Is a bicyclist allowed to ride on the sidewalk when there is a bicycle lane on the same street?

Yes, in Oregon, a person can ride a bicycle on a sidewalk even if the street they are riding along has a bicycle lane. Oregon is a mandatory sidepath law state, which means that the law requires a bicycle operator to use a bicycle lane if one is present instead of riding in the mixed traffic lane.  ORS 814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path prohibits a person from “operat[ing] a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that…

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Do Bicyclists have the Right of Way in the Bicycle Lane over Drivers Wishing to Turn?

I have had several readers and non-readers ask me to explain the right of way bicyclists have while riding in a bicycle lane over a car driver wanting to turn over and across the bicycle lane. A bicyclist has the right of way in a bicycle lane and a turning motorist is required to yield to the bicyclist before making their turn, even if the motorist arrives at the intersection first and is displaying a turn indicator. ORS 811.050 Failure…

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Are Segways Allowed on Sidewalks? by Charley Gee

One of the more unique sights in Downtown Portland are the Segway tour groups, of which there is not one but two different outfits: Portland by Segway and Portland Segway Nation Tours. There are also individuals who use the devices for transportation and recreation. A Segway is not called a Segway in the law. It is called an Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device and this covers not only the name brand Segway but also the other types of devices made…

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When can a motor vehicle stop or park in the bicycle lane? by Charley Gee

Following last week’s post about motor vehicles operating in the bicycle lane, I was asked several questions about motor vehicles stopping or parking in bicycle lanes. It is not rare to see a car or delivery truck parked in the bicycle lane.  If a motor vehicle is parked in the bicycle lane, is it breaking the law?  It depends.  Under Oregon state law, it is not illegal for a motor vehicle to stop or park in a bicycle lane under…

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Can a motor vehicle operate in a bicycle lane? by Charley Gee

At our bicycle legal clinics, we are often asked about motor vehicles operating in the bicycle lane. While a bicycle lane has one of the purest rights-of-way in the Oregon Vehicle Code, the law does allow motor vehicles to operate upon the bicycle lane in certain circumstances. Oregon law contains a blanket prohibition of the operation of a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane. ORS 811.435(1), so in most situations a motor vehicle operating in a bicycle lane is operating…

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Are Electric Assisted Bicycles Legal to Ride in Oregon? by Charley Gee

Electric Assisted Bikes, also known as e-bikes or e-assist bikes, are a growing trend, not just in Oregon but worldwide. The New York Times recently ran an article profiling the growth of sales that e-bikes are experiencing in Europe, and their growing popularity with “older people, delivery businesses and commuters who don’t want to sweat.” E-Bike Sales are Surging in Europe, August 25, 2014.  There has been recent local focus as well.  Jennifer Dill, Director of the Oregon Transportation Research and…

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What should I do when facing a red light in a bicycle lane at a T-intersection? by Charley Gee

One of the benefits of being a bicycle rider in Oregon is that we are granted the same rights as motor vehicle operators under the law. That granting of privilege, however, is a two-edged sword because we are also limited to the same restrictions and responsibilities of motor vehicle operators under the law (except for those laws that have no application to bicycles). This restriction can sometimes result in inefficiencies. For example, when a rider is in a bicycle lane…

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