Tour de Lab September 1st

Forum will discuss passing law, Skyline Blvd traffic safety issues

Posted by on October 5th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Traffic on Skyline Blvd.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Residents around Skyline Blvd have scheduled a community forum next month to discuss road safety issues.

Hostilities between road users on narrow, winding rural roads like Skyline (and its many offshoots) got a lot of attention back in August when a local email list lit up with allegations of road rage and intimidating behavior by a man who lives on Rock Creek Road (near Skyline).

In April, a man named Scott Wheeler had a letter published in the Skyline Ridge Neighbors newsletter titled, “Bicyclists Should Obey Traffic Laws.” In his letter, Wheeler said more law-abiding behavior would, “greatly reduce the chances of road rage, potential injury, and would make our roadways safer.”

Wheeler was also identified by several people on the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) email list as the man who was intentionally harassing people riding bicycles outside his home on Rock Creek Road. In addition to the letter and these allegations, Mr. Wheeler has also repeatedly accused noted Portland bike lawyer Ray Thomas of purposely misleading the public about Oregon’s passing laws.

Wheeler has filed formal complaints against Thomas with the Oregon State Bar. While the Bar has declined to move forward with any punishment of Thomas, Wheeler continues the complaints. The most recent one was filed on August 24th (it was also formally denied as of yesterday).

I called Wheeler today to ask him about the most recent complaint, and about the serious allegations against him. Wheeler vociferously denied the allegations and hung up on me a few seconds later.

Unfortunately, Oregon law regarding passing in rural road situations isn’t as clear as it could be, making an already tense situation (two vehicles sharing a rural road) even worse. Fuzzy legal language breeds debates where both sides insist they are right. But no matter what the law says, there’s never an excuse for inconsiderate and dangerous behavior between road users.

In light of all this, the Skyline neighborhood is taking a proactive approach. They hope talking about the issues will help calm hostilities and spread awareness of the law and the need for mutual respect and safe behavior.

Skyline resident and author of several local guidebooks, Laura Foster, has organized a community forum for November 9th. The forum will be mediated by Stan Stinick (bio) from Portland State University’s Department of Conflict Resolution.

Representatives from OBRA and bike law expert and lawyer Mark Ginsberg, will be in attendance.

If you care about this issue and want to share your perspective, consider attending the meeting.

    Skyline Blvd Traffic Safety Community Forum
    November 9th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
    Skyline Grange (11275 NW Skyline Blvd)

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54 Comments
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    GlowBoy October 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve had problems on Skyline itself. Earlier this year I got buzzed by an older Civic filled with four young adults, one of them yelling “Get off my f****** road!”

    As for ORS 411.425, it does seem to clearly say that we’ve got to pull over anytime we’re under the prima facie Basic Speed Law limit on a 2-lane road without passing opportunities. (Also, although I don’t see it in the statute, I thought this only applied when there is a delay of 5 vehicles — is that just Washington, not Oregon?)

    Anyway, not only is it a ridiculous requirement (since when does a vehicle have the right of way over a vehicle IN FRONT OF IT?!), but it directly conflicts with other statutes granting us the ability to take the lane as needed. We NEED the legislature to resolve this inherent contradiction in its next session. I would push the BTA to make this their top priority.

    The easy way to resolve this would be, just as there is a subsection (2) “This section does not apply to the driver of a vehicle in a funeral procession,” add another limitation, “This section does not apply to a bicyclist.”

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      Randall S. October 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      I believe the major argument is that the statute specifies “driver” of a vehicle, which bicyclists are not, as well as “into an area sufficient for safe turnout.”

      Wheeler’s argument is that cyclists are to exit the road immediately upon the approach of an angry redneck in a 4×4, regardless of whether there is a safe turnout.

      Plus, he’s an office manager, not a lawyer. I’m going with the actual legal expert on this one.

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        Randall S. October 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

        Bah, still no edit…

        You’re right though, the legislature should specify that it does not apply to cyclists.

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          are October 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

          if the existing law does not require you to turn out except where there is a safe turnout, it does not need to be amended to make an exception for cyclists. what is needed instead is motorist education.

