PDA

View Full Version : Naito Bike Lane has hazard built in


OnTheRoad
09-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Used SW Naito bike lane going south for first time over the weekend.

Just past SW Stark, southbound, a large raised island has been built IN the bike lane which I had to swerve to miss. Luckily, traffic was low.

Apparently they want you to angle right, across the off-ramp lane, to the curb this is where the weave starts for people coming off the Morrison bridge ramp and for those wanting to get on the bridge at the next intersection..

The raised island is not painted yellow it is just plain concrete. And just feet before you are supposed to angle right, there is the bike lane icon and a straight ahead arrow.

If the arrow had indicated a right turn was necessary that would help, as it would if the curb had some kind of warning color. If there was a warning sign, I did not see it. This is a badly executed design.

Mofopotomus
09-04-2007, 03:44 PM
Interesting, I've never had a problem with this. I can see how it might be a pain if there's a car coming off the bridge but most of the time when I'm in that area that seems to not be happening. Maybe I'm just paranoidally observant but this little dodge to the right has never caught me off-gaurd. Though it's a good thing to keep in mind riding down this area because if you were to not see it that curb could completely mess up your bike, and I guess the rider might get hurt too.

Jonathan Maus
09-04-2007, 05:55 PM
I agree this is a problem area.

The day this was installed I was wary of it. It is not safe and I've been wanting to write about it/take photos myself so it's ironic to read your post.

Many other islands like this around the city have some sort of blinking light and/or paint... but this one has nothing.

I agree it is poorly executed and needs to be improved.

I'll post about this soon as I can. .. if anyone else has thoughts/experiences with this I'd love to know about them.

Thanks.

specialed
09-04-2007, 08:10 PM
I usually merge left into the car lane and then back to the right when its clear.

It feels safer because you avoid the sharp turn and its hard to see if a car is coming down the ramp, and there's no time to react if they nose out past where you need to cross their lane.

K'Tesh
12-02-2007, 09:22 PM
I've been kinda out of riding much in downtown... Has this been addressed yet?

bikieboy
12-10-2007, 10:18 AM
this is a somewhat aged thread, but nevertheless: I checked with the traffic engineer who worked on Naito Parkway about this some time back, after Jonathan brought it to my attention. A work order has been written to add some striping to help make this turn in the bike lane, and the raised concrete, more noticeable. Maintenance crews should be installing it any day now, weather permitting.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
12-10-2007, 10:23 AM
The best solution would be to simply remove the concrete island and put a sign on the off-ramp warning about merging into cyclists.

No offense, but forcing cyclists to make a 90 degree turn and ride perpendicular to traffic is IMHO a really stupid idea. Reinforcing that stupidity is, even, yes, stupider. The City has created a situation that invites a traffic accident and is now actively working to make that possibility even more likely.

I won't use this ridiculous contraption. I'll just merge into the lane to my left. If I get a ticket, I don't think I'll have difficulty arguing that I merged to avoid a hazard in the road.

bikieboy
12-11-2007, 09:27 AM
AO, without arguing the merits or demerits of such a way to manage the weave of cyclists & motorists, I'll point out it's consistent with the City's design guidelines - see the link below to the current Bike Master Plan, figure A2.2, and the explanatory text in section E1, Right-Lane Merge.

http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=40414

This, of course, doesn't mean it's the right way to do it. For more competent and traffic-tolerant cyclists (such as yourself, I'm just guessing) that are able to manage such severe conflicts adeptly (that's a lot of traffic coming off the Morrison Br. ramp wanting to merge), this type of design may seem counter-productive, unnecessary, or worse. I'd guess it's a design that's meant to work best for what might be called a "Type B" cyclist - someone tolerant enough of traffic to be riding on a high-traffic street bike lane, but riding at a somewhat slower speed & needing guidance as to how to negotiate this situation.

Not to second guess the City's traffic engineer who designed this, but I would have forgone the concrete, so that cyclists that don't want to make this angled crossing, with the concomitant loss of speed, can chose to continue straight through unimpeded.

bikieboy
12-11-2007, 09:29 AM
AO, I forgot to add: the relevant info is on pages 101- 102 of the link above.

OnTheRoad
07-31-2008, 09:58 AM
this is a somewhat aged thread, but nevertheless: I checked with the traffic engineer who worked on Naito Parkway about this some time back, after Jonathan brought it to my attention. A work order has been written to add some striping to help make this turn in the bike lane, and the raised concrete, more noticeable. Maintenance crews should be installing it any day now, weather permitting.

I was through here a couple weeks ago, and nothing has been done same problem exists 8 months later.

wyeast
07-31-2008, 02:54 PM
For those who are unfamiliar after nearly a year of discussion...

http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/9694/naitobumpru7.jpg

I can appreciate the concern that they want to avoid having a cyclist get "caught" in the merge hell of cars coming on/off the bridge along with the usual stampede of cars along Naito. I think the island's necessary because you bet a car's gonna jump across the lane as soon as possible, so it's necessary (sadly) to shelter bikes waiting to cross over right at the gap.

And I can see where it's possible to think "Gee, the concrete should stand out against the asphalt." Because sure, it does.

However, what isn't accounted for is a cyclist riding behind another, and so perhaps doesn't have a great view of the pavement directly ahead. To them, the island can potentially come up as a surprise as the bike in front suddenly veers left to maintain speed along the traffic lane.

To that end, I don't think painting the island is necessarily the right course of action. If you can't see the concrete contrasting against the black asphalt, you're not going to do much better with yellow or red paint.

What's needed is either signage indicating the turn ahead, or markings on the pavement as such. "SLOW (arrow pointing right)" or some such. Ideally, I'd prefer a sign as it clearly indicates *where* the turn occurs, but I can understand that painting the road is cheaper than installing/maintaining a sign.

When dealing with bicycles, ground-level markings right at the turn will not be very visible to anyone not in the front of a group. Put them up high or well in advance of the turn.