On behalf of Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.
Bike lanes have many advantages: they improve the flow of traffic and encourage bicyclists and motorists to behave more predictably, thereby improving road safety in general. However, those improvements depend on people following the rules, and the benefits for motorists and cyclists may not apply when a bike lane is blocked by a vehicle. For bicycle riders crossing the gap between the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Corridor on SE 4th Avenue in Portland, blocked bike lanes have been a continuous frustration. Large trucks regularly pick up orders and make deliveries to the many industrial businesses along this route. The trucks park in the bike lanes, requiring riders to veer dangerously into the motor lane and risk a serious bicycle accident. Oregon law allows cars and trucks to stop in bike lanes to actively load and unload, but only “momentarily.” In this case, it may be necessary for the trucks to use the bike lanes occasionally, but the trucks’ constant presence creates unnecessary hazards for the lane’s intended users. Fortunately for bicyclists, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is turning its attention to the problem. The PBOT has indicated that it will be putting parking enforcement officers on regular patrol of this stretch of SE 4th Avenue. A representative from the bureau also pointed out that bicyclists who notice a vehicle parked in a bike lane should call the PBOT enforcement line. Everyone in Portland should take seriously the fact that bad injuries can occur when a bicyclist is forced out of a bike lane. This much-needed attention from the city is certainly welcome, and Portland residents who have been injured in a bike accident through no fault of their own should know that there are laws designed to protect them. Source: Cycle Path, “City will step up truck parking enforcement on SE 4th Ave,” Jonathan Maus, Aug. 30, 2012