what do you think

What do you think? Encouraging high-vis gear

Avatar by on December 12th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

People on Bikes - Copenhagen Edition-48-48

Can’t miss this guy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: “What do you think?” is a new series we’re trying out where we gauge your opinion and ask for feedback on a specific topic. Think of it as our version of those ridiculous and annoying reader polls you see on other sites so often. — Jonathan

It seems innocent enough: When days get shorter and people are commuting in the dark, transportation agencies will often encourage people to wear bright-colored and reflective clothing, use lights, and so on. That might sound like important, common sense information to some of you; but to others it’s a cringe-worthy offense. To them it’s a form of victim blaming that actually results in ever more dangerous streets.

This week, both TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation promoted high-visibility cycling.

TriMet did it as part of their annual “Be Seen. Be Safe.” campaign. I got an email yesterday asking me to enter a contest to win a “bike visibility kit”. The $135 kit includes a flourescent yellow helmet cover, a reflective safety patch, hi-vis gloves, and a rear light. “Make yourself visible to drivers and cyclists around you!” the promotion urged.[Read more…]