Special gravel coverage

Citizen activist moves forward on push to ban studded tires

Posted by on April 2nd, 2010 at 10:04 am

Jeff Bernards is getting tough
on studded tires.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Remember Jeff Bernards? He’s the citizen activist I wrote about in early March who wants to push the state legislature to finally do something to curtail the use of studded tires. Since that story published, Bernards has been busy.

After many years of writing letters to the editor and testifying about the issue at City Council, Bernards is finally going to do something about it. Why? Studded tires do about $50-60 million in damage to Oregon roads each year (and ODOT spends about $11 million on repairs because of them — money that could be spent on other things).

As reported yesterday in the Daily Journal of Commerce, Bernards has moved forward with his plans to file a ballot initiative. He’s even consulted noted initiative expert Bill Sizemore.

From the DJC:

“Bernards, a citizen activist, is pushing a ballot initiative to ban the use of studded tires in Oregon. He’s received advice from veteran initiative backer Bill Sizemore and hopes to make the ballot in 2012.”

Bernards tells me he’s also purchased the domain name banstuddedtires.com and plans to build a website soon. He’s got his work cut out for him. According to the DJC, Bernards has to raise at least $250,000 to get enough signatures to get on the ballot and he’s also got to woo the AAA. As initiative expert Sizemore told the DJC, “They [the AAA] have a huge mailing list… They could put this on the ballot in one mailing… If AAA opposes it, it’s dead.”

Stay tuned.

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  • Matt Haughey April 2, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Honest question here: if you don’t live on a rural, unpaved hill, why do you need studded tires?

    I hear the buzz from them in Portland all winter and wonder why people use them on pavement. Around Bend or out in the rural parts of the state, I can see their use, but Portland proper it seems silly.

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  • brewcaster April 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Please pass my info on to him. I would love to volunteer my time and services for making a video to get the word out.

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  • Amos April 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Sizemore?!?!? No better way to lose respect in the community than to add his name to your project. So sad, it’s a great idea, too. God… imagine if that guy was seen as a spokesperson for the bicycling public! He was just indicted for tax evasion, for Pete’s sake!!!

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  • ryanknapper April 2, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Does anyone have any information about winter accidents with and without studded tires? Maybe they shouldn’t be allowed regularly within urban environments, but maybe they are saving a lot of lives.

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  • cyclist April 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I agree 100% with Amos #3, I’m not backing any ballot initiative (no matter the cause) that is supported by that bloodsucking piece of excrement. Sizemore makes his living by suckering people into paying him to make the public’s life a living hell.

    Consider me a “no” vote.

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  • Amos April 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Okay, let’s say that this thing grabs the public eye like Mr. Bernards is hoping… I can see it now: “Cyclists and Sizemore push to ban studs on cars” or worse yet: “Anti-tax and Anti-Car team up”… Sorry, I’ll calm down here in a second. It’s just that this is such a terrible idea for so many reasons.

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  • Burgshire April 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I bet the insurance companies will love this! The one snow, couple of feezing rain incidents that occur in Portland will send you Californians and your lack of driving abilities into a claim frenzy.

    I personally back the idea of a ban on studded tires. Now if they could get this passed and get a portion to go to alternate transportation thru out the state is another matter.

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  • Thomas Le Ngo April 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

    With people who live, work and play in steep areas, a ban is stupid. Tax or add a fee at the point of purchase.

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  • Scott Mizée April 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I’m with #4 and #1 with the exception that an urban paved hill is also a valid use of studded tires. I ran studs all my growing up years in MT & ID and will not hesitate to put them on if I live somewhere that justifies their need.

    Where I live in Portland? not needed…

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  • Patrick April 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Good work Jeff, I’m on board on this.

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  • David April 2, 2010 at 10:51 am

    All it says is that he consulted Sizemore. I despise Sizemore as much as anyone — he’s done a lot of damage to Oregon — but he does have experience getting stuff on the ballot, so I’m not going to react just based on a consultation.

    However… I’m wondering if a better alternative to a ban on studded tires would be to tax the sh*t out of them in areas where they are clearly inappropriate.

    It’s ludicrous that studs should be whining around the streets of Portland all winter, but if someone really wants to run them then they should be free to pay for their folly.

    The tax idea might also work better for folks with the pay-your-way outlook, as well as the crowd who will inevitably froth about their “right” to studded tires. Fine — you wanna tear up the roads, you can pay for it.

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  • wsbob April 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Mr. Bernards seems to be getting quite a hard rap from some people commenting so far. Maybe he deserves it, maybe he doesn’t …I couldn’t really say one way or another.

    On the other thread Maus provides the link for above, there’s a number of good ‘back and forth’ comments about the effectiveness of studs/snow tires/traction tires and damage to the road. Check out comments 14, 15, 28, 37, 55.

    Earlier in the week, I was riding Fairmount around Council Crest. Not a lot of car on the road, but one with studded tires did pass me. Amazingly noisy.

    Portland’s high elevation neighborhoods frequently get snowy and icy conditions that neighborhoods in the city’s lower elevation areas don’t. OHSU is on the hill too. Will non-studded traction tires do the job for all the people that need to get to and from these high elevation places in the city?

    Saying, ‘Tough luck…you live there, you got to use chains to get down, and take em off when you get downtown’, could be a problem unless the other road friendly alternatives really can work for those conditions.

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  • El Biciclero April 2, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I’m interested to know where the $50-$60M figure comes from. I believe it, but what would I tell someone who doesn’t? $11M is the only figure I’ve heard admitted to publicly. How does ODOT know they are spending $11M on studded tire damage and not normal wear? Again, I have no problem believing the numbers presented, but I know people who would…

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  • Shetha April 2, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I think one important point to make is that snow tires are sufficient for MOST cases and studded tires are just old technology for extreme (icy) cases. Even outside of Portland proper it’s probably appropriate to just tax the studded tires directly, and ban them outright in the valley floor areas.

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  • jon April 2, 2010 at 11:18 am

    read the article, sizemore says he’s against it if it exempts half the state.

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  • Anonymous April 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

    How do you impose a tax based on where the tires are installed? I install them at Les Schwab in Gresham, but if I drove to Sandy I would be exempt?

    And how do you ban the tires in the valley floor areas? Does a driver from Bend have to remove the tires to drive to Portland?

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  • jordan April 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Couldn’t they ban them in a city or locality? Or maybe ban the sell of them? That would seem to make more sense. Because they could still be of use in rural areas as a safety item.

    I too, because of the connection to Sizemore will not support this.

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  • Loren April 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Not that there’s piles of money lying around anywhere these days, but if we ban the tires, how about a tax credit to help the people out with the expense of buying a new set of studless tires?

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  • Brian April 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Studed tires are a crutch for lazy people. I’ve lived in several places with climates worse than Oregon, and people get on just fine without them. Ban them.

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  • Steve B. April 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Way to kick some ass, Jeff!

    This is not a Sizemore ballot initiative, he just consulted with the guy.

    Canvassing against some of Sizemore’s measures last year, I concur that if it somehow gets his name on the measure, lots of people will automatically vote against it. Certainly the bigger monster to contend with is AAA and Les Schwab.

