Ask BikePortland: Do I have to get over on streets with sharrows?

This sharrow on the N. Concord bike boulevard is meant to guide bicycle operators and show all road users that this is a shared lane, “bike priority street” environment.
(Photos © J. Maus)

This week’s question comes from reader Shetha Nolke from Southeast Portland.

“I was recently pedaling down a road that is marked with the big new sharrows (SE Salmon), when I was approached by a motorist. She had been behind me, honking. When oncoming traffic cleared, she pulled beside me and said “I know you are allowed to ride in the road, but you really need to move to the right.”

I’m usually a very congenial rider and share the road nicely, but in this case, I would have been moving into the door zone if I listened to her. So I just shook my head “no” and continued on my course. She then zoomed off to the next stop sign. I didn’t want to tick her off, but I was to the right of the sharrow markings, and just to the left of the door zone.

Do bicyclists rights on these neighborhood greenways change from any other vehicular rights? I know that the law requires us to move over if we are going slower than the speed of traffic, but is that still the rule on these sharrow-marked streets?

I had heard that sharrows are used to mark where a cyclist was to place themselves in the lane, but I can’t quite bring myself to go that far over, in some cases. Does it really signify where to ride or just that the road is “shared”?

Sharrow markings in NW Portland

Sharrows in a more conventional setting
on NW 19th.

Great questions Shetha. The answer to your first one is no, your legal status as a bicycle operator does not change when you are on a bike boulevard (a.k.a. neighborhood greenway).

And yes, the law (ORS 814.430) about riding “as far to the right as practicable” and not impeding the “normal and reasonable movement of traffic” still applies on streets with sharrow markings.

All that being said, it’s understandable that you are confused. In their intended form, sharrows are meant to show bicycle operators where to position themselves on the roadway. They are usually used on streets with high motor-vehicle and bicycle traffic volumes where there’s not enough room to fit a bike lane (NW 19th, in the photo above, is a textbook example).

Sharrows on N. Concord-8

As these “broken” sharrows on N. Concord
demonstrate, PBOT is using them as
bike boulevard and wayfinding markings
in addition to warn folks that the road
is shared by bikes and cars.

However, the 2,000-plus sharrows on bike boulevards in Portland are being used in an unconventional way. Instead of being used solely to show a shared lane and to demonstrate proper lane positioning, PBOT is also using them as bike boulevard (wayfinding) markings. Portland’s sharrows are also placed much further to the center of the lane than I’ve seen in any other city.

There’s at least one vocal bike activist in town who feels it’s a big mistake to use sharrows as bike boulevard markings because the national guidelines do not specifically mention that as one of their uses and doing so could dilute their meaning and cause confusion.

Sharrows on N. Concord-1

Sharrows on N. Concord-3

The reason PBOT used sharrows on bike boulevards instead of bike boulevard-specific pavement markings comes down to funding. The Federal Stimulus grant that funded the project would only pay for a marking type that had been formally adopted into the national standards. Sharrows fit the bill so they got the nod.

So, to recap: In Portland, sharrows have multiple and overlapping meanings. On some streets (like NW 19th) they tell you where to position yourself in the lane, but on other streets (like SE Salmon) they are simply wayfinding markings to help communicate that you are on a bike boulevard. But in all cases, sharrows mean that people in cars should expect bikes and vice versa.

I hope that answers your questions. If not, I’m happy to offer clarifications in the comments. Sharrows have become a huge part of our traffic landscape here in Portland, so we really need to be clear about what they mean and how to use them.

— Got a bike question? Ask us. Browse past questions and answers at our Ask BikePortland archives.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Dave
13 years ago

I always love the argument that there’s no room for bike lanes, when the lanes are 4 feet wider than a Chevy Suburban 🙂

Joe
Joe
13 years ago

I love sharrows.

Faux Porteur
Faux Porteur
13 years ago

My rule of thumb for lane placement when a bike lane isn’t painted and there isn’t ample room between parked cars and the traffic lane is to ride in the line that the passenger seat of automobiles would be. I’m safely away from the doorzone and I still leave plenty of room for automobiles to pass to the left of me when its safe to do so.

