A push for bike licensing follows Wheeler closure

Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-12

Bob Huckaby, owner of First Inc., wants
the state of Oregon to require
bicycle licenses.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Well it looks like First Inc. owner Bob Huckaby is a bit more frustrated with the City of Portland’s decision to close Wheeler Ave than I initially thought. KATU News is set to report this afternoon that Huckaby — the man featured in our story on Monday who aired concerns about people on bicycles not obeying the stop sign at N. Flint — plans to push for a bicycle license requirement via a statewide ballot measure.

According to KATU, Huckaby will pursue a campaign in 2013 to put bicycle license requirement up for a public vote with the aim of making people who ride bicycles more accountable and forcing them to become more knowledgeable of traffic laws. Here’s the video just posted on the KATU Facebook page (and watch how the pickup truck goes right around the new barrier and turns right on Wheeler at about the :36 second mark):

As I’ve reported, Huckaby sees the safety problems that existed at Wheeler (prior to its closure yesterday) as being the byproduct of illegal bicycle riding. “Instead of making people obey the laws, they’re penalizing everyone else,” is how Huckaby put it to me when we spoke on Monday.

Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-2

One of Huckaby’s trucks exits Wheeler Ave.

It’s important to note that PBOT only partially closed Wheeler. It’s now prohibited for all vehicles (including bicycles) to make right turns from Broadway onto Wheeler; but people can still exit south from Wheeler onto Broaday. The detour around Wheeler is estimated to take about 30-45 seconds.

KATU is going to report that Huckaby will push for bicycle licensing via a statewide ballot measure that, if passed, would require people to display a license plate on their bicycles and require people on bikes to carry a driver’s license.

I’ll share more on this story as it develops and stay tuned to KATU-TV for their full storyHere’s the full story KATU just posted.


UPDATE:

For what it’s worth, KATU asked me for my reaction to Huckaby’s decision: I pounded out the following thoughts in an email a few minutes ago and figured I’d share them here:

1) We currently have driver’s licenses for people who wish to drive… And how’s that working out? Has that made people obey the law? Nope. Ask Jefferson Smith or the thousands upon thousands of people who break traffic laws every minute of every day while driving throughout Oregon.

2) Only a very, very very small percentage of people who bike do not have driver’s licenses already.

3) I’m all for a new state-funding program and bureaucracy that will give people who only bike the same access to resources and education that people who drive are given. I would love a new Department of Vehicles (notice I left out “Motor”) that treated people who don’t own cars with the same respect as those who do. Obviously I think more education of bike laws is needed and I’d love to see it happen… But are the people who often call for this new state program/bureaucracy willing to put their own tax dollars up for it? Or, are they willing to have other programs cut so we can pay for it?

4) A key difference between driving and biking is that Portland and every other major city (and many rural ones), are actually working hard to promote biking. They want as many people to bike as possible because they know biking is key to their economic survival. Biking is cheap, it is attractive from a livability standpoint, it takes very little money to maintain from a Transportation Department point of view, it lowers health care costs, it reduces congestion, and so on and so forth. Driving on the other hand, is an activity that every regional leader would like to see less of. So, bicycle licensing would be yet another barrier for people to do something that the vast majority of decision-makers wants to make easier.

5) The devil is in the details. At what age must someone become licensed to bike? Would we allow kids to ride around the neighborhood without a license? If people already have driver’s license, would they have to also have a biking license? And vice-versa?

6) Clearly Mr. Huckaby’s efforts come from a feeling of anger, frustration, and wanting to “penalize” (to use his word) people who bike for their legal transgressions. (I also believe he is sincerely concerned about all the illegal behaviors he sees). I think the idea of mandating knowledge of bicycle laws through a new state program is an excellent one that we should begin to think about as bicycles make up a larger part of traffic. However, this discussion has no chance of being productive when it begins — and is led by — someone who approaches it from a punitive standpoint.

I am not against thinking up ways to make more people aware of bicycling laws; I just don’t think a mandatory “bike license” is the answer. The problems that lead to this issue are poorly designed roadways and a system of traffic laws designed around cars and trucks — not bicycles. We as a society cannot expect people who ride bicycles to understand and comply with laws that in many cases do not relate to the operation of their vehicle and that were designed specifically for a much different type of vehicle.

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Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

Looks like the new barricades are working great! (:36)

Dave
10 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Yup, clearly the only problem is people on bicycles not obeying the law.

Travis Fulton
Travis Fulton
10 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Ha!

LoneHeckler
LoneHeckler
10 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Wow.
I didn’t think I would be satisfied with a partial closure and this illustrates why. Right hooks AND head-on collisions!

Is this one of Mr. Huckaby’s vehicles?

Dave
10 years ago

I think Mr. Bob Huckabee should give his car away for a month, and ride a bike around Portland, meticulously following the law to the letter (including not impeding the reasonable flow of traffic on 30mph streets, using every bike lane that exists rather than taking the lane, etc), and then see how he feels about this issue.

Alex Reed
Alex Reed
10 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Personally, I interpret the exceptions to such laws liberally. The existence of parked cars next to a bike lane is enough of a “hazard” to cause me to take the vehicle lane. Harassment from people in cars generally makes me turn off of such streets quickly but if I’m taking a left in a few blocks people are often understanding.

