Leg Work: Cyclists have the right to ‘control the lane’ for safety | Portland Press Herald

I recently saw a man bicycling smack in the middle of the main travel lane on one of Portland’s busiest streets, with a line of cars trailing behind.
In cycling lingo, this is known as “taking the lane” or “controlling the lane.” And it seems to be a growing trend, especially in urban areas.
Bicycle safety experts say that controlling the lane is the safest way for cyclists to position themselves under a variety of scenarios. Some even recommend it as a default position for those riding in city traffic.
This is a controversial idea, because it forces motorists to slow down. It also is counterintuitive to believe that one would be safer riding amid cars and trucks rather than on the road’s edge.
As a slow, cautious cyclist, I often feel scared controlling the lane, even under conditions when I have no choice, such as taking a left turn or continuing straight through an intersection where one lane turns right.


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