Scott Bricker, the newly appointed head of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), was a guest on OPB’s Oregon Considered radio show today.
In a report titled, Seeking Solutions to the Deadly Bike/Truck Conflict, he touched on several issues that are weighing heavily on the minds of many in our community right now.
Here’s what Bricker said about bike lanes:
“Bicyclists have the right to the bicycle lane and we believe that they should be able to maintain those rights and that a motorist should not be permitted to effectively cut a bicyclist off in a bicycle lane while making a turn or doing another movement.”
And about the Police Bureau’s California-style bike lane law proposal:
“At some point a motorist does have to cross the bicycle lane, the question of at what point the motorist crosses the bicyle lane, at any point the same hazard occurs, whether it’s at the traffic signal (like our current situation) or whether it’s before the traffic. So, we think that the law already has a lot of strong elements in it that are similar to the law that the police are suggesting might be useful.
We have concerns about laws that would effectively put motorists lining up in the bicycle lane because we think that would have other consequences.”
About bike boxes:
“The major benefit is that it puts bicyclists into a position where motorists can see them, in front of their vehicle.”
Host: And so that wouldn’t require a whole lot of money?
“It would be the cost of striping the road. We think it would be a very cost-effective measure.”
(KATU TV has reported Lt. Mark Kruger of the Police Bureau as saying, “big [meaning bike] boxes may not be the most feasible idea because they take up so much space and would require a massive amount of work.”)
Listen to the entire interview (it’s less than five minutes) on the Oregon Considered website.
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seriously….what on EARTH is kruger\’s deal?!
the negative impact he has left on this city over the years leaves me speechless and cringing.
I used to live on SE Clinton street, where there\’s a bike box at the intersection with 39th. The biggest problem was that motorists didn\’t pay any attention to it. It seemed well marked, but nine times out of ten when I saw a car there waiting for the light to turn, it was covering the bike box.
Kruger\’s down with cars driving in and further damaging bike lanes, which requires more frequent paint and pavement work, and yet he gripes about the work involved putting down paint and fixing up the pavement elsewhere.
Quick! Someone jump in and explain how this makes sense. And I mean in the \”beyond obvious bias\” way.
Why are police setting public works policy?
It seems to me the job of Lt Kruger is to enforce violations of Traffic Law, not determining public works expenditures. Thanks Lt. Kruger for your ill placed concern, but stick to, or rather begin doing, your actual job.
In my haste I almost forgot:
Great job Scott & BTA, we are very lucky to have you!!!
Keep fighting for our rights. Our lives depend on it!
Great job, Scott!
Kruger should be put on bike patrol for the rest of his life, in my opinion.
I\’ve never marched in a demonstration in my 58-year life, but if it is proposed to let cars line up in our bikes lanes to turn right I will be carrying one VERY large sign of protest. Enough is enough. Letting cars line up in our lane would send a message that the bike lane is just one more part of the car\’s area to use whenever they see fit; I think we\’d see even more incidents of cyclists being run off the road because of it.
\”I share the road with things that have engines, but not my bike lane!\”
Yeah, I heard this and I thought Scott did a great job of explaining the changes needed and how they would help, as well as demonstrating the inadequacy of Kruger\’s idea.
Kruger says, “big [meaning bike] boxes may not be the most feasible idea because they take up so much space and would require a massive amount of work.”
I\’m sorry, but when did the police, part of the executive branch, become part of the legislative branch?
If Kruger would like to speak as a private citizen, fine. And if he would like to officially weigh in on occasion, fine. But his constant hammering against the current law, and sensible attempts to amend it, is crossing a line. His job is to enforce the law as it is.
Does anyone else sense that Kruger\’s disdain for the current bike lane law, as evidenced by his many comments about it, might be a factor in his NOT citing either of the last two drivers involved in fatal, failure-to-yield accidents?
And thank you Scott Bricker.
I have been meaning to give the BTA some cash for some time now.
Other things (rent, student loan payments, bike parts, etc.) always came first.
Next paycheck, I\’m making a contribution right off the top.
Seems to me Kruger wants cyclists to start dodging vehicles to their front and rear in the bike lanes…that sounds safer? B.S. Kruger, go back to what you do best, if you\’ve figured that out yet.
Thank you BTA, but Dag, #2, is also right. We need better enforcement of our existing bike box. Heck, we need enforcement, period.
I ride or walk thru that intersection, on average, 4 times a day, and drive it 3-4 times a week. As a cyclist, at least once a week, I get honked/yelled at by a car who wants to right-on-red. I\’ve had wheels clipped 3 times in 2 years. As a driver I turn right, and nearly half the time I get honked at for obeying the \”stop here\” & \”no right on red\” signs, especially if there are no bikes in the box.
part of getting that failure to yield ticket issued is the party hit demanding it. i did last week and the lady has a fine to pay. dead people make no noise.
Good work bricker!
Thanks, Scott – way to stay on top of this and to utilize public media!
