Oregon lane splitting bill SB 541

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by scout18, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. SF_Hooligan

    SF_Hooligan Deadwood Original

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    Maybe - the lanes on the major freeways are pretty wide in some areas. On the other hand, surface streets in the city and other more "urban" areas in the bay area are often extremely tight.
    #21
  2. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Lane widths vary wildly, even in California. In SoCal, the lanes are hugely wide, much wider even than in the Bay Area. BUT, then in some places, those super wide lanes don't exist, so splitting has to be done very carefully, if at all. As for the idiot in the left lane, that's where I just go past them.

    Wallowa, I appreciate your opinion, but please don't hamper our attempts to legalize it. Just because you don't think it's safe doesn't mean it isn't. I started riding BECAUSE of lane splitting. And from there it turned into a passion, and now I commute daily by motorcycle, even up here in cold, wet, rainy Oregon. I do occasionally split up here, and most of the time, people don't even notice.

    Something you learn as a splitter is to watch for cars that may make sudden moves. It becomes a sixth sense. I have never been surprised by a car doing something stupid, whether splitting or not... why? Because I've anticipated it. Even the few times cars have tried to squeeze me (whether intentional or not), it's not been a big deal, because I always have an out. Any good rider will always have an out.

    Rob
    #22
  3. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    Rob,
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    No my personal choices for assumption of risk do not encumber others. The implementing of statues to keep people safe is absurd on it's face.

    To me starting to ride "BECAUSE" of lane splitting defies logic and common sense; but that call is up to the individual. To each their own until it infringes on the freedom of others.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Hopefully any medical care costs as a result of personal choices are paid by the individual making those choices and not the rest of us.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Good luck, but don't bet the farm on "Any good rider will always have an out". That is tantamount to saying you will never be involved in an accident on your motorcycle. Obviously a false premise and a delusion. :wink:

    Just my opinions and I could be wrong.

    Take care.

    Phil <o:p></o:p>
    #23
  4. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Consider this...

    I took a job in Southern California and was living in an RV park in Torrance. I worked in El Segundo, nine miles to the north.

    In my car, it was taking 45 minutes each way, to get to and from work during normal commute hours.

    While sitting in my car, I would watch the bikes zip on by while I'm stopped or moving at a snail's pace.

    Having had enough, I went bike shopping one day. I found a bike and got financed. I immediately hopped online and managed to get into the BRC course for the very next weekend. The bike was delivered a few days later, and I parked it under the overhang of my 5th wheel trailer until I completed the course. Soon as my certificate came in the mail, I went to DMV and got my endorsement.

    Then I spent a few days riding around the local neighborhood and getting comfortable on the bike. I would ride after work, and would venture onto the busier streets to get used to traffic. Then I would slowly and carefully start doing some basic filtering.

    Finally, it was time to ride to work! It was great. I'd filter to the front of traffic lights for the couple miles up to the freeway. The on-ramp would be backed up, but I would zip right on by and onto the freeway. Carefully, over to the left lane (the carpool lane in fact), and would move right along. When traffic woud slow, I'd hop over to the double-yellow and carefully motor right on by at 10-15 mph over.

    My new commute time was now 15 minutes each way. I also discovered just how much fun riding was. I had already bought all of the safety gear, and found myself riding everywhere. It was more fun, and faster no matter what. In SoCal, traffic tie-ups can happen at any time, even on weekends or the middle of the night.

    Once that job concluded, I found myself taking my first job up in Oregon, with ODOT. I towed my trailer up there, and started riding to work. Part of the problem I got the job was BECAUSE I ride -- there's a two-year waiting list to get a car parking permit, and they're $60/mo. Motorcycle parking is $6/mo and there's plenty of it. I added waterproof gear, and would ride rain or shine. Only once did I NOT ride, and it was because it snowed. I took my truck that day, and paid the $6 daily parking fee.

    But one thing I noticed right away... the lack of lane splitting! I don't care of Salem is a "small" town... it can still benefit from lane splitting. There are several roads here that get very backed up during peak times, and they're perfect for zipping up the middle.

    When that contract ended, I went back to Southern California... ahh, back to the Land of Lane Splitting! It was heaven again. That lasted another year or so, and then here I am again back in Oregon. And thankfully, there's another movement to legalize the practice.

    BTW, thanks to Surj, I just updated my blog with some awesome PDF documents that help to illustrate just how SAFE lane splitting really is, compared to NOT being able to. I encourage you to check them out. In particular, the first document, read all eight pages. Then the third document, skip to the last few pages -- the Discussion and Conclusion. The point is, accidents that have occurred while lane splitting occur in fewer than 1% of motorcycle accidents, and that's a WORLDWIDE figure, not just California.

    So, I'm sorry that riding because of lane splitting defies logic and common sense to you. Maybe those documents will help put things into perspective.

    Rob
    #24
  5. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    This is one situation I have wondered about: When splitting on signal-controlled two-lane freeway ramps, does the rider try to convince someone to let him in back in line at the signal? or does the rider just blow the light from between the lanes before the next guy starts out?

    I would think the law probably would require getting back in line, but how is it usually done in practice?
    #25
  6. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I'm not actually sure how it's "supposed" to work; I just go right on by and go onto the freeway. Now, if there's a cop around, I just stop at the front of the light, still at the side of the lane, and go when it goes green. The cars never much seemed to care.

