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PBOT installs bollards to protect Lovejoy ramp bike lane – Updated

Posted by on December 23rd, 2011 at 9:41 am

New plastic bollards help separate auto and bike traffic — and eliminate the dreaded “track straddle” on the Lovejoy ramp heading into the Pearl District.
- More photos below -

Remember the track-straddle phenomenon we brought to your attention almost a year ago (and again this past summer)? Well, thanks to new plastic bollards installed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, it’s not going to happen anymore.

We won’t be seeing this anymore!

Track-straddling is the term we gave to a puzzling behavior by people driving down (west) NW Lovejoy as it comes off the Broadway Bridge. Newly installed streetcar tracks, placed just a foot or so from an existing bike lane, were causing people to drive inside the bikeway. This behavior was unnerving to say the least and it also caused premature deterioration of the thermoplastic bike lane striping.

Now, I’m happy to report that PBOT has installed a series of plastic bollards along the entire stretch of bike lane on the ramp. The bollards (referred to as “candlesticks” by engineers) create a barrier between auto and bike traffic and they prevent people from driving cars inside the bike lane. Check out more photos below (sorry, all I had was my camera phone)…

At just about two feet high, the bollards are much shorter than ones recently installed on the N Going bike boulevard, and they’re also white instead of orange. They’re placed just over one car length apart. I wasn’t able to get any info from PBOT as they are all out on vacation, but I assume the shorter bollards and their relatively wide spacing is to allow people on bikes to take the lane in order to pass other riders and/or to prepare for a left turn at NW 9th (not everyone likes to do the “Copenhagen left” that PBOT encourages).

The important thing is, they are a sufficient deterrent to driving in the bike lane.

These bollards are just the latest sign that PBOT is doing more to separate modes. It’s an exciting development, and I wonder if it means we’ll see more of this type of bollard use. While full-blown cycle tracks aren’t likely to be popping up everywhere any time soon, there are many places — like on Highway 30 out to Sauvie Island for instance — where the use of bollards could cheaply and simply provide a much safer bicycling environment.

Have you ridden the Lovejoy ramp since these were installed? Please share your feedback.

UPDATE: Seems as though some of the bollards have already been knocked over. Here’s an update from a commenter below:

“I rode past this AM and counted about 8 of them scattered around after being run over.”

UPDATE: Just heard back from PBOT spokesman Dan Anderson:

“PBOT installed “short wands” on the Lovejoy ramp to test whether they discourage people who drive from entering the bike lane. Engineers and the public have seen people who drive move closer to the bike lane and into the lane to avoid driving on the streetcar tracks.

Also, we are aware that many of the short wands have been knocked down. I’ll let you know when conclusions are reached about this experiment and what longer-term actions are planned.”

UPDATE: Well, looks like the experiment needs some tweaking. Here’s how it looks this morning, via a photo by reader David Haines:

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Comments
  • ambrown December 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

    ALRIGHT PBOT!

    Recommended Thumb up 14

  • A.K. December 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

    This is actually a pretty good idea! And I agree, there are certainly other places that could use them as a “reminder” of where cars should stay.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 10:54 am

      Walker Road from 185th to Cedar Hills, and Murray from Cornell to Allen immediately come to mind.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Al December 23, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Interesting. I wonder how these will hold up. I am going to guess better than the ones they install in Seattle. In the past year, all the plastic bollards on my route have been destroyed by drivers running over them. In one location they replaced them twice – and now they are gone again. SDOT has no plans to replace them at this time. This does not give me confidence in 1) driver’s ability to negotiate the street at all and 2) SDOT’s ability to install good bike infrastructure and to maintain it. I continue to look at Portland with bike envy.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Oliver December 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Wow. DOT installs traffic management device (presumably for a reason) which is destroyed by drivers so they decide not to replace them due to non-compliance.

      Filling a few of those candlesticks with concrete might be an appropriate solution.

      Recommended Thumb up 26

    • John Lascurettes December 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

      As of the second evening after their installation, I counted five of them knocked off of their epoxy glue bases already. Three at the very top and two in the middle somewhere.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • John Lascurettes December 23, 2011 at 10:49 am

        Oh, and three of those had been moved to the sidewalk, but the other two were smack dab in the middle of the bike lanes, lying perpendicular to the direction of travel.

