Oregon just made its passing law much safer for cyclists

Relax! Drivers will soon be required to slow down before passing — and they’ll be more likely to cross over that centerline. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

12 years ago, things got very tense in the relationships between users of Skyline Boulevard. The road is popular with bicycle and car users alike due to its sweeping curves, natural context, and proximity to downtown Portland. But joy turned to terror as we began to hear reports of serious road rage and harassment against bicycle riders. It was a big enough deal that over 100 people showed up to a forum on a Thursday night to talk about it. And among the crowd was the Multnomah County District Attorney, the road rager himself, a bicycle lawyer (or three), representatives from Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, and so on.

Clearly, this issue had struck a nerve. And besides just the classic driver-vs-biker energy, much of the anxiety in the room was sparked by confusion over whether or not drivers are allowed to cross over a double-yellow line to safely pass a bicycle rider. It’s a common misconception among drivers that they can’t cross the centerline on two-lane rural roads, so they get extra peeved when they come up on a slower-moving bicycle rider. And then, instead of waiting for a wider section of the roadway or just crossing the centerline (which is legal, keep reading), they pass too closely.

Whether they do it on purpose or not, the result is frayed nerves and a terrifying experience for the bicycle rider.

Fast forward to 2023 and I’m happy to report that Oregon is about to pass a new law that should help fix this issue. Senate Bill 895 has passed both chambers of the Oregon Legislature without much fanfare and is headed to the House Floor and then the Governor’s desk to be signed any day now. The bill (which we first covered back in April) does several important things to amend Oregon Revised Statute 811.420 (the law that governs passing in a “no passing” zone).

Currently, when driving in a no passing zone, there are some exceptions when you are legally able to pass another vehicle. The law says you can pass someone on the left in a no passing zone if they just turned onto another road, driveway or alley; or if you need to move further to the left — even across the centerline — you are allowed to do so in order to avoid an “obstruction” in front of you.

SB 895 adds two key sections to ORS 811.420. The first is that drivers must drive at a speed that is at least five miles per hour under the speed limit when they pass another vehicle or any type of “obstruction” on the road. And second, the bill amends the definition of “obstruction” to explicitly include “a person who is riding a bicycle or operating another type of vehicle and who is traveling at a speed of less than one-half of the speed limit.”

That’s it! Hopefully the DMV and other educational outlets will help everyone (including police officers!) learn about the new law so that it begins to change behaviors and leads to more sane passing on roads like Skyline. (And hopefully the current Republican boycott of the legislature doesn’t create a procedural snafu that prevents this bill from being pushed across the finish line.)

We owe a debt of gratitude to the bill’s chief sponsor, Eugene-area Democrat Senator Floyd Prozanski. But it would not have happened without the advocacy and insights of Doug Parrow and Richard Hughes, two retired Oregonians who took it upon themselves to identify this problem and do the legwork to create the bill and get it through the system. Thanks Richard and Doug!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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J_R
J_R
9 months ago

A big thanks to Senator Prozanski and to Parrow and Hughes!

If I were to bet, I’d predict that it won’t pass due to the republican boycott. There will be lots of critical legislation that won’t pass due to their intransigence.

You are right to point out the need for education. I really hope it passes and that motorists learn how to share the road.

Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes
9 months ago
Reply to  J_R

Doug Parrow deserves the large chainring credit for this measure!

Smac
Smac
9 months ago
Reply to  J_R

Really I don’t and if it does they should have to pay to be liscenced if there sharing the road shouldn’t they have to pay for the road…..

Thomas
Thomas
9 months ago

I’m not so sure about the “less than one-half of the speed limit” provision in the new law. For example the speed limit on Skyline is 35mph in places, and many cyclists are capable of exceeding half that. Do we really expect car drivers to quickly do some math, accurately estimate the speed of the cyclist, and then decide not to pass if the rider happens to be going above 17.5 mph?

Ben G
Ben G
9 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

No math required for bicyclists. It’s written as an either/or statement. I think the half speed thing is more for tractors or slow farm equipment cases.

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Ben G

I hope you’re right, but it seems ambiguous. The section states:

As used in this section, “obstruction” includes a person who is riding a bicycle or operating another type of vehicle and who is traveling at a speed of less than one-half of the speed limit established in ORS 811.111 or a designated speed posted under ORS 810.180.

