Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 7th, 2008 at 4:44 pm
Yesterday from 3:30 to 6:00pm, the Transit Police and Traffic Divisions of the Portland Police Bureau staged what they refer to as a “bicycle education mission” at the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
According to a statement just released by spokesperson Brian Schmautz, the mission was, “done in response to a substantial increase in the number of complaints about traffic infractions in and around the transit station.”
Also in the statement, Schmautz writes that the temporary closure of the Steel Bridge has led to a 100 per day increase in the number of buses (shuttles) in the Rose Quarter area, which has, “resulted in several near misses between vehicles and bikes.”
The result of yesterday’s enforcement mission was 50 verbal and written warnings and two citations written to people operating bicycles who, “refused to obey traffic laws even after being given a warning to do so.”
The Police Bureau says they’ll return to the area for more enforcement missions at least until August 24th, when the Steel Bridge is scheduled to reopen.
Remember folks, TriMet won’t officially re-open the Rose Quarter Transit Center to bikes until September. Until then, it’s best to avoid that area or walk your bike as you go through.
Also keep in mind that the entire Rose Quarter area is extra confusing right now. In addition to the Steel Bridge closure, there are several East Side Big Pipe construction sites and detour and construction signs abound.
A few weeks ago I called 823-CYCL to notify the PDOT about a “No Right Turn” sign on a tripod that someone had placed directly in the bike lane on N. Interstate (at NE Holladay), that forced bikes into the adjacent travel lane. The City was attentive and the sign was taken out of the bike lane a few days later.
and N. Multnomah (seen when going
south on Interstate). TriMet has
acknowledged that it should not
include a bike symbol and plans to
change it ASAP.
Then, this morning, while riding southbound on N. Interstate, I noticed detour signs for the Steel Bridge (at N. Multnomah) pointing bikes and peds to a detour that took them onto the east-side sidewalk, and advised traveling the wrong way on the sidewalk (a very dangerous proposition). I notified TriMet and they confirmed that the signs should not have had a bike symbol on them and that they are only meant for pedestrians. They plan to have new signs up shortly.
You can read more about yesterday’s educational mission via the BTA blog.
Also see TriMet’s tips for bike riders during the Steel Bridge closure.