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Is it time to try physically separated bike lanes?

Posted by on January 5th, 2007 at 11:18 am

Hotel zone bike lane
[Regular bike lanes
don't always cut it.]

As bicycle advocacy and ridership in America matures, new solutions and ideas for integrating bicycles onto our roadways must be seriously considered.

For decades, we have been happy with conventional bike lanes, but as we get serious about reaching double-digit mode-splits, perhaps it’s time to go beyond a stripe of paint and consider physically separating bicycles from motor vehicle traffic.

Like two young children that, despite attempts at behavior modification just can’t seem get along, maybe it’s time we separated bikes and cars to save us all from nasty conflicts and make bike lanes safe and enjoyable for everyone.

[This bike lane in Montreal is completely separated from motor vehicle traffic.]
Photo by joelmann on Flickr

The idea that typical bike lanes (usually sandwiched between motor vehicle traffic and parked cars) offer little more than a false sense of security is something that has sparked considerable debate on this site. My post, “Are bike lanes a haven or a hazard?” (which has 87 comments so far) was written to address the growing concern over bike lanes on SW Broadway Blvd. in downtown Portland. This bike lane is notorious (to the point of being avoided by many cyclists) not just because of a fatality in it a few years back, but because trucks, cabs and cars from hotels and businesses constantly disregard it as a legitimate traffic lane.

Now, venerable filmmaker Clarence Eckerson,working with Streetsblog and NYC Streets Renaissance, has released a video that advocates for bike lanes that are completely separated from motor vehicle traffic.

[Click to watch The Case for Physically Separated Bike Lanes by Clarence Eckerson.]
(Running time 8 min, 30 seconds).

On the surface, allocating physically protected and separated space for bicycles sound like a no-brainer. As you can see in the video, many cities around the world have already implemented them. By taking bikes away from dangerous motor vehicle traffic and the dreaded “door zone,” cyclists will be safer, more people will ride, and we’ll all live happily ever after.

On the other hand, some people have reservations about the unique safety challenges they present, especially in the U.S. where the car is still King of the Road and drivers do not assume a bicycle might be around every corner.

The biggest concern seems to be what happens at intersections. Mike Sallaberry, a transportation planner for the City of San Francisco has been working on bike facilities design and implementation for seven years and he brings up an interesting point in his comment on Streetsblog:

“There are certainly problems with bike lanes, but there are also major problems with sidepaths…Many of the problems…between turning motorists and through cyclists for instance, are often even worse with separated bike lanes due to sightline problems and motorists not expecting cyclists approaching from the opposite direction. And…more effort should be made to state the likely problem of pedestrians spilling into bike space.”

Even if physically separated bike lanes pose some new safety and implementation issues, the time is now for Portland (America’s #1 bike-friendly city, remember?) to lead the way and seriously consider trying them out. SW and NE Broadway would be perfect candidates.

What do you think? Are physically separated bike lanes the Next Big Thing for bikes in America? And if so, when we finally build them in Portland, where should they go?


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Comments
  • vj January 5, 2007 at 11:25 am

    I would love to see Portland move in this direction. And yes, intersections are a problem, but you could argue that that is the case for bike lanes (or street riding) as well. It’s a big issue but I bet there’s lots that Europe can teach us.

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  • adam January 5, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    maybe we should just use, you know, thicker paint? or, maybe have a special color – like bike blue. yeah, a blue lane should do it. fell safe yet?

    where is sam adams on this? why do we have to make the plans, lobby for it, etc only so sam can give the press conference? rediculous.

    I have a good friend who cannot use his right arm very well, still, after being doored by some jackoff who did not look before he opened his door into my friend’s bike lane.

    whatever, good article, cannot wait to see our political “leaders” vision this one…

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  • Robert "Bob" January 5, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    some concerns I have would be (1)the bike lanes becoming an extention of the sidewalk, people walking around large groups, avoiding outdoor seating(collisions). (2) the accumulation of trash and/or hazards(miminized escape options). (3)drivers assuming that these bike lanes are the only roads cyclists are allowed or wanted(more danger on unmarked/rural roads,less respect as transportation alternative).