I think your interpretation is reasonable–that the “….and who is traveling at a speed of less than one-half….” doesn’t apply to the bicycle, only to the “another type of vehicle”.

But since there are no commas, you can also logically interpret the “…and who is traveling…” as applying to both bicycles and other vehicles (as Thomas did).

It really should be written/punctuated in a way that’s unambiguous (and matches your interpretation).

Stephen Lyon
Stephen Lyon
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

Copy that partner

Maika
Maika
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

I get the feeling there won’t be too much “splitting of hairs” on this. If someone is going significantly slower than you and/or turning right, AND there’s no one driving in the opposite direction over the double yellow, signal and pass on the left of them, crossing over the middle two lines if necessary.
I understand wanting to make sure this is very clear, but I also think this is clear enough to use “common sense”. More than anything, I hope this will be advertised as a PSA of “this is an example of safe passing”.

Fred
Fred
9 months ago
Reply to  qqq

Yet another law that they write and they’ll never enforce

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

No carrot, no stick.

steve scarich
steve scarich
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred

I wonder how LE decides to enforce some laws and not others. I know that sometimes they are told to not enforce things like not having insurance or drivers license, because it happened to me when I got run off the road by an elderly driver. The cop who came to the scene told me that he was not going to give her a citation for either one, or failure to yield, because he had been told not to in order to develop better relations with the public. True story; his logic for not giving her a failure to yield was not she did not actually hit me, but forced me to crash onto the sidewalk to avoid getting hit. And, they never, I mean never, enforce the kids wearing helmets law in Bend.

Stephen Lyon
Stephen Lyon
9 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

Good answer…..

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
9 months ago

Do we know how they intend to actually convey this to the driving public?

I still get the occasional rude comments when I don’t stop at stop signs (and yes, I slow, cover the brakes and make sure that there is no one else with the ROW).

Miles
Miles
9 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

Just slowing at a stop sign then going thru is called a California stop which is a ticketable offense followed by up to a $1,000 fine

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  Miles

Beginning Jan. 1, cyclists throughout Oregon will no longer have to come to a halt at every stop sign or blinking red light. As long as they have the clear right of way, bicycle riders can simply slow down, then proceed through the intersection.

https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-cyclists-2020-stop-signs-yield-idaho-stop-transportation/

LCraft
LCraft
9 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

I don’t agree with this. If cyclists want to be treated like all other vehicles on the road….then they need to obey the exact same laws! ‍♀️

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  LCraft

The (Idaho stop) LAW does not care whether you agree.

PS: I don’t think my bicycles are vehicles and more than I consider my shoes or skateboard to be “vehicles”.

Jw
Jw
9 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Tell that to the judge when you get a duii for riding a bike or a skate board while intoxicated.

mothers against drunk skateboarding
mothers against drunk skateboarding
9 months ago
Reply to  Jw

The deadly scourge of drunk skateboarding driving must end! The 185 people slaughtered on our road by drunk skateboarders drivers in 2022 is an outrage!

Oooops…sorry…my bad. The 185 human beings who were violently killed by intoxicated people were all killed by drunk drivers.

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  LCraft

Different vehicles are different and should be treated different. Unless you can ride your bike 50mph, will kill people you hit, have poor visibility, and will survive all but high speed collisions even with motor vehicles, you are not the same as a car and should have special rules.

Vehicular cycling is a failed idea.

Furthermore, the Idaho stop does not have any effect on drivers. It reflects the fact that at bicycle speeds, riders can confidently see when the way is clear. They are not allowed to go when another vehicle would have the right of way.

Ben
Ben
9 months ago
Reply to  LCraft

Luckily they didn’t consider your opinion when making the law.

Fact of the matter is, the idaho stop is safer for cyclists. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be allowed. Bikes aren’t cars and don’t need the exact same laws as cars, because they aren’t cars.

Allan L.
Allan L.
9 months ago
Reply to  Ben

What a relief. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get seatbelts installed on my bike.

buckets
buckets
9 months ago
Reply to  Miles

Not in this state

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Miles

Not if you’re riding a bicycle (or a trike, I assume).

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
9 months ago

It’s the first time I am happy to be called a roadway “obstruction”.

Though I am very surprised they did not use the “T” word [tractor] explicitly in the text, as the roadside safety of rural farm folk is politically important in the legislature and one of the remaining few points that we can easily build bridges with.

Mike
Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

Implements of husbandry (farm equipment) falls under different rules/laws.