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  • Bent Bloke April 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Sounds like Mr. Bernards only consulted with Bill Sizemore on getting a measure on the ballot, not on the measure itself.

    There are alternatives to studded tires. Bridgestone makes the stud-less Blizzak, which has a porous rubber compound that seems to work in the same manner as cross country ski wax. These provide better grip on ice than regular stud-less winter tires, but not quite as much grip as studs. But on just snow, and on bare pavement, they perform better; at least according to reviews. And let’s face it: most driving in Oregon in winter is on bare pavement, not ice. So Blizzaks would be a better choice for most conditions.

    There is a review at http://www.trucktestdigest.com/TTDfeatures/featureBlizzakReview.htm

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  • Scott Mizée April 2, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Bent Bloke #18 said:

    And let’s face it: most driving in Oregon in winter is on bare pavement, not ice. So Blizzaks would be a better choice for most conditions.

    I don’t think that is a fair statement. Perhaps most driving in the Willamette Valley–or other PARTS of Oregon in the winter are on bare pavement.

    again… don’t apply the blanket to the entire state.

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  • Bjorn April 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Applying a tax to the tire equal to the damage it causes will fail in Portland because people will just drive over to vancouver to buy their studded tires. An outright ban is the way to go as it would also prevent people living in Washington from tearing up the roads on the way to Mt. Hood.

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  • Carter April 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Studded tires help people get around in the ice and snow. And in Portland, sometimes you don’t know when there will be ice.

    Damage from studs is one cost of driving on highways. They make driving safer. So fixing the highways is just one cost of maintaining roads.

    This is not an suitable subject for a ballot measure. Issues such as this are best left to state highway officials. They can carefully evaluate all aspects of the issue, examining studs’ effectiveness, and looking at alternatives such as the tires mentioned in comment 18, and make a decision based on their research.

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  • Adam April 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I can understand in some cities, say in Portland, MAINE, studded tire usage is warranted for six months of the year.

    But here in Portland? Where we get snow and ice for one day a year? And it melts by the next MORNING?

    I would totally support this bill. I would like to see my tax dollars better spent than on repairing such needless damage of our roads.

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  • Equal treatment for Cyclists April 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I’d support this if it also bans studded tires on bicycles, and not just cars.

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  • f5 April 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Seeking advice from Sizemore on the ins and outs of ballot initiatives is one thing, public stating that you’re doing so just going to end up coming back to burn Bernard later on. Talk about giving the opposition a can of gasoline and a lighter…

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  • jim April 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Why not use studs on a permit basis, so much a day. That would recoup money for repairs and people would only use them when they need them.

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  • jered April 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    with or with out studded snow tires Oregonians can’t drive, merge, use turn signals, or move to the right as a faster vehicle approaches.

    Studdless snow tires work great for the weekend warrior treking up to the hill from PDX.

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  • SteveD April 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I’m on board with this, however, its gonna be really hard to get this one to pass. After all, they are needed in rural areas and east of the mountains. I say there should be a hefty tax for studded tires, pay it and they give you a license plate sticker just like license plate renewals. If you have studs on and don’t have the sticker its a hefty fine. Pay $200 for the studded tire license tag, or $500 if you’re caught without it.

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  • Spiffy April 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I’m all for banning studded tires… they’re more dangerous than studless on anything but ice, which most of the state doesn’t have all winter… so all these people using studded tires in the metro area are making the roads more dangerous 95% of the time they’re on their car…

    I grew up in the Sierra Nevada range and we had to use chains when it snowed… when you were done driving in the ice and snow you took them off on the side of the road and kept going…

    people put on snow tires to drive in the slush or on their 4×4… and we didn’t have problems with grooves worn into the road causing hydroplaning…

    I just sign sadly and shake my head at at the cars going by on a warm sunny day with their dangerous studded snow tires clicking away on dry pavement…

    and who cares what name is attached to an initiative? if Hitler wanted to give me $5 I’d let him… although I agree this shouldn’t be a voter decision, it should be based on science and studies by ODOT…

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  • f5 April 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    carter #21: Studs provide traction in ice ONLY — they do NOTHING to provide traction in snow/slush/sleet/frost.

    They actually DECREASE traction in conditions other than ice (think: cars sliding through stop signs because metal grips the road less than rubber does during a light snowmelt…which is usually what we have to contend with in town, even in the hills.)

    Icy conditions warranting the use of studs in Portland are so very, very rare I just don’t see why we shouldn’t update our laws to minimize or entirely ban their use seeing how much damage is caused by them. There are so many great snow tires now that provide traction in ice. Even just having your all-season tires siped improves your traction in ice.

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  • solid gold April 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Great idea Jeff! And for all those “omg, I saw the word “Sizemore”, mentioned somewhere in an article I barely scanned, thus I’m voting against it”, have you heard about cutting off your nose to spite your face? Because that’s what you’re doing. Jeff just asked advice from Sizemore, that’s it, because if someone in Oregon knows how to push through measures, it’s that guy. Occasionally enemies have a shared goal. Think before you react.

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  • Michael M. April 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Last week I was behind a car downtown with studded tires. Then I noticed it was a state-owned car, I forget which department. I think this initiative will have a tough time gaining traction (so to speak) when even the state uses studded tires on some of it’s vehicles.

    studded tires: expensive and damaging
    Sizemore: damaging and radioactive

    *^*head explodes*^*

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  • Blah Blah Blah April 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Why is the bike community so up in arms over studded tires? I know the effect on the roads, but why take on this cause?

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  • BURR April 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Go Jeff!

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  • Spiffy April 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    “Why is the bike community so up in arms over studded tires? I know the effect on the roads, but why take on this cause?”

    probably because those are transportation dollars that could be better spent on bicycles?

    we all use the roads… some people even put studded tires on their bikes…

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  • cyclist April 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    solid gold #33: What Jeff did was pay Sizemore to help him figure out how to get his ballot measure on the ballot. Yes, Sizemore is just a consultant, but why would I want to support Jeff when he’s helping Sizemore make a living?

    Let’s put it this way: Sizemore being a relevant figure in this state is worse people rolling 6 months a year on studded tires. I’d be surprised if anyone who has lived here for 15+ years would disagree.

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  • El Biciclero April 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Blah– Another connection between studded tires and bikes is all the hoo-ha from the “pay-your-way” crowd. We have people outraged that bike usage isn’t regulated and taxed in some way, yet those same people don’t give a second thought to some of their own “freeloading”, such as the $11M gift studded tire users collectively get each year (even though they supposedly cause $60M in actual damage).

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  • beth h April 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    @ #8: I’d prefer a ban over a tax. Proposing another tax on ANYthing at the polls when the economy is in the toilet is a sure-fire way to kill a measure.

    Frankly, banning them outright seems a more effective fix than assigning their use to certain counties and/or times of year — an already impossible set of circumstances to enforce.

