I love to bike, I love to ride with my kids. But it bothers me that there are so many bicycle riders in Portland who do not seem to be aware of basic bicycling laws.
In general, it is not a good idea to ride on the sidewalks. According to Oregon law, in most cases bicycles are considered vehicles and are treated as such. Therefore, any injuries that bicyclists cause on the sidewalk are subject to penalities.
In some areas, especially busy urban areas with a lot of sidewalk traffic, there will even be signs that prohibit the use of bicycles on the sidewalks. I understand that in some situations riding on the sidewalk is the safest route, however, so each bicyclist will need to weigh the laws of th city against their own safety. Keep in mind, though, that some places do impose fines for sidewalk riding.
In Oregon, most cities have laws against riding on the sidewalk in commercial zones - and the fine for breaking this law is $500. Your bicycle could also be impounded.
There have been cases where riding on the sidewalk still did not prevent bicycle accident injuries. If you feel that you were injured because of negligence by a driver, or even poor road planning, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. The laws for Oregon bicycle riding can be complex, however, so I recommend talking to an experienced Portland bicycle injury lawyer.
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