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Want more green? Help the transportation bureau make signals better for cycling

Posted by on February 16th, 2016 at 12:27 pm

sensor-lead

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland wants you to get more green lights when cycling around the city and now’s your chance to help them do it.

We’ve teamed up with the Portland Bureau of Transportation* (PBOT) to learn more about what you currently do to get green lights and how the city can make it even easier for you in the future. In this post we’ll share some background and then we want to hear from you: Keep in mind, your comments will be closely monitored by us and engineers at the bureau’s Traffic Signal Division. Our goal is to get input from as many people as possible.

sensor-9c7

PBOT is ready to upgrade this common
– yet somewhat vague – marking.

We’re going to ask you about two things: pavement markings and a tiny blue light. We’ll start with pavement markings…

Some of you know that there are sensors below the pavement at traffic signals in the city. Traffic signals are either constantly changing on a fixed timer or they change based on whether something or someone is detected. These “inductive loop detectors” work well (read our Bike Science article to learn how they work), but the challenge is you’ve got to know where to wait with your bike in order to trigger the sensors. Wait a little bit off the loop and the signal won’t know you’re there.

To make things easier, PBOT has put markings (like the ones above) on the pavement. If you roll your wheel over them (using the vertical bar as a guide), the signal will know you’re on a bike and you’ll get a green light.

Why is this so important? Getting a green promptly makes biking more efficient and convenient. And research shows that when signals don’t detect people on bikes they’re much more likely to roll through on a red. That’s not an ideal situation for anyone (especially our friends at the Portland Police Bureau). So, the more people that trigger these sensors, the better.

PBOT’s goal is to make these pavement markings as intuitive as possible. That’s where you come in: the City of Portland is considering a change to the standard marking they use; but they need your input before making that investment.


bike signal sensor-1

Not as intuitive as it could be.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

While the standard marking is a nice gesture, it’s fairly ambiguous. Is it showing a safe place to ride? Is it a bikeway route marking? It depends a lot on location, but research shows that only 25 percent of riders actually use the standard marking; and less than half know what it means. This has led PBOT’s signal engineers to reconsider the standard design.

PBOT has done some initial research into which marking increases the amount of people who wait in the right place. A recent field survey presented riders with the five markings below. Each person was asked what they thought the marking was for and which one conveyed that purpose most clearly:

sensor-allsymbols

The winner? A modified version of the marking in the middle of the bottom row. The City of Portland has taken the main elements of that marking and adapted it as we’ve shown in the images below. Before they install hundreds of more of these throughout the city, PBOT wants to know what you think about it…

Signal sensor SE Division and 21st-4.jpg

(Figure 1: Modified signal sensor pavement marking currently in limited use in Portland.)
sensor-modincontext

Shown in context at intersection of Southeast 21st and Division.
(Image: PBOT)

Another way PBOT helps you get the green is with cool little blue lights mounted near signal heads (see image below). We reported about these in 2010 when the first one was installed. The idea is that, instead of making you push a “beg button” over on the sidewalk, a blue “detector confirmation light” comes on automatically as you roll up to the intersection. The city has installed a few of these already; but before they install more they’d like to know if 1) you’ve noticed them and 2) if you have any idea what the blue light means.

sensor-bluelight

See blue. Then get green.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

OK. We’re almost done. Here’s a recap of the questions we need need you to answer (tip: copy/paste these into the comment box):

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

Thank you for answering these questions.

As always, feel free to share other thoughts on this topic. Our goal is to help the City make an informed choice about how to make signals work better for cycling. The more people who respond the better, so please share this with your friends (we’ll track responses via our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts too).

Stay tuned as we report on any developments.

*This is an official partnership between BikePortland and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The city has entered into a paid contract with us in order to solicit feedback directly from our audience (a.k.a. people who ride bikes).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland can’t survive without paid subscribers. Please sign up today.

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

170 Comments
  • Swan Island Runner February 16, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Put your wheels here to trigger the signal
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) I know the alternative is to put your wheel on a sensor circle, I guess I don’t really care as long as it works
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Have not ridden this area, so no.

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    • meh February 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      But sensor circle only exist if the sensor was added after the asphalt was laid. Try finding the sensor circle when a road has been repaved or a new road has been put in. A number on my route have disappeared with repaving

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  • RushHourAlleycat February 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    1) Downtown for 5 years.

    2)Nope!

    3)It might seem to indicate, to someone who doesnt know about bike boxes, that this is the only place bikes are supposed to wait.

    4)No, I tend to go when the traffic clears up, not when the light changes.

    5)Have not seen, and definitely would not have known what it is.

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    • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC February 16, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Actually, you may have unintentionally brought up a good point on #3: If the loop to change the light is off to the right side, as in the photo, then the rest of the green box is essentially wasted space; no matter where you are, you won’t trigger the light, unless you shift over to the right, losing your place to turn left. If PBOT intends for for any bicyclist to change the light anywhere within the green box, then they need to put in additional loop detectors all over the place, or else one large continuous loop (or double loop) throughout the area of the green box, not just in one narrow location. To put it another way, the symbol we are discussing should only be used where large bike boxes do not currently exist. Locations with green boxes need to be rebuilt with loop detectors throughout the box, or else motion detectors like at Lincoln & 39th/Chevas.

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  • Adam H. February 16, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Personally, I don’t like the “place your bike here” triggers. If I don’t stop exactly on them, I have to lift my heavy bike up onto the box. What would be better is to use loops that cover the entire width of the bike lane, so that people cycling naturally ride over them and activate the signal. See Tilikum and Water Av for an example of this. We wouldn’t ask people driving to stop exactly on an induction loop, would we? The car lane typically has many more and larger loops to enture the car is detected.

    Regarding the blue lights, I like them but have noticed that some of them are on all the time, then get brighter when activated. This makes it challenging to tell if the signal has been triggered since I find it hard to discern dim from bright unless I am watching it change (which is rare, since I’m looking at the ground for the indiction loop I don’t like). My advice: make the blue light default to off until they are activated.

    I also don’t like how wordy the proposed pavement marking is nor do I like that they are in English. I believe we need to be moving away from word-based signs since they assume that everyone can read English.

    Now for my answers to the aforementioned survey questions:

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    I currently live in Portland.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    Which one is “figure one”? The bike stencil with the vertical lines above and below? If I was not familiar with the marking, I’d likely assume that it was just another marking identifying the area as a bike lane.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Probably, although I find it difficult to stop my bike exactly on the spot. Especially the ones on the Orange Line MUP that require tight turns. It also requires taking your attention away from traffic to stare directly down at the ground.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes and yes.

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  • Tad February 16, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    (1) Yes
    (2) I knew that some intersections had loops, but many times I’m pretty sure they don’t pick me up. I.e. waited forever at the new bike signal at the end of the Orange Line at SE Park station, never got a signal.
    (3) Put your wheels there if you want to get a signal
    (4) I’d be more willing to wait for a signal if I did have feedback that my bike was detected, and that I factually _was_ going to get a signal.
    (5) Had no idea these signals were a thing, but please propagate them.

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    • Swan Island Runner February 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      I definitely like the #4 answer — give me a positive confirmation that I have triggered the signal.

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      • RGRHON March 4, 2016 at 1:03 am

        +1, also, instead of ‘wait here for green’ terminology, why not just say ‘bike sensor for light’. its not that hard

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  • Granpa February 16, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) – yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) – yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? – Stop over this marking – Except on the east bound route between Tillicum and Clinton, where markings are about 10′ from intersections because brilliant designers put sight-line blocking poles at the intersection.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) – Yes, except as explained in question 3

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? – Yes and no

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  • Spiffy February 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    1) I’ve been here 14 years

    2) yes, because I read about it here before

    3) stand over the wording atop your bike

    4) yes

    5) SE 21st and Division, yes I knew, again because I read it here long ago…

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  • Reid Parham February 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    1) Yes; urban core.
    2) Yes.
    3) I regularly use this intersection and it works well for me; it communicates the intent and the blue light next to the signal is great verification.
    4) Yes!
    5) Yes and yes! I am familiar with them because of the RQTC light coming up from the Esplanade.

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  • Michael Orr February 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    Other than the ‘wait here for green’ versions, at first I thought they were more stylized sharrows or just bike lane art like the firefighter one on Naito, etc.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes, and yes!

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes, and yes. The blue light is fantastic.

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  • Doug February 16, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yep, NE PO

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yep. Every night, I use the odd signal change indicator at Steel Bridge at N Wheeler.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Makes perfect sense. Wait here, get the green.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? Yes, and more of these makes sense.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I’ve seen them. It took me a time or two to figure it out, since PBOT seems to love stealth publicity and education campaigns … ;)

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  • Noah Brimhall February 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) This would tell me that this is the place to stop if I want to tell the signal controller that a bike is waiting for the signal to change
    4) I don’t think I’d be more likely because I already try to stop on the existing marking. However, I think the new marking is better and clearer about its purpose and should be widely implemented.
    5) I think I have noticed that particular light, but I encountered this same light type when it was in use at N. Interstate & N. Oregon. I knew what it meant, but I feel it is too subtle. I like the new treatment at N. Interstate & N. Oregon with the countdown timer.

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  • kittens February 16, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    1) I have lived here 33 years.

    2) Yes

    3) Wait here for green.

    4) Yes. Standard intersection loops do not seem to work reliably for bikes and hard to see. I notice some people don’t understand them.

    5) Yes. I notice most people don’t understand them.

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  • paikiala February 16, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    yes to all the questions.

    Better question: PBOT uses a standard 3 second yellow phase and 1 second all red for cross traffic before giving the green to the conflicting direction.
    why not put another bike detector 4 seconds upstream of a signalized bike crossing so wait time is minimized. If you did this for a faster 15 mph approach, that would be about 90 feet before the intersection. for a more leisurely 10 mph, it would be about 60 feet.
    At 100 feet the faster cyclist might see 1/2 second of green before entering and the leisurely cyclists might see 2.8 seconds.
    At 120 feet it would be 1.5 seconds and 4.2 seconds, respectively.

