May 2, 2013
The Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police, other local officials and race organizers are emphasizing safety for bicyclists and motorists during this year’s Reach the Beach bicycle ride on Saturday, May 18. The annual event, sponsored by the American Lung Association, is expected to attract several thousand bicyclists who will be sharing space with motorists on rural highways in Washington, Yamhill and Tillamook counties.
The all-day event begins in Beaverton and finishes in Pacific City at Cape Kiwanda. Thousands of bicycle riders will be using several state highways, including OR 22 and OR 130 (Little Nestucca Road), that are narrow and can be a challenge when motorists and bicyclists are sharing the road. To minimize conflicts and delays, motorists are urged to avoid using those roads to get to the coast and use OR 18 west to U.S. 101.
“We encourage motorists heading to the coast on May 18 to consider using an alternative route to minimize the potential congestion on some of these narrow, rural roads,” said Nicole Charlson, ODOT’s Region 2 Traffic Safety Coordinator. “Otherwise, motorists should be prepared for heavy bicycle traffic and added congestion, leave additional travel time and slow down to ensure you will have time to stop if needed.”
Here are some tips for both motorists and bicyclists so they can share the road safely:
• Always wear your helmet.
• Ride in the same direction as traffic, not against traffic, and in a single file.
• Stay alert and ride predictably. Don’t assume motorists can see you.
• Use bike lanes when available. Bike lanes provide a safe space just for bicyclists.
• When you are in the street, you are required to follow the rules of the road just like a vehicle. If you are on the sidewalk, ride at walking speed and be prepared to walk your bike when there is congestion. It is recommended that you walk your bike in a crosswalk.
• Obey all traffic signs and signals. Look left, right, and left again to ensure your path is clear.
• Look back over your shoulder to avoid traffic before navigating a left turn. Yield if necessary and signal before turning.
• Be visible. Wear bright clothing and reflective materials when you ride.
• Use a white front light, red rear light, and reflectors at night.
• Watch out for potholes, broken glass, opening car doors, and parked cars that can block your view. Be aware of vehicles exiting driveways that may not see you.
• Keep pant legs and shoelaces out of moving parts.
• Pay attention to traffic. Do not use headphones or cell phones while you bike.
• Signal before making a turn or before stopping to warn traffic and bicyclists behind you.
• Always have an eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians, especially during dark hours.
• When you are entering a popular bike or pedestrian area, expect that you may encounter them and slow down ahead of time.
• Be prepared to stop when approaching crosswalks.
• Drive at cautious speeds in rainy weather and in low-light areas.
• Ditch the distractions such as cell phones so you can focus on driving. Remember, road conditions can impact your stopping ability, so be prepared.
• Only pass bicyclists if it is safe to do so; slow down and give bicyclists ample room.
• Be Patient.
• Consider taking an alternate route to avoid bicycle traffic on May 18.
Know Before You Go