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        q`Tzal October 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

        What’s worse is the seeming lack of a plain legal definition of “driver”, “cyclist” or even “operator”.

        At http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/801.html
        Chapter 801 of the Oregon Vehicle Code
        Vehicle is defined at 801.590
        Bicycle is defined at 801.150
        but the law seems mute as to defining the vehicle “operator” until the operator requires a state issued license.

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        Greg October 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        ORS 814.430c seems to make it clear that 811.425 is intended to apply to cyclists “… Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the requirements under ORS 811.425 or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.”

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        sorebore October 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm

        Randall…. In my altercations on Skyline,( or any road for that matter) the demographic is very broad in scope. Skyline in particular is loaded with affluent upper middle class yahoo’s in very fast modern sports cars. Granted on occasion it is possible that a “violent redneck” might pass by but, I have also been given breathing room on the road by numerous folks in pickups. These type of broad stroke comment’s (IMO) are what fan the flames of us vs. them. What would be awesome perhaps, would be a study of speeding habits along Skyline and possible enforcement or some type of speed limit change.

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          Duncan October 6, 2011 at 6:19 am

          Funny my thought was that the bike riders on carbon bikes were the middle class yahoos 😉

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          meh October 6, 2011 at 7:26 am

          “Skyline in particular is loaded with affluent upper middle class yahoo’s in very fast modern sports cars.”

          Talk about broad strokes.

          Asshats are asshats, it crosses all socio-economic levels. It applies to pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. There are Democrat and Republican asshats. No group is exempt from asshattery.

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            sorebore October 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm

            meh.. Point taken, and I stand corrected on the swipe. You do speak the truth on “ass hat-ery”. Situations on Skyline that have been uncomfortable for myself were due to less to those perceived as “rednecks” and more in line with young affluent kids in WRX’s and the like. Speed along that road is the real issue, it is a fun road for everyone to travel. Sorry for my generalization.

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      esther c October 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      I think you need to pull over but only if there is a place to pull over onto. Which would be a shoulder. So then the problem would be solved. You can’t pull over to allow vehicles to pass if there is a soft shoulder because then you’re endangering your own life.

      I think it is common courtesy for a road user, if you are going significantly below the speed limit and have a long line of traffic behind you, to pull over at the first opportunity to allow faster vehicles to pass. But only if you can do it safely.

      It is also common courtesy if you’re in a car not to screech out the windows at people on bikes. Its also the law that you need to pass giving them 3 feet of clearance.

      If people do not want to deal with bikes, perhaps they shouldn’t choose to live in an area with a scenic bike ride to get to and from their home. Oh woe is me, I live on a hill and everyone likes to ride on my street because its so pretty. cry me a river.

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        Spiffy October 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

        the 3 feet of clearance thing is only if going fast, 35 mph or over I think…

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          Don Griz October 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm

          Yeah, it’s much better to get run-over at 32mph than 36mph. Kind of like getting shot by a “slow” bullet.

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        El Biciclero October 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

        “If people do not want to deal with bikes, perhaps they shouldn’t choose to live in an area with a scenic bike ride to get to and from their home.”

        Isn’t this funny? How many times are cyclists given the advice (essentially), “If you don’t like riding on busy streets, choose another route!” Yet when drivers find themselves put out by too many cyclists, do they choose another route? No, it is again the cyclists who are expected to vacate.

        Until drivers get over their belief that they literally own the roads (thanks to the gas tax they believe pays for all road construction and maintenance), this double standard will continue to be applied.

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          sorebore October 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm

          So true. Three times on Hwy.1 in N. Central Cali. (where there are now lots of homes that did not exist when the road was paved in like 1920!) I have had the “pleasure” of heated debates with locals who decided to stop and harass me for touring on “their roads”. Roads designed for Model A’s ,not the 400hp SUV’s they were all driving.

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      Don Griz October 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Aside from the fact that a bicycle is not a car and the whole “pull-over” and let the other guy pass when going slower than the speed limit is obviously intended for a slow motor vehicle to pull over for a faster motor vehicle. A bike and a car are not equal or there would be no need for cyclist to be required to ride as far right a possible. On a scale with pedestrians at one end and motor vehicles on the other, a cyclist would be much closer to the pedestrian. This is common sense. Additionally, it is a speed LIMIT not a speed minimum.