        I love, love, love the effort by PBOT on these, but I’m wary with my optimism based on the abuse of them already.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

      • sorebore December 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

        Holiday shoppers driving with a belly full of too much cheer?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Jacob Mason December 24, 2011 at 10:07 pm

        Wow. Epoxy glue is all that holds these things in place? In NYC we expect these things to be hit, so they’re bolted into the ground, and they spring back into place when hit. The ones that have been installed last quite a long time, despite the crazy drivers here.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

    • JT December 25, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Two or three are already knocked down on the ramp as of this morning…lol

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  • k December 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Interesting that in the photo the drivers are doing the same thing on the other side of the lane. I admit the few times I have driven over the tracks I do it to–the tracks make your car move around weirdly which is also unnerving. Of course, I don’t drive very often, so that might have something to do with it.

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    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Put ‘em on the centerline and median outlines too. In-lane tracks are kind of a routine hazard that needs to be negotiated safely, not encroaching on other lanes.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • brian December 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I rode past this AM and counted about 8 of them scattered around after being run over.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Spiffy December 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

      if I drove a truck and hated bicycles I’d probably just drive right over the top of them…

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • K'Tesh December 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

      I wonder how many are having that so called “Uh Oh! Better call ….” feeling this morning

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Deeeebo December 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Yeah, just remember that these are fully for psychological effect. If a car swerves to the right they aren’t stopping anything.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alexis December 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

    WOOHOO. Thank you PBOT for this excellent Christmas present!

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Spiffy December 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    these are awesome… I’ve always thought they should be installed on ALL bike lanes…

    Recommended Thumb up 9

  • are December 23, 2011 at 10:14 am

    i had been in the habit of merging left to make a left onto ninth. now i am essentially forced to make the copenhagen left at the bottom of the hill.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • John Lascurettes December 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

      How much room do you need to change lanes? There’s more than enough room between these to safely navigate a lane change in preparation for a left turn.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • are December 23, 2011 at 10:54 am

        you do have to choose your moment, and these subtract from available moments. also, my preference is to ride farther to the left than these bollards really allow. it was never a good idea to have a striped bike lane on the descent here, and with the installation of the tracks it should have been taken out and replace with sharrows. instead, we get a further physical confinement.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

        • John Lascurettes December 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

          I’ll agree with you on those points for sure. When I used to take 11th via 9th into SW, I would just take the lane the whole way down so I could make my left at 9th. I’d probably still do it the same way. But I started taking Broadway the whole way a couple of years ago.

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    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Wait, what? Am I the only person who can negotiate a 20-foot-wide gap? If there was enough room in the bike lane, I could slalom that in a delivery truck.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • spare_wheel December 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        20 foot gaps are manageable but when you are merging left in the midst of traffic they are annoying and possibly dangerous. these bollards should go.

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        • Andrew Seger December 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm

          You could just take the lane all the way over the broadway bridge if you don’t like the bike paths. You wouldn’t have to mix with peds & slower cyclists.

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          • Jeff P December 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm

            Not really – the oregon law about bike lanes being present must used; explaining the intent to turn left as a safety concern does not wash in court. But yeah – that’s what I would do as well.

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            • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm

              You can’t make a left from a right-side bike lane without a turn box, otherwise you’re expected to merge left. This is even in the Oregon bike book.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

  • anthony sands December 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I like the idea but sounds like the average citizen can’t negotiate that crazy off camber hairpin turn without running the damn things over. and can’t the ”engineers” make them runoverable.

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  • K'Tesh December 23, 2011 at 10:17 am

    This is great news… Nice one PBOT!

    Now if only ODOT will do something like this for the SW Hall/SW Burnham Rd (Tigard) problem.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/2698234492/in/set-72157606113470671/

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • NW Biker December 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Out my way, part of Saltzman Road was recently widened and a bike lane added (which peters out on a road with no shoulder, but that’s another story). Anyway, I see drivers meandering into the bike lane all the time. Without some kind of separation, even simple things like the bollards, I wouldn’t ride on Saltzman on a bet.