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    • Carrie February 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Paikiala –

      I have noticed that when I’m riding West on SE Lafayette before 17th, my bike DOES trigger the induction loops and the signals start “preparing to change’ as I’m rolling up to the intersection. Of course that was designed for cars, but there are never any cars on the street when I’m riding there at night, and it works great for me on a bike. I think your idea is excellent.

      1) Yes

      2) Yes, but only because I read it here a few years ago.

      3) It makes sense to me the instant someone explained it to me, but before that it was just another bike marking in the street.

      4) Like others have said, I AM more likely to wait in the correct spot if I get some indication that I have triggered the signal (change in the blue light intensity, I see the walk signs change, something).

      5) I have noticed the blue lights. I do NOT like them at the intersection of SE 8th and Division Pl — you have to be exactly in the green bike box to trigger them and it’s very difficult to get exactly in the green bike box because of the angle at which you approach the intersection — I often have to manual move my bike over. I think they need either a bigger detection angle or lower tolerance for triggering — I’ve noticed others stuck at that intersection for more than one light cycle until I’ve explained what you need to do and where to be. I think the blue lights should pick me up if I’m in a 2-4 foot wide “lane” of where a cyclist should be, not a very narrow “width of a cyclist exactly on the stop line” detection zone.

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    • pink$$ February 16, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      The signal at 21st and Powell most certainly does NOT have a 1 second all red phase between cross traffic flows.

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      • paikiala February 16, 2016 at 3:34 pm

        You’ve timed it with a stopwatch?

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        • pink$$ February 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

          Not with a stopwatch, but with the blink of an eye. Have you ever witnessed the shitshow of that intersection with its near-simultaneous signal change?

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    • El Biciclero February 16, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Heh. It would likely take about two weeks for motorists to figure out that if they swerve over into the bike lane riiiiiight….here, the light changes sooner.

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    • Eric Leifsdad February 17, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Depending on grade, PBOT would do well to assume 20mph, at least if we want people to bike instead of drive. Or measure 85th percentile bike speed like bikes are vehicles.

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      • paikiala February 17, 2016 at 9:23 am

        Greenways are 8-80 routes, not high speed cycling. Typical speeds are in the 10-15 mph range.

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      • Adam H. February 17, 2016 at 10:02 am

        I agree, I don’t think I’ve ever hit 20 MPH on my bike except maybe going downhill off Mt. Tabor.

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        • Eric Leifsdad February 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm

          In SW, everywhere is Mt. Tabor. 20 is a dawdle.

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  • David February 16, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes, in SW.
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) All three ways (auto loops, bike markings above, and the variety of available beg buttons) though they are not always effective depending on the intersection (SB on SE 32nd on Burnside the bike markings haven’t worked for me in weeks).
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It would mean that I want at least one wheel to be somewhere within the box.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Since I already know where to wait it’s not really applicable but this is much clearer for intersections where there is not a sign up explaining the pavement marking.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I don’t use either intersection though it would be great to know when your presence has been detected so you can either relax and wait or use another method to trigger the light before getting frustrated. Though an unmarked blue light is probably not the best way to communicate that information.

    I find using the large loops for cars is easily the most effective way to trigger a light as they are easy to see in the pavement, have more flexibility if I am not at the perfect angle, and most importantly, allow me to stay in my lane so that I can continue on my way without having to worry about merging. Any changes in the markings should really be accompanied by a more forgiving bike detection system, drivers of cars and trucks don’t have to waste a thought on where they are driving to get through a light whereas I have to consider my approach a block away so that I am not waiting multiple cycles for the light to change.

    This really ties back to the many conversations on this site about the lack of equality when looking at cars and bicycles, this is not trying to pass blame but point out that there is not a well-developed system that allows bicycles to get through a traffic light without having to do some form of gymnastics. If paint is all we get then this at least communicates better than what’s in place now but that doesn’t solve the root problem which is that bicycles do not have a simple, convenient, and intuitive method to let a traffic signal know that there is a bicyclist present.

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  • jake February 16, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    1) Yes.

    2) Yes: ODOT circulated a really helpful “How to get a green on a bike from a car sensor” infographic maybe 6 months ago that I have used many times since.

    3) I think this is about as clear as it could be. If I didn’t speak English (and thus couldn’t understand the text), I think I still would be able to link the image of the bicycle to a green circle. But hard to put myself in that position.

    4) Yes / yes.

    5) Yes, but I got that from here in a previous article. I think signage would be useful for these. The only way you’d be able to tell is, e.g. on Tillamook you can see it flip on/off as you roll over the several detectors in the ground. But I wouldn’t expect to be watching that as I rolled up.

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  • scott benjamin February 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes, but I have found at some intersections you can wait on the marking through a couple of light signals but you’re not going to get a green signal unless a car arrives.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    Stop/wait on the marking.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes. Yes.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes. Yes.

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  • Naomi February 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    1) Yes!

    2) I knew about sitting on the bike + lines graphic, but also until recently I was under the misguided impression that landing on the right-most curve of one of the dark, thin circles that appear embedded in some intersections did the same thing.

    3) I’ve gone by this spot regularly and often there is already a bike there. I think I knew it was just a more ambitiously designed version of the bike + lines graphic.

    4) I always try to land on the graphics when I notice them, but I think having prominent ones display text would make it clear what all of them do. I don’t like the idea of covering the existing graphic on some if the old graphic is going to hang around, because it makes the meaning of the old graphic more unclear.

    5) I’ve noticed the one on division and I thought I knew that there were lights like this around (I thought there were more, actually) but I didn’t have any evidence. Isn’t there an indicator kind of like this on the corner of NE Lloyd and NE Oregon (when you come up to NE Oregon from the Eastbank Esplanade) that has a little bike icon? I feel like those stand out more.

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  • Edward February 16, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    1) living in Portland. SE.
    2) getting a light to turn green on a bike has always been frustrating.
    3) These markers and effort seem like a huge leap forward. But to be honest, it took me a while to decode the “biker on the line” mark — because these usually appear in confusing over-signalized over-signed locations. First couple encounters, “Ok, I’m in the green bike box, but it looks like they want me to NOT stop here because some dude on a bike is gonna criss-cross right through here?!?!?”
    4) since I’ve learned what it means, I always stop on these “wait here” type of markers. But I always thought there should just be an actual button in the street for bikes to ride on. Maybe it’d look like a huge scale, or even a smaller metal “button” to ride over with the bike tire. But why use a light? Why not an auditory signal like when pedestrians request a walk? That hardware is already present in soooo many intersections, would just need to be linked up, then when you ride up over the loop, you’d hear the “beep – boop! The walk light is red!” Etc.
    5) I’ve heard rumors of such blue indicator lights, did not notice these. But aren’t these the same blue lights used for different purpose(s) elsewhere in our transportation system? Seems like I saw one on a pole on SE Steele, and there’s some other blue lights around, like one on a pole near SE Milwaukie. Are these for buses?
    6) (yeah, I’m adding one here) it’d be nice if PBOT would be willing to experiment more with designing intersections in a way that gets rid of signals, gets rid of lanes, and forces cars to just slow down to a walking pace other than in a few alleys or one block stretches. Put a tree in the middle of the intersection and get rid of all the lights. Everybody will slow down and move around it.

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) February 16, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    1) from Portland (inner) metro.
    2) yes, I have known for wonky reasons.
    3) all of the markings show the line to put my wheels on.
    4) I think all bikeways (plus some) should have the paint.
    5) I know what the blue lights are, both for wonky reasons and because it’s intuitive when you roll up and the light comes on. These are MUCH more valuable than the markings because it is positive confirmation. I’ll wait for a “broken” light much longer if it has a blue light. I can’t emphasize how important these are.

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    • tedder February 16, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      answers from dr mz tedder (who doesn’t go by a name online), who doesn’t cycle more than once a year:

      no idea what the lane markings are for. even with prompting and describing them.

      no idea what a blue light would indicate. even after explaining it.

      So they aren’t universally understood.

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  • Ben F. February 16, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    1. Yes, I live in the Buckman neighborhood of SE PDX.
    2. Yes, I knew how to get a green because of PBOT biking brochures and from posts on bikeportland.org!
    3. The pavement markings show me to put my front tire there so the loop sensor detects my bike; I really like these – especially the modified version at SE 21st.
    4. Yes, these markings not only make me more likely to place my bike in the right spot, but they help me feel like I have a valid place on the road :-)
    5. Yes, I’ve noticed the blue light indicators and knew what they meant. I love the visual feedback!

    ps: There is also a blue light sensor + marking at SE 16th to cross Hawthorne from the north – however it just stopped working a month or two ago :-( I’ve called PBOT to report it but it hasn’t been fixed yet. I hope they fix it because it made this crossing a lot more enjoyable!

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  • Patrick February 16, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) yes & yes
    4) yes & yes

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  • soren February 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    1) Yes.
    2) No. My main commuter is never recognized by loop detectors and my secondary commuter is only intermittently recognized by loop detectors.
    3) Yes. This is where people riding bikes can theoretically trigger a loop detector.
    4) No.
    5) Yes.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) February 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Soren- especially at a frequently-used signal, you should report it to PBOT so they readjust it.

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      • Adam H. February 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        I believe Soren is referring to the fact that the induction loops can only be activated by metal frames/rims and not by carbon-fibre.

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        • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC February 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm

          Perhaps PBOT could use infrared motion activation, like they do for counters these days. Of course, this won’t work for Google robot-bikes…

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          • Eric Leifsdad February 17, 2016 at 11:11 am

            I hear a clipless cleat is enough to activate it if you get it in the right spot.

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  • soren February 16, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    A steadily increasing percentage of bikes and wheels are being built from composites that are not detected by loop detectors. It’s time for PBOT to stop installing technology that will become increasingly obsolete.

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    • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC February 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      “Steel is real”, but you are right, of course. This is true of cars as well – to get the mpg required these days, most shells are now polypropylene (plastic) rather than metal, and many more parts are now being made with graphite and silicone based composites. The loop detectors used out here in NC are far larger than those in Portland, and encompass the whole car body. To trigger the loop on my bike, I have to cross two sets of them with my steel-spoked wheels; crossing one set does nothing.

