Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 8th, 2008 at 9:23 am
“Public Safety” is the theme of a special edition of the City of Beaverton’s Your City newsletter (Beaverton is about 7 miles southwest of Portland).
When BikePortland reader Alan Bennett read through it he was shocked to see that under the heading of, Riding Safe: Bicycle Tips, it was recommended that when biking, you should, “Stop at all intersections and be sure to walk your bike across busy intersections and streets.”
Bennett also CC’d the email to the Mayor of Beaverton, the BTA, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams, and bike safety folks at PDOT and ODOT. Here’s what he wrote (emphasis mine):
“I noticed you give Beaverton a bicycle friendly community designation. You should reconsider. You gave them a mark for education, but take a look at their safe cycling advice. Stop at every buy intersection? Walk your bike through intersections? As a daily commuter from Portland to Beaverton this is quite disconcerting. This advice looks like it comes out of the fifties and shows no recognition of cycling as a legitimate means of transportation.
Misinformation such as this completely misrepresents safe cycling and leaves some motorists with yet another justification to demonizing cyclists for not following “safe cycling” practices. I’m not even sure about the legality of stopping at every busy intersection. I believe under the Oregon Vehicle Code bikes are vehicles and are required to obey the vehicle code.
I am disappointed and frustrated that we can still see advice like this put forward in 2008.”
Beaverton’s advice is reminiscent of a similar statement made by TriMet GM Fred Hansen a year ago when, in a letter to someone who broke their arm while crossing a set of MAX tracks said, “We recommend that…cyclists always walk their bicycles over appropriate crossings.”
No word yet of any reply to Bennett’s email.
Beaverton readers and riders, what do you think about this advice? Do you stop and walk across those hair-raising, high-speed, Beaverton superhighways?
[Note: A 15 year-old Beaverton High School student was killed back in February after a collision with a bus.]
UPDATE: 5/8, 3:10pm: Sgt. Paul Wandell of the Beaverton Police Department says this advice was only meant for small children…
4:09 – Here’s the follow-up story.