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View Full Version : Nearly Right Hooked, WB on Broadway Bridge...


K'Tesh
09-07-2008, 09:58 PM
I've never headed WB on the Broadway Bridge, and after tonight I think I'll do what I can to avoid that bridge's crossing.

I was heading for home after exploring Portland, and found myself on the Broadway Bridge. It was dark, and I didn't understand the signs/lights or striping on that really F**KED up West end. I don't know if I tried to blow the light or the person in the car on my left was in the wrong, but I nearly found myself colliding with the car. :mad:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/2839278896_897be2c347.jpg (http://flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157607183119733/)
Turn right or risk DEATH!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3187/2838444873_95773baa30.jpg (http://flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157607183119733/)
What's those signs say? How can I see them when it's dark? My headlights don't point up that high...

The driver stopped, and stayed put until I was clear, but I went back and took pictures... Being taken after dark, they suck. The driver didn't honk, didn't yell, and I feel that they were as startled and confused as I was. I have no clue as to who was at fault here.

I'd encourage someone setup a video camera on that intersection and record it, I can't be the only one who has a problem there. One thing that could have helped was having the bike signal sign lit and/or flashing. I didn't see it until I went back to examine the layout.

PDOT needs to re-examine what is going on here, cause it's really F**KED UP! :mad:

IF I ever find myself there again, I'll take the lane, it HAS to be safer...


Be Careful Out There!
K'Tesh

ME 2
09-08-2008, 09:36 AM
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. To help clarify some of the design issues as someone who regularly drives and bikes WB on that bridge:

1. The striping on the ramp denotes that there are two bike lanes coming off this bridge WB: i) NW Broadway and ii) NW Lovejoy. I found the striping to be very helpful in my morning commute as it orients people to line up single file if they want to take NW Broadway and keep the right lane clear for folks like me who are taking NW Lovejoy.

2. A driver who wants to turn right on NW Lovejoy cannot execute that turn and see a rider coming off the bridge who wants to go down NW Broadway. That's why there are separate signals; one for a cyclist and one for right turning drivers. The signing for right turning cars is pretty clear here, but the driver may have missed it.

I'd encourage you to call PDOT and record your issues. The number is 503.823.SAFE. The best way to get them to act is to call in so they can record and tally up the numbers to make case on whether this exchange needs clearer signs and directions for drivers and cyclists.

K'Tesh
09-08-2008, 09:43 AM
I'd encourage you to call PDOT and record your issues. The number is 503.823.SAFE. The best way to get them to act is to call in so they can record and tally up the numbers to make case on whether this exchange needs clearer signs and directions for drivers and cyclists.

I already tried, but I want to speak to a person, so I'll keep trying until I reach someone.

I think that the bike only sign needs to be actively lit, not retroreflective, the bike signals need to have bike symbols in them (kinda like where the esplanade exits to the Rose Garden area).

brock
09-08-2008, 02:36 PM
This is a regular part of my commute. I've seen cars make the right turn to Lovejoy when the bike lane has the green, most recently a couple of months ago it was a woman on a scooter who I came close to getting creamed by.

My biggest gripe is how short the bike signal seems to be - I'm pretty fast to clip and and get moving and it always turns yellow while I'm still in the intersection. The light favors cars turning to Lovejoy and the bike signal is almost always red when I get there (might be early morning timing; I'm through there a little after 6am).

I can see how this could be confusing if you're not familiar with the intersection, especially in the dark. Likely too for the lady who almost got me with her scooter. I'd like to see some sort of larger, flashing type sign when the bike lane has the right of way, and also a longer green.

K'Tesh
09-08-2008, 03:05 PM
I'd like to see some sort of larger, flashing type sign when the bike lane has the right of way, and also a longer green.

Perhaps include something like a push to activate crosswalk signal? Then you get a slightly longer bike light? Or try optical recognition (similar to what's being used in Beaverton's intersections) to register waiting/approaching bikes.

Just ideas...
K'Tesh

brock
09-09-2008, 07:19 AM
A button would be nice there, though bikes easily trigger the signal. We just have to wait longer to trip it and then it's so dang short.

As I rode westbound down Broadway this morning, I noticed a pair of large, yellow, flashing, diamond shaped pedestrian signs at the crosswalk up the hill from the bridge. Very visable. Something like that at the end of the bridge (with a bikin' dude instead of a walkin' dude) when bikes have the right of way would be great.

Dillon
09-10-2008, 11:07 AM
I've never had a problem with this intersection. At least the car has a light unlike the EB Hawthorne one. If its dark and your in unfamiliar territory slow down and make sure you know whats going on. I'm betting you blew the light.

