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  1. #1
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Prohibit right turns across bike lanes?

    This question is based on the somewhat unique situation in Portland Oregon, and may have no application anywhere else.

    If the law demands that cyclists use the bike lane when one is available, and they don't allow motor vehicles to merge prior to making a right turn, ought they prohibit right turns when bike lanes are present also?
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  2. #2
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    In Portland, cyclists must use the bike lanes. Motor vehicles are prohibited from being in them, except to cross them if turning right into a street or driveway.

    The law "protects cyclists" from being right hooked by giving the cyclist the ROW while in the bike lane. This hasn't worked out so well in practice.

    Furthermore, while the law allows cyclists to leave the bike lane to avoid hazards and to make left turns, the police have been ticketing these lawful maneuvers.

    So my proposal: In this circumstance, should right turns by motor vehicles be prohibited in the presence of a bike lane?

    A south-bound truck who needed to go west would have to turn first to the east, then the north in order to lawfully turn west. (Presuming bike lanes were present at each junction.)

    Similarly, all driveways and entrances to alleys and businesses would be accessible only by a left turn.

    One benefit of such a law would be a greater sensitivity by the highway engineers to right turning conflicts when designing a bike lane. They would have to weigh the benefit of needing right turns at any particular entrance with the desirability of a protected bike lane at that spot. If right turns into it are preferred, then there could be no bike lane drawn on that portion of the road, giving the cyclist the freedom he needs to protect himself from right hooks.

    While this would likely cause the removal of some bike lanes or portions of them, it will completely eliminate the present monstrosity of bike lanes becoming a mandatory "suicide slot". It would also return the creation of bike lanes back to first principals of the vehicle codes standards of ROW. (These principals are understood by the public through implementation and consistent application.) Inconsistent application of ROW for special situations -as Portland has done with it's bike lanes- is confusing in the short term and harms the publics overall understanding of ROW.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    On roads here in California that are popular with riders, there's always a situation where a driver stops out in the lane instead of merging into the bike lane to turn into a parking lot, and cyclists just keep riding by on the right in the bike lane. I pull out centered behind the vehicle and wait, sometimes with others, while people ride by on the right, and invariably hear someone mutter that "Someone is going to get killed like this".

    All those left turns would keep a vehicle driver from having to use their right mirror, but hopefully they will remember to look for oncoming cyclists when they turn left off the road.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    @ the OP
    Who are you and what is someone from Dallas, TX doing meddling in Portland, OR business?

    FWIW, it is impossible for a car to make a right angle turn adjacent to the curb. Physics don't allow it because the rear wheels track inside the front wheels. Where it is useful for cars to make turns from the curbs, such as at heavily traveled intersections where cars stop, then turn, and it is useful to form two lines of traffic, we typically use a right turn only lane (RTOL) with the bike lane running to the left of it to make such a maneuver explicit. At other times when a full RTOL is not warranted, we will drop the bike lane prior to the intersection by turning the solid bike lane line into a dotted line and allowing cars to merge into the area, in-line with any cyclist.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  5. #5
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    @ the OP
    Who are you and what is someone from Dallas Texas doing, meddling in Portland, OR business?

    FWIW, it is impossible for a car to make a right angle turn adjacent to the curb. Physics don't allow it because the rear wheels track inside the front wheels. Where it is useful for cars to make turns from the curbs, such as at heavily traveled intersections where cars stop, then turn, and it is useful to form two lines of traffic, we typically use a right turn only lane (RTOL) with the bike lane running to the left of it to make such a maneuver explicit. At other times when a full RTOL is not warranted, we will drop the bike lane prior to the intersection by turning the solid bike lane line into a dotted line and allowing cars to merge into the area, in-line with any cyclist.
    The situation in Portland seems to be rather unique. Thus my statement in post 2:

    "In Portland, cyclists must use the bike lanes. Motor vehicles are prohibited from being in them, except to cross them if turning right into a street or driveway.

    The law "protects cyclists" from being right hooked by giving the cyclist the ROW while in the bike lane. This hasn't worked out so well in practice.

    Furthermore, while the law allows cyclists to leave the bike lane to avoid hazards and to make left turns, the police have been ticketing these lawful maneuvers."
    There are bike lanes all over the country that are not subject to the mandatory use laws and have no explicit ROW ordinances like Portland does. Since Portland is not even entertaining the idea of modifying those two provisions, no right turns would have prevented many deaths and injuries to cyclists this past year.

