Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on January 23rd, 2012 at 4:44 pm
with orange/white stripes) has
narrowed the entry to
the Broadway Bridge path.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
As the story unfolds about how and why Portland Streetcar Inc. installed a utility pole on the Broadway Bridge bike/walk path, it is becoming more clear that they made a bad move.
We’ll have more to share on this story in the coming days; but for now, check out what The Oregonian’s “Hard Drive” columnist Joseph Rose thinks about it (taken from a news roundup he published today):
“From the file “Things Messing Up Portland Bicyclists’ Feng Shui,” bike commuters are irritated by a new utility pole at the east end of the Broadway Bridge. From Bike Portland: “The pole narrows the opening of one of the busiest bikeways in the city.” Judging from the comments under the blog post, the new fixture certainly bugs a lot of riders. Me? Not so much. It’s part of my daily bike commute and I’ve pedaled past it several times without worry, concern or feeling crowded. It’s well-marked and still leaves plenty of room — in my experience — to pass. There are plenty of street designs and obstacles that present a clear and present danger to the growing number of bicyclists. But I don’t know if this one is worth the energy and attention. Sometimes, you just have to deal with the changing urban landscape in the nation’s 29th largest city. No one said it wasn’t going to be messy.”
There have been a wide range of opinions about the pole. So far, the majority of commenters are not happy with how it encroaches on the entrance to an already narrow path that serves hundreds (if not thousands) of people a day.
Portland Streetcar Inc. Board Member Chris Smith told me today he feels the pole is “an abomination.” Smith wrote a pointed letter (which was also signed by the BTA’s Rob Sadowsky) to PBOT Director Tom Miller and Portland Streetcar Inc Executive Director Rick Gustafson over a month ago. That letter demanded mitigation and referred to the pole as “a crash hazard” because it “narrows the existing bikeway, and makes it difficult for cyclists to share the space with other users of the shared use path.”
Stay tuned for more coverage.