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  • Jeff Bernards April 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I had an ODOT official tell me that studs cause $500 million in unfunded road damage. There’s currently $4-$7 billion in unfunded road and bridge repair that needs to be done. Stopping the damage is the first step in repairing the damage.
    Regarding Sizemore, I’ve talked with him once on the phone and once by email. He knows the initiative process in and out. He passed unpopular ideas, say what you want. He gave me good “free” advice. I’ve been researching the initiative process, it’s very complicated, maybe because they want to discourage us?
    Studs are used by maybe 50% east of the Cascades and 10% West of the Cascades. If studs were so vital the users would require that everyone use them because it’s sliding chaos out there, it’s not. I was in Bend last month, I talked with several people who felt that Studs were unnecessary.
    I have to pay $25 to park my car in the snow (Snow Park Permit) I cause no damage. Yet the legislators can’t even pass a $10 studded tire fee even though they cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. There’s a fine for using studs pass the April 1st deadline, when I contacted the state they had no records of anyone ever receiving a ticket.
    Our state is broke, asking a small minority of people to forgo using studded tires is a small sacrifice. We should do all we can to protect the roads that bring us our food.
    Sapporo Japan banned studded tires because of the fine dust it created and the public inhaled. It’s more than road damage it’s a health issue.

    I hope to have the website up soon and volunteer opportunities will abound.
    Thanks for your support.
    Jeff Bernards

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  • jgadamski@gmail.com April 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I have known Jeff for years and know him be be a person of conscience whom I respect greatly. You may have met or worked with Jeff in his volunteer activities at CCC, his ‘get Lit’ program that provides lights at low or no cost( Working with the Portland Police, I recall) and fitting helmets at the Mult Co Bike Fair. He is no gadfly.
    While I don’t particularily like the Sizemore connection, it does not reflect on Jeffs motives, only on his methods. Jeff knows to make this happen will require a good knowledge of process. Sizemore has gotten this far without being imprisoned because he KNOWS process.
    I wish Jeff the best on this and will carry water if needed.

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  • f5 April 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Jeff, I hope a ban or at least a hefty user tax is enacted. Thanks for your efforts.

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  • Andy April 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    This will be an uphill battle because people in Oregon truly believe that there are common conditions where studded tires are necessary. Witness all the people above who think they are needed in rural areas. This simply isn’t true.

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  • Kman April 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Studded tires make it safer only for the drivers who use them and only on a limited basis. They make roads less safe for everyone else. The ruts created by them make driving dangerous in rain for everyone – (much higher risk of hydroplaning) and make it tougher and more dangerous for our two wheeled cousins- the motorcycle. Les Schwab will blame trucks- but the ruts are the width of car axles.

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  • Sean April 2, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Why does there need to be a ban? How about we just ban anything that costs money to fix or replace? Studded tires allow drivers to not hit people on bikes when Portland gets its 1 or 2 “Arctic Blasts” a year.

    We all live in Oregon and the Northwest to take advantage of the incredible landscape. Some of us dont live in the City, and in the Winter we need to get to work. Some of us work on Mt Hood, or in the Gorge, or we live in the Gorge and commute to Portland. Studded Tires give some of us without 4×4 and AWD the ability to live live safely in the winter.

    If you ban studded tires, they the EPA and the rest of the people that want to save the environment are going to block sanding or salting the roads to provide traction in icy conditions.

    People need to get their heads out of their asses and just recognize that the tires should have a tax that 100% goes to repair the roads. ONLY TAX the tires. Easy solution.

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  • k-dub April 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    A haiku I thought up many years ago:

    Winter in Portland
    “clack clack clack” go studded tires
    on bare dry pavement

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  • S E Cyclist April 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Personally, I’d be OK with banning studded tires since I don’t use them and seldom drive in icy areas. I’ll probably sign the petition. But, what I’d prefer is a “user fee.” It could be like a snowpark permit. You pay a fee, say $30 for the season, put a “studded tire sticker” on your car’s rear window and you’d be “authorized” to run studded tires. Without the sticker, you’d be subject to a fine of, say, $40. As several have pointed out you can hear the studs. The cops could listen, look for stickers, and cite as necessary. Set the cost based on the amount of damage. The snowpark permit price is set to recover the cost of snow removal. Same principal.

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  • greenkrypto April 2, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Tax the sale of and re-mounting of studded tires. Then, apply an official tax certificate to the rear window of cars in compliance. Any driver using studded tires without the certificate pays a fine…simple.

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  • michweek April 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Metal studs don’t work as well on bare pavement as they do on ice. Studs are infact more dangerious during 99% of portland’s winter climate. Ban those tires! Loud, distructive, saftey hazard, and plane stupid! For all you out of towners, when it snows for that breif 24 hour period, just don’t go out, stay home and spend time with your family.

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  • BURR April 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    People need to get their heads out of their asses and just recognize that the tires should have a tax that 100% goes to repair the roads. ONLY TAX the tires. Easy solution.

    I’d prefer is a “user fee.” It could be like a snowpark permit. You pay a fee, say $30 for the season, put a “studded tire sticker” on your car’s rear window and you’d be “authorized” to run studded tires.

    Someone really needs to sit down and crunch the numbers, but I’m guessing each studded tire does a hell of a lot more damage than $7.50 per season. I’m guessing that a studded tire ‘tax’ or ‘user fee’ should be in the range of about $500.00 to $1,000.00 per tire at the point of sale, and maybe more.

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  • Todd Boulanger April 2, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    To Spiffy…I believe that the bicycle community is generally against studded tires due to their negative effect on pavement quality and the lifespan of painted/ thermo lane lines, stop bars and crosswalks. The wear on these road markings falls heaviest on the bicycle and pedestrian community. (Rise up pedestrian advocates too!)

    The annual loss of these lane lines for bike lanes and crosswalks makes for a very high maintenance cost (yes there is hope these funds would go to other bike friendly work) – communities without studded tires only have to repaint bike lanes every 24 to 36 months vs. 6 to 12 months.

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  • Todd Boulanger April 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    And good luck Jeff!

    PS. A windshield permit or sticker would be best way to manage this cost…so that the future underground trade in studded tires does not have to borne by our Vancouver area tire merchants serving Oregonians. 😉

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  • Duncan April 2, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I think this is a lame ballot initiative- the kind of micromanaging of state government that Siezemore is famous for.

    Moreover I think it isnt an overly good idea- I use studs in the winter because I often travel RT 30 (which is very icy) for work. I am also sent all over the state at a moments notice- what I am to do? Change tires at the county line? If you want to limit the use to people who need it simply charge a fee (which I will submit to my employer- which being the government, you will pay in my case), but by doing this you are imposing your ideas of risk managment on others- not knowing their needs and situations. Sure it is rarely icy in Portland but it sure as hell is icy lots of places close by Portland.

    I remember some years ago in my last truck I was driving had the kind of 4wd that required you lock the hubs outside the vehicle. I was hesitant to engage the 4wd due to the length of the trip and the cost of gas. I was getting gas in Sisters (on my way home from work) and I walked out to the road to check the ice condition (it had been warm that day but the sky was clear and the sun was setting) it was still warm though and the road clear. Climbing up the road over the pass the road turned to glass 100 feet higher up. The moral of this story is that weather (and weather related driving issues and practices) is varied and rapidly changing in this state there are a lot of people who live realities you have no idea of- and before making decisions that AFFECT THEIR SAFETY you should consider just how deep your lack of knowledge is

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  • Vance Longwell April 3, 2010 at 2:50 am

    What evidence is there that studded tires cause $50-60 million in damage? Why the discrepancy between that and the $11 million number used to characterize the exact same thing? Those stating that they can ‘hear’ studded tires, what evidence do you possess that what you are hearing is studs, and not just pebbles stuck in tread? The alternative to studs is tire-chains, presumably more damaging to the road surface. This ban would be better then, how?

