I ride about 25 miles per day in the urban area of Portland, OR. At least twice a day a driver puts my life at risk. Portland is not a redneck city. The problems that I encounter stem less from meanness and intentional aggression than from misinformation regarding the rules of the road. Now, we do see a lot of billboards and car stickers that say things like “share the road,” but they don’t describe how to accomplish this. How should drivers know they are “sharing” vs. “terrorizing?” What’s missing: clear and explicit messaging around how drivers should go about sharing.
Here are some of my recommendations for billboard postings:
#1 DID YOU KNOW THAT THE LAW REQUIRES THAT WHEN CARS PASS CYCLISTS THEY MAINTAIN A SAFE DISTANCE OF THREE FEET?
#2 DID YOU KNOW THAT CYCLISTS ARE REQUIRED TO KEEP TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF ROAD ONLY WHEN THERE IS SUFFICIENT ROOM FOR BOTH A CYCLIST AND AUTOMOBILE TO OCCUPY THE LANE SAFELY?
Billboards like this “Share the Road” are likely to be much more effective when they educate drivers on how to change their behaviors.
Keep the rubber side down,
Bruce from PDX
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