    "Calling the intersection, “inherently dangerous” City Commissioner of Transportation Sam Adams had PDOT crews close the right-turn section of N. Greeley Avenue that has claimed two victims in as many weeks." http://bikeportland.org/cats/news/page/7/
    In at least this one hazardous intersection, right turns have been prohibited. I bet it works in preventing right hooks, don't you?

    It is my opinion that the law and predictable motorist behavior are conspiring to kill and injure cyclists operating in a lawful manner in Portland. Since it has been stated by investigators that it is impossible for large vehicles to see cyclists in the bike lanes, aren't all right turns across bike lanes "inherently dangerous"?

    No right turns would allow for the preservation of the life and limb of cyclists, the retention of the mandatory bike lane law, and the bike lane ROW.

    @ the OP
    Who are you and what is someone from Dallas Texas doing, meddling in Portland, OR business?
    That would be Mr. ChipSeal to you!

    I am fortunate that my fellow Texans had the good sense not to mandate bike lane use and then give the ROW to cyclists traveling to the right of other traffic lanes. It is a stretch to imagine that posting a possible solution to the carnage caused by such foolishness on an internet forum constitutes meddling in your business, Hoss.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  6. #6
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    @ the OP
    Who are you and what is someone from Dallas, TX doing meddling in Portland, OR business?
    You gotta love that northwest friendliness.

    Besides, since you only live NEAR Portland, OR, maybe you oughta keep your nose out of it too.

    The people in other states (and you are very knowledgeable about the two letter PO abbreviations, if nothing else) really don't much care about what happens in (or near) Portland, OR. We just don't want this mandatory usage crap spreading out of there.

    Or, as they say in NH: "Ride free or die!"
    Last edited by Roody; 12-02-07 at 09:43 AM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #7
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    We just don't want this mandatory usage crap spreading out of there.

    I]
    Don't want it here either. If you must have your bike lanes fine, but don't try to make me use them.
    Not too much to say here

  8. #8
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Prohibiting motor vehicles from making right turns across bike lanes is increditably impractical, not to mention stupid as hell. You may need to get off that high horse, the altitude is affecting your brain too much.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  9. #9
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Next they'll be talking about banning cyclists from roads where right turns are required.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    You gotta love that northwest friendliness.

    Besides, since you only live NEAR Portland, OR, maybe you oughta keep your nose out of it too.

    The people in other states (and you are very knowledgeable about the two letter PO abbreviations, if nothing else) really don't much care about what happens in (or near) Portland, OR. We just don't want this mandatory usage crap spreading out of there.

    Or, as they say in NH: "Ride free or die!"
    Just got to counter the famed Texas arrogance . But I don't meddle in Portland business. I merely learn from them and pay attention to what they do. Unlike some around here, I don't feel the need to butt in and try to tell one of the most livable cities how to run their business. I leave that for Portlander's to discuss amongst themselves. Besides. The particular subject matter of the OP applies to all of Oregon, as it is in State Law where it is written that cars turn across the bike lane. It is not a city or county law. That the OP decides that Portland should be the center of his/her comments shows his/her ignorance.

    Now, if the OP would like to discuss the merits of turning across the bike lane or merging into it, he/she (sorry, I don't know your gender) is welcome. But let's keep it from being some sort of referendum on Portland. I've been to Dallas. Let's just say that I wouldn't enjoy living there, much less riding my bike there. Of course, the standard disclaimer to protect me against being accused of being a "childish" cyclist applies. I said that I wouldn't enjoy living and riding my bike there. Not that I couldn't do it or it couldn't be done.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    You gotta love that northwest friendliness.

    Besides, since you only live NEAR Portland, OR, maybe you oughta keep your nose out of it too.

    The people in other states (and you are very knowledgeable about the two letter PO abbreviations, if nothing else) really don't much care about what happens in (or near) Portland, OR. We just don't want this mandatory usage crap spreading out of there.

    Or, as they say in NH: "Ride free or die!"
    BTW, I put the OR in there because I recognize that there is more than one Portland in the US. I wouldn't want to be so arrogant to suggest that Portland, Maine is not a place worthy of recognition.