Ted
Ted
10 years ago
Reply to  Dave

The truth is this is highly unlikely to go anywhere. There is no monied interest that is going to push this ballot initiative with out of state dollars, and therefore the campaign for signatures will be very long and difficult. Anyone want to bet that Mr. Huckaby’s pouting will last through a long and expensive campaign? The truth is our “grassroots” initiative process doesn’t let anything on the ballot without paid petition circulators, and they are expensive. I understand this guy is pissed and maybe a bit too excited by the local media attention, but seriously, folks, this will go nowhere.

Kari Chisholm
Kari Chisholm
10 years ago
Reply to  Ted

Yup, he’s going to need upwards of a half-million bucks or so.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
10 years ago
Reply to  Kari Chisholm

I wonder what will do his business worse? Partial (or even complete) closure of the street… OR… Him wasting all his time and resources in trying to get bicycles regulated.

I think in time, if he was to take a deep breath he’d see that he was on the wrong side of the battle, and will be regarded as a fool for having done so.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
10 years ago
Reply to  Ted

I wonder how many people would be interested in signing his petition as “John Q. Public et al” just to get the thing thrown out.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
10 years ago
Reply to  Dave

“not impeding the reasonable flow of traffic on 30mph streets”

Ah..yes…OIS 812-12 (oregon imaginary cag*r statute 812-12).

Hart Noecker
10 years ago

Good luck, Mr. Huckaby, you’re gonna need it.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
10 years ago
Reply to  Hart Noecker

And when he bankrupts his business with this campaign he’ll blame bicyclists and the People’s Republic of Portland.
It won’t be his fault when all his employees lose their jobs because he took his attention off of running his business while gutting it of capital for his pointless vendetta.

Remember: for a certain political sector “Democracy” means essentially free running anarchy. ANY government interference, no matter how small, is tantamount to totalitarian takeover.

It’s all or nothing. He wins or we all must lose. This will end in a Pyrrhic victory.

Nick
Nick
10 years ago

… and a pickup truck illegally turns onto Wheeler in the background during the short segment. Hilarious.

Burk
Burk
10 years ago
Reply to  Nick

YES!!!!!

Oh my god that is funny!

was carless
was carless
10 years ago
Reply to  Nick

I did my part and posted my comment pointing this out on the page. Need more people to do this. Maybe someone should also point out that road fees are largely paid for by property taxes…

My favorite comment was by someone wanting a minimum age of 18 years old to be able to ride a bike. I mean, really? Can we just ban breathing in this country too?

dmc
dmc
10 years ago

A new villain has emerged….. *puts on super hero outfit*

peejay
peejay
10 years ago

OK, so we know that licensing will never succeed, not because there aren’t enough ignorant people to vote for it, but because licensing is economically unsustainable, and the people who would have to run the bureaucracy for this will find a way to stop it before it goes through. But, it doesn’t stop lots of money and time from being wasted before people figure this out again (and again). And, as a free bonus, the so-called news outlets get to flog the bike vs car issue for their own profit.

Jonathan, any chance you plan to interview (and sneakily and gently explain the ridiculousness of licensing to) Mr Huckabee?

Will
Will
10 years ago

Does he really think that licenses will make people obey the law?

We already have drivers’ licenses but people operating motor vehicles still routinely violate the speed limit, run stop signs, and fail to yield the right of way to people in bicycle lanes.

How are bicycle licences going to do anything different?

Kristen
Kristen
10 years ago
Reply to  Will

He believes it will be easier to hold bicycling lawbreakers accountable for their lawbreaking behaviors.

As we’ve seen, people on bikes already get ticketed for breaking the law, and as the video on this post shows, having a license plate doesn’t stop truck drivers from making illegal right turns.

wsbob
10 years ago
Reply to  Will

“…We already have drivers’ licenses but people operating motor vehicles still routinely violate the speed limit, run stop signs, and fail to yield the right of way to people in bicycle lanes.

How are bicycle licences going to do anything different?” Will

Rider’s Licenses would provide some incentive, and an obligation to learn rules of the road, signaling, intersection transitioning and so on, and be tested for at least minimum competence in those things by an official Rider’s Road Test Examiner.

With rider’s licenses, some people would likely still violate road use laws, just as some people behind the wheel do, but having gone through a process of getting a rider’s license, they would at least have basic knowledge and skills necessary for safe riding in traffic.

This is especially important considering people as young as 12 years may be taking a bicycle out on the road in traffic.

Driver’s Licenses serve other important purposes besides being a means to issue traffic citations; so would Rider’s Licenses.

dr2chase
dr2chase
10 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I would be a lot more enthusiastic about this if cyclists were not already 15 times better drivers (15 times safer for pedestrians) than car drivers.

Yes, I know, all sorts of car rules are routinely broken by bicycle riders, yet still they are 15 times safer. Do we care more about rituals, or results? Ever seen someone operate a butter knife and break chain saw safety rules? Same difference.

jered
jered
10 years ago

I have the same problems rolling stop signs in my car that I have on my bike, the drivers license has not made me obey any rules. Immediate threat of fiscal repercussions or bodily harm would make me come to a complete stop. N. Flint has been known to do both…

Travis
Travis
10 years ago

When the majority of laws cyclist are expected to abide by are written specifically with consideration to cycling, we can consider licensing. Aside, what does licensing cyclist do? While it is slim odds this proposal will get out of control, I’d wish a few elected official across the state would step-up and put out Mr. Huckaby’s spark with with logic.

