OSU bike safety event draws hundreds

2013-01-18T08:00:00Z OSU bike safety event draws hundredsBy Graham Kislingbury, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

There’s nothing like free stuff to bring out a crowd.

Nearly 600 people, most of them Oregon State University students, turned out Thursday during the three-hour “Be Bright, Be Seen” bike safety giveaway in the Memorial Union Quad.

The line was 50 people deep shortly after noon as Laura Shields of OSU Marketing spun the prize wheel for Lyndsey Clark.

“Cool. I get a lighted thing,” said Clark, a senior electrical engineering major from Hillsboro, who came away with a clip-on lighted strobe.

Her roommate, Taya Juenemann, saw the announcement for the giveaway on Facebook.

“It said free stuff. Free bike stuff even better,” said Clark, who lives north of campus and commutes on her bike.

Getting a reflector was enough motivation for Alysa Phan to stand in line in the cold.

“I want to be safe,” said Phan, a junior graphic design/fine arts major from Eugene, who got a keychain reflector.

Phan hasn’t had any safety problems, just the frustration of someone stealing her handlebar grips.

Also given out were reflective wrist/ankle bands and illuminated umbrellas. Of course, the color of everything was orange.

It wasn’t just bicyclists who showed up.

Zachary Rose, recreation resource management major in the College of Forestry, held his motorcycle helmet as he stood in line.

“I follow the philosophy all gear, all the time,” Rose said.

Campus public safety officers collected 25 completed bicycle registration forms during the event.

Students and faculty who register their bikes have a better chance of getting them back if they’re stolen. Campus police also can notify registered riders if their bikes are locked where they shouldn’t be. Bicycle registration can be done online at http://ore


Officer Steve Beaudoin said that as OSU enrollment has surged over the past five years, so too have the number of bikes and the potential for problems.

Just the other day as a woman opened her car door on Jefferson Avenue, a bicyclist plowed into it, causing about $1,000 in damage to the door and no damage to the bike, he said.

Here are ways to counter the bike problems that Beaudoin frequently observes on campus:

• Obey traffic signs.

• Slow down and don’t ride too fast.

• Use lights and reflectors.

• Use hand signals.

OSU, the city of Corvallis, the Gazette-Times, OSU Beaver Store and the Daily Barometer partnered for the “Be Bright, Be Seen” event.

Graham Kislingbury can be reached at graham.kislingbury@lee.net.

Graham Kislingbury is the online editor for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at 541-758-9517 or graham.kislingbury@lee.net

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. Tarah
    Report Abuse
    Tarah - January 22, 2013 12:01 pm
    Check out www.DriveLessConnect.com, a free local program to track your bike trips and win prizes! Learn more about Drive Less Connect on campus, at: http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/rideshare.
  2. corvally
    Report Abuse
    corvally - January 22, 2013 8:58 am
    Were any of the lights that were handed out at this event meeting the legal standard for bicycle visibility? The only giveaway that seemed like it may be of legal standard were the small circular strobe lights; those are even questionable.

    The intentions of this event were good, but they missed a major opportunity to provide legal lights and strong education around bike, vehicle, and pedestrian safety. It would have been wise to enlist the work of those who do bicycle advocacy to be involved in this, as it is likely that folks would have advised the organizers to make sure these components accompanied the event.
  3. IJK
    Report Abuse
    IJK - January 18, 2013 12:36 pm
    Sorry, I meant to say, "If it had been a pedestrian entering the street instead of the door swinging open, as you suggest, it is likely that the cyclist would have been able to see the person and react accordingly."
  4. IJK
    Report Abuse
    IJK - January 18, 2013 12:22 pm
    Wilvus, if someone opens a vehicle door without first making sure that it is safe to do so, that person has committed a Class D traffic violation. Unless the door had been opened well in advance of the bicyclist hitting it, this is entirely the driver's legal responsibility. Not knowing all of the facts in this case, there may have been extenuating circumstances, but normally, there is almost no way for a cyclist to anticipate a door suddenly swinging open. If the cyclist had hit a pedestrian instead of the door, as you suggest, it is likely that the cyclist would have been able to see the person and react accordingly. The cyclist would be liable for hitting a pedestrian under most circumstances. It is advisable for cyclists to stay out of the "door zone" when riding along a line of parked cars, because many drivers are ignorant of the law in this case and just open their doors without checking for bikes or other cars.
    Here is the Oregon law about opening your car door:
    811.490: Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle door
    (1) A person commits the offense of improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door if the person does any of the following:
    (a) Opens any door of a vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and it can be done without interference with the movement of traffic, or with pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders.
    (b) Leaves a door open on the side of a vehicle available to traffic, or to pedestrians or bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
    (2) The offense described in this section, improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §655; 1985 c.16 §320]
  5. Wilvus
    Report Abuse
    Wilvus - January 18, 2013 9:31 am
    Just the other day as a woman opened her car door on Jefferson Avenue, a bicyclist plowed into it, causing about $1,000 in damage to the door and no damage to the bike.

    What if the accident was running into a pedestrian and not a car?

    Who is at fault in these situations? Cyclists generally do not have collision and liability insurance do they?
  6. nocapes
    Report Abuse
    nocapes - January 18, 2013 9:00 am
    I would include to avoid riding next to long lines of parked cars on the street. I've heard of more accidents from a car door flying open and someone ploughing into it.
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