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The Monday Roundup: Killing ‘Share the Road’ signs, the walkability shortage and more

Posted by on August 31st, 2015 at 9:28 am

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Study says: one works, one doesn’t.
(Image: Bike Delaware)

Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Killing “share the road”: A new study has verified that people don’t understand the road sign, but they understand “bicycles may use full lane” signs perfectly.

Walkability shortage: More people live in yard-and-driveway neighborhoods with but yearn for walkably attached homes than the other way around. That’s one finding from a recent survey about active transportation and real estate preferences.

No you first: An Austin fixie user figured out how to halt and bewilder a Google car: a track stand.

More trucks: The pullout of two big shipping companies from the Port of Portland this year has put 1,700 more trucks on local roads.

Mountain biking: Ski resorts are turning to the sport for revenue since it doesn’t snow very much any more.

Folding bikes: London manufacturer Brompton will open a new consolidated factory with double its current floorspace.

Sydney backpedals: The minister of roads in New South Wales is about to remove a much-ridden protected bike lane over the protests of Sydney’s mayor.

Pedestrian vs. bike: After a UK woman on a bike failed to yield to a person walking in front of her in a crosswalk (and possibly flipped him a finger) he ran after her and pushed her over.

Federal clarification: A bunch of the excuses that conservative engineers use for not building bike lanes are myths, according to a new memo from the Federal Highway Administration. (Portland’s top signals engineer, Peter Koonce, is quoted saying this could allow more bike signals.)

Speed limits: Another myth: that cities must base speed limits on how fast people drive.

Market shift: The U.S. auto industry is focusing on its base, Bloomberg says: “old people.”

Electric cars: All BMWs will be hybrid or emission-free within 10 years, the company says.

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Montreal’s secrets: Here are eight from Canada’s longtime biking capital.

Vision Zero LA: The latest city to sign on to the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025 is Los Angeles.

Vision Zero NYC: One year after New York made it a criminal misdemeanor to fail to yield to someone walking or biking with the right of way, the city’s police seem to have used the law a grand total of 31 times.

Normal violence: Eight-year-old Jadann Williams was playing in a Brooklyn cul-de-sac when Reginald Auguste killed her with his car. Ryan Romans, an acquaintance of Williams, then punched Auguste. Police have charged Romans with assault and Auguste with nothing.

Niceness in numbers: Rude bike riders are really annoying, says New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson. The only solution is to build protected bike lanes until normal people outnumber rude ones.

Biking in India: It’s way cheaper.

Bikes on Amtrak: Roll-on access (usually with reservations) was just allowed on four new train lines.

Washington advocacy: Washington’s statewide advocacy group may merge with the Seattle-focused Cascade Bicycle Club.

Sadik-Khan book: The former NYC transportation director (now leading an international effort funded by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to save cities from cars) has published a book about her work.

“Crash” vs “accident”: I’m going to quote a passage in full from the Washington Post’s summary of the merits of changing the public language about street collisions:

Before the labor movement, factory owners would say “it was an accident” when American workers were injured in unsafe conditions.

Before the movement to combat drunk driving, intoxicated drivers would say “it was an accident” when they crashed their cars.

Planes don’t have accidents. They crash. Cranes don’t have accidents. They collapse. And as a society, we expect answers and solutions.

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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

105 Comments
  • Avatar
    Justin Carinci August 31, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I love that Google car link, like the car is thinking “it’s like a bicycle, but more difficult to operate. And why won’t the operator put down his foot?” And some programmer has to sit the Google car down and have The Talk.

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      Andy K August 31, 2015 at 10:01 am

      I agree, that story is cool…but why do we call the bike rider a “user?”

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      q`Tzal August 31, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      I like the part where other reports of this peculiar situation tell of the bike rider and vehicle occupants ALL laughing at the ridiculous technological impass we’ve come to.

      Perhaps SkyNet is destined to kill us … with kindness.

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    Dan August 31, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I’ve been seeing this commercial a lot lately. Liberty Mutual Accident Forgiveness:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uiBa-VF5e8

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      Pete August 31, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Deflection of responsibility is The American Way.

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    9watts August 31, 2015 at 10:26 am

    BMW is talking out of both sides of its mouth. Last I checked, plug-in Hybrid wasn’t the same thing as off gasoline. If it were then there would be nothing to hybridize.

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      Spiffy August 31, 2015 at 11:30 am

      headline hype… they’re converting to all-electric…

      …drive-trains…

      still creating the power with gas, but the drive-train is all-electric…

      this is also in the article “BMW is already acknowledged to be the electric-car leader among German makers.” even though they only have 1 all-electric car… what this really says is that no German makers are a leader in electric cars…

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        9watts August 31, 2015 at 11:32 am

        Yeah that was kind of my point.
        Not to mention the fact that electric cars, by and large, are not, when run on electricity, powered by the flavors of electrons proponents like to imagine, even in Germany.

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          e2pii August 31, 2015 at 6:24 pm

          Absolutely!

          I hate when electric cars (and hybrid/part hybrid) are touted as “zero emissions vehicles.” At the tailpipe, perhaps they are.

          Even the the renewables are not zero-impact (carbon or otherwise) on the environment, having large footprints compared to a ‘traditional’ electron-factory producing the same GWe (e.g. nuclear). It’s easy to forget about the resources and manufacturing that goes into renewable infrastructure (rare earth magnets in wind turbine generators; heavy metals in many PV panels). And then there’s the storage and seasonality problems, and the constant uphill battle of these sources to meet baseload electricity demand.

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            soren September 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

            “Even the the renewables are not zero-impact (carbon or otherwise) on the environment, having large footprints compared to a ‘traditional’ electron-factory producing the same GWe (e.g. nuclear).”

            Every wheels to wells study I’ve seen indicates that genuine renewable generation has an incredibly low footprint. (New hydropower is not considered to be a renewable energy source because it generates enormous CO2e emissions largely in the form of methane.)

