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Follow these 15 driving tips and make streets safer for everyone

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Interstate Avenue.jpg
A great city for biking must have great drivers.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post was submitted by BP Subscriber Alex Reed.

We all know driving is a challenging endeavor that carries grave responsibility – lives are on the line. But even driving according to the law dependably is difficult – much less going beyond the law to be truly courteous and helpful to other road users.

Here are some ideas I’ve found useful – starting with how to obey the law. If you don’t drive, please share this with your friends and family that do.

8 Tips To Help Get You to A+, 100% Lawful Driving

1. Take a deep breath – don’t rush.
If you’re reading this for tips, I bet you already obey the speed limit without fail. But don’t forget the Basic Speed Law (layperson’s version: don’t drive too fast for conditions)! There are tons of places and times where the speed limit is way too fast. Don’t be in a rush. Opting for slower and safer is better than just going on autopilot at the speed limit. As we leave the summer, allow more and more extra time for less than ideal conditions.
[Read more…]

5 Things I learned parenting (mostly) by bike

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

I spent the past year and a half parenting one, then two kids (now 1.5 and 3 years) mostly by bike. Here are some of my takeaways:

1) It’s totally doable for many people (depending on where you live and work, and other complications).

2) You may end up wanting to be more car-lite than you were before kids (many/most young kids hate car seats in various phases of their lives and scream while in them, and love box-bikes and buses and trains; also, biking may well be your only reliable way to get exercise)

3) You may end up wanting to be less car-lite than you were before kids (the tyranny of naps cuts up your day so much, it’s nice to get from A to B faster. Plus, getting car rides from friends when you have kids is pretty much impossible, and installing/uninstalling car seats in rental cars is a pain, and your time is at a premium)

4) Think through contingency plans. What if it’s too icy to bike but your work and daycare are still open? What if you’re sick? What if you’re sick like half the winter? (You may well be sick like half the winter)

5) Rewarding children is good parenting and preserves your sanity. Keep rewards at the ready.

Cool it on the Springwater

Friday, May 20th, 2016

I’m witnessing problems on the Springwater that have nothing to do with people who are houseless. As more and more people are using the path this spring as the weather gets nicer, I’m seeing a good bit of rude and unsafe behavior on the Sellwood-OMSI section. As someone who sometimes bikes fast myself, I’m sad to say that the majority of the rudeness I see is coming from my fellow fast cyclists.

As an example – this morning I saw two gentlemen in roadie garb and bikes going about 21 mph on the Sellwood-OMSI section of the Springwater. On the very narrowest section of the path (just south of where the path goes under the Ross Island Bridge), they passed a family with two kids on bikes. The gentlemen in roadie garb didn’t even go single-file to pass this family despite the path being quite narrow at this point. The gentleman on the right passed the kids extremely close and at high speed. The family seemed scared.

This type of behavior is not OK. If you’re behaving rudely on a path, no matter on a bike or walking or whatever speed, you really need to stop. If you’re behaving rudely at 21mph, that presents much more of a risk to other path users than someone behaving rudely at 12mph or 3mph. People who go fast on bikes need to behave more cautiously and politely than people who go slowly because of this. If you’re a fitness type, think of the slowing down and speeding up as adding some sprints to your workout 🙂

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