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View Full Version : wrong way on I-5 bridge?


lou.cipher
09-15-2006, 08:57 AM
I thought I'd get some feedback from the communty on this - my friend was riding north on the I-5 bridge this AM and this is what occured:

so i'm going over the i5 bridge on the right hand side (along with
northbound traffic), as i crest the top of the bridge there is a lady on a
comfort bike coming towards me. in my head i'm not getting out of the way
because she is going southbound on the northbound side of the bridge. as we
get closer and closer she it not pulling over. we finally get to a point
where one of us is going to have to stop so i start to slow down and unclip
from one of my pedals. as we are just feet from each other i come to a stop
and she yells "yield to uphill traffic!". i shout back "try the southbound
side of the bridge if you are going south". wtf. who is really in the
right here? there aren't any signs posted that say that either side of the
bridge is for one way traffic, but doesn't it just make sense that you
should ride with traffic? i get the whole yielding to bikes that are going
uphill, because it is obviously more difficult to go up than down hill. is
there some place i can look to find out how bike traffic should go on the
bridge?

What do you guys think?

elljay
09-15-2006, 09:28 AM
I dunno about the "legality" of it, but a lot of people do it. The reason? Using the east side (northbound) gets you thru the Hayden Island maze in a more efficient (and IMHO, safer) manner; especially since the Hayden-to-Delta Park segment is on the east side if I-5.

Maybe Vancouver Bike Guru, Todd B. can elaborate?

Haven_kd7yct
09-15-2006, 09:42 AM
My opinion? Riding the wrong way in a bike lane is like driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

That said, most casual bike-users don't know that you are supposed to ride WITH traffic. All they've heard is that it's safer to walk against traffic, so they apply that to riding bikes.

rainperimeter
09-15-2006, 12:38 PM
I dunno about the "legality" of it, but a lot of people do it. The reason? Using the east side (northbound) gets you thru the Hayden Island maze in a more efficient (and IMHO, safer) manner; especially since the Hayden-to-Delta Park segment is on the east side if I-5.

Maybe Vancouver Bike Guru, Todd B. can elaborate?

i may be missing something here but regardless of the side of the bridge you cross over don't you have to be on the eastside (northbound) side of the bridge to get to delta park while heading south? i go to my dad's house riding over I-5 and i always cross the bridge on the southbound side, but all the bike route stuff up to the bridge is on the northbound side (from delta park to jantzen beach). right?

ben
09-15-2006, 12:56 PM
UGH!

talk about my BIGGEST pet peeve!

i think it's just a matter of common sense (even if the lanes aren't marked).
and some people just don't have it.

it BLOWS my mind when people do it on the hawthorne bridge...ALL THE TIME. i've had way too many incidents with people barreling down on me and then getting upset when i inform them that they're on the wrong side/going the wrong way...etc...
theres MULTIPLE markers all over the bridge!

and then theres the people that INSIST on riding in the pedestrian lane even when they have to keep going around them.
both groups of people (wrong way-ers and the pedestrian lane-rs) are just severely disrupting the flow of traffic and creating way dangerous areas.

i wish everyone was forced to be educated on bike lanes (drivers, walkers, bikers, everyone).

heck, i even have people riding the wrong way at me all over town (esp out near 82nd and 122nd). just dudes crusin along in bmx's and the like.
oh and my favorite:
400 lb. people in their motorized carts (going the correct way and the wrong way)
can someone PLEASE tell me if thats even legal. it just seems unsafe and unecessary.
i seriously saw two people do that out on NE Weilder and 102nd. they seriously went for quite a stretch....despite going slow as death.

editrixpdx
09-15-2006, 01:02 PM
...or the kids zooming along on their tiny motorbikes (the teensy ones about a foot high) in and out of traffic along Halsey out by 140th-ish. No WAY a car driver will see them.

I'll admit I ride the wrong way *on the sidewalk* when I have to, but only out in the boonies where there is lit'rally no traffic.

tao
09-15-2006, 01:29 PM
I rode through the I-5 bridge occasionally. As far as I know, it does not have sign that says it is a one way lane, like it does on the Hawthorne bridge.

This whole drama seems a road rage on bikes to me.

Remember the "Share the Road" campaign? If we have difficulties to share the road among cyclists, how can we ask the motorists to share the road with us?

