Club Appeals for Improved Bike Safety on County Roads
The Club’s Board, at its November meeting, formally asked Jackson County to amend the County’s Transportation System Plan to include bike lanes on rural roads (as distinct from road shoulders or separated multi-use paths) where volumes and speeds are moderate to high. The County’s existing Plan provides for bike lanes only on urban roads (i.e. White City) where sidewalks are present on both sides of the road. Bike lanes are a common part of city streets but not in the County (except in White City).
The Board also asked that the County to post signs that explicitly inform auto/truck drivers of the requirements of ORS 811.065 (which sets a required separation distance for auto/truck drivers when passing bicycles where auto/truck vehicle speeds are greater than 35 MPH and no bike lane exists). Just imagine how pleasant bike riding in the County would be if drivers passed consistent with the law (Figure 2) as contrasted to what our, all too common, experience is today (Figure 1). ORS 811.065 has been on the books since 2007. Isn’t about time that the County (and the State) started helping auto/truck drivers to realize their legal obligations and, thereby, improve our safety and comfort when cycling on rural roads? The illustration at right (which you’ll need to click on to actually read – sorry) illustrates the required legal standards for passing in different roadway environments.