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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 30, 2012 10:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tracking the migrating hipsters. The next post in this blog is Secret zombie hotel talks getting rough. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Pushing your luck

Urban cycling is inherently dangerous. But the City of Portland continues to promote it as a person's default mode of transportation. This gives people the wrong idea. Here's an example from last evening. Somebody's riding at 60th and Division, in the dark, in the rain, and towing a small child in a trailer. They're stopped behind a car at a red light. Another car comes up from behind, plows into the trailer, and traps the kid and the rider between itself and the car in front of them.

Sure, the driver's at fault. But pulling your kid in a bicycle trailer down a busy street in the dark, rainy evening rush hour is something that should be discouraged, not recommended.

Comments (28)

I thought exactly the same, when I read this story. Division Street, particularly west of 82nd Avenue, is a horribly dangerous place to ride a bike. To endanger yourself, as well as a small child, by riding this stretch of road at twilight in a rainstorm is just plain stupid.

Even if the trailer had lights and was well marked, that's just an absurd place to tow a trailer, I'm sorry. At least use the sidewalks on Division and head up to Lincoln St. (about 3 blocks to the north) for easier E-W commuting through that part of town.

I couldn't tell if they were on Division or 60th. Either way, you've got a kid, it's nighttime -- get a damn car.

I couldn't tell if they were on Division or 60th. Either way, you've got a kid, it's nighttime -- get a damn car.

Or, go by streetcar!

My son doesn't ride 43 between Sellwood and LO; "it's a death trap," to quote him.

People who do are idiots, one and all. When asked they inevitably respond with some variation on "I have a right to be there." This idiot had a right to be there with, with his child.

I was wondering when this would happen. I saw someone at night with a child in one of those tiny trailers earlier this week at night on West Burnside.

It's one thing to risk your own neck on a bike in a place a dangerous as that, and it's completely another to risk your child's life as well. It doesn't take much of an accident to maim or kill a child in a bike trailer. Riding in the dark with a kid in a trailer on busy street at rush hour is reckless endangerment in my book.

When one feels ENTITLED, they KNOW for sure "THEY" are entitled to bike where they wish, whenever they wish. Knowing you endanger others doing this action is not their care or interest. Where is Child Protective Services when they are needed. Brain dead entitled parent.

It is interesting to me to see what the Federal government requires on a motor vehicle to make them "safe" for road travel.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/fmvss/index.html

Yet, bikes are free to be ridden in full monty fashion, so to speak.

Well said.

The bike proponents don't realize how much the average windshield view is diminished by rain, oncoming lights, wiperblades streaking back and forth.

Throw in a distracted driver looking for a street sign, or a shoulder line that hasn't been restriped in 10 years, and car on bike accidents are more likely to occur at night during inclement weather.

There are plenty of Oregon laws that specifically protect kids; helmet and other safety requirements, medical requirements, etc. Just look at how in Clackamas County parents asserting religious freedom were jailed for not taking their child to a doctor. In this case, the parent bicyclist needs to be held at least partly responsible for placing the child in danger.

Albert Einstein said it best. "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits"

Child abuse, just like the religious wackos that are jailed because they pray instead of take their kid to the ER. But here their religion is Bikaholism so in Portlandia they are celebrated instead of jailed.

CHILD ABUSE!!!

I really wouldn't take it that far. But it's not smart, and the city is affirmatively leading people to unsafe behavior. That needs to change.

As a mom who encouraged the kids to participate in somewhat wild pursuits among them: training wheels off the bike two days after a fourth birthday nor fear when the spouse built ramps (maybe 8" off the ground) for the four year old to "jump" off with the bike.... we never owned a bike trailer and find this Dad's behavior at fault.

It seems Dads are more inattentive or maybe just plain stupid in being able to forecast consequences for the kids when they are in charge versus Moms. Wonder what Mom said when they finally made it home last night?

That poor kid.

What is truly amazing is there are no standards for lights on a bicycle, only that they must be lit. But there are standards for lights on motor vehicles.

Just look around at bikes on a dark night...some bicyclists are good and have very good, bright lights. (Personally, I have two lights mounted vertically that flash, and each light has multiple LEDs in them. But I also rarely ever ride at night - and I do not have a bike trailer.) Others have lights that...hardly qualify as lights.

Now...you're a motorist. You see two faint red lights. How far are those lights away - are they down the road a quarter mile? Or are they really dim lights on a bike right in front of you? Bicyclists need to help themselves...they are part of the problem AND part of the solution. Don't expect cars to see you if your "light" is a $3.00 runner's light that you bought at Freddy's.

What is truly amazing is there are no standards for lights on a bicycle, only that they must be lit. But there are standards for lights on motor vehicles.

Of course there aren't! The bike lobby has convinced our illustrious leaders that ANY bike regulations will discourage people from cycling. So no helmet laws, no mandatory lights, no registration, no nothing. Only constant affirmation and worship from City Hall.

Seems rather simple, I have to have the grand daughters in car seats when they are in my vehicle.
Why should it any different for cyclists ?

For some reason my html link didn't take. Here is the URL: http://btaoregon.org/2008/10/portland-bike-light-enforcement-starts-soon/

Here’s the link to the online Oregon Revised Statutes. If you click on it and scroll down to ORS 815.280 you will see the complete statute:

http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/815.html

I believe the key bits are these:

(c) At the times described in the following, a bicycle or its rider must be equipped with lighting equipment that meets the described requirements:

(A) The lighting equipment must be used during limited visibility conditions.