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              9watts September 1, 2015 at 9:46 am

              That is a rather generous assessment, soren.
              toxics:
              http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/solar-energy-isnt-always-as-green-as-you-think

              energy:
              Two related new problems: solar PV panels are now primarily being made in countries with very high CO-intensity electricity grids (China/coal) and the panels are then installed in countries with lower CO-signature electricity (Europe, US), thus counteracting the absolute CO2 balance we’re interested in: In short: coal is being used to make PV which are then grid connected in countries that have a less climate-potent grid fuel mix. That is the static issue.
              The dynamic version relates to the rate of growth in PV:
              “…the energy and CO2 savings made by the cumulative installed capacity of solar PV systems are cancelled out to some extent by the energy use and CO2 emissions from the production of new installed capacity. For the deployment of solar systems to grow while remaining net greenhouse gas mitigators, they must grow at a rate slower than the inverse of their CO2 payback time.”

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                soren September 1, 2015 at 11:51 am

                The environmental record of chinese industry is terrible but I’m not sure what this has to do with solar generation CO2e per se.

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                9watts September 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm

                Everything.
                There’s the theory and the practice of PV.
                The theory, frequently, talks about the abundance of sunshine in the deserts, ever cheaper prices for panels, zero emissions and all that, when the practice is that most PV production has moved to the Far East, and prominently, China where, among thousands of other problems, the energy to make the panels is very dirty (in a climate sense). To offset those emissions, which are far from climate neutral, these panels must then substitute for kWh on some grid, right? Well the grids where these panels are typically connected aren’t nearly as dirty (in a climate sense) as they are in China. Therefore, it takes longer to recoup that initial climate-destroying penalty incurred in the mining, manufacture, shipping, etc.

                On top of that is the *dynamic* whereby growth in PV panel production takes exponentially more climate-destroying fossil fuels to produce, on the one hand, relative to the emissions that can reasonably be assumed to be offset by those panels *in a given time period*, say 2015.

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                Pete September 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

                CO2 aside, there’s also a tremendous amount of water used in sputter deposition on PV wafers.

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              e2pii September 1, 2015 at 7:12 pm

              Sorry – I meant strictly their geographical footprint. The geographical area that renewables take up is huge relative to denser forms of energy production.

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      • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
        Michael Andersen (News Editor) August 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        You’re right – headline hype that fooled my incautious eye. I’ve edited the summary above.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu August 31, 2015 at 12:26 pm

          Switching from conventional internal combustion (IC) drivetrain to hybrid electric/IC drivetrain is still a significant step. Hybrid cars use less fuel and have lower emissions than the equivalent conventional IC car.

          Cars in the US have poor fuel economy. New cars sold in 2014 had average MPG around 25 mpg. The total car fleet in 2014 had much lower MPG than that, because of the many older cars on the road. Compare to typical hybrid MPG in the 35-50 mpg range. Thus hybrid cars are a big advance over the status quo, even if they do still use auto fuels.

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            9watts August 31, 2015 at 12:32 pm

            “Switching from conventional internal combustion (IC) drivetrain to hybrid electric/IC drivetrain is still a significant step. Hybrid cars use less fuel and have lower emissions than the equivalent conventional IC car.”

            It is only a significant step if the charge is to spread out our burning of the remaining fossil fuels over a few more years. Twenty years ago this seemed like a prudent strategy: get more miles out of the oil that is under the ground. But today that is no longer a useful strategy. We’re on the hook to leave the oil and gas and coal in the ground, not dig it up much less burn it. Once that sinks in fuel economy will be recognized as a fool’s errand, a distraction. About as useful as those Share the Road signs. “‘Share The Road’ is yet another example of ‘feel good’ signage that placates an interest group but has no safety benefit and adds useless and distracting clutter to the visual landscape”

            “Cars in the US have poor fuel economy. New cars sold in 2014 had average MPG around 25 mpg. The total car fleet in 2014 had much lower MPG than that, because of the many older cars on the road. Compare to typical hybrid MPG in the 35-50 mpg range. Thus hybrid cars are a big advance over the status quo, even if they do still use auto fuels.”

            Not so. New vehicle fuel economy has had some ups and downs, with a notable peak around 1990. But that was a long time ago. For the past twenty five years we’ve been treading water, losing ground. So the ‘old cars are bringing down the average’ which was true in 1990 really doesn’t cut it any more. Most of the cars that were built before, say, 1980 aren’t around and the few that are are not driven that many miles.

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              Chris I September 1, 2015 at 9:06 am

              And a lot of people are driving F150 (or much larger) pickup trucks now. People that live in the city, or in the suburbs, and drive to an office job. I would imagine that the pickup market share has been growing the past few years, which would bring down the fleet average even further.

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                Pete September 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

                My friend switched from a Subaru Forester to a GMC “Texas Edition” pickup truck and wrote almost $40K off of it for his business. To be fair, the truck actually gets similar highway mileage to the older Forester, but still, he was essentially bribed by the government to trade in a car with a smaller footprint.

                Speaking of which, have you seen the August car and truck sales numbers? Caught it on NBR last week: Toyota sales way down, Ford and GM way up, particularly noticeable in the pickup market. And of course news headlines continue to “celebrate” cheap gas (which means road repair shortfalls and domestic job losses, not just the pocket change that trickle-down theory says will boost domestic retail spending).

                Still waiting for that inflation-indexed gas tax to show up…

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                wsbob September 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm

                My dad has a ten years or so, older F150. Great ride, drives like a car, infrequently uses is, easily less than 5000 miles per year. So mpg wouldn’t be much of an issue anyway, though I think it gets 17 or so.