NF
NF
13 years ago

The national manual (MUTCD) on road markings is woefully out-of-date when it comes to bicycle infrastructure. However, there is support for sharrow use in this fashion:

Section 9C.07 describes that a Shared Lane Marking that may be used … instead of the Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign to inform road users that bicyclists might occupy the travel lane

The Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign may be used in locations where it is important to inform road users that
bicyclists might occupy the travel lane.

I would say that on a Bicycle Boulevard, it is important to inform road users to expect bikes within the lane.

Vance Longwell
13 years ago

Hey, lemme know when one of you armchair-quarterbacks successfully qualifies a so-called, “door zone”, as an affirmative defense for violating .430, would ya? I’d pay money to see that.

Don’t wanna run into car doors? Don’t ride into them. Other-wise, follow the law and stay right. Access to Oregon public highways is a privilege, not a civil-right.

Kathleen McDade
13 years ago

Since Shetha mentioned the door zone — isn’t it true that you don’t have to move over if it’s a safety hazard? So she was in the right regardless of sharrows?

NF
NF
13 years ago

What I’m really interested in figuring out is the legal status of side by side riding, especially on Bicycle Boulevards.

Side by side riding is a natural, comfortable, and pleasant part of the cycling experience, and I think it needs to be legally supported on our bicycle boulevards.

At it’s core the problem is about riding “as far to the right as practicable” and not impeding the “normal and reasonable movement of traffic” — what would it take to redefine the “normal and reasonable” expectations on a Bike Boulevard?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

Kathleen: Absolutely. If there is a door-zone hazard you are not required to get over. I’ll try to make that more clear in the story if i can.

NF: I think what we’ll see in coming legislative sessions is a codification of “neighborhood greenways” into the ORS similar to how the BTA successfully codified the concept of a “vulnerable roadway user”. My hunch is that PBOT will use the n’hood greenway concept as leverage to attach various legal weight to streets with that designation. That could mean anything from speed reduction to new definitions of passing and lane use.

ecohuman
ecohuman
13 years ago

Like many others, I’d like to see different rules for most city streets, where speed limits are reduced and allowances are made for slower and smaller-sized vehicles (electric “carts”, “neighborhood” vehicles, bikes/trikes/quad-wheels, etc.)

What this requires is a rethinking of street design altogether, not just line painting on existing streets and “bump outs” and bioswales. Unfortunately, we’ve got the infrastructure we’ve got, and it’s going to be there for decades, if not a century or two, longer.

PDXCyclist
PDXCyclist
13 years ago

Jonathan, great explanation. I really like this column. I wonder though, do you really want to put yourself in the position of giving legal advice? It seems to me that from your perspective that could be….worrisome.

Good stuff either way.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Reply to  PDXCyclist

PDXCyclist,

i have no problem giving legal advice if/when I’m confident that what I’m saying is correct (and when I’m not, thankfully i have very smart commenters that will call me out on it!). But I hear you about legal advice having perils for myself and I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks.

mikeybikey
mikeybikey
13 years ago

Speed limits are maximums under _optimal conditions_. The nature of most neighborhood streets and especially ones like the neighborhood greenways/bike boulevards where there is a marked increase in the presence of vulnerable road users makes 25MPH out of the question. We just have to figure out ways to share the space and cope until the speed limit bureaucracy is pierced and/or cultural expectations about how we move through neighborhood spaces change. Very useful post.

Jim Labbe
Jim Labbe
13 years ago

Faux Porteur #3 I like your rule of thumb but I would extend it to those situations where the street is split and narrowed by a pedestrian island and there ARE usually short bike lane segments.

I hate these situations. The bike lanes actually make it more hazardous because they force cyclists to navigate around parked cars to get in and out of them for a ridiculously short distance. Meanwhile cars can and often do view the bike lane as a justification to maintain their normal speed through the bottleneck.

Streets narrowed by pedestrian islands would seem to be an ideal location for sharrows. I wish the City would start using them in these situations.

ILikeYourNewHaircut
13 years ago

Same markings on NW 19th and SE Salmon but different rules? If people who ride bikes everyday aren’t sure about these rules, how are motorists supposed to know about them (they’re not on the Oregon driver’s license test).