    Don’t get me wrong. If you can’t drive in the slick with good all season rubber, then you moved to the wrong state and should probably go back where you came from. I think studs are for incompetent fools. What bugs me about this though is the BS numbers game, as if. As if there is any available methodology that can distinguish between types of damage, and their causes. What further bugs me is a citizen like Bernards in the first place. Just where do you get-off meddling in people’s business in such a way fella? Are you my mommy? No? Do you buy my tires? No? Do you own any of my property? No? Public property is public property. Dude should mind his own business. How rude.

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  • Narottama April 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

    As a city truck driver and bike commuter, I see the damage more then most people (other then ODOT workers). Portland allows people to roll around with studs far too long after they are needed.

    I have the same studded tires fro my car from 8 years ago, why? I have them mounted on their own rims, and take them off as soon as the snow/ice melts away. This is why I still have perfect studded tire after 8 years of use. They have also allowed me to PASS many an SUV up to the mountain, driving a MUSTANG.

    I do know though, that 99% of folks that buy them, just install them and drive till they fall off. It sickens me to see that. Riding a bike with road tires across the ruts they make is quite unpleasant.

    I think a ban is overkill. Cutting down their use, by only allowing them when a freeze is in the forecast, then requiring them to be removed after a short thew. That would help lessen the road damage. But the facts are most people are far too lazy to do this.

    My (RWD) Volvo still has the same tires I bought 8yrs ago for the Mustang. I have yet to put the battery in it since February. So its one less (car) set of studded tires damaging the road. But was REALLY helpful getting a friend to OHSU this winter in that freak snow fall.

    Tightening the restriction would be a good start, but a full ban is over kill. Well in the winter months anyways.

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  • Kman April 3, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Vance- ask ODOT- they have a lot of data. Also.. here’s a WSDOT doc.


    “The issues surrounding the use of studded tires in Washington State are basically threefold. First is the issue of safety. On untreated icy roads at or near freezing (32oF) studded tires do provide some measure of improved stopping ability, but on a statewide average these (glare ice) road conditions occur less than 1% of the time in Washington. It is anticipated that the frequency of these events will continue to decrease as WSDOT continues to implement proactive snow and ice control practices.”

    “Research on studded tires, some dating back to the 1970’s, consistently shows that vehicles equipped with studded tires require a longer stopping distance on wet or dry pavement than do vehicles equipped with standard tires.”

    “According to WSDOT estimates, studded tires ‘scratch-away’ at roadway surfaces, decreasing the life average cycle of a pavement surface by about 4 years. The resulting added levels of annual pavement rehabilitation cost are estimated at $10 million dollars per year. Most damage is in the form of rutting. Rutting can lead to hydroplaning, reduced visibility, and loss of directional control.”

    Damage is demonstrated. This is not a correlation but direct causation. This seems like a case of where danger to the general driving public outweighs the benefits of driving with studded tires.

    As an alternative- use snow tires.

    “All-Season Tires Studless winter tires (Q-rated with a snowflake symbol) are now available to motorists as a substitute for studded tires. These tires, sold under a variety of brand names, have tire tread composed of special rubber compounds and tread designs that enhance their performance i snow and ice conditions.”

    I support a complete ban.

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  • alex April 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

    i lived in the swiss alps (chur) and often made trips with my german roommate up into the mountain to go snowboarding. his driving scared the sh*t out of me. we were going around icy hair-pin turn at what i felt were ridiculous speeds. as i tensed up and waited for my un-timely death on such a turn, i asked “aren’t we going to slip off the road going this fast?” he replied ” i have winter tires!”

    i never encountered studded tires is the swiss alps, everyone uses winter tires.

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  • BV April 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

    From a European perspective (I come from Eastern Europe): studded are very expensive in Europe, and few use them. But virtually everybody who is not too foolish or poor uses winter tires. They are studless, but made of harder rubber and with special grooving they are very effective in snow (less so in extreme icy conditions). I drove last winter a 4×4 Skoda (similar to a Subaru) with diesel, stick and those winter tires. It was unstoppable, as long as you don’t run into 1ft of drift snow.
    The caveat, these tires are better for lighter cars, and a Suburban is like 3 times heavier than a Renault.

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  • wsbob April 3, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Duncan #54…it seems to me that your example, of drivers that find themselves having to take their vehicles over road surfaces that can rapidly change from dry to ice, is one that may strongly support the use of studded tires.

    Of course, the percentage of people driving in Oregon that frequently have to deal with that situation might be quite small, even though we have some of that, right here in Portland, where elevation downtown…200-300 feet…ascends to 700-800 feet in the surrounding hill neighborhoods.

    Duncan…since a number of people have mentioned ‘winter tires’ and ‘traction tires’ as substitutes for studded tires, that are near equal in performance to studded tires…what’s your own experience with such tires driving on the icy conditions you describe? Have you tried ‘winter tires’ and ‘traction tires’ in place of studded tires?

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  • sabernar April 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Like someone said previously, Minnesota bans studded tires. Are you telling me that we get statewide more snow/ice than Minnesota?

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  • Chris April 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    While I completely agree that studded tires should be either banned or taxed per season (with 100% of the funds going to road repairs), it’s very unfortunate that Sizemore’s name will be permanently attached to the initiative.

    Snow tires (not studded) have come a very long way in just the last 20 years and some brands perform BETTER than a studded version on ice and snow.

    Good luck, but I would definitely suggest distancing yourself from Sizemore as much as possible!

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  • KWW April 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    This is a Portland issue and as such should only be enacted in the Portland area.

    Ban the purchase of studded tires according to license address. People who live in ODOT District 2A and 2B under 1000′ elevation should not be allowed to use them.

    If Bernards wishes to pass this legislation, it has to address the safety angle as well. Otherwise a failure is guaranteed.

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  • KWW April 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    btw, here are the District maps for ODOT

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  • Duncan April 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Strangely I have found that studded tires are more important on newer cars- My old 89 4runner never had them and worked fine but my newer (92) 4runner was all over the road with regular snow tires when on sheet ice. The studded tires do have much better stopping ability than anything other than chains on ice, which overcomes the real shortcoming of 4wd and AWD- that it can get you going almost always, but it does little for stopping unless you do a vary controlled engine brake (which you cannot do as well with automatics).

    My point is this- I can see where if you live in the valley and only venture uphill when you want to (ie skiing on the weekends) I can see where you might not see the need for studs- but Oregon is a big state with a number of different climates and what makes sense for folks who live in Portland and rarely travel outside that area, it doesnt make sense for those of us who do.

