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Reader shares story of bike path rage on Hawthorne Bridge

Posted by on January 9th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Summer bike traffic-3-3

Traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge
path can get dicey… and nasty.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve all felt it: You’re riding along on a crowded bikeway and sense someone is coming up fast from behind. Do you speed up? Ignore them? Merge to the right as fast as possible? Just maintain your speed until you can safely get out of the way?

We just heard from a reader who was in this position — and it didn’t turn out well at all. Let’s call him Kevin (he wants to stay anonymous). Kevin says he was biking eastbound on the Hawthorne Bridge path yesterday around 6:00 pm when it happened. I’ll let him share the details:

“A slower bike was in front of me. She stayed in the bike lane and didn’t make room. There were some pedestrians, some of them in the bike lane too [the bridge paths are 10.5 feet wide and shared by walkers and bikers]. I noticed a guy close behind me, so made room by riding on the pedestrian side whenever possible, but he didn’t make an attempt to pass.

Halfway over the bridge, he started calling me the worst names and screamed I should move over. Because of more pedestrians and the other bike, I was forced to continue. It’s maybe worth adding that we didn’t go slow by any means. The bike in front of me took the “OMSI” exit at the end of the bridge. So when there was finally room, the dude behind passed me like a mad man, screaming and yelling at me. He then cut me off and wanted to get off his bike, but got all tangled up and tipped over on the sidewalk in his apparent rage. At that point, I decided to avoid any kind of confrontation with this mad man and rode off.

If anybody witnessed this, I’d be curious to hear their perspective. He was maybe 50, with a white beard, a yellow jacket, and messenger bag.”

What Kevin experienced could be the result of someone simply letting out their stress after a bad day at work; but this kind of riding behavior is, unfortunately, not uncommon.

Reader Natalie Baker shared with us on Twitter today that she recently heard a nasty exchange between two riders behind her while waiting for the light on NW Lovejoy at the Broadway Bridge. “Every couple seconds,” she recalled, “this one guy would break the silence and loudly say something like, ‘Don’t forget to leave room,’ in this bizarre, taunting way as if he was trying to pick a fight, to the woman next to him. She’d respond, annoyed, with something along the lines of, ‘Don’t tell me how to ride,’ and they just kept going back and forth.”

“I couldn’t believe this kind of BS was happening among bike riders,” Natalie said, “I generally chalk up road rage to frustration from being trapped motionless in a tiny metal enclosure.” After a while she even turned around and asked the guy to “quit being a jerk.” (It didn’t have much impact.)

The fact remains there’s a large disparity of skills and speeds among people who share our bikeways. Back in 2007 we published an essay by veteran messenger John “Dabby” Campbell that explained why some people like to ride fast and urged everyone to co-exist peacefully.

To me, the problem is likely a mixture of people simply being jerks and a lack of space to ride freely. In a car, you can usually swerve and go around someone in a different lane; but on a bike there is often not the same amount of space to operate. On dedicated paths like the Esplanade, a similar phenomenon plays out with fast-riding “pathletes” swooping by more leisure-focused traffic.

For Kevin, he’s still trying to figure out if he did anything wrong. “Should I have stayed in the bike lane so he could pass me on my right in the pedestrian lane?” he asked. “I don’t even know… I have never been yelled at by a bicyclists so far. It was bad.”

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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jocko
Guest
jocko

A lot of adults are still big stupid babies.

Spiffy
Guest

I would have said big stupid poo-poo heads, but yeah… (:

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Doodie heads!

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

I have only had the most congenial experiences over my last, I dunno, 2,000 trips over the Hawthorne Bridge.

Allan
Guest
Allan

Its the most depressing time of year. Credit card bills for presents are coming due. Just give folks some slack.

Luke
Guest

It’s disheartening to hear cyclists being volatile to other cyclists. We face enough adversity out there that we don’t need to turn on each other. In my humble opinion if you’re looking to get where you’re going as quickly, and with as little regard for others as possible, you should probably turn to other options for your commute. Cycling is for the thoughtful, patient minority.

Esther
Guest
Esther

I agree with your overall sentiment and with the fact that we need more roadway for bikes and pedestrians on the Hawthorne bridge. another problem is not just the harassment but the simple fact of people tailgating me on the bridge. It is dangerous and illegal in/on ANY vehicle.

I’m a relatively slow and defensive driver and biker, so on the freeway I just cruise along in the right or middle lane and let people pass me as necessary rather than tailgating me. With only one effective ‘lane’ on the Hawthorne at rush hour, I get VERY nervous with people riding close behind me in case I have to stop suddenly or in case a pedestrian suddenly passes another pedestrian.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

little old lady syndrome

Sunny. Please be careful with your comments. I left this one up because Esther dealt with it with such aplomb. Also, you’ll notice you have been placed on auto-moderation. I would appreciate you using a bit more sensitivity with your comments. Thanks – Jonathan

Esther
Guest
Esther

Yes, and proud of it! 🙂

Esther
Guest
Esther

I actually would estimate I ride faster than at least 1/3 of people on the bridge. But, that means a lot of people are still faster than me. And some of them tailgate….which pisses me off and probably, in fact, slows me down (because I’m nervous).

davemess
Guest
davemess

But do you move over and give people a chance to pass you if you have the space?

Esther
Guest
Esther

Yep.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

Are they tailgating, or drafting? 🙂

Esther
Guest
Esther

Drafting, like many other things, should only be a mutually consensual activity. 🙂

Cole
Guest
Cole

Tailgating on a bike is a perfectly natural thing to do. As a racer, it is quite literally impossible for me not to “tailgate” you as I have years of training to be about 2cm from your rear tire. Do not worry, I will not run in to you if you have to stop suddenly, and I certainly won’t accidentally hit your rear tire or cause you trouble in any way. Being nervous and acting irregularly and strangely probably will cause an accident due to you not paying attention to the road though.

Esther
Guest
Esther

From the Oregon DMV at http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/37.pdf:
“A safe following distance is defined as 2-4
seconds.

In all of
these situations, you should increase your following distance:
-On wet or slippery roads. You need more distance to stop your vehicle on wet or slippery roads
-When following bicycles or motorcycles. You need extra room in case the rider loses control of the bicycle or motorcycle.
-When following drivers who cannot see you.
-When it is hard for you to see. In bad weather or darkness, increase your following distance to make up for decreased visibility

On average, how long does it take to STOP?
Traveling at 20 mph = 64 feet to stop”

In other words…get off my behind, please.

