Let’s talk about running on neighborhood greenways

(Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A few days ago a reader emailed to share that a person riding a bike shouted at them for running on Southeast Clinton Street. “I was yelled at by a cyclist to run on the sidewalk,” the person (who also rides bikes) shared. “I responded that no, I would not run on the sidewalk because it was a neighborhood greenway.” After this random argument with a stranger, the person got home and took stock: “Was I the a**hole here?” she asked me. “Is it legal to run in the road on a neighborhood greenway?”

I figured it’d be a great question for the Ask BikePortland column. But as I got the post together, I realized I’d actually already answered that exact question in 2012 (there are 17,882 posts on here, so yes, I will often forget what I’ve already written!). But what I didn’t have in 2012 was the ability to make a video and share it on social media. So I made a video instead and shared it on Instagram and TikTok this morning. Watch it below:

So what’s the answer? Turns out Oregon law (ORS 814.070) says if you are a “pedestrian” (or runner) you must use the sidewalk if one is available. And if there’s no sidewalk, you must stay as far to the right “as practicable.” Since SE Clinton has a sidewalk, technically the cyclist in the above situation was right. It’s similar to the mandatory bike lane law some of you might be familiar with — and just like how activists are working to erase that law, I’d love to see an effort to change this one so that pedestrians could have a bit more legal right to be on the road.

After all, sidewalks (similar to bike lanes) are often obstructed and unfit for running, and riding right next to parked cars is stressful and dangerous. Not only that, but as I point out in the video, City of Portland policy is to create greenways so they prioritize not just cyclists, but everyone who isn’t inside a car.

You might hear all this and think, “Who cares what the law says, streets are for people and cyclists should just be nice to each other and chill out!” and I’d agree with you to a certain degree. But keep in mind that if a collision were to happen, what the law actually states is very important. Once a case gets to court, or an insurance adjuster’s desk, or a cop’s report, what it says in the ORS will determine who is at fault and who bears responsibility for any damages.

Got a question? Ask us! If I can’t answer it myself, I know someone who can.

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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David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

Ask Bike Portland: Are folks allowed to take their bike on a public transit bus (that is, inside the bus)?

footwalker
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

If it’s Frequent Express, you’re expected to!

https://trimet.org/fx/

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Only on the FX, which has racks inside the bus.

https://trimet.org/bikes/index.htm

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Or if it’s a Brompton.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Or if the bus driver is chill and the bus is mostly empty.

Bjorn
Bjorn
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

Hat tip to the drivers who have looked the other way for me occasionally late at night knowing that the next bus would be another hour.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

You might want to contact TriMet and get their official reply first – it may surprise you.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

Maybe Trimet will say you can’t bring your bike on the FX if it’s too crowded? I wouldn’t know since we don’t have those nice buses in my part of town.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

They might even say you can legally bring your bike on board any of their buses, which the FTA requires of them.

SD
SD
2 months ago

Running on sidewalks sucks most of the time, and on greenways in particular, where the blocks are short and sidewalks are an obstacle course.

Sounds like this person on a bike is still is suffering from a desperate scarcity mindset created by driving.

Besides, there called side”walks” not side-runs, duh.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  SD

Such a good point. When I run on the sidewalk, I am sometimes given the stink-eye by people who want me to run in the street.

PdxPhoenix
PdxPhoenix
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

So same as if on a bike then?

dw
dw
2 months ago

I really don’t mind people running in the street on the greenways. I just wish they’d use lights or reflectors at night.

Allan
Allan
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

Lights please. Reflectors only has caused me at least one near collision (while I was riding my bike)

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  Allan

You were obviously going too fast for the conditions.
/s

This is often the refrain people say about cars, so why not apply to bikes as well?

Damien
Damien
2 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

This is often the refrain people say about cars, so why not apply to bikes as well?

I would point you to one of those graphs that shows the differences in survival outcomes versus automobile speed, and make the logical conclusion that bicycle speeds and masses mean exponentially better outcomes in cases of collisions.

And with that said – I see no exception in the basic speed rule/law for bikes, so yeah, we should.