Anita Dilles
Anita Dilles
10 years ago

The bicycle licensing sentiment leaves me feeling mildly queasy – the hassle and cost of licensing my… 7? bikes – eep! Not to mention, there’s no place on most of them for any sort of license plate. I sure hope Mr. Huckaby doesn’t succeed in his quest.

I completely understand licensing a car – it’s a lethal weapon. Licensing a bike? Well – if a cyclist does something illegal, they (like all humans) are required to have some form of State identification on them, so an officer can ticket them. I don’t actually see how licensing a bicycle would be any benefit.

/end rant

was carless
was carless
10 years ago
Reply to  Anita Dilles

You only have 7? Man, you gotta step it up a bit. Anyways, I would never pay a single penny to anyone to register a bicycle. Jesus. Like the police would ever care!

NW Biker
NW Biker
10 years ago
Reply to  Anita Dilles

Um, where it is written that we’re required to carry state issued ID with us at all times? I certainly don’t when I ride.

I exist, no papers needed
I exist, no papers needed
10 years ago
Reply to  Anita Dilles

Anita, I think you’ve got it backwards – one does not need government issued ID in public at all times, but generally people are engaging in activities that requires having government issued ID (driving).

Oregon has no stop and identify law. A police officer in Portland cannot require you to present ID unless you’re engaging in an activity that requires proving you have met mandatory licensing requirements, which is (at the current time) neither bicycling nor walking.

Now, that’s not to say that if you refuse to identify yourself there aren’t ways for the police officer to impose a penalty on you. But you have a right to your own privacy and have no obligation to give it up for the officer’s convenience.

To me, that’s the #1 reason to vote down the idea of a bicycle licence. The cost is yet another small encroachment on our rights, and the benefit is questionable at best.

Oliver
Oliver
10 years ago
Reply to  Anita Dilles

That uneasy feeling? That’s the feeling that these licensing crusades are supposed to instill.

Creating barriers to cycling, means less cyclists, means less demand for changing the status quo.

wsbob
10 years ago
Reply to  Anita Dilles

I guess I’m not quite clear on whether Huckaby is suggesting bikes to be registered with a corresponding license plate attached to the bike…or, people that ride bikes be themselves licensed to ride a bike in certain traffic situations…or whether he’s suggesting both. I’ve read bikeportland stories and an O story, but nothing else that would explain what he’s ideas about this are.

Registering bikes and being obliged to display a plate on a bike would be tough to do and not so practical. Having teenage and older age groups of people acquire knowledge and skills specific to riding in heavy traffic situations, via a licensing process seems more manageable.

Elliot
Elliot
10 years ago

Vendetta much? This is disappointing. The first phrase that comes to mind is… “I </3 Huckaby".

Matt
Matt
10 years ago

Yeah, the truck driving around the barrier in the background was perfect. Those Facebook comments are maddening, but I guess that reflects the attitude of at least some portion of people in town.

Matt M
Matt M
10 years ago
Reply to  Matt

The KATU website is even worse. I’ve emailed them multiple times about the threatening, abusive and offensive commenters who clearly violate their comments policy and they basically say, “So what?”

Ben DuPree
Ben DuPree
10 years ago

Would children have to carry licenses? How about tourists, or people biking in from just across the border?

This is silly.

Kim D
Kim D
10 years ago
Reply to  Ben DuPree

I was just going to ask that – what about tourists that don’t have licenses?? Then Huckaby is going to impact bike-renting related businesses. A “tax on a small business”… finally a Republicant sounding issue I might be able to stand behind??

velvetackbar
velvetackbar
10 years ago

Sheesh, Mr. Huckaby. Really?

“I can’t have my street, so we have to force everyone who owns a bike in Oregon to *PAY*!!!!”

Reaction seems a tad outsized

A.K.
A.K.
10 years ago
Reply to  velvetackbar

This is related to nothing, but has anyone ever told you that you look an awful lot like Jamie from Mythbusters? 😉

MeiLin Miranda (@MeiLinMiranda)
Reply to  A.K.

He is a semi-professional Jamie impersonator! (It’s kinda spooky when he shaves his head, actually…)

Opus the Poet
10 years ago
Reply to  A.K.

It’s the beret…

was carless
was carless
10 years ago

Hahaha yeah right.

I’m not even going to waste my time reading or watching the news on this one.

Pete
Pete
10 years ago
Reply to  was carless

If it says “KATU” or “Oregonian” I already know my blood will boil at the rampant ignorance in the comments section, so I’ve adopted the same policy. Sorry guys, maybe your writing/reporting has gotten better, but you want to slut yourselves to the advertising that commenting brings so you lost my reader/viewership back during the fictitious “cars -vs- bikes” war.

Pete
Pete
10 years ago
Reply to  Pete

OK, I confess, I caved. Had to see the truck in the background everyone was talking about. Talk about the definition of irony!

Eric
Eric
10 years ago

Would tourists need a license? They are trying to attract people from out of state to come and spend their money, I can’t imagine Oregon would want this.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

What’s his or his company’s driving record? The Oregonian can do an expose.

Ted
Ted
10 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

This.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
10 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Who owns the Oregonian?

