Enhancing The Way PDX Moves By Sharing The Road
We are thrilled to be part of the fabric of the Portland Metro community. In the past five months, we have been proud to add to the transportation ecosystem by connecting the suburbs like never before, complementing commutes by working hand in hand with the public transportation system, and partnering with MADD to help make drunk driving a thing of the past. As we grow in the Portland Metro area, we will continue to strive to enhance the way people move around their community safely and without hassle.
That is why we are excited to work with Oregon’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) to gain insight on how to better share the roads and improve safety in America’s bike capital.
Our good friends at BTA helped us put together a guide for our partners that is too good not to share.
- Check the bike lane – When turning right across a bike lane, always look behind you for a bicyclist–bikes can travel fast enough to catch up with you even if you passed them more than a block ago. If someone is approaching, wait and yield rather than trying to “beat” them. Think of the bike lane like a train track: Never sit idle in it, and don’t start across until you know you can clear it.
- Always signal – If you don’t signal your turns, both right and left, bicyclists can’t anticipate them and can’t make an effort to stay out of your blind spot. If talking on your cell phone is preventing you from using your turn signal, stop talking on your cell phone (it’s the law!), get a hands-free phone, or grow an extra arm.
- Pass with ample room – Leave a safe distance between you and a bicyclist. You can cross the center line to pass a bicyclist, as long as oncoming traffic is clear, although remember that passing too close is dangerous and very scary for the cyclist. At speeds greater than 35 mph where there is no bike lane, a safe distance is defined as a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the bicyclist if the bicyclist were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic.
- Don’t honk to communicate with cyclists, unless there’s an emergency – if your horn sounds loud from inside your car, imagine how loud and shocking it is from just in front of it.
- Don’t follow closely – This is scary and intimidating, and the bicyclist probably would prefer to be out of your way as soon as possible but needs to be in the lane for some reason.
- Allow bicyclists to use crosswalks – They are permitted to do so, and in some places bicyclists rely on them for safe crossings.
- Look when opening your door – Especially when you are parked next to a bike lane, but also on any street; many bicyclists ride close to parked cars to leave room for drivers to pass on their left, and this means you could hit them with your door if you don’t look first.
- Be cautious in residential neighborhoods – Bicyclists like to use quiet streets to get around, so if you are sloppy or impatient at stop signs you risk hitting someone on a silent or vulnerable vehicle. Also, slow down and stop before you get to the stop sign–not as you roll by it–because children biking on the sidewalk may cross in front of you, and if you aren’t already slowing down, you may run them over.
- Use good manners – Apologize if you make a mistake and it will go a long way. Eye contact and waves are very humanizing, especially in the stress of rush-hour traffic.
For even more resources check out:
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