Business always blocking bike lane (clac county) who do I contact?

There’s a mechanic in clac county who always has cars blocking the bike lane
I know they’re not supposed to, but who do I contact about it?


Good question. If it was Portland, I’d report it to city parking enforcement and to pbot through the 823-safe hotline (or web page). I rarely bother to report people blocking bike lanes because the wait times on the phone lines are infuriatingly long and I don’t get the impression that pbot or parking enforcement actually bothers to do anything. In Clackamas, I have no idea who I would contact. But I’m sure there is a transportation agency or a police non emergency phone number that you could call during business hours.

One issue that you may run into is a quirk of Oregon law (that I know nothing about, but others on this forum have claimed to exist) that allows for delivery vehicles to temporarily block
bike lanes while picking up our dropping off. I don’t know if this is actually something that is allowed, but people sure act like it is. I don’t know if that would also extend to a mechanic storing cars in the bike lane, but maybe the police would choose to interpret it that way?

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Here is a form where you can report the issue. Many police agencies in Clackamas county are reluctant to ticket cars in a bike lane however so it may or may not be effective. If I were you I would document it with photos from different days. Good luck.


The quirk in Oregon law “exempts vehicles stopped, standing or parked momentarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading property or passengers,” from the list of “places where stopping, standing and parking a vehicle are prohibited.” Those places include pretty much any traffic lane of a roadway. The exceptions law is Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 811.560. The prohibited places are listed in ORS 811.550

It doesn’t seem like storage of unused sheet metal for part of a day would be exempted from the penalties for parking in a lane.

I hope this helps you out of being a know nothing.

Thanks for the pro tip. Apparently, in day to day usage, police and parking enforcement have interpreted that rule to mean that delivery vehicles can continually block the bike lane on E Burnside and other bike lanes around Portland for hours on end. It seems that for purposes of enforcement, the law is treated as if it was much more expansive than it actually is, regardless of the text of the law. I see Uber and Lyft drivers simply parking in bike lanes while awaiting instructions from apps, I see people park u haul trucks for entire days when people are moving in or out of residences, I see random people stopping in bike lanes to make phone calls, and residents using bike lanes as parking spaces. Based on these various types of blockages that appear to be condoned or excused in the city of Portland, which is generally considered to be more bike friendly than Clackamas country, I was suggesting that it was likely that the cops wouldn’t bother to lift a finger to get the auto shop to move their cars either.

Those comments match my experiences. To alleviate the endemic problem is another matter. I do call non-emergency police dispatch. Once I strode into a nearby retail business - the only one nearby - and announced that I was about to notify parking enforcement about the illegal parking out front. Holding my cell phone up and starting to make the report got a reaction. The business is still happy to serve me, as well.

It seems there could be some non-violent direct action that would draw attention to the hazardous occupying in public space that is set aside for transport, rather than storage of private sheet metal. I have a couple of ideas, but they need refinement. Or maybe someone else has a better one.

  • Would it work to festoon each illegally located coffin-on-wheels with flowers? Where could we find enough of them (flowers, not vehicles)?
  • Or decorate the side and rear windows with soap, including labels such as “found in a travel lane, please claim and move.”
  • Would the unused and broken cars in Clackamas county be improved by having some repairs done to them? A group of volunteer mechanics could arrive on bikes, each with a tool set and go to work.
    Toy tools

Parking in designated spots is legal, but a private waste of public space that should be charged for. International Park(ing) Day points this out in a fun way. In Corvallis, we’ve had some fun with this. Your town, too.

  • If I had spare furniture, such as a couch and two reclining chairs, I might haul them around, stow them on the street in the same configuration as a passenger car, then wait to see how long before they were ticketed or hauled. Perhaps bring them back and put them on a platform cart with 3" wheels. Would they qualify as a vehicle then? Would they need a motor?

If you’re inclined toward some concerted action, send me a message. I can share ideas and help develop some plans, even across the miles between my town and yours.

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There’s a possibility that it is of interest to Oregon DEQ too. Auto repairs generally involve environmentally hazardous activities. The reason is that scofflaw automotive businesses (such as CURBSTONERS) maybe violating these laws too. Definitely tell the DEQ if you are seeing things happening there that maybe violating air quality or water quality law (fluid discharges)

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