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    Jeremy October 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Great! I am glad to see some action on this. I’d love to see them go further and toss a bi-directional bike/ped path up there. That would be sweet.

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      JAT in Seattle October 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      but isn’t some of the beauty of twisty rural roads that they exist in places where there isn’t space for an additional (homogenized, boring, crossing be-plagued, obstacle-filled) right-of-way? If the motorist residents resent having to pass cyclists on the road, imagine how they’d react to having to look out for them while negotiating their driveways.

      I’m just saying bike facilities aren’t always the answer.

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    A.K. October 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for letting us know about it! I’m also glad it’s happening at a time of day that allows those of us who work “normal” hours attend.

    As someone who really enjoys riding on Skyline and Rock Creek but doesn’t do it as often as I would like due to safety concerns, I’ll try my best to be there!

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    Brad Ross October 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    JAT in Seattle. I agree completely. Country roads are fun because they’re narrow and twisty

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    JP October 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    vociferously sums it up

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    dan October 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Give respect to get respect. I ride Skyline frequently during the summer, take the lane where there’s no passing room and ride the shoulder when it’s safe to pass, and have never had any serious issues. I make a point of giving a courtesy wave when motorists pass safely, and letting them know that I’m aware when I’m being tailed.

    A guy in a Porsche did scare me out of a year’s growth once by passing me doing maybe 75 or so. He was all the way in the other lane, with a clear sight line, so it was relatively safe, but you really don’t expect to get passed like that. Still, we go up there ’cause we like riding the twisties, can’t really begrudge someone else who’s doing the same thing.

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    q`Tzal October 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    If they want bicyclists to pull off in to “an area sufficient for safe turnout” then perhaps it is time for a few small bicycle specific shops on Skyline.
    I’ve got this funny idea that the demographic of cyclists riding on Skyline; whether they be training, touring or racing; trend towards those with more money.

    Skyline Blvd Traffic Safety Community Forum: cyclists are not going away, they are legal road users even when threatened by the mentally unstable. Provide a few services for the cyclists and there might just be more turn outs off the main drag and a profitable return for the neighborhood.

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      Chris S. cerevisiae October 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      …”demographics of people that ride on skyline?”

      Skyline is not for the faint of heart. It’s for people with strong legs, and most of the people that I know that ride skyline are young, strong, and broke (e.g. bike mechanics, artist racers, students). Attitudes about the elite and their fancy bicycles help spread false ideas about typical road users.

      You are right though, we’re not going away. Too many good climbs to pass up.

      FYI…if someone has a sweet ride and bright colored lycra, that could be the only thing they spend their money on.

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        q`Tzal October 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        It’s not a slam on the lycra set or on the rich but a comment on the odds of the working class poor commuting through that area.
        It isn’t convenient,
        It isn’t quick,
        It isn’t near any jobs,
        It isn’t near any affordable housing,
        It is at the edge of the urban area almost to the point of being rural inside the UGB.

        I’m just sayin’, you’re not likely to see a lot of poor destitute cyclists up on Skyline. It is a pretty ride but not strictly functional.

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    Mark Hashizume October 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I hope Scott Wheeler gets a personal invitation and that he will attend

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    Andrew Holtz October 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of growth along Skyline since I first rode it over 40 years ago, but what hasn’t changed is that it’s a great ride… and that some vehicle passes can be harrowing.

    Still, I’ve never had a serious problem. I don’t pull off the road, but I do try to move to the right as far as possible and maybe slow a bit when there is a good spot to pass.

    I’ve seen drivers behaving badly, but I’ve also seen people on bikes act like jerks.

