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Oregon ponders lane-splitting for motorcycles: What do you think?

Posted by on November 16th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

A traffic sign from the U.K.
(Photo: ODOT)

The state of Oregon is looking for public feedback on an idea that could impact people who use bicycles. This Friday, the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Motorcycle Safety will meet in North Portland to discuss lane-splitting by motorcycles. Lane-sharing or lane-splitting would allow motorcycle operators to filter up through slower moving and/or stopped traffic by using unused roadway space. The practice is currently illegal in Oregon (as per ORS 814.240) and California is the only state in the U.S. where it has been legalized.

Motorcycles using the road in this manner could impact bicycling in several ways. Motorcycles coming around slower traffic would be another thing to watch for when trying to cross busy streets. There’s also the question of what roadway spaces this might put motorcycles in. Would they be more likely to use bike-only lanes and bike boxes if lane-sharing was legal? How would having motorcycles — which accelerate faster than cars — at the front of the traffic queue impact bicycle movements at intersections with bike boxes?

At Friday’s meeting (details below) the committee will discuss the possibility of conducting a statewide public opinion survey on the topic. ODOT says they want to hear from other road users about this issue and about whether not to conduct such a survey.

Back in June, ODOT’s research division completed a literature review of motorcycle lane-splitting (PDF here). It’s not yet clear (at least to me) where the impetus for this issue comes from. Even in California where it’s legal, the DMV and police warn people that it carries many risks. In 2005, an effort to legalize motorcycle lane splitting failed in part because of opposition by state police officers.

If you are interested to weigh in about this topic, here are details on Friday’s meeting:

    Governor’s Advisory Committee on Motorcycle Safety
    6:30 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 19
    Kaiser Permanente Town Hall Ballroom (3704 N. Interstate Ave.)

If you can’t make it, email your comments to Michele O’Leary, Motorcycle Program Manager in ODOT’s Transportation Safety Division at Michele.a.Oleary@odot.state.or.us.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Paul
Guest
Paul

I think it’s fine when traffic is stopped. It really makes no sense for a skinny vehicle, motorcycle or bike, to wait behind the vehicles that cause congestion in the first place. Having lived a good portion of my life in California I never saw a problem, but I can see where it may cause some concern for pedestrians crossing a street.

On a related note, I think there should be a bike box across all lanes on SW Columbia @ Naito so bikes can filter to the front in order to access Waterfront Park easier.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I don’t think lane splitting can be made safe in any circumstance. In the summer, I see lane splitting all the time from motorcycles when Hwy 217 is backed up.

We should be looking at the reasons why they want to consider allowing lane splitting and address those needs. Maybe allow the right shoulder to be allowed to take immediate off-ramps, instead of waiting for the proper exit?

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

What happens when a vehicle using the right shoulder (otherwise known as the EMERGENCY LANE) stalls out, and then emergency vehicles can’t get through? Not a good idea.

Chris 2
Guest
Chris 2

“Oregon ponders lane-splitting for motorcycles: What do you think?”

I think I am buying a motorcycle if it passes.

Nick
Guest
Nick

If it’s safe then it makes sense. It sure doesn’t seem safe, but intuition can be deceiving. Motorcycles in general, however, are quite dangerous, and I’m not sure we should encourage more people to drive them. Then again, they’re more fuel efficient, and I bet the whole safety in numbers thing applies to them too… so I’m torn on this one.

In any case, even if lane splitting were to be allowed, they should not be able to infringe on bike lanes.

James N
Guest
James N

For the US, we definitely would save tone of oil and redude a lot of pollution if more people use motorcycles or scooters or bicycles for daily transportation. Look around and you can see how many car transport just one person where as a motorcycle, or a scooter would get that same person to his destination with much less energy and pollution.