Courtesy goes a long way.

ben
09-15-2006, 03:31 PM
share the bike lane?????

are you suggesting we allow two way biking in them?
maybe you haven't witnessed an accident that resulted in such a scenario.

i have. on the hawthorne bridge. it was ugly.
thank God no one fell off the raised sidewalk and into traffic.

please, go ride across the hawthorne bridge...heck, ride in ANY bike lane with traffic whizzing past you, and THEN tell me you want to try to squeak past another set of handlebars in that little lane of yours.

alpinejunkie
09-15-2006, 04:12 PM
This is mainly to the snob who told me to stay on my own side on monday eve.- this was actually south of the bridge, me going north and asshole going south, mind your own business or next time I'll throw your carbon fiber piece of crap onto the freeway and take your helmet away. I ride the Bridge fairly often, if you bike activists want to share the road then ride on the roadway, you have no business telling me where I can ride, and your spandex is making me sick, buck up and don't be such a pussie

steel frames rule!!

Bee
09-15-2006, 04:37 PM
UGH!

and then theres the people that INSIST on riding in the pedestrian lane even when they have to keep going around them.

I understand your frustration, the hawthorne bridge gets very chaotic. However, as someone who is not willing to fly across the bridge (because of the very chaos), I have been cut off, tailgated, and otherwise bothered by riders who want to go much faster than I. So I try to pull over when there is room, and I try not to pull out in front of anyone when I need to get back in the bike lane. Maybe it is not me causing the dangerous situation, but people who think the hawthorne bridge at rush hour is the appropriate place for a race sprint.

ben
09-15-2006, 05:09 PM
I understand your frustration, the hawthorne bridge gets very chaotic. However, as someone who is not willing to fly across the bridge (because of the very chaos), I have been cut off, tailgated, and otherwise bothered by riders who want to go much faster than I. So I try to pull over when there is room, and I try not to pull out in front of anyone when I need to get back in the bike lane. Maybe it is not me causing the dangerous situation, but people who think the hawthorne bridge at rush hour is the appropriate place for a race sprint.


i can understand that.

i guess i'm more perturbed with the people that are just "all over the bridge."

like you said, you don't pull back into the lane until its clear to do so.
theres plenty of riders that just don't bother to check.
and PLENTY of pedestrians that feel that all 7 of them must walk in a horizontal line.
or people that like to aimlessly wander into the bike lane.
it sucks trying to predict who is or isn't gonna jump into your lane as you approach.

sunningotter
09-15-2006, 10:21 PM
Commuting as I do from Vancouver to Portland for work, I too have noticed the disturbing trend of some people riding "opposite to traffic" on the sidewalks. As the lanes are very narrow, the drop very long, and the chance of catching a bar or knuckles on bridge members (and entertaining the car slaves to no end!) very high, this is a serious problem. Yes, yielding to uphill riders is normal (on trails where two-way travel is the norm; this is NOT one of those cases). And, while walking against traffic is suggested, riding against traffic on the side lanes on the I-5 bridge is suicidal, as doing so ensures that you get the road spray full-force, limiting your vision and possibly setting you up for hitting the rails or the bridge. BOTH sides of the bridge will get you through Delta Park (the east side of the bridge leads you directly there, the west side requires that you follow the sidewalk (well signed, I might add) and go through the underpass under I-5 to reach the same spot. The underpass is usually well lit (sometimes the housing challenged camp there, but I try not to wake them if I can (simple manners, really), but occaisionally has a little broken glass (as do both sides of the bridge path). I have written to Commisioner Adams (PDOT) and ODOT about this issue and the route through Jansen Beach (another nightmare in itself) without response...

tao
09-16-2006, 10:55 AM
I ride through Hawthorne bridge almost everyday. I agree, it is intimidating to pass a fellow rider or pedestrian not to mention a wrong way rider. I pass when it is safe, otherwise I slow down and wait for the opportunity. Portland has a great bike community, most of the time people yield when it is possible. I yield when I know I am blocking others.

On Hawthorne bridge, this issue is more clear cut. Because there are signs on every ramp and marks on the payment. On I-5 bridge, it is not so. All the bike lanes leads to the bridge are marked as two way. In this case, I agree that common sense should be used.

However, what do you do if you meet someone who don't use the same common sense as you do? Is yelling or throwing others into the river (or road way) an effective solution?

It is annoying to run into a wrong way rider especially on the roadway. Do I pass on his left (my right) or my left? Normally, I move to my left and signal my intention. And I greet the rider with a nod. This has been working for me so far.