Esther
Guest
Esther

In other words: YO COLE, IMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT MY BOYFRIEND DOES THE BEST GETTING-2CM-FROM-MY-BEHIND OF ALL TIME!

(Sorry to drag you into this, boyfriend!)

I’m sorry to hear you find it “quite literally impossible to not” tailgate people by 2cm. Perhaps you should use your racing skills to detour up to the Burnside Bridge or Ross Island Bridge, where you can use your speed to take the auto lane, instead of terrorizing commuters on the Hawthorne Bridge.

VTRC
Guest
VTRC

Crashes happen all the time at PIR where the situation is under a lot more control.

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

Cole, please don’t do that. Leave the drafting for rides with your racing buddies, where they know you and expect you, and will ride accordingly. For us strangers just riding our own rides around town, please either pass or back off. And yes, I have been hit by a roadie while minding my own business on the far right side of a MUP with railings. Fortunately neither of us went down.

annefi
Guest
annefi

No need for stereotyping and rudeness.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Wouldn’t it be great to have European style bike infrastructure that would actually encourage little old ladies to bike! Germany is full of them. That’s the 60% interested but concerned category!

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

I meant it as “driving miss daisy” and was meant as a poke at the behavior, not the person. I was just posting rapidfire yesterday.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

I ride the same way. And, I stay on the side of the Hawthorne bridge path marked for bikes unless someone lets me know (verbally or with a bell) that they want to pass. I think this is the only way to ride on that bridge without taking over space that is clearly designated for people on foot.

007
Guest
007

I cordially disagree with your tactic, Alex. There are not that many pedestrians, especially in the winter, that cyclists who are not passing can not ride all the way to the right. I also find it irritating when cyclists ride in the middle of the bridge to the left enough that if one tries to pass one risks being yelled at by a nervous rookie or knocked off the bridge by a clueless Sunday cyclist.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Sorry, I tried riding to the right. I found it very stressful to merge back to the left when I needed to – some faster cyclists would not let me back in. That’s why I just ride on the left now unless someone says they’re passing. In addition to being less stressful for me, I think it’s more respectful to people walking – I spend less time riding straight at them in space clearly designated for them. Thanks for your feedback though!

Martin
Guest

I can see both sides of the argument. I usually ride really fast on the bridge just because I enjoy riding fast. I sometimes get stuck behind someone riding slow, but it’s not a big deal, I just wait. If everyone followed the same set of protocols about when to get over and let people pass would it be more efficient? probably, but that’s not going to happen so just relax and let people move at their own speed.

I disagree that bike rage is “a common occurance” I’ve commuted about 4000 miles in the last 4 years and cant say I’ve ever experienced anything like that. I just think it’s the rare crazy person that happens to be riding a bike. just try to laugh it off and let it go.

jd
Guest
jd

I could have written this (and I’m not little or old, Sunny, WTF with the belittling stereotypes). It sucks that neither safety-conscious cyclists nor pedestrians feel safe on the Hawthorne bridge when it’s crowded.

Erik E
Guest
Erik E

Just on the subject of the Hawthorne, why are there not rails seperating the sidewalk from the grated street? How people are not knocked into the street daily (especially in the summer) is baffling to me. Sorry to hear ‘Kevin’ experienced this. Personally, it doesn’t sound to me like he did any thing wrong, (unless you consider not beating the crap out of aggressive/rude rider a mistake).

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

yes, and why people aren’t falling out of bike lanes

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

It’s been explained before that adding railings would reduce the overall width of the multi-use path, pushing users even close together.

007
Guest
007

Rails? We need elbow room.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“Pathletes” is my new favorite word of the day!! (Replacing “Market-ecture”, which is the new “Vaporware”).

Sigh, too long behind a desk and out of the saddle… 🙁

Reza
Guest
Reza

If you’re a fast cyclist, coming upon a slow cyclist, the proper way to pass them is on the right, in the pedestrian zone (when all is clear, of course).

Remember, the slower vehicle always has the right of way, and there is only one bicycle lane on the bridge in either direction.

oliver
Guest
oliver

First time I’ve heard of that. In my experience, people get cranky when you pass them on the right.

“Pass left, Ride right” and all that.

smj
Guest
smj

Huh? passing on the right? If you are on any major (CO, STP, etc) bike ride it is recommended to tell the person that you want to pass, “on your left”. If you’re in a car and you want to pass., you pass on the left. Fast lane on is on the left. Move over to the right if you may be slower.

Gregg
Guest

Yeah. Please don’t pass me on the right.

john
Guest
john

Not on the bridge, but on roads, I pass on the right all the time ! Why? SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY !. Let’s see, I have 10 feet of open space to my right, or I can go left and get hit by a car. So Yes I ring my bell and pass on the right.

And by the way if you don’t like getting passed on the right, then stay to the right and leave room to the left.

Yes in a narrow situation I’ll stay behind you, but dont expect everyone to line up behind you when there is 10 feet of space to your right and you aren’t moving over.

Scott
Guest
Scott

All the bikes I have hit while riding my bike have been passing me on the right. I have never been hit by a car while passing a bike on the left.

Thinking that passing on the right is more safe is like saying we need more nuclear bombs deter nuclear war. It is an argument full of holes.

It’s not natural. It’s not expected. It’s not safe.

Esther
Guest
Esther

So, as the faster biker who wants to pass, you want to stay safe by passing on the right? Then, if the biker you are passing suddenly comes upon glass, or an obstruction in their path….their only choice is to move left into car traffic (or in the case of the Hawthorne Bridge – fall off the curb into traffic)? That may be fine for you, but it’s not fair to make that choice for the person you’re passing.

Anthony Choate
Guest
Anthony Choate

Seriously, passing on the right if your preferred course of action? Seems awfully dangerous and breaks all conventions of the road. I tend to swerve right when someone fast comes up behind me on the Hawthorne lest I get bumped into the roadway. I’d probably yell in frustration is I was passed on the right on the bridge.