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    • paikiala February 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      a little bit of wire in the rim does the trick. Al, Cu, whatever. The engine in cars is unlikely to become non-metal anytime soon, so the low cost loops will continue to be the most reliable technology.

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      • soren February 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        a little bit of wire in the rim does the trick

        have you tested this? how much wire?

        this is a real safety issue for me since i’ve almost been hit running the non-responsive light at terwilliger and sam jackson (my commute).

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        • Adam H. February 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

          I’m assuming you’re riding clipless? Can you activate the signal with the small amount of metal in your shoes?

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          • soren February 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

            not reliably.

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            • Ted Timmons (Contributor) February 16, 2016 at 8:11 pm

              it would be awesome to do an experiment with a city engineer to figure out what the trigger values are for various things- carbon bike with aluminum rims, someone standing on the sensor with clipless pedals, etc.

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  • Gabbi February 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    1. Yes.
    2. Yes.
    3. Stop bike on marking, get green light.
    4. I don’t think it would change my behavior since I make it a point to stop in the middle of the lane unless a car in front of me is turning left.
    5. The blue light at Tillamook and MLK is my little friend. I knew what it meant before reading this article…because I learned about it in a previous BikePortland article.

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  • charlietso February 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    1) Yes.
    2) Yes. But only because someone else told me about it.
    3) Wait at this area for the light to turn green.
    4) Yes. I really dislike having to active a push button on the curb.
    5) I have. But only because someone else pointed it out to me and explained what it does.

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  • devograd February 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    1) Yes, I live in SE Portland, and I ride a cargo bike (if that matters)
    2) Yes
    3) Wait on top of the marking to trigger a green light
    4) I’d wait in the correct spot with or without the marking, but I’d feel more confident that I was doing it right if the marking was there. Yes, I’d love to see this at more intersections.
    5) Yes, I’ve noticed the blue light at 21st and Division, and I knew what it meant. I’ve also noticed a similar light at SE Orange and Division, a bit west of the intersection, and I’ve idly wondered if it was also a blue indicator light or something else. Not that it really matters; it’s just something to ponder while I’m waiting for the light to change.

    -Caitlin

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  • peejay February 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    1. Yes.
    2. Yes.
    3. Stop on marking, not sure if it cancels indication if I roll off marking.
    4. Yes & yes.
    5. Yes.

    That said, I have an observation and a question. I understand that when crossing a major street from a small street where the traffic light is not on a timer but request-based, that major street must have a certain mandatory time elapsed between reds, so that enough traffic can get through (even though we are supposed to be beyond LOS, but whatever). Yet it seems to me that this mandatory minimum is only counted AFTER a light request from the side street. That seems like an unnecessary delay for the crossing traffic (bike riders, walkers AND drivers).

    The light sequence (countdown if any, yellow, then red) could just as easily begin right when the request is made (detection loop or button press), provided the minimum time has already elapsed since the last red. To me this makes complete logical sense and still serves the major street traffic, while minimizing the wait for crossing traffic.

    My question is three questions:

    1. Shouldn’t request-only signals work this way?

    2. Do at least SOME of those intersections work the way I described from my observation?

    3. If so, why can’t they be fixed?

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    • Adam H. February 16, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      I agree. All “beg” buttons or loops should be instant access. If you’re going to make us push a button, it had better give us immediate priority. After all, people walking and cycling are supposed to be at the top of the transport hierarchy, right?

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      • paikiala February 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        You really don’t think these things through. ‘Instant’ access? No yellow? Zero seconds of all red?
        Internet instant gratification syndrome can’t be applied where lives are on the line. Unlike video games, you don’t earn new lives to use later on when you die.

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        • Adam H. February 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

          Not literally instant-access. i.e. I press the button, the traffic signal turns yellow with little to no delay, then turns red after three seconds. Ped/bike signal turns green. Some crossings in Vancouver BC work in this manner.

          The main complaint here is that even if the beg button is pushed, there can be a long wait before the signal changes. Try crossing Powell at 52nd on foot, for example. The buttons and loops should interrupt the signal phase, similar to how the pre-empts for MAX interrupt signal phases.

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          • paikiala February 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

            to heck with any signal progression for any other modes?

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            • Adam H. February 16, 2016 at 4:19 pm

              “To heck with other modes” is exactly how our car-oriented streets operate today.

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              • paikiala February 17, 2016 at 9:27 am

                So you solution to past and current injustice is not merely affirmative action, but present and future injustice for others?

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                • ethan February 17, 2016 at 9:36 am

                  What, exactly, is the “injustice for others” that you speak of?

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                • Adam H. February 17, 2016 at 9:43 am

                  I would not consider making people driving wait a few extra seconds at a red light an “injustice”. What is an injustice is how we’ve designed our cities to be dangerous for everyone who is not encased in glass and steel.

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                • El Biciclero February 17, 2016 at 9:44 am

                  Ah. “Reverse Modism”

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                • El Biciclero February 18, 2016 at 11:42 am

                  What Adam said. I think we would do well to point out false equivalencies folks tend to make between cars and bicycles used for transportation (or recreation, for that matter). In this case:

                  “convenience” != “safety”

                  The inverse is also true:

                  “inconvenience” != “danger”

                  The root of many road rage incidents seems to be that people, for some fascinating sociological reason, believe that a threat of (or actual) physical harm is a completely justified response to being momentarily inconvenienced. A consequence of this belief that my convenience is as valuable as—or more valuable than—your safety, is that we end up putting almost the entire onus of “safety” on those who would be harmed, rather than those who could prevent harm by being ever-so-slightly inconvenienced. Part of that onus of “safety” is that those who are most likely to be harmed must bear a much higher burden of inconvenience to ensure their own safety—and safeguard the convenience of those who would do harm.

                  So, is it “injustice” to trade bicyclist and pedestrian safety for motorist convenience?

                  Would it be an equivalent “injustice” to trade motorist convenience for bicyclist or pedestrian convenience?

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            • Alex Reed February 17, 2016 at 9:17 pm

              Yes – and I don’t see this as unfair at all. People driving don’t have to figure out if/where there’s a button/sensor in any given intersection and schlep themselves and potentially a bunch of stuff over to the button/sensor to trigger it. In return for that convenience and ease, waiting whenever someone biking or walking DOES trigger a signal at a cross street doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

              Plus – even if we think the time value is greater than the convenience value to people driving – doesn’t PBOT have some sort of hierarchy policy… maybe one with a cute pyramid graphic… that says walking and biking should be prioritized? :-)

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      • El Biciclero February 17, 2016 at 9:42 am

        To paraphrase Tri-met, signals like that would be subject to abuse by the public. Couldn’t you imagine some ne’er-do-well standing on the corner constantly bonking the button just to disrupt things?

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        • Adam H. February 17, 2016 at 9:57 am

          That’s a valid concern. We have a few pedestrian hybrid beacons around town that behave in a similar manner to what I’ve described. Does this happen frequently at those intersections?

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          • El Biciclero February 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

            I have no actual data other than general experience with the wide spectrum of human nature and the juvenile tendencies of many…

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    • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC February 16, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Actually, emergency services are at the top, followed by freight, then the TSP hierarchy.

      As for the signals themselves, there are many different systems out there of varying ages, all requiring regular maintenance. Most are PBOTs, but some are ODOT, some are TriMet (especially along light rail streets), Port of Portland, etc. There was a blog post a few days ago about the lack of maintenance of bike markings on a certain street; this $1 billion maintenance backlog also extends to PBOT signals, including the one on 16th complained about below.

      You are right about the need to maintain the signal system, but the reality is that there are broken signals all over town. The full signal at 145th & Division is a case in point.

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  • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC February 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    1. No. Moved out of Portland after living in 5 different parts of town over 17 years. Now in NC.
    2. Yes. Learned to use various loop signals, as well as the Multnomah Co. on-street buttons at big intersections in eastern Portland, from my friend Paul Bender, way back in 1998. Have taught others since.
    3. If I didn’t know better, I’d assume if I wait anywhere within eye-distance of the markings, I ‘ll get a green (which we both know is wrong.)
    4. No. The 4th symbol in the set of 5 would be the best of the lot.
    5. No. Haven’t biked those areas for years. I am aware of the blue lights at 86th & Division and at 122nd & Bush, however, and what they are for.

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  • Carter Kennedy February 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It’s as clear as it can be. It tells me to stop on top of it to get a green light.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? Yes. Use it everywhere it applies.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? I saw the one at SE 16th and Hawthorne. I noticed that when I stopped on the bike symbol, a blue light lit up across the street on a pole, and the light eventually changed. It took several times before I put it all together. Incidentally, it wasn’t working the last time I was there.

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  • Ben W February 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yes, in the sense that I have lived here 7 years
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? I have long known how to use loop detectors with bicycles
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It’s a good message but it is somewhat unclear as to exactly where on the spot to stop your bike – I’ve found that even a few inches can make the different between being detected and not. That is where the older white line marking was more precise.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Very yes. And yes.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I go through the Tillamook/MLK one frequently and do use the detector. However, I’m unclear if the blue light is specific to indication of bicycles, or if cars can trigger it too – I’d suspect metal is metal and the loop picks up cars and turns the light blue too, which is just as useful.

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  • Scott L February 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It means I should put my bike inside the blue area.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) I would be more likely to wait in the correct spot, although I know how the older markings work.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I have noticed them. I learned about them from a Bike Portland article quite a while ago.

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  • pixie February 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) — Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) — Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? — position your bike here to trigger the green light
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) — Yes
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? — Yes and Yes

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  • Anthony February 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Not orignally, but since 2007

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes, as it’s been reported on Bikeportland multiple times in the past.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    To wait anywhere in the box for the signal to change, not necessarily in the very center.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    More likely than the current markings? Probably not, but I already know about them. I can see it making it more obvious for those who weren’t previously aware.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes, I became aware of it due to Bikeportland’s original article about it. I love these and wish they were installed in more places as I prefer a concrete indication that I’ve triggered the signal to sitting there and hoping for a signal change (esp. when on my scooter, as there are several spots that are notoriously finisky and sometimes will not trigger the signal- Turning onto Broadway from the Fred Meyer parking lot on NE 30th, heading south on NE 20th at the Sandy intersection, and turning left onto Skidmore from NE MLK being a few that stand out in my mind).