Bjorn
Bjorn
2 months ago
Reply to  Allan

Reflectors only work if they are aligned, cyclists have to have at least one light I don’t think it is too much to ask someone running in the street to have at least one light too.

Jesse
Jesse
2 months ago
Reply to  Bjorn

Most of the “reflective” material that is on my running stuff is retroreflective, so it will appear in many directions at once, from multiple points of view. It doesn’t have to line up with your light directly.

Phillip Barron
2 months ago
Reply to  Jesse

I thought that’s what retroreflective means: that the light reflects back in the direction of its source, not all around. Am I misunderstanding the term?

Jeff S
Jeff S
2 months ago
Reply to  Phillip Barron

you are not.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago

I don’t mind people running on the greenways, but keep your dogs on a short leash, please!

Sidewalks in this city can be horrible for running in many places. Broken sections, cars blocking the way, bushes/trees. You can’t really keep up a consistent/fast pace on the sidewalks.

DP
DP
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

I too don’t mind runners on the street when they’re going the same direction as bikes/cars. Runners have a comparable speed to slow/moderate cyclists so they should run in the in the same direction as vehicles. It easy to slow behind a runner and wait to pass. When they run towards you while a vehicle is simultaneously overtaking you, it creates an unnecessary need for evasive action. I’d feel pretty rude if I did that to people. No different than a salmon bike rider.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  DP

I have the same feeling about wrong way peds on MUPs.

If you’re going the same way I am it’s easy to slow down to walking pace, wait for the left side to clear and go around.

If you’re coming at me – then we’re both going to end up stopping while the left clears.

It’s pretty common to see a couple walking toward Milwaukie on Lake Rd at about 5am in the bike lane going against traffic. They carry lights and they just got new jackets that have a lit strip across them. I have all the time in the world to gauge any traffic coming behind me and slow down/speed up to make sure I can go out of the bike lane around them.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

This runner is grateful for your understanding of the difficulties that beset runners – many of the same ones that bedevil cyclists.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

People don’t know (or maybe don’t care) that Multnomah county code allows only an 8′ maximum leash length. People get those retractable leashes and they have no idea if their dog is by their side or 12′ away on the other side of the road.

MontyP
MontyP
2 months ago

So all the people without their cars are violating laws in this classic Saturn commercial?!
Saturn Ion commercial (youtube.com)

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  MontyP

That is so cool! Thank you for sharing it!

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

A couple of times both as a community advocate and as a government employee, I’ve had to read the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA, from 1992 and the various updates since then. Among the numerous pieces of this civil rights legislation which trumps both local and state regulations (and trips up local governments continuously) is that if a sidewalk does not meet federal ADA requirements, any user is legally allowed to use the adjacent street, even if they are not noticeably “disabled”. Similarly, there were provisions that allowed bikes to be put on buses under any circumstance, so transit services who wanted to “head off lawsuits at the pass” responded by adding bike racks to the front of their buses and invite bicycle users to use them. Let’s see, ADA was made law in 1992 and TriMet started adding racks in 1993? Do you really think that was coincidental?

Chris Anderson
2 months ago

This points to a need for bike highways. Imagine how fast Sandy, Burnside, and Foster could be as bike speedways.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris Anderson

And the best thing about good protected bike lanes is that they don’t preclude motor vehicles from using those same arterials!

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris Anderson

Imagine how fast…

Probably 12-15 mph.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

During the MAX disruption for Better Red I was taking the 14 from 94th and Foster to downtown.

3:42pm at 94th and Foster, 4:22 at 2nd & Main. (if it’s on time, not counting waiting for the transfer) – 7 miles at an average of 10.5mph

On my slowest bike I’m nearly 50% faster. On my fastest bike 100% faster.

Yes please to cycle highways.

Better, get me one on 224 please. On my commute I pass the beginning at 17th ave and work 1/4miles south of the 212 terminus of the expressway. That would be *awesome*

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

How fast would that bike superhighway be if it were full of 8-80 cyclists?

