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  #1  
Old 10-29-2008, 08:02 AM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Question Is it legal to ride a bike on the freeways in Oregon?

Yes, in the State of Oregon, freeways are legal for bicyclist to use, with a few limitations.

In his book Pedal Power, Portland attorney Ray Thomas adresses this subject.

Quote:
We Have a Right to the Freeway,
but Which Freeway?


Oregon bicyclists are sometimes stopped by a police officer for riding a
bicycle on a freeway or interstate. Riders often ask “What are my rights
regarding riding on the freeway?” The exact language of the rule governing
non-motorized vehicles on our freeways is as follows:
12. Selected Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) That Pertain to
Bicyclists And Pedestrians:


734-020-0045 Prohibition of Non-Motorized Vehicles on Freeways

(1) Non-motorized vehicles are prohibited upon the following segments of freeways within the State of Oregon:
(a) Portland area:
(A) The Columbia River Highway No. 2 (Banfield/I-84) from its
intersection with I-5, MP 0.00, to 122nd Avenue, MP 10.25, east
bound, and to Sandy Boulevard, MP 15.14, west bound;
(B) The Sunset Highway No. 47 easterly of the Jefferson Street
Interchange, MP 73.35;
(C) Interstate 5 (Hwy. No. 1) from the Beaverton-Tigard Highway
Interchange, MP 292.20, to the Delta Park Interchange, MP 306.70;
(D) Interstate 205 (Hwy No. 64) northerly of the Overcrossing of the
Oswego Highway No. 3, MP 8.82;
(E) Interstate 405 (Hwy. No. 81) in its entirety; and
(F) Lower Columbia Highway No. 2W from its intersection with I-405,
MPE0.00, to 23rd Street, MP 1.99.
(b) Medford area: Interstate 5 (Pacific Highway No. 1) from the Barnet Road
Interchange, MP 27.58, to the Crater Lake Highway Interchange, MP 30.29
(in Medford).
(2) The closure of the above sections to nonmotorized vehicles shall become
effective following the erection of adequate signing.
Please note that paragraph (2) provides that “adequate signing” is necessary
in order to give non-motorized users notice of the closure. This
means that the signs warning us off of the road must actually be in place
before we are required to use an alternative route.

No sign, no ticket. Riders familiar with the prohibited sections of roadway
will probably agree, however, that no one would want to be on these
sections of highway without thick sheetmetal surrounding their vulnerable
bodies. If anyone is hassled about riding on lawful roadways, cite the
“offending officer” to the OAR; knowledge is power.
If you don't believe him, then you can check out the state's website.

As a regular rider on the shoulder of the freeway, I occasionally get harrassed (like today) by people who don't know that it IS legal to ride on the freeway. I also believe that it is legal for me to take an entire lane (I won't except when I'm the sole soul on the freeway).

The shoulder of the freeway is wide (for the most part), and is always there, there are no driveways, intersections, stoplights/signs, pedestrians, or pets that increase the danger to me. Surface streets have all of these obstacles, and oncoming traffic. Bike lanes are still a bit hit and miss with my commute route.

What about trails? Dogs and people, as well as bad weather (flooding), and park access hours can be one reason not to commute that route (presuming it exists). Like bike lanes, they are a hit and miss affair. You still have to deal with surface streets. It is also requires more time, as it can be less than direct.

I posted this so anyone researching this subject online can easily find it.

Share The Road!
K'Tesh
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 10-29-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:57 PM
Bjorn Bjorn is offline
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I rode the freeway from eugene to Ashland with my dad about 20 years ago. Frankly with the wide shoulders it is quite a bit safer than the alternative in places (99W). It is however loud and you have to negotiate the on/off ramps carefully.