    I hope this meeting lets people vent and then reminds everyone to show mutual respect. But we do also need to explore creating wide spots and climbing lanes to reduce the potentially hazardous conflicts. These improvements are already on the city and county Capital Improvement plans. Maybe enlisting the help of people who usually drive on Skyline will help push these projects up the list. (See p. 18 of this document: http://is.gd/MMwzdq)

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    Tim October 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    From the Oregon Bicyclists Manual-

    How Far to the Right You Should Ride
    Riding on the right doesn’t mean hugging the curb or edge of the road.This may not be the best place to ride. For example, if you hit the curb, you could lose your balance and fall into traffic. Other times when you
    shouldn’t ride too far to the right include:
    • When avoiding parked cars or surface hazards (see below);
    • When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely
    side by side (see page 6, “Sharrow”);
    • When making a left turn (make left turns as shown on page 7);
    • To avoid conflicts with right-turning cars.
    • On a one-way street, you may ride on the left as long as you are riding
    with traffic.
    The above exceptions also apply to riding in a bike lane.

    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/bike_manual.pdf

    I read this to say that if a vehicle cannot pass you safely in the lane, you should not encourage them to try and pass by hugging the right side. No where in the manual or the law does it say you need to exit the roadway, pull over, or stop. The safe passing law still applies, but good luck getting any enforcement.

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    wsbob October 5, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Skyline Blvd is, and has been for years, one of the finest, most scenic, enjoyable and safe roads to ride. Riding up to Skyline from down in the valley is kind of tough, but once up there, the ride isn’t that tough. It’s a good workout, and fun.

    I suppose there’s been quite an increase in motor vehicle traffic on the road occurring over the last 15-20 years. Might be a little challenging to figure out just where the increase in traffic comes from, but probably at at least some of it is from the Forest Heights subs, and others that have been perched on the south face of the Tualitan Mtns. (they’re what Skyline Blvd traverses.).

    Bad planning if the idea was that Skyline Blvd would be a primary route to transport residents of those subs back and forth to work and all the other places they need to go. Doesn’t seem like there’s very much room on the ridge of the mountain to widen Skyline Blvd to handle more motor vehicles and install a bike lane. At any rate, for it’s value as a scenic, recreational route to residents in the surrounding area…parts of Beaverton, Portland, Hillsboro, big road characteristics shouldn’t be brought onto this road.

    Find alternative routes for motor vehicle road users going to and from the subs.

    Nice of Skyline residents to be willing to take time, meet and discuss traffic issues associated with the boulevard, but how much they’re being moved to have the discussion, may arise from the Wheeler fellow, gives reason to be leery about how that discussion might go.

    It’s disappointing that when Maus does get Wheeler on the phone, Wheeler turns out to be so touchy about harassment allegations made regarding him, that he abruptly hangs up the phone without taking advantage of a possible opportunity maus might have given him, to express his views about different types of traffic on country roads, and ideas for enabling traffic to use the road more compatibly.

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    Kevin Wagoner October 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Awesome. I cycle up there often. It is a really good asset for nice rides. Thanks

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    Joe October 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    lets all share and enjoy this great life.. cyclists take up very little space and create less of a foot print.

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    Seager October 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Even if we interpret the law as requiring pull-outs, it’s only needed when it’s safe to pull over. It’s not safe to pull-off onto a gravel shoulder with skinny road tires, so a bike would have to slow to almost a stop and then get off the road. Is that what people in cars would prefer?

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      El Biciclero October 6, 2011 at 9:44 am

      “…so a bike would have to slow to almost a stop and then get off the road. Is that what people in cars would prefer?”

      I think this is easily what most drivers would prefer. Especially the “get off the road” part–many would prefer cyclists stayed off the road.

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    skyline resident October 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Rednecks are a universal issue, and that is not just a skyline matter. What does cause much issue for me on Skyline is when we get packs of cyclists riding 2-3, i have even seen 4 wide blocking an entire lane fully at speeds well under the limit. This creates an additional hazard during passing, and in the case of a motorcycle that can usually pass a cyclist up there with little or no difficulty, creates an effective rolling roadblock.

    There also seems to be a regular ride that comes up from downtown Portland weekly where a gianormous pack of cyclists block all of Cornell road from downtown till they turn off on Thompson (and presumably continue along Skyline for some distance). I have nearly ended up in the ditch when I came around a blind corner to find a giant box truck coming at me head-on in my lane while they tried to pass this mob. I have also repeatedly been stuck behind them unable to pass creating a major delay on my trip back home.