                Also in the news the last week related to ‘cheap gas’ (at 3 bucks/gal, doesn’t seem cheap to me.) was a WSJ report of growing sales and interest for non-commercial use of utility vans. Auto manufacturers have designed them to look better and drive better than the old boxy vans people in decorated with murals.

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                Pete September 7, 2015 at 5:54 pm

                wsbob: “…at 3 bucks/gal, doesn’t seem cheap to me.”

                Depends if you’re buying gas in Houston or San Jose. As someone who travels extensively for work, I can attest that market pricing is widely disparate across this country. I think people are also ignoring that ‘cheap gas’ is a result of economic warfare against our country, and ultimately will lead to loss of jobs and decline in revenue for road repairs.

                Regarding vans, I have a `92 extended length Ford E250. (Many) years ago this was my “poor man’s motor home”, and it’s served my friends and I extensively as a beast of burden. These days I put very, very few miles on it – currently it’s just storage for drywall and beams and studs for an upcoming remodel. Back in the day, though, that van was home to many a coastal surfing trip or eastern gorge windsurf vacation. Also, I got REALLY popular when it came time for friends to move or buy furniture.

                With new engines and features, vans like the Nissan NV, ubiquitous Sprinter, redesigned Ford Transits, etc., make sensible alternatives to RVs for recreationalists… kinda like modern mobile versions of tiny houses.

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            Pete August 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm

            Let’s not forget that hybrid cars have their best emissions and fuel economy when driven appropriately. Their gas engines typically use a different combustion cycle than non-hybrids, specifically with much less torque. (Electric motors have very good torque, which is why electric cars like some Teslas can out-accelerate many gas-powered cars with higher horsepower). When you accelerate hybrids hard, you cause their gas engines to kick in and work in torque curves that they’re simply not designed to. You will also wear the engine out quickly if you make a practice of accelerating aggressively.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of hybrid designs, but like any technology they must be operated within the constraints of their designs to achieve optimal performance. Otherwise, it’s not as huge a ‘win’ as often purported.

            (Sorry, I had to get this off my chest. Here in CA the Prius led the way for significant subsidies, likely due to Toyota’s big R&D center here. As a result many people buy them for state tax credits and carpool lane stickers, but they still drive them like the typical lead-footed Californian, and it seems like most times I’m cut off or right-hooked it’s by a Prius – numbers game, I realize).

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              Chris I September 1, 2015 at 9:07 am

              It is completely absurd that California allows Prius drivers to use carpool lanes. That is insanity.

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                9watts September 1, 2015 at 9:10 am

                While I personally agree with you, the thinking behind this is not hard to follow: carpool lanes are for those who take steps to benefit the greater good, once upon a time people who went to the trouble of finding additional unrelated bipeds to ride in their car with them. Once hybrid cars were branded as similarly beneficial to our future (back before we realized that fuel economy was not going to save us) the step to issuing solo-hybrid drivers a get-out-of-congestion-free card was a small one.

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      Dan August 31, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      A plug-in hybrid can be driven all-electric, or on gasoline. Gasoline is only a requirement when there is not a plug-in station nearby.

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    KristenT August 31, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see “share the road” replaced by “(bicycle) may use full lane”. Especially if Tigard continues its trend of removing bike lanes and replacing them with parking “because people are parking there anyway”. Or in places where they can’t put in bike lanes for one reason or another (i.e. Tigard St heading towards Main, 121st Ave in the gap between Walnut and Whistler’s Walk where there is no bike lane or shoulder, Fonner St/115th, Tiedeman where they removed the bike lane on one side in favor of variable width “refuges” aka not-a-shoulders).

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      9watts August 31, 2015 at 10:39 am

      +1
      What lovely and simple research that was.
      Thanks for highlighting it here.

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      9watts August 31, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Maybe we can now get the OR DMV to change those vanity license plates to
      Bicycles May Use Full Lane?

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        Pete August 31, 2015 at 11:18 am

        California Bicycle Coalition is polling people to find out what the public preference is in their push for a state bicycle plate here:
        https://calbike.org/licenseplate

        (I think I chose “Watch for Bikes” and “Bike California”).

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          q`Tzal August 31, 2015 at 1:10 pm

          We shouldn’t be polling the public about which “sign they prefer” but which “is least ambiguous”.

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            Dan August 31, 2015 at 1:26 pm

            License plate, not sign.

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            Pete September 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm

            Not sure if you caught that it was for the license plate slogan, but regarding signs, the general public is certainly the last place I’d go to determine “least ambiguous.” OK, maybe a close second to AAA and motorists.org…

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      wsbob August 31, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Basically, ‘(bike) May Use Full Lane’ signs can offer helpful information to road users for specific road situations, in other words the information on them is not an exception to Oregon law regarding use of the road by people traveling by bike.

      Oregon law acknowledges the right of people traveling by bike, to use the full lane except where, essentially, conditions in the bike lane are ideal.

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        Eric Leifsdad August 31, 2015 at 12:36 pm

        I’m thinking about getting one to hang on the back of my cargo bike.

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          wsbob September 1, 2015 at 12:46 am

          Yeah, I dunno… . I think basically it just gets back to the idea that more comphrehensive road user (which essentially is the driver’s license procedure.) training and testing than exists now, should be prepared and implemented.

          Before they take a vehicle on the road…any type vehicle, whether…people ought have at least a fundamental understanding of who has the right to use the road and in what situations. It’s not that complicated to understand, once explained plainly, that people traveling the road by bike do in fact legally have the right to use all areas of road, rather than only the bike lane, as some people seem to want to think.

          Sticking a lot of extra signs up because people are allowed to get too lazy to learn who has right to use the road, when, is not so good.

          The ‘Share The Road’ slogan may not be so good as informational road instruction, but it does have a nice ‘aw shucks’ community come together kind of message. Especially compared to the ‘better, brighter, easier to understand’ sign. When and if those ‘Share The Road’ signs are decommissioned, I’ll take one off their hands.