J Jensen
J Jensen
9 months ago

Most of the time when there is a double yellow it is unsafe to pass under most circumstances. Especially in curves or corners. When I want cars to pass I want it to be safe. Crossing a double yellow even to pass an obstruction going half the speed limit it takes quite a bit of visibility further down the road that isn’t there in a corner. I feel like the example of one road in Portland doesn’t serve the cause well. This is a law where the bike lobby showed it has power and the politicians showed their hipness, but this is a safety law, not a political virtue signal. Oncoming traffic now gets to round a bend and chose between bikes or 2 ton vehicle. Think fast! I don’t want to be in this situation as a cyclist and I don’t think this is anything but an empty win to show we cyclists have the ear of politicians and cars can just go crash. Skyline isn’t representative of Oregon roads or highways nor is it where the people who I know to have died had an issue. Good job flexing and getting the rules changed but good luck educating people on the law and good luck getting people to slow down enough where this is viable. Now we get to hog the road guilt free? This is really dumb when looked at objectively. Empty win but I’m glad the Skyline riders get to flex on common sense and have state laws changed so they can hog the roads.

Ryan
Ryan
9 months ago
Reply to  J Jensen

The rules didn’t get changed, they just got more clarification. It was already legal for cars to pass cyclists on double yellows, the change just makes that less ambiguous. And just because they can doesn’t mean it’s always safe to do so, and if it’s not safe it’s not legal. It’s like the unfounded criticism of the Idaho stop law, where some people thought it meant we could just blow through stop signs whenever. But it’s the same thing with this – if you can’t confirm it’s safe to pass/roll through a stop, then just wait/stop.

Charles Ross
Charles Ross
9 months ago

Riding a bicycle along the uphill lengths of Skyline Blvd is dangerous, plain and simple. It endangers both cyclist and driver; blind curves, impatient drivers make this street mostly a no-go for me. I will go up to Fairview and Skyline and then down to HiWy 26 but . . . that’s it. Cyclists have a responsibility to their own lives and health to ride conservatively. Laws that make circumstances ‘safer’ are largely an illusion. I’m not writing this to rag on cyclists; I love my Trek but I know that coming home safely from a ride is about 98% the choices I make on the road, not other drivers, or road conditions or laws/the lack of them.

Zach
Zach
9 months ago
Reply to  Charles Ross

The section between Calvary Cemetery and Hwy26 definitely feels the most dangerous to me. Not a great feeling going uphill there. In case you didn’t know, there are some side roads you can take to bypass some of that section of Skyline.

I’ve always had good interactions with drivers on the part you ride & then north of Cornell fwiw.

HJ
HJ
9 months ago
Reply to  Zach

All of Skyline south of Thompson is pretty sketchy in my book. Way too many rich entitled drivers acting like maniacs. I used to just tough out that section in the name of better riding further north but even that became unpalatable after dealing with so many sexist (yes, sexist, you should hear the things they yell at women) assaults from truck drivers coming within an arms reach of my handlebars. Yes, I ride as far to the right as possible.

Allan L.
Allan L.
9 months ago
Reply to  Zach

It’s unfortunate that the cemetery is not open to cyclists as it would afford a route that is safer and doesn’t impinge on car traffic.

Larry
Larry
9 months ago

When is the state of Oregon going to require that bike riders have insurance and tags just like cars and motorcycles. They use the roads, they should pay their share.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

When are drivers going to pay for the air toxics and green house gas pollution that have and will shorten the lives of millions?

Mike
Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

Use those funds to build bike paths!

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike

There is already a bike sales tax which goes to build bike paths.

Karl Dickman
Karl Dickman
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

I paid over $30,000 in taxes in 2022 so I have more than paid my share.

Dan B
Dan B
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

Would you give vulnerable road user more leeway and access to all available roadways, if the state did that? How would out of state cyclists be treated, and would they have similar rights to use public roadways, or would they need to also get Oregon licenses, tags, insurance to ride in the state? How many licenses should a cyclist be required to display, and who would enforce these requirements, or will others states requirements need to be reciprocal? What would “fair share” be based on, vehicle weight, number of wheels, fuel consumption? Please share the details..

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

Larry, tell us who much a “fair share” is and how much you pay to use the roads.

Let’s begin there, so we have a point of comparison.

