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Clinic will educate press about biking/walking legal issues

Posted by on April 22nd, 2010 at 11:04 am

“We’ve had positive responses from members of the press so far, which reinforces our hunch that a legal clinic for members of the press would be welcome as a resource.”
– Stephanie Routh, Willamette Pedestrian Coalition

On Tuesday (4/27), local non-profits the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (WPC) and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) will host a special legal clinic to educate members of the local media about the laws, legal rights and responsibilities of biking and walking.

Stephanie Routh is the executive director of the WPC. She hopes the clinic brings local journalists up to date on the latest biking and walking laws. “I think laws that involve pedestrians and cyclists are more complicated than most people realize… How to articulate those complex laws in context of a crash or a breaking issue is even more difficult, and we want to help provide resources for media for their future deadlines.”

Routh says they’ve gotten a positive response from members of the press, “which reinforces our hunch that a legal clinic for members of the press would be welcome as a resource.”

At the event, attendees will receive a free copy of Ray Thomas’ excellent legal handbooks, Oregon Pedestrian Rights: A Legal Guide for Persons on Foot and Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists.

The clinic will be held during the lunch hour at the offices of noted Portland lawyer Ray Thomas of Swanson, Thomas, and Coon law firm. It will also be webcast for those who cannot attend in person.

    Ped/Bike Legal Clinic for the Press
    Tuesday, 27 April 2010, 12:00 – 1:00pm
    Swanson, Thomas & Coon (820 SW 2nd Ave. Ste. 200)

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  • Marcus Griffith April 22, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Sounds like a great idea. Kudos to the WPC and BTA for putting on the event.

    There a few police officers I can think of that would benefit from attending such an event…

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  • Anonymous April 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    As long as they hammer home the fact that pedestrians are required to use a sidewalk if one is present.

    Tired of dealer with runners in marked bike lanes.

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  • Anonymous April 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Anonymous –

    Are you sure that’s a law? Because I don’t think it is. Burden of proof is on you.

    As far as I know all the rules I’ve ever elarned simply state that you are supposed to run against traffic if/when you’re running in the street.

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  • Jackattak April 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Anonymous –

    Are you sure that’s in the laws? Because I don’t think they say anything about that. Burden of proof is on you.

    The only rule I know of when running is that you’re supposed to run against traffic.

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  • aaron April 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Regarding Anonymous’ comment

    As a runner, I do think the irony is pretty funny. Shall we yell at the runners in our bike lane or should we simply run them out of the lane with our steel deathtrap commuters? Quick, let me check to see if runportland.org is still available!

    Seriously though, if it is a law then, yes, it should be thoroughly enforced. However, I don’t see it any less annoying then motor vehicle drivers hammering home that I shouldn’t roll through stop signs. Perhaps we should leave the hammering to the local law enforcement agencies, eh?

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  • aaron April 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Oh wait, I get it. This was already a sarcastic comment and I just took the bait. Doh!

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  • chelsea April 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Sounds like a great idea!

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  • PoPo April 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    ORS 814.070 Improper position upon or improperly proceeding along highway.


    (And by the way “highway” means any street, not just the higher-speed ones that run between towns.)

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  • Daniel Ronan April 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This is great! The more informed journalists on transportation issues, the better news for everyone!

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  • ray thomas
    ray thomas April 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I wish we could get the police there, or at least someone from Portland Traffic; we should contact them.

    Runners in bike lanes are to bikers what bicyclists on sidewalks are to pedestrians. Not trespassers, have to yield to them, (such as move off the bike lane or to the side of the sidewalk if need be), and lots of folks don’t know or don’t get that that’s the way the law says it’s supposed to be.

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