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‘Greenways are not cut-through streets’ says City’s new signs on SE Clinton

Posted by on December 9th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

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Direct and refreshingly candid words from PBOT about what SE Clinton Street β€” an officially designated neighborhood greenway β€” is for.

As promised, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has taken the first step in re-claiming SE Clinton Street for walking and bicycling.

In advance of the median islands to divert auto traffic and speed bumps that are coming to the street in January, this morning they installed 22 new signs. It’s a marketing campaign aimed at educating road users that Clinton is a neighborhood greenway and the city expects a specific behavior when using it.

According to PBOT spokesman John Brady, the signs have been placed on traffic poles at SE 12th, 17th, 18th, and 19th, traffic circles at 23rd, 31st, and 36th, and in the planting strip at SE Cesar Chavez Blvd. There are four designs total. Here are the other three:

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Take that Waze!

Joe Rowe, an activist with BikeLoudPDX, the group that has helped make Clinton’s traffic problems a high priority for City Hall, posted this Tweet about the signs this morning:

As for that action, a PBOT staffer met with BikeLoudPDX on December 3rd to give them an update. The two test diverters at 17th and 32nd are still on schedule for early next month. PBOT will also work with the Portland Police Bureau to do targeted enforcement on Clinton once the medians go in. In addition to writing citations for unsafe driving, the PPB will pass out educational brochures. To analyze and keep informed about the project, PBOT will set up a citizen’s advisory committee that will start meeting in February.

Once this project is complete, PBOT will start to look at other neighborhood greenways to make sure auto traffic volumes are within a tolerable range. Future greenways that could get similar diverters and an education campaign include SE Ankeny and SE Lincoln.

β€” Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you β€” Jonathan

  • Harvey December 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Well, this comment thread should prove to be exciting.

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    • davemess December 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      No joke.
      Clinton is the new Williams for bikeportland comments.

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  • Dave December 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Now, if the signs had cameras and timing devices concealed behind them they they’d mean something. Otherwise, so very wussy, so very Portland.

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    • mark December 9, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      So very passive aggressive.

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    • mark December 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Take the lane. Never move to the right.

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    • q`Tzal December 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Why conceal them?
      If you really mean to place cameras to deter law breaking be bold about. Strike fear in to hearts of men (and women).

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  • Todd Hudson December 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Signs are definitely an effective deterrent. Just like all the speed limit signs on Clinton.

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    • B. Carfree December 9, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      These signs might have potential if they were placed on some concrete medians in the center of the road that made it ridiculously difficult to pass cyclists with a motor vehicle.

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    • paikiala December 11, 2015 at 10:20 am

      They are a concession to local residents. Their support for the changes is needed as well as those that bike through the neighborhood.

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    • Randall S. December 11, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      It depends on what you mean. No, speed limit signs don’t stop everyone from speeding. They do, however, stop some people (like me, although admittedly it seems only me) from speeding.

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  • dan December 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Does anyone know PBOT’s e-mail address to request speed enforcement and/or speed limit signs? I live on Lincoln, and many speed limit signs still say “School zone, 20 mph when children are present.” People look at those and continue driving at 40 mph…given that the speed limit is now 20 mph all the time, I think the signage should reflect that.

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    • Dick Pilz December 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      I live on 53rd, just south of Lincoln, so it is one of my access streets. Some drivers behind me seem to get upset when I drive Lincoln no faster than 20.

      Regarding cut-throughs, north bound traffic has increased 75% on 53rd, as measured by PBOT, since the 52nd and Division traffic change went in, despite stop signs at Sherman and street bumps. I’d like some signage, too.

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    • paikiala December 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm


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      • Tony T
        Tony T December 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        Sure, if you don’t mind calling multiple times for YEARS and never getting a response. Speaking from personal experience, if you’re interested in getting speed enforcement to happen in your neighborhood, forget it. The system is broken.