A) Cooperatively owned by employees.
B) Intel.
C) The United Nations.
D) 100% privately owned by a right-wing family worth billions.

Travis
Travis
10 years ago

The little slice of his facebook that’s available is rich enough. I am all for different perspective, but Bob Huckaby, based off the pages he’s liked, has probably had issues with what he deems a counter culture long before the barricades went up.

Justin
Justin
10 years ago

I hope we can use those cool bike license plates that came in boxes of Honeycomb cereal. I loved those.

A.K.
A.K.
10 years ago

I’m about as business-friendly as they come around here, working for a small family-owned manufacturing company and experiencing first-hand some of the weird quirks of running a company in Portland. But perhaps Bob should stick to what he knows (business) and avoid transportation policy. If he spends a year cycling maybe I’ll consider his opinions on the matter valid.

I absolutely feel for the guy, but it seems like he’s lashing out a bit now after having one of the few routes to his business removed – and I can’t quite understand it from any other point than trying to get “revenge” for the street being closed. And with so many other options around for entry into lower Albina, I don’t exactly feel bad. There are only two streets that allow access to my business, and there are trucks coming through here all day doing drop offs and pick ups from our company as well as the others in our small park, and it seems to work fine.

If we are going to go down this path though, I’d first like start with a “police your own” initiate for drivers. Bob, I’d like you to personally tell every driver you see using a phone or speeding to knock it off. I see a lot of that, and I’m tired of all the lawlessness. You should be more responsible for your fellow drivers – keep your own house in order before you try and clean up someone elses.

This also brings me to my second point: accountability.

CLEARLY, having an ID plate displayed on a vehicle and a requirement of having a license and insurance doesn’t stop people from ignoring laws and breaking rules while they drive.

Adding plates to bikes is supposed to fix things? We’d need more enforcement first, and there isn’t enough money for that now, let along when you have tens of thousands of additional vehicles in the system suddenly.

What a non-starter idea. I hope he also has plans to make pedestrians wear license plates, so you can catch all those pesky people who jaywalk in front of cars, steal things, etc!

Ben
Ben
10 years ago
Reply to  A.K.

No way man, that is NOT the american way!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

FWIW, I just shared some thoughts I sent to KATU after they requested a reaction from me on the Huckaby story… Here are a few of my perspectives on the bike licensing topic:

1) We currently have driver’s licenses for people who wish to drive… And how’s that working out? Has that made people obey the law? Nope. Ask Jefferson Smith or the thousands upon thousands of people who break traffic laws every minute of every day while driving throughout Oregon.

2) Only a very, very very small percentage of people who bike do not have driver’s licenses already.

3) I’m all for a new state-funding program and bureaucracy that will give people who only bike the same access to resources and education that people who drive are given. I would love a new Department of Vehicles (notice I left out “Motor”) that treated people who don’t own cars with the same respect as those who do. Obviously I think more education of bike laws is needed and I’d love to see it happen… But are the people who often call for this new state program/bureaucracy willing to put their own tax dollars up for it? Or, are they willing to have other programs cut so we can pay for it?

4) A key difference between driving and biking is that Portland and every other major city (and many rural ones), are actually working hard to promote biking. They want as many people to bike as possible because they know biking is key to their economic survival. Biking is cheap, it is attractive from a livability standpoint, it takes very little money to maintain from a Transportation Department point of view, it lowers health care costs, it reduces congestion, and so on and so forth. Driving on the other hand, is an activity that every regional leader would like to see less of. So, bicycle licensing would be yet another barrier for people to do something that the vast majority of decision-makers wants to make easier.

5) The devil is in the details. At what age must someone become licensed to bike? Would we allow kids to ride around the neighborhood without a license? If people already have driver’s license, would they have to also have a biking license? And vice-versa?

6) Clearly Mr. Huckaby’s efforts come from a feeling of anger, frustration, finger-pointing and wanting to “penalize” (to use his word) people who bike for their legal transgressions. I think the idea of mandating knowledge of bicycle laws through a new state program is an excellent one that we should begin to think about as bicycles make up a larger part of traffic. However, this discussion has no chance of being productive when it begins — and is led by — someone who approaches it from a punitive standpoint.

I am not against thinking up ways to make more people aware of bicycling laws; I just don’t think a mandatory “bike license” is the answer. The problems that lead to this issue are poorly designed roadways and a system of traffic laws designed around cars and trucks — not bicycles. We as a society cannot expect people who ride bicycles to understand and comply with laws that in many cases do not relate to the operation of their vehicle and that were designed specifically for a much different type of vehicle.

Jason S.
Jason S.
10 years ago

Great points Jonathan. Another point worth making is that bike licensing is a step toward all road users paying their share, which would mean a significant increase in gas taxes and permit fees for cars to pay for all the roads in Oregon, the infrastructure for the roads, e.g. stop signs, stop lights, and law enforcement. General fund dollars pay for law enforcement and infrastructure now.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

What makes his business so much more important than the businesses in downtown whose workers are riding by? He wants all the chips.

