Chris Thomas and Cynthia Newton presented their bicycle legal clinic entitled “Moving Toward an Active Healthy Community” at Portland’s Alta Planning + Design on April 5. The clinic covered basic legal principles of Oregon law applicable to bicycles (and pedestrians), and guidelines and best practices for roadway riding (on streets with and without bike lanes), crosswalk and bike cross usage, and sidewalk riding, plus how best to address hazardous situations involving navigating around buses and large vehicles and car doors. Chris and Cynthia also shared tips about how auto insurance comes into play when cyclists are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle and how to handle crash and claims situations. The clinic included plenty of back-and-forth with Alta staff, many of whom work daily to design bike- and pedestrian-friendly urban environments. Check out their work here: https://altaplanning.com/. To schedule a bike clinic at your workplace, contact Chris [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Cynthia [email@example.com].
On January 4th, 2019—less than a week ago—a pedestrian here in Portland was killed by a motor vehicle while crossing the street at the intersection of SW Salmon and Park. This intersection only features one marked crosswalk. According to the statement released by police, the pedestrian was in an “unmarked crosswalk” when he was hit.
by Ray Thomas, Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Attorney
Why did the man on the curb with the dog glare angrily at the approaching motorist?
Why did the elderly lady with the bag of groceries look wistful?
Why did the child standing on the curb look confused?
What do these people walking all have in common besides trying to safely cross the street? The answer is confusion and frustration over where they stand, or don’t stand, with approaching motorists to claim their legal right to cross the street in a crosswalk.
When a person riding a bicycle gets right hooked in an intersection, the Oregon Vehicle Code contains a section that protects the cyclist’s right to the right of way. ORS 811.050 provides:
“A person commits the offense of failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield to a rider on a bicycle lane if the person is operating a motor vehicle and the person does not yield the right of way to a person operating a bicycle . . . upon a bicycle lane.”
On Friday, October 26th, Cynthia Newton and Chris Thomas presented a seminar on Oregon electric bicycle and scooter law to a group of fellow trial attorneys. Their presentation, entitled “Shock Me Like an Electric Wheel: Oregon E-Bike and Scooter Law,” covered the rules of the road governing e-bike and scooter use as well as what insurance coverage may be available following a collision. They presented as part of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association’s annual all-day continuing legal education seminar covering topics relevant to motor vehicle collision cases. Cynthia and Chris appreciate the role that electric assisted vehicles can play in Portland’s transportation future, and were honored to speak on this important topic.