    I think that the level of bicycle traffic on Skyline and Cornell is getting sufficiently intense that serious consideration should be placed on getting bike lanes installed. I realize that for many reasons this may not be exactly easy or cheap, but it would help fix a great many safety issues brought about by the growing intensity of use by numerous user groups.

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      are October 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      where the lane is too narrow for safe passing anyway, there is no harm in cyclists riding abreast

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    Duncan October 6, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Having driven, bikes and motorcycled this road many times for the last 20 years, I would say that the problems I have had with other users have all centered around civility. When one road user acts in a way that negates the use of others safe use and enjoyment of the roads, tensions quickly rise and stupid choices result.

    Motorists- do the speed limit, pass when safe, dont go around corners so fast that you cannot stop if there is someone in front of you. Pass when safe

    Motorcycles- same, but dont cut in too hard on the curves. Save that for the track.

    Bicyclist, stay to the right. Dont bike two abreast unless your going at or near the speed limit.

    really is that so hard?

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      Spiffy October 6, 2011 at 7:52 am

      yes, bicyclists staying to the right is hard… the safe and legal place is in the middle of the lane as suggested by the Oregon Bicycle Manual…

      also, riding two abreast seems safer because it forces motor vehicles to go completely over the line and away from you in order to pass… and it’s legal when the vehicle lane is only wide enough for one vehicle…

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        A.K. October 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

        There are a lot of opinions about how far to the right to ride. Personally, when I’ve been on Skyline I will ride into the lane a few feet, in order to force motorists who want to pass me to go partially into the other lane – keeping them from trying to squeeze by me while we both occupy the travel lane. It sort of forces them to think a little more about what they are doing. I also think it’s easier to spot a cyclist if they are in the lane and not all the way off on the side.

        I’m one of the 95% of Portland cyclists who also drive, and I don’t have an issue when other cyclists do the same. However I’m obviously biased towards showing sympathy to cyclists while I’m driving, since I’m in their shoes often.

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      El Biciclero October 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

      On curvy roads there is a delicate balance between “staying to the right” and being visible. Riding farther left around “blind” corners actually gives drivers an earlier warning that a cyclist is there. The farther to the right you are, the later a driver whipping around the corner will see you, giving them less time to react. I tend to ride farther left on any road, blind corners or not, until I see a car coming up behind me (thanks, rear-view mirror), at which time I will make a grand show of moving to the right (assuming it is safe to pass) to demonstrate my willingness to share. I may be comfortable enough riding a 4″ strip of crumbly asphalt, but I don’t confine myself to it at all times.

      I also find it grimly humorous when drivers talk about coming around blind corners and being “forced” to swerve wildly around some cyclist. If the corner is “blind” as described by the driver themselves, don’t such anecdotes constitute admission of driving too fast for conditions (violation of the Basic Rule)?

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    RRRoubaix October 6, 2011 at 7:29 am

    wsbob
    It’s disappointing that when Maus does get Wheeler on the phone, Wheeler turns out to be so touchy about harassment allegations made regarding him, that he abruptly hangs up the phone without taking advantage of a possible opportunity maus might have given him, to express his views about different types of traffic on country roads, and ideas for enabling traffic to use the road more compatibly.

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    And based on Wheeler’s long list of actions, you expected otherwise?
    My hope is that this symposium will help *other* Skyline residents understand and be friendly to cyclists -and vice versa. I hope no illusion(/delusion) that it will make one whit of difference to Mr Wheeler and his aggressive assaults on cyclists.

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      wsbob October 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      “…And based on Wheeler’s long list of actions, you expected otherwise? …” RRRoubaix

      Didn’t necessarily expect he would set aside his feelings about being accused of harassment and talk in a substantial way about traffic mode issues on Skyline, but hoped he would. Sometimes, depending on personalities and moods of the interviewee and the interviewer, people can settle down and get some ideas discussed constructively.

      In this instance, apparently not. I’ve never met the guy or seen him that I know of. I thought maybe, out of his vehicle at home quietly talking on the phone, maybe he’d be able to talk about this issue. People can be totally different temperament, depending on the setting they’re in.

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    Duncan October 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

    as a cyclist on skyline I stay left of the fogline a foot or so- far enough left to be seen, far enough right to be passed. Unlike some of cyclists up there I dont feel the need to block traffic to show off my new lycra outfit.