I think the proper way to handle it is to ring your bell or say “on your right”. If they don’t get over, then chill out for a few hundred feet until you are off the bridge.

dan
Guest
dan

I believe this is a minority opinion – most seem to adhere to the “pass on the left” approach. I’m aware that some share your opinion though, so I try not to make assumptions about where a given rider is heading.

Mike
Guest
Mike

You’d be pretty wrong about this. Why force the faster bikes that are moving in and out of traffic (as they pass slower bikes) into the path of pedestrians?

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

I’m not advocating for it but it seems to work well in New York City.

Donna
Guest
Donna

I could see how it might there, but I don’t think the bridge pedestrians in Portland have the nerves for that.

whyat
Guest
whyat

I think passing on the right is a really bad idea. The proper way to pass is to pass on the left when it’s safe and announce yourself with a clear ‘On your left’ or a bell ring. This is just asking for trouble.

Christianne
Guest
Christianne

I had a faster rider do this to me on the Hawthorne actually. Problem is, is that I was moving to the right in order to let her pass on my left. Some quick thinking on my part and quicker pedaling on hers kept us from colliding – but it was nerve-wrackingly close.

So yeah. Passing on the right? Not so much.

jj
Guest
jj

Are you kidding me?! Passing on the right is downright rude and it’s unsafe. I know you’re there, I’m waiting until there are no pedestrians and I’ll move over. Especially if you say “on your left” or ring a bell. The worst offender was the oblivious jerk who passed me and my then 8-year old son on the right on Hawthorne just past Grand while I was actively signaling that we were preparing to turn right on to 6th.

Reza
Guest
Reza

So you all think that the slower rider needs to “get out of the way” of faster riders?! Gee, that’s not how most people here seem to think about cyclists vs. drivers. Seems like people usually want drivers to go around them when it’s safe to do so instead of giving way to every single motorist coming up from behind. At least that’s what I want to have happen.

Obviously, the passing lane is usually on the left in almost every other situation but given the design of the bridge path, that would mean you end up on the bridge deck.

Please people…

el timito
Guest
el timito

Passing on the right – is so wrong.

The Hawthorne Bridge is 1372 feet long. If one *has* to follow an average cyclist going ten miles an hour it takes about a minute and a half to cross. If one instead zooms past at 20 miles an hour, wow – 45 seconds saved. Which will probably then be spent waiting at the next traffic signal.

How about we all just consider the narrow bridge path to be a “take a breath and enjoy the scenery” zone?

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

have you every biked on the weekend when the tourists are on the bridge in those #@$%^ing trikes?

Pete
Guest
Pete

I used to live in a ‘tourist’ town, and on summer weekends the last place you’d find me biking is where the tourists are.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Those are bad, but one bridge lift will ruin you average commute times for a week.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

As for those tourist trikes…does their operating permit allow them to access the bridge? With the trail and bridge already congested, I could see their access be restricted during peak periods.

davemess
Guest
davemess

This line of thought really doesn’t do much to promote cycling as a viable form of commuting, and really pegs it to the stereotype that all cyclists are just out leisure riding.

I’m not a jerk when I try to get around people on the Hawthorne, but if I’m riding faster than you, that’s not a crime.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

most of the “ride slow” judgey types have other modes they can depend on when they are in a hurry.

Emily
Guest
Emily

Why would you ever pass on the right? No one is looking for you on that side. Slow down a bit and pass on the left like you should. BTW – I always thank people for the “on the left” or bell warnings that they are coming up behind me/passing. Common courtesy.

007
Guest
007

No way. Passing other cyclists on the right is risky, not that I haven’t done a time or two because of slow riders HOGGING the bike lane and not sharing it so that faster riders can pass on the left.

Martin
Guest

nope. i would call that “improper”

matthew vilhauer
Guest
matthew vilhauer

i blow my nose to the right… might not want to pass me on that side.

Dolan Halbrook
Guest
Dolan Halbrook

Crossing the Hawthorne can get a bit dicey at times if people are overly paranoid and won’t move over for faster cyclists, or conversely overly aggressive and start passing dangerously, or even worse, on the right. I see both often enough, but day to day things go smoothly overall.

The worst experience I’ve had is a near altercation with a shirtless runner who, I kid you not, was swinging his arms out at passing cyclists in an attempt to punch them if they so much as rode one centimeter in the pedestrian lane. He very nearly sent a newbie rider into the car lane. I was pretty shocked and confronted him; he backed down and kept running the other way. I really hope I never encounter that guy again or if I do, that he’s taken his meds.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

SHIRTLESS runner!!! that explains it all

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

The shirtless runners are generally the skinniest, and hence easiest to avoid. For example, me.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Hopefully the skinniest 😉

Note: I won’t ever be running shirtless.

Ben
Guest
Ben

I’ve never heard of this before, but I have been yelled at by other cyclists for not running red or yellow lights, especially at T intersections where my lane of travel parallels a sidewalk through the intersection.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

you can just ride up on the sidewalk and ride back down after the light…it’s legal and drivers will love you for it

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

But you still need to be careful. A cyclist could be coming from the T and want the same bike lane space.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Are you sure it’s legal? I’m not sure about Oregon law on the matter, but in most states it’s illegal to leave the road to avoid a traffic control device whether on a bike or in a car.

matt picio
Guest

I’m not an attorney, but it seems from a layman’s reading of the law that it is legal provided (A) it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in that location, and (B) the cyclist yields to road traffic when re-entering the roadway. Of course, one could argue that the “all responsibilities of a motor vehicle” provision of Oregon law prohibits cyclists from doing that. It’s a good example both of how driving laws aren’t written to accommodate cycling, and how much of the law doesn’t cleanly apply.

Is it smart? I would argue “no”. Legal, though? Who knows, really?

Donna
Guest
Donna

It is most definitely not legal downtown where it is not legal to ride on the sidewalk. I also suspect it may not be legal at all, since you are doing it with the intent to evade a traffic signal.

maxd
Guest
maxd

I commute on Interstate, and my pet peeve is “fast” riders passing in the 5-foot bike lane. There is not really enough room for one bike in those lanes. When I want to pass someone, I wait until there is a break in traffic and use the auto lane to overtake. BTW, I put fast in quotes because I have encountered quite a few guys (always guys) on road bikes who think they are faster than they are, work up enough speed to pass, then I get stuck behind them going up a hill. I think that is just classic machismo, though.

