Earlier this month, police officers in the City of Roseburg tried to strengthen their authority to ticket people who do not ride in bike lanes. They thought they could sneak an agenda item through City Council and be on their way. It turns out, they were wrong.
Officers wanted to close a loophole in ORS 814.420, the law that mandates people on bicycles must use a bike lane if/when one is available (there are myriad exceptions to the rule). Specifically, the police wanted to close the loophole that says a person is not required to follow the law, “unless the state or local authority… finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.”
By police department request, City staffers provided Roseburg City Council with a list of all the bike lanes in Roseburg and the put it on the council agenda. The thinking was, if the list was passed, it would qualify as the “public hearing” required by law and would make it easier for Roseburg police to successfully prosecute people for riding outside the bike lane. The problem with that is, there would be no public process or qualitative analysis to make sure that those bike lanes were indeed “safe for bicycle use”.
I’m happy to report today that common sense has prevailed. [Bike Portland]
First off I love this bicycle blog. “Common sense has prevailed.” Bro common sense is biking in the bike lane. Common sense is not bitching when a car that can go approximately 1,000 miles an hour faster than your spandex-clad ass passes you.
Yeah, so bicyclists just want to make sure that there is some sort of bureaucratic nightmare that prevents cops from actually enforcing the law and keeping them the fuck out of traffic. I know Portland has a reputation for being one of the most bike-friendly cities in America, which tells me that Portland is definitely one of the cities in America with the highest level of driver frustration. Seriously, it’s amazing to me that Portland doesn’t see some frustrated driver lose his shit and plow through a cluster of bicyclists purely out of pent up rage and frustration. Because let’s be clear here: that loophole is fucking ridiculous and this bicyclist knows it. But people get the society they deserve, I guess. If Portland is going to let the bicyclists run the show, this is what’s going to happen. And it’s not like Portland doesn’t have bike lanes on literally EVERY STREET. I know what it’s like out there. You’re not fooling anyone. You’re just pissed because you’re not going to be able to inconvenience drivers anymore while smirking and sipping your latte and loudly announcing how much you care about the environment because you bike to work. You make me SICK.
So credit Portland drivers, because they have to deal with dippy shitbrain bicyclists like the author of this blog every day. God help them.