I agree that overusing these symbols causes a lot of confusion. They should have only been put down on busy streets with no bike lanes.

Also, I ride a bike everyday, I’m car-free, and have no problem moving to the right for 5 seconds to let a vehicle pass safely. Sharing the road goes both ways.

andy
andy
13 years ago

Vance #5,
Let’s say you are on a bike traveling 15mph. That’s 22 feet per second. The average person takes 1.5 seconds to react to take evasive action (in a car, bike, etc): at 15mph, that’s 33 feet, or 1-1/2 car lengths. And that’s just reaction time, not stopping time.

So: you’re toodling along at 15mph on your bike with a line of parked cars on your right. You have just drawn level to the rear bumper of one car (car A), but you cannot see through it because [the windows are dirty] [it’s dark] [you do not have x-ray vision]. Suddenly the door of the car immediately ahead of car A is swung open. You have 1.5 seconds to react. You do not have time to stop. Bam.

Of course, I guess an Armchair Quarterback like yourself has the reaction speed of a pro athlete and can bend the laws of physics to come to a complete stop on a dime (never mind x-ray vision to assess all threats with time to spare), so I guess guys like you can avoid doors whenever you please. The rest of us are just human and need more space and time to be safe.

Dave
13 years ago

One thing we noticed in Amsterdam, is that people on bikes, in cars, and walking all share the road very nicely in a lot of areas where there aren’t separated bicycle paths, and I think partly it comes down to an issue of law (people driving know they’ll get in trouble if they hit someone), and just pace of life – people didn’t seem as frantic there to get everywhere as quickly as possible, so they were willing to just take it easy and work around each other. I think as a cyclist or pedestrian, I don’t mind sharing the road with people driving, as long as I feel sure they’re not going to run me down if I become “inconvenient”. Unfortunately, I don’t often feel that way here.

As far as the sharrows go, I think it’s nice to just simply make people more aware that there are bikes on the road, but I think they’re about the most minimal solution possible to issues of sharing the roads.

Tom
Tom
13 years ago

Back in the 1980s my brother was cycling down Ladd Ave. when a car came up behind him and honked. He moved over into the door zone and was promptly doored by a driver exiting a car – suffering a head injury as a result (helmet use uncommon back then). So I don’t think it’s safe to move over into the door zone for cars unless you can easily see through the windows to confirm the driver side seats are empty. The car that doored my brother was a pickup with a shell over the bed.

In that case the police issued a ticket to the pickup driver for exiting a motor vehicle on the left side in an unsafe manner. Do the police still do that when a cyclist gets doored?

Aaron
Aaron
13 years ago

Just pull over into the “door zone” long enough to let the car get around you then move back. Pick a spot that looks unoccupied if you’re really that afraid. Dooring happens but not so often that I’d call just being in the proximity of a few doors for a few seconds a hazard. Share the road.

Eugene Bicyclist
13 years ago

#18

Yeah, that’s the thing about getting “doored.” It happens “not so often,” but you just never know when it might. Probably at that one moment when you happen to be distracted

Lazlo
Lazlo
13 years ago

#18

I disagree. No need to put oneself at risk just so the driver can save a few seconds. The driver was able to get around, so no harm done. Sharing the road goes both ways, someone said.

Chris
Chris
13 years ago

If I notice I am holding up a car behind me, I continue riding until I see a safe opportunity to pull to the right and motion to let the car pass. This could be a space with no car, or a car without an occupant in it, or any place the road widens.

I know in many situations I am not obligated to do this, but I always make an effort to be courteous to others on the road.

I guess you could draw a pallallel to other cyclists in the bike lane. If a cyclist is going faster than you do you have the obligation to get over as far as possible to let them pass? Not really, but I am sure we would all agree it’s the courteous thing to do.

gumby
gumby
13 years ago

I get over as far as possible when there are vehicles present. You can ride in the door zone if you know what to look for. You can usually see if someone is in a car well before you’re in danger of getting doored. Cars that have tinted windows or other visual obstructions should be treated as a potential door threat. It takes a little more effort, but it reduces the conflict with cars. I’ve been biking this way for 40 years and have never been doored.

