Iannarone campaigned on the Hawthorne Bridge during the recent Climate Strike march. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone is no stranger to bold ideas. She spent years working at Portland State University leading educational tours for visiting leaders that focused on our city’s legacy of transformative urban planning decisions.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty made headlines last month when she said distracted walkers are a “huge issue” and voted “no” on what was expected to be a non-controversial update to Portland’s Vision Zero program. Her vote and comments raised the ire of the commissioner in charge of that program, Chloe Eudaly.
Eudaly called Hardesty’s views, “Virtually unfounded” and said Hardesty must not have been briefed on the topic properly.
Nearly three weeks after that exchange, I spoke with Hardesty and asked about her views on Vision Zero, traffic enforcement, distracted walkers, and more.
Commissioner Hardesty wanted to set things straight from the outset. “I share the values of making our streets safe for everyone,” she said. “If I left you with the impression that that was not my goal I don’t want you to have that impression.” [Read more…]
The Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 998 today by a vote of 31 to 28. From here the bill will go to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for signing.
This is a huge victory for bike advocates who have worked for years to get this legislation through. Once it becomes law, every bicycle rider in Oregon will be able to legally treat every stop sign and flashing red signal as a yield sign. That is, you will no longer have to come to a complete stop at every frickin’ stop sign!
Here’s the official summary of the bill (PDF below):
Permits person operating bicycle to enter intersection controlled by specified traffic control devices without stopping. Permits person operating bicycle to turn without stopping at intersection with specified traffic control devices. Creates offense of improper entry into intersection where traffic is controlled by stop sign. Punishes by maximum fine of $250. Creates offense of improper entry into intersection where traffic is controlled by flashing red signal. Punishes by maximum fine of $250.
A bill that has received unanimous support from the Oregon House and Senate will give counties throughout Oregon a new tool to improve safety on rural roads.
House Bill 3213 creates a pilot program that will allow five counties to designate a dangerous stretch of road as a “safety corridor”. The legislation is meant to stem the tide of serious and fatal crashes that plague rural roads throughout the state. During committee hearings for the bill, lawmakers heard that many of Oregon’s once quiet farming roads now see increased levels of driving due to population growth and people who want to avoid congested interstates.
Some of these rural, county-owned roads also happen to be popular for bicycle riding. [Read more…]
It’s not the Idaho Stop, but a law that would allow bicycle users to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields (when safe, of course) would be a major step forward for bicycle users in Oregon. And it just moved one major step closer to passage as the 2019 session rolls into its final few weeks.
Lane County Senator Floyd Prozanski — who introduced a bill inspired by Idaho’s law in 2003 — was the sole person to testify at the committee hearing yesterday. “What Idaho has is much broader than what’s been introduced here, he explained to the committee. “It [Idaho’s law] also allows bicycle riders to do the same [yield] at red lights. I believe that’s too far to go at this stage and that’s why we should follow what would be more the Delaware model.”
Delaware passed their law, which they call the “Delaware yield”, in 2017.
According to Prozanski, the main benefit of this law is that it would allow people on bicycles to maintain momentum at intersections and therefore be less likely to suffer from a collision or close-call. When bicycle riders come to a complete stop, the act of starting up again can make them vulnerable to being hit by other road users who can increase speed more quickly and easily. [Read more…]
This language will now exist in Oregon law. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
“The rules of the road just got clearer today.”
That’s the statement from The Street Trust Executive Director Jillian Detweiler upon hearing House Bill 2682 passed the Senate today by a vote of 20-0 (with 8 absent and 2 excused), clearing its last hurdle before being signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.
The bill adds language to Oregon’s definition of a bicycle lane (ORS 801.155) to clarify that a lane still legally exists in an intersection even when the paint striping does not. It sounds like a no-brainer right? After all, no one would assume intersections are a legal free-for-all for other road users just because there’s no lane striping. [Read more…]
Senate Bill 998 — affectionately known as the Idaho Stop bill because it would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs (and flashing red signals) as yields — is floundering.
Even though it sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 9th, the bill has stalled out and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. Asked for a status update on the bill, its chief sponsor, Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) said, “A preliminary assessment shows that I do not have the necessary votes with in the caucus to move it to the floor.” [Read more…]