(October 30, 2015) Whether walking, riding transit or biking, you want to be seen by other road users when out and about on Portland streets. With the fewer hours of light each day during winter, make sure that lights and reflective gear are part of your daily fashion statement.
When on foot, consider light-colored clothing or reflective outerwear - you’re first visible to a driver 500 feet away (about 2 downtown blocks) with reflective clothing, versus just 55 feet when wearing dark colors with no reflectivity. You can also add clip-on lights to your bag, jacket or even a leash if you are walking a pet.
If you are waiting for the bus at a dimly lit stop, you can use your smartphone to get the driver’s attention. Just wave your lit phone as the bus approaches or use an app to transform your phone into a beacon of light.
When biking, be sure you use lights and reflectors to illuminate your way. Oregon law requires a front white light that is visible from 500 feet and a red, rear reflector or light that is visible from 600 feet. Reflective ankle straps or shoe highlights draw extra attention due to your pedaling motion.
No matter how you are getting around, be alert and watch for others. We are all sharing the road and we all have the same goal – to arrive safely at our destination.