Steve Brown
13 years ago

There are two problems with the “door zone” discussion with regard to Vince#5. What part of traffic did the women in the car not realize. I really doubt if the driver of the car would have passed another car and said the same thing to the driver of a slower moving auto. So is not the drive guilty of road raging a cyclist. Sometimes bikes are traffic, that is my biggest hang up with the car v bike thing. My own feeling is that a high percentage of Portland drivers would still have passed the bike if the rider was traveling at 25 mph. I do not ride very far but do often ride fast. I am always getting passed at the posted speed. the problem is with the cars, not the bikes.

matt picio
13 years ago

Vance (#5) – You’re being facetious about access being a privilege, right?

Spiffy
13 years ago

first off, why is a motor vehicle driving on a greenway so long that a bicycle is in their way? they should be on Belmont or Hawthorne after the first block if they have a long way to go… I try not to be in the way but I have little sympathy if you’ve been following me in your car for many blocks on a greenway…

also this should be addressed:

I know that the law requires us to move over if we are going slower than the speed of traffic

according to Ray Thomas you don’t need to pull over for slower moving cars behind you, other than already be riding on the right side of the road…

as far as the door zone allowing you the exception to be THAT far right, I doubt you could argue it… because it’s only an exception if somebody is doing something illegal by opening their door into you, which they haven’t done yet… whereas glass, rocks, and grates in the gutter are a current obstacle… so as far as I can tell there would have to be an already open door to legally not ride in the door zone… in order to argue an exception you’d have to also argue that riding anywhere on the right is an immediate danger due to right-hooks… a common obstacle but not an excuse…

and I’m still confused on the sharrows… national guidelines say they are to show us where to ride in the lane… does PDOT have the authority to override that? I think we CAN legally ride in the lane over these markings… however, I think we still need to move far right when needed to let cars pass… but is that part also in the guidelines? do the national guidelines say both that the sharrow should be followed and that because of the sharrow that’s our proper place in the lane and we don’t have to move over?

Steve B.
Steve B.
13 years ago

I appreciate the increased visibility of these bike routes since the sharrows have gone in, and I understand the funding is tricky and I’m glad we figured out a way to use the funding, BUT.. I think the city should have considered using sharrows on streets that are already difficult and perceptibly dangerous to ride on, particularly for the ‘Interested but Concerned’ crowd. You know those spots, those parts of your commute that you’re most likely to get honked at, passed unsafely.. just because you’re trying to get from bikeway to bikeway.

There are so many tough connections in our system, a handful of these sharrows would go a long way out there. The city could then be adding more capacity and reach to the existing bikeway network. I’ve enjoyed similar treatments in Seattle and San Francisco, where it totally freaking helps to have them on busier streets.

As far as I understand it, PBOT has not developed a plan for sharrows or similar markings on these busier streets in Portland.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
13 years ago

“My own feeling is that a high percentage of Portland drivers would still have passed the bike if the rider was traveling at 25 mph. I do not ride very far but do often ride fast. I am always getting passed at the posted speed. the problem is with the cars, not the bikes.”

Thanks for this point.

When I am riding at or above the speed limit I feel no need to move over to the right.

I also have no sympathy for the many motorists who cheat by driving at high-speeds on (stop-sign free) bike boulevards on their morning commutes. I will cut them off and get in their way if I can.

Eugene Bicyclist
13 years ago

@ Spiffy No. 25

“I’m still confused on the sharrows… national guidelines say they are to show us where to ride in the lane… does PDOT have the authority to override that? I think we CAN legally ride in the lane over these markings… however, I think we still need to move far right when needed to let cars pass”

Isn’t the law what matters, as opposed to the sharrow “guidelines” — the law that says you are to stay as far right as “practicable” but are entitled to take the lane if there is a hazard or obstacle to staying right? This is my problem with sharrows. In some cases they just might confuse both motorists and cyclists alike regarding this relatively straightforward (maybe) law. Do sharrows have any legal weight? They don’t change the law at all, right?

OnTheRoad
OnTheRoad
13 years ago

spare_wheel wrote “I also have no sympathy for the many motorists who cheat by driving at high-speeds on (stop-sign free) bike boulevards on their morning commutes. I will cut them off and get in their way if I can.”

