In response to the letter “Sidewalk Rules” (EW, Nov. 29): The letter writer seems to be arguing in favor of cyclists using sidewalks. He writes that, “There is no requirement to use bike lanes citywide,” and that “bike lanes… provide a false sense of security for bikes.”
Both these statements are untrue. ORS 814.420 states that it is illegal to ride on a sidewalk if there is a bike lane “adjacent to or near the roadway.” A 2012 study from University of British Columbia, titled “Bicyclists injuries and the cycling environment,” found that bike lanes (especially protected ones) significantly reduced the risk of accident.
A separate study titled “Safe cycling: How do risk perceptions compare with actual risk?” found that cyclists very accurately perceive the relative safety of bike lanes. I personally think it’s foolish to ride on sidewalks rather than bike lanes — it forces an interaction with pedestrians in which one of you is going to have to move, and cars usually don’t anticipate dealing with something traveling 15 mph on the sidewalk.