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

It depends on the scooter. Those old unconverted Vespas spew at least 100x the pollutants than the average car.

mo
Guest
mo

Motorcycles don’t need to meet the same stringent emissions laws that cars do. From the LA Times: Inconvenient truths about motorcycles and smog
June 11, 2008|SUSAN CARPENTER
“In California, such bikes make up 3.6% of registered vehicles and 1% of vehicle miles traveled, yet they account for 10% of passenger vehicles’ smog-forming emissions in the state. In fact, the average motorbike is about 10 times more polluting per mile than a passenger car, light truck or SUV, according to a California Air Resources Board comparison of emissions-compliant vehicles.”

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

This L.A. times article has many factual errors and has been entirely debunked. See Dexter Fords article.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I think the shoulder idea is terrible, no offense. You could never limit to motorcycles, so you’d essentially turn the shoulder into an extended exit lane. Now you’ve lost the space to pull over a disabled vehicle, or allow an emergency vehicle through.

I’m not sold on lane splitting either, but I’m not dead set against it. I commute by motorcycle every day, and there are times it would be very handy. But I’ve also watched it done a lot in California, and it makes me nervous every time, both for the motorcyclist and the cars around them.

sam
Guest
sam

Man, it scared the hell out of me the first time I saw it on a freeway in California. Seems like a terrible idea to me. Imagine all the angry drivers of tiny cars who could fit between the other cars, given the law and the chance. I’m looking at you, you cute little Mini Coopers…

Also, love the new threaded comments.

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

If motorcycle advocates use the same strategy bicycle advocates used for rolling, Idaho stops at stop signs… this idea is toast.

So far what we hear in support is predicated on two things: 1) why restrict the agile in traffic and 2) motorcyclists are really responsible and aware and can think for themselves.

That’s pretty much the main thrust we had with Idaho Stops and people just wouldn’t budge.

Paulie
Guest
Paulie

I hate this idea. It startles me every time when a motorcycle does this next to me when I’m in Cali. What’s wrong with waiting in the queue like everyone else? If you’re in that big of a hurry you should have left earlier.

And is this legal in Oregon for bicycles to do? I’ve always assumed it isn’t, since it’s not legal for motorcycles, but I’ve seen others do it. I’ll stick to the lane — the middle of the lane when downtown.

Pete
Guest
Pete

If I remember from Ray’s class it’s technically illegal for bicycles to do in Oregon. I say ‘technically’ because I still see it as common practice in Oregon, and especially here in California where I now live. When I first moved here I asked that same question (about CA laws) on bikesiliconvalley.org but never received an answer.

Incidentally, I never did it when I lived and rode in Oregon (once I learned it was illegal), but I’ve come to do it frequently here in CA and it seems expected by both cyclists and drivers.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Yeah, it does seem pretty dangerous. I could see it on the freeway when traffic is stopped, but not in any other circumstance (i.e., not in town). If I rode a motorcycle, I’d be worried about getting squeezed when traffic started moving again…anyone know how it’s gone from a safety aspect in California?

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

Please see my posts below (I live & ride in the S.F. Bay Area)

Greg
Guest
Greg

I don’t know whether it is a good idea, or bad. I do know that it is legal in some of the European nations that are considered by some as models for bicycle transportation efficiency. Perhaps a bit of research on how it works over there might be instructive.

jonno
Guest
jonno

The PDF linked in the article has some good information. Interestingly, one reference it contains points out that allowing a motorcycle to filter frees up space in that lane for a car, in effect allowing the bike to travel faster while reducing overall congestion for everyone else. This actually led to bikes being excluded from the London congestion charge. It also references a study that found a motorcycle allowed to filter was the fastest possible travel mode in city traffic.

I ride motor and pedal-powered bikes. They both have their place in city traffic and I’m a fan of each mode for different reasons. Plus, bikes filtering in traffic is just so Euro — that ought to count for something in Portland, right? Can we get a fact-finding trip together please, maybe London and Paris?

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

My brief experience with streetbikes ended nearly 20 years ago, so I am apparently ignorant to the fact that this isn’t already legal (in this state).