The city likes to use bicyclers as free-ranging traffic calming devices.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
13 years ago

Motorists ask the question, “Why don’t you ride farther to the right?” I ask those motorists, “Why don’t you drive there?” If you expect me to ride one foot away from parked vehicles, then after you pass me, I expect you to drive there; why don’t you? If you expect me to ride in the gutter, one foot from the curb, why don’t I see you driving there? If far to the right is such wonderful road real estate, how come motor vehicle drivers don’t hug the parking lane and the curb? The smart alecks will say, “So I don’t run over you, idiot!” The real reason, however, is that it is a dangerous and undesirable place to travel. If you won’t drive there, I won’t ride there. If you want to get mad because I’m “taking the lane” around parked cars, direct your anger toward the people who are hogging up a third of the street to store their inactive vehicles, not the one who is actually using the street to travel.

Lady Fuschia
Lady Fuschia
13 years ago

Spiffy writes:

“first off, why is a motor vehicle driving on a greenway so long that a bicycle is in their way? they should be on Belmont or Hawthorne after the first block if they have a long way to go… I try not to be in the way but I have little sympathy if you’ve been following me in your car for many blocks on a greenway…”

Agreed. I have been eagerly awaiting a situation like the one described in the question so I can point pointedly to the sharrow and continue on my way.

It is true that it is not clear that the door zone is a “hazard” defined by law that would allow you to move left, and I think it should be on the BTA’s legislative agenda to get it written into the statute. Even if it wouldn’t pass into law, the campaign for it should get some attention (like the push for an Idaho stop law did) and educate some drivers.

Also, Joe Rose in the Oregonian recently wrote a column falsely claiming that cyclists cannot take the lane unless they are going the same speed as car traffic, so the next time someone harasses you on this point, thank him personally.

maxadders
maxadders
13 years ago

I really like the sharrows as directional markers– I’ve happened upon several awesome routes that I would have otherwise missed.

They’re great for navigating unfamiliar territory, too. If I’m meandering on residential streets, improvising my way between point A and point B, it’s very nice to come across a sharrowed route to follow– fewer unpleasant connections, stop signs, etc.

NF
NF
13 years ago

Sharrows on busy streets are not the answer for the “interested but concerned” crowd, which is why I think Portland has been hesitant to adopt them as vigorously as San Francisco or Seattle has.

I’d like to think that PBOT views them as inadequate for that purpose, when the real solution is better designed streets with separated facilities.

are
are
13 years ago

in no particular order:

the sharrow has no legal significance.

though MUTCD does not expressly forbid its use as a bike route wayfinder on low traffic side streets, that is not its intended purpose. its intended purpose is to alert motorists that cyclists have a right to be in the travel lane and to indicate to cyclists a lane positioning somewhat to the left of the door zone. many of the sharrows PBoT has placed on bike boulevards clearly have nothing to do with lane positioning.

the far to right law, ORS 814.430, does not apply if you are moving the same speed as nearby motor traffic. if you are moving slower than nearby motor traffic, 814.430 requires you to move right unless.

ah, but unless what. overtaking another cyclist, getting ready to make a left turn, avoiding hazardous conditions. [you can ride far left on a one-way street “within a city,” but maybe not if there is a striped bike lane on the right, see 814.420.]

okay, but what is a hazardous condition.

debris, surface conditions, children, kittens, or [wait for it]

“to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side.”

and here we finally arrive at ms. nolke’s question. she says if she moved right she would have had to ride in the door zone. would this be “unsafe operation”? in whose judgment? was there room for the motorist to overtake without ms. nolke moving right? apparently not, as the motorist waited for oncoming traffic to clear. maybe the lane was too narrow to share. my recollection of southeast salmon is that you pretty much have to take the lane, sharrows or no.

when you arrive at a substantial gap in the parked cars, 814.430 probably does require you to slide right. i generally signal my intention, and then wave the car past so i can resume the lane before the gap closes. not only does this give the impression of courtesy, sharing, etc., but it also asserts control of the situation.

just as motorists (and unfortunately even some cyclists) will often say to cyclists, why do you want to use this busier street when there is a quiet side street a couple of blocks over, my message to motorists on side streets is, if you are in such a hurry, why are you on a side street?

as much as i dislike the way PBoT has diluted the meaning of the sharrow by using it as a wayfinder, i do think it should provide some ammunition for this argument.

oh, and jonathan, thanks for the link to my blog.