    And two abreast on rolling road is just rude. Allowing cars enough room to slide halfway over the line and pass keeps everyone moving along. It is my opinion that folks that do that are engaging in a passive agressive action against other road users, which is just plain dumb.. and rude. OC so is buzzing/yelling at cyclists etc, but we each only control our own actions.

    As to people cutting corners close, see what i said about sightlines

    Really what is needed is a 2-3′ bike lane on each side, along with sidewalks. Despite the roads rural look I am guessing that its level of use is more urban due to all of us heading up there… seems like if the whole city chipped in the improvements would be pretty cheap on a per-person basis. Until the day that we get the kind of infrastructure we need, everyone has to share… that means you too! (all of youse that is)

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      wsbob October 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      “…Really what is needed is a 2-3′ bike lane on each side, along with sidewalks. …” Duncan

      Next time you’re up there, riding Skyline from Burnside to…let’s just say Cornelius Pass Rd, take note of how much construction would need to be done just to add a 3′ (which would be hardly adequate width.) bike lane to either side of the road. It’s seem a fair guess that the amount would be huge, as would be the cost. Many, many millions of dollars.

      It really is a daunting prospect to figure out how to prepare for increases in traffic on singularly significant roads like Skyline. As more people move to the area, they obviously need good places to ride. With increases in motor vehicle traffic, many roads down in the valley get less suitable for riding. For a long time, Skyline was a kind of a last outpost. It was too far out and up on the hill, making utilities harder to come by. Not many people could live there, so traffic was low. Then the subs came.

      I read Skyline Resident’s comment, and I appreciate what this person has said about traffic on the road.

      http://bikeportland.org/2011/10/05/community-forum-will-discuss-skyline-blvd-traffic-safety-issues-59972#comment-2053438

      There likely will be more people riding bikes up there. Limiting their group size (I’d say two to three persons.) and spacing them out (at least 200-300 feet.) could help a lot to enable motor vehicle road users to pass on sections of the road that allow passing.

      I’ve ridden two abreast on the road. It wasn’t a big deal when a car approached us from the rear. Soon as I was aware of the car’s presence, I’d turn to my partner, say ‘I’m falling back’, do so, and let the car pass. Takes all of about 30 seconds to do. Never had a driver honk the car’s horn.

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    q`Tzal October 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I do hope that a ODOT legal official and/or a police officer show up at this meeting to counter Wheeler’s propaganda.
    I can see no reason that Scott Wheeler won’t show up to this community meeting to attempt to indoctrinate others to his way of thought.

    In the absence of fact people will believe anything that feels good. It will “feel good” to have their impatience with cyclists on their road justified by some kook’s irrational ramblings.

    Real wars have been started this way.

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    Another Skyline Resident October 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I live on Skyline. I drive a pick up. Some people might call me a Red Neck. I also happen to be an avid road rider and racer, and I commute to Beaverton by bike nearly every day. So some people might call me a lycra wearing, carbon riding yuppie or some other perjorative. My point is, labeling someone is misleading.

    Thanks to Maus for spreading the word about the upcoming forum. I hope that it is productive, and not just a mud-slinging fest. I’m hopeful, but not expecting too much.

    About adding a shoulder/bike lane – it’s a virtual impossibility. We can dream, but . . .

    About riding etiquette – as cyclists, we all need to ask ourselves if we’re riding in a courteous and law abiding manner. Aside from the ambiguous situatitons like whether cyclists have to pull over, there are basic laws we all need to follow. Have you ever rolled through the stop signs at Germantown or Thompson? I see cyclists to it every day, and it adds fuel to drivers fire. When me or my neighbor drives to the elementary school in the minivan to pick up our kids and we stop at the stop sign, but the cyclist in front of us doesn’t – what do you think we’ll be feeling when we come up to pass the cyclist? And what if the cyclists are riding two abreast (or 3 or 4?) It’s something we all do; it’s something I do. But do we always line out single file when there’s a car trying to get around?

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    Argentius October 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Two-abreast is a fierce debate any time a road like this comes up. I think it depends upon the riders.