    Seriously. Let's have this discussion. Just drop all the regional swashbuckling. Jeez...
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  12. #12
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
    ...
    I am fortunate that my fellow Texans had the good sense not to mandate bike lane use and then give the ROW to cyclists traveling to the right of other traffic lanes. It is a stretch to imagine that posting a possible solution to the carnage caused by such foolishness on an internet forum constitutes meddling in your business, Hoss.
    The problem with what you suggest is that motorists would never allow your proposal to happen, so this ends up being an end run around bike lanes. But that's what you want, now, isn't it? I think I am right to suggest that you merely want to meddle in Oregon business.

    Eliminating right turns is ludicrous and very much overkill. You know it of course, and are using this as a poison pill to bring up the bike lane discussion through a back alley. How about you be up front about it? Start with some forum research over the discussions we've been having over the last 2 or 3 years. Then you'd be up to date on the current state of the discussion and you will be in a position to make a contribution.

    It is unfortunate that a statistical blip (sorry to all those affected by these recent events) creates an opening for all those enemies of Portland (they are enemies not because I see them as such, but because they purposefully set themselves up as such, witness Roody's comments above) to rain down criticism. Now, if this year was like last year where we had zero fatalities, would you still take this tact to start a bike lane discussion? Our fatality rate has remained steady over the last decade while the cycling population has increased three or four fold. Surely Portland is doing something right. We have our problems, but trust me, these are recognized and are being handled competently by our local advocacy groups, both of the formal and the grassroot variety.

    I visited Dallas (EDIT: I was in Houston, actually) during the summer and saw, gasp, zero cyclists. And no wonder. I've never seen such an inhospitable place for cycling... Perhaps it had to do with cars running at 50 mph on surface streets with no shoulders, bike lanes, or even WOLs. Or maybe it was that unrestrained growth and a certain catering to the automobile above all other forms of transportation (there weren't even sidewalks in many places) has placed all locations a minimum of 5 miles apart. It took an hour on the freeway to just cross the urban center (in a car); the city is probably 50 miles across. Commutes must be 20 miles minimum!

    EDIT: I made a mistake. I was in Houston during the summer, not Dallas. From what I've heard, there's not a significant difference in terms of bicycling culture or environment. You tell me. Is Houston much different than Dallas?
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 12-02-07 at 06:49 PM.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    BTW, I put the OR in there because I recognize that there is more than one Portland in the US. I wouldn't want to be so arrogant to suggest that Portland, Maine is not a place worthy of recognition.

    Seriously. Let's have this discussion. Just drop all the regional swashbuckling. Jeez
    ...
    And let's not forget about Portland, MI, which happens to have a lovely new bike path. I really have nothing against any of the Portlands--that name somehow seems to go with livable cities. I'm sure I could happily live and ride in any Portland, if I wasn't happy enough living and riding where I am now. (But I've got to say that the smug factor seems to be a lot higher in the Oregon version than in the others, at least on this forum.) So on with the discussion....

    I just don't like mandatory bike lane laws, wherever they crop up, and I'm sorry if that message was too deeply buried in my regional swashbuckling. I especially don't like them to the right of right-turning motor traffic. Most cities (even those which are much less enlightened than Portland, OR) don't allow this to happen. Like you say in the next post, ChipSeal's proposal seems unrealistic, but what will work?

    From what I've read elsewhere, Portland is trying to correct this problem, and I hope they do it quickly. Do you have an update for us on what's happening on this front?


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  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    The problem with what you suggest is that motorists would never allow your proposal to happen, so this ends up being an end run around bike lanes. But that's what you want, now, isn't it? I think I am right to suggest that you merely want to meddle in Oregon business.

    Eliminating right turns is ludicrous and very much overkill. You know it of course, and are using this as a poison pill to bring up the bike lane discussion through a back alley. How about you be up front about it? Start with some forum research over the discussions we've been having over the last 2 or 3 years. Then you'd be up to date on the current state of the discussion and you will be in a position to make a contribution.
    Bike lanes through the back alley? He mentioned bike lanes in the thread title, for gosh sakes. That's the front door, not the back alley. Research the last 2 or 3 years of hot air before you post? And don't dare to post about Oregon, because that would be meddling? Man these forum guidelines are getting tough!