    To give you and idea of what I am talking about I traveled almost 25K miles for work last year, had a weekly commute to Summer Lake Oregon, where I would travel 70 miles/day and gain and lose about 1500 feet in elevation. This winter I had 18 days where I noted black ice on my commute to st helens in my work log and another 6 where I ended up getting a hotel room due to weather. If you want to charge me for the use of the tire, fine, but I think that taking away a valuable safety tool because you dont need it is selfish and shortsited. People need to live their own lives and should have the tools to manage their own risks as they see fit.

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  • BURR April 3, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Duncan – sounds like that’s a Toyota problem or you might need a 4-wheel alignment done on the vehicle.

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  • Patrick V. April 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I’m not seeing the relationship between the cycling community and studded vehicle tires. I suppose that I can understand that studded tires may be a little rough on the roads but again, this is a cycling issue how? Personally, I’d like to see someone mention the fact that the bike lanes are in terrible shape and in need of some regular sweeping and repair.

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  • Todd Boulanger April 4, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Patrick V. – studded tires effect the visibility of bike lanes and pedestrian crosswalk markings due to advanced vehicle wear.

    The placement of lane lines for motor vehicles tend to minimize this wear…but lane lines closer to intersections or curves (bike lanes, fog lines) or that are perpendicular to the travel way (older style crosswalks and stop bars) take the brunt of the winter wear.

    It is very simple – assuming one lives in an area with such urban roadway markings (especially those painted on vs. applied thermoplastic).

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  • Kman April 4, 2010 at 8:58 am

    @KWW- it’s not just a Portland issue.

    @Duncan- it’s selfish and shortsighted to cause damage to roads that put other people in danger. The hydroplaning issue is much more dangerous. Studs also give people a false sense of security. In essence, you’re saying your safety is important than everyone else’s.

    Q rated tires are a much better option.

    “Load and Environmental Factors Combined Result In Pavement Failure
    As time passes, continual loading in the wheel paths causes the flexible pavement to wear out and lose its flexibility. This causes the pavement to compress and stiffen forming ruts in the wheel paths. As wheel loading continues, lack of flexibility in the pavement causes hairline longitudinal cracks to form. Continued loading causes these cracks to grow in length, width, and depth. As the pavement surface wears due to studded tires and chains, it loses its ability to shed water. Water then collects in the ruts in the wheel paths and then in the longitudinal cracks. As the cracks deepen they eventually reach the aggregate base. Water then drains from the surface into the base. This water intrusion causes the base to soften. As the base softens, it can not support the pavement above it. Continual loading on the surface over a “mushy” base stresses the pavement beyond its ability to flex and the cracking grows into a patchwork of alligator cracking. This additional cracking allows more water penetration. This pavement is now on its way to major failure.”


    This impacts our riding surfaces.

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  • lil'stink April 4, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I hope he succeeds. People that still use studded tires need to wake up and do a little research. Studless snow tires are just as good, if not better. I use them on my front wheel drive car and go up to and over the mountains many times a year, and do so with few (if any) problems.

    There is no reason to continue to use studs. They damage the roads and don’t offer a performance benefit for passenger cars over studless tires. Whenever I hear a car buzzing by with studs I can’t help but think “idiot” (in a Schrute-like voice)

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  • BURR April 4, 2010 at 9:40 am

    @ Kman #69. A lot of the damage from studs – and formation of ruts – is actually due to erosion of the pavement matrix by the studs themselves, and not due to load compression.

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  • Jeff Bernards April 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

    What do studded tires have to do with bikes?
    I received seed grant money from ODOT to start the “Get Lit” free bike lights program and the “Protect your World” bike helmet program. These 2 programs have provided over $100,000 worth of bike safety equipment, at a cost of about $6000 in grant money ODOT also provides funding for bike infrastructure projects around the state. If ODOT wasn’t spending money on preventable road damage that would fee up some money for more Bike spending.
    Hey Vance, I’ll drive you around Portland and show you first hand the damage that studs have done to our source of food!

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  • wsbob April 4, 2010 at 11:23 am

    “… Studless snow tires are just as good, if not better. …” lil’stink #70

    Maybe. Depending upon what study or studies comparisons are made, in which particular circumstances. So far though, none of you favoring a ban on studded tires have directly addressed the driving situation Duncan experiences as a driver.

    That is, driving the up and down extremes of elevation, across the state through often widely varying weather conditions. In addition to obviously present ice on the roads, Oregon periodically gets black ice, even in Portland; that thin, sometimes almost imperceptible layer of very slick ice.

    That’s why people get studded tires. They’re insurance for the ice that occurs…in the absence of snow, or on top of a hard packed layer of snow. Road crews aren’t able to keep roads across the state maintained the way they must for traffic across the pass to Timberline and Government Camp.

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  • stevenbeavenbobeavenbananafanabosteven April 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    People who live up around skyline drive probably can use the traction studs provide once in awhile. People living in Sandy or higher, and people in the eastern half of the state probably can use them regularly.

    I’d be in favor of a studded tire tax – $25 or whatever would help pay for the damage that studs do.

    Not sure what you think Sizemore did to harm Oregon, but I can guarantee you that the state and federal government are currently doing things that are going to make the vast majority of us wish we were never born. 12 Trillion of debt + a 2.5 Trillion health care plan + another Trillion or two every year for 10 years per the buffoon in the white house is going to make Bill Sizemore look real smart by comparison in the not too distant future. I wish I were wrong.

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  • Dave Cary April 4, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I favor an outright ban but would understand a user fee (like snowmobilers and fishermen and hunters pay) of around $50 per tire per year. Get caught without it – $500 fine! Out of state drivers could purchase a one-month permit for $75.

    Wisconsin and Minnesota have banned studded tires for the last two decades simply because of the road damage. Do you think they get any snow or ice? Are their drivers screaming that their safety is being compromised?

    Sean wants to skip the initiative and base our decisions on science and ODOT. Unfortunately the decisions that should be based on science are based on money and influence, and a certain Eastern Oregon tire manufacturer has more of both than any of the rest of us have.

    Jeff, I’ll work with you.

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  • Vance Longwell April 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    #72 – Actually Mr. Bernards you could take me around (As if, I’ve lived here my whole life and worked in transpo my whole life.) and speculate. Which is my whole point. In theory studs cause damage but nobody has proven that to my knowledge. Just conjecture. It’s unprovable until you remove from the equation all other possible forms of erosion. Which is virtually impossible, ergo it’s virtually impossible to measure the effect studs have on the highway surface.

    The only people here who use studs, in my opinion, are noobs that don’t need them anyway.

    Look, I’m for a ban too. Anthropogenic Climate Change has changed the weather here. 20 years ago it rained sometimes for two weeks straight non-stop. Not just everyday, but every second of everyday for weeks on end. We’d get massive ice-storms, that’s ice literally falling out of the sky, and not hail, a dozen times a year. Between the rain, and the ice-storms, Portland was an icy place once upon a time. Those days are long gone and now it’s more like SoCal here without the heat.

    What I’m not down with is a bunch of people who couldn’t locate a spark-plug on their own car talking about tires like they’re anything but ignorant fools. What I’m not down with is some idiot trying to tell me they can single out studded-tires and prove that they’re effect on a road surface is any different than anything else.