I support the idea wholeheartedly.

Kt
Guest
Kt

I really loathe this idea. How does it make the roads any safer?

I agree with Paulie, wait your turn like an adult, or leave earlier.

(I also like the threaded comments, but miss the numbering from the old comment. And, how do you get a picture next to your name?? That’s pretty neat.)

otis
Guest
otis

1) This is terribly unsafe. Share the road, not the lane.
2) This represents a diversion from the more important legislative issue of bolstering non-motorized transportation.

pat h
Guest
pat h

1) Your opinion isn’t support by data.
2) That’s just, like, your opinion, man. It is important for others and overall furthers the agenda of having more options than cars.

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

if allowed i would say only on highways and roads where non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians are prohibited. the primary risk for this obviously dangerous riding would then be mostly to the operator. unpredictable, unsignaled lane changes are the obvious problem here. speed limits still apply – there is no reason to go flying between two cars at 90 mph unless you have a death wish. city surface streets are far too narrow and slow to allow anything like this. and on that note, it’s a horrific idea to do this on a bike too. if you could walk faster than being stuck behind cars, then get off your bike and onto the sidewalk. i’m sure we all wish we could ride like lucas brunelle, but it’s a recipe for disaster and potentially dangerous for pedestrians as well.

pat h
Guest
pat h

A prudent speed is always required.

John Lascurettes
Guest

The california law IIRC is that you cannot exceed 15 MPH while splitting the lane (not that most motorcyclists heeded that limit).

Regarding someone talking about bikes splitting the lane: We probably cannot “split” multiple lanes, but the same law that allows cars to pass us on the left while we ride as far right as practicable is the same law that allows us to pass on the right if safe.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Actually, there is no CA law that dictates anything about Lane splitting, be it speed or otherwise. It’s legal in that there are no laws prohibiting it.

It is, however, up to the LEO’s discretion to stop and cite a cyclist for a myriad of other violations if the LEO has an issue with the cyclist’s technique, including unsafe speed, unsafe passing, unsafe lane change etc.

Anecdotally, in my 8+ years commuting in Los Angeles on motorcycle, I never had any incidents while lane splitting, only while on surface streets with cross traffic, on coming drivers turning left in front of me, etc.

Like anything, Lane splitting is as safe as the operator.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Indeed. I looked it up. Thanks for the clarification. I was always jealous of the lane-spliting motos when I was stuck in bumper to bumper on my 50 mile commute in California. I also always moved over just a little to give them more room when I saw them coming. Who am I to deny them free movement when they have the ability? I see nothing wrong with the practice when done in a prudent and safe manner.

mello yello
Guest
mello yello

During the naked bike ride the motorcycle cops gunned it on sidewalks to get to the front. One caught some hefty air jumping off the curb — like Terminator into a canal.

It should be mandatory that motorcycles have bells to announce their presence while lane splitting — little itty bitty ones like on bicycles.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

After working and driving in Abu Dhabi for the last 7 months where lane splitting is very common and effective…the negatives of this vehicle operation could be minimized.

I would support it if the law had restrictions:
– limit it to ODoT facilities for first 2 years (to allow for study time),
– place a ceiling of 15 MPH for motorcycles passing stopped cars and 20 mph on moving traffic,
– no lane splitting on lanes with bike lane or shoulders,
– a complete stop performed at intersections/ crosswalks with stopped traffic before proceeding through it, and
– fault for crashes would be placed on motorcycle operator.

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

So you think anytime a motorcycle is lane filtering — they should be fair game for other motorist to hit with no blame/penalty? Crazy, totally removing any responsibility form drivers to look out for two wheeled vehicles. Look, sounds like you are not a good driver who didn’t keep aware — don’t blame the Abu Dhabi riders for that.

Nat West
Guest
Nat West

I lived and rode a motorcycle in California for about two years and lane-split every day. It’s widely recognized in California as much safer when in stop-and-go highway traffic. Also important to note is that motorcyclists were still potentially breaking the laws of “improper” or “reckless” driving. You had to be lane-splitting in a safe manner.

