Oh man, I think this is gonna be a fun thread. What does "share the road" mean to you?? Please do tell- that's not a rhetorical question (though we're sure to get plenty of rhetoric!) How do you share the road with bicyclists? How do you share the road with motorvehicles? How can two things occupy the same space at the same time? How can it be "sharing" the road when the bicyclist is hogging the whole damn lane? How can it be "sharing" if bicyclists are expected to somehow not be in the way of any and/or all motorvehicles? I'm both a car driver and a bike rider. I have seen it from both perspectives. I've also studied the law, and have even written my own quick-reference guide to Oregon bike law, which I call the Oregon Bike Code - and am happy to give free copies to anyone who would like one. It's a work in progress, constantly being updated as new statutes and ordinances are written and/or interpreted to be important with regard to bicycling or driving around bicyclists. I can tell you one thing: Motorists, you're going to be surprised at some of the myths you've been holding onto regarding what "share the road" means. It's actually pretty simple. Share the road means that both vehicles have a right to use and be on the road, and it means both have the same duties and responsibilities to each other. A bike is defined as a "vehicle" by the ORS - meaning that it's subject to ALL traffic code that can apply, with the exception of those rules that cannot apply due to the nature of being slow, non-motorized, open-cockpit vehicles (laws regarding opening doors can't apply to bikes, but also things like waiting for traffic signals ALSO don't always apply to bikes, because bikers generally aren't heavy enough to trip in-road sensors- you might sit there for an hour, if that's how long it took for a car to come up behind you, etc). This means a bicyclist has as much right to ride on the road as you do in your car. If they are riding in a lane that's only wide enough for one vehicle, they own the lane, and you are not allowed to "squeeze" past. This is unsafe. Whose fault is it that it's unsafe? Motorists often blame bicyclists when they behave in unsafe ways around bicyclists......... obviously that's defective reasoning. What's a better way to handle it? Well the law provides a safe solution for everyone: Wait until it's safe and legal to pass, then execute a safe and legal pass. Just like any other slow-moving vehicle. Even if you have a solid center line, if you pass in a safe fashion- fully exit the lane/fully enter the opposite lane, proceed at least a couple of car-lengths ahead, and then re-enter the lane- you're NOT going to get a ticket, and you don't risk any serious bodily injury or death to the cyclist, civil/legal liability to yourself, or damage to your vehicle. Some otherwise rational (we hope!) people absolutely lose their minds when they have to reduce speed for a cyclist in the lane. If they have to ride at 20mph for 10 seconds, they're ready to run the cyclist over. If they have to wait for 30 seconds, at reduced speed, they are at risk of aneurysm. What if a car had to ride at reduced speed behind a cyclist for 60 seconds? Some people would absolutely short circuit. HOW DARE THAT DAMNED SONUVABICH TAKE THE WHOLE GD LANE AND HOLD UP TRAFFIC ITS A DAMN CRIME! But look at the math..... If you have to reduce speed by as much as HALF.... drop to 20mph from 40mph for a full 60 seconds... you've only lost 30 seconds out of your life by patiently waiting for either an opportunity to pass, or for road conditions to change enough that the cyclist can move onto the shoulder. You're losing your mind for 30 seconds of lost time? You'll floor it and pass in the lane (split the lanes, passing within a few feet of the cyclist), scare the hell out of the rider, risk causing a crash that will not cause you any bodily harm but is quite possible deadly for the rider, and risk going to prison for reckless endangerment and possibly manslaughter..... for 30 seconds of lost time? That's just one common example (probably the most common complaint by both cyclists and motorists), but there are countless other disputes. Like I said, I ride and drive. I drove long before I rode, and I used to be an ignorant, indignant driver who didn't have any idea what "share the road" meant. I thought a cyclist in the road was HOGGING the road, not sharing it. But he actually has equal entitlement to the road. Oregon is great for bike riding. We are one of the only states I'm aware of that actually has a Bike Lane Board- a legislatively mandated council of legislators, legal professionals, and bikers, who oversee all bike lane issues in the state. They oversee ALL bike lanes in the state and ensure they're safe and appropriate for the areas they're being designated. As such, we also have an ordnance that requires bicyclists to use bike lanes, where present. Only council-approved bike lanes apply (just because it's painted into the road doesn't mean it meets the approval criteria and has to be used, but by and large, if it's painted in, it's approved). Exceptions are - any condition that makes riding in the bike lane unsafe, i.e., gravel, glass, vegetative debris, vehicle debris, etc.; when cars are parked immediately parallel to the bike lane (a carelessly opened door can, and sometimes does, kill cyclists); when preparing to navigate traffic, such as when making a cross-traffic turn (usually a left turn); and, a big one: when proceeding forward through an intersection that has a right turn option. Drivers.... when you're making a right turn, it's your responsibility to watch for cyclists. You will be found at-fault if you turn into the path of a bicyclist proceeding straight, or turn into a bicyclist that's already there. Another common problem I see is drivers assuming a bicyclist doing something unexpected does not know the law. It might be the case... but I can tell you that most bicyclists who log a decent amount of miles per week generally have a really good working knowledge of the bike laws in this state. We are completely at the mercy of people driving cars that could completely wipe us out, deal with near-misses and irate drivers almost every time we go out, and take it upon ourselves to be sure we know what each others' duties and responsibilities are. So.... What questions do you have regarding duties and responsibilities of motorists and cyclists, according to state law and city ordinance in Portland and surrounding, in this great state of ours? Bikers riding right on the fog line piss you off/make you nervous? Why the hell do they do that?? Why do they cut across right turn lanes instead of just following the fog line?? Why the hell do they filter through to the front of the pack at red lights??? Why don't they wait for red lights????? Why DON'T they go ahead when I WAIT for them before making a right turn, but instead stop behind me and yell angrily at me to GO, when I'm just trying to share the road and let them go first????????? I can tell you why. What comments do you have about dangerous/inconsiderate bicyclists do you have? What experiences have you had? Has anything changed your mind regarding how you deal with motorists or cyclists on the road? I'm definitely no lawyer, but I have an education in criminal justice and am very familiar with the Oregon Revised Statutes, how to navigate them, and will support any and all legal opinions I have with references from the ORS, for anyone to examine and disagree with, if he can. And don't forget - if you want a free copy of a summary of Oregon's bike laws, I'm happy to give. Just PM me with your email addy or post here. It's possible my inbox here is full... I don't actually really know how to use it. If you can't get me that way, email at firstname.lastname@example.org Here's ODOT's manual for bike riding in Oregon: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/hwy/bikeped/docs/bike_manual.pdf Let 'er rip!