What do you tell out of town drivers about Portland?

Howdy, stranger.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first of a new occasional Friday tradition: a BikePortlander Post of the week. BP Posts is our new section where subscribers can write and publish their own posts (that everyone can comment on). We’ll be highlighting these on the Front Page every once in a while in lieu of comments of the week.

via BikePortlander “Carsharing Dave”

I recently returned from a trip where I’d rented a car. As I passed thru PDX I asked myself: what would I tell someone from out of town who was driving in Portland to pay special attention to?

The list needs to be short enough that people can remember it.

• Pedestrians have the right of way, no matter what – at an intersection, crosswalk or jaywalking! You must be ready to stop if they step off the curb. And be ready if the car in front of you stops for a ped crossing.

• Give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing or fall in behind them until you can.

• Pay particular attention for a cyclist when making right turns.

What else?

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Adron Hall @ Transit Sleuth

Basically those are my three too, beyond that I basically say “try to drive like a German” and that your own children are playing near or in the streets. If you don’t have children, imagine the X most valuable thing/person (mom, father, brother, sister, favorite TV, comic, etc) might fall in front of your car at any moment.

9watts
6 years ago

“what would I tell someone from out of town who was driving in Portland”

To ditch the car and try a bike! 🙂

Not what you asked, but it is a serious suggestion. My in-laws come every year, and used to rent a car for the duration of their stay. They have also not, and done fine. You get to know the place a lot better if you don’t. It is also almost certainly going to be cheaper (so you can do other fun stuff with the money saved, like eat at a restaurant or contribute to bikeportland, or buy blue cheese ice cream.

Mark
Mark
6 years ago
Reply to  9watts

I would never ask my wife or children to ride on most of the streets of Portland. It’s still far too deadly and cops/DA’s don’t care. DA’s turn into limp pieces of toilet paper and refuse to even charge those that cause great bodily harm to cyclists/peds. Cops look the other way…

So yeah, until their is true equal protection under the law for cyclists on the State Level, I won’t ask my wife or kids to do it.

I ride because prior to a bicycle, I rode a motorcycle for years. I know how people act, know the terrain, have developed a slightly better sixth sense…etc.

Add in cyclists who are plain rude to other cyclists, feel the need to ride at 27mph at all times…nope…not for everyone but the most fit.

That needs to change…and hopefully Portland will get off it’s collective ass and change it. For now, it’s 99% a car world.

Don’t believe me? Look at the “bike lanes” on Stark and Oak. The lanes are painted nicely in the door zone of parked cars. They could have put the bike lane on the protected side..but they didn’t.

There there is the Broadway Cycle track which lacks any protection from cars besides the occasional parked car.

That’s how it really is. I love biking, I love Portland…but the two are still estranged lovers.

9watts
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark

“So yeah, until their is true equal protection under the law for cyclists on the State Level, I won’t ask my wife or kids to do it.”

“That needs to change…and hopefully Portland will get off it’s collective ass and change it.”

Paul gross
Paul gross
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Riding “too fast” is a problem now?

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul gross

Riding at high speeds dehumanizes slower riders, annoys drivers stuck in traffic, is associated with lawbreaking tendencies, and causes increased damage to our roads. The faster you ride, the more they hate us.

Two Nickels
Two Nickels
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

How do you think that riding at any speed damages roads?

Mark
Mark
6 years ago
Reply to  Two Nickels

I think he is referring to vehicle speed.

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Two Nickels

/sarcasm

(sheesh)

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

What?

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

/sarcasm

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

DEFINE “TOO FAST.” WHAT’S WITH THIS “DEHUMANIZES SLOWER RIDERS” CRAP? YOU ARE INSANE.

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul gross

The cyclist that typically rides too fast AND ignores the rules of the road for cyclist or motorist or pedestrians AND does not wear a helmet or visible clothing gives everyone else a bad name in the cycling world. There are too many of these around and I consider them suicidal. At least I have survived the last 62 years plying the streets of Greater Portland without making myself a complete nuisance.

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

I rarely violate the speed limit as a cyclist. Is riding under the speed limit “too fast”?

The funny thing about the cycling “rules of the road” is that they differ markedly from state to state with no obvious effect on safety. For example, in a neighboring state stop signs are optional and cyclists can run red lights. In another neighboring state cyclists can ride outside of bike lanes without risking a $260 ticket. There are even states where cyclists are not required to ride as far right as practicable. Somehow life, traffic, and society does not grind to a halt in states with laws that do not discriminate against cyclists.