Bjorn
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:44 AM
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wyeast wyeast is offline
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Dangit K'Tesh. I was about to come slap you silly for asking the question, but I realize now you meant to offer the answer.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:52 AM
scoot scoot is offline
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A map with the prohibited stretches marked in some obvious way would be a nice graphic aid to this info. For the occasional or never drivers who can't visualize these numbers as roads, that is. Not that I'm riding on the freeway - nuh uh, not for me.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:57 AM
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Talking Great Idea...

Excellent suggestion scoot!

I'll see if I can wrangle one from ODOT...

(Now, if we can only get you out on the freeway... Or... Better still, get MUP's alongside them that are actually desirable to ride on.)

Rubberside Down!
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 10-30-2008 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoot View Post
A map with the prohibited stretches marked in some obvious way would be a nice graphic aid to this info. For the occasional or never drivers who can't visualize these numbers as roads, that is. Not that I'm riding on the freeway - nuh uh, not for me.
I made this map on Google Maps to illustrate the Freeway closures in the Portland area, including Vancouver:
http://tinyurl.com/5n4thf

Some of the language is a tad confusing, so I did the best I could. Where exactly is the Sandy Boulevard interchange on I-84, for instance? According the law, should we be able to ride from Delta park to Hayden Island? The law looks like it says that we can, but there are still signs posted to the opposite effect.

It may also be worth noting that I-5 is open all of the way north to Olympia, and all of the south to Medford. I hope this map helps.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:58 PM
scoot scoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr98664 View Post
I made this map on Google Maps to illustrate the Freeway closures in the Portland area, including Vancouver:
http://tinyurl.com/5n4thf

Some of the language is a tad confusing, so I did the best I could. Where exactly is the Sandy Boulevard interchange on I-84, for instance? According the law, should we be able to ride from Delta park to Hayden Island? The law looks like it says that we can, but there are still signs posted to the opposite effect.

It may also be worth noting that I-5 is open all of the way north to Olympia, and all of the south to Medford. I hope this map helps.
Cool, thanks. That makes it a lot clearer to me. Maybe K'Tesh will get an official one and post a picture in this thread that will make the unclear parts clear, too.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2008, 07:59 AM
tvhwy tvhwy is offline
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Default Some exceptions

In an e-mail conversation I had with Ray Thomas this month, he said,
Quote:
I am not aware of a law that gives a city or county the right to ban bikes and pedestrians from a state highway unless it is only temporary such as for a construction project.
He was answering my question about a sign excluding bicycles from a under-construction section of Beltline Highway in Eugene.

Ray is saying that we can be temporarily banned from freeways. I also take from his words that an Oregon municipality can restrict a road that's not a state or interstate highway. So when Lane County requires us to have a permit to ride on Delta Highway, they seem to be in the right.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr98664 View Post
It may also be worth noting that I-5 is open all of the way north to Olympia, and all of the south to Medford. I hope this map helps.
For the northbound to Oly, I'd advise exiting the freeway at Exit 72 and rejoining at Exit 77. Chehalis/Centralia flood damage repairs have jersey barriers choking the e-lane down to about two feet wide. They were still there as of August, anyways. I took the I-5 up to Oregon City on the way back, which was much nicer.

I'll have to try the southbound again sometime. I've only been down to Salem, and made the mistake of taking 99E down to Woodburn. I should've gotten on the Interstate sooner. 99E is pretty hairy south of Oregon City, at least is was back in 1993. I took I-5 up to the 205 over to 99E on the way back. Much nicer.

Last edited by LESTER; 10-31-2008 at 12:52 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2008, 08:27 AM
boneshaker boneshaker is offline
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I think it's worth calling out that newbie's (or any cyclist for that matter) should not be riding bicycles on freeways. You enter the food-chain at the very bottom and automobiles simply are not looking for bikes. Your chances of surviving an accident here are not good because if you get hit chances are it's by someone driving 55+ mph.

There are a lot of great resources available for folks looking to get from here to there without using freeways. mapmyride.com and bycycle.com are 2 good examples.

Be safe and smart out there. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's smart.
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