Ray and Chris Thomas Join Ruckus Composites for Podcast on Bicycle Law

Ruckus Composites is a Portland-based company that specializes in repair of carbon fiber bicycles. Ruckus’ Shawn Small and Dan Steinle frequently record podcasts on topics related to bicycles and carbon fiber, known as the Fiber Side Chats. Shawn and Dan recently invited Ray and Chris Thomas of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost to their studio to discuss bicycle law, including rules of the road, how Oregon compares to other states, and how insurance coverage can protect bicyclists. The episode is here.…

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Oregon Environmental Council Highlights TCNF E-Bike Booklet

The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) recently published an article called “E-Bikes: Rules of the Road & Why We Love ‘Em.” Their post highlights the benefits, joys, and convenience of incorporating an e-bike into one’s daily life. They include testimonials from people who use e-bikes for family travel, to go camping or to keep doctor’s appointments, and as an alternative to commuting by car or motorcycle. The OEC’s post also linked to TCNF’s newly-released free booklet on the rights and responsibilities of e-bike riders—E-Bike…

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E-Bikes And E-Scooters On The Springwater, Esplanade And Other Portland Parks

The floating section of Portland's Eastbank Esplanade, credit to Wikipedia User Cacophony

The recent prevalence of e-bikes on Portland streets, and the even more recent influx of e-scooters, has increased the public’s curiosity about state and local law governing the devices. Many Portlanders now know that e-bikes and e-scooters are prohibited on sidewalks statewide, users of both must be at least 16 years old, and e-scooter users must wear helmets, but not e-bike riders. (For a comprehensive look at Oregon e-bike law, see our firm’s legal guide here.) A lesser known provision…

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Cynthia Newton’s Back to School Road Safety Tips

TCNF Partner Cynthia Newton spoke with KATU traffic reporter Hannah Olsen about getting your kids to school safely by bike. In this clip, aired in Portland on August 27th, 2018, Cynthia explains her five rules for safe bike travel to school. 1. Find a good route from where you live to your school. That way you can follow the same route every day. No fuss. No rush. 2. You can ride on the sidewalk everywhere in PDX except downtown. Remember…

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Announcing a New E-Bike Legal Guide by TCNF Bike Lawyers

TCNF’s team of bicycle trial lawyers is pleased to announce the completion of Oregon E-Bike Rights: A Legal Guide for Electric Bike Riders.  Written by Ray Thomas, Jim Coon, Cynthia Newton and Chris Thomas, the booklet contains a comprehensive discussion of laws governing the use of electric bicycles in Oregon.  Topics include riding in bike lanes, on sidewalks, in state parks and on federal land, as well as insurance coverage and advocacy efforts to improve e-bike laws.  TCNF’s bike lawyers…

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We’re fans of BIKETOWN, but its Rules of the Road need work – Chris Thomas

BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike sharing system, is a great resource for getting more people on bikes. The system’s efforts to encourage more riding include educating users about how to ride properly and without violating Oregon law. However, some of BIKETOWN’s advice incorrectly describes Oregon law and has the potential to mislead bicyclists who are learning the ropes. SIDEWALKS Printed on each BIKETOWN bike is a list of riding tips, which includes “WALK BIKES ON SIDEWALK”: The BIKETOWN website contains a section…

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Quick Reference Guide: Legal Rights of Bicyclists

A quick reference guide to the legal rights of bicyclists in the state of Oregon, provided by the bike and pedestrian lawyers of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost. Shareable pdf file here.

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Protecting Sidewalks and Bike Lanes from Construction – Ray Thomas

The other day I was driving along Tualatin Valley highway during afternoon rush hour. Both lanes in each direction were filled with cars. As I drove through an area where construction was occurring I saw that the crew had stopped work for the day and left a furled up construction sign on a tripod stand right in the middle of the bike lane. Whoever did it was not thinking about a commuter bicycle rider coming along and having to leave…

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What is the legal significance of “crossbikes” on neighborhood greenways? – Chris Thomas

Portland’s inner eastside contains an extensive network of neighborhood greenways: low traffic side streets that encourage bike traffic by including sharrow pavement markings, bike-specific wayfinding signs, speed bumps, diverters, and fewer stop signs.  Examples include NE Going, NE Tillamook, SE Clinton and SE Lincoln.  While greenway riding is typically a low key alternative to riding in a bike lane or on the shoulder of high-volume, auto-oriented streets, the crossing of higher speed arterials that cross the greenway can be stressful.  At…

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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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