Tbird (#4) – Amen. Also, why is he using his public position to advocate legislation? Isn\’t that a violation of policy somewhere? The job of the police is to enforce the laws, not write them.
Spencer (#11) said \”part of getting that failure to yield ticket issued is the party hit demanding it.\”
Well, court cases are \”the State of Oregon vs. so-and-so\” – the actual victim isn\’t who the crime was against. Does the victim have to be the one who pushes for it? What if we all write / email / call the DA? Attorneys – how does that work? Can Joe Citizen initiate something like this?
The Oregonian has a story about bike boxes and it observed that most riders and drivers ignore them. The simple fact is that they don\’t know they are there. You can paint a box on the road, but it needs to be backed up by some form of education for both motorists and cyclists alike.
Bike boxes are fine, but I am coming to the view that cyclists should, wherever possible, Take the Lane.
Downtown (12mph), in commercial districts (20mph) and where we can maintain speed (down hills), being in the lane is probably the safest place to be. Being seen is key.
The bike-cops downtown can start by setting an example…ride in the lane until they need to be on the sidewalk.
What about those bicycle riders for whom 12mph is simply too fast a speed to maintain? Taking the lane is not an option when you are a slower rider and cars are breathing down your neck. Telling slower riders to stay off the road isn\’t a solution, either.
1. We need bike lanes.
2. We need to enforce traffic law more consistently.
3. We need education for drivers and riders so that everyone is clear on how to behave around bike lanes and boxes.
This isn\’t rocket science.
What it requires is money and political will, both of which seem to be in short supply these days.
(p.s. the next rider who tells me I\’m too slow for the bike lane is gonna get it in the teeth. I\’ve had it with being told I\’m too slow. If you can\’t handle my 10mph cruising speed then pass me, but for heavens\’ sake don\’t tell me to get out of the bike lane! I get enough grief from drivers without taking it from every bike racer wannabe, too.)
Spencer #12. While I\’m glad you had success in getting a citation issued, I gotta say that you somehow got lucky with your cop lottery.
When I got hit by a woman who ran a red light, the cop refused to cite her, despite having ALL witnesses supporting me.
Multiple friends with similar stories indicate that your experience is probably the exception and mine the rule.
Yup. Love our law enforcement.
The ideas of bike boxes and the California law requiring autos to enter the bike lane prior to turning right are new concepts to me, however, they both on the surface seem like decent ideas.
Trust me, I believe the bike lane is not something that should be violated by cars/trucks. I know this first hand, having been the victim of a right hook, suffering facial cuts, various abrasions, concussion, shoulder damage and four broken ribs when a 1 ton truck turned in front of me in the middle of a block causing me to brake and be thrown from my bike and roll under the truck whereupon it ran up on top of me with his rear wheel and stopped on top of my chest. He backed off about the moment I was losing consciousness (maybe 30 seconds I\’m told). I also see cars pass on the right of cars waiting to make a left turn and pull through the bike lane in doing so on SE Powell Blvd every day (between I-205 and 162nd). I had a very near miss one day as a result of this activity, though it was on Terwilliger (guy on cell phone was clueless). And I believe each and every one of these should be cited.
Since we recognize that cars must turn right at intersections, it seems it would be safer to have them moving forward and checking before they move into the bike lane rather than have them turning right and turning directly in front of bikes. I think they might be more conscious of the bike lane if they\’re forced to enter it early. Even when they stop to wait for a bike while turning right, I slow way down as I never know whether they might turn. At least I think the idea should be considered and the overall safety record considered before it is summarily dismissed because we don\’t want to give up our bike lane.
Regarding what Kruger does best.
And here\’s a pic of him and one of his little hobbies. Note the swastika on the cap.
Dan, the two big problems with the mentioned California law are as follows:
– You get heavy vehicles tearing up bike lanes at intersections. This increases wear and tear on infrastructure and subsequent need for repair (though it *would* shut up those \”user pays\” morons turning up at every town hall meeting).
(and the bigger of the two:)
– The solution doesn\’t solve the problem, which is users of road infrastructure executing unsafe maneuvers, not paying attention to their surroundings, or both. This doesn\’t solve that problem; instead, it just moves the point for a collision further back than the intersection proper. Any motorist making a careless right turn now is unlikely to yield the right-of-way or pay attention to their surroundings any more when merging right \”back there\” than they are turning right \”up ahead\”; likewise for any cyclist zipping along thoroughly oblivious to traffic outside the bike lane.
More photos of the Portland Bike Box in use. 2006.
I can only assume that the entire Portland Police Bureau and the Mayor must be in support of this proposed change to the bike lane law since they are allowing Mark Kruger to act as their spokesman to the media. That\’s bad enough, but the biggest problem as far as I see it is that the Police Bureau is supporting a change to the bike lane law that is \”just like California\’s\”. In California, motor vehicles are supposed to merge into the bike lane 200 feet before they make their right turn.
Anyone know how long our city blocks are? Take a wild guess!
Is Kruger\’s mission to wipe out biking in Portland? Seems like it.