    It is unfortunate that a statistical blip (sorry to all those affected by these recent events) creates an opening for all those enemies of Portland (they are enemies not because I see them as such, but because they purposefully set themselves up as such, witness Roody's comments above) to rain down criticism. Now, if this year was like last year where we had zero fatalities, would you still take this tact to start a bike lane discussion? Our fatality rate has remained steady over the last decade while the cycling population has increased three or four fold. Surely Portland is doing something right. We have our problems, but trust me, these are recognized and are being handled competently by our local advocacy groups, both of the formal and the grassroot variety.
    It would be so nice if you would explain how Portland is competently handling the problem. Then you would be making a contribution!Are they holding a Chavezian referendum? Or is it meddling to even ask what's being done?

    I visited Dallas (EDIT: I was in Houston, actually) during the summer and saw, gasp, zero cyclists. And no wonder. I've never seen such an inhospitable place for cycling... Perhaps it had to do with cars running at 50 mph on surface streets with no shoulders, bike lanes, or even WOLs. Or maybe it was that unrestrained growth and a certain catering to the automobile above all other forms of transportation (there weren't even sidewalks in many places) has placed all locations a minimum of 5 miles apart. It took an hour on the freeway to just cross the urban center (in a car); the city is probably 50 miles across. Commutes must be 20 miles minimum!

    EDIT: I made a mistake. I was in Houston during the summer, not Dallas. From what I've heard, there's not a significant difference in terms of bicycling culture or environment. You tell me. Is Houston much different than Dallas[/size]?
    Who are you? Why are you meddling in the affairs of Dallas? I mean Houston. I mean Dallas. I mean Houston. Oh screw it! All those cities are the same. Except Portland, which is perfect in every way.
    Last edited by Roody; 12-02-07 at 07:57 PM.


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  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    the law should prevent motorists from cutting off bicyclists, bike lane or not. oh, that's right, the law already requires that duty of care from motorists.

    bicyclists get right hooked in Dallas, Michigan, Portland, San Diego.

    bicyclists get hooked not by the presence or absence of stripes on the road but, rather, by motorists' failure to follow the letter of the law.

    additionally, there are road striping/bike lane designs that increase safety of bikes at intersections.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    the law should prevent motorists from cutting off bicyclists, bike lane or not. oh, that's right, the law already requires that duty of care from motorists.

    bicyclists get right hooked in Dallas, Michigan, Portland, San Diego.

    bicyclists get hooked not by the presence or absence of stripes on the road but, rather, by motorists' failure to follow the letter of the law.

    additionally, there are road striping/bike lane designs that increase safety of bikes at intersections
    .
    In my experience, which is backed up by numerous posts on this forum, the best defense against right hooks is to avoid positioning yourself to the right of potential right-turners. That's pretty simple to do UNLESS you lack the liberty to do it. It's my understanding that Portland riders believe that they lack this liberty because some cops have been ticketing riders who do position themselves outside of badly designed bike lanes in order to avoid right hooks.

    I certainly agree that some road striping/ bike lane designs increase safety at intersection. However, we all know of intersections that are not safely striped. It seems inevitable that human designed systems will sometimes be flawed, especially when some designers have little knowledge of cycling. As cyclists, if we are experienced enough, we cope with poorly designed intersections by ignoring the paint stripes. It seems a shame that some of our fellow cyclists run the risk of getting a ticket for doing just that.


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  17. #17
    livin' the nightmare syn0n's Avatar
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    There's a reason why UPS and FedEx drivers try to avoid making a lot of left turns - they're inefficient. Banning right turns because there happens to be a bike lane? No. People should be expected to merge - that means motorists and cyclists alike. Motorists should yeild to cyclists, and cyclists shouldn't be attempting to filter up on the right of motorists who are clearly going to be turning right.

    Or, and here's a brilliant idea, we could ban right turns to contribute to even more congested streets, more wasted fuel, etc. And banning rights at certain intersections would probably just make others nearby worse.

  18. #18
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    speaking from PDX, my impression is that PDOT needs some remedial lessons in bike lane design, destination positioning should be incorporated into bike way design, and it's not.

    OTOH, right turn on red is the ultimate motorist-first traffic rule. If motorists are allowed RTOR, surely cyclists should be allowed Idaho regs for stop lights and signs.