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  • Jeff January 5, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    ditto Bob’s concerns, & I would also add (4) intersections with cross streets & turning traffic from parallel streets; can’t see how this would be much better than traditional bike lanes, unless you give cyclists there own signal & prohibit right turns on red.

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  • Austin January 5, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    The statement that “a true bicycle network is one that can be safely used by a child” really resonates with me. Just because I feel comfortable rockin’ down Burnside at night, doesn’t mean that everyone does. I could see how some might interpret a physical separation as a loss of rights to the road, but if you really want people to give up their car, this would be the easy way to do it. (Incidentally, this makes the recent proposal of allowing drivers to use the bike lane to turn seem just plain absurd.)

    On a side note, I think the concept of this video is just wonderful. Its one thing to say “cars are parking in the bike lane,” but quite another thing to show someone swerving to avoid getting doored. It’s a fair representation and it gets the point across in under 10 minutes. I can’t wait for the BTA’s YouTube debut.

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  • Richard January 5, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Personally, I prefer a bun/van to park in a bike lane than park in the car travel lane just beside it. Obstructing a bike lane forces cycles to avoid the right side of the bus where unwitting passengers are likely to step into our out of the bus with out looking for a bicycle. I recognize that I’m a more confident road cyclist than others, and this might not scale to all users.

    The Montreal physically separated bike lane however is interesting. It appears to be a two way lane with parking between the motovehicles and bicycles. The lane is wide enough that bike traffic going with the direction of the parked cars won’t be doored. Bike traffic oppossing the parked cars will be visible to passengers and the bicyclist can see someone who might sing a door open with out looking.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis January 5, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    I share these concerns. I would put it more starkly and say that: (1) To the extent that cyclists get dedicated lanes, they will be less welcome and perhaps actually legally restricted from using the standard lanes. Ultimately, cyclists are likely to end up with fewer rights on the road as a result. (2) Creating dedicated lanes will require expensive changes to the infrastructure. Yet we already have ample road infrastructure and will face the opposition of the traditional interests opposed to “government spending.” (3) Assuming that dedicated lanes comes with some restrictions on using existing lanes, we’d have to build dedicated lanes literally everywhere or have our range of movement severely curtailed.

    I think we’ve got to use the same, existing infrastructure. The culture simply has to change, spurred by changes in the law. For example, education and enforcement of the 3-feet passing law, a law allowing cyclists to take an entire lane – and motorists to give an entire lane when passing – when there is more than one lane going in a particular direction, enhanced criminal penalties for harassing or hitting a cyclist, increased use by cyclists of civil suits against motorists who harass them by coming too close (yes, I am a lawyer, but no, I do not do this kind of work), etc.

    If there were a public policy at the federal and state levels to encourage cycling as a legitimate means of transportation, the existing infrastructure could easily be made far safer to use. Until that exists, no particular strategy is likely to significantly improve safety and get the “interested but concerned” into the saddle.

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  • Steven Vance January 5, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    The scan of my drawing I posted two days ago is the first result in the Flickr search you posted at the end of your article.

    Here’s the drawing:
    http://flickr.com/photos/jamesbondsv/344509695/

    It’s a suggestion about how to alleviate concerns about turning drivers.

    Steve

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  • Michael January 5, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    What about a bike only lane sharing 1st with MAX? What about a bike only street on Park or 10th?

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  • Richard S January 5, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    I’m a little concerned about the separate bike lanes. One reason I prefer riding on the road is that I can take advantage of traffic control, and I don’t have to dodge pedestrians. I have a long enough commute already (80 minutes). Is there going to be any way of keeping pedestrians from using these lanes as an MFP?

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  • Lenny Anderson January 5, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    As I recall right turns on red are not allowed in Montreal…a significant difference at intersections perhaps.
    I think Bike-ways are the way to go…please let’s not call them Boulevards until they really are same.
    But with better signage, markings and higher bike usage to discourage auto use, these routes can become defacto exclusive bike/skate/jog avenues.
    Its tough to generalize about bikelanes as every set seem to be different…NE Broadway vs SW Broadway vs NE Multnomah vs Multnomah Blvd vs Barubur Blvd vs NE Glisan, etc. Some are fit for everyone, some for no one.

