It always has to be the wrong way

There have been a number of tragedies involving bikes and motor vehicles around Portland recently. Very sad for all involved, I truly feel for the families of the victims, and for the drivers of the vehicles as well. But setting up bicycle stings at innocuous intersections is just not the right way to go about fixing the problem. Why are the victims being punished?

Cyclists, watch out at Flint and Broadway, the man is waiting to swoop in and wreck your beautiful day.

  • http://bluedeerdesigns.com Nedra

    Unfortunately another bicyclist was hit just today, luckily she is alive:

    http://bikeportland.org/2007/11/06/another-cyclist-hit-on-interstate/

  • http://www.veganfabulous.com megan

    I didn’t get hit today but I was screamed at by a driver while I was on my way to work. I was as far to the side as I could be and the woman almost ran me over. When I turned to the car and said WTF she started yelling at me saying I should be off the road because I can cause an accident. She proceeded to yell at me for several blocks until she finally turned. Poor lady.

  • http://www.beerdrinker.org beerick

    she must have seen you channeling the accident faerie. I think we’d be safer if more driver’s could talk on their cell phones more so they don’t have to crane their heads to yell at somebody.

  • Jerzy

    I do not believe that cars and bikes can share the US roads safely. They are OFTEN too narrow and poorly design to server that purpose. They force the drivers to slam their breaks for slow bikes, or dangerously cross the divider to pass them. It not just all bad drivers or bad bikers fault [I see bicyclists running Stop signs and Red lights ALL THE TIME, like rules of the road do not apply].
    Willamette Week had a good set of recommendations a few weeks ago. But I really liked what I saw in many West European cities. There simply the sidewalks are wider, so bikes and pedestrians can share them; there is a meter wide bike path and couple of meters wide pedestrian walkway. They are much more compatible, and they both safely can wait at the lights for the cars to pass on crossings. I realize that this may be not feasible in every place in town, but how often do you see pedestrians on Interstate? So, may be we could convert part of the sidewalk to a bike path instead,
    Cheers, J

  • rick

    I agree, it would be nice to have dedicated bike paths off the road. They have them all over Europe and in places in NYC. But that’s not really feasible right now, since for some reason people complain even about their tax money going to the paint necessary to create bike paths.

    I feel that I’m against the grain on compaints about cyclists “running” stop signs and red lights. I do not think that is the problem, and I would bet that only a tiny fraction of bike-related incidents are a result of this. Stop signs should work like yield signs, and stoplights should work like stop signs.

    My feeling is that bikes are more like pedestrians than cars, since that’s where they reside on the kill or be killed scale. In a similar vein, I feel that slow moving bicycles on busy roads have no place there. In other words, don’t impede traffic unless it’s necessary.

  • http://www.veganfabulous.com megan

    Rick I am with you. I do not think bikes should “run” red lights or stop signs, just as pedestrians shouldn’t blindly walk out into the street. But if the way is clear I think it is safest for them to cross before the traffic begins, especially if cars are going to be making right-hand turns.