  19. #19
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    The problem with what you suggest is that motorists would never allow your proposal to happen, so this ends up being an end run around bike lanes. But that's what you want, now, isn't it? I think I am right to suggest that you merely want to meddle in Oregon business.

    Eliminating right turns is ludicrous and very much overkill. You know it of course, and are using this as a poison pill to bring up the bike lane discussion through a back alley. How about you be up front about it? Start with some forum research over the discussions we've been having over the last 2 or 3 years. Then you'd be up to date on the current state of the discussion and you will be in a position to make a contribution.

    It is unfortunate that a statistical blip (sorry to all those affected by these recent events) creates an opening for all those enemies of Portland (they are enemies not because I see them as such, but because they purposefully set themselves up as such, witness Roody's comments above) to rain down criticism. Now, if this year was like last year where we had zero fatalities...
    Ouch! You smoked me out, Hoss! I am against bike lanes. However, that has little to do with my bringing up this discussion.

    I understand that all of Oregon is subject to the "must use" law. What makes Portland's situation unique (Unique: Singular; Idiosyncratic; One of a kind; Peculiar; Without peer.) is that they also have legislated ROW to a travel lane to the right of other lanes. Motorists in Portland are NOT ALLOWED to merge into the bike lane prior to turning right. Please correct me if this is not true.

    As you must be aware, the tragic death of Tracey Sparling was much discussed in A&S, as were the subsequent deaths and PoPo's response to them. I have followed the local discussions in Portland at http://bikeportland.org/ , among others. My initial hope that they would recognize that the combination of laws and how they are enforced would cause Portlanders to modify the law in the name of safety. Alas, they will not.

    So I began to ponder what could be done in this circumstance to avoid the bike lane becoming a "suicide slot". (Not my term. That is a Portland term!)

    One of the most frequent car/bike collisions is the right hook. (In the category of adult cyclists obeying the law.) Yet Portland is denying cyclists the the only real defense from this hazard by allowing them to move left and out of the way. So be it. But Portland cyclists are paying for it with their necks and their skin. It is a lethally dangerous and a predictable situation.

    It can be prevented entirely by prohibiting right turns across bike lanes.

    This is not an argument against bike lanes, as you suppose. I am not suggesting this law be applied where cyclists are allowed to ride outside of the bike lane. Nor am I advocating it be applied where bike lanes have no ROW bequeathed to them. It is an argument to make a present bike lane safer. If it were about bike lanes, I would have brought it up in one of many other threads. I privately messaged others who frequent A&S about this question. Each one I contacted suggested I post it in a separate thread rather than hijacking and derailing another.


    "...The problem with what you suggest is that motorists would never allow your proposal to happen...Eliminating right turns is ludicrous and very much overkill..."

    The fact that they now prohibit right turns at North Greeley Avenue undercuts your assertion. Yes, it does sound outrageous. I think that putting cyclists in a position that will kill some of them merely for the convenience of motorists is even more outrageous! How can you defend such a situation?

    Traffic engineers would (if this idea really were enacted) have to take into account how a bike lane would affect traffic flows. Motorists would have to make three lefts to go right in some cases. Where three lefts are not possible, they will have to consider ending a bike lane sooner than it ends now.

    I am sure there must be other ramifications of such a law, I was hoping to have some of the benefits and negatives brought out in this thread. Instead, motives are impugned, cities are trashed, territories that are imagined to be trespassed on are defended! Sheesh!

    Lighten up! Let's talk pros and cons in light of Portland's situation, realizing a law like this won't happen in America.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    speaking from PDX, my impression is that PDOT needs some remedial lessons in bike lane design, destination positioning should be incorporated into bike way design, and it's not.

    OTOH, right turn on red is the ultimate motorist-first traffic rule. If motorists are allowed RTOR, surely cyclists should be allowed Idaho regs for stop lights and signs
    .
    Brian Ratliff said the Portland authorities are competently dealing with the bike lane problems, and all will soon be put right. I'd like to know what they're doing, but I can't find this info anywhere. I also wonder how cyclist organizations are dealing with the police ticketing situation. Are they negotiating with police, or trying to educate them, or what? I also wonder why motorists aren't more bothered, since the current situation (if I understand it correctly) seems to put them in the position of endangering others in order to make a legal right turn.

    I agree about RTOR being a bad deal for non-motorists, especially pedestrians. And I agree that the Idaho rules would be a good deal for cyclists everywhere. But I don't understand how you're connecting the two ideas to each other or to the topic here of allowing destinational positioning outside of bike lanes.