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    • paikiala December 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm


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    • Steve B December 9, 2015 at 7:07 pm


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    • AndyC of Linnton December 9, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      And be aware everyone if you are contacting PBOT about any issues right now. I emailed PBOT again today and got this along with my response:

      “Due to the current high-volume of requests, PBOT Traffic Engineering staff have an investigation response time of 16 weeks from now for an engineering review. You should be contacted with the results of any investigation. “

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      • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        I’m still waiting for them to do something about the obscured speed limit signs on SE 26th. Called over two months ago, so I second this caveat.

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        • Spiffy December 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

          if they’re obscured by vegetation use the PDX reporter app…

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          • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm

            Er…I (on purpose) have dumbphone. What are these magical “apps” to which you refer? πŸ˜‰ But I did call them and spoke to an actual human being who assured me they were on it. Two + months ago. Cough.

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            • Brian December 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

              Need a chainsaw?

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              • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 5:49 pm

                Hah! Yes. SE 26th & Taggart!

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        • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 1:57 pm

          or call 823-1700 – Maintenance Operations – 24/7 – for maintenance issues, not to change something.

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          • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 5:50 pm

            I called whomever you suggested I call the last time I talked about this, paikiala (thanks!),so likely Maintenance, yes.

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    • naess December 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      is it signed anywhere to say 20mph? other than the school zone signs?

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      • naess December 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        i ask, because i don’t go down clinton very often, but according to google street view, as of june 2015 and july 2014, there are several signs saying 25 mph.

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      • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm

        East of Chavez.

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      • dan December 10, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        Lincoln has some signs saying 20 mph and some with the “School zone 20 mph when children are present” message.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu December 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I’m waiting for the post demanding separated cycle tracks or car bans.

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    • Granpa December 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      He got spanked on an earlier thread and is sitting on his hands

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      • Todd Hudson December 11, 2015 at 8:28 am

        I think the constant barrage of that person’s toxic comments reached critical mass and got dealt with.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 11, 2015 at 9:26 am

          Sort of. Because several readers notified me directly about Adam’s comments, and based on their tone and context over time, I’ve put him on automatic moderation. That means all of his comments are held back until I can read them. There are several other regular comments who are on this list. It’s something I do once I feel I can’t trust a commenter to moderate themselves.

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          • Mark December 11, 2015 at 9:34 am

            What’s more toxic? Direct posts or maimed/dead riders? I like Adams passion.

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            • Todd Hudson December 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm

              You might be confusing passion with narcissism. Projecting irreverance, a general lack of social filter, and repetitive demands for protected bike lanes won’t move the needle. It’s grating.

              I follow a handful of local, bicycle-oriented people on Twitter – this person was once one of them, until I got tired of their insane volume of tweets and constant screeds thrown at everyone that the only correct vision of bike infrastructure is his vision. He is one of the few people I have blocked.

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              • mark December 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm

                Clearly he is a subversive with his repeated demands for car free roads and protected bike lanes. I agree he needs to go on the no fly list. And no twitter list.

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                • Hello, Kitty December 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm

                  Everyone should be on the no Twitter list.

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          • Hello, Kitty December 11, 2015 at 11:00 am

            Jonathan — Without commenting on this decision, let me say I do appreciate your effort to keep this forum a civil place. I don’t always agree with your specific actions, but I do agree with your goal.

            So, thanks!

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          • reader December 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm

            A paid subscriber is being moderated by the administrator? (Awkward.) Has he posted any comments that you decided not to pass through?

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            • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

              yes he has. And no, it’s not awkward. Not to me at least. I don’t care what anyone spends on this site… $10 a month or $2,000 a month… No one is worth more to me than what we’ve built here.

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    • soren December 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      I’m struggling to understand why you think either are a bad idea.

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  • Patrick December 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Not just Clinton but ALL Greenways are being used as shot-cuts.