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

wait…was that sarcasm too?

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

Oregon surely doesn’t need to relax its existing bike specific laws to allow vulnerable road users in this state, that already are sloppy and dangerous in their use of the road, to be even more so.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Converting to the Idaho Stop law would not make cyclists more dangerous or sloppy.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Hopefully, you’d be correct. Sorry, I don’t believe that would be the case. As is, here in Oregon in our own area, Beaverton for example, watching the range of manner in which people biking that roll or blow stop signs do so, is instructional. Do they really look carefully for cross traffic before proceeding through the signs/lights? Often very hard to tell if they are or aren’t. Some may be, Many obviously aren’t. That’s too sloppy for safe road use.

And I think that’s something that many, apparently the majority of road users, that bike and that drive, aren’t at all reassured by. So regardless of Idaho’s experience with its bike exclusive stop sign/stop light law, the Idaho stop looks to continue to be a law unique to Idaho for a while to come.

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

People who ride like idiots will continue to ride like idiots. But people who currently come to a complete stop and check their surroundings before proceeding will now be able to legally do that without coming to a complete stop. And people who currently perform Idaho Stops will be able to continue to do so, legally.

I can see the future and it will be fine.

Now, let’s get back to the real problem — houses are not wearing helmets:

http://tinyurl.com/q4zxvk6

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

are you really suggesting that we cannot repeal discriminatory statutes because oregon vulnerable road users are somehow sloppier and more dangerous than people in washington and idaho?

i don’t believe this at all.

davemess
davemess
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Anyone know what your chance of getting injured hurt in a car vs. a bike in Portland is?

I worry that this is kind of like the old “you’re more likely to get killed driving to the airport than flying in a plane” saying.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  davemess

I’m not up to speed on my probability math.
The average fatals for all crashes per 100k population in Portland is about 6, while the average fatals in bike crashes per 100 k in Portland is 0.2.
Risk of a crash may be different, since I think we would need to know more about exposure.

Allan
Allan
6 years ago

watch out for no right turn & no left turn signs all over town but especially on the transit mall

Aaron Shaver
Aaron Shaver
6 years ago

“Pedestrians have the right of way, no matter what – at an intersection, crosswalk or jaywalking!”

That isn’t true.

* Crosswalks also exist between intersections (mid-block), but only
if they are marked with white lines.

* Pedestrians are only allowed to cross mid-block at an unmarked
crossing if they are more than 150 feet from a marked or
unmarked crosswalk.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/389146

Duncan Watson
6 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Shaver

Pedestrians do have a responsibility to cross where you say but even if they cross illegally they have right of way because killing them is a bad outcome in any case.

Michael Andersen (Contributor)
Reply to  Aaron Shaver

I assumed Carsharing Dave was referring to Portland Culture – a higher law than Portland City Code.

alankessler
alankessler
6 years ago

If you see green paint at an intersection, don’t park on it, and don’t try to turn on red.

Make every effort to avoid roads marked with sharrows.

I’d amend your 3-feet point to: Do not pass bicycles. Just leave a few car lengths and enjoy the journey.

Alan 1.0
6 years ago

It rains here. A lot. Housing is super expensive. Job market is so-so. People are not friendly. You won’t like it. Go away.

alankessler
alankessler
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

has that been working?

Alan 1.0
6 years ago
Reply to  alankessler

alas, only if i cover my eyes and sing la-la-la (my singing might have more effect…)

davemess
davemess
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

all of that is true.

Captain Karma
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

…due for major earthquake…

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

Eh, everything is relative. Have you spent much time in Seattle?

Alan 1.0
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Yes. That strategy didn’t work there, either.

Lynne
Lynne
6 years ago

use your turn signal BEFORE you initiate a turn.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Lynne

Couple that with the advice: watch for people biking, because a whole lot of them don’t signal at all, even though they’re the vulnerable road users, and they’re harder to see than most motor vehicles.

Librarian
Librarian
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I frequently wear a backpack when I bike and find that signaling left is harder than right. I might manage to raise my arm for a moment but not constantly. So I am glad this is in ORS 814.440(2):

“(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is operating a bicycle and does not give the appropriate signal continuously for a stop or turn because circumstances require that both hands be used to safely control or operate the bicycle.”