Steve B.
Steve B.
13 years ago

@NF 33 — that’s all well and good, but in the 5,10,15 years it will take for those separated facilities to be put in, what are we left with? I get a lot of interested but concerned folks borrowing my bikes and riding around town. We need something on the busier streets where no alternative parallel routes exists (mostly north/south).

Isaac
Isaac
13 years ago

Interesting back and forth. The comments are mostly about how not to get doored, though. Sort of off topic?

Jeff Mapes’ book Pedaling Revolution explains a lot of things well about bike culture, including sharrows on “bike boulevards,” and it’s something not mentioned here yet. Everyone seems bent on figuring out who can be sued when a car and bike collide on sharrow streets. Anyone who makes plans for a collision like this is nuts.

As Mapes explains it, the purpose of bike boulevards is to (1) draw bikes off of nearby arterials that are already heavy with cars and unsafe for bikes, and (2) signal through the use of sharrows to expect more bikes in the street than other streets.

The laws and rules aren’t any different on sharrow streets than on other streets. They’re behavior-control tools, designed to raise the numbers of bikes on certain streets, thus raising visibility of bikes, thus encouraging drivers to drive a little more slowly or stick to busier arterials where they can drive fast. Just as wider streets are proven to make cars drive faster, sharrows and narrower streets are proven to have generally traffic calming effects.

It doesn’t always work, but nothing always works. Creating bike boulevards with cheap painted sharrows is a great way to promote biking for any city with a tight budget and a commitment to improving transportation options.

Let’s not overthink it. Sharrow means give and take. Go as slow as you can and as fast as you must, and let’s all get where we’re going. Read Jeff Mapes book if you want to know more.

Vance Longwell
13 years ago

Andy #15 – Ugh. Yeah, I know there’s a ton of pseudo-science out there about human behavior, and physiological predisposition, but I don’t accept a word of it as anything but psycho-babble from a bunch of witch-doctors justifying their pathetic existence; and while fully wasting part of my tax-contribution, “educating”, them.

I JUST got doored the other day. Fat cow’s pick-up door literally exploded open right in front of me, and when I was about even with her rear axle. All I got done was to get the weight off my curb-side foot to save my collar-bone. Cow got me. It happens. That’s the first time in over 15 years, but a cow is gonna get a guy when they’re trying that hard.

Oh, and she had illegal tint on her rear window, which had been applied in California, before she got here. I tried, and couldn’t see through it.

Oh, and she was using a cell-phone at the time, on a public highway.

Oh, and she was illegally parked in a Zipcar stall.

Oh, and she was too fat to safely operate her legs, let alone a motor-vehicle.

Oh, and she had a pointed, quite ubiquitous, hatred of whites, she told me so. Several times. Heard all about how I stole her people’s land and stuff.

Check it. I’m a grown adult. I’ve got nuget. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt there are wastes of flesh like this, trolling for my two-wheeled behind, day in and day out. As an adult, this is a risk I freely accept in order to continue receiving the benefits of using my bicycle on a public highway with a bunch of weirdos.

I did everything wrong too. When I couldn’t see through her window, I should have given her more than the foot, or two I did. Believe it or not, I thought of that way before I was hit, and did give her some room. I had the space. Plus, I was 200 feet from my destination, putting me right in cliche-ville with the whole accidents happen on short trips mumbo-jumbo. As it was, that ‘lil extra I gave a vehicle with windows I could not see through, allowed the door enough time to completely open. Saving me from serious injury. I did that Andy. Me. Ordinary, smokes a pack a day, and can still kick you on your 1 speed, and can scare the hell out of the lycra guys in a little unsanctioned Urban Pursuit, plain old bikey guy. I mitigated a serious accident and walked away without a scratch. It was a sublime set-up. Couldn’t have been any worse, yet I walked away without a scratch.

And I didn’t even need a special wittle helmy.