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    • Alex Reed December 9, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      That’s why it’s important that the Clinton project be a political winner, so that PBOT can move on expeditiously to the other greenways. Email Novick and Hales copiously thanking them for this project!

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  • Scott H December 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Do they have a date in January pinned down for the diverters?

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    • soren December 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Somewhere around January 16.

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      • soren December 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        Correction: Jan 9th.

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  • RMHampel December 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Great stuff!! Now, if only PBOT would look at all the other unintended consequences of the recent changes to inner Division St, not just the increased cut-through traffic on Clinton (which IS a serious problem) but the cut-through traffic of other streets like Woodward. The blazing speeds of those cutting through are a serious accident waiting to happen.

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    • paikiala December 9, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      There are no blazing speeds on the other side streets.

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      • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm

        Not normally, no–that’s true, paikiala. But occasionally, out-of-their mind drivers do indeed blaze up Woodward from 26th or down Woodward from 26th–and most people drive it too fast. I see it out my window. Drivers are going faster on all streets in the neighborhood (I aver, anecdotally). And despite the skeptical sorts who assured me there’s no one driving 50-60 on SE 26th EVER, there are indeed a handful of motorcyclists and young toughs in tweaked cars who find SE 26th their favorite covert middle-of-the-night (and sometimes other times) drag strip. Whee. Why not? I rarely see any kind of speed enforcement.

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        • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 1:54 pm

          And you’ve requested enforcement with a call back?

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          • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm

            Yes–I have requested enforcement and, er, I owe an officer a call (he left a message).

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          • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm

            Now ask me if I’ve done my chores and brushed my teeth! Do it! πŸ˜‰

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      • Hello, Kitty December 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        You are mistaken about this. Most drivers are fine, but there are a few that drive through the neighborhood at insane speeds, especially on the “long blocks” of Brooklyn and Tibbetts, but also on 20th, 21st, 25th, and 26th.

        It only takes one fast driver to kill.

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  • Mike Sanders December 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    It’s a start, folks. The “Welcome to Our Greenway” & “We Built This to Encourage Biking & Walking” signs should be posted on the Springwater Trail, I-205 Trail and the like. πŸ‘

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  • ethan December 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I think these signs would be more effective if they were more permanent and the center of the roadway.

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley December 9, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I honestly think the message about what Greenways are for is news to most drivers. These signs, though just a drop in the bucket, are a good start. I look forward to seeing them on Going and Tillamook, where I ride a lot.

    Now, how do we go about blocking Waze from knowing about Greenways?

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    • Alan 1.0 December 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      How about biking with Waze, so it gets data about the time it takes bikes to transit the route?

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  • alankessler December 9, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    No, the signs will not radically change behavior. I don’t think that’s the point.

    The fact that PBOT is willing to throw its moral weight behind the premise that Neighborhood Greenways are for people, not long-distance car trips, is huge.

    I’d love to see some even more direct language: “Cars are Guests,” but this is a positive development.

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    • 9watts December 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      “The fact that PBOT is willing to throw its moral weight behind the premise that Neighborhood Greenways are for people, not long-distance car trips, is huge.”
      My feelings exactly.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 9, 2015 at 9:30 pm

        I agree with this too. Forget the efficacy of the signs, that’s not the point. We now have, in writing, a policy statement from PBOT that THESE STREETS ARE MADE FOR WALKING AND BIKING. That is significant and you can bet I’ll be holding this up later on when we need it and using it as leverage if/when PBOT loses its way or loses courage in the future.

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        • shannon December 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

          Many victories are achieved with small steps. Perhaps we could celebrate this little piece of groundwork that PDOT just set down…

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          • Beth December 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

            Those of us who’ve been biking and walking in Portland for more than four decades have grown a bit weary of small steps and cheap, placating tricks for short-term political rewards. I remain unconvniced that this is something to celebrate.