K'Tesh
11-10-2008, 09:17 AM
I may have very well blown the light... I had no expectation of a lane crossing the bikelane. I've never seen a intersection quite like this, and there were no signs or lights to alert me prior to me arriving at the intersection...

I went down there on Saturday, and looked for some kind of "stop ahead" sign... (ie, Stop Ahead, right turn permitted without stopping)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/3018345211_0811705f0b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157607183119733/)

Nope, not here...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3051/3019197840_422979ab13.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157607183119733/)

Still no sign...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3072/3018390403_d020004750.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157607183119733/)

A warning would be nice... OOPS!!! Squish...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3184/3018401049_c242f9fb46.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157607183119733/)

And when backlit, or dark, that bike signal sign is not obvious. Remember, my first time over this was at night, so it came as a complete surprise.

Be Safe Out There!
K'Tesh

lynnef
11-10-2008, 10:28 AM
Am I misreading the signals up there, or, in the second picture from the bottom is that white truck turning right on red? Or not? that right-pointing green arrow is unexpectedly placed. It should be the rightmost signal.

Lynne "on the lookout for violations of expectation" F

K'Tesh
11-10-2008, 10:32 AM
Am I misreading the signals up there, or, in the second picture from the bottom is that white truck turning right on red?

No, the truck was turning on a green. The red you saw was the "Bike Signal" that I'm talking about. Kinda confusing isn't it?

Be Careful Out There!
K'Tesh

toddistic
11-10-2008, 12:23 PM
I actually consider that intersection well thought out. I think perhaps the fact that your bike is sooo well lite made it hard to see the signal! You gotta tone it down there K'Tesh :D:D:D:D

q`Tzal
11-10-2008, 12:58 PM
I don't know if K'Tesh is running a helmet headlight but signs like this are a prime reason for a cyclist to have one. As a motor vehicle aproaches the signs the light returned by retro reflective decreases rapidly; light is reflected to the light source which is no longer aimed correctly to illuminate the sign

That being said the both signs need to be lit (the right turn only lane and bike lane) AND the bike signal sign needs to be physicaly attached to the traffic light for bikes.
It will be convinceably argued in the eventual lawsuit that the car driver was looking at the right most signal because he was in the right most lane; there was no indication that it was not his signal. Perhaps the "NO RIGHT TURN ON RED" sign should blink like some crosswalk signs do.

K'Tesh
11-10-2008, 01:19 PM
Sent this to Jonathan, several members of the BTA, ODOT, and PDXTrans... It worked for fixing the storm drain grate on 1st and Ankeny (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/3018978824/in/set-72157605640010375/) (the one that could eat wheelchairs), so I figured I'd try again...


subject: Problems with the Broadway bridge signals...‏

I'd like to point out this thread (started by me) in the Bike Portland Forums.

http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2360

I was nearly hit when, I, or the motorist that nearly hit me, misread the signals for the Lovejoy offramp and nearly collided. I worry that someone else might not be so lucky.

Perhaps someone could re-examine the conditions at that intersection, and keep in mind new cyclists, or out of town visitors potential problems here.

Lets hope that this gets forwarded to the person who might actually be able to resolve this issue before someone gets hurt.

BTW: Q'ztal, I do have a helmet mounted light, but like you said, it was pointed in the wrong spot, I think I was trying to figure out the painted lines on the ground.

Be Safe Out There!
K'Tesh

K'Tesh
11-12-2008, 07:44 AM
Got this email today:


RE: Problems with the Broadway bridge signals...‏
From: info@pdxtrans.org)
Sent: Wed 11/12/08 8:01 AM
To: 'K' Tesh

Thank you for this information, Mr. K'Tesh. I forwarded it to our Traffic Investigations Section with a request for either them or our Bureau of Maintenance to check.

___Name_____
Portland Office of Transportation
info@pdxtrans.org


I edited out my name and the name/email of the sender, for privacy and protection of source issues... suffice it to say that info@pdxtrans.org does work, and I don't want to burn anybody who could help me make this a safer place for all. I'm sure that this would have been dated Monday or Tuesday had it not been a holiday.

Also spoke to someone with the BTA about it and she had talked to Roger Geller about this some time ago but he didn't have the complaints backing her up. Perhaps now?

Squeeky Wheels...
K'Tesh

K'Tesh
11-12-2008, 02:53 PM
Someone from 503 823 SAFE just called me, and asked me about my calls/emails. Appears that this is climbing up the chain of command in the halls of the Transportation Dept...

If an investigation is started, I was told I'll get a tracking number...