Alex Reed
Alex Reed
10 years ago

I actually think this is a pretty amusing turn of events. Does Mr. Huckaby harbor a grudge? 🙂

mikeybikey
mikeybikey
10 years ago

Mr. Huckaby needs a civics lesson if he really thinks that a ballot initiative is the proper forum for this. Jeez. If I had a ballot initiative for every decision by a public entity or official that I didn’t agree with… well I’d have more initiatives to my name than good ‘ole Mr. Sizemore.

peejay
peejay
10 years ago

I know plenty of people like this. As Jonathan’s earlier reporting notes, Mr Huckabee was initially very put off about the Wheeler closure, but ended up being cooperative and understanding when Sam Adams and PBOT explained the safety issues to him and others in the meeting. Now he’s left to his own devices again (and the support and reinforcement of people who think like him), he’s all upset and resentful again.

Chris I
Chris I
10 years ago

Bob looks like he could use a little more bike riding and a little less stress in his life. Who will extend the olive branch?

Spencer
10 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

I did. After his first tantrum I emailed him. I explained to him that it is very easy to look at cycling crashes as faceless statistic, but they are real people who’s lives are affected. I explained my crash to him. How it had adversely effected my life. I attached a smiling picture of my self wearing a helmet and one of the x-ray that shows my arm with two plates and four screws. Invited him to rent a bike and tour around the area to show him why cyclists were so concerned. Shockingly I got no answer.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago
Reply to  Spencer

Believe it or not … Mr Huckaby has a nephew who was in a cycling accident, and has just as much hardware in his limbs as you do, Spencer. He has another nephew, who is 8, learning the rules of the road and will do his first century ride next year. He is fully aware it is not a faceless statistic. He also, as most people here assuming, is not against bikes and cycles frequently with family. He has a bike. A few of them, actually. At the heart of everything, he wants a safer environment for both drivers and cyclists.

And, the issue with the street closure? It’s primarily due to the fact that the alternate route doesn’t offer the ability for large tractor/trailers to be able to turn around, back up and make it to the receiving docks without closing other streets (temporarily), effectively crippling his business. Due to that issue, it is my understanding that the Mayor has said he will send “flaggers” out to the neighborhood to help the large trucks. This happens daily, multiple times a day. How Portland is going to afford to do this, long term?

And, before I’m criticized for leaving my name off, I’ll just say that I’m doing it due to the amount of email and calls that are absolutely appalling. I know Mr Huckaby, personally. I am anonymous for the safety of my family (because I see what people are now doing to his).

David
David
10 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Wait, what are people doing to his family?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Reply to  Anonymous

Anonymous,

Thank you for commenting. I am disappointed to hear that people are reacting that way. I have deleted a comment that shared Bob’s work email address and I will continue to watch this comment thread very closely. I hope to follow up on this issue soon and I’m in touch with Bob and we’re trying to schedule a sit-down chat on Monday.

Thank you.

And to everyone else, please calm down. Bob’s views are just as valid and important as yours. He deserves our respect. Without respect, things will only get worse. Trust me.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Jonathan – Thank you. I believe it is possible that all the negativity can be made positive and good for everyone. If both sides feel that they are being listened to (not just heard – there is a difference) that so much good can come from this.

David – I do not wish to add to the ugly side of this by giving details. I much prefer for good to come of the situation at hand 🙂

spencer
10 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Anonymous,

My very polite email to him was to encourage him to sit down with me or anyone and ride down THAT street. that offer still stands. I feel for him that it is going to take extra time to get his trucks in and out of his loading dock, but not sorry enough to risk someone life at that intersection. I get caught waiting by trucks getting into that loading dock by 11/12th and couch a few times a week. I am sure that they don’t like that they have to block north bound traffic to enter their docks but they make due.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
10 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

A safer environment would be slower, more contentious road users (both automotive, cycling and pedestrian) that consistently yield the right of way to whomever is there at the time.

In reality, recorded speeds and traffic violations on this section of Broadway show that failure to obey traffic laws is UNIFORM for all road users regardless of the method of travel. In other words it isn’t bicycles or cars or trucks: it is PEOPLE that are consistently making this intersection dangerous.

There is little that can be done to change driver speed on Broadway; it has a mandated level of service that would be reduced if actual speed reductions were affected. Which points my original point: changing the signs will have ZERO effect on unsafe speeds or turns without consistent police enforcement here. I’m even willing to bet that if a police officer could be stationed here permanently with the mission of specifically preventing cyclist deaths it would not be effective. As is evidenced in the earlier article here and the video from KATU 36 seconds in both cyclists and drivers can be quite oblivious to their surroundings that thus break the law.

Until a better solution can be derived that doesn’t rely on human beings not being as distracted and clumsy as we really are this closure is good temporary solution.

Better solutions will take more time and much more money. I am hoping for a better solution; I’ve driven a 53′ trailer down Broadway, right on Wheeler to deliver a load. It was not quick or easy then and I know it is worse now.
What we all need to remember is that speed and convenience are not worth someone’s life.

Drive safe.
Bike safe.
Walk safe.
Peace out.

wsbob
10 years ago
Reply to  q`Tzal

“…There is little that can be done to change driver speed on Broadway; it has a mandated level of service that would be reduced if actual speed reductions were affected. …” q`Tzal

Then possibly look at changing the mandate. I don’t recall reading whether this is a 25mph road or a 35mph hour road. Slight reductions in speed limit can help reduce congestion and help to make negotiating tricky road situations less difficult. About a 20 mph speed limit through this area might be worth looking at.