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    • soren December 9, 2015 at 11:28 pm


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    • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      I like very much “Cars are guests.” πŸ™‚

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  • Chris Mealy December 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    If you have to put up a sign then you know your infrastructure has failed. The greenways need diverters for cars, or something (bollards?) that’s makes it unpleasant to drive more than two blocks on. People won’t slow down unless they risk tearing off a side mirror.

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    • paikiala December 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      False meme.
      Road users will always and forever make mistakes. Warning signs are one way to remind them to pay attention.

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      • 9watts December 9, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        Hans Monderman drew very nearly the opposite conclusion (as I’m sure you know).

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        • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 1:52 pm

          His experiments were in a different setting and under a different culture. Many on this blog continue to discount cultural differences between the US and Europe.

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          • Hello, Kitty December 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm

            I actually think people here exaggerate the cultural differences. Most Europeans are as in love with their motor vehicles as Americans, if not more.

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            • 9watts December 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm

              Stressing the cultural differences is another way of saying ‘let’s not bother trying; the distance we need to cover is too great.’

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            • paikiala December 11, 2015 at 10:17 am

              Ignoring the different standards in Europe for not only obtaining a license to drive, but also to acquire a vehicle and insure it, along with the penalties imposed for negligent driving, and the lower standard definition of negligence, doesn’t help either.
              It’s comparing apples to watermelons.

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              • Hello, Kitty December 11, 2015 at 10:44 am

                Actually, I mostly agree, though you’d see little evidence of any of those points in Italy, for example.

                My point was less a comment on what you wrote than it was to remind people that most European cultures are as deeply wedded to the motor vehicle as Americans, and that a lot of people here extrapolate from a couple of European cities and think that things are so much better in Europe. It’s about as accurate as visiting Portland and talking about the great bike culture America has.

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              • 9watts December 11, 2015 at 11:41 am

                “It’s comparing apples to watermelons.”

                Au contraire! You are missing my critique entirely.
                If you impose tougher requirements for what it means to call yourself an organic watermelon, or standardize the size of box in which watermelons may be shipped within the European Union, or stipulate how much excise tax may be charged on watermelons at the point of sale, they don’t turn into apples.
                Like most issues, this one is a dynamic one. We could, if we put our minds to it, emulate what they do in Europe, in terms of regulations, financial instruments, training, etc. and at the end of that we’d have transformed our attitudes toward the car, just like they have. Your metaphors fall flat because you see the bridge as unbridgeable, the problem as an inherent one, but you provide no evidence; you simply assert this.

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                • Hello, Kitty December 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm

                  I do not believe that most Europeans have a “transformed” attitude towards their cars. Cars are more regulated in some ways, and less so in others, and attitudes about driving, safety, and respect for other road users vary widely.

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                • 9watts December 11, 2015 at 1:47 pm

                  You are correct. I didn’t mean to write ‘transformed attitude toward cars’ but rather ‘transform our system toward multi-modality, greater safety for what we hear term vulnerable road users, generally the kinds of things we look to European cities for.’

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      • J_R December 10, 2015 at 9:17 am

        There’s a big difference between “mistakes” and truly aggressive behavior, seeking to make it uncomfortable for cyclists, and blatant disregard for the safety of others.

        It’s NOT A “MISTAKE” when a motorist comes up two feet behind my rear wheel and lays on the horn for 20 seconds when I’m riding at nearly the posted speed on Clinton.

        Motorists like that don’t need a “reminder” sign, they need “reminder” fines and “reminder” jail time.

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        • JB December 10, 2015 at 11:58 am

          I thought I was the only one…last Sunday at 8:30 a.m., I was travelling down Clinton from way out SE towards the local shop ride I lead. Going about 20 mph down Clinton, very easy to do, a car was behind me, and the gassed it to about 40 to get around me, giving me the finger as they went by. Classy…I’ve lived here for over 10 years, and spent 7 of those off of Clinton until I was priced out. Never seen anything like it.

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        • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm

          It is a mistake, a negligent mistake.

