Responses to Oregon House Bill Which Would Prohibit Biking with a Child Under Six

One of my favorite pictures from EugeneBicyclist.com - this 20-month-old seems perfectly safe to me.

I hesitate to post another story so soon after Shane posted such an important story about upcoming construction, but this story has blown up all over the interpipes tonight – and it should.   Mitch Greenlick, a Portland Democrat who represents District 33 (Northwest Portland/Forest Park), has decided that it’s in the public’s best interest to ban people from bicycling with children under 6 on their bikes or in a bike trailer.  This story first broke on BikePortland.org, and then was followed by a BikePortland.org interview with Greenlick in which  it became clear that Greenlick  has no actual evidence that this bill is needed.  Quoted from BP:  “When asked if it might be wiser to find such evidence and then introduce a bill, he said, ‘Because this is just how the process works.'”

Predictably, the interwebs are alive with response.  I feel that BikePortland has covered the gist of the story well, so for our story I’ll report on the response.  EugeneBicyclist.com, who rides regularly with a 2 and 4-year-old wrote on his blog: “Is carrying a kid around on a bike any more unsafe than embarking on a journey up I-5 in the car with junior strapped in the back seat? Why don’t we just make it illegal to drive any kids younger than 6 in the car, too? Why don’t we just make it illegal for them to leave the house while we are at it?”

WBE Contributor, Kidical Mass Founder, and Eugene Safe Routes to School Coordinator Shane MacRhodes had a lot to say about it on the EugeneSRTS blog.  He’s already written a response to Greenlick which you can read after the jump.

After the jump is also the full response (and pictures!) sent to Greenlick by Hugh Prichard, one of the presenters in the recent Transportation Remix.

You can write Greenlick yourself (rep.mitchgreenlick@state.or.us) and your local representatives and tell them how you feel.  Please remember to keep the letters civil.  The hateful response of cyclists two years ago to the mandatory bike registration bill is partially credited for the failure of the Idaho Stop Law that same year.

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Ask WeBikeEugene: Who Yields at ‘Bike Path’ Crosswalks?

Who stops?
Who yields?

Today’s Ask WeBikeEugene segment answers a question that I asked myself:

I had an interesting interaction with a car driver a few weeks ago at the intersection of the Fern Ridge Bike Path and City View St, where the path has a grade level street crossing and also switches sides of the river. This interaction went far better than an interaction I wrote about last summer, but also raised an interesting question: Exactly who has the right-of-way when the bike paths crosses the road with a crosswalk, the biker or the driver?

In practice, whoever has the right-of-way at these crossings really doesn’t matter. The WBE-recommended method for handling these crossings on a bike is to slow down, make eye contact with any approaching drivers, and then do whatever the driver expects you to do – either cross or stop. Obviously if they stop, you go, and if they go, then you stop. This method keeps everyone alive and happy, and has served me well for years – but what does the law say?

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