Wish Me Luck!
K'Tesh

K'Tesh
11-14-2008, 09:54 AM
After looking at the painted vs unpainted bike box photos (http://bikeportland.org/2008/11/13/a-tale-of-two-bike-boxes/) that Jonathan took, I thought that perhaps the bike lane could be painted green (or blue) to remind everybody that this is a possible conflict area.

http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/bikeboxpaint.jpg (http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/bikeboxpaint.jpg)

I may not have seen the light against me, but painted bike lanes is a guaranteed eye catcher, and I'd know to start searching for the reason.

Now, if I could only get my email up and running again, so I could share this with the people I've managed to reach...

Wish Me Luck!
K'Tesh

K'Tesh
01-28-2009, 09:04 AM
I stumbled across the business card of a Land Use and Transportation Program Planner, and sent off an email.

So, has anything been done to improve the area?

Mahalo!
K'Tesh

brock
01-28-2009, 09:54 AM
as of this morning, exactly the same.

K'Tesh
02-01-2009, 07:47 AM
Yesterday, while coming home from N. Portland, I attempted the Broadway Bridge again.

As I was rolling up, I noticed some broken metal fixture on the barrier between the bike lane and the travel lane, and wondered if something *HAD* been installed, and lost due to a crash or vandalism.

A car on my left slowed down, and when I noticed that, I thought that it would be my turn to cross, so I glanced up, saw a green light, and started. Then the car, and another right behind it, started to make the turn. I AGAIN have nearly come to grief at this intersection.

I yelled at them thinking that they were in the wrong, and after turning with them to avoid being hit, and circling around, I looked at the light again, and again I saw green... A GREEN arrow ( -> ), I'm quite certain that from where I started from, that arrow was the green I saw.

Perhaps, it is the alignment of the signals in relation to the lanes that is causing a portion of my problems. No matter what, this intersection is a trap, and if something isn't done about it, I'm predicting that someone will be hit here and suffer serious injury or will be killed.

Multnomah County, PLEASE seriously look into this matter. You have an opportunity to prevent this from becoming a site for a Ghost Bike.

Be Safe!
K'Tesh

q`Tzal
02-01-2009, 09:47 PM
K`tesh, how about this:

I've shamelessly stolen your photo and poorly photoshopped in these traffic signals and signs.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3078/3246886228_8ba5f2b8b6_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29979427@N02/3246886228/)

Traffic at this intersection shows a need for signalization contextually adjacent to the traffic path (as close as possible with out being a hazard).

If this doesn't work we can ask for these (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCSsope5vOA).

For high res traffic signs go to Manual of Traffic Signs (http://www.trafficsign.us/)

K'Tesh
02-01-2009, 10:27 PM
K`tesh, how about this:

I've shamelessly stolen your photo and poorly photoshopped in these traffic signals and signs.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3078/3246886228_8ba5f2b8b6_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29979427@N02/3246886228/)

Traffic at this intersection shows a need for signalization contextually adjacent to the traffic path (as close as possible with out being a hazard).

If this doesn't work we can ask for these (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCSsope5vOA).

For high res traffic signs go to Manual of Traffic Signs (http://www.trafficsign.us/)

I approve!

That would eliminate any confusion! Now if only something like that can be done.

Thanks!
K'Tesh

Psyfalcon
02-02-2009, 12:04 AM
I'd actually paste it into the one from farther back; up close its not too bad, but this view makes me think that the right turn signal is the light for the right lane going straight, or a bike lane light. Edit: Notice how it blends into the dark trees? Red- Green colorblind anyone?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3072/3018390403_d020004750.jpg
I don't even think you'd have to add an additional right turn sign, just a new bike one

jr98664
02-02-2009, 08:56 PM
I'm just going to throw this in there, but I've never had any problems with this intersection. I'm from Vancouver, and the first time I went through this intersection, I just got it.

If anything, I think more lights would just make it more confusing. More traffic lights to pay attention to mean that less attention is being paid to the cyclists that will eventually get hit.

I think the best solution would simply be to make sure that the regulator signs are properly lit. Then add a few warning signs for both motorists and cyclists about the approaching light configuration.

Just my take on this situation.

q`Tzal
02-03-2009, 12:06 AM
The problem with this intersection ultimately is that it is perfectly legal. We essentially have 2 intersections in the space of one.

By having the bike lane cross left across right turning traffic you are insuring that a right hook accident will occur. This and this alone is why I believe that a signal that is positioned and sized like the on-ramp metering signal lights NEEDS to be included at the end of right auto turn lane such that an inattentive driver has an opportunity to see a signal right in front of their face, that is OBVIOUSLY "Just for Autos", that says NO TURN ON RED.

