It is illegal to ride your bike on the Lafayette Street Pedestrian Crossing
The other day while on my regular ride from home to downtown, I noticed this sign at the new Lafayette Street bridge where I cross the railroad tracks:
It got me wondering if I was breaking the law every commute by riding my bicycle into the elevator and then over the bridge.
Chapter 28 of Trimet’s Code, which governs conduct on Trimet property, does not specifically prohibit riding bicycles on the Lafayette Street Pedestrian Overcrossing. However, the Code does contain the following:
28.15(B)(6) Violation of Signage. In addition to the prohibitions set forth elsewhere in TMC Chapters 28, 29 and 30, no person shall fail to abide by specific directives provided in the form of a fixed permanent or temporary sign posted in or upon the District Transit System that has been authorized by the General Manager to address a regulatory or security concern. The General Manager or the General Manager’s designee may establish and post such signage in a manner to provide sufficient notice concerning the conduct required or prohibited. Any violation of the specific directives in any sign authorized by the General Manager shall constitute a violation of this subsection. [Emphasis added].
It seemed pretty clear that the sign prohibited bicycle riding anywhere on the Lafayette Street bridge. Given the design of the bridge, and its heavy usage by people who ride bicycles, I was somewhat surprised by such an exclusion. I asked Trimet for clarification and they responded that:
“You can take your bike on the bridge but you must walk your bike.”
A person cited for riding their bicycle on the bridge faces a presumptive fine of $175 and a maximum fine of $250 and an exclusion from Trimet for up to six months.
Charley Gee is a Portland personal injury attorney. He exclusively represents injured people against insurance companies and corporations. He focuses his practice on representing people injured while walking, running, riding their bicycles, or working.
Thank you to Kara Bredahl for assisting in the research of this issue.