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        soren September 1, 2015 at 9:12 am

        oregon law only allows people cycling to use the full lane when they are travelling at the “normal” speed of traffic. i am fairly certain your definition of “normal” and that of a traffic court judge differ, wsbob.

        except where, essentially, conditions in the bike lane are ideal.

        law enforcement and judges do not accept those exceptions. they are faux exceptions.

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          El Biciclero September 3, 2015 at 11:55 am

          “oregon law only allows people cycling to use the full lane when they are travelling at the ‘normal’ speed of traffic.”

          …and then only if there is no bike lane present. The difference between wsbob’s and everyone else’s interpretation of the law (ORS 814.420) comes down to what we think law enforcement and judges will deem to be legitimate “hazardous conditions”. I happen to believe that law enforcement will not necessarily recognize potential hazards, such as a car door that might open (but isn’t open at the moment), or a right hook that might happen (but only if an overtaking driver fails to yield). In fact, there are at least a couple of cases where law enforcement has not even recognized actual hazards or legitimate exceptions that caused cyclists to ride outside a bike lane, and have issued citations accordingly (see here and here) . Then there is the one famous case where a driver was not issued a citation because the cyclist they right-hooked was deemed to be riding outside the bike lane due to the bike lane stripe being discontinuous through an intersection.

          There are many precautions that a prudent cyclist will take, which might put them outside a bike lane; not all of those precautions are necessarily covered by the exceptions in ORS 814.420. It’s all up to the interpretation applied by the cyclist and by law enforcement at a particular point in time, and there are plenty of cases where those interpretations can differ, resulting in cyclists getting tickets, whether they are actually breaking the law or not.

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          wsbob September 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm

          “oregon law only allows people cycling to use the full lane when they are travelling at the “normal” speed of traffic. i am fairly certain your definition of “normal” and that of a traffic court judge differ, wsbob. …” soren

          Be a pal, and post a link for oregonlaws.org to the text of the law to which you refer, so that everyone reading can consider what is implied by “normal speed of traffic.

          “…law enforcement and judges do not accept those exceptions. they are faux exceptions.” soren

          The exceptions to use of the bike lane provided for in ORS 814.420 are valid exceptions. It’s seems to be an inescapable fact though, that many people that bike, and likewise, people that enforce and judge Oregon laws relating to the application conditions and exceptions cited in ORS 814.420, do not fully understand the range of road use situations this law covers.

          Bike advocacy organizations such as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), should be helping all parties concerned to fully understand this law.

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            are September 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

            the structure of the statute is use the striped lane unless. your argument is the meaning of the statute is somehow use the travel lane unless the striped lane is somehow perfect. i would suggest this is not a natural reading of the language. the “unless” is in the wrong place. if as you acknowledge no one understands the law in the latter sense, not even police and traffic judges, then as a practical matter it is not the law. what people are asking for in asking for a repeal of the mandatory sidepath law is to get rid of the problem.

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          Pete September 4, 2015 at 9:39 am

          What if I’m riding the normal speed of bike traffic?

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            wsbob September 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm

            Pete…quite right. Where it is that Soren has drawn his conclusion about bikes and normal speed of traffic relative to people biking having the right to ride the main lanes rather than bike lanes, I do not know.

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              El Biciclero September 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm

              “Where it is that Soren has drawn his conclusion about bikes and normal speed of traffic relative to people biking having the right to ride the main lanes rather than bike lanes, I do not know.”

              From ORS 814.430. However, ORS 814.420 takes away this “right” as “traveling at the normal speed of traffic” is not included in any of the listed exceptions; 814.420 stipulates that a bicyclist must ride in a bike lane if one is present unless preparing for a turn, avoiding a right-turn-ONLY lane, or when passing or avoiding “hazardous conditions”. There is no exception based on speed of travel.

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                wsbob September 6, 2015 at 12:10 am

                Sound reasoning would have avoidance of hazard trump requirement to stay within the bike lane rather than take the main lane when traveling by bike, according to Oregon law. At any rate (2)(c) of 814.430 acknowledges essentially the same conditions as does (3)(c) 814.20 .

                Of course, people traveling by bike nevertheless have to use knowledge and good judgment in exercising their right to use the main lane rather than the bike lane. They, like people driving, are obliged to not unnecessarily hold up faster traffic…to properly signal for turns (not necessarily exactly ‘by the book’, but as much as is reasonably possible, sufficient to help other road users be informed of changes in position on the road.), which would include transitions back and forth between bike lane and main lane.

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                El Biciclero September 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

                “At any rate (2)(c) of 814.430 acknowledges essentially the same conditions as does (3)(c) 814.20 .”

                Yes, but 814.430 also makes allowances/exceptions for substandard-width lanes, riding two abreast, riding at the normal speed of traffic, and riding along the left edge of a one-way street—814.420 removes these “rights” by omitting them. No matter how you try to spin it, ORS 814.420 places greater restrictions on the safe operation of a bicycle and forces bicyclists into a dangerous road position most of the time.

                Let’s say I move further left to pass by a busy mall entrance to a) become more visible to side traffic leaving driveways, b) become more visible to left turning traffic waiting to enter a driveway, or c) to avoid being right-hooked by overtaking drivers wanting to turn into a driveway. ORS 814.430 would appear to allow this move, while ORS 814.420 does not if there is a bike lane painted past this hypothetical mall/shopping center.

                Let’s say a bike lane is of substandard width (e.g., 3 feet), there are parked cars on the right and a 9-foot lane to the left. If I feel uncomfortable being squeezed between overtaking cars and parked cars, I cannot legally move out of such a bike lane, but the “too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side” wording in 814.430 would appear to allow me to legally move left, as long as there were no bike lane present.