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  • Keith Olenslager February 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Wait here

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes, and there should be more

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Yes and yes

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  • Zac February 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    1) Yes.
    2) Yes.
    3) Wait here.
    4) Yes, yes.
    5) Yes and yes (I had noticed blue light at Oregon St. and Lloyd Blvd and had figured it was a bike recognition indicator after riding there a few times). The wait timer at this intersection is very cool.

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  • Kirk February 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    1) Yes.
    2) Yes.
    3) Wait on top of the marking to trigger a green light.
    4) Yes (& Yes).
    5) Yes (& Yes).

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  • Jason February 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    1) Yes, I live in Buckman.
    2) Yes, I’ve mystified many cyclists by my teqnique of nearly laying my bike down in the loop sensors from 82nd all the way to Hilsboro and beyond!
    3) I hate to say this, but no. In the case of 21st and Division, the sensor is next to the curb, but I prefer to queue up as far left as possible because I don’t like cars passing me in the left turn there.
    4) The sensor should not compromise the initiate that the green bike boxes otherwise grant. If the sensor is not in a position that allows a single rider to take their desired position in the bike box ahead of cars, I don’t think it will be so useful.
    5) No, I don’t go through those intersections much. Frankly, it seems that PBOT likes to try crazy one offs all over the place and it’s very confusing for a cyclist, example: Couch and Grand has a light that I haven’t seen anywhere else PDX, but it seems like it would be a good light at pretty much any intersection.

    Sadly, the use of these sensors seems to be down to individuals doing research and getting word of mouth.

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  • Kimberlee February 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes, although it is because someone told me a few years ago. I did not intuit it myself.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Stand here to get a green light.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes and yes.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Yes, I use the one on Tillamook frequently. Yes, because it showed up shortly after the one coming off the Esplanade for the bike only signal showed up.

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  • pink$$ February 16, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    1) Not originally, but have been living here for 6 years.
    2) Yes
    3) I usually roll over it back and forth to make sure a steady blue light appears.
    4) If I can tell the sensor won’t ignore me if I move over, I take whatever lane placement I think safest (i.e. the one on 21st and Division is ridiculous for continuing down Ladd’s addition, so I always pull up closest to the center of the road).
    5) Yes and yes.

    On another note, does anyone know why the signal at 16th and Hawthorne has stopped working? Where I used to be able to roll up and wait an average of a minute on the street (which I think is safer), now I have to ride up onto the sidewalk and wait usually at least two minutes with the beg button. I contacted 823-SAFE weeks ago and haven’t heard back yet.

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    • Ben F. February 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      I also contacted PBOT about 3 weeks ago about it not working. When it was working it sure was nice!

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    • Beeblebrox February 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      It probably just depends on the time of day. During morning and afternoon peak hours, the signal is coordinated with the other signals to improve traffic flow, so you have to wait a lot longer to cross. During off-peak hours, the signal is “set free” from coordination, so it changes right away. This is how a lot of ped/bike signals work around town.

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      • Ben F. February 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        The problem is that the bike detector at SE 16th isn’t working anymore at any time of day and the blue light no longer lights up.

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  • Mike Sanders February 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Since we live in a multilingual society, I think the bike icon with the stoplight icon makes sense. Put a little stop line above them, and I think it gets the idea across.

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  • Jay February 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes. 20+ years

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes. Even before the pavement markings, I roughly knew where to position myself on the induction loop tar lines.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    Put your wheels here to trigger light.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes. But they also seem to be worn away by car tires very quickly in some locations.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? Yes, love them! If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Yes. The first time I saw it at MLK and Tillamook, I was like, is that what I think it is… OMG, it lights up when I’m in the right spot! (but I think it could use a sign like the “To request green, wait on “.) I prefer the blue light to the “wait” countdown light at NE Oregon and N Interstate. One nitpick though… the blue light at NE Wheeler/N Williams/I-5 on ramp is always blue, it just gets brighter when you are correctly positioned. I thought I was on the sensor a couple of times, and wasn’t, until I noticed it was brighter when I moved. Consistency matters!

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  • Steve B. February 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    Stop here to activate the traffic signal in your direction of travel.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    I wait most of the time. My biggest inspiration for not complying is the length of time it takes to get a green phase.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes, because I read BikePortland. When I ask my friends they don’t seem to know what it is. I find the brightness of the blue lights make looking at the signal more irritating on my eyes. Having the indicator placed closer to ground level, perhaps with a sign that lights up saying “detected, please wait..” would help.

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  • Jennalennabobenna February 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) I’ve lived here for almost 3 years.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)
    Yes, but I was taught but other seasoned cyclists when I moved here, it’s definitely not intuitive and I would not have known otherwise.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    That I need to carefully cycle in a straight line on the broken white lines.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)
    I already do but I think many who are unaware would as well. I see many cyclists go to far up to the intersection at Wheeler (northbound) by the interstate entrance. The bike signal is further back and not clearly marked. Even if the paint was better on it, it still isn’t clear what it is exactly. The pavement sensors need to indicate as much.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?
    Yes. However, I wrote to pbot a while back because the Tillamook signal would recognize me, the blue light would go on, the countdown for the crosswalk would commence but then the light wouldn’t change and the signal would deny my existence. Not only was it a blow to my self esteem that I am not worthy of recognition, I wound up running that light on many occasions. I no longer take that route but I find the light at Burnside and 32nd sucks like that as well.

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  • Meteorite February 16, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) YES
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) YES
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It tells me where to position my bike to activate the green light.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) I have stopped on the pavement marks for years but often have to explain to other cyclists the purpose of those marks. The proposed revised mark is more self-explanatory and I endorse their wide application.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? YES and I really appreciate the reassurance that I’ve been recognized!

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  • J_R February 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    1) Yes.
    2) Yes.
    3) Yes. I’ve requested a few by calling PBOT and they’ve been very responsive.
    4) Absolutely. I’ve tried numerous times to explain it to other cyclists. I’ve often been rewarded with blank stares and an occasional expletive deleted.
    5) Yes. At 21st/Division and it’s been very responsive and it’s been nice to be visually assured that my turn is coming.

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  • Christianne February 16, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes, I did.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    To sit there to wait for a green light.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Definitely. It would be much easier to understand where I needed to be. I didn’t even realise that you had to sit in a particular spot in the green bike boxes. I guess that’s why I’ve been ignored while waiting in the center of one before. I think they should definitely add this marking to more intersections.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    I did notice them, but I did not know what they were for. I knew they were bike related though since they only appear at particularly bike-heavy crossings.

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  • Demian Ebert February 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes, although lack of sensor markings or sensors capable of picking up a bike at a NE Multnomah and NE 7th has led me to use alternate (stop sign controlled) routes.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? That waiting in that spot will get me the green light. I like this change to the old-style marking.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes. Contrary to some of the other comments, I don’t typically find it hard to get my bike into the right spot on the pavement.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? No because I don’t ride these intersections. However, I do use the signalized intersection at from the Eastbank Esplanade at NE Oregon St and NE Lloyd Blvd all the time. I like the red signal with the count-down white timer lights that tell me that it’s recognized me and how long I have to wait.

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  • mikeg
    mikeg February 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yes cycling, since 1965

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes, was aware of loop detection failure before and read about the bike adaptations here.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking? Sit in box to wait for specific green signal, as I do on the Springwater and SE Johnson Creek Blvd crossing.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes, especially a definitive box at a complex intersection. And yes, it should be added to more heavily used intersections.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? Yes at other locations, but thought they were general traffic counting devices, not pedestrian control. Spreading the word about them might get people to look for them and obey the signalization.

    I think overall, cycling markings can be improved to be less ambiguous, as cyclist have little time to discern obscure and varying paint markings while managing traffic skills. Also, many paint signals suffer from weathering and traffic pretty quickly and degrade to make them unintelligibly worse.

    On the extreme end, standardized symbols are important for quantifying liability in the case of accidents, thereby evening the field between those with motors or those human powered. Defining fault in the case of recent tragedies is an important tool to minimize those occurrences again, or at least spur changes.

    Simplicity, standardization, and education of their meaning is essential for all ages of users.

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  • danny February 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    SW Portland

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes. However, I sometimes wait on the other edge of the detector loop so cars can get around me on the right to turn right on red.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    This is the place to wait to trigger the green light sensor.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    I think adding this marking will be helpful for most people.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    I have noticed the light and knew what it was from reading about it in BikePortland! I like these blue lights.

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  • fourknees February 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) same as the current image “–Bike–” used today
    4) Yes
    5) No, No – These would be very helpful to know that you’ve correctly activated. much like the newer style pedestrian buttons that light up in red after you’ve pressed and they make a “beep”.

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  • Ellie Harmon February 16, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area?

    Yes. N Williams corridor

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article?

    Yes. But I have explained it to others before while out on the roads — some of them long time residents! So, while it seemed apparent to me when I first started biking here, it was not apparent to other regular cyclists.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    I already know what it means. So this is a weird question.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes, I think this is a much clearer marking for people who aren’t already familiar with the system. It makes more obvious sense to new arrivals in Portland — immigrants and tourists alike.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes, I ride through the Tillamook/MLK signal frequently. Again, I noticed this early on in my cycling in Portland and thought it was GREAT. I wish all intersections had these. These are more useful than new paint, in my opinion. I don’t really trust the paint markers. It’s nice to know when I’m actually seen by the system.

    I have explained these lights to other cyclists, too, it’s clear not everyone even notices them in the first place (They’re tiny!) — e.g. one day last summer when coming off the Steel bridge near rose quarter headed north, a cyclist was waiting around on the sidewalk, not on the marked line (opting to be closer to the nearby tree for shade), and totally perplexed the light was cycling about without changing for them. I explained about lining up your bike tires with the pavement paint and then looking for the light. The light was really helpful in communicating all this — see now that you’re on the line, that thing over there lit up! Now you know you’re seen and the light will change for you in the next cycle!