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    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Wow, a little sharper and you’d have a MyBikeLane.com candidate.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Allan Folz December 23, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Ha! Jonathan, I was going to send you a tweet on these this morning when I got into work… can’t scoop Bike Portland.

    Yeah, that 4 of ‘em (at least when I rode by at 8:40AM) had been taken out after the first day isn’t too comforting. Maybe ODOT needs to try something a little more substantial to keep aimless motor vehicle operators on their side of the white line… I vote for concertina wire. One thing car drivers do care about is their precious paint.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Herberto December 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Those tracks are awful to drive over… especially when they are wet and frosty.

    I can’t believe they approved such a design.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Why? It’s not like you can’t avoid the tracks while remaining in lane. It’s not rocket science. It’s barely automotive science.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Allan December 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

    These look like a good idea until you see what happens in practice. People aren’t that good of drivers, but they tend to give you space if you’re there. When there are no bikes around, cars tend to use the bike lane as ‘extra space’ for them to drift into when chatting on their cell phone, etc

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Then practice needs to change. We need to lean on ODOT to stop licensing drivers that suck, and start pulling existing licenses.

      Recommended Thumb up 11

      • John Lascurettes December 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

        Problem is that you pull licenses from drivers and many of them keep on driving.

        Here’s an article about the alarming rate of unlicensed drivers in America: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=118913#.TvTQm5jdLl1

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

          So put those people in jail where they belong.

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          • Allan December 23, 2011 at 11:22 am

            yes, helping the prison-industrial complex is going to solve this. why don’t we give them reasonable options to not drive instead

            Recommended Thumb up 7

            • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

              They already have that. Feet, bicycle, transit, carpooling, taxis. If they don’t want to do the time, they shouldn’t do the crime.

              Recommended Thumb up 9

            • Chris I December 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

              The conservatives and car lobbyists will fight fiercely to prevent public spending on alternative transportation and limit government abilities to remove driving rights. They want everyone driving, regardless of the negative consequences.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Machu Picchu December 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

        Agreed. Completely.

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        • Machu Picchu December 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm

          Clarification. I agree with Paul that licensing needs to be held to a much higher standard, and revocation used more frequently. I’m not in favor of mass incarceration, but if you can’t follow the rules of the road, OR a court order, then you have upped the ante for yourself.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Travis December 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Two were knocked over yesterday morning. A different three were knocked over this morning. So far they seem like more of a hazard than the drivers were, especially as there was no sign warning that there’d be extra debris in the bike lane…

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Added to openstreetmap, should render shortly.

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  • Ian Stude December 23, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Many thanks to PBOT for taking a stab at this type of separation/protection. I wonder if the cold weather is making it difficult for the epoxy under the bollards to set up…

    I would love to see these installed on the Broadway Cycle Track, between the parking lane and cycle track. We still have problems with people parking next to the curb, plus the bollards make a great visual reinforcement that people exiting their vehicle to the right should be looking for bike traffic.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • spare_wheel December 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      if motorists are running over these things i have to wonder how they provide any protection at all.

      and i think a better solution for the broadway cycle track is to move it back into traffic so that its not constantly blocked by construction, pulled in cars, pedestrians, and shuttle buses.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Just want you to know that I’ve added a statement from PBOT to this story. See update at end of the post.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • jon December 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

    yet again scofflaw motorists destroying public property

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • was carless December 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Should be a felony.

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  • Allan December 23, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I think the real solution is this:

    Restripe the road. Put a buffered bike lane marking between the track and the bike lane.
    Stripe the Double-yellow in between the tracks.

    1 lane in each direction.everyone will straddle left. PBOT, are you listening? we don’t really need 2 lanes of cars leaving the pearl, do we?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • andy December 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Replace the short wands with solid steel poles wrapped in reflective tape.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Machu Picchu December 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      I get that, but the reality is everything needs to be “crashworthy” (safe) by law, plus a car-proof obstacle prevents maintenance (sweeping) as well.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Hart Noecker December 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    And who picks up the shattered plastic after they’re hit by motorists?

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  • Burk December 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I wonder what would happen if the bollards LOOKED like they were made out of cement or solid steel?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • BURR December 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    another band-aid fix to a super-poor initial design

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • spare_wheel December 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      word.