There were some general guidelines like never go more than 15-25 MPH over the surrounding traffic, and never split when traffic is going 40 or above.

It’s mostly used to smooth out your ride when motorcycling. If you’re cruising along at 60 MPH, with traffic, and you see a bunch of red taillights ahead, you slip over to the dotted line to avoid getting sandwiched by an inattentive driver. You slow down, too, while passing cars, then when traffic speeds up again, you slip back into the lane.

Every serious rider in California can mention an occasion (or two) of clipping someone’s mirror, but that’s quite rare since they’re at a different height than your handlebars.

The best thing ever is slipping in behind a California Highway Patrol officer on a moto and splitting behind them for a few dozen miles.

Motorcycling is not safe, but imho, lane splitting doesn’t make it any less so.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I was born and raised in California… sorry…

I think the same model California uses could work here… I think it’s only on the freeway, only when cars are going below 15 mph, and only between lanes, not to the outside of them…

so not in downtown, not on Powell/Sandy, and not the shoulder…

however, we don’t have anywhere near the traffic problem that California has… people up here that complain about traffic don’t know how good they have it…

there’s not a lot of risk if everybody obeys the law… so as long as the motorcycles aren’t going 60mph through stopped cars, and people use their turn signals and mirrors to ensure they don’t hit a motorcycle coming down the middle…

James N
Guest
James N

I cannot see why OR rejects this. Most motorcycle riders who splittng lane travel at low speed while traffic is standing still. I saw motorcycle riders do this in AZ, CA and FL without any problem. It is all about being responsible and apply common sense to what you doing.

Dan Kaufman
Guest

I’m all for it, especially if it encourages more people commute with motorcycles.

ED
Guest
ED

I think this sounds like a bad idea for motorcycles as well as bikes. I cringe every time I see bikes darting through cars and buses downtown to try to save a few minutes or prove the superiority of their commuting method. Although I do not advocate trying to “out-car the car” in all situations (i.e., bikes trying to act like a perfect motor vehicle), taking the lane seems like the most sensible option for bikes and motorcycles. Even if it creates some additional congestion, it ensures that two-wheel vehicles are seen and not squeezed.

mello yello
Guest
mello yello

We need someone to punish drivers for right hooks and idiots not using their turn signals. 600 pounds of rubber and metal into a side door at 25-60 mph should do it. I’d imagine drivers would tend to check their side mirrors and blind spots more often.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Yeah, but the 200lbs of flesh and bone gets expensive fast.

Jim Warthen
Guest
Jim Warthen

I’ve been a motorcyclist for many years. I’ve riden in California and have used safe lane sharing techniques. If you look at this from a motorcycle safety angle you see that lane sharing would reduces rear end motorcycle collisions. Rear end collisions are on the top of every motorcyclist mind. Sitting at a traffic light or stopped in traffic is one of the times where the motorcyclist is the most vulnerable. I’ve had several close calls where people didn’t see me sitting there and was force to evade.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I live and ride (bicycles) in California now and it doesn’t seem to be a problem at all. I’m on the road (driving and biking) daily and have yet to see a motorcyclist on the right of a car in the right lane anyway – they know it’s an unsafe place (reserved for us bicyclists ;). The law states they cannot exceed the speed of traffic by more than 10 MPH, and in stopped traffic it makes sense to me to let them move to the front of the stop lights, for instance. Yes, I’ve been startled by them a time or two, but for the most part I watch my rear-views when I drive anyway, and if I move over for them (many people do) I often get a thumbs up or thank-you wave.