Excessive allowed speed limits result in cars traveling too fast for what the road can handle, which in turn results in stop and go traffic at congestion points. That’s the periodic situation on roads like Hwy 217 out in the Beav. So that great mandated 55mph is rather an illusion when the stop and go travel speed is factored into it. Of course, Broadway isn’t a highway like 217, but slower speed limits could actually help with vehicle flow capacity of the road over this section of Broadway, at least during commute hours.

Pete
Pete
10 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Sorry to hear about the harassment thing (and especially his nephew’s crash). Goes to show people are people though, and cyclists (and BP readers) can behave just as poorly as motorists can.

Wait, isn’t his basis for this a generalization based on his observations though? Where I live now (Silicon Valley) I rarely see people signaling turns or lane changes, not even police officers. So I similarly see how observations can form stereotypes – I now often say “nobody” in California uses a blinker… not fair to my friends who do. But tell Bob I’ll gladly pay him $1 for every cyclist he counts ‘blowing’ a stop sign if he pays me one for every car I see not signalling a turn.

My point there is that licensing not only does not stop the behavior, it barely makes it accountable – especially if the police officers are doing it.

wsbob
10 years ago
Reply to  Pete

“…But tell Bob I’ll gladly pay him $1 for every cyclist he counts ‘blowing’ a stop sign if he pays me one for every car I see not signalling a turn.

My point there is that licensing not only does not stop the behavior, it barely makes it accountable – especially if the police officers are doing it.” Pete

I live in a suburb just outside of Portland…Beaverton. What I see out here is that many… maybe most of the people driving motor vehicles do signal turns, though many of them could be doing a better job of it…further in advance of turns. Plenty of people riding bikes are signaling turns, but often, I would think probably more often then people behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they also could be doing a better job of it.

General rule of thumb estimates cited from time to time are that for every bike on the road, there are eight or nine motor vehicles. It could be worth having an idea of how many/percent from each group may be failing to signal turns if you wanted to do the dollar for dollar thing.

This stretch of city street that’s been the subject of serious discussion of late, Broadway-Wheeler-Flint in Portland, is a super heavy duty traffic congestion challenge. Much more challenging to travel than quiet neighborhood and some of the suburb streets in my town. People really do need the skills to travel streets like this, and at least a little more incentive than exists at present, to acquire those skills. Bike in traffic study and testing in exchange for a license documenting they’ve received some of it could possibly help to provide such an incentive.

are
10 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

two small points. one, a motorist signaling a turn or a lane change less than a hundred feet in advance has made a merely symbolic and as a practical matter entirely useless gesture. two, there are many instances in which a cyclist operating defensively would be better off not signaling.

Pat
Pat
10 years ago

I fear a war is brewing that could become violent, and those on bikes are the vulnerable group. The comments posted on the KATU website in reaction to their sparsely detailed report (where they report on “so-called right hook” collisions) on the Wheeler decision were frightening and uninformed. Education (in the rules of the road and loftier concepts like sharing and tolerance) is key – and yes it must include both the drivers and the cyclists.

OnTheRoad
OnTheRoad
10 years ago
Reply to  Pat

And the comments on the KATU story about Marilyn Hayward’s accident and enormous hospital bills were sickening and pathetic.

“If the driver wasn’t cited, it was her fault.”

“Why didn’t she have insurance, she could afford an expensive bicycle.”

Etc. etc.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
10 years ago
Reply to  Pat

i’ve been riding daily for a very long time and the word i would use is empowered, not vulnerable.

Pat
Pat
10 years ago
Reply to  spare_wheel

I feel empowered and at risk, i.e., vulnerable, too. The empowered bit overrules the other so I keep riding.

Allison (@allisons)
Allison (@allisons)
10 years ago

I’ve spent this summer hanging out with two great kids – ages 7 and 9. I’m car-free, so they’re car-free, too as we go to the pool, to the park, to the zoo, and the arcade. They both sleep better than they did with the previous caregiver because they’re active and they would always prefer to ride their bikes than take the bus or walk. And we’ve been working on vehicular cycling – we stop at stop signs, we roll through intersections where we don’t have the stop sign, we ride in the street and not on the sidewalk, when a car is coming we call “Car up!” or “Car back” and they (usually) give hand signals for turning, stopping and just the other day the 7 yo very politely passed a jogger on the path and called “Passing on your left!” as he did. I was very proud. Does Bob Huckaby think these kids need a license? Does he think it’s reasonable to ask elementary school kids to give up their bikes or have to take anxiety-inducing tests?

wsbob
10 years ago

“…And we’ve been working on vehicular cycling – we stop at stop signs, we roll through intersections where we don’t have the stop sign, we ride in the street and not on the sidewalk, when a car is coming we call “Car up!” or “Car back” and they (usually) give hand signals for turning, stopping and just the other day the 7 yo very politely passed a jogger on the path and called “Passing on your left!” as he did. …” Allison

Allison…that’s an excellent introduction to getting around by bike that you’re helping those kids with! Especially for the day, hopefully not until they’re at least…say 11 or 12, when they start to ride on their own in traffic.

I’ve been thinking for some time that education, instruction and testing of people intending to ride bikes in traffic would probably be a very worthwhile, particularly for people that would not have even the minimal requirements of education, instruction and testing they would come by in the process of getting a driver’s license, should they decide for whatever reason…not to get a driver’s license.