It is a different story on the I-5 bridge because the width is impossible for two bikes to pass. What do you do, if another rider does not use his/her common sense? Before they widen the bridge or the new bridge is built, I suggest you, the smarter one, use your common sense.

Simple Nature
09-16-2006, 09:36 PM
Personally, I will ride with traffic unless there is no other way.
Since I ride a trike, I'd be happy to pull over to my far right and stop, uphill or downhill, while the oncoming traveler figures out their own way past. I take up just under 3 feet which is what I would think any bike should have on a passing situation.

TCR Punk
09-16-2006, 09:49 PM
I hate people that ride against traffic. I almost had a head on collision riding down 82nd Ave. the guy was coming at me riding the wrong direction, and he could have got up on the side walk, but didn't. I wasn't going to swerve out into traffic to go around him so I kept going full speed.

Rixtir
09-16-2006, 09:51 PM
The woman who yelled "yield to uphill traffic" was in the wrong. The bike lanes are one direction only, and she was riding against traffic. She should have ridden out into oncoming traffic to yield to the right-way cyclist. Maybe that would have set her mind straight about which lane she's supposed to be in.

alpinejunkie
09-17-2006, 08:42 AM
The woman obviously wasn't one of you snobs, I would have taken the 15 seconds to just let her by, there are no rules about which side to cross on. I'm sure it was just hell for you guys to cross when only the westside was open.

Rixtir
09-17-2006, 08:01 PM
there are no rules about which side to cross on.Wrong, there are rules about bike lane direction. And no, I won't yield to anybody who is going the wrong way in my lane. If one of us is going to get killed by traffic, it will be the idiot going the wrong way. Or the idiot can yield to me. That's the way it is.

And...

This is mainly to the snob who told me to stay on my own side on monday eve.- this was actually south of the bridge, me going north and asshole going south, mind your own business or next time I'll throw your carbon fiber piece of crap onto the freeway and take your helmet away. I ride the Bridge fairly often, if you bike activists want to share the road then ride on the roadway, you have no business telling me where I can ride, and your spandex is making me sick, buck up and don't be such a pussie

steel frames rule!!Steel frames do rule, but if somebody is riding the wrong way in my lane, I'm going to say something. And they definitely don't want to lay a hand on my steel frame.

rainperimeter
09-17-2006, 09:00 PM
i cross the I-5 bridge regularly (not daily, but often). i cross, going north and south, on the west side of the bridge, the southbound for cars side. i'm pretty certain you can go either way (at least on this side) and that there are signs telling you to yeild to peds (no matter if you're going north or south) and that to me indicates it doesn't have directional distinction the way a bike lane on a street has.

is everyone who's posting in this thread actually crossed the I-5 bridge? everyone knows you're not riding "with" traffic? right? you're on your own sidewalk lane thing, there are no cars to contend with.

i guess i don't cross into the 'couve often enough, i can't recall the last time i crossed paths with cyclist there. uh, otherwise it really drives me insane when people ride against traffic (in situations where it matters, unlike on the I-5 bridge. HA!). it happened to me on SE 7th just today. I pointed to the other side of the street and told him he was on the wrong side of the street but the dude just kept on going. pissed me off...

Jeff Wills
09-17-2006, 09:20 PM
I thought I'd get some feedback from the communty on this - my friend was riding north on the I-5 bridge this AM and this is what occured:
<snip>
What do you guys think?

I think your friend should have yielded to the obnoxious lady.

I ride over the I-5 bridge when my schedule allows me to commute by bike. There aren't any signs specifying *which* direction you should ride, and I've ridden both ways on both sides. When I've met riders coming the other direction (it doesn't happen often), I'll duck in between the girders and wait. Usually I find that the other rider has done the same- and we have to do a Chip 'n' Dale routine: "You go first". "No, I insist- you go first." Etc. Etc.

FWIW: for some time a couple years back, one side of the bridge sidewalk was closed. Riding over the bridge wasn't that much more of a challenge.

FWIW2: Todd leads a "R U Bridge Curious (http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/bike.asp?menuid=10466&submenuID=23027&itemID=23029)" ride during the summer and the Vancouver Bike Club runs the "Two Bridge Loop (http://www.portlandcycling.net/calendar/event_view.asp?EID=968&ID=3&cTYPE=1&month=9&year=2006&cate=&C_CRDATE=9%2F24%2F2006)" on a monthly basis. Either would be good to explore the complications around the I-5 bridge approach.