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          • J_R December 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm

            No. There is no such thing as negligence. Just ask the PPB and the DA.

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  • Tony T
    Tony T December 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    If these signs weren’t essentially disposable I might feel better about this. But that’s what they are. They’ll end up on the ground and then in the garbage. Let’s see enforcement, PBOT. Cheap signs are cheap.

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    • paikiala December 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      have you called 823-safe and requested enforcement? Have you lobbied your elected official in charge of the PPB to enforce speeds within 10 mph over posted, instead of only those 10+ mph over posted?

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      • Tony T
        Tony T December 10, 2015 at 5:15 pm

        Yes, and yes. I’d love to hear from anyone who ever got speed enforcement to happen in their neighborhood. My neighbors and I tried for years and got a big fat nothing for all our efforts.

        I did get a call-back from someone at PBOT who flat out told me that if the cops DID come (they didn’t) and if the drivers weren’t going “11-14mph over the limit” they wouldn’t even bother ticketing.

        When I explained that that meant there was a 50% allowance for speeding in my 20 mph neighborhood, the person started to argue with me that that wasn’t true. And then the math clicked in their head and they didn’t argue.

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        • paikiala December 11, 2015 at 10:14 am

          And the contact to your elected officials?
          Push back regarding vision zero and enforcement standards. A holistic VZ program does not ignore enforcement standards.

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        • Eric Leifsdad December 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm

          If they do come out with a radar gun, they don’t ticket or even stop drivers who are 1-11mph over the posted speed. And they won’t without a mandate from leadership (ahem mayor.) We can’t even get public employees to drive the posted speed, so how can we get them to enforce it?

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    • Eric Leifsdad December 10, 2015 at 1:04 am

      I like the part of the plan where bike cops ride on Clinton.

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  • John Lascurettes December 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    So the only people that will be able to read these small, wordy signs will be: people walking, biking, driving under 20 β€” in other words, not the people they’re targeted for.

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  • oliver December 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Does anyone remember when the diverter was installed on NE Tillamook at 16th?

    I have a feeling that there was less outcry from drivers, and I’ve got 20 that says there was even less attention paid to those complaining about no longer being able to use it as a cut through.

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    • paikiala December 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      That was installed to stop one way northbound traffic from continuing north on 16th, not to aid cyclists on Tillamook.

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    • Steve B December 9, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      The neighbors near this intersection actually installed the diverter themselves back in the day when the city refused to. The intent was to help stop cars from using 16th as a bypass for 15th. Later the city finally made it an official diverter.

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      • Oliver December 10, 2015 at 9:13 am

        I have no doubt that it wasn’t done for people on bikes, Isn’t it from the 80’s?

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        • Buzz December 10, 2015 at 10:11 am


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      • Beth December 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        Well, then all that’s left is for concerned citizens to install their own diverters wherever they seem to make the most sense, and hope that PBOT will catch up sooner or later.

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      • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
        Michael Andersen (News Editor) December 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm

        I’ve tried to verify this story and I’m pretty sure that it actually isn’t true. The true story is on my to-write list!

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  • yashardonnay December 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I was pretty happy with this until I scrolled down and saw that they were lawn signs. Are you kidding me? They won’t last a week.

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    • Lester Burnham December 10, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Isn’t this the same type of sign that ended up on a storm grate and caused the Great Pearl District Flood of 2015?

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  • reader December 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    “this morning they installed 22 new signs…”

    Installed or stuck in the ground?

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  • B. Carfree December 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Maybe ODOT should place some signs on the interstates that say “We built this to encourage driving” and other such useful messages. I mean, fair is fair. The poor cagers need to know they are loved somewhere.

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  • Steve B December 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks, PBOT! Much appreciated. My quibble with these signs, much like the educational signs along Williams, is the text is much too hard to read from the driver’s position inside of a car.

    Some sort of larger, hanging banners may be more effective.