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

Happens to me on Williams all the time. Quietly re-passing those dudes is all the response needed.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Williams cracks me up. It’s like a contest to see who can ride the fastest without looking like they are working hard.

matt picio
Guest

Not always machismo. Sometimes it’s just us heavy guys rolling out from a downhill. I don’t pass in the bike lane, though, I move into the general traffic lane when passing. Generally I like Interstate better than Williams, since there are fewer cyclists and those who ride Interstate don’t seem to be so intent on passing me as closely as possible on my right between me and the parked cars. 😛

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

I avoid the Hawthorne Bridge because of the overly aggressive riders and lack of space. There is not much room to pass and for some reason that baffles me some riders will fly by way to close to both me and the traffic lane. I’d much rather take another route.
Is it machismo that causes riders to pass, speedism, do they sleep to late?

Adron
Guest

Sometimes I pass people on bikes on Hawthorne, but it is rare. The extra 30 seconds isn’t worth the risk. In addition, when I do pass, I announce I’m to the left (because if I’m going to be risky I’m not going to endanger someone with right side passing, that’s just disrespectful). Once I announce I wait until they move, respond or just glance over to me just a bit. Hopefully I’m not seen as one of “those cyclists”. I try diligently to be helpful on the road. Even to fellow motorists (pending their being respectful themselves). 🙂

As a last note… it will indeed be nice to have the dedicated bridge to the south done one day. I know it won’t be able to serve for everyone, but when we do get to use it, it’ll be a great example. 😀

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

oh good grief.

so now, in addition to the slooooooooooow bike movement, we have the nooooooo paaaaaaaaaass movement.

the vast majority of riders are courteous and move to the right to let me pass. in fact, some mornings i pass more than a dozen riders as i go over the bridge. if you are a real cat-6 commuter, slowing down to pass is an opportunity to show off your bulging gastrocnemius as you accelerate from a near standstill.

Donna
Guest
Donna

My housemate is not a regular or strong rider. She prefers to pay money that she really could use elsewhere in her life to take the bus 3 miles from where we live to downtown because she is terrified of the aggressive cyclists on the Hawthorne. I’ve seen her and other slower riders on that bridge and I swear, the aggressive cyclists are like sharks that sense blood in the water. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Dolan Halbrook
Guest
Dolan Halbrook

I regularly pass three or four riders on any given ride over the Hawthorne Bridge. When I do I give people plenty of space and warning, slow down to pass if necessary, and I never pass if I sense another rider is overtly uncomfortable with it, or on the right. Generally it’s a non-issue. Occasionally there will be someone who simply refuses to move over, even if the bridge is completely clear. Not sure why, but so be it. I just cruise behind them until it’s safe to pass on the left again.

The reason I pass is that I’m just more comfortable riding at around 15-18 mph or so. Other people may feel more comfortable at slower speeds, and still others at higher speeds. There’s really nothing wrong with passing provided it’s done safely, and it is possible to pass safely on the bridge. Many of us do it many times every day.

dan
Guest
dan

Woohoo, full contact Cat VI racing! If you’re really the Lance Armstrong of the Hawthorne, you would be able to pass at will. If you’re not capable of getting around a slower rider in the available space, maybe you’re not quite the burly-thighed powerhouse that you imagine yourself to be, and you should just relax until there’s a safe place to pass.

I am a dedicated and competitive Cat VI racer, but it’s all in fun. Crowding slower riders and passing unsafely is just being a jerk: if you routinely stoop this low, perhaps you need to rethink your approach, and what you risk vs. what you gain.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

If we could all be as gifted as Lance Pharmstrong

jocko
Guest
jocko

“When commuter races commuter the only winner is disgrace” -Das Snob

dan
Guest
dan

I would make that “the only winner is fun!” Jeeze, we’re a species/culture that hunts for the fastest checkout line in the grocery store, how can we not hammer when we’re on our bikes? Granted, you need to keep your sense of humor about it (and some fail to do so), but isn’t it always more fun to team up with another rider to push yourselves a little than to plod drearily home in the rain?

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

I’ve had some great commute battles! Passed someone on the long incline after Hawthorne, was passed back going into Ladd’s, we both did a full-on track race style stop at the Circle, and a drag race through the other side. One of my favorite memories of this winter!

Sidebar: these stories will bore your significant other, to no avail.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Not really, no. I just like to get home without a face plant near miss on those steel grates.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

“In 2007, an internal report for Transport for London concluded women cyclists are far more likely to be killed by lorries because, unlike men, they tend to obey red lights…”

Maybe the scorchers and vroom vroomers like biking fast because its…um…safer (and fun).

Charley Gee
Guest
Charley Gee

I almost always bear to the right on the Hawthorne Bridge if it is safe to do so, leaving the left bicycle path open for those who wish to pass me. I consider passing others on the right very dangerous and counter to our traffic system “norms”.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

the reason you don’t pass on the right in a car is because the drivers sits on the left and it’s harder to see a car in the passenger rear view mirror

Charley Gee
Guest
Charley Gee

Well, and it’s also illegal in Oregon in a car. The bear right model doesn’t just apply to motor vehicles. Anyone who has ever used a busy escalator or stairway can testify to that.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

in theory, yes…but they’re on their phones in those places too

John Lascurettes
Guest

Charley, that’s incorrect: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.415

It’s perfectly legal to pass on the right in a multi-lane situation and there’s even other situations (such as left turning cars in front) where it’s still legal to pass on the right on a single lane in your direction situation.

Charley Gee
Guest
Charley Gee

Under the statute it is legal to pass on the right if you fall under the permitted exceptions, that is correct. But those exceptions are the exceptions to the rule, found in ORS 811.415(1)(a) that it is illegal to pass on the right.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Which simply states that it’s illegal to pass on the right if you’re not following the rules elsewhere in the same law. Which is like saying it’s illegal to do anything if you’re not following the rules of the law. Well, duh.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Note: I’m not advocating to passing on the right as good practice. It’s just that it’s generally not illegal.

matt picio
Guest

And yet you’re contradicting a traffic attorney. All due respect, I think I’ll trust Charley’s opinion on this, even if he’s not speaking in his professional capacity.

dan
Guest
dan

Agreed, I do the same. If I’m overtaking someone in the left lane, I hit my bell, give them some time to move over, and if they stay left, call out “Passing on your right”, wait a bit to make sure they didn’t hear “Move to your right!”, then pass on the right. My preference would definitely be to pass on the left but I understand that not everyone sees this as the norm.