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  • Psyfalcon December 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Well, now its perfectly clear that people can’t drive on that corner. The excuse that no one was there is gone, they hit a fixed traffic device.
    Close the roadway to private cars.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Jim Lee December 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    The basic problem is gross incompetence by Portland Streetcar, Inc., in specifying standard gauge (56.5 inches between inside of rails) trackage for its system. That is close enough to the track of cars to induce their drivers to offset lines of travel to one side or the other, so both left and right wheels engage normal pavement instead of slippery rails. Very reasonable behavior, in this situation, by motorists.

    The correct choice would have been Cape Gauge (42 inches), which would permit proper line of travel by nearly all motor vehicles.

    The major mystery to all streetcar related problems is why Michael Powell, who chartered Portland Streetcar, Inc., in 1995, has both TriMet and PBOT in his pocket. For the record, Portland Streetcar, Inc., is a private non-profit corporation, with 22 board members, two part-time employees, no shareholders, run out of a back room in the offices of a firm of architects and planners. It does absolutely nothing that TriMet and PBOT could not much better by themselves, with full public openness.

    I have an idea why it is so structured and so operated, but will leave Michael Powell, Rick Gustafson, Charlie Hales, Chris Smith to enlighten us on the matter.

    I expect that soon an inquisitive journalist will file a public records request, citing the six criteria that the Oregon Supreme Court has determined to apply to private entities conducting exclusively public business with respect to public records. Perhaps we then shall know why Portland Streetcar, Inc., is what it is and does what it does.

    Meanwhile, read Sherlock Holmes.

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    • q`Tzal December 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      While I can’t make a substantive addition to what sounds like a conspiracy rant (and I honestly love a good conspiracy) the use of Standard Gauge is not really incompetence, gross or otherwise.
      This has to do with the Pacific Railway Acts of 1863 which federally mandated the 5′ 8½″ rail gauge …
      AND
      this interesting tidbit about modern cars:

      > Mid-size car>> Japan”>
      Wikipedia>> Mid-size car>> Japan
      An interesting quirk of Japanese automotive tax codes is that width is one of factors determining which category a car is taxed under. The standards state any vehicle that is more than 4.7 m (15.4 ft) long, 1.7 m (5.6 ft) wide

      1.7 meter automotive track width is 5′ 6.93″ which is well within the standard rail gauge of 5′ 8½″.

      From the main rail gauge article we see that the major rail gauge in use in Japan is 4′ 6″; the automotive width would work fine over there.

      So the conspiracy must be that popular Japanese automotive widths in America are copied by other manufacturers because they secretly don’t want to sell cars.

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    • Paul Johnson December 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Because, as we all know, it’s cheaper to install a third rail to dual-gauge the MAX lines the streetcars have to occasionally use for maintenance and initial delivery, than it is to use the same gauge the entire continent uses.

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    • maccoinnich December 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      Building anything other than standard gauge would be insane. Standard gauge is the global standard, and even countries that haven’t traditionally used it are moving towards it (Spain, South Africa). The choice to use a non-standard gauge is actually quite a large problem for BART, who use Indian gauge, and therefore require custom rolling stock, maintenance equipment, etc.

      Also, the MAX already used standard gauge. Were Portland Streetcar to have chosen something else, there could be no interoperability at all. The new bridge over the Willamette will see both the streetcar and the MAX using the same tracks, which would have been difficult, if not impossible, were the streetcar using Cape, Irish, Indian, Scotch, Iberian, Bosnian or any other esoteric gauge.

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    • Chris I December 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

      Is this a joke? I seriously hope so…

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    • was carless December 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      I would also be much more expensive, if we could even find a manufacture for non-standard gauge streetcars. If there are, they probably cost twice as much!

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  • Lenny Anderson December 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Just move the Jersey barriers over between motorized and non-motorized traffic. Bikers who want to take the lane could still do that at the top of the ramp.

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    • spare_wheel December 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      except that the turn lane starts close to the bottom of the ramp.

