KBOO Bike Show: Cycling and the Law

 Listen to the show (mp3, 27.4MB)

Tori and Alon talk with Ray Thomas, the dean of Oregon cycling lawyers about the current state and evolution of bicycle law in the state. In the second half they are jointed by Christopher Stanton, developer of C3FT, the first device to detect vehicle passing distance, and Officer Robert Simmons of Chattanooga, one of the first law enforcement officials to use the device.


11 responses to “KBOO Bike Show: Cycling and the Law”

  1. Cycling needs to grow up. You start with a poorly accommodated fringe activity so this idea that the law doesn’t matter develops. That attracts a certain sociopathic element to the cycling community. Cyclists’ behavior wasn’t a big deal, because there weren’t many of them. But now there are a lot of cyclists, so when they speed on crowded sidewalks to avoid going around the block, buzz pedestrians on park paths, or blow through occupied crosswalks cutting off pedestrians, it becomes a regular nuisance that shouldn’t be ignored. But the cycling community shrieks about any hint of enforcement, or the idea that not every strip of pavement is their own personal raceway.


    The mayor goes for a bike ride and the only bad part was a sociopath on a bike who sped past them, yelled, and spit.

    • Really, focus on cyclists who are breaking the law? How about motorists speeding, texting and drinking/driving? More than 30,000 people a year die on the roadways of the USA. How many are caused by those “sociopathic” cyclists riding on the sidewalks? Exactly.

      • Got a 404 error on my response to you. So here goes again. Yes a lot of people ARE getting killed on the roadways. Those who advocate for rail transit should maybe shift their focus away from the affluenza light rail projects on to getting more freight off the road and on to the rails. And also for trucks to adopt more safety features. I’ve always believed that rail freight would be a much better option, and would be for local commuting rail projects—-such as maybe cooperating with small existing rail lines to augment passenger service instead of plowing into unknown territory in an effort to provoke density development in certain areas. For example in the Milwaukie line there already is an existing rail link between Milwaukie and the OMSI area, and it does carry passengers on an excursion basis. Could we have worked out an agreement with them? Plus, I thought the west shore trolley was going to happen, and a 2 mile extension to Milwaukie or a cross river loop would have been a feasible alternative.

      • This was a podcast about cycling. Why would I mention cars and trucks?

        Typical response to not heaping praise on cyclists. Say that motor vehicles are worse. Someone east of I205 is going to get drunk and kill someone in the next month or two with their car. What a wonderful reason to ignore aggressive cyclists negatively impacting livability by bullying pedestrians on sidewalks and the waterfront downtown.

        • I get what you are saying, Jimmy D, but let’s fund and implement safer facilities for people biking so they don’t feel like they need to ride on the sidewalks downtown. Cyclists speeding through pedestrian zones is bad form. I think the focus should be on improved bikeways — not on the dangers of riding on sidewalks.

          • I agree with you, but a lot of these projects need practical construction decisions, not just political planning. There are some ways to accomplish the goals and save money at the same time. It can be hard to get smug people to listen, though.

            • Wow, “smug”, ” sociopath”, “shrieking”. You and Jimmy are really checking all the boxes on this one. Do either of you even ride bikes in Portland?

        • The point I think he was trying to make is that your concerns are silly. While cyclists may annoy you, statistics show that they don’t pose a real threat to your safety. You imply that there should be focused enforcement on “scofflaw cyclists”. This enforcement would just take resources away from the real public health crisis in this country: killer motorists.

          • Chris I, you are making a generalization. What jimmyd stated—-and what I stated—–are two different items. Moreover, I did NOT state that cyclists were smug—-I stated that (imo) it is hard to get people who are smug to listen.

            If you would please, get back to the point I made about the relevance of construction knowledge to urban issues, and specifically relevance to transportation planning.

            Otherwise you tend to prove my point……

          • Exactly, Chris I. You said it clearly and succinctly. It amazes me that people focus so much on bike riders taking liberties with traffic rules with minimal threat while auto drivers (and I am one of them at times!) speed, roll through stop signs etc with grave consequences.

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