HJ
HJ
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

Over 90% of cyclists are also drivers. We’re already paying for the roads through vehicle registration, gas tax, and property tax (forgot about that one didn’t ya). In addition we pay a tax specifically for infrastructure when we purchase a bike. Most of us are covered by our automobile insurance while riding.
As for tags, since that is the only thing not already covered to a level of compliance comparable to what is seen amongst drivers, there is no need. Bicycles do not pose the same threat to others that cars or even motorcycles do. We don’t have the speed or mass. In addition to which requiring tags would be a money losing proposition to the state, just ask the places that have tried it.
Plus how would you enforce tags? Are you going to make every kid still on training wheels go to the dmv? How are you going to fit something large enough that anyone else can see it (because after all if you can’t there’s no point) on a bike, especially a kid’s bike?
Are you starting to understand how dumb this idea is yet?

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
9 months ago
Reply to  Larry

Oh Larry, what issue(s) are you trying to solve?

Cyclists running into car (drivers) and then fleeing as a hit and run? Or the intense bike traffic volumes or use of studded bike tired chewing up Oregon’s precious pavement? [Try reading similar comments and threads posted here over the last 17 (?) years and look for links to other research sites.]

REGISTRATION
The brass tax truth is that most local jurisdictions (and police departments) do not want to oversee a “bike license” scheme, those that had one dropped them long ago or wish they had. When I worked at the City of Vancouver (USA) the city had a bike registration process until the VPD “begged” council to remove this responsibility from their bailiwick. When I lived in Honolulu their bi-annual bike registration system went to a lifetime registration fee (1998) due to the costs of managing the registration of over 115,000 bikes every two years…and before the bi-annual system it used to be annual until 1988.

FREERIDERS
If you do care to know…the research shows the inverse: that adults who do not own cars are typically overpaying into the shared transportation system and that US drivers are underpaying per the full costs of the system. And currently most EV drivers are getting the best deal until Oregon’s gas tax dependent system is reformed fully.

https://bikeportland.org/2022/05/13/oregons-bike-tax-receipts-have-nearly-doubled-since-2018-353747

https://www.bicyclelaw.com/a-bicycle-tax/

INSURANCE
As for “bicycle insurance”, again most Oregon cyclists own a car and thus should have vehicle insurance that would cover a collision with a car driver (or pedestrian) and if the cyclist is ‘car-free’ then their homeowners or renters insurance would kick in…and then their health insurance would pick up for any personal injury. The insurance market is still developing policies (the US is behind the UK), as for an easy way for the remaining cyclists (no car no house etc.) to have “bike insurance”…a few of the majors have started offering policies (not sure how good they are from experience). Even in the bike share business there are few to none US insurance carriers willing to offer bike share cyclists a trip policy. (Each NABSA conference always has a new insurer presenting who offers the hope of an bikeshare per trip supplemental rental insurance policy for customers to buy but they never seem to last long enough to launch in the market.)

https://www.treehugger.com/best-ebike-insurance-5087737

Csenk
Csenk
9 months ago

Riders here in the US are far too sensitive. The car sees you. Try biking in Japan. You’ve got cars passing you two feet away at 50 miles per hour. Seriously try it.

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Csenk

Or don’t, that sounds dangerous and bad. “other places do it worse” is not a good reason not to do better.

TakeTheLane
TakeTheLane
9 months ago

5 mph below the speed limit?!! If the speed limit is 55 and a driver is approaching a bicycle in their lane and a blind curve or other sight obstruction and only reduces their speed (from 65 mph most likely) to 50, that is still a lethal speed differential. It would make more sense for the driver to slow to 30 mph or less. Then, either accelerate from there if the road is clear as the obstruction is passed or slow to bicycle speed if it is not clear.

Also, you did not mention this. Do vehicles in Oregon have to allow a 3 foot buffer between them and a bicycle as they pass?

I AM glad that the issue of the road rager who would not cross a double yellow to pass a cyclist is cleared up. Thank you!

Side note: When I was driving a school bus on Skyline Blvd., there was a section between about Springville and Germantown Road where I could not safely pass a cyclist. When my external speaker worked I would attempt to inform cyclists in front of me that they would need to pull over if they wanted me to pass. No one ever did pull over, but I couldn’t blame them. I probably would also just go as fast as I could, hoping they would have an opportunity around the next bend.

