Portland has a thriving, active bicycling community. Residents in nearby areas who travel into the city frequently opt for cycling as an environmentally friendly option for driving and to avoid traffic congestion. With the increased numbers of bicyclists on busy streets, there is a greater risk for bicycle accidents and injuries. The city has taken steps in recent months to address some of the more dangerous conditions that bicyclists face.
Red Light Running a Leading Factor In Portland Bike Accidents
Motorists who fail to stop at red lights are one of the biggest dangers facing bicyclists. According to recent studies from the American Automobile Association (AAA), fatalities caused by red light running are at a ten-year high, claiming more than 1,000 lives in cities across the country each year. These often involve bicyclists, with those in Portland facing even greater risks. Oregon’s rate for red-light running accidents is significantly higher than in surrounding states. To deal with the problem, government officials are getting more aggressive in their efforts to apprehend offenders.
A January 20, 2020, Oregon Live news report states that nearby Tigard is the latest area in which red light running cameras are being installed. The cameras are designed to monitor busy streets and intersections, recording the license plate number of drivers who flaunt traffic laws and endanger others. Similar systems are now in place throughout Portland, with residents being notified in advance when and where monitoring will occur. The threat of getting a speeding ticket, points on their license, and possible increased auto insurance premiums may help to deter them from engaging in this type of dangerous driving behavior.
Protecting Bike Lanes
Having to share busy streets, in general, creates significant hazards for bicyclists in Portland. While dedicated bike lanes are available in parts of the city, there is nothing to prevent drivers from weaving in and out of these lanes. Bike Portland reports that improvements made on one of the busiest and most dangerous city streets aim at eliminating this problem.
In December of 2019, Portland began installing cement median strips to separate bike lanes from traffic on North Rosa Parks Way. The five-inch-high dividers are set up intermittently between NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and N Willamette Blvd., replacing delineator wands that were previously in place.
The barriers are designed to provide an additional level of protection for bicyclists, preventing drivers from drifting into their lanes or using them when making turns or passing others in traffic. Other than an industrial section of St. Johns, this is the first attempt at using the dividers on roads in our area. More are likely to spring up over the course of the coming year.
Let Us Help You Today
The Johnston Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to protecting the rights of bicyclists in our community, helping them get the compensation they are entitled to when accidents occur. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland bicycle accident attorneys online to schedule a consultation today.