A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Bike path lines: An idea worth copying

Written April 16th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

On a curve near Colorado Lake Drive, a yellow line down the middle of the Highway 34 Bikeway makes collisions less likely.

Here’s a helpful little detail Albany might want to copy on couple blind curves on the riverside Dave Clark Bike Path: A center line intended to keep cyclists and others from possibly running into each other.

I happened to notice such a line on ODOT’s Bikeway along Highway 34. The painted stripe goes down the middle of the pathway for only the extent of the curve west of Colorado Lake Drive, just in case bikes going in opposite directions meet in that stretch.

On the Albany path, there are two or three sharp corners that might benefit from the same kind of line. Allow me to explain and illustrate:

[youtube video=”6K_wktaHQ6w”]

I hesitate to suggest yet another task for the short-staffed Albany parks department. But if there was a center line through those curves, inviting cyclists, skateboarders, joggers, and anyone else to stay on their side of the path, the chance of a painful collision would likely be less. (hh)

15 responses to “Bike path lines: An idea worth copying”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    OR…all wheeled-vehicles could be banned from spaces designed for foot traffic.

  2. Carol Davies says:

    WREN has proposed putting signage along the path asking people to use bike bells when negotiating those curves or approaching someone from behind. We’ll follow up on that.

  3. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Nice idea, but it also presumes the bike path has sufficient width to make two lanes. Rare to see that IMO…

  4. billH says:

    If cyclists don’t have to stop for stop signs or signal for turns why would they stay in a bike lane?

  5. Bill Kapaun says:

    It’s just common sense to slow down and stay to the right on a blind corner.
    The lane in the picture has adequate visibility where a stripe isn’t needed.

    As far as following the rules-
    How many “cyclists” are “former drivers” that had the same problem of following the rules with motor vehicles?

  6. Mike Patrick says:


  7. Lundy says:

    Part of the fun of riding a bicycle is freedom from some of the rules you have to follow when driving a motor vehicle.

  8. Melissa Sprecher says:

    This is a multi-use pathway and bicyclists should be allowed to continue to use it however there speed should not exceed that of slightly overtaking a pedestrian or jogger for passing. This pathway should remain available to everyone who wishes to putter bug along and it is expected that users would be distracted by taking in the sights it is not meant to be a high-speed Transit area and one intentional turn in the pathway suggest for people to slow down. This pathway does not require straightening striping or widening maybe a speed limit though 12 miles per hour is to fast have some courtesy and be ready to stop abruptly. Share the path bicyclists do not have the right of way but people should not willfully stand in front of one coming either. I have ridden on this path numerous times and hopefully everyone has always found me respectful and courteous during passing. Let’s keep this area peaceful and a speed limit for those on wheels when people are present or not I believe would be appropriate.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Excellent points!

    • Rich Kellum says:

      I checked with APD and there seems to be no set rules for the Dave Clark Path. I would be in favor of having a determination of who has right of way, some kind of limit on speed around people. I am of two minds here, less rules makes me happier, but safety should prevail, there should be something the police/parks folks can point to when there is an altercation between wheels and feet.

      • Bryan says:

        Yeah, we need more laws… Nope!
        How about this, expect people to act responsibly and reasonably. If they don’t and someone is hurt that is what civil court is meant to work out.

  9. Melissa Sprecher says:

    I think these Pathways should have speed limits. They’re used by everyone and their use should be allowed 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I would like to see this made official with City Council declaring this point. the hours of availability being always open and use with speed limits. It seems crazy to me that we pay for this Pathway to be illuminated at night and maintained and I am confused what parts of it we can enjoy at night. It has regularly been a joy to travel along in the past or even just stop and relax and gaze across the water and listening to the killdeer. Apparently a police officer can roll up and tell you that your presence is unlawful because the park is closed but if you’re on the pathway or at one of the benches along it I do not see the harm in that. Also leaving the lights on sends a mixed message. One time I got off my bike and was standing talking to someone else who was walking. An officer asked for both of our ID’s and told me the park was closed however this was east of the Wheelhouse in front of the parking lot and was peaceful. I had seen a few people walking their dogs as well and I do not see a problem with that and there is cameras on the building and it is a good place for free Wi-Fi. With benches as well. if anything the dogs barking was obnoxious but still no complaint from me. We should accommodate crossing paths as well like rain your dog in and keep it on a leash because you are around other people’s right to podder along as well. I have been the victim of a dog attack at one of our Albany parks and it could have been prevented with a leash being used I was just walking along and didn’t know the dog or the person with the dog either way that is in the past along with that PTSD. Getting back to the conversation I did notice though after being told to leave the area after just only having a conversation along the pathway with someone the city did not turn the lights off to the pathway each night after. I come in peace do I need to have a dog as an excuse to go for a walk or a slow bike ride or stand and talk to someone. Or sit and be thankful for the beautiful city we are blessed to live in.I miss sitting at the benches talking with my son waiting to watch the train go by. I pray this is not seen as an illegal act at present or in the future. Still I am happy to address a officers concern of my intent when questioned however please don’t tell us we have to leave if our actions are harmless and peaceful. For me I had never been arrested and there is no track record of unlawful Behavior praise the Lord to that. Thank you to all those who helped make these Pathways possible even the the officers patrolling them I appreciate you all very much thank you for your service.

  10. Leroy says:

    This is a great idea for those corners.

  11. Oscar says:

    I think this is an excellent idea Hasso. I noticed several areas on Portland bike paths that employ this, and it seems helpful. As for bike bells. I use mine a lot, but find that many pedestrians and bike riders have earbuds in and don’t hear me coming. The blind spot you are talking about is especially bad due to the down grade there. It is too easy to go too fast.

  12. Ken Walter says:

    Bikers should always yield to pedestrians, animals, and slower bikes. If you’re not wanting to yield then ride in the street with the cars. Bike paths should be family friendly with serious riding done on the road not on the path. Serious riders who wiz by causal riders without even a warning put both at risk. Serious riders should respect all who use the path because without the support of all who use the path; there is no path.


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