Bike Lanes Everywhere
Bike Lanes Everywhere
9 months ago

Oregon’s taxes are high enough to pave a 4 foot wide bike lane on every road in the entire state on both sides. Where else is your tax money going? Surely not lining the pockets of the DemocRAT controlled government nod, nod, wink, wink.

Randi J
Randi J
9 months ago

I’m nostalgic for 2011 when the Multnomah DA would actually show up to a meeting on public safety. Can you imagine DA Schmidt showing up for something like this? Not a chance. That would be a virtue signal for law and order..can’t have that from our chief law enforcement officer can we?

Maika
Maika
9 months ago

Very well reported article! Way to explain the process of how the bill was changed. This is a great example of how a community can come together to make a change that helps us all. I love it!

T. Johnson
T. Johnson
9 months ago

I don’t mind sharing the road, but please ride in a single file so others can safely get around you. That is what causes road rage.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  T. Johnson

It’s the law in Oregon that people can ride side by side. Deal with it.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  T. Johnson

Bicycle riders do not cause road rage. Impatience, too much coffee, listening to AM radio, McDonald’s food, simply being in a car, may all contribute to your rage. Own your reasons for your rage, but don’t you dare blame me for your issues.

Jerri P
Jerri P
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

I’m not a huge fan of the Golden Arches BUT “McDonald’s food contributes to road rage…”? LOL. Can you provide a citation for that?

Pockets the Coyote
Pockets the Coyote
9 months ago
Reply to  Jerri P

Diet and quality of nutrition impacts our whole system, mental health very much included. McD’s is the poster child of fast and low nutrient food, so while not explicitly stated below, it is very reasonable to look at a consistent intake of poor quality nutrition as having a direct connection to a propensity for road rage.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25280418/

https://www.baysidepsychotherapy.com.au/blog/10-harmful-effects-of-junk-food-on-mental-health/

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/09/food-mental-health

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Jerri P

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/heres-how-fast-food-can-affect-your-body/
High sodium diets are linked to high blood pressure and depression. And anecdotally don’t we all know that what we eat effects how we feel?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

McDonald’s obviously does not own the monopoly on high sodium food.

Jeff S
Jeff S
8 months ago
Reply to  Jerri P

Twinkie defense. I rest my case.

Ben
Ben
9 months ago
Reply to  T. Johnson

Riding single file can actually make it harder to pass them, because they take up more distance along the road. Just get into the other lane to pass, it won’t kill you

Ryan
Ryan
9 months ago
Reply to  T. Johnson

Depending on the group size and the road conditions, riding side by side is actually SAFER for cyclists. It makes the group more visible, it shortens the passing distance, and it prevents drivers who blame others for their own rage problems from trying to squeeze past when it isn’t safe to do so.

If you need to move into the other lane even a tiny bit to give cyclists riding single file a safe buffer to pass, then you can move fully over into the other lane (like you would if passing a tractor, slow-moving car with flashing hazards, etc…) to pass side-by-side riders. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, either due to oncoming traffic or whatever, then you shouldn’t be trying to pass at that spot anyway.

Jim
Jim
9 months ago

As a fellow cyclist, I think Portland cyclists are just the worst. I agree others below who point out the counterpoint “common sense” here that others are celebrating. Just once I’d like to drive somewhere in the Metro area and not see a cyclist in the road instead of in the bike lane provided (many of us seem to especially hate the ones that are literally off the road and adjacent to the sidewalk), in the crosswalks or on the sidewalk when either traffic or the red light doesn’t suit them, running red lights and stop signs when “no one’s coming anyway”. You can’t be a vehicle, a bike, or a pedestrian all within a 100 feet of distance, changing to whatever best suits you at the moment. Safety depends on all of us being predictable. Credibility for roadway safety is zero for many cyclists, too many. We should master following the existing laws first before demanding more of others.

Jody
Jody
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I call these laws that are just useless trinkets or baubles. They don’t really do anything except making those politicians have a feeling of achievement. Now you need more police officers?
You know I hope it works but I think it won’t.

Jerri P
Jerri P
9 months ago
Reply to  Jody

Well, we do need more police officers. The situation of the “new Portland” makes that very obvious.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

…in the crosswalks or on the sidewalk…

… running … stop signs …

These are the rules of the road for people cycling in Oregon. Look it up, driver.

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

“You can’t be a vehicle, a bike, or a pedestrian all within a 100 feet of distance, changing to whatever best suits you at the moment.”