I don’t know the numbers but have heard that CA has one of the best motorcycle accident stats (per capita) and it actually improved when this law was passed (back in the early 70’s IIRC). I’d be really interested in knowing if someone could post those stats – in my mind if it was truly a dangerous practice the insurance industry would have made it stop by now. Not being a motorcyclist I don’t have that perspective, but it sure seems to work just fine around here.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

Bikes can slip between the right lane and parked cars but lane splitting is illegal. I’ve always thought that this was silly because IMO its more dangerous to pass on the right than to split lanes. And yes…I’ve been known to split lanes and “shoal” cars when downtown is a parking lot.

Point A —- > Point B.

pat h
Guest
pat h

Bicycles have the legal right to pass on the right in Oregon. Motorcycles want to pass on the left, where there is plenty of space. There is a lot more in common between motorcycles and bicycles than most bicyclists realize, I think. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting in stopped traffic on motorcycle when there is plenty of space between stopped cars (NOT in the bike lane). It saves space for everyone else, and time for the motorcyclists. Bike lanes would still be for bicycles. I think this would minimally impact bicyclists and would greatly improve things for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists are just as vulnerable as bicyclists — maybe even more so given the exposure to higher speed traffic.

Jonathan: two corrections:

1) “which accelerate faster than cars” — motorcyclists have the ability to accelerate faster but that does mean that they do. Also, most scooters are considered motorcycles legally (> 50 cc), but those are often slower than cars. Mopeds are specially legally.

2) Also, lane splitting isn’t legal per se in California. It just isn’t prohibited per statue and is very common.

Bob_M
Guest
Bob_M

Lane splitting was initiated when most motorcycles were air cooled and stop and go traffic would cause them to overheat and stall in traffic, making traffic worse. I have done the lane splitting on a motorcycle and it is nerve wracking.
In answer to the question: yes it should be legal. Like bicycles, motorcycles take up very little space, and when done safely they should be allowed to use pavement that is otherwise not used. Anything that can be done to encourage the use of small, efficient vehicles should be encouraged. (Although the efficiency often results in greater power and speed rather than better fuel efficiency). An upside would be that more motorcycles on the road would mean more road users who actually pay attention, because the motorcyclist cannot afford to be daydreaming in traffic. In many regards motorcyclist are just as vulnerable as road users as bicyclists. They too are subject to haters who resent them and they suffer similar consequences as a result of inattentive or incompetent drivers.
Encourage motorcyclists! Less wear on infrastructure, less congestion, less room needed for parking. Motorcycles get good mileage. A small one gets 70+ MPG and a big 180 MPH motorcycle still gets 33 MPG. These are under used tools in the realm of transportation.

KWW
Guest
KWW

Only on multilane limited access highways

pat h
Guest
pat h

That sounds a lot like the inverse of limiting where bicyclists should be.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

sam
Also, love the new threaded comments.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Imagine being doored at 25 mph on a Harley or whatever. The auto driver/door opener would likely be maimed or killed. Just to save a few seconds.

I don’t think allowing it in only certain circumstances would work; I believe that riders would just do it all the time if allowed to do it at all. And yes, they’d be all over bicycle lanes. ‘N besides, how are they ever going to get caught?

Paul
Guest
Paul

Motorcyclists don’t ride between parked cars and moving traffic for that very reason. They travel between two lanes.

Joe
Guest
Joe

ppl lane swap to easy already, not a good idea..

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

So, it’s better to cut and swap from lane to lane, in and out of traffic — so long as you don’t go between cars? Filtering is flow — like in a river, less interrupting of other traffic. Done correctly, you rarely need to break or cause others to break for you.

Barney
Guest
Barney

Many readers of this site are often quite eager to see European ways emulated here in the US. This subject should be a slam dunk then. In almost every European city, both large and small, motorcycles and scooters are free to do this. They move quite efficiently through the narrow spaces that are available. It effectively turns a 4 lane road a 10 lane road by allowing use of these open space. More traffic moves more efficiently through the available space. Car drivers have adapted to this and all seem to coexist peacefully.

I was splitting lanes on my moto 35 years ago in California. It has been happening for a long time there. There doesn’t seem to be any significant downside to it after all of that history.

