Staying Safe in Commuter Biketown USA

 In Bike Accidents, Personal Injury

Earlier this summer in July, the Biketown project launched in Portland. Biketown is a new alternative public transportation program that utilizes bike-sharing. Subscribers pay a daily, monthly, or annual fee for the opportunity to use any Biketown bikes in the city. The bikes are unlocked when the user enters a code from their phone. The equipment was purchased by the transportation bureau with the help of a large grant from Nike. The goal of the project is two-fold; get cars off Portland streets and encourage commuters to choose a more physically active form of transportation.

So far the public’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. In the first month, riders took nearly 59,000 trips on Biketown bikes, traveling 136,000 miles and making significant progress toward a goal of 400,000 rides in the program’s first year.

Bike Town, Meet Biketown

Portland, Oregon, long referred to as “Bike Town U.S.A.,” has always been one of the most bike friendly cities in the United States, even before the launch of the Biketown project. Unfortunately “bike-friendly” doesn’t mean that it is any safer to ride a bike here than elsewhere. We have more cars and bikes sharing the road than most other comparably sized towns, thus increasing the chances of being involved in a bicycle related accident. In this blog post we’ll explore ways to stay safe, as well as what to do should you fall victim to a bike accident.

Familiarize Yourself with Local Bike Traffic Laws

Just as motor vehicle drivers are required to know and follow all traffic laws, bicyclists must also adhere to stringent laws. This includes stopping at stop signs, using directional signals, and not running red lights. Knowing the laws will prevent you from engaging in unsafe behavior and lower your chances of an accident. Learn more about Portland’s bicycle laws.

Use Bicycle-Only Streets

It should go without saying that you can’t exclusively ride on bicycle-only streets to get everywhere you need to go in Portland, but one of the great things about living here is that there are some available! The best way to avoid an incident with a car is to avoid them altogether. Check out bike-only streets in the City of Roses.

Be Wary of Distracted Drivers

Unfortunately, texting and driving has become all too commonplace on our roads. Even if you exercise caution and follow all the rules, the reality is that if you are struck by a driver, you’re the one who will be most physically hurt. Be sure to visually check all crossings and lights, avoid using noise-cancelling headphones, and yield to cars that aren’t paying attention.

In the Event of an Accident, Talk to an Attorney

While we sincerely hope this never happens to you, if you do find yourself the victim of a personal injury while riding your bike, give Sarah Nelson, P.C. a call at (503) 417-4227. We have extensive experience arguing these cases and a proven track record of success in securing fair compensation. We’ll help get you the compensation you deserve.