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Librarian

“I frequently wear a backpack when I bike and find that signaling left is harder than right. I might manage to raise my arm for a moment but not constantly. …” Librarian

There’s some practice and good judgment involved in developing the ability to signal well for turns while riding a bike, but most people that ride could probably manage it. Balance, and favorability of the road surface and grade for one hand off the bars for signaling, are part of good signaling.

If the road is rough, or steep downhill, trying to pick a spot that’s smooth, well in advance of the intersection to start displaying the signal, works for me…and I’ll put the hand back on the bars where the road surface is rough, signaling again if it reverts to smooth. I’m more concerned that other road users know what I’m doing, and that I don’t fall, than I am about possibly getting a citation for not signaling.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

A 2012 study indicated that drivers failing to signal were responsible for TWICE as many crashes as ‘distracted driving’. Are there any studies that indicate that cyclists failing to signal contribute to X number of crashes? You seem hung up on trying to fix small issues in place of the larger ones.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Studies. If there isn’t a study proving something is important, it’s not important…is that your line of thought?

People when they ride, or drive, signaling their intentions relative to direction, to other road users, is extremely important. I don’t think the importance of this basic road use procedure for road users, including those of them that are biking, is emphasized enough.

I don’t say that people biking, improving the consistency by which they signal for turns, will completely prevent collisions, close calls or confusion among road users about direction they’re taking…but I think people that bike, consistently using hand signals can help to make road use for them safer, as well as for everyone else on the road. And make road use easier and less stressful. And just generally, allow the road to function better in terms of helping everyone get where they need to go.

gutterbunnybikes
6 years ago

Forget the maps, get a Radio or Broadway cab cheat sheet (all the driver have them and would likely sell you one (and i think you can even find em online for free)- even easier to use that GPS.

Joseph Edge
Joseph Edge
6 years ago

Maybe it’s kind of a cop-out but I always tell visitors “not to bother” with a car and that it’s “more trouble than it’s worth.”

If somebody insists on driving, I tell them that “pedestrians own the road” (be hyper-aware and extra-courteous, ALWAYS yield), “bikes are everywhere” and “have the same rights as cars on the roads,” and “don’t be impatient; it’s different here than wherever you came from.”

Ed Birnbaum
Ed Birnbaum
6 years ago

I thought the law for cars passing bikes was that you must leave enough room to pass safely if the bike were to fall down. That’s more than 3 feet–and better. I hope someone will correct that if I’m wrong.

alankessler
alankessler
6 years ago
Reply to  Ed Birnbaum

That only applies > 35mph. ORS 811.065 (see, http://bikeportland.org/2014/01/06/get-legal-with-ray-thomas-oregons-safe-passing-law-explained-99506)

In any case, the prompt is: what do we tell our guests. I don’t care if the law lets you drive like a jerk, I’m going to ask my visitors to exceed those standards. “Don’t pass bikes. Leave room.”

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  alankessler
Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

No. From your link:

“Specific exclusions from the law are traffic lanes next to a bicycle lane, speeds below 35 mph, or when the bicyclist is turning left. The 35 mph speed limit was a compromise to allow city transit services to travel more closely to bicyclists in a low speed dense traffic environment.”

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

sorry for the confusion, what I meant is that a safe-passing distance applies at all speeds, not that the 3-foot law applies at all speeds… when the 3-foot law does not apply then the 7-foot law applies…

from my link:

“In instances where the new passing law is inapplicable, such as where the posted speed limit is less than 35 mph, then the general Oregon passing law will still apply to bicycles being passed by motorized traffic. ORS 811.410 governs passing on the left of another vehicle (including bicycles).”

“While the “general” passing law in ORS 811.410 does not include the new “fall over” safe passing distance contained in ORS 811.065, it nevertheless specifies that the passing vehicle must give a “safe distance” to the passed vehicle (bicycle). “

Dan
Dan
6 years ago

Better be extra-nice if you’re rocking CA plates.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

“I don’t care what they do in California, in Oregon you do not merge into the bike lane to make a right turn!”

encephalopath
encephalopath
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

This would be my #1.

A good portion of Oregonians don’t seem to understand this idea either.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  encephalopath

Those are Caligonians.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Actually, only Oregon and Arizona don’t have the cars merging into the bike lanes to make their right turns. Setting aside the rationales for each approach, it is Oregon that is the outlier. Why demonize Californians when they are doing it the standard way? Besides, we have a lot more Washington motorists causing woe than Californians.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
6 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Because demonizing Californians is juz so durn fun.