I say, let the moto’s go, and don’t be a hater of either bike or moto!

JAT in Seattle
Guest
JAT in Seattle

I was driving in Florence (Italy, not Oregon) and indeed confirm that all the motorcycles and scooters filter to the front at stop lights, and when the light turns green they all gun their 75cc engines and poodle away in a cloud of blue smoke with a zero to 60kph time of about three minutes…

infuriating and awful.

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

Yeah — lots of those scooter riders fiddle with their emissions control devices to go faster. But that is another issue. In any case, would you rather each of those scooter riders be in a car? Imagine the traffic then! (Visit Manila if you want to see the result).

Dwainedibbly
Guest
Dwainedibbly

I used to be a motorcyclist, years ago. I think if this passes it’ll be very negative for bicyclists. They’ll be all over the bike lanes, even if that’s still illegal. Once they get used to splitting lanes, you think they’ll give bikes 3 feet when passing?

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

You are simply wrong. I ride and bike in San Francisco. Motorcycles don’t use the bike lane. Your fears are simply based on something you are unfamiliar with.

maxadders
Guest
maxadders

Does Oregon traffic really warrant this sort of behavior? For a state with so few major cities, it seems like overkill. Plus, as much as Portland metro drivers like to whine about traffic, it ain’t California. It’s a far cry from LA or even the East Bay.

I’m also concerned that bicyclists and pedestrians will be injured when congested traffic stops to let them cross.

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

Why would you think this would make a difference in motorcycles also not stopping????

Adam
Guest
Adam

Motorcycle is one of my ways of getting around. I think this is a terrible idea. It creates way too many possibilities of a crash. There are enough of those already, we don’t need more.

Glenn Cunningham
Guest
Glenn Cunningham

Adam – no one would force you to lane split. But please don’t make criminals of those who stay alive by it.

SE Cyclist
Guest
SE Cyclist

I think it’s great. It will give motorists someone else (besides bicyclists) to be angry with.

Greg
Guest
Greg

I rode a motorcycle for 10 years, and spent a year of that in California. While I did lane split there, I haven’t seen the traffic in Oregon that would warrant lane splitting on a regular basis.

I’d happily support lane splitting in Oregon if we could combine if with a ban on two stroke vehicle engines. Engines which burn oil by design aren’t really appropriate in an urban environment.

David
Guest
David

Kt
I really loathe this idea. How does it make the roads any safer?
I agree with Paulie, wait your turn like an adult, or leave earlier.
(I also like the threaded comments, but miss the numbering from the old comment. And, how do you get a picture next to your name?? That’s pretty neat.)

The pictures are pulled from Gravatar.com (global avatar) and are associated with the email address that you use to comment with.

Machu Picchu
Guest
Machu Picchu

Traffic backups are frequently a result of incidents requiring response from emergency and maintenance vehicles that would not be able to get through without the shoulder. It’s the lane for problem-solvers to use after all the others have been shut down by the problem-makers.

Machu Picchu
Guest
Machu Picchu

I’ll reply to myself to add: For the above reason, I don’t dig the public using the shoulder except in a breakdown or emergency situation.

Terry Hutchinson
Guest
Terry Hutchinson

As a driver, bicyclist, or motorcyclist, I have a right and I expect the ability to use a full traffic lane. Why should there be a special case where, unexpectedly, someone else can simply elect to step into my lane? How slow must I be going? Can I just slide my automobile along side a motorcyclist if they are going slower than I want to go? I don’t need to have yet one more thing to watch out for when driving.

D.R. Miller
Guest

If I’m not mistaken, it IS legal in Oregon for bicycles to pass slow/stopped vehicles on the right side of the right lane. If motorcycles could do that too at the same time and place, well, potentially pretty scary and dangerous for bicycles.