    Not everyone seems to notice the light — it’s small if you’re not looking for it. When I very first noticed one I thought it was some kind of camera thing, but then I noticed the correlation as I moved my bike onto the lines and figured out what was going on.

    I think all of the above things need some outreach/PR. We learn about traffic signals and signs and markers as 15-year olds studying for our driver’s license. These new signals and signs will take some time to get everybody on board with no matter how well they’re designed.

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  • shanana February 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Maybe? I’m in NW Portland but Washington County.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes, but only if I could see the loop in the road. Didn’t know about the paint markings.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Bike lane/area. And someone had some extra paint for some extra lines.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes and Yes!

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? No, I haven’t ridden through this area. If I had, I wouldn’t have known what the light was for, but I think it’s a fantastic idea.

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  • Jessica Roberts
    Jessica Roberts February 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    But first, an editorial comment: An embedded survey would be easier to fill in and would make it easier for PBOT to interpret the results.

    On to the questions, though if you want to ignore them because I work in the field, that’s fine:

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? You mean now? Yes. Originally? No (moved here in 93.)
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? I already know how inductive loops work so I would be able to interpret any of them.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? No, only because I already know how to get a green
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Yes

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  • mikeybikey February 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) stop your bike here.
    4) yes
    5) yes&yes

    in copenhagen most intersections have a pre-green indicator where the bike specific signal flashes to give you a heads up just before the green phase begins. i would love to see something like this incorporated into our bicycle specific signals.

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley February 16, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    1) From Portland Metro? Yes

    2) Know how to get a green? Yes (fellow cyclist “lore” taught me)

    3) What does Figure 1 communicate to you? Center my bike over it to let the light know I’m there.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes, more likely. I feel like the design could use some work before wide deployment.

    5) Noticed the blue light? Know what it means? Yes – the one that used to be at the top of the Esplanade ramp near Rose Quarter, and yes, it was immediately and intuitively obvious to me.

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  • Carlin February 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    1) yes

    2) Mostly. I only started noticing the -bike- markings in turn lanes after riding in Portland for a couple years and even then I miss them sometimes and swear that they don’t always work. The blue lights make the waiting spots way more obvious to me.

    3) “Wait here for a green light” but maybe that’s only a suggested waiting spot.

    4) Yes but I think the blue light helps so much that maybe you should always have a light for bicycles.

    5) I figured out that it was detecting me almost immediately after it came on and that gave me confidence that the light would change for me.

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  • Buzz February 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Stop here to trigger light sensor
    4) Not really, since I already know what the existing markings being used for this mean
    5) Yes and yes

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  • David Burns February 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes. (Also, I’d read about several ‘tricks’ to try to get detected when there isn’t a mark. Those methods sometimes work.)

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    “Here’s the best place to be detected and get a green.” There might be other spots that will work, but this is the place that got tested and stuff.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes, and yes if needed. (I’d prefer, however, that loops would be able to detect more than one spot. Particularly in bike-box intersections, like that one depicted. It too easy for the first cyclist to miss the marked detector spot, but block others from getting to it — so everyone is wondering if the first guy is ‘close enough’ to get the green.)

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    I don’t remember the last time I was at either of those intersections, but I’ve seen the blue lights around. I think I first saw them with pedestrian crossings near the waterfront, but I see them daily on approaches to the Tillicum Bridge. I like them very much when they show a clear not-detected (off) vs detected (blue). The ones that go from dim-blue to bright-blue are much less useful.

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  • intjonathan February 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    1)Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Put my bike wheels somewhere over that black box, though I’m never sure whether to put my front wheel on the green or cover the box with my bike.
    4) Yes and yes, they show me that I’m considered as a road user
    5) Yes and yes, I love these lights!

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  • Tom Hardy February 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    1: Yes rider for 63 years.
    2: Yes.
    3: If I have my alloy wheels on my steel bike. I am on the marks or at the 1/3 or 2/3 sections of an unmarked circle. If I am on my carbon bike with the carbon wheels the circles do not trigger.
    4: I trigger them if I can but if it is at an intersection that I know does not trigger, I move to the side of the lane and wave a following car to trigger.
    If no car or trigger, I go when it is clear (Idaho style).
    5: I have seen the blue lights. I wait for them on Division and on MLK. sometimes I have to wait 2 or 3 minutes after triggering with little or no cross traffic before it gives a green.

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  • Josh Berezin February 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    1) Lived here 20 years.
    2) Yes
    3) This is where I should put my bike in order to get a green light.
    4) I wouldn’t be any more likely to be in the right place; I know how to use the existing markings. Though the new ones may well be clearer for some people.
    5) I’ve noticed the blue indicators. I didn’t intuitively know what they meant, but I read about it somewhere before (here?). I think the indicator at NE Lloyd and Oregon is much more self-explanatory.

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  • Tom February 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    In my former city I asked why they did use these markings. I was told by the traffic engineer that “paint costs money”. About how much does one of these cost in paint. 25 cents? They had well over half a billion budgeted (not approved) for road widenings, but apparntly no money budgeted for bike related paint.

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  • Ben February 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    1) Yes.

    2) Theoretically.

    3) I’m going to have a long wait.

    4) No.

    5) Yeah, but only because I had so long to wonder about it.

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  • Rick February 16, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It tells me to stop on the box to trigger a green light.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Probably about the same likelihood. I currently look for the old marker or just put my wheels on one of the circular sensor lines.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I had noticed the blue indicator and assumed it was indicating that the light had been triggered. However, the one at 21st and Division sometimes flickers on and off, so it wasn’t clear if only a steady blue indicated the light was triggered.

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  • El Biciclero February 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Too bad Oregon’s Washington County isn’t as concerned about signals working for bikes.

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  • dudeluna February 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? i live here, yes.
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? yes.
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? it communicates to wait in that spot for a green light, but i don’t think it communicates the light will turn green by waiting in that spot.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? yes, it makes it more obvious.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? yes.

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  • MK February 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? I’ve lived in PDX for 9 years.
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes.
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? I would guess that it is further instruction compared to previous in order to wait for the light to change.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) I already wait.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I have not noticed these! But, I also do not often bike by them.

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  • Caitlin February 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    1) Yes, I live in the Lair Hill Neighborhood in SW.
    2) Yes. It took a bit when I first started riding 5 years ago but now I recognize the different sorts of triggers easily.
    3) Stop here to trigger the signal.
    4) Yes, especially if there was a signal (like the blue lights or the count down on NE Oregon by the Moda Center (although the timing on the countdown could be a bit more accurate)) to indicate I had triggered the light to change.
    5) Yes. Since their implementation I’ve begun to look for blue lights elsewhere since they’re so helpful.

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  • Matt February 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Put your bike here to trigger the light
    4) Yes–IF the “correct spot” is safe and convenient for where I’m coming from and heading to
    5) No; I don’t use any intersections with blue lights (or inductive triggers, for that matter). But I’m aware of them by word of mouth.

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  • Brian February 16, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Straddle this marking to trigger the signal
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes*
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Have not ridden this area, so no.

    *Note: some of these markings are close to the centerline on two way traffic (e.g. At Terwilliger and Sam Jackson). Not the most comfortable place to be in rush hour.

    *cute, but the proposed cartoonish marking would make me question the authenticity of it

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  • Laura February 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? obviously, to wait there, but I don’t really get the sensor part any more than the current markings. I find the ones now easy to use and understand. Maybe more people should try and educate themselves.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) no. I do use the current ones, but I also look for the sensors even not marked.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Yes, yes

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  • Keith February 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    1 yes
    2 yes
    3 makes sense
    4 yes and more should be available at additional intersections along with more detection loops
    5 as a SW/downtown cyclist, I hadn’t seen the blue lights, and I probably would have no idea what they were for.

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  • Jen February 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) It’s clear that putting my tires on the marking will help trigger a green. I prefer a simpler marking without text like the mockup in the second row, far left. The color green is widely known to equal “go,” it attracts the eye and helps the marking do what it should: convey a message without having to use words.
    4) I already look for the circular car detectors at intersections, but see many fellow cyclists not doing this, so I do think having this symbol would help encourage people to trigger the green.
    5) Yes, i’ve used the NE Oregon and Lloyd intersection for years, and the blue light there has recently morphed into what looks like a cleverly re-used sign with the German word ‘wacht’ or something similar. Has anyone else noticed that? I also use the one at NE Wheeler and Williams.

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  • Stephen Keller February 16, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area?
    Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article?
    Yes. Being an engineer helps.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    I park on top of the sensor circle. If there is a bike sign, I use that. Otherwise I guesstimate the best location to roll over.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement?
    Probably. It’s easier if the correct location is marked.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd?
    At Tillamook and MLK. Yes.

    If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?
    Yes. A friend clued me in a while back.

    Stph

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  • Pat Franz February 16, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    1) Yes.
    2) Yes, I regularly experiment with them. But, then again, I’m a certified nerd.
    3) It says park your bike here and wait for the green. It doesn’t say it will CAUSE a green, sadly.
    4) I would figure this marking out, but I don’t think it’s the best.
    5) I think I remember seeing something at 21st and Division (I don’t go that way often) but would definitely not associate it with me riding my bike. If something made a sound when I rolled up to the sensing spot, I’d come to associate that with my actions pretty quickly. A light across the street would take a while.

    A note on (3): I strongly prefer the cyclist symbols in the other examples. Somehow, the image of an empty bike is offputting, while the image with a cyclist on a bike is much more appealing. And they are easier to personalize, which is something I enjoy seeing.

    I also prefer symbols without words, but I realize how hard it is to explain everything with a simple graphic. If words are to be used, I’d propose the words “Signal Sensor”. Though it’s slightly high tech vocabulary, this is 2016 and people know about sensors in general and most people about signal sensors in streets.

    Another route to reach a critical mass of understanding among the cycling population might be to put explanatory signs near where cyclists are likely to both go and to have to wait- the light on Grand at the east end of the Hawthorne, for example. When the bikeshare is up and running, put things near the stations, etc. Then, when people later see the pavement markings, they will have seen the explanation for them.