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  • gabrielamadeus January 5, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    the mercury picked up on the story:
    http://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2007/01/re_separating_bike_lanes.php

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  • Leslie Carlson January 5, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    As a regular bike commuter, I have no problem riding by myself in traffic. But put my kids in the bike trailer and it’s a whole other story. I feel very uncomfortable toting them behind me–they are low to the ground, I can’t see them without turning around and they basically have little-to-no protection if hit.

    I would love to run errands with my kids by bike, but honestly won’t do it until I feel safer–and separating the bike lanes might just do that.

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  • PFin January 5, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    If we want to separate, I think we should go all the way–right away. That means, yes, BICYCLE FREEWAYS!!!

    Free-way! As in: Free of cars, intersections, doors, cabs; styled after our beloved interstate freeway system.

    I know most will scoff at this, but upon considering that such a project would cost less and be more effective than light rail, it doesn’t seem like such a pipe dream… “one that a child can use safely.”

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  • Richard S January 5, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I for one would like a bicycle freeway. You’d want at least two lanes in either direction. Hopefully, users of bike freeways would maintain good etiquette by keeping left except to overtake.

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  • Sam Livingston-Gray January 5, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Personally, I’d be thrilled to ride a mile out of the way if it meant I could get to a major bike arterial. Closing off a two-lane road to auto traffic would not only provide fantastic capacity, it’d be a huge psychological weight off of my traffic-dodging shoulders.

    The problem there, of course, is finding streets to close off. I hadn’t considered the bike-freeway idea, but it sounds promising. A system of elevated bike freeways might actually be an attractive option, since no auto lanes would need to be sacrificed. They’d need to be high enough to put cyclists above the exhaust and allow tall vehicles underneath.

    I like!

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  • Sam Livingston-Gray January 5, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Oh, and…

    Proposing an elevated bikeway on a residential street would probably raise a huge fuss from people concerned about people seeing into their back yards, much like with the aerial tram.

    I was thinking of an elevated bikeway going down the median of some of the more major arterials (like Powell or even Hawthorne), hence the comments about height. (=

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  • brettoo January 5, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    From the comments, it sounds like the more experienced riders are cooler toward PSLs than others, and that’s understandable. We’re more assertive about our right to take a traffic lane. But many times our number of potential riders aren’t comfortable riding among cars. Based on what I’ve seen in Europe, and what I’ve heard from friends here who want to bike but are afraid of sharing the road with cars, I believe PSLs would be a revolutionary, culture-changing development for Portland.
    So much of the decision to ride vs. drive is about feeling and emotion — if you feel safe, you’e more likely to ride. I really think that feeling unsafe (rather than sloth, sweat, weather, time, etc.) is the biggest obstacle to increasing ridership beyond the hardcore bikers in town. I suspect the feeling of security they’d get from physical separation would dramatically boost the number of bike commuters.

    Has anyone got numbers on how much ridership increased (and you’d need several years for potential riders to get used to the idea) after physically separated lanes were added to a particular commuter route?

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  • Kat Iverson January 5, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    How can you, Jonathan, in all apparent seriousness begin your article by advocating for integrating bicycles onto the roadways and end by advocating for even more segregation than we already have? For a few brief moments, I thought you were going to make the highly sensible suggestion that all bike lanes be abolished, but instead, you proposed even greater separation than now exists. You did a good job pointing out the dangers of bike lanes, but followed that with the proposal to replace them with sidepaths, widely recognized by engineers as dangerous.

    To support your proposal, you provide a link to a video showing some of the worst cycling skills ever seen. There is a comment about motorists being in a hurry, while the video shows impatient cyclists changing lanes without signaling and without looking to see whether the adjacent lane is clear. Some of the sidepath scenes show cyclists on the wrong side of the path. Those cyclists are doomed to crash no matter what facilities you provide for them.

    If you want safety, abolish bike lanes, and learn how to drive a bike properly. Remember, bike lanes were never created for cyclists’ safety, but rather for motorists’ convenience.

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  • Clarence January 5, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Glad to see the healthy debate in Portland has taken off!

    I’ll add this: the video of course did not tackle all the pros and certainly not the cons. I did want to include some of them but it would have more than doubled the length of the video which I was a little worried at 8 minutes that people would not watch. So we stuck to advocating for separated lanes and figured debate would follow. Thankfully, we have been pleasantly surprised that well over 2K have watched in only 4 days!