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      • Andrew Seger December 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        If they moved the stop line for the turn lane back a few more feet there’s room for a green bike box for those that want to take the lane if they did move the jersey barriers further out to protect bikes. Or make right on red legal from the current turn spot legal. Just have bikes yield to the streetcar. Kinda digging moving the jersey barrier.

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  • Jacob December 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Down here in SC county we have these installed on some corners of a particular road where auto drivers were cutting the corners and driving in the bike lane. They do work to keep drivers out of the bike lane for the most part (you still see them knocked down from time to time). However because of the way they were installed, it can be difficult to navigate the corner on a bike as the bollards are so close to the bike lane and the asphalt/concrete border of the curb is not even, or creates a gap that can cause accidents (wheel suck), these bollards are a pain in the arse. Especially when navigating in the dark on my way to work.

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  • Julia December 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Despite the fact that this implementation seems to have failed, I’m heartened that they are actually testing potential solutions and seem to have a reasoned plan to incorporate the learnings.

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  • q`Tzal December 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    maccoinnich
    Building anything other than standard gauge would be insane. Standard gauge is the global standard,

    Close but not quite.
    From the Track gauge page is a chart which I will butcher here in an attempt to display it:
    Gauge———-Name—————–Installation miles
    4′ 8 1⁄2″——-Standard gauge——450000
    4′ 11 5⁄6″——Russian gauge——-140000
    3′ 6″————Cape gauge———-70000
    3′ 3 3⁄8″——-Metre gauge———59000
    5′ 6″————Indian gauge———48800
    5′ 5 2⁄3″——-Iberian gauge——–9565
    5′ 3″————Irish gauge———–6100
    5′ —————Russian gauge——3644

    This puts Standard Gauge at 57% or as wikipedia says appx 60% WORLDWIDE.

    US Standard gauge saturation is nearly total with the few exceptions being a small handful of public transit systems and custom narrow gauge systems for recreational rail lines.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_gauge_in_the_United_States

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    • maccoinnich December 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Or, put another way, standard gauge is three times as common as the next most common system.

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  • CharlieB December 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Make the bollards look like babies.

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    • Machu Picchu December 24, 2011 at 3:13 am

      Perfect!

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  • was carless December 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Was a nice X-mas present, but I vote for Jersey barriers. Or those T-walls they use in Iraq – they’re like 14 feet tall and weigh about 20 tons.

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  • Opus the Poet December 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I nominate making the bollards from grey vinyl with a thin easily eroded coating so they look like metal when hit, plus the coating would transfer easily making finding the culprits easy for filing destruction of public property charges. $1000 fine plus make then pay for both the destroyed bollards and the replacements. Eventually bike lane bollards could be a money maker for PBOT.

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    • q`Tzal December 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      Glue on paint balls.

      They’re cheap and small; when the bollard is hit only a few are used.
      Rather than replacing the entire device you could just replace the few missing or used paint balls.
      They are biodegradable and made of food grade ingredients; their use would fly through environmental impact assessment .

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      • Opus the Poet December 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

        Still have the problem that the bollard is designed to be destroyed before it causes any real damage to the cars that hit it. I like the idea that the bollard makes a big mess when hit, though. A paint grenade full of red paint would be better.

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        • q`Tzal December 26, 2011 at 11:15 pm

          If your gonna be like that why not just fill them with nitroglycerin?
          Or a short range EMP device?
          Or forgo the bollards and just install a permanent tire spike strip?

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  • charley December 24, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    This kind of proves the point that drivers can’t drive this without impeding on the bike lane, which proves the point that some kind of protection or barrier is needed. I’m a big fan of these devices, they just need to be a little more solidly placed, and maybe a little more obviously colored (maybe bigger?).

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  • Opus the Poet December 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I want to know why bollards on car paths are made from soft plastic designed to fall over before causing harm, but bollards on bike paths are heavy steel reinforced with concrete that break bones?

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  • Brad December 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Next time, fill them with concrete……….

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    • Hugh Johnson December 26, 2011 at 7:27 am

      And the first time a cyclist hits one and gets hurt the cycling community will scream bloody murder. PBOT’s heart was in the right place with these but the execution is pretty poor.

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  • Stripes December 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Love it!! Simple and cost-effective solution. I’d like to see this implemented at other bike lanes in areas of conflict with autos.

