

Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 09:54 AM


Re: Bike riders pay a price for success: a new license

Eaf, Phil Stanford says it’s time for cyclists to "grow up". So I guess that goes for school children too.

Anyway if cylists do something wrong, a police officer simply tickets them. I mean what's the deal, you can't fine someone unless they're "licensed"?

"Erik Sandblom"

(email verified)

Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 11:07 AM


Re: Bike riders pay a price for success: a new license

Great idea. We all now how registration on automobiles works so well to ensure good behavior and excellent driving by all motorists, after all.

In the United States of America, we have a fundamental common law right to travel. The courts have ruled consistently that driving an automobile is a privilege granted by the state, but non-motorized travel cannot by restricted; imposing a fee and registration requirements is a violation of this fundamental right to travel.

"Yokota Fritz"

(email verified)

Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Last edited by wsbob; 09-23-2008 at 10:25 AM.
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  #48  
Old 09-23-2008, 10:58 AM
ME 2 ME 2 is offline
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I've taken a step back and coming back into this debate, I realize what a pipe dream it is. Attaching some form of physically visible ID on a bike is not practical from an engineering stand point. Most people would say it could be affixed to the seat, but doing so would block my rear light. It seems silly to impose something that might actually impede the ability of motorists approaching from behind to see me.

In the bigger context, I'm going over the Climate Action plans for different cities as part of my job. I've gone through documents for Boston, Phily, Minneapolis, Denver and Boise. All of them mentioning expanding bicycle infrastructure as one of the key measuring for reducing their carbon footprint. I just don't see Portland, or the state of Oregon, going against this tide.

The Oregon legislature next year will be debating how it will meet its greenhouse gas reduction commitment as part of its membership in the Western Climate Initiative. Transportation emissions are about 50% of our total emissions and will be subject to limitiations. If anything I expect more public money to be thrown at expanding bicycle infrastructure and encouraging cycling as opposed to instituting a program such as licensing fees that would discourage more people from riding their bikes.

On a final note, Jonathan has been quoted a couple of times now on this concept. I'd love to see a post from him on what he thinks a licensing program would look like.

I can do without Stanford's backhanded comments and asinine take on bike licensing.
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  #49  
Old 09-26-2008, 12:00 AM
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I can do without Stanford's backhanded comments and asinine take on bike licensing.
Stanford can be annoying, but it's not something I care to dwell on. Annoyance aside, he's fairly intelligent and more importantly, his column appears in a newspaper with a readership that's probably very worthwhile for bikeportland readers to be familiar with; a readership likely to be more representative of the percentage of the public having the most difficulty adjusting to the increase of bicycles on the road, and that may be responsible for many of the more frustrated concerns raised in regards to that increase. They need to be heard and their concerns and complaints considered for merit they may have, by people that want to see more bikes on the road.

I expect the licensing of bikes issue to be very contentious if and when some tangible plan for it ever does meet wide public consideration here in Portland. A big objection to any such plan that will be raised if it includes bikes having to display some sort of license plate or other proof of licensing is, that without such proof displayed on a bike, police will have carte blanche to stop and make inquiries of anyone riding such a bike. Fun.

bikerinNE's reminder in comment #50, below: "...vehicle isn't licensed, it's registered, with a plate to link owner to vehicle (or operator)." Sorry if I missed that.

Last edited by wsbob; 09-26-2008 at 08:45 AM.
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  #50  
Old 09-26-2008, 02:01 AM
bikerinNE bikerinNE is offline
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Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
I expect the licensing of bikes issue to be very contentious if and when some tangible plan for it ever does meet wide public consideration here in Portland. A big objection to any such plan that will be raised if it includes bikes having to display some sort of license plate or other proof of licensing is, that without such proof displayed on a bike, police will have carte blanche to stop and make inquiries of anyone riding such a bike. Fun.
With that being said, licensing a bicycle isn't city wide, but state wide. With that, it's a state wide issue, and I still believe most of the law makers believe a bicycle is not way to transport ones self, as such a car. So, licensing a bicyclist will not be an issue, not for a long, long time to come. As such, as i've stated before, the vehicle isn't licensed, it's registered, with a plate to link owner to vehicle (or operator).
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