Charley Gee
Guest
Charley Gee

I usually won’t even pass on the right except for really slow riders. If I come up behind a slow rider on the left and I know they know I’m there but don’t move to the right, I will usually slow to their pace and use it as an excuse to look at the river. However, this morning I came up behind a very slow rider in the left, and knowing I had a large group of riders behind me I said “on your left” and he said “pass on the right!” so I did and as I went by I said “passing on the right isn’t safe, you should bear right if you can”. Had it not been morning rush hour I wouldn’t have passed at all though.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

some riders need lots of concentration to keep straight ahead and any deviation could cause them to fall…it may seem unreasonable to a seasoned rider but hey

Spiffy
Guest

and many people are scared of bridges so it takes all their concentration just to get themselves across without worrying about others…

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

If the description of the white bearded rider where a bit older then it could be a road rage rider than has been a problem on the Interstate Bridge a few years back.

It is time for the City of Portland to seek to buy (or trade for) the Hawthorne Bridge from the County, so it could be managed in a more bike friendly way. (Unless the County wishes to make these proposed changes.) Given the peak volumes of bike traffic on the bridge (and assuming the City wants to meet its 2030 ped and bike goals) perhaps it is time to convert the outside motor vehicle lane to bicycle use to make it safer for all bridge users. [Any PSU students want to take this traffic modelling on? Hint hint.]

are
Guest

that open grid steel deck would be dicey in rain and snow

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Yes true. It would need to be upgraded for bicycle traffic, as is typical of past work on other bridges.

Spiffy
Guest

the original wooden sidewalk was also that way…

Nate
Guest
Nate

About the only time I get peeved by other cyclists are the Freds that pass at stoplights/signs from the rear of the pack. They inevitably gum up the works at the far side of the intersection because they aren’t actually [fast cyclist not doped up]. Prime locations for this are on N. Williams and at the W. end of the Broadway bridge.

I watched one such yahoo brush the shoulder of a woman with a kid on a trail-a-bike, pushing her into the auto lane on NW Broadway. He got an earful at the stoplight at NW Flanders.

Just chill out folks. Not everyone is as comfortable on their bike as you, and brushing them on your way past can end in disaster.

Adron
Guest

This is when I often remind people, “WE’RE ALL GOING SOMEWHERE, HELP EACH OTHER OUT”. The karma comes back in droves, ya know. 🙂

I guess some people, just get a bit entitled in their self importance.

John Lascurettes
Guest

I generally chalk up road rage to frustration from being trapped motionless in a tiny metal enclosure.

Though one can feel trapped on the Hawthorne as well. Certainly don’t like the precipitous edge of the sidewalk to the bridge grate below. I generally avoid the Hawthorne because of the bike-ped gridlock on it. If I do ride the Hawthorne, I know it’s a place where I just need to chill the hell out for the duration of the span. What’s an extra 30 seconds to traverse it?

In a car, you can usually swerve and go around someone in a different lane; but on a bike there is often not the same amount of space to operate.

I find the exact opposite to be the general truth. I cannot just “swerve” to a different lane, nor should I. I must check that the lane is clear, etc. On a bike, I generally have much more room to operate. I often come out of a bike lane to go around a slower biker, taking the auto lane for the duration of passing that other cyclist. Since I require less space than a car, it’s often easier to find the gap to get in and get out than it takes in a car doing an analogous maneuver. One cannot do this as readily on the Hawthorne (or any of the bridges, really) while on a bicycle because you are “stuck” in the bike-ped mixing zones which are particularly congested on the Hawthorne.

Spiffy
Guest

if I hear a bell or an “on your left” then I get over if there’s room… but I try to stay to the right side of the bike part of the sidewalk… I won’t ride in the ped zone unless I see a backlog behind me… and I time my reentry into the bike zone…

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

guys guys guys….the morrison is over there <—-

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Not that it would necessarily have kept this particular type of incident from happening on the Hawthorne, but is the Morrison improved bike lane now finally working to relieve demand from the Hawthorne’s MUP? If the Hawthorne MUP is too congested, the logical option may be the Morrison, which is not far away from the Hawthorne.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

morrison would have been an awesome cat-6 route except for the fact that it begins at water ave instead of grand.

Arem
Guest
Arem

I used the Morrison daily for my commute when I was working downtown. I began to loathe taking Hawthorne even though it was closer to the office. The Morrison bridge was more work because of the climb, but it was a breath of un-pressured fresh air. Donna! Tell your roommate to try out the Morrison instead! Wide…rails on both sides…little traffic and a fun downhill slope whenever you cross! Whee! Plus, going east you can get to B.A. Sandwiches, Sheridan’s Fruit Co. and Guardian Games on your way home or on your way to downtown. 😀

Donna
Guest
Donna

Right, because getting dumped onto a freeway off ramp and traversing the nastiest tangle of railroad tracks going to be the way to go for an inexperienced rider.

Arem
Guest
Arem

I do not think it is as bad as some of you are making it out to be, even for an inexperienced rider. Studying some maps and routes and even just walking over there and imagining out the ride to better anticipate what it would be like are useful tools and choices. There’s a risk to take certainly and some planning ahead for possible snarls if somebody is unfamiliar, but so it goes with most bike routes and other things in life.
You don’t want to use it and don’t want your friend to take a chance either? Fine, I’ll not try to further persuade. The lot of you can continue to fill the Hawthorne if that’s what works for you. No skin off my back. More room for me when using the Morrison when I need to do so. 🙂 It’s a shame that money was spent and a nice path is there, yet it gets lonely over there. Coming from Idaho, I take what I can get and although the Morrison is not whole-heartedly satisfactory, it met my needs for a better commute and I’m fond of it, despite its short-comings.

Champs
Guest
Champs

Option 1, take the Morrison:
1) Get dumped in front of a freeway offramp
2) Wait for the trains between Water & 2nd
3) Not go due east, because you can’t cross MLK from several streets
4) Deviate your route and cross MLK—streetcar tracks and all
5) Wait forever to cross Grand

Option 2, take the Hawthorne, and have none of these problems.

