Oregon's Dangerous Street Drain Law
Oregon has a statutory law against dangerous street drains.
This law is reflective of Oregon’s progressive safety laws. However, it is somewhat limited in scope and takes some sorting through to know where drains are required to be safe and where they are not.
The law applies to all street drains, storm drains, and “other similar openings” in a roadbed over which traffic must pass in any portion of a public way, highway, road, street, footpath or bicycle trail that is available for use by bicycle traffic and requires them to be constructed in such a way that bicycle traffic can safely pass over them.
There are many parts of the law that need to be defined. It is quite clear that a street drain on a road would need to be safely constructed, but where the law gets murky is private property. Does a private parking lot have to be constructed in such a way that the drains can be safely passed over by bicycles? The answer is probably yes if the parking lot is open to the public and is inviting customers in.
The law is limited to drains constructed after September 13, 1975.
Charley Gee is a Portland personal injury lawyer.