Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is this a good problem to have?

It seems that all of the bicycle traffic, and disregard for the rules of the road, in Portland has drawn the attention of law enforcement. They have had emphasis patrols out for the past couple of days to "re-educate" all modes of commuters -- but primarily bicyclists on the traffic rules.

Most violators are receiving warnings, but a couple of citations have been issued. One has to believe that this emphasis was sparked in part by recent road rage incidents between motorists and bicyclists in Portland. You can read the full story here.

Okay, I admit it. When I ride my bike, I rarely follow the same rules I would ordinarily follow in my car. I can see where that could become problematic, so I will vow to change my ways.

How about you...do you always follow the proper rules while bicycling?

UPDATE: Huckleberries Online linked our post here to a discussion over there. Also, a Spokesman Review editor named Ken Paulman provided this link to Washington's bicycling laws. It's pretty interesting stuff.

2 comments:

BiketoWork Barb said...

Yes, I abide by all traffic laws. The mantra of road bike education is that cyclists are safest when they act, and are viewed as, traffic.

Among other things, that means no riding on sidewalks even where it's permitted (which is extra dangerous anyway--drivers backing out aren't expecting something traveling at cycling speed to move along the sidewalk into a blind spot).

I wear highly visible clothing, I look first and signal when I'm changing lanes (doing so only when it's safe, given relative speeds of cyclist & vehicles), I make eye contact with drivers at intersections and messy merges.

So far, so good.

--Bike-to-work Barb

SRTC Staff said...

Barb- I just watched a biker, who was following all the rules as far as I could tell, almost get creamed by a small car. A woman flew up behind him and had to throw on her brakes to avoid rear-ending him. I'm baffled as he was very obvious and could be seen from a block away. Guess she must have been paying attention to something else, like a lot of us unfortunately do when driving.

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SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.