    I would ban them ’cause they’re snake-oil. As I’ve already stated studs aren’t any better on stuff that a good all-season won’t handle. What they are is snake-oil for ‘fraidy-cats that can’t drive. And, as with all traction devices, they do a little for locomotion but are completely mitigated in emergency braking situations. I say ban them from a ‘protect the consumer’ standpoint and quit with the numbers hocus-pocus. Add to this that they perform worse than non-studded tires on dry pavement.

    Nah, ban the things to save your ignorant neighbor a few bucks. Just quit with the ‘they wreck the road’ garbage because it’s nonsense. It has an air of feasible probability and people just take that and run. Trust me this argument has been raging in this state for the 41 years I’ve lived in it.

    Tire stores make a mint off swapping out studs. And it is they, and their pals at the country club, that keep them legal. Plain and simple. That I would ban the s**t out of.

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  • wsbob April 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    “…Wisconsin and Minnesota have banned studded tires for the last two decades simply because of the road damage. Do you think they get any snow or ice? …” Dave Cary #74

    Is Wisconsin’s and Minnesota’s terrain, in terms of elevation variance, similar to Oregon’s? Do either of those two states have major mountain ranges that are necessary to cross to get from one part of the state to another?

    The elevation of those two states’ mountainous terrain hardly exceeds 2000′ above sea level. I’m just guessing here: Oregon does have some ‘flat as a pancake’ terrain…the Willamette Valley and east of the Cascades, but I’m thinking the character of Wisconsin’s and Minnesota’s terrain is far more flat than Oregon’s. Correct, or not?

    Vance, are you figuring that you have greater familiarity with the relative effectiveness of snow tires and traction tires compared to studded tires than does commenter Duncan? What kind of driving experience have you had with those types of traction devices? The personal and professional experience in using hem that he relates seems to have more substance than anything you’ve related so far. But maybe you’ve got something more you haven’t shared yet with everyone here.

    Dave Cary, do you perhaps have a separate issue with Les Schwab (“…a certain Eastern Oregon tire manufacturer…”)that isn’t related to how much income the company makes from studded tire sales? If you’re saying the LS is fighting a ban on studded tires because the company stands to lose significant, irreplaceable income from such a ban…show us something tangible.

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  • Marcus Griffith April 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    good idea. Wasn’t there a pretty long city of portland policey discussion about this issue?

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  • stevenbeavenbobeavenbananafanabosteven April 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I can attest after many years of driving experience on snow and ice that studded tires offer MUCH BETTER traction than ANY snow/Q-rated tire. Chains are about as good as studs on ice, but are a pain to put on/off – chains are better in deeper snow. Max speed is limited with studs.

    You can, with no difficulty, hear studs on dry pavement and it does not sound in any way similar to rocks in the treads.

    Studs do cause the ruts in the pavement. If you have a front wheel drive with good tires those ruts are not a problem. However the rough pavement caused by the studs is no fun even if there are no ruts.

    I would support a tax, paid when you buy studded tires, that would go toward road maintenance. You should be required to keep a sales receipt proving you paid the tax, as long as you are driving with the studs. Out of state vehicles would be exempt from the Oregon tax, otherwise it would cost more to enforce than they’d collect.

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  • Dabby April 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Banning isn’t the answer.

    A steep tax for purchasing them, and a system to fine those who do not remove them by a predetermined date.

    Studded tires suck and ruin roads, but a ban would never fly……..

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  • Anonymous April 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Wisconsin and Minnesota banned studded tires because they still SALT their roads. Studded tires are not required because the use of salt reduces ice build up.

    Here in Oregon we don’t salt, all we do is sand, and sand doesn’t do much to ice other then slide right off.

    So we have a choice, more money spent on road repair due to stud, or extensive environmental damage due to salt use.

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  • Duncan April 5, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Hmmm lets see- according to the comments in this topic I am both stupid and self centered… did I miss anything?

    Nice to see that the GOP doesn’t have a corner on the market of attacking people who dont agree with you.

    So Vance- you ever worked as an automotive tech? I have. I quit working on my own cars because the diagnostic equipment started costing more than I cared to spend (although I have read that newer cars are becoming easier). I maintained all my own VW buses for years- like twenty years. Vance you ever taken a motor apart and put it back together? Well I have. I still maintain my own motorcycle (runs great thanks, but the pivot arm on the front brake is sticking so I will be taking the front wheel off next week to rebuild the brakes and inspect the wheel bearings while I am in there, because taking the wheel of is a PITA and I would hate to have to do it twice when once would suffice.) Until I hear anything from you that suggests you can work on and maintain a car, I will assume that you are (as usual) full of hot air….

    As to selfish- whoever said that- I don’t work because I like working, nor do I travel all those lonely miles for pleasure. I hate being away from my home, family, girlfriend etc. I do it because it is my job and it allows me to support my family and have the time off to enjoy them. I do what I see best to make it home alive to see them, so until you feel like raising my son for me and paying his college bills, coming over to guide him through teen age, I suggest you hold your value judgments about my world view to yourself.

    Ok back to the topic at hand- tires and cars. As anyone who recalls the whole ford explorer accidents, stability has to do with matching the right tires (at the right pressure) to the vehicle. A tire that works well on one car will often perform poorly on another- likewise the common habits of raising or lowering a vehicle will often (and generally adversely) change the vehicles ability to handle the varying nature of American roadways (a side note here- European roads are constructed and maintained to a MUCH higher standard. European main roads have structural build standards that are closer to Military runways then american highways- 1/4″ variance per 16′ width and the like. What works in Europe might not work hear)… but back to tires and cars. During the early 90’s many utility vehicles underwent what I like to call the “sofatazation” process- going from basicly trucks with an extra seat (ie the 89 4runner) to bloated couches with automatic windows and cup holders. Back when I was running around in the woods (91-97) doing field surveys we hated these new SUVs because they had lower ground clearance, softer rides (no goood for logging roads) and all the electric crap would start shorting out after 40,000 miles of bumpy logging roads- and having a back window that pops open every 20 miles is a drag when it causes the dust and exhaust to start pouring in your car. The suspension on these modern SUVs is so freeway-geared soft that they required stronger, more aggressive tires to hold onto the road then did the earlier models. This has continued to this day to the point that the last government 4wd I used (a 2002 liberty) I wouldn’t take on a steep driveway much less a logging road. Having tried both Q rated snow tired and studs on my car, I have determined that studs are safer, and they allow me to work and return home safely.

    Honestly I do not enjoy this vehicle (the 4runner) the tires (studs), however my job requires that I have a vehicle capable of going anywhere, pretty much anytime. Anyone remember the winter before last when Portland shut down under the snow? I was ferrying workers around for my project because none of them felt safe driving in the snow…. And I am not the only person (by a long shot) who is in the same position- while people who work in town and have alternative means of transportation and regular office hours (or jobs that stop when the weather turns cold) can avoid this kind of driving, dont think it doesnt exist and that some people don’t need to do it.

