View Full Version : what's up with the new turn only on 5th?

dan hawk
03-05-2009, 04:54 PM
You, know, right on the backside of the courthouse, where there is always a sheriff's truck and a whole bunch of sherriff's deputies standing around doing nothing.

What a big hassle. Is it going to stay that way? I used to just fly through there and right up to Madison for the left to head down to the bridge. I can't quite see why you can't go through, but sure enough, the one time I tried it (because I didn't see the sign) a deputy shook her finger at me.

any insight?


03-05-2009, 07:13 PM

i tried to see if i can find reason for that change via trimet.org and their other website portlandmall.org but i wasn't able to find a reason for it. i can assume its part of the new transit mall design and due to all the sheriffs vheicles that park there, they decided not to have a thru auto/bike lane. maybe someone who know's more or has contacts within the trimet can find more info about it.

dan hawk
03-05-2009, 07:59 PM
Yeah, I looked around a bit too and couldn't find any good reason. In fact all over the various web sites devoted to it, they keep talking about a continuous bike/car lane all the way down the mall. There is a big obnoxiuos turn only neon liking sign right there too... Looks kinda permanent.


03-06-2009, 10:29 PM
For those of us who aren't down there every day, could someone please clarify the exact location of this? I'm guessing you're talking about 5th & Salmon, but it's not entirely clear. Some pictures would be nice, but that might be asking for a bit much from those of us not named K'Tesh.

03-07-2009, 06:44 AM
ya, it is 5th and salmon. would be nice for it to be continous all the way thru for cyclist's at least but i doubt thats gonna happen unless we can get sam adams to push some weight around to get it done.

dan hawk
03-07-2009, 10:01 AM
So, I talked to a Portland Police officer that was parked right on the new rail lane and he said that there is a certain time of day in The late afternoon when they are loading and unloading prisoners for court dates and due to security risks they just shut the street down...that would be the reason for all the sheriff deputies. He also did say that there is nothing about it on the trimet or city webpage.

I'll be contacting the city to voice my concern because this solution is not a solution. It backs traffic up all the way back to Burnside on the one lane that bikes and cars have to share. Any idea who the best person to contact would be?


03-08-2009, 05:54 AM
i have no idea who the best person would be, but i went by there this morning at around 5am and u were able to go thru there according to the sign. so the timing sucks, but typically you can go all the way thru at other times. it should be posted on city and trimet websites.

03-19-2009, 03:10 PM
Yesterday, Thursday at about 5:00 pm or so, I was coming down Salmon and at fifth avenue, the sign was lit up disallowing any turns. Just as expected, all of the sheriff deputies were standing around a few big trucks in the one travel lane. At the very least, it would be nice if they were able to set a schedule and post the exact times that the street would be closed during the day.

03-21-2009, 08:02 AM
I think I know the block you mean. It's in back of the courthouse.

I have never encountered it when I could not use that bike/car lane. Then again, I encounter it at about six to six thirty in the evening, when court is closed.

However, if the sign does indicate that the lane is closed, what's to prevent you from getting off the bike and walking that one block (on the opposite side of the street from the van's) and then resuming your ride at the next block.

I am making an assumption that the sharrif's deputies also close down the sidewalk immediately adjacent to the back enterance of the courthouse when they are shuffling prisoners to those vans.

By the way, the new courthouse that the county is planning to build at the foot of the hawthorne bridge will eliminate that problem. The plan is to have an underground tunnel from the Justice Center jail, under the office building that is now being constructed immediately east of the Justice Center jail and to the site of the new court house. This will eliminate the need of any sharrif's vans on 5th avenue.

I am willing to bet that in about five to ten years (when the new county courthouse is completed) that those funny electric signs will be a thing of the past and that the car/bike lane will be open all the time.