People would be issued a license certifying they’d had that introduction to riding in traffic, similar to people issued driver’s licenses for demonstrating knowledge and ability they’d gained to drive a motor vehicle in traffic. The license plate idea is probably a non-starter.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

Here’s what I just posted on the KATU Facebook page:

I’d love to have a comprehensive bicycle education and possibly even a licensing program for bicycling in Oregon. But before we do it, we need a complete revamp of the existing system and of our traffic laws. The fact remains that our laws and our regulatory system for operating vehicles in Oregon was created for motor vehicles and not for bicycles. Let’s revamp the DMV, make it the DoV (Department of Vehicles), include bicycle law training for everyone, and clean up the ORS to respect bicycles as the vehicles they are. Having this conversation start out of anger/frustration/hate, and a sense of wanting to punish one group of road users is not productive and it will not be successful in solving the real problems that we have.

David
David
10 years ago

Could be that I’m reading too much into this, but if we had better bicycle training for ALL people seeking drivers licenses, then we wouldn’t have a need anymore for bicycle specific licenses. Makes sense to me.

Unrelated, but I wanted to stick this in. I’ve realized that the only time drivers seem to band together and unite in a cause is when it’s “bikes versus cars.” Take bikes out of the equation and car drivers revert back to the usual “everybody else is the worst driver ever.” Bring bikes in and all of the sudden everyone in a car is the perfect driver, completely stopping at all stop signs. Ugh.

velvetackbar
velvetackbar
10 years ago

A.K.
This is related to nothing, but has anyone ever told you that you look an awful lot like Jamie from Mythbusters? 😉
Recommended 0

I am a semi-professional Jamie Heineman impersonator (or rather, I was one *once,* at halloween 😉

A.K.
A.K.
10 years ago
Reply to  velvetackbar

Ha, awesome.

NW Biker
NW Biker
10 years ago

So, would educating people about biking laws include educating motorists as well? How many drivers don’t know to stay out of bike lanes or not use them as turn lanes? How many don’t know when to yield to cyclists?

There are already too many motorists who don’t know or care about the basic laws governing their driving, such as using turn signals appropriately. This isn’t just on cyclists (which I know you know, but I had to say it anyway…).

drosen
drosen
10 years ago

I would almost be willing to pay for a bike license if drivers (yes, I’m one as well, as are most of us on this board) would then be legally obligated to quit griping about bikes. Sheesh.

Rick Hamell
10 years ago
Reply to  drosen

Was going to post EXACTLY this. The anti-bike comments by drivers is getting way out of hand. The repeated accusations that we “don’t pay our fair share,” even more so.

Matt M
Matt M
10 years ago

Let’s not stop at bikes – what about trikes? Rollerblades? Skateboarders? Wheelchairs? Electric scooter things? Those weird elliptical bike things? Those funny sneakers that have wheels in the bottom or did those go out in the 90’s? Roller skates?

Dave
10 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

Don’t forget Segways! 🙂

Burk
Burk
10 years ago

I say we do it! It would finally silence the “you don’t pay taxes” crowd. We all know the system would cost more to run than it would take in but here is the deal.

We are never going to get through to these people! They can be told a thousand times that cyclists own cars, cyclists own homes, cyclists own businesses, cyclists pay taxes. It will never get through…

They see someone on a bike and their brain reverts to some kind of “they took ‘r jobs!!!” apoplexia. All they can see is some freeloader using their roads. A bike license would at least give me some ammo in this argument:

From this:
non-bike enthusiast: “Well if you get to use the roads you should have to pay taxes!”

Me: ” I do pay taxes, in fact I own a car. That’s not how road funding works anywa…”

non-bike enthusiast: “bikes don’t pay taxes! Get off the road you freeloader!”

To this:
non-bike enthusiast: “Well if you get to use the roads you should have to pay taxes!”

Me: “I do! All cyclist now pay the new bike tax! Look at my bike license! It says I pay taxes for this road right here!” (Well, actually the system is so expensive it is subsidized by the state so it actually takes money away from things like road funding but you’re to much of a moron to understand that so I’m not saying this part.)

non-bike enthusiast: “Hmmm, Must be something new… I fear change so must be bad but…. they pay for road now.. bike pay taxes… Hulk Smash!”

Unit
Unit
10 years ago
Reply to  Burk

If you believe this would silence them, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

A.K.
A.K.
10 years ago
Reply to  Unit

Agreed. Even if licensing for cyclists was passed into law, 90% of people would still think that cyclists are unlicensed freeloaders.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago
Reply to  Burk

They sell mini oregon vanity license plates at walmart. They look real too.

Ben
Ben
10 years ago
Reply to  Burk

I’m all for a small sales tax on new bicycles to fund bike education in schools and the odd rails-to-trails path, but I see how anyone thinks licensing is a good idea. It’s not as though the police can’t issue tickets for moving violations to cyclists now, and it’s not as though anyone who blows through that stop sign now doesn’t know that they’re legally required to stop. If he wants revenge for the semi-closure of his pet street, he should be lobbying for greater enforcement.

are
10 years ago
Reply to  Ben

and we should all hope that enforcement efforts are redirected at the whim of someone who is motivated by revenge

Spiffy
10 years ago
Reply to  Burk

“I’m confused and angered!”