7 miles at an average of 10.5mph

That’s excruciating.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Only if you think in terms of an automobile orientation, where any infrastructure that is linear implies forward movement. Granted, that has in fact been our cultural bias for the last 100 years, but prior to that people did not necessarily move forward continuously. In fact, as Portland’s Sunday Parkways, the downtown sidewalk cafes and the homeless camps on the 205 path amply demonstrate, many folks stop, turn around, sit down, sleep, and do lots of other stuff by not actually moving forward. Within historic times both Florence Italy and London had major river bridges with shops and homes built on top. If you think about it, a bridge is an ideal place for commerce – I’ve seen similar shopping malls built over train stations in DC, Mainz, Utrecht, and Leipzig.

For me, an ideal “bicycle superhighway” for users 8-80 would be a linear pedestrian mall the whole length of Division from the Willamette River to the Sandy River in Gresham, complete with sidewalk cafes, parks, bike shops, food carts, grocers, different kinds of riding, walking, ADA, and running surfaces, with certain sections being narrow like inner Division is now, and other sections as wide, tree-lined and grassy as the National Mall in DC, with car access only on certain 5 mph cross streets but most traffic passing harmlessly over or under the “bicycle superhighway”.

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
2 months ago

Oh man, not only did you cover this in 2012, but I commented on the article back then as well!!! Here was my “case” for why I run in the road almost exclusively. I honestly don’t remember the last time I ran on a sidewalk, I still go right out my driveway into the street and onwards. That said, I do appreciate the explainer.

>>>

Major Portland runner here. I put in more miles running through town (~3500 last year) than biking, including commuting by foot eight trips week (bike in Monday morning, and back Friday afternoon).

Here is what makes a good running route: A. No cars, B. Cars that can I can see, and that can see me. While I do as much running as possible away from cars – Waterfront, Springwater, Tabor, Forest Park – it is a necessity to put in some miles on the roads going to and from these destinations. When I do so, and inevitably pass through hundreds of intersections, I want to be out in the open on the roadway. Darting into the street off of, and back onto, the sidewalk is way way way more dangerous, especially on the east side where sidewalks are buffered from the street with parked cars and foliage.

I’ve never been yelled at by a biker, or hit by a car. Much closer to the latter, though I would prefer the former.

And as added bonus: the road is softer, and more consistent, than the sidewalk.

Andrew S
Andrew S
2 months ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

100%

Most drivers don’t stop in front of the sidewalk anyway. They’re conditioned to not look for anything besides other cars. It’s waaaaay safer to just run in the road where the cars they might actually look for are. I’ve even stopped running against the flow of traffic. I’ve had enough encounters with the hoods of many right turning drivers to know better.

One of the things that I love about Portland is how I can go out my front door and run basically as many miles I want on calm streets and few interruptions. This is easy to take for granted, but is actually incredibly unique and special in the states these days.

SD
SD
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew S

Thanks for bringing up these two very important points! Drivers don’t stop or even look for people coming off of sidewalks. And right turning cars are a menace if you are running against traffic, like many people advocate. Drivers only look for specific things and it is not people. The more people can put themselves in the places that drivers look, the safer it is.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  SD

The more people can put themselves in the places that drivers look, the safer it is.

This applies doubly to bike riders, who are traveling much faster than a runner.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I dunno. Aging tends to bring the speeds closer.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

It always amazes me that that older runners go so much faster!

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

Big respect for your commutes by running!

I often commute by running, esp in the snow, and drivers yell at me for running in the road and getting in their way. “I am running to work!” is my usual reply, but we all know that a trip by car – or by truck or SUV – is exponentially and inherently more important than any trip by car or by foot.

Daniel Reimer
2 months ago

Sometimes it makes more sense to run in the road because of people walking or other obstructions. However, numerous times now I’ve encountered people running in the bike lane when there are wide, high quality empty sidewalks. This situation creates dangerous conflicts when there is a car coming up behind me and a runner is coming at me. I believe it’s because they have been misconceived that asphalt is better than cement for your knees.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

Social distancing caused this change, when we runners had to make a wide berth around people on sidewalks. I find myself continuing to do it, even when I probably don’t need to. But if a bike is coming at me, I’ll move onto the sidewalk.

maxD
maxD
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

I have heard the “asphalt is softer than concrete” myth quite a bit. Humans can produce enough force to compress asphalt for concrete- there is no noticeable benefit or difference in “softness”.