    (For those who haven't heard, Idaho law permits cyclists basically to regard red lights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs.)
    Last edited by Roody; 12-02-07 at 09:47 PM.


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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    is repeal of the mandatory use law also an acceptable solution to the 'problem?' or allowing or requiring cars to merge before turns?

    accept motorists will still hook bicyclists, bike infrastructure or not; accept that most bicyclists would ride up to intersections to the right without any infrastructure; accept that bike infrastructure CAN make some intersections safer.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    is repeal of the mandatory use law also an acceptable solution to the 'problem?' or allowing or requiring cars to merge before turns?

    accept motorists will still hook bicyclists, bike infrastructure or not; accept that most bicyclists would ride up to intersections to the right without any infrastructure; accept that bike infrastructure CAN make some intersections safer
    .
    If bike lanes forcibly funnel riders to the right of right turners, and a new law that was designed to protect cyclists actually endangers them because it forces motorists to make abrupt right turns, these measures should not be accepted or acceptable. So yes, repeal of mandatory use probably is one solution, and allowing merges is probably another. Basically, put the laws back to the way they were before the cycling advocates got Portland to monkey around with them. The lesson here is that laws and practices regarding right of way and lane positioning have evolved over the last century for a reason, and you have to be very cautious before you monkey around with them.

    But what about, along with returning to the old laws, making some concurrent design changes? How about designs that encourage cyclists to merge left if they're going through an intersection? We all know the drill on this one: for example, dashed bike lanes to the left of right turn only lanes, or ending the bike lane before the intersection if there is no right turn only lane.


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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Brian Ratliff said the Portland authorities are competently dealing with the bike lane problems, and all will soon be put right. I'd like to know what they're doing, but I can't find this info anywhere. I also wonder how cyclist organizations are dealing with the police ticketing situation. Are they negotiating with police, or trying to educate them, or what? I also wonder why motorists aren't more bothered, since the current situation (if I understand it correctly) seems to put them in the position of endangering others in order to make a legal right turn.

    I agree about RTOR being a bad deal for non-motorists, especially pedestrians. And I agree that the Idaho rules would be a good deal for cyclists everywhere. But I don't understand how you're connecting the two ideas to each other or to the topic here of allowing destinational positioning outside of bike lanes.

    (For those who haven't heard, Idaho law permits cyclists basically to regard red lights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (me)
    We have our problems, but trust me, these are recognized and are being handled competently by our local advocacy groups, both of the formal and the grassroot variety.
    (Emphasis added)

    I don't get it...
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    (Emphasis added)

    I don't get it...
    See, you're saying that the problem is being handled--"trust me"--but you're not saying how it's being handled. Are they repealing the mandatory use law? Have they come up with such effective striping that no sane cyclist would ever even want to leave a bike lane? Or what?


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    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
    Motorists in Portland are NOT ALLOWED to merge into the bike lane prior to turning right. Please correct me if this is not true.
    It is true. It is also true that motorists in the entire state of Oregon are not allowed to merge into the bike lane prior to turning right. City governments don't have the authority to alter Oregon Revised Statutes to such a extent.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
    The fact that they now prohibit right turns at North Greeley Avenue undercuts your assertion.
    The prohibition on right turns from Interstate to Greeley is an unusual situation. It's a pretty strange intersection of 2 roads and a set of light rail tracks - all at weird angles and at the bottom of a huge bluff. There was a time when no one could turn right onto Greeley from Interstate. For whatever reason, they began to allow it several years back. My coworkers who haven't ridden a bike since childhood expressed relief they blocked that right turn lane. They want to see it permanently eliminated, as they've been nearly hit many times by motor vehicles as they were driving their motor vehicles.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
    I have followed the local discussions in Portland at http://bikeportland.org/ , among others.
    You really ought to present this idea on that forum. I'm certain you'll end up with a heavily posted thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Are they repealing the mandatory use law?
    They could lobby to repeal the mandatory use law in 2009 when the Legislature is next in session. That way, they can be guaranteed they'll never meet with any success in lobbying for cycling advocacy issues again. I'm sure the Bicycle Transportation Alliance would save lots of money in their budget by being able to eliminate their lobbyist position.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

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