Educational campaign focuses on bicycling safety along US 101

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Safety messages to appear north-to-south along Oregon's coast route

Coast Bike Billboard

July 1, 2021

For more information, contact Heidi Manlove, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program manager, 503-986-4196

SALEM - A pent-up desire to get out coupled with the unmatched beauty of U.S. 101 can make a ride along the Oregon’s coast an amazing journey – but it can also lead to busier roadways for all road users. This summer, ODOT is ramping up safety messaging focused on bicycling safety along the Oregon Coast Bike Route. The safety tips of the campaign include reminders to "Look out for each other" and "Give bicyclists plenty of room."

Drivers should be aware that people riding bicycles – anywhere in Oregon – may take a full lane, especially when there is little to no shoulder, no bike lane, or if there is debris on the side of the road. As a driver, you should only pass a person riding a bicycle if you can safely do so by giving them at least 3 feet of room between your car and them. If the person riding the bicycle has taken a full lane, slow down and stay behind them until it is safe to pass them. Also stay focused on driving until you are safely parked at a viewpoint or your destination.

“The coast highway offers so much that can distract people – whether they’re driving, riding or walking – so we are putting special emphasis this summer on this route,” said ODOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program Manager Heidi Manlove, whose program is helping fund the effort.

ODOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Manager Jessica Horning has ridden the coast route and knows how important safety is for everyone.

“It is an amazing ride, but there can be scary moments,” she said. “If we could get RVs, for example, to give us at least three feet when they pass, then the cars behind them tend to do the same thing, and that could be a lifesaver.”

Brochures, social media posts and even billboards will share the same messages, such as:

  • People bicycling can use the full lane, so wait until there’s a safe place to pass.
  • When passing someone on a bicycle, give at least 3 feet – enough so that if they fell over into the lane, you would avoid them. (This is Oregon law.)
  • Slow down and be patient.

“Our goal is to blanket the coast with our safety messages,” Manlove said.

ODOT is partnering with Oregon State Parks, Travel Oregon, local visitor centers and others to get the word out. ODOT’s Transportation Options program is also joining the effort, one that aligns with ODOT's Strategic Action Plan in prioritizing a modern, multimodal transportation system.

“We want to amplify these safety messages,” said Stephanie Millar, Transportation Options Program manager. “Helping people feel and be safe when biking and walking increases their interest in doing those activities.”


Download educational materials or order free copies by visiting ODOT’s Storeroom website. Learn more about bicycle and pedestrian safety and ODOT’s program on the website. See photos from along the route on ODOT's FlickR site.

Bike car coast safety

Drivers need to give people riding bicycles at least three feet of room in order to pass. Click on the photo to view an earlier video about the Oregon Coast Bike Route.