Arem
Guest
Arem

Instead, you get an entire new set of problems! Enjoy! Boo-hoo if you’re not able to tolerate the Morrison bridge. I think it’s great and it’s advantages outweigh the disadvantages, IMO.

CPAC
Guest
CPAC

The bridge just isn’t that long. Go slow for a few hundred feet. It’ll add all of 20 seconds to your travel time.

JL
Guest
JL

The bridge just isn’t that long. Go fast for a few hundred feet. It’ll subtract 20 seconds from your travel time.

Greg
Guest
Greg

As someone who used to be more hardcore, and now have gone through a number of injuries…
Give us slow people a break. We’re all going to get where we’re going, and no one wants to detour to the ER, or get pissed on the commute.

deborah
Guest
deborah

If someone comes up on me fast I move to the right to let them pass on the left when the right hand side is clear. I feel like passing on the right is poor form.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Ride diffrent bridge if you don’t have a skillset to ride close or avoid stuff.
* Squids all over the place these days * fast squids,slow squids * just share the path with eachother we are on bikes and not in cars with rage right?

Spiffy
Guest

they now have footage of the elusive giant squid…

John
Guest
John

To Kevin (aka anonymous), I was right behind you and the raging dude when this happened. (You might have heard me say “whoa!” just as he fell off his bike. Then I passed you again at Hawthorne and MLK as you were looking back.)

I have no idea what his deal was. I didn’t witness anything that would have warranted such a reaction. I also vaguely recall him making some kind of hand gesture halfway across the bridge before this happened, and I thought “what did that gesture mean, and who was that intended for?”

Anyway, sorry you had to experience that.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Remember, all requests to pass via bell or voice are simply that. Requests. Being among the top 5% speed wise (not bragging), I frequently say aloud “request denied” if it’s not safe to get over. Given the high volume of walking traffic during commute hours, this is frequently the case.

There’s a general problem with zig-zaggers as well. Esp. those on bike who are pretty fast (faster than they think) but insist on riding the right rail and weaving in and out of the walking and biking zones. Please stop doing that. It’s the worst of the bad forms.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

(*dons spandex tights, pulls on neon jacket, climbs on immaculate vintage nishiki with mirror, and shakes fist*)

you damn zig zaggers should learn how to hold your line!

was carless
Guest
was carless

Folks, drug will mess you up. Im sure this has a Lot to do with these bizarre incidents.

Spiffy
Guest

true, too much caffeine and nicotine can put you on edge…

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

For some people, this type of incident is an example of the reasons they’d rather drive rather than bike or take mass transit. Humanity in very close proximity can be tough to deal with when people aren’t conducting themselves well.

Kevin, relating his experience here, sounds as though he did about everything right that he could have, but Mr. white beard with yellow jacket appears to have flipped out nevertheless. That kind of reaction could upset anyone not prepared for it. Especially if no other riders happened to stick around to observe and possibly back him up, riding off was probably better than sticking around and attempting to talk with the guy.

Might not have been a bad thing though, if someone had been able to stay there, counter the guy’s apparent anger and frustration with self assured smile and a “How’s it goin’ man? What’s up?’ If safe to do so, it’s important to find out what’s going on with people having things bothering them, before it becomes a worse problem elsewhere.

Hugh Johnson
Guest
Hugh Johnson

That’s what’s so flawed about the “us versus cagers” mentality some have on this site. Jerks are everywhere regardless of their mode of transportation.

Dolan Halbrook
Guest
Dolan Halbrook

wsbob
For some people, this type of incident is an example of the reasons they’d rather drive rather than bike or take mass transit. Humanity in very close proximity can be tough to deal with when people aren’t conducting themselves well.

I fail to see how this would cause people to drive, as poor conduct is a pretty accepted part of the general driving experience. I mean seriously, who hasn’t given (or wanted to give) the bird to a fellow driver at some point? Overall I find cyclists are far more courteous on average to other cyclists than drivers are to other drivers.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“I fail to see how this would cause people to drive…” Dolan

People within their cars have a privacy and protection people on bikes or on mass transit don’t have. Private cars offer their occupants an ability that bikes and mass transit can’t, to ignore some of the obnoxious, possibly dangerous people.

Motor vehicles isolate for people driving and riding in them, much of the noise, odors, and danger from other members of the public, people riding bikes and mass transit are exposed to.

I’m not offering the above as reasons I personally would find driving to be preferable to biking, but as reasons that may occur to certain other people having reservations about biking.

joel
Guest

base problem for most of the rider courtesy issues i see out there is people riding how they drive/drove. drivers on bikes, thats what i see, day in, day out.

Donna
Guest
Donna

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that has thought this.

Livellie
Guest
Livellie

I think it was a couple of years ago a fast moving cyclist on the Hawthorne clipped a slow moving cyclist while passing…sent a young lady right into the steel road decking. Ouch! There’s certainly been times when I’ve wanted to get around slower moving riders but I try to take it easy on the narrow bridge pathway. My commute is long enough that I can make up any lost time once all clear and back on the open road.

Andrew K
Guest
Andrew K

Every once in a while I encounter bike riders on the Hawthorne bridge who are pretty rude and going way too fast as if that bridge is their personal race track.

The way I look at it, those of us on bikes expect auto drivers to slow down when they mix in traffic with us. As such, pedestrians have every right to expect bike riders to slow down when we are in a situation mixed with them (like the Hawthorne Bridge for example).

There are signs at either end of that bridge cautioning bike riders to slow down. I obey those signs and I reduce my speed giving pedestrians as much room to enjoy their walk as possible. If that means the bike rider behind me has to add an extra 30 seconds to their ride then so be it. I’m not going to feel bad about it.

Reza
Guest
Reza

In almost every application of the law (besides maybe tractors on rural roads), it is the faster moving vehicle that must give right of way to the slower moving vehicle. It is the faster moving vehicle that has the onus of deciding when it is safe to pass. It is NOT the job of the slower moving vehicle to decide when it is safe to get out of the way. The slower moving vehicle should NOT have to risk their safety by weaving in and out of lanes to satisfy those going faster than them, like a majority of you seem to claim.