FWIW3: There's other hazards around Jantzen Beach, too: http://www.ohpv.org/pipermail/ohpv-list_ohpv.org/2006-April/001469.html

Jeff

Rixtir
09-17-2006, 09:52 PM
i cross the I-5 bridge regularly (not daily, but often). i cross, going north and south, on the west side of the bridge, the southbound for cars side. i'm pretty certain you can go either way (at least on this side) and that there are signs telling you to yeild to peds (no matter if you're going north or south) and that to me indicates it doesn't have directional distinction the way a bike lane on a street has.

is everyone who's posting in this thread actually crossed the I-5 bridge? everyone knows you're not riding "with" traffic? right? you're on your own sidewalk lane thing, there are no cars to contend with.

i guess i don't cross into the 'couve often enough, i can't recall the last time i crossed paths with cyclist there. uh, otherwise it really drives me insane when people ride against traffic (in situations where it matters, unlike on the I-5 bridge. HA!). it happened to me on SE 7th just today. I pointed to the other side of the street and told him he was on the wrong side of the street but the dude just kept on going. pissed me off...I think that's a good distinction; thanks for pointing that out. There is a difference between bike lanes and sidewalks in terms of directional requirements.

On the other hand, in my opinion, if the sidewalk isn't wide enough to permit two bicycles to pass without a collision, and if I'm riding with the traffic direction, it's up to the other rider to be on the other side of the bridge, riding with the traffic direction-- it's not up to me to yield.

sunningotter
09-17-2006, 11:45 PM
Given that it's possible to pass using the girder spaces as turnouts, wouldn't it be easier to try to get a consensus of cyclists to follow some semblance of order on this? It's hard enough dodging all the other traffic on the bridge and not get coated with bird droppings without having this to deal with...

alpinejunkie
09-18-2006, 05:21 PM
There are no hills like germantown or larch close to the bridge could you really be so beat that you can't stop for 10 seconds 'cause you might cramp up? Or maybe you could get those ten seconds back by shaving your legs and wearing tighter spandex? Jeff is right- there are no signs designating direction on the bridge other friends of mine who do wear spandex and helmets and think we have to obey the same rules as cars still ride "the wrong way" because they can avoid the heavier traffic of going the other way. Maybe you're newcomers and weren't here when only the southbound side was open but I NEVER saw bike traffic jams on the bridge.

thinpaperwings
09-18-2006, 09:10 PM
I have had yielding uncertainties on the Sellwood Bridge. Since there is only one sidewalk then the issue of whether you're going to correct direction is moot. However, I have always yielded to downhill cyclists, because I figure it's more irritating to have to slow way and and then get back up to speed. If I'm going uphill, I'm going slowly so it's easier to stop and start back up. And it doesn't waste as much time. At least, that's how I think about it. Perhaps my thinking is backwards from most people's.

TCR Punk
09-20-2006, 12:12 PM
Screw it. With all this noise, i'll just take the 205 bridge, it has directional lanes. Then i'll ride over to the 1-5 if i need to be by there.

Jeff Wills
09-21-2006, 09:08 PM
Screw it. With all this noise, i'll just take the 205 bridge, it has directional lanes. Then i'll ride over to the 1-5 if i need to be by there.


Phoo... the I-205 bridge is three times as long as the I-5 bridge, plus you've got traffic noise on both sides. At least on the I-5 bridge you only go deaf on one side.

FWIW: me and a bunch of people from the VBC (http://www.vancouverbicycleclub.com/) spent a couple hours cleaning off the approach to the I-205 bridge in Vancouver today. It's a lot nicer... at least until the leaves fall off the trees.

Jeff

TCR Punk
09-21-2006, 09:39 PM
Phoo... the I-205 bridge is three times as long as the I-5 bridge, plus you've got traffic noise on both sides. At least on the I-5 bridge you only go deaf on one side.

FWIW: me and a bunch of people from the VBC (http://www.vancouverbicycleclub.com/) spent a couple hours cleaning off the approach to the I-205 bridge in Vancouver today. It's a lot nicer... at least until the leaves fall off the trees.

Jeff

Cool, Thanks. I'm very familliar with the path. The bridge might be three times as long, but my parents live just down the street from the path. So I'd be foolish to take I-5 to get to French RD. Plus i live in NE portland so its quicker to get where i'm going, than I-5.