    As I said before a tax is a perfectly good idea, because I could pass it on to my employer (and then to the federal gov’t ie- you) and as long as I needed to drive this beast- but banning them is foolish, dangerous and continues to irritate the urban-rural divide in Oregon because if gets on the ballot (unlikely) and it does pass (which it won’t in my opinion) then it will hit rural communities where the commutess to work are long, the options non-existent and the jobs scarce. If there is a fee, then it should be kept within reasonable limits (say 100$ at time of purchase) so that people of modest means who need the tires will be able to afford them.

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  • StuddedStupid April 5, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Studded tires are point less and an old technology that needs to die. New snow tires like Blizzak W-60 will out perform studded tires in all conditions. I would fully support a ban on studded tires. To see a 75 year old women driving a prius with studded tires all winter is redicoulus. Can you honesty believe she treks to the mountain every weekend? Studded tires grip ice, that’s it, snow tires grip snow, sleet, rain, slush, ice, freazing rain, dry and everything else. Winter tires use a much softer rubber compound that wears very fast in temps above about 45 degrees so there not practical in warm months but you could drive them year round with no problem. I hate how many studded tires there are in this state. IT gives people a false sense that they can drive in winter, They Can’t!!! I grew up in wisconsin, basically the winter goes like this, portland gets an inch of rain, wisconsin gets 6″ of snow. Yeah WI, salts the roads but that only does good up till about an inch after that road gets covered and it’s snow driving till the plows come out and clear and re-salt. WI banned studded tires due to the damage they cause, winter tires are everywhere. When portland had the “snoepocalpyse” last year I drove just fine everywhere in a front wheel drive, lowered, Ford Probe with winter tires and nver had a problem from Wilsonville to the Airport and back, Actually enjoyed the lack of dumb@ss drivers on the raod for a change!!! BAN STUDDED TIRES AND STUPID DRIVERS!!!!

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  • KWW April 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    @Vance, perhaps you don’t realize that studs damage the roadway because of the fact that you have lived in Oregon your entire life.

    That may sound trite, but seriously, how many other states have you traveled to in winter conditions? The Portland area of Oregon has the worst roads in the nation as far as I can see. It is the studded tire use which makes them so poor.

    You want proof? Here it is from Washington state, their conditions are similar enough to ours to make a good comparison:

    Portland gets perhaps 5 days per year where winter conditions warrant chain use. The damage caused by allowing studded use half the year is far outweighed by the damage caused.

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  • BURR April 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    @ Marcus #78. I’m pretty sure any action to limit use of studded tires had to happen at the state level and the city cannot legally take their own initiative or action on this matter.

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  • Vance Longwell April 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    #83 – Man c’mon. Before you all showed up we had the best. So, apropos of nothing, right? We have bad roads because the Church of Green likes to play games with funding. We have bad roads because the state’s population expansion has outstripped the infrastructure on orders of magnitude. Which is to say that even if the Church of Green weren’t busily expanding their congregation on the tax-payer dime we’d still have bad roads due the the endless stream of people moving here.

    I don’t appreciate the tone Duncan #82 but I’ll play. Air-cooled VeeWees it is then. Why are stock air-cooled Volkswagons prone to dropping the number 3 exhaust-valve? It’s a deficiency inherent in the design of the dog-house-style fan that helps cool the motor. Flow is fairly well routed to three cylinders but the cylinder furthest forward on the primary side (#3 in firing order)sits under a shroud that partially blocks air flow. It is for this reason that it is critical to keep the valves adjusted, and to do so about every 3,500 miles.

    My first car was a ’65 bug with a Type III 1600cc Pancake out of a Square-back shoe-horned in. Custom-ground cam done right here in Oregon at Power-Roll. I increased duration by 1.6 degrees and lift by eleven-thousandths. HEI ignition from an ’87 Porche. 171mm Porche axles and Porche torsion springs. Dual Webbers. Ah yeah. I stroked it too about 2mm ending in a displacement 1641cc. Interestingly enough I had heads on it made right here in Portland by Cosmano Performance Machining. You might recognize the name his son was an Italian-trained bicycle frame-builder here for years with none-too-little notoriety. These were straight cast-port heads and I’d like to get into some of the draw-backs of smooth-porting VeeWee heads that run pump-gas, but there are time constraints.

    Here is a link to a post on my blog reminiscing about my first street motorcycle. http://tinyurl.com/ybxd9yk I did that guy from the frame. Ever build a two-stroke? Fun stuff ’cause it’s so simple. That little man-killer was really built. Electronic ignition from a ’78 Yamaha 750cc 4-stroke-trip. Pistons skirted 2mm to change port-timing, Bill Wergess (When he was on SE Stark still.)chambers, shaved-mains. Power-band was about an rpm wide, but it pulled like a mule in there. Two-strokes are so torquey. Carbing that bike was a nightmare and I ended up making my own mains on a little lathe used for gunsmithing.

    The most recent rebuild I’ve done, and we ‘assemble’ and ‘disassemble’ engines not motors, was a ’79 XS1100 I picked up while consulting in Denver CO here a few years back. That’s a shafty and has an engineering flaw associated with the tranny. Yamaha (As did Suzuki) uses what’s called a dog-connection for 2nd, and 3rd. These two gear-ratios are achieved by mating two actual gears face-to-face via ‘dogs’ on the face of one gear, and ‘receptors’ on the face of the other. Wasn’t a problem with the 750 and 850 Yammy trips ’cause they didn’t make enough pony, but the 11 did and under load the two gears would force themselves apart, subsequently bend the shift-fork, and then start slipping out of 2nd, and 3rd. Real PITA. There’s a pretty crappy way to fix that with engine in the bike but I never got it to work. One has to back-file the dogs just a tiny bit to ‘fix’ this. (Sucky fix ’cause once you do this it’s hard shifting 3rd-4th, and 4th-5th.) which you can’t do very well with it all in the bike. So I decided to split the cases and might as well throw a kit in while I’m in there. Which I did at Bud’s Muffler Service there in a state of the art facility owned by people from my mother’s side of the family.

    Dude my father was a mechanic for most of my early childhood. He worked at Rose City BMW, Oregon City Yamaha, and St. Johns Honda over the span of about a decade. He was one of the original Sandy Bandits. He also built a BMW powered side-hack that won two world championships. As in built by hand the entire chassis, all the ‘glass body-work, and even turned his own fork-lowers out of billet.

    I am a master mechanic. Beyond master. I have forgotten more about Japanese motorcycles built from ’69-’83 than most men will every know. I was hand-picked, along with Steve Cosmano, to run the machine shop at Kinesis U.S.A. while it lived it’s short life in NW. I have an extensive fabrication background including time as a line mechanic in various capacities. As if it weren’t painfully obvious that I have gears for brains and that that is the source of most of my ire with these busy-body tree-huggers messing with my thing.

    This is not a good forum to do anything other than to look petty and immodest. Thanks for that. But, if this should not suffice you simply name your criteria and I’ll be glad to follow up with any further ‘proof’ you might need.

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  • wsbob April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Vance, you wouldn’t be trying to evade the question would you?

    What about studded tires compared to traction tires without studs? What experience, do you have with them on the far flung peaks and valleys of Oregon’s roads in icy conditions?

    It sounds as if you don’t have any. Maybe you’ve been too busy with your hot-rods.