                I ask again, if 814.420 offers all the same rights and exceptions as 814.430, then why do we have two laws? Why is 814.420 any better then 814.430? What additional benefits does it confer on bicyclists? ORS 814.420 does not prohibit cars from driving in the bike lane (that is addressed in another law), and ORS 814.430 seems to “clarify” when bicyclists might be allowed to operate other than “as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.” Why don’t we just add “or in a bike lane if present” to 814.430 and keep its wording for all exceptions?

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                wsbob September 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm

                bic…very few people if anybody besides yourself, are going to relate to, sort out or remember those barely distinguishable nuances you’re seeking to draw from the two laws.

                Kind of guessing here, but I think differences of language in closely related laws, may come about because they were written at different times by different groups of people, and because people involved in the latter of the groups, looked at the earlier law and found no strong reason to make changes.

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                El Biciclero September 7, 2015 at 11:58 am

                “very few people if anybody besides yourself, are going to relate to, sort out or remember those barely distinguishable nuances you’re seeking to draw from the two laws.”

                There are actually quite a few people who are used to sorting out these “barely distinguishable” nuances—they’re called “lawyers”, and if you end up in court (no matter how small the chances may be) with a citation for any violation of these conflicting and vague laws, I hope you are able to hire a good one.

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                wsbob September 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm

                bic at:http://bikeportland.org/2015/08/31/monday-roundup-killing-share-road-signs-walkability-shortage-157632#comment-6546165

                Any conflict and vagueness you’ve drawn out of the laws you’ve cited, seems due for the most part to your apparent desire to have those laws be seen as vague and conflicting. The rights of people biking to use bike lanes and main lanes, acknowledged by the language used in those laws is straightforward enough. When read with good thought and sound judgment, the full range of use the road by people traveling by bike, acknowledged by Oregon bike related laws, is made clear.

                I think it could be very good if situations in which citations were issued to people biking and found in violation of some of those laws, were looked at much more carefully than they seem to have been in past. That’s why I said earlier that it might be a good idea for bike advocacy organizations such as the BTA and LAB to set up legal defense funds to help defend people that may have been unjustly cited for violations of Oregon bike related laws.

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                Pete September 7, 2015 at 5:35 pm

                “…may come about because they were written at different times by different groups of people…”

                …who likely don’t ride bikes. (OK, I added that part in sarcasm).

                This is why I can’t stand when legislators try to keep us safe from ourselves, often while trying to make a name for themselves. (A certain taillight requirement we disagree on comes to mind… ;).

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                soren September 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

                I hired good lawyers and was told that contesting tickets for cycling traffic citations based on statutory exceptions has a zero track-record of success. I refused the fine reduction and safety class out of principle.

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                wsbob September 8, 2015 at 9:04 am

                Pete at http://bikeportland.org/2015/08/31/monday-roundup-killing-share-road-signs-walkability-shortage-157632#comment-6546283

                I think Oregon bike related laws clearly were written, discussed, voted upon and approved by people, at least some of whom were familiar with the realities of riding a bike on the road that differ from driving a bike on the road. The breakdown in carrying out those laws faithfully to what they seek to provide, I think is due in large part to people after the initial group, acting without sufficient, basic understanding of what the laws provide for.

                They may include a significant number of the people enforcing the bike related laws and those judging cases coming before them. It should go without saying, that there is apparently many people out riding on the road that have very little awareness of most Oregon bike related laws and what they provide for.

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                wsbob September 8, 2015 at 9:06 am

                Correction: “…that differ from driving a bike on the road. …”

                to: …that differ from driving a car on the road.

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                Pete September 8, 2015 at 11:58 am

                wsbob: “It should go without saying, that there is apparently many people out riding on the road that have very little awareness of most Oregon bike related laws and what they provide for.”

                This is exactly why I’ve stated, time and time again here, that DMVs should include scenarios and teach (and test on) rationale behind these laws rather than just repeat them rote in driver’s (and bicyclist’s) manuals. If you look at sections on biking in either Oregon’s or California’s manuals, you’ll see the same exceptions listed that El B points out, but you won’t see explanations as to why someone would ride a bicycle outside of a marked bike lane when riding next to a busy strip mall, for instance. (Instead, you’d need to turn to literature like the Smart Cycling booklets from LAB for that – why not include that level of detail in the DMV Bicyclist’s Manual, or better yet a singular “road user” manual?).

                To your point, though, is it possible that the reason for what you’ve stated there is that some of the laws are actually unclear, or contradict others, as El B has pointed out? I mean, you and I and El B have already established that we have differing interpretations of 814.420 – and we’re all experienced bicyclists.

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                wsbob September 8, 2015 at 6:11 pm

                Pete at: http://bikeportland.org/2015/08/31/monday-roundup-killing-share-road-signs-walkability-shortage-157632#comment-6546575

                Awareness and interest in biking as a practical means of travel seems to continue to increase, though I don’t think there’s an equal level of awareness and interest in things people biking need do to ride the road safely, that differ from things people operating motor vehicles need do to drive the road safely.

                I don’t think the wording of Oregon’s bike related laws is the problem. A general lack of interest in, and incentive to learn of Oregon’s bike related laws, and acquire a basic understanding of them, more likely is the problem.

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            soren September 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

            be prepared to pay $260 for a traffic ticket.

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              Pete September 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

              This is why I much prefer the wording of California’s CVC 21202 (a) 4:
              “When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.”
              https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d11/c1/a4/21202

              to Oregon’s 814.420 (3) e:
              “Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.”
              http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420

              Basically, it allows you to ride in lane anywhere a right-hook scenario is plausible, rather than just at poorly-marked right-turn-only lanes (from my read). Much more easily defensible in CA.

              (From my experience, I’ve taken the lane on several occasions in front of police in CA with no troubles, but never had opportunity to when I lived and rode fulltime in OR – though certainly wouldn’t debate your assertion).

