Safety: Bike Lanes -Portland Bicycling Club

Safety: Bike Lanes

I have had a lot of different thoughts about the placement of bike lanes and bike paths around Portland. Some streets (like northbound Williams) have the bike lane on the left. Some (like parts of Rosa Parks) have the bike lane not only on the right side of the roadway, but also to the right of the parked cars. Others, such as the new bike setup along Naito Parkway, have a completely separate bike path. Which is better (i.e., safer)? I asked an expert.  

The following from John S. Allen’s blog demonstrates his qualifications:

I have operated my bicycle essentially as a driver since 1978, when I read an early edition of John Forester’s book Effective Cycling. Since 1982, I’ve been an Effective Cycling instructor, and then a League cycling instructor in the League of American Bicyclists educational program which got its start with Forester’s work.

In the 1980s, Forester’s instruction about road use was state-of-the-art. Over the years, there have been changes to teaching techniques and content, some for the better and some for the worse, some from inside the League’s program and some by individual instructors, but I think it is fair to say that there has been no systematic revision and upgrade to the content about bicycle driving.

On the weekend of March 3-5, 2017, I took instructor training in a different program, CyclingSavvy, in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Allen has cited an article from Germany about the relative merits of different placements of bike lanes and bike paths in a lengthy article Bicycle Crashes in Berlin. Lots of good citations and food for thought there. I recommend reading as much of it as you can.

Dave McQuery, Member at Large