    Thanks for asking for public review, I expect something good will result.

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  • DC February 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    1) Yes, Portland.
    2) Yes
    3) I think it’s pretty clear that that is where you should rest your bike to trigger the signal.
    4) I do think PBOT should add this to more. Some intersections you can see the circles of induction loops. Some you can’t, and I have no clue if there’s a place to properly wait, or if it’s a lost cause.
    5) Yes, they’re amazing!! Yes I knew about them before this article, but I would assume most riders don’t know what they’re for. People will learn though…install more please!

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  • Shawne Martinez February 16, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    1: Yes
    2: No
    3: Bikes should be in this general area to wait for light.
    4: Yes I would now that I’ve read this article.
    5: I have seen a blue indicator light at an intersection somewhere but I had no idea what it meant. I just rubber – necked as I passed it.

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  • Jeff Forbes February 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    Wait here for a green light. I like that the text takes any uncertainty out of the question

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    I roll through Division and 21st often and knew what the blue light meant, but mostly from Bike Portland posts:)

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  • Stefan February 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    One question is if this is used at locations where no bike box exists, will people still know to wait in the black rectangular area?

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  • EmilyG February 16, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    1) Yes.

    2) Yes, thanks to BikePortland.

    3) If I didn’t know, I would say it’s just a general bike marking- like “this is a bike street.”

    4) Yes, I would, and I do think it should be added to more intersections, especially on places where tourists would be or where there isn’t as much bike traffic.

    5) Yes, I’ve noticed them- they’re very bright! I knew what they were for, but again, just because I read BikePortland. I love them and I wish they were in more locations! I also like the little “Wait” countdown sign that is by the scramble signal by the Steel Bridge, and would like to see more of those by signaled intersections with lots of bike traffic.

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  • David Sweet February 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area?
    Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article?
    Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    Put y’r bike here to get a green light.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement?
    No, but I already knew what the old marks meant.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?
    Yes and Yes

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  • Brett Brunk February 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland Metropolitan area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)
    Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)
    No
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    I didn’t know.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes, yes!
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes

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  • Clark in Vancouver February 16, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    1) No, from Canada.

    2) Yes. I knew about these markings.

    3) It communicates well. If there are still going to be the vertical lines at the top and bottom then that gives and indication of where to be to activate. Having said that they should make the coil underneath work even if someone isn’t precisely inline with it.
    I wonder about someone not knowing English but there’s enough context to figure it out. When I was in Germany a little light said “Bitte Wahrten.” I knew “bitte” and figured out the other word just by it starting with “W” having a “T” in it and by context.

    4) I would wait anyway but nobody would wait if it’s too long.

    5) Not seen it. I would prefer a countdown timer instead of a light. It should start immediately when activated. We’ve all seen crosswalk countdown timers and would know what it means.

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  • Mao February 16, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Born and raised in North Portland

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yep

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    Get a wheel to contact with the dark area and a blue light nearby will turn on.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Indifferent, looks the same as the white figure with the two vertical lines. But I’ll wait for green lights unless it becomes obvious I can’t be detected in which case I’ll use the beg button/cross walk. If it’s absolutely clear that I can’t force the signal change and that I’ll be safe, ride against the read.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Nope, haven’t been there. I would assume it’s some kind of camera or recording device.

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  • hotrodder February 17, 2016 at 6:57 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Carpetbagger – I’ve only been here about 25 years,

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    “Wait here for Green”

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Depends on the intersections. My commute offers two lights in particular that would try the patience of Mother Theresa

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes, and there are others about the city that I’ve seen, and yes, I knew what their purpose was before this

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  • Edith Zdunich February 17, 2016 at 8:42 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Not born here. Just lived here for several years.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    exactly what it says

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Yes. Drivers also can be ignorant of these things, so clear markings like this make it apparent to them that cyclists are indeed allowed to share the road.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    No, I did not notice or know what those were before.

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  • Evan February 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    Yes — I grew up on the west side.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yes.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    That’s the place where I should wait. Maybe it’s marking a stop line, without a stop line? (i.e. I think it’s still not super clear that I should be *on* the mark to trigger a sensor)

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    My behavior is unaffected, cause I already know how it works.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yes. I learned what these were when I first saw them: they turn on when I’m on the sensor, off when I’m not. Beautiful!

    Now for my other feedback: I have trouble with the placement of some of these sensors. For example, at N Ainsworth and Interstate, the marking places me directly in the middle of a *very wide* lane; I’d be more comfortable waiting against the sidewalk and allowing any cars behind me to pass while we’re in the intersection. In fact, sometimes I do that if I know a car will trigger the sensor anyway.

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  • Evan February 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Also good to note that the blue lights are present at several other locations. I can think of two off the top of my head: N Williams at the I-5 SB onramp, N Ainsworth at Interstate.

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  • Chadwick F February 17, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Started saying “It’s time to disco!” to my fellow riders when the blue light goes off at these intersections. What’s the reason for them being blue? I like things being intuitive, and green has always meant go to me.

    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) wait here for the green (and blue?) light
    4) Sometimes. Depends on location, time of day, traffic, etc… Probably a little more likely to wait in these spots if there were more, though.
    5) Yes, read about them on Bike Portland.

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    • El Biciclero February 17, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      “What’s the reason for them being blue? I like things being intuitive, and green has always meant go to me.”

      I don’t think the blue lights mean “go”, but rather, “I see you, and you’ll get a green any time now—then you can go”.

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  • Hanne February 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

    1. Yes.
    2. Yes.
    3. Wait on the symbol to trigger a green light.
    4. Yes and yes. (Would love to see one on northbound NE 16th at the intersection with Sandy. There used to be one here but it wasn’t repainted after repaving.)
    5. Yes and yes. Particularly helpful for intersections where the wait time can be long–for example, it can take well over a minute for the light at NE 16th and Sandy to change to green after it is triggered, and I see people on bikes run the red here regularly because there’s no way to tell if the light is triggered.

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  • Paul J February 17, 2016 at 9:23 am

    1) Yes – Outer East side
    2) Yes
    3) Put bike here for green light sensor.
    4) Sometimes. When the sensor is already obvious then no.
    5) Yes. No.

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  • Mark M February 17, 2016 at 9:39 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    No, SE Portland but ride Spring water up to NE Williams everyday

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    Yup, and I’ve had to ask some other riders to straddle the big painted bike symbol many times specially at Steel bridge crossing coming off the esplanade.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    I think its pretty obvious that the hash marks are alignments aids for my tires to straddle

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    Absolutely, and I think the new black box “wait here for green” is great and should be prominent enough for drivers to understand why I am stopped at “that” particular spot at an intersection.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    Yup, I use the one at N Wheeler ave and N Ramsay Way every day and notice it is pretty much always lit up weather I trip it or not. Also the one at NE Oregon St and N Interstate coming off the esplanade was great before you put in the count down timer (which is fine to). I think there should be a trip pad for that one farther down the path towards the esplanade so cyclist don’t get caught in a long loop.

    My notes/suggestions:
    everything you (PBOT) do should be informative for drivers as well as cyclists. Many drivers do not know the laws and “cyclist road etiquette”, like these sensor pads, bike lights that are obscured to drivers (like the one on NE Wheeler Ave SB) make drivers think the cyclists are running a red light and the ever confusing (to drivers) Green Box/No right on Red issue.
    Obviously the DMV drops the ball on education so PBOT should make a concerted effort to make sure drivers are aware of how Cyclist road etiquette differs and what they perceive as cyclist scofflaws in fact is their own (drivers) ignorance of the laws and road etiquette.
    Many of the conflicts between drivers and cyclists would be resolved if drivers were a little more educated and also reminded of laws and road etiquette where ever possible.

    Thanks for listening PBOT.

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  • Jack February 17, 2016 at 9:44 am

    1) Not “from” but moved here in August 2015.
    2) I knew that the images on the road meant there was an inductive loop at the intersection but did not know I was suppose to be on the lines in the image.
    3) Wait in this area.
    4) Yes. Yes, not only should it be clearly marked but also part of a broad advertisement campaign so that more people were informed.
    5) I do not ride in that area.

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  • Brent February 17, 2016 at 10:14 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)

    —-No (moved here in 2001).

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)

    —-Yes.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?

    —-The light will change to green if I wait in the marked box. I like that the new design gives a little explanation to those not in the know!

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)

    —-Yes, I always do.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?

    —-I have noticed the blue light (NE Tillamook and MLK), but assumed it was a Trimet signal (although, come to think of it, I have NEVER seen a MAX train cross at that intersection:) ). I learned something new today..

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  • Champs February 17, 2016 at 10:31 am

    1) Yes, from Portland Metro
    2) Yes, I know how to get a green, not enough do
    3) Before I knew it was for green, I thought it was a bike route indicator
    4) Will wait at any visible loop, markings belong on ALL signed routes
    5) I have noticed them at both intersections, as well as NE Morris & MLK

    Education is key. There are the stiff headwinds from the misinformation campaign about beg buttons and the people who simply won’t put themselves in the middle of the lane to trigger a light.

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  • eddie February 17, 2016 at 10:57 am

    my answers, having only minimally skimmed the article:

    1. On and off since 1992. I don’t claim to be a local.

    2. More or less. . . .

    But the placement of the induction loops is dumb. As mentioned earlier, they need to cover the whole lane, up to the curb, as people often stop at the curb so they can stay in their seats waiting for the light to change.

    If it’s more comfortable for me to stop on the trigger spots I will. But I can’t be shuffling my bike around to trigger them. For me It’s easier to just pull to the curb, rest and wait for the light to change.

    3. “this is the best place to wait for the light to change”.

    4. yes

    5. Of course I have noticed the blue lights but haven’t noticed if their presence coincides with the light changing sooner. I figured they were sensors of some kind. Guess I was right.

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  • Jay T. February 17, 2016 at 11:08 am

    1) No

    2) Yes, except for the sensors that ODOT can never seem to adjust sensitively enough. Your city and mine seem to be better than the state department. The best info I got about bike placement for detection was in the article you cited. I remember that one of Buglas’s comments was quite helpful.