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    • 9watts December 9, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Or… If you can’t read this you’re driving too fast

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      • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm

        heh! yes!

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  • Jeff Fuchs December 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    I think messaging and public education is an important part of every project. I drove to work in Tualatin today instead of riding my bike. On the way home I used the Waze app, as I usually do when I drive, to try and reduce my time sitting in traffic. As often happens, Waze routed me off Powell and onto Clinton. I chose to drive on Division instead.

    Most of the way up Division, Waze kept directing me to Clinton. If I were from out of town (or otherwise unfamiliar with the area), I would have followed the directions provided by Waze and used Clinton. Hopefully the new diverters will make this a less attractive route to Waze, but it would be nice if Waze would exclude greenways much like it excludes sidewalks and multi-use paths. Just an observation.

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    • rachel b December 10, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Great. That (Waze etc.) helps explain the increasingly impatient traffic on SE 26th between Powell and Division. Traffic’s been backing up further and further in front of our house, daily. We’ll have to have a party when it’s a solid metal wall between P & D.

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  • David Burns December 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I know some of the cut-through on Clinton is because waze (and perhaps other things) is directing people there. I wonder if it’d help for someone at the PBOT to ask them not to do that.

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    • rick December 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm


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    • q`Tzal December 9, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      “Asking Waze” not to do that is like asking water not to flow downhill.
      Traffic will flow through these greenway streets (with or WITHOUT Waze) due to low traffic, low enforcement and thus high travel speeds.

      Sad as it may be to divert you from your target of derision Waze is not the problem: PEOPLE are.
      PEOPLE told friends and coworkers about “secret” routes and cut throughs long before Waze and for these local streets this is still the dominant means of odd route dissemination.

      If you really want to stop this sort of traffic your only option is to physically divert traffic and to forcibly and consistently slow traffic down. This will affect word of mouth AND Waze.

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  • kittens December 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I think whatever the city does on Clinton needs to be standard practice on ALL greenways. They have to make it predicable so drivers are not confused. As both a driver and a biker making the grid less connected can have unfortunate results on the network.

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    • paikiala December 11, 2015 at 10:10 am

      That is the point of the project – testing to see what works and what the side effects are so that the implementation of the policy in the future is well defined.

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      • Hello, Kitty December 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

        I think there has been too much process on Clinton.

        I think a better approach for the future might be to install the diverters with very little process for, say 3 months, then remove them, and start the public process with some real information about how effective the diverters are, how much traffic gets moved to neighboring streets, etc. As it is, with so much invested in process, it will be very hard to change the project because the cost of doing so will be perceived as too high, and most of the opposition has been based on speculation.

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  • wsbob December 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    As an introduction to the permanent diverter that will soon be installed, the signs depicted are alright. They look kind of like, and appear to be located relative to the street, a bit like real estate signs or political signs. I think people definitely do notice those types of signs.The permanent diverter most likely will have some sort of permanent info sign mounted on it, to take over some of the message duty these signs are conveying to road users.

    I like the ‘… not cut through streets’ sign, a lot. A lot of neighborhoods could be helped by somehow having the downsides of cut-throughs be better understood by people that drive. The other sign’s message are good too. Getting information passed on without insulting and antagonizing people, as I think these signs messages generally will do, is a good approach towards build support for changes to come.

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  • David Lewis December 9, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Diverters earn cheap political points, and do nothing to prevent gridlock. Drivers choose side streets because traffic engineers failed, public transit failed, and city leaders failed. It is especially telling when it takes activists years of campaigning to get they city to budge.

    I don’t often ride my motorcycle during rush hour on Clinton, so I haven’t often witnessed the high traffic volumes I hear about, but I understand why drivers would take Clinton. I don’t think they should have to, but Division being so impassable I can understand their impatience.

    The real solution is to fix Division.

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    • 9watts December 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      “The real solution is to fix Division.”