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

just because we don’t do what’s normal doesn’t mean we don’t do what’s right…

Mark
Mark
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

I disagree. I merge in because the cyclist knows exactly what I am doing in a car. There is no mystery. Plus, a cyclist who doesn’t know or chooses to ignore my turn signal isn’t confused.

The law is misguided. It’s natural to merge to the curb..not turn across lanes.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark

It’s perfectly natural to turn across lanes. We do it all the time when we turn left.

Although I occasionally see it in rural America (and I had a high school friend who was killed by someone doing it) you’re not supposed to merge into the oncoming lane before you turn left.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark

This would also be my #1, but only because I ride in both states. After having gotten used to the drivers in California I’ve gotten more comfortable with merging in order to go straight rather than passing drivers on the right (who may or may not be signaling and/or letting me go). When you get cut off in Oregon by a driver who’s not signaling or looking, you find yourself very quickly braking to avoid hitting them almost perpendicularly, whereas with merges it tends to be a squeeze and you notice the lane infringement earlier on (is my impression/experience).

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

“…I’ve gotten more comfortable with merging in order to go straight rather than passing drivers on the right (who may or may not be signaling and/or letting me go). …” Pete

People biking should not be passing on their right side, people that are driving and either at an intersection preparing to turn, or back from the intersection preparing to turn into and travel in a bike lane (in states allowing this.) as part of a transition into a right turn (or left turn as the case may be.).

Laws allowing motor vehicle travel in bike lanes, simply cedes some of the exclusive use of bike lanes that laws such as that Oregon’s grants to people biking.

One thing certain though, is that there are people biking that have not grasped the importance of avoiding passing on their right sides, moving motor vehicles at intersections, whether or not the motor vehicle has its turn signal activated. This is a problem that somehow needs to be reduced.

Gary B
Gary B
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Are you stating that I shouldn’t pass a car on the right (in a bike lane) if they don’t have a turn signal on? So every time car traffic is stopped I should wait behind the last car?

I know you have strong opinions on bicyclists going above and beyond what the law requires in order to help prevent their own victimization. Not passing a car that DOES have a turn signal on (when getting close to the intersection) is not a bad idea–I personally don’t count on them checking for me even if the law is on my side. But this is positively absurd.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Gary B

Gary..for motor vehicles that are moving: back from intersections, pass cautiously on the right, people that are driving…and that don’t…have their right turn signal on. If they’ve got their right turn signal on, wherever the motor vehicle is relative to an intersection…don’t pass them on the right.

For stationary motor vehicles, as in a string of cars in the main lane waiting for a red light to change or a stop sign, and where there’s a bike lane that a person is riding on, pass cautiously on their right, all the motor vehicles including those that may have a right turn signal on…except the motor vehicle at the front of the line (or at a driveway or other intersections.), whether or not its turn signal is on.

My reasoning in the paragraph directly above, is that it can be very difficult to be certain the person driving and not having a vehicle in front of them, won’t decide to make a right turn…whether or not they’ve got a signal on.

(ok, an exception to this personal rule of mine, is that if in a stopped line of main lane vehicles, and the motor vehicle in front doesn’t have a signal on, and has been there for some seconds and shows no indication of intending to turn, I in the bike lane will sometimes slowly roll forward on their right side until I’m at roughly a 45 degree angle to them in the driver’s seat…(so the person driving has a clear view to me on the bike) and wait for the light to change. There’s conditions to this being a workable strategy, but I’ll save that for another time.

Not easy for me to describe it well in writing, but often times at intersections where traffic in the mail lane adjoining the bike lane is stopped, I’ll hang back in the bike lane directly abreast of the space between the back of the front motor vehicle and the front of the back motor vehicle. As traffic again begins to roll, I try hold that position until well into the intersection, to be certain that if either the motor vehicle ahead of me, or the one to the rear starts to abruptly turn, I have some sort of margin for escape.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

How do you propose reducing this problem – by putting the bike lanes somewhere else besides to the right of (usually stopped) traffic?

I don’t know what you mean when you say that bicyclists shouldn’t pass drivers on the right, but I’m referring to intersection design only. Otherwise, passing on the right is a natural byproduct of bike lane placement. One of the very reasons I ride a bike is so I don’t have to wait in that traffic, but instead of on the right or left, I would pass them overhead on my very own intersection-less elevated bikeway if I had my `druthers… 😉

(Wait – I think I saw a car commercial like that once!)

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

“…I would pass them overhead on my very own intersection-less elevated bikeway if I had my `druthers… 😉 …” Pete

Or like the Jetsons?