(B) The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.

(C) The lighting equipment must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.

Any bicyclist who doesn't observe these lighting policies is in violation of State law.

...and if you observe a bicycle violating the lighting statutes, makes sure to take down its license place number, so the police can track them down and cite them...

Oh. Right.

Ditto what everyone said so far.
It's coming though, that there is going to be a fight. I don't know when, and I don't know what spark ignites it. It could be soon and unanticipated, so perhaps in advance is an opportunity for each of us to have the time to study the 'sides' of the issue and think it through for ourselves, on where we stand.

Gas cars are going to end, as surely as horse-and-buggy's ended. Horse manure diseases killed tens of thousands of urbanites annually. Gas engine power and (so) speed kills tens of thousands of us each year.

Soon (2020?) city driving is going to allow only electric cars, (lower power and speed), and bicycles.

The "fight" I imagine might set such pedestrian acts as rock throwing, barricade building, sniper ambushes, or improvised explosives against noncompliant gas cars and inveterate drivers in cities. Drivers are going to probably get in their cars and get out of town, probably shouting out the window as they go, "you'll be sorry we left." But they'll be gone. That day is coming.

I don't expect Peace Officers are going to side with compulsive gas-car drivers claiming oppression in forcible removal. Police didn't preserve horse-and-buggy's.

The end of gas cars is inevitable and absolute, since petroleum on Earth is being rapidly depleted. As less and less is left it is going to be supplied only to 'important' uses more and more.

Also, gasoline engine exhaust is a significant pollution forcing planet climate chaos, human-caused. Human-designed industrial processes causing climate chaos to such an extent that climate 'collapses' and Earth is humanly uninhabitable, means that such industrial process are going to be stopped. Not 'capped' and 'traded' as carbon 'credits' in accounts, no. Stopped. Shut down. Boarded up. Recycled. And displaced workers re-trained. (Deprived owners, being outnumbered, just lump it.)

The viciousness of the 'fight' is going to constantly grow more extreme, maybe violent, as more earthlings increasingly understand the severe life-or-death seriousness of stopping addictive petroleum consumption. Vicious fighting prosecuted against petroleum-industry installations, infrastructures, by activist persons and political blocs concerned not for their own lives but for their descendants to live and survive, spreads as it becomes widely understood that that is what's at stake for stopping 'bad' industries.

It won't be lawless. Law enforcement will operate on the side of, (forcing), stopping 'bad' industries.

I'm sorry about the injuries to the (rather dim) bicyclist and his child and property damages. This incident and hundreds, no, tens of thousands more, is not an ultimatum for bikes to get off the streets. But it is an precursor signal for over-powered excessive-speed cars to get off the city streets.

I drive a car. We all drive cars. It is hard to imagine the style of life bereft of cars, although switching to vehicles like electric golf carts seems like a workable half-step.

The other horn of our dilemma is human extinction. Having no surviving lineage of one's children or grandchildren, or beyond, is also hard to imagine. I believe the overwhelming majority of humans is going to get out of today's cars and support causing the end of 'bad' industries, private profiteering and petroleum waste -- humankind might do so for the sake of (personal) genetic survival, through descendants, when the most of us understand our living faces that choice.

In order to feel in your own person a visceral viciousness rise to fight for personal survival through the dilemma facing all humankind, simply think about this: There are power-wielding influential 'elites' or 'aristocrats' or 'annointeds' (as they attribute themselves), acting in today's world as we know it, who have for decades had foreknowledge of petroleum depletion, and have set plans (in hideouts and burrows) for survival of themselves and their (genetic) lineage during and after the eradication of millions, billions of 'non-elite' others -- meaning you, and yours, and me, and mine. 'They' have custody of aerosolized anthrax and authority controling postal mail, for example, (and there are much worse examples). 'They' intend and are able quite deliberately to conduct massive worldwide homicides. What are you going to do if lethal means are surreptitiously administered to you, and medical facilities are closed, and 'they' delay for days the delivery or arrival of any antidote(s), stay in hiding, waiting until everyone dies?

That sort of consideration in your own mind casts a wider light of awareness around any particular instance of car and bicycle confrontation and the issue(s) in contention (the 'sides') involved. Such awareness supplies thoughts and feelings about car-less petroleum-free conduct of our lives, and mortality.

When we focus on specific events in isolation from their accrued context, and currents, we see nothing.

A great example of American arrogance. We can do anything we want. Especially if we are "green" we can be reckless, in-your-face and we are still right.

Tenskey,

Gas cars will be on the roads at least another 20 years. They will eventually be replaced by LNG cars, and hybrid electric/LNG cars, or hydrogen cars or solar/electric/hydrogen hybrids.

The era a personal wheeled transportation is never going away. The propulsion systems and energy sources will evolve.

The vast majority of middle class Americans won't take the bus when they can get their much faster (often in less than 1/3 the time) by taking their own car.

If public transportation was getting faster/cheaper/better, then it might have a greater probability of winning over some auto owners. To the contrary, Tri-Met is making public transit slower, more expensive, and less convenient. Public Transit Fail.

Pedalphiles who lure innocent victims into danger need to be stopped. People of all ages are safer in cars and buses than on bicycles.


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