    3) Place my bike somewhere on the rectangle.

    4) No.

    5) No, I rarely visit those intersections. I did know what blue lights are for.

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  • JJJJ February 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Rather than creating a new design, I wonder if Canada or Europe already has a good infographic?

    Wait here for green is still text heavy.

    Im thinking about how the US no turn on red sign compares to the Canadian one:
    http://static.seton.ca/media/catalog/product/canada/reflective-traffic-signs-no-turn-on-red-w4459-ba.jpg
    http://us.123rf.com/450wm/jojoo64/jojoo641508/jojoo64150800113/43196582-canada-traffic-sign–no-right-turn-on-red-this-sign-is-used-in-ontario.jpg?ver=6

    American traffic engineers sort of suck at communicating

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  • Bstedman February 17, 2016 at 11:24 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.)
    Yes, SW Portland
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)
    I know about it since I read about it here on BikePortland a few years ago. Before that I didn’t realize that that’s what the symbol means. So being more explicit would be good. I’m also not sure where exactly I have to stand.
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    That this is a place for bikes to stand, or allowed to be (in a mixed use situation).
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)
    Yes.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?
    I don’t ride there, so no. But I thought it would be helpful at the intersection I use fequently: left turn lane on Capitol Hwy eastbound & Terwilliger. That specific bike detector is finicky. It doesn’t always detect bicyclists. I’m not sure if it only triggers if there is more traffic waiting behind me and not just me as a bicyclist, or if I’m standing the wrong way over the symbol. The symbol is also close to the right edge of the left turn lane where car drivers going straight in the right lane whizz past at high speed and not very good at keeping their lane. So waiting in the right position over the bike symbol can be dangerous. This is of course more a problem of location of the symbol rather than the type of symbol. In any case a blue light to indicitae whether I was detected ot not would be good.

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  • Darin Wick February 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

    1) Yes, I live in N. Portland

    2) I’ve known about induction loops for a long time now! Learned proper positioning to trigger them when I lived in Davis, CA. First encountered one of the blue lights coming up from the Esplanade to Rose Quarter years ago and read the sign.

    3) Stop on that marking to trigger the light.

    4) While I know to position myself along the edge of induction loops designed for cars, those loops aren’t always easy to identify. These markings are a huge help and I’d love to see them at more intersections.

    5) I don’t make it to SE much, but I noticed the one on Tillamook, know what it’s for, and am glad it’s there.

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  • Aurelia Dalek February 17, 2016 at 11:29 am

    1) I’m from Portland.
    2) Yes
    3) Put wheels here to trigger the signal.
    4) The existing markings are clear to me but I like the new ones better.
    5) Yes, I’ve ridden the MLK & Tillamook intersection many times, and it was clear to me what the blue light indicated without any signage/knowledge of it. I understood it intuitively with no explanation.

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  • Cam Taylor February 17, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Y

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Y but I come across many cyclists who don’t (some don’t even believe me when I tell them how to use them to activate the light)
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Wait in this area for light to change
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Y and Y
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Y (Tillamook & MLK) but didn’t know what it did

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  • Eric Leifsdad February 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    1) my kids are from here
    2) yes, unless I can’t see a loop/marking
    3) “put bike here” seems obvious. The old marking looks more resilient to tire wear, especially in an auto lane.
    4) yes? (as opposed to jaybiking?) Yes, more bike paint is always good.
    5) I haven’t been there to notice them. Yes. I gave up on the one at SW Moody and Sheridan just like all of the bike signals on Moody and Tilikum.

    I really don’t like waiting alone on this mark at the signal on Miles at Barbur — where you’re just outside the curve of fast-moving traffic and much of it is peeling off in your direction. That’s a lot of heavy, fast traffic pointing straight at me and my kid with no way to maneuver. The timing (60s red, 3s green) doesn’t help, particularly when vehicles coming the other way have come left of center around the corner and spuriously triggered the light (80% of the time.) Do multiple loops not indicate direction? I was able to adjust (electric) speed based on the ped countdown, but the sellwood bridge detour signs block that right now. I sometimes roll over the edge of the first loop but it seems rare that eastbound traffic hasn’t tripped it lately. I’ve even seen the tail of a car running the red light activate it when I was 2 blocks away.

    Maybe just a green dot with a bike symbol in the center, placed 15ft/s and 30ft/s from the intersection, slightly to the right or somewhere they wouldn’t get unintentionally activated if they are far away from a long signal. If you give me a reliable way to make the light green before I stop, I will learn how to do it. A 2-3s trackstand, maybe. A countdown, ok. A blue light asking me to kindly wait “over there out of the way” for maybe 3 auto cycles, nope.

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  • Maria February 17, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    1) I’ve lived in Portland for 13 years but am from New York.
    2) Yes.
    3) Stop here.
    4) Yes and yes
    5) Yes

    Also, the marking at SE 21st when waiting to cross Powell headed northbound is in the car traffic lane is faded and drivers don’t seem to understand why I’m in the “middle” of their lane instead of to the side. Sounds like a small issue, but I have been touched by a car pulling up right behind me and would prefer to stay to the side of these big ignorant beasts we call cars.

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  • Phil Richman February 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking communicate to you? My bike is meant to be here. It communicates a sense of power and possibility
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? Yes and it should be added at more intersections 5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? Only slightly, no.

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  • El Biciclero February 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    After reading many of these responses and thinking a bit more about this, I have some general comments.

    As they say in real estate, “location, location, location”. Having a solitary, single-tire-width spot where bicyclists are expected to wait for a green can be problematic. I traverse the intersection of Broadway & Clay (SB) in the morning, where a bike lane is ill-advisedly placed to the right of a right-only lane, so that bicyclists are sure to know that they are expected to enter the parking-protected gauntlet bike lane that runs the length of the PSU campus. I never use this green-painted approach lane, opting to travel down the center of the right-only lane so that drivers are not tempted to play beat-the-cyclist in their rush to make the right onto Clay. If I have to stop at Clay, I do so in the middle of the painted bike box, rather than off to the right in the actual bike lane. Now, there is no signal detector here, since the lights appear to be on timers, but if there were a signal detector, would it be in the bike box, or in the far-right bike lane area? I’ve seen a couple of comments about the position of sensors being in a location that makes it uncomfortable for a bicyclist to wait there. So why only have one “approved” location where bikes can wait and still be detected? Are any of these “wait here” symbols present in left turn lanes? Where bike boxes are present, can a bicyclist wait in the box, or must they wait on the far right, inviting motorists to make their illegal rights on red? Why can there not be a series of loops that will detect a bike or a car, but doesn’t require precise alignment of one’s bike wheels in a single location to have one’s existence acknowledged?

    Putting special sensors in far-right locations, even if they are in a bike lane, merely reinforces the notion that bicyclists are meant to stay off the sidewalk and stay out of the street. While it is better to at least have an increased probability that you will be assisted in obeying the law by getting a turn to have a green light, it cannot be thought of as any kind of “equal treatment”. This effort is commendable, in a way, but it is a little bit like tossing brightly-colored table scraps so we dogs can see them instead of having to sniff around—but they are still scraps. I could go on much longer about signal detection in Washington County, where loops are the least of my worries—it’s the cameras that can’t “see” me that are the real downers. Even though I know all the tricks and the “right” positions for every rectangular, diamond, and circular detection loop out there (and I ride a steel-framed bike with Al wheels), I often find myself waiting for one, two, three—up to five minutes for traffic to clear so I can just run a “dead red”, because no detection method seems capable of picking me up.

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  • J. E. February 17, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Perhaps sounds condescending (e.g. “wait here for the light to turn green instead of blowing the red you stupid cyclist.”) Perhaps “wait here to trigger green (light)” would be clearer?
    4) Now that I know what it means, I love these indicators! Please put them everywhere.
    5) Yes, found out what they mean on a bike ride with signal guy Peter Koonce last summer. Have noticed the lights here and there ever since then.

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  • Chris February 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    1) Yes, I live in SE Portland
    2) Yes, I knew how to trip the sensors previously. I find that most cycles on the road do not, however, so I am always telling other cycles about them.
    3) The figure 1 market is about as simple as it gets. It clearly tells me that as a cyclist I should wait on top of it for a green signal.
    4) Yes I would. And yes I think PBOT should add this to all bikeable intersections.
    5) I have noticed the blue indicator light at both these intersections, and used them many times. A friend told me a few years back what they were. Since then I’ve hoped they’d appear in more areas.

    Thanks!!

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  • Bryan B February 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    It may be too late for this, but why not use a proper survey tool (SurveyMonkey or Google Surveys) for this? It seems like the questions could be more pointed and the data would be a heck of a lot easier to analyze. I feel bad for the intern who’s going to have to do all this data entry.

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  • Ken Stedman February 17, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) – Yes

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)
    In theory yes, in practice the sensor at the corner of SW Terwilliger and SW Capitol Highway does not work about 50% of the time.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    That the light should sense you. I am concerned about wear on such a sign.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)
    No more or less then now.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?
    No, but I did see them on the Orange Line Bike Path, these would be EXTREMELY useful at SW Terwilliger and SW Capitol Highway (I even thought about inventing them if they did not exist).

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  • Sio February 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    1) I am a Portland resident of 10+ years and a bike commuter of 8 eyars
    2) Yes! And I take the opportunity to educate when it appears others do not know.
    3) It tells me where my bike needs to be to trigger the signal.
    4) No, I know that my bike needs to intersect the circle on the ground.
    5) I have! When I noticed the one in Ladd’s I googled it because I didn’t know what it was.