I just posted a response to Gary B’s question about what I was trying to say. Hopefully I was able to make it fairly clear. I think people riding in the bike lane, putting them in the position of passing motor vehicles on their right side, is tricky and difficult to do safely.

There are reliable strategies for avoiding right hooks from motor vehicles. Lots of people riding have learned them one way or another. Seems safe to say also, that many people riding don’t have a clue as to how to avoid right hooks and other dangerous bike in traffic situations while riding. Aside from people learning it totally on their own, word of mouth seems to have been the most common and long standing source for getting the scoop on this stuff. So maybe people should talk more about it, and make some opportunities happen to show people first hand how to do it.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Yeah, I kinda knew well enough (from your previous conversations here) that you were being realistic.

“…make some opportunities happen to show people first hand how to do it.”

Yeah, you and I definitely agree on the education aspect (and many others – we seem to agree as much as we disagree). Several organizations try, but it’s so scattered – much like trying to characterize a “bicyclist.” LAB’s take on it is here (or one of them, I should say) – but then again there are those who’d look at this and say that all intersections should be ‘protected.’:
http://bikeleague.org/content/intersection-positioning

Maybe UAVs should give way to HPAVs… Human Powered Aerial Vehicles!

KTRSD

Kate
Kate
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Interesting, I’m a born and raised Oregonian and I didn’t realize this law was specifically on the books. I can see your point though. Just today I was biking side by side (in a bike lane) with a truck heading south on SW13th Ave. If the truck beside me was using a turn signal, I couldn’t see it since we were abreast. I assumed they were going straight and didn’t know they were planning to turn until they did so right in front of my in a classic hook. Luckily I was able to make the right turn at the last second with them to prevent a collision, but I can’t help but think them merging would have prevented this. I was too stunned to do much, but I appreciated that some cars did some incensed honking on my behalf.

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  Kate

them merging would have side-swiped you instead of right-hooking you…

John Liu
John Liu
6 years ago

Three things:

1. Look for bikes on and behind your right, before you turn right.

2. Slow and move left when passing bikes.

3. Slow down.

#1 is the key thing. Drivers from other places are not used to looking to their right-rear when turning right from the curbside travel lane. And right hooks are the most common bike-car collision.

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
6 years ago

Adding to the great list above:

– Turn the phone off and leave it in the trunk (like an open container of booze);
– get the smallest car possible / or get a car2go card;
– Get a hotel in downtown Vancouver (and stay away from Portland 😉 unless you take a taxi or the MAX/ bus for a night on the town.

Anne Hawley
Anne Hawley
6 years ago

Did we miss “Check your sideview mirror before opening your driver-side door”?

Anne Hawley
Anne Hawley
6 years ago

Oh, and “If you’re going to the coast, can I come along?”

Adam
6 years ago

What do I tell out of town drivers? Don’t drive. Take public transport or bike. Feel free to spend money here though.

Mossby Pomegranate
Mossby Pomegranate
6 years ago

Watch for ninja cyclists who wear dark clothing and don’t use lights.

rachel b
rachel b
6 years ago

Slow down.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
6 years ago

I’m kind of surprised that folks think we have “bikes everywhere”. Perhaps some people are living in an echo chamber or don’t get out much. I can go hours in PDX without seeing a single bike being ridden. Driving in Portland is just like driving anywhere else, imo. It’s just sad that there is so much driving going on.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
6 years ago

There are more bikes on the road than you think there is or even see. They are moving fast, silently and completely legally.
Expect that one is where you least expect it and in every blind spot.

tl;dr – expect the unexpected.

tnash
tnash
6 years ago

1. In Portland, pedestrians who have a walk sign and are crossing the street refuse to look in the direction of the stopped cars, or even acknowledge that cars exist or that drivers can sometimes not see red lights or be too drunk to care and extinguish the pedestrians
2. 30% of bicyclists in Portland have huge chips on their shoulder, and if you look at them the wrong way, they will yell at you and/or slap at your car or side mirror. If you live off Clinton, these cyclists will attempt to give you withering looks of disdain as you drive alongside them on your way to your home
3. The homeless, tweakers and crazies in downtown Portland are feisty, be aware
4. If you take to a bike, know that maybe 5% of cyclists ring their bell or say “on your left” when they blow by you at 25 mph (looking pissed off if you slowed them down in any way)

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

Bob Gunderson? Is that you?!