    We talked to about 20 cyclists at random, and not one thought it was a bad idea to try them out.

    My two more cents: we are not advocating for a full replacement of all bike lanes with separated ones in Manhattan. But only to try them in some targeted, dangerous, high-traffic areas and see what happens. Big cities like NYC have more opportunities on our crazy six lane Avenues to take back a lane from cars to try them out. But I am sure other cities may benefit as well.

    So far I have gotten a ton of e-mails. One assumption I will concur with #18 brettoo (above) is that most of the emails that have been negative are from racers or people with no impatience for slower riders of families on separated paths or greenways who “block the whole lane”, “or weave around aimlessly”, or “go way too slowly” (all quotes from actual e-mails.)

    I try to remind those people in responding that 1) we need to encourage more people to ride, it helps all cyclists, 2) that they probably once were small and didn’t ride so quickly so cut kids and families some slack and 3) in many ways they are manifesting the same kind of road rage that drivers exhibit towards us.

    For me, sure I am in a hurry sometimes. But if I see a kid on the West Side Greenway in Manhattan out with his mom or dad, I always have time to slow down. That’s a future cyclist there and who knows how many friends he or she will bring to the pack one day.

    And as another e-mailer from Europe said yesterday to me, the fact that this video HAS to exist to advocate for separated bike lanes shows just how far the U.S. is behind the rest of the world.

    Peace. Keep talking.

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  • beth January 5, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve ridden on bikeways that start and end at places that real people would only go to if they planned to drive their bike to a parking lot, ride the bikeway, then put their bike back in the car and drive home.

    I think separate bike freeways have a place in any city, as long as they aren’t bikeways to nowhere.

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  • Dan Kaufman January 5, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    I, too, am thrilled to see this video get some legs and debate. I view separted bike lanes as one more tool in the belt of engineers and bike advocates. But a national bike freeway system is my dream.

    I started commuter cycling in 2003 with a 12.5mi trip to Vancouver. I doubt I would have ever taken the challenge if not for the fact that 1/3 of that trip did not interface auto traffic (thanks mostly to the East Bank esplanade and Columbia river esplanade).

    In general I think the upsurge in bike commuters in Portland is directly related to the physical ammenties this town offers cyclists.

    Education and enforcement are nice, A.O., but they don’t change the fact that bicycles and cars are not in the same weight class. As drivers we have all had lapses that could have meant doom to a cyclist and no amount of education, enforcement or punitive action will change that fact.

    Bicylces deserve special consideration and infrastructure becuase of their benefit to society. There should be no apology for that.

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  • pdxcommuter January 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    No, no, no, no. This is a Bad Idea.

    Separated bike ways have been tried before and failed. There are still some out there in the Portland area. I try to avoid them. Here’s 3 local examples:

    * North side of Garden Home Road, west of the intersection with Oleson. Every single cross street has a stop or yield sign for bicycles. The path is overgrown, and poorly maintained.

    * The alternative to GH Road is the Fanno Creek trail, which runs from the Garden Home Rec Center, south of the Portland Golf Club. When I do take the path, I encounter people walking slowly, two or three across, or walking their dog, often with the person at one side of the path and the dog at the other side, with the leash running between. Even with no people visible, I find myself having to constantly braking because the path twists and turns to get around the golf club, trees, and other obstructions. I cannot go full speed there due to insufficient sight distance.

    * South side of Farmington, near 185th. This is a path separated from the road by a curb. Debris from the road gets blown by cars onto the path, where it stays. Forever. The street sweeper, when it does come by infrequently, is not able to get over to the dirty part because of the curb.

    One example of a grade separated path which you can read about on the web is on Vassar Street on the MIT Campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. See http://www.truewheelers.org/cases/vassarst/record/wrapup.htm The web page has a link to a report of a campus police officer harassing a bicyclist to get onto the side-path, out of concern for the bicyclist’s safety.