Actually, you can, and it’s often totally legal and no problem for others. In 100 feet, I can ride in the lane (vehicle), come to a stop sign and not stop (bike), then ride up onto the sidewalk (pedestrian) to the bike rack.

Your experience (“Just once I’d like to drive somewhere in the Metro area and not see a cyclist in the road instead of in the bike lane provided”) is totally at odds with mine. I see people using bike lanes all over.

I also disagree with your “Safety depends on all of us…” and “We should master the existing laws….”. People who ride bikes aren’t a unified block. This isn’t third grade where none of us can leave the classroom until we’re all quiet. It’s totally legitimate for me to demand better behavior of people using another transportation mode regardless of what some other people using my mode of the moment are doing.

The huge irony of your saying “We should master following following the existing laws first before demanding more of others” is that you’re demanding better behavior among bike riders–as a driver (“Just once I’d like to drive somewhere…”)–when drivers as a group are certainly no closer to mastering following laws than bike riders. If you followed your own advice, you wouldn’t have been able to post your comment.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Say more.
Especially, explain exactly how these cyclists’ behaviors you complain about impact you personally. Reading between the lines (tell me if I’m wrong) it sounds like you really just don’t want to be inconvenienced by cyclists on the road, at all.
And regarding “You can’t be a vehicle, a bike, or a pedestrian all within a 100 feet of distance, changing to whatever best suits you at the moment.”
Well yes, I can, and it’s mostly legal. But I’ll do what I need to do when I’m sharing space with mobile 2-ton metal boxes. I will make the decisions I need to make to stay alive with little regard to whether it offends your sensibilities.

Mark Andersen
Mark Andersen
9 months ago

Bicycling on state highways and county roads is an absolute joke and a pure danger to the driving community. The fact the they think it’s our problem to watch out for them on a 55mph hwy that THEY choose to ride on just shows there mentality is absurd and the fact that this state and joke of a city Portland chooses to cater to a Nuisance and pure danger to the community is Ridiculous. I pull 90,000 pounds of cargo every day and if the time were to ever come which I hope it doesn’t but if I meet a bicyclist on a blind corner at highway speed and the option is them or a schools bus full of kids I will never under any circumstance choose the school bus!!!!

qqq
qqq
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Andersen

It’s the law to watch out for them. And if a corner is that blind that you can’t see what’s ahead of you, it’s the law that you slow down to below highway speed.

There are also lots of other users on county roads who are there legally, and going as slow or slower than bicycles–tractors, stopped school buses, people walking, vehicles slowing to turn, vehicles entering, pedestrians crossing…You’re also required by law to watch out for them and also to not assume none of them are around blind corners.

If it’s true you’re “pulling 90,000 of cargo every day” and you don’t know or don’t follow the relevant laws, you’re more dangerous than anyone biking.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Andersen

…the fact that this state and joke of a city Portland chooses to cater to a Nuisance and pure danger to the community is Ridiculous. I pull 90,000 pounds of cargo every day…

Robot commercial drivers who are programmed to care about human lives can’t come soon enough.

Smac
Smac
9 months ago

Ridiculous..most bicyclists don’t get over or pull off like a slow moving vehicle or truck. So traffic can get backed up for miles ..What this is doing is treating bicyclist like cars so if they are going to be treated as cars then they should have to pay for use of the road and should be liscenced.

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago
Reply to  Smac

So traffic can get backed up for miles

This has literally never happened. Miles? Are you aware of the length of things?

Smac
Smac
9 months ago

Another idiot idea by legislator..Thye should gel accountable for the 7 deaths on i5 after all they thought makeing pot legal was a good idea…Doesn’t legislator have better things to do then mess with this petty stuff.. If bicyclists want us of the road they should be liscenced.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Smac

Don’t you have better things to do than troll Bikeportland and talk s***?
“traffic backed up for miles…”
This happened where exactly?

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
9 months ago

The new law seems good. However for bike (and pedestrian) safety in Portland we don’t need more laws passed, we need actual enforcement of the ones we have. We haven’t had a traffic division for years now and it shows. (Yes I know that baby steps were just taken to bring it back). I’m still upset at the transportation activists (Oregon Walks, Street Trust, Bike Loud, etc) who have stayed silent on the lack of enforcement issue.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

“I’m still upset at the transportation activists (Oregon Walks, Street Trust, Bike Loud, etc) who have stayed silent on the lack of enforcement issue.”