As K`tesh can more recently attest to it is possible for a cyclist to misinterpret these signs especially given high speeds, which are quite common here, and darkness.

The auto crossing mistakenly can cause much more harm than the cyclist crossing mistakenly. Therefore we should deal with the more hazardous condition first.

As jr98664 said the lights could be very easily be made more confusing. Upon a re-examination of the original picture
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3466/3250240574_9b82a745c4.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29979427@N02/3250240574/)
... we can see a lot of visual clutter in the deep background (buildings, different shapes, sizes and colors) that form the basis of some fairly effective camouflage.


The primary improvements to the signalization in this instance would be:
1) Increasing contrast of foreground signs in all lighting conditions. This would require back lighting for the signs. I'd like the type face at least 1.5x it's current size; I still have 20/15 vision and disturbing night vision but at common speeds for this area the time that these 2 signs
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3472/3250165410_ea5b52034a.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29979427@N02/3250165410/)
are readable is very often not sufficient to act on them


2) Change out the current signals for signals that are less ambiguous. I propose this...
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3384/3250113342_498b5fb2f5.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29979427@N02/3250113342/)


What this does is it forces the quasi-attentive drivers to justify "Why does the farthest right signal, and thus obviously (and we know wrongly) for my right turn, indicate that I should be going left?" If that stops one auto then the rest have to wait in line behind them at the red light.

I do believe that a short series of bike specific signage should be on the Broadway bridge MUP to relay to cyclists that merging right to continue on NW Lovejoy St. is a non-controlled path however to follow the bike lane to Broadway Ave will require dealing with a traffic signal. In this case however, it might be best to use standardized road signs to avoid more confusion.
It's late so this one is quick and dirty.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3347/3249400551_3970239210_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29979427@N02/3249400551/)

brettoo
02-05-2009, 06:56 PM
This reminds me that last summer, I was biking west over the Broadway Bridge around sunset, and was startled when another biker going the other way yelled at me for (couldn't hear the exact words) running a light. Now, I'm pretty careful about stopping at lights and obeying traffic rules, and I felt embarrassed. I didn't have time to go back and see what I'd done wrong, and I haven't been back over the bridge going west since then, but I guess somehow I inadvertantly ran that light, even though I was trying real hard to be on the lookout for signals and signs. Maybe I just spaced or missed it somehow, but this suggests that maybe the signage isn't quite sufficient, at least not for occasional, non commuting cyclists like me. Or maybe I was just oblivious or the glare of the setting sun somehow made me miss it. But really, I was trying to look for signs that day and was surprised when I evidently missed this one. So maybe it does need rethinking.

biciclero
02-06-2009, 08:56 AM
I don't even think you'd have to add an additional right turn sign, just a new bike one --Psyfalcon

I agree. Take down the overhead bike signal because it's confusing for drivers, and put it on a post next to the bike lane. No new auto right turn signal needed.

q`Tzal
02-06-2009, 05:50 PM
The big problem with a sign adjacent to the bike lane is that in this instance there is nothing, curb or impediment wise, to stop an errant cyclist from running in to this hypothetical new sign.

While I'm old school and think that this inevitable cyclist-sign post collision is the fault of the cyclist, that certainly won't stop them from suing and potentially winning a suit.

In light of this real issue of liability my first suggestion of a sign in the bike lane (post #20) is a bad idea.

biciclero: while I agree whole heartedly that simplicity is the solution in all things traffic related it does not address two of the root concerns: low visibility of the "NO RIGHT TURN ON RED" sign and driver vs cyclist interactions in a very non-standard intersection.

Without a highly visible "NO RIGHT TURN ON RED" sign the unfamiliar driver will miss it and we'll have yet another "He came out of NOWHERE!!" justified homicide.

K'Tesh
12-16-2010, 10:16 PM
Q: I started this thread when?... (A: Sept 2008 )

Today as I was going over the Broadway Bridge, I noticed this new sign...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5129/5267614709_7771755341.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/5267614709)

That could have prevented me from having my close call. I hope it leads to something permanent.

K'Tesh
12-30-2010, 02:24 AM
Sent another scattershot email today... ODOT, PBOT, Multnomah County, the BTA, and Jonathan all were included.

Well, it's been over 2 years since I was nearly right hooked on the Broadway Bridge at the Lovejoy cutoff. I've seen a reflective sign put in place on the bridge a few weeks ago.

Any progress on real improvements being made? I've seen the BikePortland post about the Broadway/Williams improvements, and they look exactly like what we need here.

Thanks
K'Tesh