    While that picture from Montreal may look appealing, remember, there’s always an intersection to cross. Because the separated path comes out between existing intersections, the path will ALWAYS have a stop sign for the bicycles. Also, what happens when it snows there? Are the cars still allowed to park where they are in the picture during a snow event? If it’s like the Chicago area, they probably are not. And I suspect that the snow plow uses the bike path as a convenient place to push the snow off of the road, where I suspect, in spring, that the piled up snow melts off the bike path last.

    Jonathan, you always point to Broadway as a reason for creating separate bike paths. The problem with Broadway is specific to Broadway. The city is not enforcing the law because the hotel has political pull to keep the city from doing so. The hotel should have adequate off-street facilities for its uses. If someone was out there giving tickets to vehicles illegally blocking the bike lane the hotel would clean up its act very quickly.

    If the problem is that governments would have to hire people to give tickets to the people parking in the bike lane, and it would cost too much, then I have a solution. This is a variation on an idea I saw on the local TV news some years ago. One of the local sheriffs had given diabled people parking ticket books. The disabled people could write tickets for those parking in disabled parking spaces without a permit. So, instead, give bicyclists parking ticket books so that we could write tickets for cars parked in the bike lane. I would volunteer to do this. I would even pay $50 a year (maybe more, depends on where the proceeds go) for the privilege of being able to do this. I would happily carry my digital camera so that I could document the tickets I gave out. If you want me to sit through a seminar on when and how I can give out tickets, I’ll do that, too.

    –pdxcommuter

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  • Burr January 5, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    I agree with Beth, bike facilities of any kind, and especially high-cost separated facilities, absolutely need to take people safely on their bikes to the same employment, commercial and other destinations people want to access in their cars, otherwise they are nothing more than recreational facilities, and they don’t offer substantial transportation benefits.

    For example, I see people all the time down near the Hawthorne bridge who are loading or unloading bikes from cars in order to ride the esplanade. This is because access to the esplanade from the close-in eastside neighborhoods like Buckman, Sunnyside and Hosford-Abernathy is so damn poor. This may not seem like a big deal to most of the experienced cyclists who post here, but crossing Grand and MLK really can be an obstacle for beginners and novices.

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  • Burr January 5, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I also agree with pdxcommuter regarding the poor safety records of many separated facilities in not only Portland, but throughout the US. A new separated system will ONLY work with excellent design, the incorporation of relatively expensive bicycle detection loops and separate bicycle signal systems, the prioritization of bicycle traffic over motor vehicle traffic, and a healthy dose of motorist education.

    And the loss of cyclists’ rights to use the ‘regular’ road system with the creation of a separated system is a very significant issue, as well, as has also already been pointed out above.

    Finally, motorist education is the 900 pound gorilla PDOT and Sam Adams don’t seem to want to grapple with. An outstanding motorist reeducation program would go a long way towards making our existing streets safer for cyclists and might, in and of itself, obviate the need for a new expensive separated system for cyclists. The silence from City Hall on this issue is deafening.

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  • Dabby January 6, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Physically seperated bike lanes will only lead to solid enforcement of laws requiring bikes to be IN THE BIKE LANE!
    This is not what we want. Or what we need. Nor what we will stand for…
    But this is what will come with a seperation…

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  • Carl January 6, 2007 at 10:01 am

    The high traffic arterials on which I used to commute in and out of downtown Copenhagen had separated bike lanes:

    auto traffic>
    on street parking>
    curb>
    bike lane>
    curb>
    sidewalk

    Intersections had dedicated bike signals to deal with bikes. It worked beautifully. I can see this setup on streets like Sandy, Grand, or Powell…in 100 years. By then we’ll hopefully have a) enough bicyclists to justify them and b) a public that understands.

    In the US, including Portland, the public frequently considers bike lanes a system to get bicyclists out of the way of “real traffic” and they’re frequently used to literally marginalize cyclists (as Dabby and others have long pointed out).

    The attitude towards bike lanes like those I described in Copenhagen, however, is different. During many times of day, they’re like carpool lanes: a high speed lane rewarding more efficient traffic. They insure that motorists trapped in the gridlock of a medieval city don’t hold up bike traffic.

    Be patient! This will come. Until then, I’m with Dabby. Throwing money at this type of bike lanes with our current mode split (impressive only by US standards), our current cultural attitude towards bicycling (intead of a driving?!), and our tendency not to see cyclists (until they’re on the hood) is just a recipe for road rage and a new tool to marginalize bicyclists.

