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ODOT bus ad: ‘Keep an extra eye out for bicycles’

Posted by on June 30th, 2010 at 10:14 am

While standing on SE Hawthorne Blvd last night I looked up and saw an ad on the side of a TriMet bus that caught my eye…

(Photo © J. Maus)

The ad struck me as being sort of odd, but I can’t quite figure out why. What do you think about it?

The billboard was paid for by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) as part of their annual ‘Bicyclist Safety’ program managed by their Transportation Safety Division. According to an annual evaluation of the program from 2008, ODOT spent about $125,000 on bike safety efforts. This money was split between four funding programs (a mix of grants and communication pieces like the one above). For comparison, in 2008, ODOT spent just over $100,000 on ‘Pedestrian Safety’ programs and $950,000 on its ‘Occupant Protection’ programs (primarily seat-belt use education and enforcement).

In 2008, 411 people were killed in traffic crashes in Oregon and 26,805 were injured. Of those fatalities, 350 people were in a car (either driving or passengers). 52 people were killed while walking and 10 of the fatalities happened to people riding bicycles.

Earlier this year, ODOT held a series of open houses across the state to help them update their Traffic Safety Action Plan.

Learn more about ODOT’s safety efforts on their website.

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Paul TayJohnareAndrew PlambeckEl Biciclero Recent comment authors
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bahueh
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bahueh

was that on Al’s bus?

david....no! the other one
Guest
david....no! the other one

Just curious, which side of the bus was the sign on? The loading side? or the traffic side? Which would you think would get the most viewage from motorists? just wondering

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

it was on the left side of the bus.

kitten
Guest
kitten

interesting. it is not great, but at least it is bringing awareness. Though I think a more targeted message would have been better. For instance, reminding drivers to watch for bikes while turning right.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I saw one of these in Beaverton this morning, only it was “Keep an extra eye out for pedestrians”. It was on the driver’s side of the bus.

Kt
Guest
Kt

I actually like it.

“Check your blind spots” is always a good message for anyone regardless of transpo mode.

I think it’s a very good start.

Is it odd because there are aliens in the car instead of humans? Purple and green with multiple eyes– it’s cute!

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

better than say…
“Should cyclists pay taxes!!?”

wallflower
Guest
wallflower

The back of the bus would be better for obvious reasons, I feel. I like it too! ODOT are trying and I support their efforts.

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

What’s odd about the sign?

Well nothing really.

Drivers really are aliens and they and their vehicles are definitely responsible for “ICU” visits.

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

OK I swear it – I am being sarcastic!

I drive too… 🙂

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

California plates!?!?!?

Or old school Oregon?

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

And I’m sorry but…

The eye tentacle is coming out of the aliens rear end… if he even has a rear end!

John Lascurettes
Guest

The irony of this ad being on a trimet bus after a trimet bus killed two pedestrians and injured three others recently is not lost on me.

buglas
Guest
buglas

@beelnite #11

Hindsight?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

beelnite–

Doesn’t your extra eye grow out of there? What are you, weird?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I also think the pedestrian version shows a green alien with two extra eyes out. Why do bicycles only get one extra eye? What kind of discrimination is this? Aliens are so biased it’s not even funny. But come to think of it, maybe the green aliens keep two eyes out for everyone, while the purple aliens only keep one. In that case, we should only hate the purple aliens; green aliens are cool.

Pete
Guest
Pete

The odd thing is the driver is looking the wrong way for cyclists. I like the ad, though – better than nothing.

Reality is that I’ve rarely been right-hooked by drivers that didn’t see me!

ERN
Guest
ERN

I appreciate the sentiment, but one could make an argument that it makes cycling seem more dangerous than statistics bear out, and/or suggests that drivers should expect cyclists to ride unpredictably (which some do). I’m not sure why drivers have to keep an “extra” eye out for us. I would hope that two are enough.

Andrew Plambeck
Guest
Andrew Plambeck

Unfortunately, I think it’s far too necessary a message. I so often (whether biking, driving, walking or on the bus) see people not paying a lick of attention to what’s going on around them (again, whether they’re driving, biking, walking…).

How many times have you almost been killed because some driver is making a right turn through your bike lane without looking over his/her shoulder? It happens to me all the time. I just hope they focus-tested this to the point of being effective.

We sure need the message proliferated.

are
Guest

re comment 19, never. i am never in the bike lane to the right of a moving motor vehicle approaching an intersection.

John
Guest
John

Why not just one sign that says “keep an eye out for bikes & pedestrians”? And after the TriMet crash, I’m hoping the space was free…

Imminent Backlash: “Oh, oh! So you’re saying drivers are purple, tentacled monsters!”

Chiding aside, I agree it’s a good start.

Paul Tay
Guest
Paul Tay

Sum cycling ODOT genius gotz sum extra tax dollas ta burn? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Not a chance. Cain’t possibly be true.