Brian
10 years ago

Well, it certainly would create jobs. All those fired teachers could get jobs at the DMV.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago
Reply to  Brian

From one soul sucking job to another.

Atbman
Atbman
10 years ago

Stick the following in Favourites:
http://www.toronto.ca/budget2005/pdf/wes_translicensingcyc.PDF for comprehensive demolition of this idea

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
10 years ago

I’ll pay for a license if it obligates the police to actually take my side of the story as equal and as valid as a drivers when a crash occurs.
They really should do their job of “protecting and serving” without what amounts to a bribe but they refuse to acknowledge our valid right to life and safety while on the road.

In reality it is all police force’s apathy to the suffering, injury and deaths that has lead to this culture lawless cyclists. Without the protection of law any society makes up their own.

If non-cyclists want cyclists to obey the law and be appropriately punished when we don’t we cyclist demand the opposite: letting a car driver off with a slap on the wrist after severely injuring or killing a cyclist is what has led here. Fix that and the society of lawless cyclists will evaporate.

Andrew K
Andrew K
10 years ago

How much do you want to bet that Bob Huckaby has complained more than once that government should “get out of our lives” and that there is “too much regulation” or whatever the usual talking points are these days.

And here he is advocating for MORE regulation and MORE fees and MORE government for everyone just simply because he didn’t get his way.

Though I think this guy has about a .0001% chance of success I still think it’s sad that this issue even needs to come up.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

Huckaby in the video about bicycles at Flint and Broadway: 37 stopedp and 14 rolled through. That’s better compliance than drivers.

Brad
Brad
10 years ago

Let’s do it! Of course, the drivers will be super ticked off when tens of thousands of licensed (and newly educated!) cyclists start using all of their newly discovered rights and responsibilities under the ORS. I’m sure that full knowledge of the legality of “take the lane” will be universally appreciated by all. They’ll just love when many riders attend public hearing and file lawsuits to stall EVERY road and bridge project and demand deluxe bike facilities be built in conjunction because, after all, we are now card carrying taxpayers!

The **deleted.. inappropriate adjective** who **deleted word… too mean – JM** incessantly about licensing and the need to tax bike riders have no clue what they would unleash upon themselves. They would be granting greater immediate credibility and political clout to bicycle advocates and users because now we would have easily defined money in the game. Of course, when do they ever think through their tired talking points?

So Mr. Huckaby, I look forward to your state wide ballot initiative. I look forward to reading the language, learning more about your proposed financing apparatus, how you plan to fold this into ODOT or form a stand alone bureaucracy, and all of the other wonky minutiae necessary to invoking a new state law and enforcement mechanism.

Scott
Scott
10 years ago

This is another time I will mention a program in Denver in the 1990’s that lasted one day. The cops decided they were going to pull over people and give them gift bags for driving well.

It was something close to 80% of the cars that they pulled over were being driven by people with suspended/revoked licenses.

9watts
9watts
10 years ago
Reply to  Scott

that is an amusing story, Scott, but I’ll admit it sounds suspicious–gift bags? Got a link?

Jon
Jon
10 years ago

Vote with your pocketbook and influence. If you, any of your friends or the company you work for is considering office furniture installation make sure NOT to use First Inc.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago
Reply to  Jon

This can backfire like the chick-fil-a incident where those opposed to gay marriage helped the restaurant chain have a record sales day. Those opposed to cyclists could potentially flood Huckaby’s business with orders. Evil genius businessman.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
10 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Doing nothing can backfire too.

shermanator
shermanator
10 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Dang. Our office is moving stuff this week, and scattered throughout the building are carts marked, “First Inc.” Not that I had any say at all re: which company was hired, but now I’ll experience a little mini-puke each time I walk by one of those carts. I will, however, continue to treat the movers with utmost respect, because they are just doing their jobs.

Curtis R
Curtis R
10 years ago

We need to license pedestrians, as well. And we need to meter our breathing. That should stop the scofflaws!

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
10 years ago
Reply to  Curtis R

As long as you don’t outlaw flatulence.
If I try to obey I might explode.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

What gets me is that his business, First, Inc., is much closer to the intersection of Tillamook and Interstate than Broadway and Wheeler. He’s almost trying to exploit a non issue on his business to gain free publicity.

Ryan
Ryan
10 years ago

If this makes the ballot and passes, I won’t register or license my bicycle. I don’t think bicycles should be licensed.

I enjoy safely ignoring stop signs and red lights. I treat both of these as yield signs and I always will.

Robert L
Robert L
10 years ago

You get annoyed when I take the lane now, just wait until my bike has a license!

Andrew
Andrew
10 years ago

Bring it on. I wonder how many more doors I can knock on in a Saturday than him…

ScottB
ScottB
10 years ago

PBOT just used FIRST for a move.

Andrew
Andrew
10 years ago

Also, I have not been to the KATU website since they did the SE Holgate “Bike Lane to Nowhere” story a couple years ago. Not once. I won’t give them the pageview.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

The photo of First,Inc’s truck using Wheeler and Broadway instead of the much closer traffic light at Tillamook and Interstate suggests to me that the driver doesn’t have the patience to wait at the light. Is he in such a hurry to choose speed over safety? Yes.