bike safety

Oregon road deaths tick upward after long-run decline

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 13th, 2015 at 9:34 am

traffic deaths

(Source: ODOT. Chart: BikePortland.)

One year after Oregon saw its best year for traffic safety since World War II, it seems to have backslid somewhat.

[Read more…]

Comment of the Week: Lawsuits, the quiet pressure behind city decisions

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 19th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

clinton speed

Traffic on SE Clinton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As we wrote beneath the last Comment of the Week post, BikePortland has decided to be the only blog we’re aware of that pays for great comments. The person whose thoughts we select for this feature gets a crisp $5 bill in the mail, as a way for us to appreciate the site’s amazing discussion community. So watch your email — we might be in touch.

Street safety matters to cities. So does street comfort. But only one of those issues will land you in court.

That’s the insight shared this week by BikePortland reader paikiala, responding to the discussion on Wednesday’s post about a guerrilla traffic diverter installed on Clinton by anonymous activists.

[Read more…]

Vision 0.08: Why any major safe-streets effort must tackle alcohol

Avatar by on October 31st, 2014 at 9:15 am

Scene of fatal crash on SW Barbur Blvd-6

SW Barbur Boulevard: a bad street to
be drunk on by any mode.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This is a guest opinion piece by A.J. Zelada, a longtime biking and walking advocate who chaired the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2013.

Intoxicating amounts of alcohol are at the death scene of 36 percent of walking fatalities and 32 percent of biking deaths.

So why does today’s street safety movement seem to trivialize it?

Last year, I listened to Oregon’s Safe Routes to School manager proclaim new safety issues to protect pedestrians. The ideas were great, but one was missing: She did not mention alcohol at death scenes. Vision Zero is being considered by many cities, including Portland and New York City, as a backbone policy for reducing road deaths. New York City’s new Vision Zero policy has one paragraph about alcohol.

[Read more…]

National ‘Bicyclist Safety’ report out today gets actual safety trends backwards

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 27th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

bicyclist safety cover

A high-profile report about bike safety warns that “the number of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways is trending upward.” Wait, what?
(Click for report.)

A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association Monday is a perfect example of what can go wrong when safety experts get stuck behind their own windshields.

[Read more…]

Learning the law at the Share the Road safety class

Avatar by on January 26th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Ellee Thalheimer is a new contributing writer to BikePortland. Her most recent story was a product review of women’s bike shorts designed for utility and fashion. Ellee is a yoga instructor and travel writer living in Southeast Portland. Check out her author page here.

We covered the beginnings of the Share the Road Safety Class; this is our first inside account by a BikePortland operative.


Traffic safety gurus (L to R): Judge
Chris Larsen, BTA instructor Gregg
Lavender, Officer James Sorensen,
and nurse Mike Morrison.
(Photos: Ellee Thalheimer)

“Bike laws are schizophrenic,” the judge in my case told me. “Sometimes you’re a vehicle, sometimes you’re a pedestrian.”

It’s true. The rules of the road are confusing, and for those of us who get around on two wheels, confusing can translate into lethal. That’s one reason self-proclaimed “safety geek” and Judge Chris Larsen wanted to create a better way to educate road users about how to operate legally, and safely, on city streets.

Nearly two years ago, Larsen initiated the Share the Road Safety Class, a two-hour lecture/discussion/presentation that takes place twice a month at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

The class functions as an alternative to expensive, record-marring traffic tickets that leave offenders frustrated, but unfortunately, still ignorant about the rules of the road.
[Read more…]

Momentum’s new safety vid: “Let’s Get Visible”

Avatar by on November 18th, 2008 at 10:27 am

Momentum publisher/editor Amy Walker as
Olivia Newton-John in “Let’s Get Visible”.
– Watch video below –

The folks at Vancouver, BC-based Momentum Magazine have combined their passion for safe biking with their fun and fashionable style to create a new PSA for their local Bike to Work Week.

The result is “Let’s Get Visible”, a bike safety video that spoofs the legendary Olivia Newton-John song from 1981. [Read more…]