And I say this as a fast rider, I feel like I am giving more respect to slower riders than the rest of you are by passing on the right. I should be the one taking the risk (for myself and for other pedestrians) by judging when it is safe to pass. Slower riders SHOULD NOT have that responsibility. They have the right of way.

In every other conceivable situation I can think of I pass on the left. But I don’t on the Hawthorne Bridge. Blame the design of the path that put cyclists to the left of pedestrians if you want. Better yet, blame the narrow width.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

I’m fairly slow these days, probably 12mph or so in most situations unless I’m in a hurry or need to generate more body heat. I’ll move right when necessary BUT ONLY WHEN IT’S SAFE! Otherwise, Lance Pharmstrong (love it!) can wait. Worst case, I’ll slow down and let him stew. An advantage of that is that is it’ll make shorter gaps safe to pass in.

Kermit: “Bear Right”
Fozzie: “Left Frog”

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

90% of cyclists in those yellow/neon jackets are awful people. Complain about road rage all you want but the cyclist rage in this town is unprecedented. I’ve never seen so many aggro Lance wannabes in my life. The ‘hipster’ cyclists are fine, the bmx riders are fine, the casual riders, fine. It’s the neon jacket, rearview mirror, spandex wearing types who are always barking out orders at other cyclists. I just smile and give them a thumbs up when they yell at me (or others near me) on the esplanade.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Good thing you didn’t make a blanket statement and generalization by putting a percentage-accurate figure on it. :/

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

i am a spandex and (sometimes) neon jacket wearing rider and i avoid the esplanade like the plague. i think i ride it a few times a year when i am riding with the better half (still trying to convince her to get a *real* bike…sigh). moreover, if i were to install a mirror on my plastic bicycles i would never be able to look at myself in the bathroom mirror again.

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

Oh, yeah! A Typhoon with kick-back two speed, Wald front basket and streamers! She’ll rock the Esplanade!

jd
Guest
jd

The dude/chick who got yelly when I was back on a bike the first week after maternity leave were an average dude and a gal who probably thought she was pretty hip. The one person I know with a neon yellow jacket is the biggest mensch I know in Portland. This behavior is not caused by attire.

oliver
Guest
oliver

Talk about not being able to win. Half the day you listen to motorists rage at you for dressing in black, the other half you listen to the fashionistas alternately mock you for wearing hi-vis or even cycling specific clothing at all.

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

Wow. My new rain coat is neon orange. I hope it doesn’t make me an awful person.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Wessen on Hawthorne!

Shirtless rage!

Do not call Captain Renard!

J.M. Jones
Guest
J.M. Jones

Call this whatever you want to…..The PATHELETES are pathetic. They fail to inspire others to ride and certainly put forth a shining example to those in automobiles at the same time. See this a good deal. These people are all wrapped up in themselves and show a degree of disrespect to all who are not just like (or can keep up with) them.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

when someone passes you how does this make you feel?

Randy
Guest
Randy

Bridge bike conjestion…time to plan for a larger and affordable floating bike bridge

Rol
Guest
Rol

Leave room for what, exactly?? I would’ve been like “Sure! And don’t forget to leave room for my FOOT in your BUTT!”

Ironically and backwardsly, you could say that “Kevin” erred on the side of courtesy in trying too hard to accommodate the guy behind him. The best kind of error, mind you, like when two people get into a Portland Standoff (“Go ahead.” “No, you go ahead.” “No, you go ahead.”) Because I’ll bet what ended up annoying our Crybaby Schmuck was the tantalizing nature of the well-intentioned back-and-forth (essentially extending and retracting several passing invitations). I say this not because the Schmuck has any right to be mad about it, but because of experience — an analogous thing happened to me on a winding California highway once.

Realistically no one’s going to be able to pass anyway, until Slow Girl is able to pull over, and/or there are no walkers. It’s okay to make that judgment call, and devour someone’s 8 seconds that he would’ve saved. You presumably paid your taxes in some form or other, and when you’re done using that particular piece of public infrastructure, he can have his turn.

Final message to all Crybaby Schmucks:

In Rwanda in the 90s, if you happened to be of Tutsi descent, crowds of Hutus with machetes would chase you down and hack you up with machetes.

***

OK? Does that provide a little perspective on your problems?

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

If the passing cyclist had his emergency siren and lights on, we wouldn’t have this problem.

matt picio
Guest

True – but then they’d be getting arrested for impersonating a police vehicle. (seriously – there’s a law against using a siren on a bicycle)

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

/sarcasm@ the dude in a hurry

Spiffy
Guest

there’s also a law against using a bell on a vehicle…

Protour
Guest
Protour

Pass wherever it is safest and make your presence known duh.

This article is easily explained by the fact that Portland and big cities in general but especially Portland are full of deranged people, many of whom travel by bicycle.

Also be aware that some riders aren’t just riding, they are racing on Strava, trying to set a new fastest time on a predesignated course on the internet. If you see someone who is riding by themselves but looks like they are racing, be a good citizen and get out of their way and warm others that they are approaching. Maybe root them on a little also.

Spiffy
Guest

it’s not “their” way…

Arundo
Guest
Arundo

Much of the traffic going to and from the south should be alleviated with the new options on the Caruthers bridge opening sometime 2014/15.

Skid
Guest
Skid

There’s a lot of “commuter racers” in the town and what bugs me most about them is they can’t seem to be able to form the words “on your right” when they want to or are passing you. And then they get all mad. And then they get in front of you and bonk because they wasted so much energy passing you.

Ted Buehler
Guest

What bugs me is that the city should be designed for commuter racers as well as pokey commuters.

I’d rather have those racers on bikes than in cars, and if they need to ride at 21 mph out to St. Johns or Vancouver just to make things cost effective, we should be designing infrastructure for them.

The pokey city folks that ride 3 miles downtown are a relatively small market for getting cars off the streets, the big reward come when you can make it time-effective for someone 5, 7, or 9 miles away to get to downtown in a timely manner. Humans in good shape can bust along for 20 mph for a long time, and if we designed our cities to let this happen, we could convert a whole lot of car trips to bike trips.

Ted Buehler

Brad
Guest
Brad

Thank you! What troubles me most about bike planners and bike advocates is their insistence that everything be designed for the lowest common denominator, least fit, and, most nervous potential bike rider. That mindset creates the sort of conflict being talked about here.