Wes
Wes
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

Nailed. It. I’d say 50% have a chip on their shoulder. I’ve seen elderly people cussed at by bikers. Bikers grabbing onto cars, etc. And I often see them blasting through intersections without stopping. They scare me more than the cars do.

So to out of town drivers I’d say, get ready to see some people acting tough while wearing spandex.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
6 years ago
Reply to  Wes

Oh please. It’s Portland.

EVERYONE has a chip on their shoulder.

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

This is me on my bike commute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgCqz3l33kU

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

Most people who have ridden regularly in Portland have been nearly hit multiple times, and have a reason for their attitude.

peejay
peejay
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

I’m sorry you feel that way. However, I do not agree with your assessment of Portland bike riders or people on foot. You seem to think that people using a crosswalk owe something to the driver who deigns to follow the law by stopping? No. Stop for people walking because it is the law, and it is the basic human thing to do, not for a thank you or a thumbs up.

As for the chip on the shoulder, that’s there for cause. I stopped moving over to the right on greenways about a year ago, and it was a conscious decision on my part to slow down traffic at a possible cost to my own safety. I’ve seen others do it too. We are fed up with the cut through traffic and the speeders, and want to make life a little more difficult for them. Maybe it’ll cause 1 or 2% of people to reconsider the roads they choose to speed on in the future, thus making it marginally safer for children and cautious riders to use these streets. Is that a chip? I wear it on my shoulder with pride, then.

Gary B
Gary B
6 years ago
Reply to  peejay

Damn right. I make it a point *not* to wave or acknowledge a driver who abides by the law and morality by stopping for me to cross the street. “Giving thanks” reinforces the notion that they did me a favor. I likewise don’t go around and give out candy to sober drivers, or thank strangers for not robbing me.

JeffS
JeffS
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

On your left served a purpose in the woods. The people who tried to bring it onto the streets are misguided. Or are you that one person walking through the grocery store calling out on your left to ever person you pass?

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  tnash

1. pedestrians need not acknowledge you… get over yourself…

2. if you were threatened daily, often multiple time a day, by the same type of machine you would learn to carry a chip on your shoulder towards those machines…

3. the homeless, tweakers, and crazies in every city are usually feisty… you would be too in their position… we’re not special…

4. like pedestrians, cyclists need not acknowledge that they’re passing your bike… get over yourself…

caesar
caesar
6 years ago

1. Slow down.
2. Pay attention.
3. Be patient.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

Todd Boulanger
Adding to the great list above:– Turn the phone off and leave it in the trunk (like an open container of booze); – get the smallest car possible / or get a car2go card; – Get a hotel in downtown Vancouver (and stay away from Portland 😉 unless you take a taxi or the MAX/ bus for a night on the town.Recommended 3

Don’t bother with radio except for the public stations. Other than that, Todd has it covered

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

Beware!! There are a TON of cyclist extremists who believe they own every square inch of road and will make an effort to cause an accident or near miss so as to incite some sort of ‘protest’, hopefully collect some free $$ and see their greasy/stoned mug on tv. Not short but easy to remember!

A.H.
A.H.
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

So edgy! It’s not like inattentive drivers cause horrific injuries all the time or anything. Not like a plane crash worth of people die every day on American roads from motor vehicle injuries. Nothing like that, because it’s not your fault! It’s those OTHER guys!

God, I just want to pinch your cheeks.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Yeah, check us out, hogging all the space:

http://bestbicycletrailer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/car-bus-bike.jpg

And this doesn’t even include all of the parking space bikes consume!

jlo
jlo
6 years ago

I tell them about peds, how traffic is bad and to watch out for cyclists because the majority break all the rules.

soren
6 years ago
Reply to  jlo

not all the rules. i always ride well below the speed limit when you are driving behind me.

hotrodder
hotrodder
6 years ago

Don’t be surprised when a driver relinquishes the right of way when you’re already stopped at a stop sign.

Doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often.

barb lin
barb lin
6 years ago
Reply to  hotrodder

This we need to talk about. I HATE this. We are not disabled, pregnant or pushing a baby stroller. DON”T stop for us when you (car) have the right of way. We are vehicles waiting our clear turn. If you stop you make everyone – cars and bikes – confused and put me, the biker in danger.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  barb lin

My friend calls them “niceholes”…

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  hotrodder

nobody has the right of way at a 4-way stop…

unless you’re talking about being at a stop sign on a side street and cross traffic with no stop sign comes to a stop to let you cross… I hate that…

Alan 1.0
6 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

nobody has the right of way at a 4-way stop…

As in, “none shall proceed until the others have passed?” 🙂

I just learned that situation is not exactly how I thought it was, here:

http://oregonbikelaw.com/who-has-the-right-of-way-at-a-four-way-stop-in-oregon-by-charley-gee/

Despite what you may have learned in driver’s education about four way stops in Oregon, the person who stopped first or the person to your right does not have the legal right-of-way. Neither does the person going straight have right-of-way over the person turning left if they are not already in the intersection. The only person who has the right-of-way at a four way stop in Oregon is the vehicle operator who is already in the intersection.
[…]
So the next time someone waves you through you can proceed knowing you are not snatching the right-of-way from them. Once you cross your vehicle over that stop line and into the intersection that right-of-way is legally yours.

Charley Gee

bjcefola
bjcefola
6 years ago

I urge a right shoulder check before turning right. It’s for bikes and pedestrians.

SE
SE
6 years ago

B. Carfree
Besides, we have a lot more Washington motorists causing woe than Californians.Recommended 1

when an auto does some stupid/silly stuff near my bike (run crosswalks, bad L or R turns, speed… etc..etc..) , I instinctively look at the license plates. It’s amassing the high percent that are WASHINGTON. 🙁

are
6 years ago

this may have been covered elsewhere in the comments, but i think someone not used to the situation in portland might not be alert to the likelihood s/he will be overtaken on the right by a cyclist approaching an intersection.

i gave a thumbs up to the comment on signaling in advance of actually turning or changing lanes, but a motorist wanting to turn right at an intersection, even having signaled, will often be surprised by a cyclist coming up inside on the right.

of course this is an artifact of poor design, poor educational messaging, and the mandatory sidepath law.

mh
6 years ago
Reply to  are

I am coming to support the “merge into bike lane for a right turn” thing, as long as the law is changed, the bike lane is about as wide as a car lane, and there are green stripes across all the mixing zones. I did just have someone turn right in front of me from the left lane, but stupidity will always trump road design. My guess is that those who identify at all as vehicular cyclists would, if they thought about it, prefer the designated mixing zones.

mh

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  mh

“…the bike lane is about as wide as a car lane, …” mh

Not really. Unless you’re thinking of bike lanes somewhere that are 10′ wide or wider. Bike lanes tend to be 6′ wide or narrower.

I don’t like the ‘mixing zone-bike lane’ idea at all. And I ride both in the bike lane and out of it, as needed and consistent with what Oregon law provides. The bike lane is part of the road as somewhat of a refuge away from main lane traffic for people using the road by bike. Start chiseling away on that by allowing use of motor vehicles in the bike lane, and people riding wind up with less and less.

are
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

the key phrase is “as long as.” in other words, this is a condition mh would place on allowing motorists to merge right through a shared space before executing a right turn, not a description of facts presently on the ground.

Spiffy
6 years ago
Reply to  are

unless there’s a bike lane a cyclist should not be passing a motorist on the right who is signalling a right turn and has forward motion… that makes it unsafe and nullifies the law allowing passing on the right…

Glenn
Glenn
6 years ago

I don’t tell them anything, because Portland is not actually that special.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

“…because Portland is not actually that special.” Glenn

In terms of ? What do you mean, or…what did you intend to imply? I hope it was intended to be something more substantial than a feeble insult.

It seems that plenty of people think Portland is in many positive ways, a uniquely special place in comparison to other cities across the nation, and they’d like to keep it that way, and get better in areas where it’s a little rough at the edges.

Portland isn’t a bad city to drive in, though it could be better, and people biking the city are in a special place that provides them opportunities to personally, first hand, show efforts to make it better, through exemplary, responsible and intelligent use of the road.

If we were to talk about ‘heroes’ that bike in Portland…as another recent bikeportland story has been…then I’d say the people biking here that rather consistently give useful info to other road users…(hand signals for turns, stops.), use of great discretion in rolling stop signs and lights…and take pains to aid visibility of their self to other road users…(often in the face of a barrage of rhetoric from self assigned ‘bike advocates’ claiming vociferously that people biking should have to do little of any of this)…are in a small way making somewhat heroic efforts to have Portland continue to be a very special place.

are
6 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

having lived in several elsewheres, i would say portland is special in the prevalence of bikes on the roads. with all this density of cyclists, you do get a certain percentage who do not know how to handle themselves on the road. a subset of these have a weird sense of entitlement. an out of towner might imagine with all these bikes on the roads, any cyclist s/he encounters is probably alert and capable. the out of towner should be warned this is not the case.