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  • KWW April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    The comments have officially jumped the shark…

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  • BURR April 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I could swear Vance has previously posted here that he’s been car free for years and years, wtf?

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  • chrehn April 5, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    We have an all-wheel drive subaru with studded-tires and I think that the studded tires help me to get out of the way of drivers sliding towards me.

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  • BURR April 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I can’t imagine needing studded tires on an all wheel drive Subaru, the whole point of having a car like that is that you wouldn’t need to use the darn things.

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  • wsbob April 5, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I’ve got 4 wheel drive, big lug tires. 4 wheel drive, which has some similarity to all-wheel drive…is definitely better than 2 wheel drive in snow…as well as ice to some degree.

    I’ve never used studded tires, but what I think I’m hearing from people I’ve known that have used them, and from commenters such as Duncan, is that studded tires are capable of offering protection over a greater range of crucial conditions than the hi-tek non-studded traction tires are.

    Some people seem to need studded tire protection for the driving they’re required to do. Not because they’re ‘noobs’, but because weather related conditions sometimes call for the use of studded tires.

    My 4 wheel drive with deep lug tires is adequate for me, because if the roads get really icy…I can change my schedule and stay put. There are people that don’t have that luxury.

    Really prove that the hi-tek traction tires are just as good or better on ice than studded tires. If that’s possible, it should not be too difficult to convince people that a ban on the use of studded tires is wise. Who can offer that proof?

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  • spare_wheel April 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

    “but what I think I’m hearing from people I’ve known that have used them”

    “Really prove that the hi-tek traction tires are just as good or better…”

    Studded tires destroy our roads. Even if they are better than “hi-tek” traction tires they should be banned. I have little sympathy for a fellow citizen who *needs* to drive his Camry to Skibowl in the middle of of mini blizzard. Why should our tax monies subsidize indivuduals recreational choices (or their pointless trips to convenience stores).

    “I’ve got 4 wheel drive, big lug tires.”
    I also think we should ban personal 4 wheel drive vehicles and any personal vehicle that weighs > 1 metric ton.

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  • Dave Cary April 6, 2010 at 9:17 am


    Ever notice when you’re cycling how the rudest people are the ones who drive the biggest pickups? It seems like an “I own the road” mentality.

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  • wsbob April 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

    “… I have little sympathy for a fellow citizen who *needs* to drive his Camry to Skibowl in the middle of of mini blizzard.

    …I also think we should ban personal 4 wheel drive vehicles and any personal vehicle that weighs > 1 metric ton. …”

    Uh-huh. As if the only thing people have to do is drive up in the hills and mountains to go to…Skibowl. Does driving only to the ski resort really represent the breadth of your understanding about why a lot of people in this state may need the traction ability of studded tires?

    And maybe it won’t include your own personal vehicle to ban all vehicles over 2000+ lbs, but there are lot of people that actually have to use their vehicles for work, to get work done. Not just driving to and from work, but to carry things. But go ahead and work to impose your very narrow perspective on everyone else.

    Dave Cary, since you’re taking note of who you consider to be the rudest people on the road, perhaps you’re also taking note of who some of the rudest…and the dumbest people on the road are, which unfortunately, seems to include people riding bikes.

    It’s they with their fragile bodies on their fragile bikes that, on streets heavily congested with big motor vehicles, are chronically blowing stop signs and skipping across multiple traffic lanes without signaling bodies.

    Maybe you could round up some of the really rude big pickup people you’re noticing, and some of the rude and dumb people on bikes…and orchestrate a little showdown.

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  • wsbob April 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

    “…without signaling bodies.”

    correction: “…without signaling.”

    Hah-hah! Edit boy…edit. Sorry about that.

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  • BURR April 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

    A little bit on whether or not studded tires actually cause the ruts in the road (Vance #55, maybe other posts here).

    This is a completely disingenuous strawman argument.

    asphalt (tar) and cement (calcium carbonate) are both significantly softer than steel and are no match for carbide steel studs on tires rotating like a high speed machine tool with the considerable weight of a vehicle behind them.

    The studs erode the pavement matrix, eventually loosening the aggregate, and causing erosion of the surface, thus the formation of ruts.

    Go out and look at any road surface that has been damaged by studded tires. In the ruts, the matrix is gone and the rough surface left behind is composed of protruding aggregate.

    A concrete road surface should be smooth and should last for ~50 years. In places, like on I-84 between I-205 and Troutdale, the new concrete road surface has been ruined by studded tires in less than 15 years.

    Asphalt surfaces, like Hwy 26 over the top of Sylvan, need repaving almost every 3 to 5 years due to studded tire damage.

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  • KWW April 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    so if this ban goes through, will bicycles be allowed to use studded tires, haw haw:

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  • StuddedStupid April 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    The issues surrounding studded tire performance and safety are complex. From the standpoint of
    traction alone, studded tires, when new, often provide some benefit over other tire types on ice-covered
    roads when the temperature is near freezing. However, the advent of the new studless tires has diminished
    the marginal benefit, and recent studies suggest that the infrequent, narrow range of conditions necessary
    for benefit from studded tires may not outweigh their detrimental effect on traction in dry or wet
    conditions on certain pavement types. In addition, a host of primary and secondary safety factors are
    related to studded tire use, many of which are very difficult to quantify, including facets of driver behavior
    and safety perception.

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  • 007 April 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Never have I seen 4WD vehicles with studded tires until I moved here. Laughable.
    I think it will be very difficult to get them banned. But I would love to help try.

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  • Frank Selker April 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Great idea. They do damage that they don’t pay for. My preference would be a user-fee that covers the damage, so people could still make the choice while paying their share. But there are also safety issues because their tire ruts hold water and cause hydroplaning and they reduce traction during the vast majority of driving hours (no snow/ice)making their vehicles more dangerous.

    Anyway, this is long overdue – thank you.

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  • Pete April 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Matt(#1): you don’t. I lived on a steep hill in the Gorge for a decade and swore by studs until a friend turned me on to Michelin Pilots. When those wore out I replaced them with Bridgestone Blizzaks (see Bent Bloke(#21)), which are by far the best winter tire I’ve ever run. If you think about the physics of using metal studs they have no grip at anything but the lowest speeds, and the new rubber compounds felt the same to me (yes, the Gorge gets icy). And forget about damage to roads – I can vouch for the damage they did to my cars as the studs flew off of the tires at speed (they don’t last as long in my experience). The only advantage I see to metal studs is you can use cheaper rubber and thus make more profit selling them.

    Again, this is just my experience and opinion, but I have more than average winter driving miles (including this week). The cars were an Acura Integra and Honda Accord, now an Audi wagon. Also drove a Jeep Cherokee and an F350 but I prefer to drive cars in the snow for safety (had to weight the crap out of the back ends of those trucks to keep them from wanting to fishtail). Though one disadvantage I have with the Audi is a bigger wheel diameter (due to large brakes), so I run wider and higher aspect ratio tires – narrow, low aspect tires give you much better control in powder and loose-packed snow (at higher speeds the wide tires make the car “float” a little in unpacked snow, which can be fun but mostly not).

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  • […] Citizen activist moves forward on push to ban studded tires […]

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