View Full Version : Padden and Andresen. Clark County, WA
09-20-2008, 08:14 PM
This is more a pedestrian close call, as I was walking my bike from the NE corner of Padden Parkway and Andresen over to the NW corner. This is one of the scariest intersections of all time for me. (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=45.682184,-122.602218&spn=0.00137,0.003476&t=h&z=19) Note the two right turn lanes for motorists heading westbound on Padden.
It must've been about 1:30pm Friday 19 September. I'm on the NE corner, on foot with bike in hand, crosswalk button is pressed. I get the WALK light. Glance to my left and a right-hand-turning vehicle (WB on Padden to NB on Andresen) has entered the intersection, but had begun to brake, so I walk, then he decides to floor it. Close enough to clip the front wheel of the bike I was walking with my right hand and close enough for me to kick his rear... quarter panel.
Luckily this guy was in the near right turn lane. The ones who go for right-on-red from the far right turn lane are scarier, since they're going faster when they hit the crosswalk area.
I swear those two right turn lanes need a railroad crossing style bar that drops down when the WALK sign is lit.
09-21-2008, 02:11 AM
Here's Google Maps' satellite view of the intersection for the lazy (http://tinyurl.com/4e2s7q).
Anyway, I bet for the normal Vancouverite, it would never occur to them that anyone might not be traveling within the confines of an automobile, especially in that area—what are the point of crosswalks if there are no sidewalks?!
Reminds me of something I saw today on the south side of Mill Plain. From Lieser to at least 97th/98th Ave, the city was in the process of replacing the sidewalk's curb cuts at each and every crosswalk. They put up signs saying that the sidewalks were closed and to use the other side. There was only one problem: both corners on the south side of Mill Plain were closed. If you were walking, you still might be able to lean over the barriers to activate the button, but no such luck for the handicapped, for example. So long as it doesn't inconvenience motorists, I don't imagine the city caring much.
Same thing with a car completely blocking the sidewalk in front of the Colwood Golf Course on NE Columbia. Considering the fact that this could severely impair the safety and mobility of pedestrians (especially the disabled), I quickly called 911. When the operator found that it wasn't blocking the roadway for motorists, he quickly and rudely gave me the number for the non-emergency line. Just because we aren't polluting doesn't make it any less of an emergency.
The average motorist will look out the window and look down upon the pedestrians around them, somehow thinking them lesser than themselves for not transporting themselves by personal automobile. They do this while we pedestrians and cyclists just smile, because it's just so much more fun (amongst other things) than driving.
Sorry for that rant, but I could go on.
09-21-2008, 08:44 AM
Makes you wonder if Vancouver's civil engineers moved here from San Jose (http://sanjosehatespedestrians.priss.org).
Seriously, you should memorize the non-emergency dispatch number in your area. In Washington County it's 503-629-0111. Save 9-1-1 for time critical response (where lives or property are at stake).
I occasionally consider one of the forum's member's suggestion, that you carry a dry erase marker with you. Then, the next time you see someone parked in a crosswalk, you can write on the glass, "I parked in a crosswalk."
(Warning: writing on a car, even the glass with an erasable marker, might be considered illegal, so perhaps the enjoyment of just thinking about doing it should be as far as you go.)
09-22-2008, 02:45 PM
Some of the people with the city of Vancouver know me very well from my frequent calls, and I would have to say that they are generally pretty good about improving bicycle facilities.
Take the intersection of Mill Plain and Andresen for example. The WB bike lane ends into a right turn lane. I called in and asked about getting the right turn only sign outfitted with an "except bikes" tab. They quickly drafted a work order to install one. Don't be surprised when you see the sign pop up.
The recently installed roundabout at NE 137th & 49th was installed with bike lanes which were accidently painted solid up to the point where they dump out onto the sidewalk. Compare this image:
The bike lane lines normally end or become dashed shortly before the intersection. The ramps are nice if you don't want to ride through the roundabout, but I've found that cars will rarely stop even once you've proceeded into the crosswalk.
Unfortunately, any restriping, as it requires grinding out pavement, will have to wait for next summer. I guess construction season is officially over. Now come nine months of grey. Fortunately, however, they will be going out and painting over the line to make it dashed. Sounds like a pretty good solution for the interim.
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