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                wsbob September 4, 2015 at 5:42 pm

                Pete, I don’t think there is much difference between what the language of the Oregon and California laws you cite, effectively convey and seek to accomplish. Simpler can be better though.

                Instances in Oregon, of people being cited for not riding in the bike lane, seem to be very uncommon. And of instances where people have been cited, and the person was found guilty, few of the instances or the court’s decisions in response to them seem to have been studied closely for faithfulness to the language, intent and spirit of the law.

                Given this, there’s little substance to claims that law enforcement and the courts don’t acknowledge, as indicated by ORS 814.420, the rights of people biking to use all areas of the road in addition to their effectively exclusive right to travel in the bike lane.

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                Pete September 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

                I agree the difference isn’t in the intention, but it is in the conveyance. While I personally don’t know someone who’s been ticketed for riding out of the bike lane in either California or Oregon, there have been articles here about police in Oregon doing so (the guy in Ashland comes to mind).

                In California it is very common to see bicyclists taking the lane for short stretches, primarily at intersections, and especially passing to the left of cars that are turning right. I’ve witnessed police here also very tolerant of cyclists who ‘ride the line’ (which is a particular pet peeve of mine when I see it in wide lanes with no door zones). When I ride in the Portland area, I see plenty of cyclists stay far to the right of cars intending and even signalling to turn right. Maybe it’s not the wording of the laws that reinforce this, but rather the fact that bike lanes are known to be used as right turn lanes in California and bicyclists tend to ride accordingly.

                Bottom line for me: turn the word “must” into “may” and I’d agree that the conveyance is the same, otherwise the only place I know where a motorist must turn right is in a right-turn-only lane.

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                El Biciclero September 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

                There is a big difference between “must” and “may” (or “is authorized”, in CA parlance). There was a legislative initiative to change this wording in Oregon’s law, but it didn’t get very far. The fact that the wording was even recognized as needing to be changed indicates that it does NOT allow taking the lane in all potential right-hook scenarios.

                Your observation that citations are “very uncommon” is not an indication that law enforcement recognizes any rights conferred by vague exceptions; it is an indication of indifference to minor infractions—much like allowing drivers to go 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit before giving out tickets.

                The problem is that relying on officer indifference to allow bicyclists to operate safely isn’t the best way to exist. There is always the threat that an officer who wants to cite a bicyclist may do so at almost any time, even if a bicyclist believes they are following the law.

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                wsbob September 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm

                Pete…if someone wants and needs to make a turn off the road on which they’re traveling, they generally must turn at an intersection, whether that be an intersection of roads, driveway, and so on, and whether the road has been designed for turns such as a ‘right turn lane only’, or not.

                Vagueness and confusion over how to safely ride a bike on the road in ways consistent with the language of the law, arises from lack of education and broad public discussion about what are safe and relative procedures relative to using bikes for practical transportation.

                I don’t think there really is near enough awareness commonly known, of what constitutes “…or other hazardous conditions. . …” (3-c from ORS 814.420) to persons riding bikes on the road. That wording acknowledges the need and right of people riding bikes on the road, to legally transition from the bike lane to the main lane to avoid any hazardous condition that could pose a threat to their safe travel by bike in the bike lane; i.e. small bits of glass, rocks, etc that would pose no threat to big car tires…motor vehicles turning, preparing to turn, or potentially turning across the path of someone traveling by bike in the bike lane.

                It’s essential to the growth of biking as practical transportation, to have a greater awareness on the part of everyone using the road, as to what measures people biking need to safely and legally travel the road both in the bike lane and in the main lanes.

                The incident down in Ashland with the guy being cited for not riding in the bike lane, could possibly have been a good opportunity to clarify what the law acknowledges to be the rights of people traveling by bike on the road. Unfortunately, even though there was a short bit of police video to support the officer’s contention, information supporting the position of the person riding seems to have been lacking. I don’t recall if the person had a lawyer…for just a citation, probably not. Given what seems to be some serious uncertainty about what ORS 814.420 acknowledges, he probably should have had the help of a lawyer, and someone to investigate condition of the bike lane, etc . I don’t know that they do, but if organizations such as LAB or the BTA had legal defense funds, that could possibly help.

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                Pete September 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm

                “Vagueness and confusion over how to safely ride a bike on the road in ways consistent with the language of the law, arises from lack of education and broad public discussion about what are safe and relative procedures relative to using bikes for practical transportation.”

                Absolutely agree, but I think the wording of the law(s) plays a role as well, not to mention the variances between states.

                “It’s essential to the growth of biking as practical transportation, to have a greater awareness on the part of everyone using the road…”

                Hear, hear! Be safe out there this weekend.

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                Pete September 5, 2015 at 9:20 am

                More succinctly, Oregon’s law specifically states an “intersection”, whereas California’s leads me to believe I can leave the bike lane to take a traffic lane (for a sustained duration) to pass busy strip malls, which I do on my routes here almost daily. (To be fair, though, I do ride at traffic speed, and maybe my experience would be different – anywhere – if I were slowing down traffic with police noticing).

                Don’t really want to test either law’s wording! 🙂

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      rick August 31, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      When did these changes take place in Tigard on Tiedmann? Have you seen the new Tigard Street Trail on the old railroad tracks? Downtown Tigard surely needs “use full lane” signs. Main street is 20 mph, too.

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        KristenT September 1, 2015 at 9:49 am

        Rick, the Tiedeman bike lane went away last year in favor of parking next to the track– basically, from the Fanno Creek crosswalk up to the driveway of the school, where the bike lane disappeared anyway and dumped you in with the rest of traffic at Walnut.

        The Tiedeman bike lane from Tigard St to the bridge over Fanno Creek went away a couple of years ago in favor of a “refuge lane” and I use the term very loosely– it’s variable in width from less than one foot up to almost two feet and the paint line wanders around. I don’t use it while riding because it’s not a shoulder and it’s not a bike lane, so I’m not required to ride there if I don’t feel it’s safe and it’s definitely not safe. At spots, my handlebars are wider than it is.