    Does 100 years seem too far away? The sooner we get more people riding, the sooner it’ll happen (and for the right reasons). Until then, inner Portland’s bicycling infrastructure is, with very few exceptions, baggy. There’s room for pleny more cyclists before we need to go up a size.

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  • Clarence January 6, 2007 at 10:09 am

    In Portland, the one place that comes to mind that could benefit from a separated bike lane is on MLK in the area between the Hawthorne & Steel Bridge bridges.

    Why?

    Lots of lanes. Car traffic is dangerous and fast. Not too many cars turn off of it except to get to other arterials. MLK scares the dickens out of me and I ride the Avenues of New York and generally feel I can navigate them reasonably well.

    Or perhaps a dedicated bus lane (BRT) shared space with a separated bike lane like many places have in Europe?

    Just a thought.

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  • Michael January 6, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Re: The problem with Broadway is specific to Broadway. The city is not enforcing the law because the hotel has political pull to keep the city from doing so. The hotel should have adequate off-street facilities for its uses. If someone was out there giving tickets to vehicles illegally blocking the bike lane the hotel would clean up its act very quickly.

    TOO TRUE!

    What expense and effort are we (the city, citizens, cyclists) willing to expend to avoid dealing with the elemental issue of enforcing the laws we have??

    Not just the hotel lane abuse, but also the careless drivers who are rarely cited for a myriad of safe driving fundamentals violations?

    A few months of aggressive ticketing of red light runners*, bike lane crosser (doors and right turns) would certainly cost much less than building and maintaining an entirely new infrastructure.

    The people of Portland seem to be becoming very tolerant of terrible driving habits that would have been unspeakable a few years ago. These are the issues that endanger us all, in whatever mode of transport we choose.

    *My intent here is motor vehicles, but cyclists would have to take their licks, too.

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  • JE January 6, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    I love it!

    Concerning intersections, in Germany they had three sets of lights at each intersection; pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle. They came on seperately allowing cyclists and pedestrians to cross before the cars got the green light.

    Looking at the various barriers seperating the cyclists from the vehicles, I think a version of the 12th Avenue Green St would look and work great. You can read about it and see pictures at portlandonline.com.
    http://www.portlandonline.com/bes/index.cfm?c=34601&a=123776

    Best quote ever:
    “A true bicycle network is one that can be safely used by a child,” Mayor Enrique Penalosa, Bogota. If Portland used that has their planning motto, cycling would be safer for everyone and we’d have more folks commuting by bike with all the benefits.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis January 6, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    The answer lies in giving cyclists the explicit right to occupy entire traffic lanes, the same way cars do. That would create adequate separation to ameliorate many safety concerns if done in conjunction with a distance rule applicable to all motor vehicle-bicycle proximity, most notably passing.

    This should be done, where possible, in conjunction with traffic bifurcation, i.e., coupled one-way streets, such as Grand & MLK, NW 18th & 19th, hopefully W Burnside & NW Couch, as well as Milwaukie & 17th through Sellwood, and others.

    Cyclists would have a right to occupy the right lane, motorists would stay left, except to turn right, and would be required to yield to cyclists entering the left lane to turn.

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  • Randy January 7, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Yes, yes, yes! And while we are at how about a $50,000 loan from the PDC to build a floating bike only bridge over the Willamette. The bridge will keep on working even as the river rises from Global Warming.

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  • Dabby January 7, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    One fact here is very true…
    The problem with broadway and the bike lane,
    is the influence the big money hotels have on the city, and the tourist dollars.
    This fact has been verified to me personally, by the people who deal with these problems (no names to be used).
    The city is taking financial gain over the safety of it’s “greenest” residents.
    This has been going on for a very long time…..
    But, the sad reality of this is that bicycles have been in Portland before most, or all of these hotels and businesses, and before a single car was ever driven down a Portland City Street.
    And, in more conversations with the same people, it was pointed out that the situation with the city looking out for big money over it’s cycling residents will not change……
    We will not win the war on broadway, without drastic efforts such as:
    Suing the city for putting cycling residents in harm’s way on purpose. (I believe this right is reserved for us, due to the constitution..)
    Community policing which will oversee Proper police inforcement of bike lane, hotel zone, and city wide double parking infractions….
    ( supposedly we already have the community policing policing the police, but I question it’s effectiveness..)

