Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 1st, 2010 at 2:00 pm
A local TV news outlet is questioning the safety benefit of a crossing treatment recently completed as part of the N. Going bike boulevard project.
I got an email from Scott Burton at KGW TV (Portland's NBC affiliate) on Friday that they were doing a story about the crossing on their 11 o'clock news. Burton said they've received several complaints that since the change, the crossing has become more dangerous. He also said they witnessed a few close calls (bike/car) and that a person walking across was "severely injured" after being hit by a car last week.
"It's supposed to make cyclists and pedestrians safer, but a new bike boulevard in Northeast Portland could be putting both in danger."
— KGW TV
I was surprised to hear all of this because I've heard just the opposite. In fact, I was in a meeting the same day I heard from Burton where a friend was telling me how successful he thought the new treatment was because cars were stopping well in advance of the new crossing (thanks to new signs/markings installed by PBOT).
(For more on the new crossing, read our report about it back in March. It's also worth noting that PBOT initially wanted to install a new type of pavement marking, dubbed "crossbikes", but those didn't make it into the final plans.)
But from the tone of the KGW story (it was titled "Concerns surround bike boulevard") and from the interviews and reporting they did in their story Friday night, perhaps I just haven't heard what's really going on out there. Watch the short segment below that ran on the Friday evening newscast (or read it here):
Since many of you reading this are legally considered to be "vulnerable" road users, I'm curious what you think about this intersection. Is this a safety concern for you? Do you think it gives a false sense of security to people on bikes? Should we be pressing PBOT to install a signal? Please share your perspective in the comments below...