        The new paved Rail Trail from Tiedeman to Tigard is AWESOME. I ride it in every morning instead of trying to stay alive riding in the car lane towards Main St– it’s made my morning commute way less stressful. Combining that with my usual combination of parks and trails and bike lanes, my commute has become much easier mentally.

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    Lester Burnham August 31, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Union greed = more congestion for us. That was unfortunate.

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    Buzz August 31, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Here’s the full research article on ‘Bikes May Use Full Lane’ signage study:

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136973

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    wsbob August 31, 2015 at 10:47 am

    “…State and local DOTs deploy an array of excuses to avoid building designs like protected bike lanes. “It’s not in the manual” is a favorite. So is “the feds won’t fund that.” …” streetsblog http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/08/24/feds-to-traffic-engineers-use-our-money-to-build-protected-bike-lanes/#.VdyAS4_zjHs.twitter

    Anyone having heard examples of this response to requests for protected bike lanes (cycle tracks), characterizing Oreon’s DOT or those of cities in the Portland Metro area? There can be so many other challenges to building even simple, good bike lanes, let alone protected bike lanes…this one doesn’t sound like one that would be particularly common.

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    rick August 31, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I personally have seen some young people driving the 30 mph 2015 Corvette Stingray lately.

    On another note, I like the “take full lane” signs. Washington County could surely use them.

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      rick August 31, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      30 mpg, not mph.

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      jered August 31, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      I’m 40 – so not “young” and if I had the cash I would buy the new stingray. I was able to pull some hot laps at PIR in one and for the first time in my life was SUPER IMPRESSED with a US made car – you can drive to your track day at 30mpg, rip around the track with amazing performance and then head home in a civilized fashion. The engineering and human connection in that car is amazing. Now just do that in a station wagon!

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        Psyfalcon August 31, 2015 at 2:47 pm

        Motorcycles. Even the 160 hp sport bikes do 40mpg on the road. Then take it to a track a few times per year.

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          Mao September 1, 2015 at 12:21 am

          A friend of mine bought a Honda Scooter to drive instead of his ancient truck around 2007. He can’t go on Freeways with it but gets nearly 100 mpg.

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            Psyfalcon September 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

            I’m doing high 60s on a Ninja 300. It will do 80mph too. Still have not cracked 70 mpg though.

            I can actually carry more stuff on my bike though, until I get the storage sorted out.

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        Eric Leifsdad August 31, 2015 at 5:10 pm

        Sounds about like a VW 1.8T from 1998. Granted, it gives up a few seconds on the 0-60, but not so much in a slalom and sure makes almost 2 decades of engine design seem like it’s standing still. My decade-old TDI wagon runs on B99 biodiesel and gets 40mpg. Do you go to Ikea before or after your hot laps?

        From a bit of research, I’m amazed that the corvette gets its mpg numbers by forcing a skip-shift. I guess it also has cylinder deactivation, but it sounds like it may have been optimized to fit the EPA test rather than for real-world economy.

        For nearly the opposite of the hybrid all-electric drivetrain, see the VW electroturbodiesel (and maybe if they fix the DPF setup it will even run on biodiesel.) One of their recent mpg-boosting tricks is to rely heavily on engine-braking and an oversized alternator recharging an oversized standard battery so you could shutdown at every stop and easily restart with the captured energy.

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          Pete September 4, 2015 at 9:46 am

          And yet nobody is buying cars for MPG anymore because gas is cheap again (just saw the August auto sales numbers). 🙁

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        Pete September 1, 2015 at 9:43 am

        I have done that in my S4 Avant, thank you very much.

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      Pete September 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Is it just me, or has the American auto industry simply rehashed all of the models that boomers yearned for in their youths? Chargers, Challengers, Mustangs, Stingrays… I even got a Dodge Dart as a rental last week – what’s next, the Duster?? My first car was a `70 Nova and I sure hope that doesn’t make its way back.

      One thing I don’t like is that some of these ‘back to the future’ muscle cars I’ve seen have no turn signals on the side. On two occasions I’ve been riding next to one and the driver couldn’t decide whether to turn in front or behind me, and I’d have easily accelerated if I could have seen the turn signal. (I noticed it flashing in the grill from my drop-bar mirror).

      Anyway, to each their own, I guess.

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    Anne Hawley August 31, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Gosh. Wealthy, senior, and presumably white male Americans who “have no hobbies but cars and investing” see it as their right and privilege to keep driving fancy cars. Color me amazed.

    It’s some faint comfort to know that high end new cars include features that help aging drivers drive a little more safely. It really is. But most of the aging drivers I know of aren’t wealthy. They can’t buy the latest safety features. And they have little choice but to drive, for the same reason poor younger people do: they moved to where they could afford to live, and now they’re stuck.

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      rick August 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Many of them have declining eye sight, poor spine health, etc.

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        Anne Hawley August 31, 2015 at 1:19 pm

        Yes. I know. I’m 59, and healthy, and the decline is evident from here. My point is, non rich people of all ages have limited choices.

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      wsbob August 31, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      There are people that work for their living making fancy cars. Some people, even when they’re in their 50’s and 60’s…like to buy and drive fancy cars, even if they rarely, or never drive them fast and hard. Not all fancy cars are necessarily new, or luxuriously expensive. Pride in your ride accounts for ownership whether the ride is a fancy car or a bike, expensive or otherwise.

      In actual use, most of the high speed capability of fancy fast cars such as corvettes, porsches, mustangs, lamborghini’s, etc is of little consequence beyond boasting rights. They’re used to drive to the grocery store, out to dinner, same as people do with their ordinary sedans.