    For my part, so long as I am riding with others who are experienced, we ride two up in all conditions. It’s the safest for all:

    The outside rider is in the same place she’d be if she were riding solo — out from the edge of the pavement by a few feet, enough to be seen. The inside rider is shoulder-to-shoulder, farther towards the curb or gutter than he otherwise would be able to safely ride.

    Especially in groups, this reduces the amount of time it takes motor vehicle traffic to pass the cyclists, as it cuts the line’s length in half, and makes the cyclists easier to see.

    Anywhere it is not safe to ride in this manner is not safe to ride period atmo. I refuse to ride inches from the pavements’ edge, and so should you.

    (PS, see above about “experience” and “shoulder to shoulder.” It’s when riders get flighty and all over the road that trouble starts atmo)

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    Duncan October 7, 2011 at 6:09 am

    WsBob- I work in construction, I know the cost of the improvement I speak of… however if we spread that cost among all the residents of the Metro area I bet we would be talking 10$/each. Thats the idea of public improvement- spread the cost out between a large number of people.

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      A.K. October 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

      But as we saw in trying to get residents of Clackamas Co. to pay $5/yr(!!) for a bridge, getting some people to pay for something they’ll never use or never see a benefit from is nearly impossible.

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      wsbob October 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

      Duncan
      WsBob- I work in construction, I know the cost of the improvement I speak of… however if we spread that cost among all the residents of the Metro area I bet we would be talking 10$/each. Thats the idea of public improvement- spread the cost out between a large number of people.
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      Then you possibly have a better idea of what it would cost than my general idea of “…millions and millions of dollars…”. Share with us, ideas of what that cost might be: how long it would take to construct, what the inconvenience of the construction process to residents and road users might be….what the maintenance of the newly built bike lanes would be.

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    Duncan October 7, 2011 at 6:18 am

    ftp://ftp.dot.state.fl.us/LTS/CO/Estimates/CPM/summary.pdf

    1.8M/mile… to give you an idea of scope, we could build 2,660 miles of this for the cost of the CRC.

    Of course the price tag makes the 160K per mile for a shared use path sound better. I am willing to bet the state already owns the ROW along the road. Develop a separate facility for bikes/peds.

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    ForestHeights October 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I live off skyline. This summer I grew so frustrated with the behavior of “some” cyclists I searched online to see if this topic had already been covered and found nothing. At least twice a week I encounter packs of 2 or more cyclists that make a point of occupying the entire lane while traveling substantially under the posted speed limit. It is infuriating. I never honk or make my frustrations known I just patiently follow and wait for a safe stretch to pass. Every day a new cyclist who has never read this thread, who is not aware of the brewing powder keg will cycle skyline and the surrounding areas and will inadvertently exhibit the same poor road manners that has lead to this community forum. I hope they find me behind the wheel and not someone that has reached the end of their fuse.

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      wsbob October 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      People that ride bikes are of course frequently going to ride substantially under the speed limit, because the speed limit along Skyline is probably at least 35 mph, and probably higher on certain stretches of it.

      The bigger question, regarding the people on bikes you encounter on Skyline that you specifically are having issues with, is whether…once they’ve had adequate opportunity to sense your presence behind them….maybe 15 seconds or less…is whether they’re making any effort to fall into single file and move far to right as reasonably possible, assuming the characteristics of the road on the section you’re meeting up with them allows them to safely move to the right of the lane.

      If it’s a twisty section of Skyline Rd with blind turns, you probably shouldn’t be attempting to pass them even if they were to go single file far to the right. On the other hand, if they and the quirks of the road are making it impossible for you to safely, naturally pass them, and they’ve had you tailing them for 3-4 minutes, the smart, decent thing for them to do might be to just go for the nearest turn-out, driveway, or wide spot in the road, that avails itself, and let you pass.

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        are November 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

        and in a twisty section with limited sight lines it would be a mistake for the cyclists to single up to the far right, because it would encourage an unsafe pass. but somehow you cannot expect motorists to get this.

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    Nate November 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Had some kids in a Volvo throw a bottle at me on skyline this summer. Found em halfway down cornell with a flat tire. karma sucks.

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