JJJJ
6 years ago

The most important thing is “Forget what every other state says, you don’t merge into the bike lane in Oregon because reasons. Like the gas station thing. Even though it’s safer.”

eddie
eddie
6 years ago

My advice to an out of town driver? Simple:

Don’t bring your car. Please.

Cars are the problem here, we don’t need more of them. Even a law abiding car driver is polluting the air and water and endangering people’s lives. We just don’t need more cars. No matter how “well” they drive.

Spiffy
6 years ago

how’d this get on the front page when the first 2 out of 3 tips are wrong?

Captain Karma
6 years ago

Don’t read the Oregonian.

Matt
Matt
6 years ago

1. It is mandatory to drive 5mph below the speed limit.
2. Turn signals are optional.
3. Stop signs too.
4. Be off the road after 11pm unless you like mixing it up with drunks, meth heads, and the insane.

Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts
6 years ago

My parents are well-intentioned drivers, but they mostly drive in exurban CA and so they have zero instinct for actually expecting cyclists (and walkers, but especially cyclists). One of the things that makes me most nervous is when they are looking for parking, see a spot across a bike lane, and just turn right into it without a shoulder check.

Spiffy
6 years ago

almost all drivers are well-intentioned, and also horribly dangerous drivers…

Gary B
Gary B
6 years ago

I just had this moment recently with my mom & step-dad. They were happy to transit around all week and had, but they wanted to borrow my car to go buy something large. It was a bit of an awkward moment feeling the need to tell your mom how to drive. But she’s from Florida–bikes and peds are both a novelty.

While there was lots I’d have liked to cover, I decided in the interest of keeping it succinct (and thus hopefully memorable). I went with #1 and #3. I think the above comment on checking before you open your door will make the list next time.

JeffS
JeffS
6 years ago

soren
/sarcasmRecommended 1

/fail

Carsharing Dave
Carsharing Dave
6 years ago

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

As the discussion got increasingly complex, the main thing that emerged for me was that the fundamental problem seems to be that actual laws about cycling on the roadway are confusing – for both motorists and cyclists! Until someone does a wholesale rewrite of the Rules of the Road I think cyclists are doomed to be on the short end of things and will have to continue to be very vigilant.

Now how do I shut this thread off?

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

Reason #138 why I laugh when I hear “It’s as easy as riding a bike.”;
my discussion with the woman at the store on Wednesday:

“You rode your bike here?”
“Um, yeah – was it the helmet or the funny shoes that gave it away?”
“How far away do you live and how did you get here??”
“I rode up San Tomas Expressway. It’s only 3 miles.”
“Three miles! But it’s illegal to ride your bike on the expressway!!”
“Well, actually it’s not, and I guess I wasn’t technically on the expressway, I was in the bike lane.”
“There’s a bike lane on San Tomas? I’ve never seen one there. When did they put that in??”
“Well, actually the shoulder of the road is the bike lane, as designated by VTA in the 2003 County Roads Master Plan… plus, it’s actually not illegal to ride on most public roads anyway.”
“Oh, so it’s not illegal to ride a bicycle on the expressway?”
“No, not really.”
“I see. Well, you be careful – and don’t you get yourself hit by a car!”
“Yeah, thanks, that’s not really a goal for today.”

wsbob
6 years ago

“…the main thing that emerged for me was that the fundamental problem seems to be that actual laws about cycling on the roadway are confusing – for both motorists and cyclists! Until someone does a wholesale rewrite of the Rules of the Road I think cyclists are doomed to be on the short end of things and will have to continue to be very vigilant. …” Carsharing Dave

Just take one of Oregon’s laws about cycling, at a time. With a little help, that shouldn’t be too confusing for anyone that can write or speak a fairly understandable sentence. Offer an example of a law relating to use of the road, that’s confusing to you, and maybe we can help you understand it.

are
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

you yourself have been on these boards repeatedly with your own idiosyncratic interpretations of 814.420.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I tend to go with Ray Thomas’ interpretations over what I read in comments here…

Carsharing Dave
Carsharing Dave
6 years ago

I was thinking of recurring issue of people making right turns moving into a bike lane to wait for pads to cross. The law may be unambiguous (I don’t know) but it’s not well understood by motorists and there was a bit of an exchange on that topic in this thread, as well.