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        Chris I September 1, 2015 at 9:13 am

        And for close-passing annoying cyclists around blind corners on Skyline.

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    B. Carfree August 31, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    As someone who is in the middle of his sixth decade of life, I find it frightening that three-fourths of all motorists are my age or older. While I’m a fairly healthy person, I have noticed that my reflexes, both physical and mental, are not what they used to be. My vision is far weaker than at my prime and I don’t hear nearly as well (What?). To think that so many narcissistic old people continue to drive is discouraging.

    I am somewhat buoyed by the fact that record numbers of young people are refusing to get licenses, so the future is bright, at least.

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      Pete August 31, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      I’ve not been able to find references online, but not long ago I listened to an interview with a Ford marketing executive who said they’re currently focused on enabling older people to continue driving into their senior years. I specifically remember one point she made: “the first person who lives to be 150 years old has already been born.” Scares me…

      My wife has nearly two decades’ emergency room experience and is quick to point out that auto makers are missing the biggest innovation needed in automobiles, and that’s the ability to lift an often-overweight patient out of a passenger seat and into a wheelchair without destroying the backs of young nurses.

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      lop September 1, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      As someone who is in the middle of his sixth decade of life, I find it frightening that three-fourths of all motorists are my age or older.

      ?

      A third of licensed drivers are 55 or older, not 3/4.

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    K'Tesh August 31, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    A known leadfoot kills a kid on a dead end street but doesn’t get cited? Then the guy who decks him does for assault? Common Sense in America has left.

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      wsbob August 31, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      “A known leadfoot kills a kid on a dead end street but doesn’t get cited? …” K’Tesh

      Not necessarily:

      “…The investigation by the Collision Investigation Squad is ongoing. …” streetsblog

      “…The collision occurred in the 70th Precinct, which has issued 288 citations for speeding and 118 tickets for failure to yield to a pedestrian through the end of July this year [PDF]. …” streetsblog

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    Ted Buehler August 31, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Two thumbs up for “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” signs.

    Ted Buehler

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      soren September 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

      These signs should carpet our greenways!

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    gutterbunnybikes August 31, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    The Model T got around 20 mpg….So it’s not as if automobile efficiency has really increased that much over the years. Besides nearly every maker of hybrids are getting sued for greatly inflating the MPG ratings of their vehicles – I doubt the hybrids (especially considering how few of them their are) have any significant effect in the “overall” picture.

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      e2pii August 31, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      One thing that has changed is the average weight of cars. (Gotta add all those creature comforts! Better seats! Sound proofing in the doors and floor! Stereo systems! Etc etc.)

      According to wikipedia, the curb weight of a Model T was 1,200 lbs. Compare that to a Ford Focus sedan, which Ford’s website says is 2,932 lbs for a sedan rated at 30 mpg (combined, manual transmission).

      If you account for the change in mass of the car, I think you would find that efficiency has improved (but I’m not arguing by leaps and bounds!). It takes more energy to move around more mass (just ask a bike tourer…) 🙂

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      wsbob August 31, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Besides burning fuel more cleanly, improvements in efficiency have modern cars getting a lot more horsepower out of their mpg than did the T, which I believe only had 30 hp. A much lower top speed too…sort of guessing 40 mph.

      Lots of city driving is at 40 mph or less, so aside from the other numerous practical and safety features of modern cars. (tun signals, passenger restraint belts, better brakes…)travel in the city could work out well enough with cars not able to travel over 40mph.

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        e2pii September 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

        And of course the other huge contributor to fuel efficiency is speed. At high speeds, the dominant force you are fighting is wind resistance, which increases at the cube of the velocity.

        To compare apples to apples with mpg numbers, put the model T engine and a modern gasoline internal combustion engine in a chassis of the same mass, same aerodynamics, and determine the mpg when driven at the same speed.

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          wsbob September 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm

          That’s the thing: a 100 horsepower motor isn’t required to have a motor vehicle travel 30 mph or even 60 mph. Vintage Model A engines, to this day, continue to be modified, boosting horsepower to I think, in the area around 80, to enable old A’s with their boxy body shape, to travel 60 mph to 100 mph.

          Pushing the body shape through the air though, takes a lot of gas to fuel the horses. So, good vehicle design starts first with good body profile aerodynamics. People biking smartly know this, which is what drop bars on racing bikes and body tuck have much to do with.

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      Pete August 31, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      Yes, but its emissions were also atrocious.

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        John Lascurettes September 1, 2015 at 12:58 am

        Yes, emissions do actually have an effect on fuel efficiency too – including gas additive some states require during certain seasons.

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          John Lascurettes September 1, 2015 at 12:58 am

          Emission regulations and standards that is

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          Pete September 1, 2015 at 8:33 am

          You mean that corn farmer subsidy? 😉

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            El Biciclero September 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm

            Ford’s initial plan was that combustion engines (at least his) would run on enthanol. Some say that one reason Rockefeller was such a big supporter of prohibition was to quash that plan by making ethanol illegal, requiring the use of petroleum (bought from Standard Oil) to fuel cars.

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              Pete September 4, 2015 at 9:41 am

              Isn’t it funny how politics has shaped our country? I’ve read that similar maneuverings by the DuPont family led to outlawing hemp.

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                El Biciclero September 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

                More “funny” how money has shaped politics…

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    Robin August 31, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    In regards to the “Killing the Share the Road” reference, its especially disheartening when Portland City Council member Dan Saltzman announces during last week’s vote for the greenway that he doesn’t understand the bicycle signage either and that its “very confusing. ” Thanks Dan.

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    are September 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    wsbob
    Kind of guessing here, but I think differences of language in closely related laws, may come about because they were written at different times by different groups of people, and because people involved in the latter of the groups, looked at the earlier law and found no strong reason to make changes.

    nope, they were both written at the same time.
    https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors814.html

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