    Oh and btw, this was on a single-lane ramp with the metering light. I'm not about to sit behind a bunch of f'ing cars when I can motor past them. :)

    Rob
    #26
  7. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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  8. BlueBlazerIrregular

    BlueBlazerIrregular Bike Punk

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    When I ride up from California to Oregon, the MOST annoying thing is NOT being able to lane split when I hit Portland. I have ridden up there three times last year from the Bay Area, and the Highways are actually not too congested in southern Oregon. That said, there are some huge traffic delays at different places on the highway and definitely in and around Portland. I REALLY hope that you guys get lane splitting and more than that, get the CAR driver to understand that it is NOT an offense to them!
    #28
  9. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    No argument there!!

    I just saw a news article the other day, and Portland is in the Top 10 of Most Miserable Cities with regards to traffic (LA was of course in there too). My thinking was, gee, legalize lane splitting and then it will reduce congestion!!

    I wish I could get Senator George's office to return my calls about SB541. I'm about ready to go over there in person.

    Rob
    #29
  10. Salt Lick

    Salt Lick Weissbiermann

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    This is great, guys. Thanks for the info. I will certainly send an email to my representatives. :clap
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  11. frdbronco8

    frdbronco8 Been here awhile

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    I have never had the oppertunity to do it but it would make me pretty nervous riding between cars. I think riding on a shoulder makes alot mroe sense because you would have somewhere to go if someone did something stupid. I am all for the bill though.

    Another consideration is the rider sitting for hours in hot weather motionless wearing protective gear or sitting in wet/cold weather. Both good reasons to let a bike move and not sit in car traffic.
    #31
  12. SF_Hooligan

    SF_Hooligan Deadwood Original

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    Too much crap on the shoulder. I can directly correlate the two flats I had this winter to riding on the shoulder. I've been splitting for 25 years - you get over the nervousness. In fact, I have to remember to be nervous so I don't ride like an ass when splitting.
    #32
  13. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    +1

    I try to never ride anypavedwhere that doesn't get much traffic.
    #33
  14. SF_Hooligan

    SF_Hooligan Deadwood Original

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    Yeah - the shoulders and those dead areas in the pointy parts of onramps and such here in California are like minefields.
    #34
  15. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Definitely too much crap there.

    They're right... going between cars gets easy after a little while. I started riding only three years ago (in LA too), and remember my first times splitting. Definitely nervous at first. But as soon as you see just how much faster you can get places, especially by filtering to the front of traffic lights, the nervousness goes away.

    A few days ago up here in Oregon, I did a little splitting because traffic was too damn slow. I slipped to the right of a long line of cars waiting to turn right, at a turn that is always way slow (because people are morons). Then to the next left turn, same thing. It's a left turn that you can turn left on red (onto a one-way street) and people will sit there with their head up their ass, so I slipped by, stopped at the front, and went. I'm not sure anybody even noticed I was ever there. Saved easily ten minutes.

    Rob
    #35
  16. SF_Hooligan

    SF_Hooligan Deadwood Original

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    Rob G, here's another bit from the CHP that may help in your efforts - lane splitting PSA video.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YSBWuRCKFEQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #36
  17. NoPoChicken

    NoPoChicken CSMC

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    I got this in an e-mail e-mail from a friend who gave me permission to post it here. From what I understand, we are only talking about filtering to the front of stopped traffic which is common in most other countries. The letters need to go out tomorrow, if you are interested in copies of the letters, pm me your e-mail address and I will forward them to you. Easy-peasy.

    If you're in favor of lane-splitting becoming legal in Oregon, here's a quick project for you! There's currently a Bill in the Oregon House of Representatives to legalize one form of lane-sharing (specifically, filtering to the front of stopped traffic). It's HB3310: http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3300.dir/hb3310.intro.pdf

    The Representatives must choose to schedule this Bill for a public hearing by April 8th or else it dies (along with all other Bills not set for hearing). The only way it will get a hearing is if we all write to the Oregon Representatives who are on the Transportation Committee and ask that they schedule the Bill for a hearing.

    LUCKILY we've done that for you! Attached are 6 copies of the same letter, each addressed to a different member of the House transportation committee. Would you kindly help out TODAY by following these easy steps:

    1. Print ALL 6 letters
    2. Sign ALL 6 letters
    3. Below your signature legibly print your name and address (so they know you're a real person)
    4. If you'd like, add a hand written message supporting lane-sharing
    5. Mail all six ASAP to the addresses listed at the top of each letter (note, they are DIFFERENT)

    Altogether this should take no more than 10 mins and the cost of 6 stamps. Hope you can help and get these in the mail ASAP (time is of the essence). Everyone's letters REALLY help!
    #37
  18. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Okay, silly question... either I'm blind, or, where are those letters we need to print and send?

    Rob
    #38
  19. Salt Lick

    Salt Lick Weissbiermann

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    NoPoChicken says to PM him with your email.
    #39
  20. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    I learned to ride in the third world. Lane splitting meant survival over there, size mattered over there:rofl. Here lanes are so much wider, traffic is so much more respectful of motorcycles. This here is paradise for lane splitting. Safe lane splitting.

    BTW on the video on the first page of this thread, the door opening did not seem to me it was on purpose. Check the trunk lid of the car. It either came open and the driver wanted to close it or he had opened it and was getting out of the car to get something from the trunk. Much more dangerous are bicyclists riding past parked cars, they will open doors without looking.
    #40