Josh
Josh
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

There’s good evidence asphalt is better for the knees, but it has nothing to do with deflection of the pavement – it’s lower traction. Asphalt lets your shoes skid farther than concrete, meaning lower peak deceleration. That’s better for your joints and feels like the surface is “softer,” when really it’s just slipperier.

That’s also why accessibility guidelines prefer brushed concrete walking surfaces – people who have less motor control are more stable with higher traction.

Nina
Nina
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh

I don’t know anything about the science of it, but anecdotally I noticed a huge difference between running on concrete vs asphalt when running long distances.

A long time ago when I was young and had lots of time for 12mi runs, I would find that by the second half of the run, running on the sidewalk was painful in my knees whereas running on the road felt comfortable. I wonder if the experience might be exaggerated on older knees as well?

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

Asphalt does feel better than concrete. Another thing pretty common issue for runners is side slopes, if they have less than idea knees or feet. Some can’t handle slopes (so sidewalks are good) but some avoid (or prefer) slopes to the right or left. So, for instance, some will run with traffic to avoid the slope they’d be running on if facing traffic.

I agree with you that if they’re choosing to run in a bike lane, they should be aware enough to avoid creating problems for people biking.

I'll Show UP
I'll Show UP
2 months ago

The side path law does have a clause about leaving the bike lane for unsafe conditions. I would think that running on a sidewalk is, intrinsically unsafe. Sidewalks are not flat, sooth surfaces. They have all sorts of uneven ground where tree roots lift them up or other factors that create smaller trip hazards. Running at speed requires a level of sure footedness that sidewalks can not offer.

Also, even if it against the law, give me a break! Share the road. Give respect to others as you wish to be respected. There’s not much different here from a driver yelling at a bike rider to get off the road. That driver may not notice the debris and rocks in the bike lane. They’re just angry that we’re there. It’s antisocial and, in the wrong circumstances, drives home the false narrative that you ran into at the road closure with the angry guy in the truck.

Steven
Steven
2 months ago

According to ORS 814.070, “A pedestrian does not commit the offense of pedestrian with improper position upon or improperly proceeding along a highway when the pedestrian is on a narrow residential roadway if:

“(a)The pedestrian does not create a traffic hazard; and

“(b)Signs are posted giving notice that pedestrians may be present upon or along the narrow residential roadway. Signs posted under this paragraph shall be posted at each end of the portion of the narrow residential roadway where pedestrians may be present.”

Since greenways are intentionally located on narrow residential streets, all that’s needed is to blanket the area with signs. Sounds like a great opportunity for a tactical urbanism project!

Steven
Steven
2 months ago
Reply to  Steven

For more context, the statute defines a “narrow residential roadway” as a residential street not more than 18 ft. wide. According to Portland’s Pedestrian Design Guide, this excludes on-street parking. SE Clinton has parking on both sides and certainly seems to qualify under this definition.

narrow-sts-graphic
PTB
PTB
2 months ago

I am biking in the street, I am running in the street.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  PTB

I am biking in the street, I am running in the street.

I also hope you are driving in the street!

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I hope you are driving as little as possible.

(This is Bike Portland.)

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

My post was purely an attempt at humor, but a passion for bike riding need not exclude driving when it makes sense (to us individually, not some judgmental self-appointed third party). Not all of us need to engage in the ever futile “war on cars”, and many who do also have cars and drive, somewhat ironically.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

But you really shouldn’t! I’m serious. You always defend driving in this space – that’s everyone’s god-given right, per your comments.

You shouldn’t and it isn’t. In 50 years, in the dying years of this planet, anyone still alive will look back and wonder why we drove ourselves to extinction.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

You shouldn’t and it isn’t.

I don’t take issue with your views about driving, and as I have said many times I intentionally drive very little, despite having a great car at my disposal, for reasons you might mistake as your own. I walk the walk, even if I don’t talk the talk.

Want fewer people to drive? I sure do. Moralistically harping on people not to drive isn’t going to change anything, and that approach is what I was critiquing in my comment.

The way we get people to get out of their cars is to develop better alternatives. Not better from your viewpoint, but better from the viewpoint of all those in cars today. This has nothing to do with “god given rights”, and everything to do with making lasting change in the world.