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  • Greg B February 17, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? Yes, including positioning bike in unmarked intersections with front tire on part of loop and back tire on other portion of loop.
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? It tells me bikes have to wait there while waiting for a green (similar to a bike box- it’s not intuitive that waiting there will trigger or is required for a green.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) I am more likely to stop in the spot that provides me the best opportunity to gain a green light. I don’t know how sensitive they are, but if using it, I would expect it to turn every time I’m in the box, even if not exactly lined up (signal at SE 43rd and Powell appears to have a wire down the center of it and a rectangle box. I’m never sure how sensitive it is so I always park right on the line.) I think PBOT should mark as many intersections as possible (as they have done on SW Naito and Oak.)
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? Yes and Yes, although I think I see the blue light at Division on even when there is no bike to trigger it (as I approach.) It made me think it was simply programmed to always cycle through in case a bike was present.
    6) The position of the “wait here for green” is important. If it is slightly off to the right IN A BIKE BOX, as pictured heading north on SE 21st above, it almost invites cars to come along side of me, as if I’m making room for them. I always take the center of the lane in a bike box to reinforce cars wait for bikes to start and that they need to wait behind the stop line.
    7) For bike boxes, it really should be an option to simply ride into any part of the bike box and trip the signal. It seems two or three horizontal rectangular loops could be put under the pavement to detect a cyclist anywhere in the bike box. They include three and sometimes four loops for cars in case someone pulls too far forward, too far back, and/or to determine how heavy traffic is. At intersections with bike boxes, it’s most intuitive for a biker to enter the bike box anywhere and trigger the light. Thanks for asking!

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  • Magnum February 17, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Wait in the box.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Yes. Yes.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I noticed the one at the Rose Quarter and I knew what it was because when I went in the box it came on.

    Also, I love the timer at the Rose Quarter.

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  • Paul February 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) It tells me where to place my front and rear wheels to trigger a green light.
    4) Yes. Sometimes I try to position myself on loops, but am never entirely sure if I am positioned correctly. Of course, PBOT should add this to more intersections. I am always happy to find the small icons in places where I don’t expect them.
    5) Yes

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  • Serena February 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    1) Portland Metro born and bred.

    2) It took me awhile to figure it out, but I have known about the triggering devices for years–probably learned about ’em here, for that matter.

    3) I think it’s reasonably clear, but I don’t know if people will know their bike has to be right on top of it?

    4) Yes, the triggering system works well–used it all the time when I was commuting 5 mi each way.

    5) Didn’t notice, but have been working construction lately and so driving a van, not biking, alas.

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  • Alex Reed February 17, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I refuse to answer these questions. The fact is that the current placement and timing of signals relative to low-stress bike routes GREATLY inconveniences people biking and GREATLY increases the convenience of people driving. The proposed changes are attempted efficiencies in order to make the huge inconvenience to people biking slightly less bad without upsetting people driving even the slightest bit. It’s like a chef giving me a peanut butter sandwich and the person next to me some awesome little tea sandwiches with caviar and the chef saying, “Oh, look, I cut off the crusts for these awesome little tea sandwiches! Would you like me to include the crusts on the plate with the peanut butter sandwich so it’s a little bit less insulting?” NO, I do NOT! I want some of the awesome little tea sandwiches!

    I want to see PBOT staff get a little bit revolutionary here. Let’s talk about things that would actually make biking and walking in the presence of signals convenient, rather than just slightly less inconvenient. What about changing all pedestrian signals in the city at otherwise non-signalized intersections (not just the few in that pilot program a while ago) to have extremely short wait intervals from pressing the button to getting a walk signal? I’m talking ten seconds of waiting only. What about the same thing but with advance detection loops for people biking to extend signals? On busy bike/walk corridors such as the Clinton To The River area, what about having two bike/walk signals for every one driving signal? What about decreasing the signal length for people driving on 11th and 12th so people biking and walking on Clinton to the River don’t have to wait such a long time? What about doing something similar where greenways cross major streets? What about pushing the envelope to make things significantly better in our lifetimes instead of just trying these tiny little tweaks around the edges?

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  • Bob Shanteau February 17, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Why doesn’t Oregon DOT follow Caltrans’ lead and require all new and modified traffic actuated signals to detect a junior high sized person riding anbike with an aluminum frame and rims stopped in the middle of every lane at the stop line? That way, no markings are necessary.

    Detecting bicycles is simple with diagonal quadrupole inductive loops, video detection, or microwave detection. It’s not that hard.

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  • Fillard Spring-Rhyne February 18, 2016 at 6:32 am

    1) Yes, SE Portland (97202).

    2) Mostly. There are two complications (both of which are solved by the little blue light): I don’t know how sensitive the detector is, and I don’t know whether it’s enough to just trigger the detector once vs. whether I need to “WAIT HERE” so the system won’t decide I’ve run the red light or otherwise moved on.

    3) It communicates to me: There is probably a metal detector here. To request a green light, trigger the detector. Depending on the sensitivity of the detector, it may be necessary to orient your bike along the painted line and/or tilt it horizontally as I’ve seen illustrated in a cyclist manual (from ODOT I think). The paint says to “WAIT HERE”, which suggests that if you don’t stay in the location shown the system will cancel your request.

    4) Yes, but a much better solution would be to (1) install more/larger detectors so any legal cyclist will trigger a signal change and (2) install a little blue light.

    5) Yes and yes! Well not at those particular intersections (why does the question mention them specifically?) but at intersections I use. I knew what they meant immediately, without explanation. (But of course people are diverse so education is still needed.) Instant positive feedback devices like the little blue lights are incredibly valuable.

    Like some of the other commenters, I don’t believe that dim/bright is a sufficient distinction for the little blue lights. And also the bright is probably too bright for some people. If you don’t like off/on, other options include one/two and small circle/large square.

    Thanks for this opportunity to provide feedback. That said, there is no question that PDOT needs to make much bigger changes to Portland transportation than are being discussed here.

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  • Go By Bike
    Go By Bike February 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

    1) Yes!

    2) Yes! Whenever I have the chance I also educate people at intersections who seem confused

    3) Wait in the box for the light to turn green

    4) yes

    5) yes, i also like the count down timer coming off the steel bridge but it needs to be more in sync with the lights, (count down timing currently various)

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  • Pamalama February 18, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    1) Yes
    2) Yes, I work in active transportation and transportation engineering
    3) Place your bike over the symbol for the signal to detect you
    4)It would not change my behavior because I know what it means. I would think/ hope it would help more people learn about how to get detected-if they speak English. I do think it is a great idea but I am very concerned about our non-English speaking neighbors. If you read Bike Portland, most likely, you already ride a bike. We need to encourage others outside of bike-geekdom to ride a bike by being inclusive.
    5)Yes and Yes

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  • K.Bott February 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area?
    — yep
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article?
    — yep
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    — I think it does what it says on the box. I put my bike here, then I get… a green light
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement?
    — Not a huge problem (for me) — and I’d want to make sure this was what PBOT thought was its best use of bike themoplastic/paint $ before saying ‘yep, I need the dot and explanation’. But then again, I don’t think I’m your use case…
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post?
    — Yep and yep. And I’ve heard other cyclists explaining them to other riders, too…

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  • Irwin February 18, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    1) Yes. Born in Portland and currently living in Vancouver WA.
    2) Yes, thanks to Vancouver’s Cycling the Cities map/guide.
    3) Place your bike inside the box, and you’ll get a green light.
    4) Yes, because there are explicit instructions; and yes.
    5) Yes, not at the listed intersections, but at the northern end of the Eastbank Esplanade (at N Interstate). I knew what it meant before this post.

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  • lisa February 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) YES- live in foster/powell, bike commute to downtown primarily.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) YES… basically, though I didn’t quite know that I was supposed to put my bike RIGHT ON the vertical lines. I was generally there or near-ish.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you?
    That I be there to get the light to turn.

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?)
    If it is the difference between this marking and no marking at all… yes. If it is the difference between the markings used now and the new idea for markings… either would do. Also, if there are cuts in the pavement for where they put the sensor things that is usually a good indicator of where the sensor is (or at least I think it is). Also, I would say that occasionally they seem to be at odd angles (i.e…. at se 7th? and se clinton as you are going towards the river) it seems to be facing slightly to the left, when really you want to go straight ahead.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I have seen them on the SE Clinton bike route by the MAX lines at the various intersections there circa se 7th (ish). I did NOT know what they meant until someone told me. I have since passed the word along.

    IN closing, the green zones in general at busy intersections are SO helpful, as are the turn lane thingys (like the one on West Burnside as you are going west that is at 4th (or is it 3rd?)

    Thanks!

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  • slug February 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes.

    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!) Sort of, initially only when the inductor loops were visible, but over time I started to associate the image with ‘hey I could get a green light if I roll over that’. I also didn’t know I had to stay over the loop, thought I could just pass through and then find somewhere better to wait for the light.

    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Wait here to get a green light

    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Depends on traffic and where the marking is. Some of these markings are nearly impossible to get my bike over without lifting it sideways after I’ve stopped. The path by the new max tracks near Division have a good example of this.

    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? No, but I’ve seen the little blue light at SE 8th and Tilikum way which I imagine is similar. I think that little blue light is great.

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  • Lance February 24, 2016 at 9:05 am

    1) Are you from the Portland metro area? (We want to hear from everyone, we’re just curious.) Yes
    2) Did you know how to get a green before reading this article? (Be honest!)Yes
    3) Imagine yourself rolling up to a signalized intersection. What does the pavement marking (as shown in Figure 1 above) communicate to you? Another biker who was waiting told me what it was for. Earlier I had been pushing the walk button.
    4) Would you be more likely to wait in the correct spot for a green light if an intersection had this marking on the pavement? (If so, do you think PBOT should add this marking to more intersections?) Sure, but I agree with those who have concerns that doing so would yield your left turning position and sometimes, like along the Orange Line, they are awkward to align with.
    5) Have you noticed the blue indicator light on the signals at SE 21st and Division and NE Tillamook and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd? If so, did you know what it was for before you read this post? I’d seen the blue lights, but had no idea what they meant.

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  • RGRHON March 4, 2016 at 11:20 am

    How about restricting cars to driveways only until they demonstrate the ability to be safely operated by autonomous means. Who gave anyone the right to operate a heavy powered machine that can kill in an instant on the roadway? Insanity!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 10, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Just want to thank everyone who shared feedback on this project. We — the BikePortland team and the City of Portland — are grateful for your help and your desire to improve our city.

    We’re just about to wrap up the project with a final report to PBOT. Stay tuned for more developments in the exciting world of bike-friendly traffic signals!

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