You know what else, Progressive Insurance bent over and kissed my butt. Huge check. For nothing. Just, “Please, please, don’t sue us.”, money. My medical is still open. I couldn’t have done any better winning with a Lottery Scratch-off. Bet girl’s rates get jacked too, and rightfully so. She needs priced off the road. Too fat, too self involved, and just plain too dumb to operate a vehicle in public. Like any idiot who uses the phrase, “Door zone.”, with a straight face.

Picio #24 – What the eff, man? Really? Jeez, I’d have pegged you for a law-and-order type in a heartbeat, I stand corrected. Keep in mind, that’s me playing belligerent Devil’s advocate, holmes. Torques me no end that, “Driving is a privilege…”, crap. Yeah, tell that to my employer, well if I had a job. I don’t drive, I don’t eat. Period. Same for 180 million other Americans. But, about the time we make it a right, the flood-gates on litigation spring-wide. So, here we are, stuck between a cow, and a nutcase, yo.

Vance Longwell
13 years ago

matt picio – Oh, and we really don’t have any civil-right to use a public highway. Blows, but there it is. Law of the land, and all. ‘Tis why it makes me so mad. You guys can’t bury me in rules fast enough, yet nary a one of you seem to want to follow them. Right about then we get mouth-breathing out-of-staters like Ray Willis pontificating on the ins and outs of things he knows nothing about.

jim
jim
13 years ago

You used the term “Bike Priority Street”, What exactly does that mean? Who came up with that?

are
are
13 years ago

comment 5: “don’t wanna run into car doors? don’t ride into them.”

comment 37: “i just got doored the other day.”

same source.

are
are
13 years ago

possibly we could do without this particular use of the word “cow,” as well.

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

What’s there to be confused about? You were as far right as practicable. Done deal.

jim
jim
13 years ago

are- thanks for the source. but still- what does bicycle priority mean?

Trek 3900
Trek 3900
13 years ago

I always think it’s a good idea to ride right down the middle of the road so no cars can pass you. It does so much for the image car drivers have of cycling. NOT!

I will do all in my power to safely get out of the way of a car. I DO NOT WANT CARS RIDING MY ASS – THAT’S DANGEROUS. AND I SURE DON’T WANT THEM GETTING PISSED AT ME. SURE, I CAN TAKE ‘EM, BUT THE COPS ALWAYS ARREST THE CYCLIST.

Vance Longwell
13 years ago

Ray Willis #40 – Your ridiculous observation lacks efficacy without the accompanying quote showing me whining about door-zones as an excuse to ride down the middle of a public highway; and for no reason at all. I cope just fine, right up to the point of impact even, and you’ll never observe me holding up traffic whist clinging to the bald-face lie that I have a right to do it, legally.

[insult deleted]

are
are
13 years ago

yo, longwell,

for a while i have been trying to ignore you, though it has sometimes meant staying off of boards or threads where i would like to say something, simply because you are there. in this case, jonathan mentioned me in the text of the piece, and ms. nolke was asking a question i thought deserved a sensible answer. i posted what i posted and i did not call you out by name.

the word “pontificate” has a dictionary meaning, to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner. what i tried to do was carefully lay out the legal and other considerations ms. nolke was facing as she was biking on southeast salmon with an impatient motorist behind. i took her through it step by step, and my intention at least was to keep the tone level and not inject very much of my rather strong opinions on the subject. i actually think i was reasonably successful in this.

i might have gone a step further, where i asked “unsafe in whose judgment.” you are always saying good luck with that defense, just as i am always saying good luck lying face down on the pavement after you have allowed yourself to get doored. in fact the statute here has placed the judgment call in the hands of the cyclist, and unless the cyclist exercises that judgment unreasonably, the defense should be good. if you have legal opinion to the contrary, bring it on.

in any event, though i kept my tone quiet and simply laid the matter out for ms. nolke’s consideration, you found it necessary to call me a “mouth breather” and to say i was pontificating about something i knew nothing about. it should be clear to anyone reading this, and reading the statutes to which i make reference, and reading the blog entry to which jonathan linked, that in fact i know a fair amount about this stuff.

but be that as it may, let’s say i am wrong about something. would you care to point out specifically where you disagree? or is it enough to simply disparage me personally and mischaracterize my arguments with vague generalities?

the name, incidentally, is not “ray.” also, the word “cow” does not “hit close to home” for me personally, as i am not female, but it is a very obviously derogatory and unpleasant term, and i think it is inappropriate, skinny white man, to emphasize race and gender where they are not relevant.

esther c
esther c
13 years ago

There is an Oregon DMV manual for cyclists. It recommends “taking the lane” when necessary because it is unsafe for a car to pass because of oncoming traffic for example.