Fast cyclists do need to extend courtesy and slow down on MUP infrastructure but, design transportation systems that do not penalize fitter riders that can push the big ring. Not everyone is a vehicular cyclist but, vehicular cyclists are not disappearing and should be served as well.

TonyT
Guest
tonyt

The cycle track on Cully Blvd. is exhibit A for this. Just AWFUL for anyone wishing to go over 8mph with that zig zag every block or so. Horrible. I’d MUCH rather take the road but then I’m the jerk biker to the cars that are behind me.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

people who ride faster than 8 mph are riding too fast for conditions. /snark

Spiffy
Guest

and yet you can’t legally take the lane when there’s a brand new cycle track right there… unless you want to argue its safety in court…

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

If by “Lowest common denominator” you mean “kids, seniors and newbies” then could I recommend rephrasing that? I’m not anybody’s lowest common denominator. I think you think you mean “the slowest” but my experience riding around Portland suggests that the infrastructure is aimed pretty squarely at the middle of the bell curve. If it hadn’t been fairly safe to start with, I’d never have gotten any faster or any better because I’d never have started at all.

Ted Buehler
Guest

Anne — the problem is designing *only* for the center of the bell curve.

There needs to be infrastructure for the newbies, pokey folks, etc.

And there needs to be infrastructure for folks who want to commute in from The Couve.

And, of course, for average riders.

If they just build stuff for average folks, and (lately) for pokey folks, then they miss out on the relatively larger population of commuters who live more than 5 miles from the city center. And engender conflict, frustration, and dangerous riding behaviour.

Ted Buehler

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

My complaint was about the term “lowest common denominator”: demeaning to at least one person who regularly reads this blog, and an inaccurate description of how bike infrastructure is designed in Portland.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

oh boy…do i disagree with this statement. i don’t know a single experienced rider who is happy with the design of current separated infrastructure.

Halley
Guest

I am just thrilled that it wasn’t about me. I’m proud to say that I have stopped “accidentally” spitting and blowing snot rockets on people that pass me on the right.

I also have stopped snarking on the lycra clad lady that runs every stop light and sign on my commute to work just one block ahead of me every Thursday morning only to have me catch up with her at the last light before my destination(while obeying every signal ) – breaking the law really doesn’t make you faster. . .

It’s about good manners and etiquette people! The last time I got honked at and told to get off the road & someone wanted to rage at me, I screamed back, “You wanna talk about it over some chamomile!?” They stared shocked, rolled up their window and drove off.

Ted Buehler
Guest

We’re still in the dark ages of bicycle roadway markings.

This free-for-all is probably what it was like driving in American cities before Detroit invented the traffic light in 1920.

Someday, hopefully soon, there will be channelization for bikes — multiple lanes, passing zones, no passing zones, and much less mayhem.

In the meantime, the lack of channelization will result in a lack of clarity on acceptable behaviors, and it will continue to bring out the worst in people.

Be careful out there, folks. Be nice, state your truth, hold to your principles when safe, and don’t get run off the road by other bicyclists.

Ted Buehler

Al from PA
Guest
Al from PA

They used to be called “scorchers” in the 1890s and were generally loathed and feared… Nothing new!

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

bike stockholm syndrome.

roger noehren
Guest
roger noehren

I subscribe to the minority view so well explained by Reza. I ride as far to the left of the portion of the sidewalk designated for bicycles, leaving plenty of space for faster riders to pass on my right when a safe opportunity presents itself.
If there are no pedestrians for a long way ahead of me, I ride on their side to savor the river view and fresher air. When I see oncoming pedestrians, I merge back onto the bicycle side (after determining that there are no cyclists approaching).
Perhaps this is because I have been a non-driving cyclist for over 50 years and have shared the Hawthorne Bridge sidewalk with pedestrians and other cyclists for over 30.

Joe
Guest
Joe

lets stop profiling everything until we get both sides or story. as riders we need to have diffrences and let go and ride on. nobody is perfect or maybe some can only judge stuff by 1 event or more, take time to chill and smile or whatever!

peace

geezer
Guest
geezer

I don’t understand this insistence on “never pass on the right.” It’s not coded in our DNA — there are entire countries where they drive on the left and pass on the right. The Hawthorne Bridge is not a dual-lane bike thruway, it’s a multi-use path with bikes assigned to the left lane. It plainly wrong to assume cyclists should normally ride in the pedestrian lane, and it seems only courteous that the rider who wishes to pass should be the one who makes the maneuver into the non-bike-traffic lane. You could announce it by saying “on your right”, which is then just a warning that someone is overtaking you (as “on your left” is on the Springwater), and not a demand meaning “get out of my way.”

dan
Guest
dan

I would actually say that the faster rider who’s so eager to pass should be the one who risks falling off the path onto the bridge roadway, and therefore we should pass on the left…but as I’ve said before, nothing wrong with a little diversity in how we approach the question.

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

I ride the Hawthorne everyday, twice and I am often passed and just as often I pass others. I am disappointed to hear about “Kevin’s” experience, but I hardly think we need to redesign the entire bridge over one jackass rider. I would say on the whole, I wait until the person ahead of me heads to the right side of the path, then I pass–likewise, when there are riders behind me I wait until there are no peds close and I head to the right side so others can pass me. I have not had any conflicts, any near misses, nada. I consider myself a reasonably confident rider (although lugging a first grader around on my xtracycle makes me more cautious) and I would encourage anyone who avoids the Hawthorne bridge to give it try. The light phase at Grand creates a boom and bust pattern heading into town. If you go slow off of the light, everyone will pass you (in the double lane area) and you can tool along at any pace you want until the next set of CAT VI racers shows up… on the eastbound return, it is not as clear a break, but it is pretty easy to slide right if someone is creeping up on me (I usually get passed on the eastbound rides). There are crazy aggro people everywhere, if I made decisions to avoid all activities that could possibly maybe interact with a crazy I’d have to lock up at home and get my groceries delivered…

Dolan Halbrook
Guest
Dolan Halbrook

My guess is that 90% of the passing issues are east bound on the river span because of people building speed on the slight downhill and wanting to conserve it over the industrial area.