(And a carbon tax probably wouldn’t hurt either, but that seems to be politically impossible.)

PTB
PTB
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Ha. Yes, when I drive it is exclusively in the street. I want it known that I’m a responsible road user regardless of mode.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
2 months ago

I live on a Greenway street. Even with speed bumps people blow through at 40 MPH all the time. IMO, It would be dumb to run on my Greenway street.

idlebytes
idlebytes
2 months ago

I encounter tons of walkers and runners on my morning commute to work from Montavilla and generally don’t mind them being in the road. The only times I have problems is when they’re completely oblivious or stubborn and don’t yield the right of way forcing me to either slow down or stop so I don’t enter the path of an approaching driver. Occasionally they’ll also spread out across the entire road but that’s what my very loud bell is for. It clears the way rather quickly.

I do appreciate all the runners adding various lights to their runs in recent years. Especially when I’m going over Tabor. I have a great light but the beam cutoff means it only illuminates peoples knees when I”m about 10 feet away from them. I still go a lot slower in the winter months because not everyone is lit up like a Christmas tree.

Al Dimond
2 months ago

The cyclist here may be right about the law but I’d rather be wrong than right like that.

Christopher of Portland
Christopher of Portland
2 months ago

I don’t mind people running on greenways as long as I can still get by. Running (or standing, walking, smoking, sleeping, etc) in bike lanes is a different story. One of my favorite attributes of a greenway is that it’s so hard to block, unlike bike lanes. I don’t have to worry about delivery trucks or runners or trash cans or piles of bark chips.

Andrew S
Andrew S
2 months ago

Sounds like the yeller here is a Walter.

Walter: “Am I wrong?!”
Dude: “You’re not wrong, Walter, you’re just an a-hole”
Walter [smugly]: “Ok, then.”

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Can children play in the street? I thought one of the arguments for greenways was that it would slow traffic and allow the neighborhood to use the street. I would think that would include runners, walkers and neighborhood kids. Maybe I’m confusing two different city programs.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Can children play in the street? 

They can play, but only at walking speed.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Make sure your children have solid vehicular playing skills before you let them in the street.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Thank goodness I grew up in a small hick town where my buddies and I played baseball, football, frisbee, etc which required lots of running out in the streets.
Does anyone ever think Government has way too many rules and regulations? 3 binders for rules around trees and bushes alone.
How overbearing and oppressive our government has become.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Methinks thou dost protest too much.

I grew up in a similar hick town and we also played in the street. But let’s not compare our hick towns to a city and metro area with a population of well over two million people.

We could play on our hick streets b/c there weren’t many cars, which is NOT true in Portland in 2024. When things get crowded, we need the gummint to help keep everyone safe.

Andrew S
Andrew S
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Almost daily, I ride by a house where a couple of kids are usually out playing basketball. Haven’t made it yet, but one of these days I’ll sink the alley-oop…

Þee Olde Bicycle Boulevarde
Þee Olde Bicycle Boulevarde
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Þee artifise of changing “bike boulavardes” to “Neighborhood Greenwayes” came about because Þe cowards at PBOT Þought that the term “bike” would provoke outrage from Þee citizenry

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

Yey, thou art correct, but the Holy Green MUTCD Bible, from God’s own mouthe, doth spoke in tongues that “bike boulavardes” means nothing in Salem or Seattle but “Neighborhood Greenwayes” is the term of our Holy Fathers in Wassyngton DC and throughout the land. Thus endeth the lesson.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
2 months ago

I’m glad that people are walking dogs/strollers or running in neighborhood greenways because their presence makes it less depressing to see no one else cycling.

Brighton West
Brighton West
2 months ago

I vote for “people in the street.” Are kids legally not allowed to play in the street if there is a nearby playground? Or even if there isn’t one?

maxD
maxD
2 months ago

I support people running in the street, but I had a similar situation last fall. I was riding in the bike lane on Front and was overtaking a runner in the dead center of the bike lane. He had ear buds in so I dinged my bell a couple of time to let him I would squeezing past, and I got yelled at and sworn at! I have also encountered runners in the bike lanes on Interstate- I do not support that because they are too narrow.