      Seems like kind of a cheap shot to me. What does that even mean?

      The real solution is to discourage automobile usage across the board, and to be clear about why this is prudent, necessary, overdue, will benefit all.

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    • Alex Reed December 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      “Impassable” AKA sometimes takes a few minutes longer to drive

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    • mark December 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      What’s wrong with it? Should they knock down buildings and make the street 4 lanes wide?

      Like Atlanta? Yeehah!

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    • Buzz December 10, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Division supposedly was ‘fixed’ by the Division Streetscape Plan. Unfortunately, the Division Streetscape Plan did not anticipate all the new development on Division and the unintended consequences associated with that new development.

      I still think the major failure of the Division Streetscape Plan was the failure to incorporate infrastructure for bicyclists on Division Street itself; parallel ‘bike boulevards’ alone are not an acceptable solution.

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      • paikiala December 11, 2015 at 10:08 am

        The street changes were probably done, in part, to encourage property redevelopment.

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        • rachel b December 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm

          This is true.

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    • Spiffy December 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      the city isn’t causing gridlock…

      drivers that refuse to get out of their cars are causing gridlock…

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  • eddie December 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Are “Greenway” streets always safer for riding?

    Green way designation and signs don’t interest me because they don’t protect me from cars. And I’m gonna bike according to where it’s safe to bike, which I learn by cycling around the city and learning which streets are safer. The safe roads are sometimes greenways, sometimes not.

    If the road is safe I’ll see that it’s safe when I ride on it and then I’ll use it for cycling. If the road remains unsafe I’ll avoid it. No matter what they name it and no matter how many lawn signs they put up along it. And anyone who values their safety will do the same.

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  • Slug December 10, 2015 at 8:24 am

    A step in the right direction. Does PBOT have a plan to post these more visibly and permanently in the near future?

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  • mark December 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the city and citizens have spent countless hours to get people in cars to use the main routes…yet the people in cars continue to use Clinton, speed, are aggressive towards bikes…

    What is going to change the behavior? Not signs, not please…not requests…simply..

    People in cars (and I drive often) want easy. They want straight…they don’t want anything but no effort.

    Put the diverters in everywhere and watch cars go the ez route.

    Why is this so hard to comprehend and articulate? The people in the neighborhoods are unaffected. Yet they go on and on like someone stole their puppy.

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    • tyler December 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more. In my experience over almost 20 years here, the city tries as hard as possible to encourage cycling without inconveniencing car traffic. There is no half-measure too ineffective for them to try. This is case in point, along with the anemic “Neighborhood Greenway” signs that do nothing to define what that is, nor discourage motorists.

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      • J_R December 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm

        I think you’ve just nailed the City of Portland’s new motto: “There’s no half-measure too ineffective to try.”

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  • tyler December 10, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    More half steps from the City of Portland.
    Just put up diverters specifically designed to remove cut through car traffic. Simple as that.
    Stop trying to do it without inconveniencing motorists.

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    • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      You should run for council on that platform (try, anyway).

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      • Buzz December 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

        And what platform are you running for city council on?

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    • Alex Reed December 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Diverters are coming, supposedly in January. I expect that if they’re not installed by the end of January, BikeLoudPDX and Safer Clinton will plan a protest. There have been enough delays to the timeline and it is time for the diverters to be installed.

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  • Beth December 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I am SO underwhelmed by this latest effort — Burma Shave, anyone? — that I’m waiting for PBOT to do the same thing over on NE Rodney and NE Holman. Only because I don’t want to have to ride that far across town for a laugh.

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  • Nancy December 11, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I LOVE how there are no signs east of 39th on Clinton. As a resident on Clinton at 41st, I see the daily cut through traffic, and it is significant, and it is dangerous (I have witnessed too many close calls to count and 1 bike-car collision, just in the last year).