Charley
Guest
Charley

If this is illegal (to split lanes) for bikes, it doesn’t make any more sense for motorbikes. And, contrary to what a lot of people think, it really isn’t legal to pass on the right while traffic is stopped at a light. People obviously do it all the time, but they’re legally exposed. I don’t know why motorcyclists should get a free pass on this, when cyclists don’t.

John Lascurettes
Guest

It is perfectly legal to pass on the right a line of stopped vehicles if this is done in the same space you’d be riding in while riding “as far to the right as practicable”. It’s the same law that allows cars to pass you on the left.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Note with the following exceptions:
– You may not pass a car stopped for a pedestrian
– You may not pass the limit line at the stop sign or light before it is your turn to proceed.

borgbike
Guest

My vote is to support the idea. I see it as comparable to the good aspects of free market capitalism. Let enterprising individuals exploit transportation opportunities. This allows more people to get where they are going faster. Of course totally open unfettered capitalistic transportation leads to grid lock. So keep the other road laws in place!

Many bicyclists can speak to the joys of our quasi-legal lane splitting. My favorite example is “sharing” lanes with cars as I commute home through the congested streets of the Pearl District on First Thursday evenings. It’s such a joy to be able to move about freely even while folks in cars remain more constrained. (I keep my smug self-satisfaction to myself of course.)

jonno
Guest
jonno

I agree, increasing the efficiency of modes where possible increases efficiency of the system as a whole.

Kman
Guest
Kman

I don’t know if this would have helped, but our own Splinter was rear ended this summer while on Marquam when traffic slowed down and an inattentive driver plowed right into the rear of his moto. For those who don’t know, Splinter is one of the best and safest motorcyclists around. I wonder if he had the chance to split the lane, whether he would have been able to avoid the accident.

I’d be open to the lane splitting idea.

It would also be advantageous for bicycle advocates to join forces with motorcycle advocates too. We have a common interest in increasing the visibility and respect toward our riders. Notably, getting car drivers to pay attention to us as we are both vulnerable road users.

justin
Guest
justin

lane splitting would do great things for motorcycling, reduce congestion traffic and parking, and modern motorcycles with fuel injection are usually pretty good with pollution. These are all things we should be strongly encouraging. I ride a zuma 125, gets 70mpg and burns very clean.

G.A.R.
Guest
G.A.R.

Motorcycle has taken on a variety of meanings here in Oregon (at least). Those electric cars (Zap cars) from China are licensed as motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles these days are big Harley trikes with trailers and all kinds of gewgaws. Would this new capability apply to all the vehicles licensed as motorcycles, or would it somehow be limited to narrow ones? I think I like the idea in general, but I don’t think I would want it to apply to vehicles as wide as cars, which some motorcycles are.

JJJ
Guest
JJJ

Heres one upside for bikes:

Lane splitting trains car drivers to look in their side mirror and over their shoulder when changing lanes, even if traffic is stopped, to look for motorcycles.

That trained behavior extends to bikes.

Personally, I wouldnt do it if I drove a motorcycle, but Ive yet to read about a motorcyclist killed due to lane splitting. Usually it seems to be because a car makes a turn in front of them (just like bikes)

Hart Noecker
Guest

It makes sense that I can ride my bicycle down the sidewalk whenever it pleases me, peds get out the way. Also, make more trails for me where ever I demand them. If you don’t do that for me, then you’re anti-bike.

T
Guest
T

I’m for it. I drive my car when it’s raining but ride my scooter whenever I can. I don’t see why we wouldn’t want this. Has anyone ever tried parking at the Sunset Station after 7am on a weekday? If you’re in a car you’re out of luck, if you’re on a scooter there is plenty of parking all day long. If you ride a motorcycle or scooter you should be seen as part of the solution so you should be given special access to the road (just like the HOV lane). If you want to drive a hybrid by youself or some giant deisel truck/SUV to haul your 6 kids around then you’re part of the problem so get in line and wait. It just makes sense. More parking spots, less gas/oil being used, less traffic/congestion, etc.