A question for the bikeportland hive mind: What do think of runners with headlamps? I hate them because they invariably look at me/blind me. I read some comments in support of runners with lights, but lights where? It seems like a small red light on a wrist would be effective for visibility. A headlamp seems like it would not be bright enough to provide effective illumination on city streets at a running pace, but they are bright enough to provide a big old glare bomb to a passing cyclist

Laura
Laura
2 months ago
Reply to  maxD

As a runner, I really dislike other runners in headlamps for the reason you describe…it ruins my night-vision for a long time after the hit. There are things called knuckle-lights that are the same intensity of light, that sort of strap around your knuckles, lighting your path and increasing your visibility with your arm-swing. The colorful Tracer vests also are a great visibility tool that doesn’t blind other roadway users.

Phillip Barron
2 months ago
Reply to  Laura

Runner (and cyclist) here. Last night, I had to run after sunset because errands ate up my daylight. I wear a green tracer vest and also use a headlamp. Why? Because I run the Terwilliger path, which is as bumpy/lifted by roots in parts as the sidewalks that many of you are talking about. I need to see the path in front of me to know where to step. Plus, any reflective stuff that may catch my eye (eg the orange cone that sits over a broken lamppost base) works best if the source of light is eye level, rather than knuckle level. But I’m sensitive to blinding others, so I set my headlamp on the lowest possible setting with the wide angle lights. Is that helping? Or should I switch it to beam and just never look up at anyone I pass? Genuine question.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Phillip Barron

You need to get some knuckle lights – they are awesome! Ditch the headlamp since you can’t control its beam.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Questions, as their website is a bit limited:

How are they for bicycling (reaching the brake levers, shifting, that sort of thing)?

Are they USB rechargeable?

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Phillip Barron

I use a Cygolight bike light on all my bike helmets, 700-950 lumen solid beam on the front, 50-100 lunen flashing red on the rear – I wear my light on my head so I don’t forget to have them should I accidentally have to ride at night; I also use blinky lights on my bike, both front and rear, but it’s the helmet light that is vital out here in NC where it gets darker than in Oregon. When I pass other users (and car drivers) I try to turn my head a bit to the right to not blind them, but given the darkness here and debris in the stroad I absolutely need a super bright light. (I know folks locally who use 1200 to 2000 lumen lights for trail riding.) I carry spare lights.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Laura

True dat, Laura. I have knuckle lights and they are great.

A headlamp seems pointless: doesn’t illuminate enough of the road or path ahead, and destroys your – and everyone else’s – night vision in the process. The rods and cones in your eyes will adjust to darkness if you give them a chance.

Phillip Barron
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

I don’t know why you and maxD insist that headlamps are not sufficient for lighting the path in front of you. You don’t need to make this point in order to convince me that headlamps can be a nuisance to others on the path. But in my experience, my headlamp does sufficiently light the path in front of me. 

stephan
stephan
2 months ago

Thanks for the clarification Jonathan — seems like the law should be changed!
I don’t mind runners on neighborhood greenways, I actually appreciate them: they’ll slow down people who drive, and nudge them to be pay attention. Safety in numbers!

SD
SD
2 months ago
Reply to  stephan

We’ll know Portland has been fully restored to greatness when we have herds of goats and sheep on the greenways.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  SD

Bring back the bison!

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  SD

With gender-neutral cowpeople herding cattle on them horsies! (Along with the Portland Police Horsie Patrol.)

qqq
qqq
2 months ago

In regard to the pedestrian laws themselves, they’re written so that walking in the safest location (for the person walking and often for drivers and others) and walking where the law requires often conflict.

It’s certainly safer and more considerate to run in the street when traffic allows vs. insisting on staying on a sidewalk running up behind someone in the dark, or running on a crowded sidewalk or next to someone walking a dog.

The biggest issues to me involve running or walking on sidewalk-less streets with poor shoulders and poor visibility due to turns, trees, etc–which are common (and also popular for running) in SW and NW Portland–NW Skyline, SW Fairview, etc.

On those, the biggest safety issue is probably blind corners, yet the law may require you to run or walk in the blind spot so that, say, you face traffic.

