There’s a new effort to increase the rate of helmet use on Portland’s Biketown bike share system.
35 year-old Woodlawn neighborhood resident Aaron Feiger has launched an online petition, Facebook page and guerrilla marketing campaign aimed at persuading the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Biketown operator Motivate to make helmets available at bike share stations.
Much has been debated about the how the use of helmets impacts bicycling rates (or doesn’t). Now the debate is finding a new battlegrounds among the burgeoning crop of bike-share systems throughout North America.
Vancouver B.C. is an interesting case. The city is lauded as a leader in bicycling (they’re even hosting the major international cycling conference Velo-City this week), yet they are saddled by an all-ages, mandatory helmet law. Like Portland, Vancouver is working on their roll-out of a bike-sharing system and many people are watching how the helmet equation plays out. After all, if helmets are mandatory, that means every person who checks out a bike-share bike must have one on. [Read more…]
In an email to members this morning, Bicycle Transportation Alliance Board President Stephen Gomez wrote a letter offering, “Clarity on the BTA’s helmet stance.”
The letter comes in response to a new helmet policy released by the BTA back in October. That policy, which came after tallying results from a member survey on the issue, rubbed many in the community the wrong way.
The key part of the policy some people expressed disappoint in was this: “If confronted with a proposed mandatory helmet law, the BTA will not stand in opposition to the law. Neither will we devote resources to passing such a law.” While subtle, the new policy marked a shift toward a more pro-helmet stance than they’d had in the past. The BTA had previously been opposed — both philosophically and in practice — to laws that would make helmets mandatory for adults.[Read more…]
Helmets on the Hawthorne Bridge (Photo by Will Vanlue)
Using feedback gleaned from a recent survey, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) board of directors has formally adopted a policy on helmets. Here is the position statement as published on their blog this morning:
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance supports state law that requires those under 16 to wear helmets while on a bicycle. Helmets are safety devices that make bicycling safer by mitigating injury in the event of a fall or crash. Our role as an advocacy organization is to push for safer cycling environments and making our roads more bike-friendly. Therefore, The Bicycle Transportation Alliance encourages the use of helmets by all cyclists.
If you’re of the persuasion that mandatory helmet laws are a good thing, keep in mind that not all mandatory helmet laws are created equal and — as Vancouver is finding out with its 2008 ordinance — subtle wording can have a profound effect on the scope of the law.
Sidestepping the seemingly non-existent impact Vancouver’s law has had on helmet use, bike ridership and injury rates, it contains a few real-world complications that highlight why it’s important to pay attention to subtle wording. [Read more…]
Here’s a blurb from an email sent to members about the survey:
“The board of directors of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance will be discussing the role of helmets and the organization’s policy in the broader context of our work to make bicycling safe and accessible. To help inform the board’s discussion, we are asking our members to respond..”
Curious about why the BTA is wading in these waters, I contacted executive director Rob Sadowsky to learn more.[Read more…]
Hoping to increase compliance with the law, VPD spokesperson Kim Kapp tells us new police patrols, will “focus increasingly on making sure all bicyclists are complying with a city ordinance requiring helmets be worn at all times.”
That’s something to keep in mind if you’re from Portland, where the law only requires helmets on children under 16 years of age.[Read more…]
What happens in places that have a mandatory, all-ages helmet law on the books? Do injury rates decline? Does bike ridership go down? That’s the conventional wisdom; but is it true? Nearly three years after passing such an ordinance, the effect of Vancouver’s helmet law is difficult to ascertain. Our Vancouver correspondent Marcus Griffith took a closer look and found some surprising results.[Read more…]
Event Name: Bike Beaverton Event Start Date: 1 August 2010 Start Time: 1:00:00 PM Web Site:http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/bike Event Description: At 1 p.m., Bike Beaverton kicks off with a performance from Northern Alliance Drum Line. The Beaverton Police Department will hold a safety rodeo where children can have fun maneuvering through an obstacle course while learning new skills and safety practices. Bicycle mechanics from The Bike Gallery and Bike n Hike will perform safety inspections and Northwest Bicycle Council will fit and inspect helmets. The Northwest Bicycle Council will also be replacing damaged adult, youth and toddler helmets during Bike Beaverton while supplies last. Last year they were able to replace 70 helmets and expect to exceed that number this year.
A community ride will begin at 2 p.m. with three rides of varying difficulty to choose from: around the block, a six mile family-friendly ride and a 13-mile fitness ride. During the event, participants can enjoy the musical stylings of Amish Love Child and enjoy an ice cream social.
A man who ended up in the emergency room after a serious crash while riding on the Eastbank Esplanade last Friday (9/19) is looking for witnesses to help him piece together what happened.
Richard B. (he didn’t want to share his last name) says it was about 3:45 pm and he was riding south on the Esplanade just past the Fire Station near the Hawthorne Bridge. Here’s how he describes what happened next:
“It was one of my regular rides. I remember going by the fire station, then except for one brief blurry memory of an EMT lifting me into the ambulance, the next memory is being in the emergency room at OHSU after CT scan and evaluation.”