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  • Val A Lindsay II January 8, 2007 at 8:09 am

    I suggest the City of Portland give these guys a call….

    http://www.biketrans.com/image2.html

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  • ridealot January 8, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I don’t really like type of ‘bike lane’.

    However, I do think this type of bike lane will get more people on their bikes. It’s not like large number of streets will ever be retrofit with this type of lane. Increased ridership will spill over to normal streets.

    More cyclists means an increase street safety for everyone.

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  • Tiah January 19, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    um,a of all, unfortunately i must point out to “ridealot” that their notion that “more cyclists means an increase in street safety for everyone” isn’t true at all.
    b of all, seperated bike lanes don’t seem like a good idea..bike lanes in general don’t seem to do much…this has all been documented and discussed so many times…
    Dabby is right about the fact that if seperated bike lanes were made what would soon follow would be a mandate to use them. For some Sunday riders, or people who just really can not deal with traffic that would be fine and all but lets face it: that would be a huge hinderance for the majority of cyclists.
    I think people really need to move beyond this bike lane thing. It is usally safer to just take the lane(as in ride where the cars do) rather than to ride in the bike lane(unless you are on the highway or whatever). Go ride on the esplanade or mtb or something if you can’t handle traffic. I’m over the bike lane(I mean I ride in it on Broadway -east side=most of the time and sometimes in other part of town, but I don’t feel like it does anything for me).

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  • Dave September 21, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    There is still the remains of a separated \”cycle track\” along Farmington Road in Beaverton. It used to run from Murray (I believe) out to about 209th Ave (over 3 miles). Fortunately much of it has been removed and replaced with bike lanes as Farmington was widened.

    I rode it many times; it really sucked. Crossing intersecting streets, especially when riding against traffic was very risky, or impossible if traffic was stopped in your way.

    Debris was a major problem; pedestrians were another.

    The current bike lanes work very well, cost less, stay cleaner, don\’t encourage wrong-way riding, and don\’t promote the idea the cyclists don\’t belong on the roads.

    Separated facilities are the wrong answer for Portland and Oregon.

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  • zilfondel September 24, 2007 at 11:44 am

    28th Ave on the Eastside would be another excellent candidate for a \’bike track,\’ as it receives a huge amount of cyclists moving cross-town (N-S), with lots of mixed traffic, such as semis trailers, SUVs, motorcycles, and the like. There is ample space on the street, with parking on both sides – but drivers make wide berths around cyclists and end up almost running into oncoming traffic, or squeeze cyclists against the parked cars. This is more prevalent than many other streets in Portland due to the sheer traffic volume it gets.

    Also, virtually none of the cyclists wear helmets – probably less than 5%. (I live on the street)

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  • el September 24, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Just like pedestrians need sidewalks, cyclists need sperated lanes. A cyclist is no match for a motor vehicle any more than a pedestrian is….Drivers don\’t even slow down for a child or a dog walker or a bike on the side streets anymore. Cars are armor and the people inside are often distracted, distressed and disembodied. I would love to commute more by bike, but fear for my life on the streets. I would joyfully welcome a protected bikeway. I have no doubt ridership would increase by leaps and bounds. I\’d put money on it.

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  • Dabby September 25, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    I don\’t know how, but that last post from me above is from like last year or something.

    Is not relevant to this article…. sorry..

    Don\’t know how that happened..

    maybe Jonathan will remove it for me…

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  • joe September 26, 2007 at 11:45 am

    I think what would also be nice is link everything! so you can really plan a trip on bike, I would ride 25miles one way to work if it was linked.. bike freeways would be a super idea.. can we really get away from the car? I really hope so.. I\’m currently in Wilsonville
    but feel kinda left out to get around by bike.. maybe this town is behind it all I feel. what if i wanted to ride to Portland? is this really possible here?

    I have bike maps, but feel i need a GPS.
    ohh was on 99 and the bike lane ended? to a tunnle of worry for me.. I\’ve been on a bike for a looong time so i have skills, but some roads around here scare me.

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