Or, often the shoulder conditions change, so the side you legally should be running on may change from side to side often, forcing you to cross the street often, which may be less safe than the safer but not legal route.

It’s similar to many biking situations where imperfect laws mean the safe route or action may differ from the legally required one.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  qqq

The Fairmonut loop is a good example. You really should run/walk on the outside shoulder of the loop, regardless of your direction clock-/counter-clockwise.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago

That’s a perfect example. The whole inside route is one blind corner after another. The shoulders on both sides are constantly varying, from none on either side to one on one side, to some on both sides.

But the law doesn’t say anything about blind corners. If there’s a shoulder on the inside, but not on the outside, it requires you to use the inside.

Even ignoring the blind curves, if you just wanted to comply with the law by always running or walking on the side with a shoulder, in the places where there was a shoulder on one side only, you might have to cross the street several dozen times during one loop. And what one person considers a shoulder, another might not, and the law only gives a very general definition.

If there’s some law somewhere that allows pedestrians to use common sense to overrule the other laws, none of this really matters. It seems lt really only matters if there’s something like crash. The general point is there are lots of times where it makes sense to not follow a law when you’re biking or on foot, so if you see something like someone running in the street, so what unless they’re creating problems for others.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

Nope – I refuse to let drivers surprise me from behind so I will always walk facing traffic. And if I need to cross the street to avoid a blind bend, I will. I’m going to walk or run on the part of the street that feels safest to me, no matter what the law says.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Fred

I think you are agreeing with me Fred. The safest way to walk or run the Fairmount loop is on the outside, anybody that’s done it knows that. So I imagine that, like nearly everybody else, you would stay on the outside because it feels (and is) safest. If you are going counterclockwise, that means traffic approaches from behind.

I always solved that dilemma by going clockwise. Problem solved.

Aaron
2 months ago

The only time I’ve ever been annoyed by a runner in the street was when someone was running in the wrong direction in the protected bike lane of Rosa Parks and didn’t hop onto the sidewalk for me to get by on my bike. I just had to stop entirely and let them run by me because I didn’t want to accidentally hit them trying to maneuver around them at speed.

Personally I would welcome as many runners as possible on greenways, maybe they’ll make them less appealing for cars to cut through. Anything to make it less appealing for SUVs with big suspension to barrel down the Michigan greenway doing 40mph over the speed bumps and aggressively passing cyclists while they cut through between Rosa Parks and Killingsworth.

Greatdane
Greatdane
2 months ago

I don’t mind runners and pedestrians on greenways – I prefer they pay some attention, but they are usually pretty easy to safely avoid, even if there is occasionally bad timing with other traffic. The more people using our greenways in non-car ways, the safer they become for everyone!

I am bothered by runners in designated bike lanes, especially those that are protected. Some runners going opposite flow will at least move out of the way when they see an oncoming bike, but not all. Runners going in the same direction can’t see you and frequently are wearing earbuds so can’t hear you either. With bike lines on busy roads, either direction of running can create a dangerous situation for everyone, but the bicyclist has the most risk as the traveler caught in the middle so to speak. When the bike lanes are protected, there’s obviously less risk, but it’s just plain annoying because there is nowhere to go!

Intern
Intern
2 months ago

As far right as possible? I’m running in the street facing traffic. Even the Oregon.gov website says if there’s no sidewalk, to walk as far left…

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

My personal interpretation is that any cyclist who yells at a runner on a greenway is just a dick.

We’re sharing the space, and we need to stick together. Let’s save our ire for the aggressive drivers who impinge on a space for people.

Sean
Sean
2 months ago

It really comes down to this:
If the person walking or running in the street is going *with* the flow of traffic, then they are the asshole. If they’re going against traffic, then it’s all good.

X
X
2 months ago

I’ve never felt that pedestrians on greenways were slowing me down much and they certainly don’t endanger me. Speed bumps are more annoying and motor vehicles following, or especially crossing, greenways are the most frequent traffic dangers I encounter anywhere.

Pedestrians are an ‘indicator species’ of a safe space and most streets are wide enough to pass them with good clearance. The presence of pedestrians seems to discourage car driving a bit. I could wish people walking or running on the roadway would keep to the left.