    It doesn’t surprise me though: most of the resources of the “improvement” address only the issues west of 39th (diverters specifically). I understand that area has too much traffic as well, but a greenway needs to be a continuous safe stretch of road for our bike commuters, not just a segment that happens to be adjacent to the higher property values.

    The intersection of Clinton and SE 50th is HUGE point of cut through traffic origination as people turn into the neighborhood to avoid Division AND is a very dangerous crossing for cyclists. It makes no sense that PBOT is not addressing this beyond an “improved crosswalk”. This intersection is an obvious point to add a divertor. Would it affect how I get to my own house? Yes. But it needs to be done.

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    • paikiala December 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Your definition of HUGE is different from adopted policy.
      The adopted policy does not endorse diversion where traffic volumes are already below the 1500 per day target. Average auto volumes from Chavez to 50th are 905 cars per day, with a high of 1043 and low of 741. The definition of a problem also programs where funding is spent.
      This stretch of Clinton has a speeding problem and PBOT is installing speed bumps in the spring.
      The standard for crossing improvements used by PBOT is NCHRP 562. For the crossing at 50th, adding marked crossings to the existing half curb extensions achieves the standard of 109 crossings per hour accommodated. Counts found peak crossing numbers to be in the 130 range. This points to the need for something more to improve the crossing.
      Rapid flash beacons provide service to over 300 per hour and cost $48,000.
      Completing the other half curb extensions serves up to 184 and cost $45,000.
      A standard refuge island does as well as beacons, but requires the existing curb extensions be removed, so costs about $40,000.
      It is likely this issue will be revisited in Phase 2.
      Continued involvement to achieve the best project is the best advice I can give for the crossing improvements.

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  • Mark December 11, 2015 at 9:37 am

    So…many of us own cars…I know…sinful to admit. Anyway, cars can’t pass cars easily. Perhaps it’s time to drive Woodward and Clinton during rush hour with signs on the cars stating:

    “Greenways safety escort”


    “Bike safety escort”

    “Neighborhood safety car”

    Get in your car for an afternoon… Flip on your favorite podcasts, put your car in first gear “this keeps things mellow” and go to town.

    Let someone call the police about slow cars.

    I have done this in my van. Nobody does a thing.

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    • Robert Burchett December 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Or perhaps “This is what 20 mph looks like”

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  • mark December 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    In other news…Seattle solved a lot of this with simple rounds in the intersection. You can still get through…but slowly.

    Guess what year they solved this? Ready?


    That’s right…1995.

    Man..if only PBOT had access to Youtube!



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    • soren December 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Traffic circles function as pinch points that increase conflict and discomfort. I hated them in Seattle and I hated them when I moved here.

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      • Mark December 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        Exactly. Drive slow and they are no problem. Neighborhood streets speed should be about 15mph.

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      • Hello, Kitty December 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        On the other hand, they slow auto traffic, which I see as a plus.

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  • Anna G December 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    anyone have any info on the N. Michigan greenway, not only is the road surface in sad shape but anytime I-5 is backed up (frequently), its always used as a cut thru by drivers who act as if I’m in their way and they have to buzz me to teach me a lesson. btw i don’t travel in the middle but not in the door zone either. this seems to be the most neglected greenway around…

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    • soren December 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Anna G, PBOT is starting to consider which other Greenways need traffic volume mitigation and it looks like Michigan does have counts that are above the accepted range for NGs:


      I recommend contacting Roger Geller (Roger.Geller@portlandoregon.gov) and/or Rich Newlands (rich.newlands@portlandoregon.gov) and requesting mitigation due to cut-through traffic volumes.

      I should also note that BikeLoudPDX is having a meeting in N. Portland this Sun. and NGs are definitely on the agenda:

      BikeLoudPDX General Meeting
      Dec 13 3pm to 5pm
      Tuite Bicycle Repair
      2234 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97217

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      • Anna G December 11, 2015 at 2:45 pm

        Thanks ! i was not aware of the meeting but now plan on being there.

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