In Roseburg, popularity of bicycling thwarts punitive police power grab

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Gravel, leaves in bike lane-4

“Public hearing” or not; not all
bike lanes are “safe and reasonable” to ride on.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Earlier this month, police officers in the City of Roseburg tried to strengthen their authority to ticket people who do not ride in bike lanes. They thought they could sneak an agenda item through City Council and be on their way. It turns out, they were wrong.

Officers wanted to close a loophole in ORS 814.420, the law that mandates people on bicycles must use a bike lane if/when one is available (there are myriad exceptions to the rule). Specifically, the police wanted to close the loophole that says a person is not required to follow the law, “unless the state or local authority… finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.”

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