In response to the letter titled “Make bicyclists take responsibility” on Sunday by Wayne Medley:
Bicyclists in Oregon have the same duties and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers, as bicycles are vehicles. If no bike lane exists, bicyclists may legally “take the full lane” of travel. Therefore, bike lanes serve the purpose of separating motorized vehicles from non-motorized vehicles, helping to move traffic in a more efficient manner.
Many cities are incorporating two-way cycle tracks, which are about twice as safe as bike lanes. The importance here is that it encourages more people to bike short distances, say under 3 to 5 miles, instead of driving. As we know, most cities will probably maintain the same footprint of roads as more motor vehicles take to the roads daily. One relief is to encourage more folks to bike, walk or take public transportation when commuting to local stores. With the introduction of e-bikes and improved carrying capacity, most everyone has the ability to choose an alternative to driving. If all of us continue to drive cars, we will be sitting more in traffic than moving.
Senate Bill 998 becomes effective on January 1, 2020. The following is section 2 of the new law: “SECTION 2. (1) A person operating a bicycle who is approaching an intersection where traffic is controlled by a stop sign may, without violating ORS 811.265, do any of the following without stopping if the person slows the bicycle to a safe speed: (a) Proceed through the intersection. (b) Make a right or left turn into a two-way street. (c) Make a right or left turn into a one-way street in the direction of traffic upon the one-way street.”
The law still requires persons to stop at a red traffic signals.
Since January 1, 2018 the State of Oregon has been collecting a tax on bicycles sold.