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  • Zaphod December 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I like this addition. Although… How many people drive and make contact with the metal or tall curb found on the Hawthorne? Guessing near-zero.

    The width and linear dimension of the road certainly helps but also, people will pay far more attention to steel.

    Putting up a version of these that can withstand daily abuse that we’re witnessing would be a really great thing. Better, but expensive would be to simply continue the raised cement section with a real and solid barrier. The fact that they’re getting knocked down is effectively pointing at the riskiest section, where drivers are inclined to cut the apex of the curve. There is no place for a cyclist to go if this happens and savvy cyclists try to avoid this scenario.

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  • GlowBoy December 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    The track gauge is a genuine problem. With my smallish car I find myself right on top of both tracks anywhere I’m driving on a streetcar route. My tires are mostly contracting metal and air and very little actual pavement. No big deal most of the time, but this can be a real problem on a downhill curve like the Lovejoy ramp.

    I like Allan’s solution suggested above: remove one of the uphill lanes, shift the car lane over a couple feet and you’ll alleviate the reason drivers leave their lane. Then replace these wimpy candlesticks (notice PBOT doesn’t call these bollards) with REAL bollards and you’ll give drivers a real reason NOT to leave their lane.

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  • beth h December 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve ridden it twice. I was nearly hit while negotiating the corner, by a car which was also negotiating the corner (i.e., cutting it too close). The second time I watched a truck graze one of the candlesticks.
    I concur with those who think these ought to be bigger, taller, brighter in color and made of something that will cause pain (or at least real damage) to a vehicle when struck.

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  • kiteguy December 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    These Candlesticks, bollards, or whatever you want to call them, were designed to give drivers notice and keep them from encroaching on bike riders. It is clearly not working. My two solutions are 1. Cameras to capture bad drivers and fine them $500. and 2. Jersey walls (maybe with little spikes at wheel level, like Gladiator chariots.)
    It is a sad commentary on drivers inability to negotiate their way through traffic. You and I have to negotiate our way through damn narrow places, miss drains and pot holes, dodge opening car doors, and miss pedestrians who step out from between cars.
    To hell with just protecting us, TEACH THOSE BASTARDS TO LEARN TO DRIVE OR GET A FINE. Let them hit a Jersey Wall and damage their car instead of me or one of my friends! And get it on camera. Hell this could be a money maker and pay for more bike programs.

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    • spare_wheel December 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

      i’m not one to defend c*gers but the repeated calls to install bollards or barriers that could harm motorists is over the top. instead of daydreaming about potentially serious accidents perhaps you walter mittys could try chasing down and educating misbehaving motorists (like i often do).

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  • Jimmer December 27, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Great idea! Saw ‘em with a few missing already. We should propose this same type of sepeartion to PBOT regarding Mississippi Ave along the up hill portion!

    thanks,

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  • jason December 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

    This is AWESOME!

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  • Greg December 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

    The bollards will create an interesting unintended consequence if the city ever has to plow snow/slush out of the road or off the tracks. The berm will be pushed right into the bike lane, whereas without the bollards they would have plowed some of the bike lane. Fortunately it doesn’t snow much, so this won’t happen often.

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    • Paul Johnson December 27, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Portland has snow removal? Since when? Yes, I’m aware that Portland has over 200 snow plows, but the city doesn’t particularly use them effectively. And given the amount of snow that Portland typically gets, it’s a nonissue since we’re talking about two or three days when all lane markings get universally ignored by all anyway.

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  • Scott December 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Those will continue to get taken out at the top. Have you seen the way the USPS trucks take that turn? I am 100% positive they are under brutal deadlines. This is a chicken and egg thing to me.

    If these bollards were anywhere else in the city I might think an argument could be made for them to be replaced and for the corner to be policed so as they wouldn’t get knocked down. As it stands though, the USPS is closing over half of it’s facilities and and firing some 20,000 employees.

    This is a case where I blame society.

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    • Paul Johnson December 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      That might hold water if the Portland PDC was under the axe, which it’s not.

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      • Scott December 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm

        When was PDC entrusted with making sure a postal employee met their brutal deadlines in an effort to keep their job?

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