Also the manual recommends maintaining a straight line, not weaving in and out to the right to allow cars to pass when there are not parked cars to your right. And it says “ride far enough away from parked cars so you don’t risk being hit by an opening car door.”

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:5SH_s16yAIcJ:www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/bike_manual_06.pdf+oregon+cyclists+manual&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiHlHk0vHEKDi5zpUZsr7ER9KnyoCVzjp3ko4Dn7dJhtqPe53aR8g3CpBK7GG98-hTDJ_nbm-lgvAB6j-na-DVrHimQu3ZtV8MIVkfxFqw77im3YpVsc6zpIZVSZnW9Gp1PrOfd&sig=AHIEtbTC3zZGIoEFZNVWiUKvR-h7okuW5A

esther c
esther c
13 years ago

That is the latest version, it hasn’t been printed since.

Ted Buehler
Ted Buehler
13 years ago

I haven’t read the other 49 posts, but on this point
>> So, to recap: In Portland, sharrows have multiple and overlapping meanings. On some streets (like NW 19th) they tell you where to position yourself in the lane, but on other streets (like SE Salmon) they are simply wayfinding markings <<

I have a minor disagreement.

Sharrows *do* tell you where to ride on bike blvds.

On wider streets, the sharrows are in the middle of where lanes would be, if it was so striped.

On narrow bike blvds, like N Bryant, the sharrows are in the exact center of the road. Pointing directly at each other. This is because the street is so narrow that you want to be in the exact middle of it so you don't get doored, surprised by kids playing, etc.

I was approached by a motorist yesterday who told me he had been "sideswiped" by a wide mahogany bicycle when he opened his car door. his reasoning was that the bicyclist was in the wrong, because sharrows on the street indicated that bicyclists should be in the center of the street, well spaced from his car door.

I politely told him that regardless, it was his responsibility to check his side mirror before opening his door and didn't pursue the conversation further.

But this does indicate that at least one Portland motorist considers the placement of sharrows on bike blvds to define a bicycle's recommended position on the street (as defined in the MUTCD), not just as a wayfinding tool.

Ted Buehler

beelnite
beelnite
13 years ago

I think there’s the legal stuff and there’s the LAW OF THE LAND. The socially accepted thing to do. If you get my drift.

SE Salmon? And the driver is honking!?!? UNACCEPTABLE. It annoys me to no end drivers even drive on Salmon – unless they live there – there are PLENTY OF OTHER PARALLEL STREETS for drivers to race around on dedicated to their needs.

I am 100% positive the lady who honked and HARASSED the cyclist who asked the question was using Salmon as her PERSONAL EXPRESSWAY TO AVOID TRAFFIC on the streets intended and designed to accomodate her.

Racing your car through a neighborhood and shortcutting through residential streets, jack-rabbiting the residential stop signes(on your EFFEN PHONE!) is dangerous, not just for cyclists – but for EVERYONE. And I see it every day and I’m getting rather ticked the hell off.

DRIVERS: If you are on a residential, no middle lined street then you best be EXPECTING cyclists, kids, dogs, beach balls and you know what – if my Grandma wants to roll her wheelbarrel down to a neighbors house in the middle of the effen street – she has a right – I don’t care what kind of hurry you are in. YOU JUST BEST BE WAITING PATIENTLY.

STAY OFF MY STREET! DO NOT DRIVE DOWN MY STREET UNLESS YOU HAVE BUSINESS THERE.

LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY.

DRIVERS: PLEASE DO NOT USE MY QUIET RESIDENTIAL STREET as your EFFEN SHORTCUT.

Yes I will move over, but if I’m going anything near 15 mph… maybe the hell not.