Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on November 1st, 2011 at 2:15 pm
the old bike lane and extended it.
(Photo © J. Maus)
It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when I’m riding in a bike lane and then it suddenly vanishes just prior to an intersection. It’s like the City has a half-commitment to people on bikes — let’s give them dedicated space where it’s easy to do, but when things get tight and tricky let’s just forget about them.
Well, I’m happy to report that in the past several weeks I’ve noticed two separate intersections where PBOT has extended the bike lane striping all the way to the intersection.
The first is on N Rosa Parks Way as you approach Vancouver. Below is a before and after…
In this case, the bike lane was most likely dropped due to the curb extension. However, with nice and new lanes for bikes on the other side of the intersection, PBOT must have figured it was silly to have such a blatant gap.
The other location I heard about thanks to reader Ray T.
Ray noticed new striping on NE 57th headed southbound just prior to Fremont. Similar to the example above, the bike lane used to unceremoniously disappear before the intersection. In this case, the reason was likely that PBOT wanted to avoid conflicts due to the presence of a right-turn only lane. Here’s how it looked before…
And here’s how it looks now…
As you can see, PBOT not only extended the bike lane, they also re-configured the lanes completely and removed a standard right turn lane. Here’s more from PBOT spokesman Dan Anderson:
“Our traffic engineers examined whether the turn lane was needed, and found that it was not. We restriped the lanes to remove the right-turn lane, continue the bike lane all the way to the intersection, and touch up the affected crosswalk stripes.”
Unfortunately in this case, the new striping confused Ray. “What’s up with the new striping?” he emailed, “I’m confused where I should ride my bike now.”
I shared Ray’s comments with Anderson. He replied that, “People on bikes should not ride in the crosswalk when traveling through the intersection, but stay their course and ride the east of the crossing closest to the bike lane.”
It’s good to see PBOT making these subtle changes. They may seem small, but I think they have a big impact on overall bike network quality.
Have you noticed other intersections where once-dropped bike lanes have gotten picked up?