Then you haven’t been listening.

Street Trust:

  • Supported PBOT’s Safety Camera bill (HB 4105-1) in the Oregon Legislature to allow civilian review of automated traffic enforcement citations. (Did you know that in Portland, 100% of automated traffic enforcement violation review occurs on police over-time!?!) This legislation has passed out of the House and Senate committees. Now it’s on to a floor vote and, if that is successful, back to the House Rules Committee one more time before the session ends. 

Oregon Walks:
https://oregonwalks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Oregon-Walks-Fatal-Pedestrian-Crash-Report-Summary-and-Recommendations-web-V1-03-17-21.pdf
See especially P. 14, and 17-18 of this report.

And when you mention “Enforcement Issues,” all three organizations have been quite vocal in regards to one of the major “Enforcement Issues,” the history of how PPB officers interact with people of color in this city, That must be front and center when we’re talking about enforcing traffic laws.

Randi J
Randi J
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Ok. Good point. But any support of police traffic enforcement is strictly verböten by those groups that are say they are dedicated to traffic safety. That is the source of my displeasure. POC are getting killed and injured by the lawless driving we have enabled in Portland. It’s “racial justice” gone wrong.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

I may be naive, but I have high hopes for the planned increased use of traffic cameras, especially now that PPB officers are no longer required to review the recorded violations. It’s hard to get much more colorblind than a robot camera.

Randi J
Randi J
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

But cameras don’t work on those who don’t display license plates. Also, they don’t catch impaired drivers (except if they run a red light—they will get a ticket mailed to them 2 weeks later). Cameras are not the racially blind panacea that the far left progressives of are making it out to be.

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

If you’re upset about the relatively small number of drivers without license plates in comparison to every day people speeding and running lights (I am too, I agree), blame the cops. They are not powerless to do anything about it and it would be among the most trivial of offenses to deal with. It’s a binary thing. No plate? Car impounded. Dust off hands. Very easy. The fact that this doesn’t happen means the cops that do exist patrolling around the city (and I see them all the time, they’re not rare) are seeing the same thing you and I see and just ignoring it. Turning a complete blind eye. I wonder why they would do that.

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
9 months ago
Reply to  John

Because they’ve been told traffic stops are racist?

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

Nah, that’s a narrative being encouraged by the cops and reactionaries because they don’t like even a hint that the cops should try to do better. The reality is, stopping and impounding cars that don’t have license plates is perfectly fine and good and nobody would give any meaningful pushback to doing it. There is no barrier currently to cops immediately doing that every time they see a car without plates, and if you judged by the comments on BikePortland all you have to do is look out the window and you’ll see one. This isn’t an issue anyone was protesting about. And even if it was, that would be no excuse. This is just cops not doing their jobs.

Mary Ortiz
Mary Ortiz
9 months ago

It’s interesting how we get excited about a new law for bike safety which will hopefully reduce traffic violence. I’m very supportive on this law. However, in Portland it won’t make much (if any) impact.

ENDING unscationed camping is the low hanging fruit to reduce traffic violence in Portland.

Last year, 63 people died in traffic-related crashes in Portland. That’s the highest number in at least 30 years. Of them, 28 were pedestrians, also the highest number in at least the past 12 years.

And of those pedestrians, 36% were homeless, although they comprise only 0.7% of the Multnomah County population.

She died on Portland’s streets, but not how her desperate family imagined: ‘She still had hope’ – oregonlive.com

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Ortiz

“Low hanging fruit” implies a quick and easy solution. Ending unsanctioned camping in Portland is anything but.

And really, you’re talking about a completely different issue. The language this article is talking about addresses how drivers pass cyclists on the road. Houseless pedestrians being killed by drivers is a very real problem, but not related to this issue.

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Both are related to traffic violence though are they not?

Randi J
Randi J
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

The problem is that many in the homeless biz keep saying the homeless problem is “complex” and “nuanced”
That’s their code words for just keep funding the Homeless Industrial Complex with millions of taxpayer dollars with zero accountability or performance metrics. And the current approach is clearly NOT working in Portland.

The needed first step is NOT that complicated: offer shelter and ban street camping. Once people are off the cruel streets we can work on the more complex issues of a long term solution.

Allan L.
Allan L.
9 months ago

The problem is education. This law doesn’t solve it.