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-   -   right-of-way on I-5 CRC (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2179)

heatherg 07-28-2008 08:36 PM

right-of-way on I-5 CRC
 
I've been commuting across the I-5 Columbia River Crossing, and wondering if we can all agree on the right of way.

Some people say that on the southbound side (the side I and most people ride on, both directions) that perhaps the southbound bikes should have the right. Yes, they are going "with traffic" but we are all separated from the I-5 traffic anyways.

I liken two bikes meeting to two climbers or hikers, where the rule is generally to yield to the person who is going uphill, has their momentum and so forth, so they don't have to break their stride. (If you haven't done this route, yes the bridge is a bit of a hill, peaking in the middle!)

What say you?

jr98664 07-28-2008 10:10 PM

Well, the Hawthorne and Broadway bridges already have this sort of couplet. The paths on the Interstate Bridge are far narrower; four to five feet wide SB and 44" wide with a minimum of about 40" NB. If anything, it would make more sense to enforce what is essentially a couplet on this bridge as well. I already go with traffic, and would have to agree with you that most people tend to take the SB path. That's half of the reason that I take the NB path—nobody else seems to.

Besides the obviously needed improvements to the pedestrian and bike facilities and connections on the bridge, I think that enforcing a one-way couplet for cyclists would help make this bridge more crossable.

And if it matters at all to this discussion, I live in East Vancouver, usually taking the Glenn Jackson bridge via bike or bus Southbound and the Interstate Bridge by bike Northbound.

Schrauf 07-29-2008 06:37 AM

Good topic.

I have to 100% put my weight behind the directional option. Cyclists going against the flow of traffic should always yield to those who choose to go the wrong way.

I understand your point with the hill, but that just gets confusing. Much of the bridge is not an incline, so what do you do then? And many people do not understand the hill rule. In mountain biking, downhill typically yields to uphill, but with other vehicles, the rule seems to vary, based on the country you are in, if one vehicle is pulling a trailer or has better pull-out access, etc. And I never understood the momentum theory. It is easier to pull over and stop when going uphill, at ten MPH, compared to downhill at 20 MPH. The difference in speed more than makes up for the difference in incline.

Anyway, I understand both sides of the argument, but believe the directional rule is the simplest and most logical. And, easier to explain with a brief sign at the beginning of each span...

scdurs 07-29-2008 07:09 AM

I-5 direction of travel
 
I believe that the City of Vancouver and maybe PDOT are worknig on signing the bridge paths as directional in the near future. They are currently producing a map, which I have commented on, to educate the public on the routes between Vancouver and Portland through Delta Park & Jantzen Beach, as well as signs to indicate direction for bikes, and route signage. Peds will not be restricted to one side or the other. Vancouver plans to post a permanent map on the north side. Don't know if Portland will post a map or not. This probably is all dependent upon funding, as usual.

Steve

heatherg 07-29-2008 04:58 PM

I-5 bridge direction
 
Yeah, sounds like there is some feeling out there for sticking with NB and SB rights of way. However, it seems like 80% of people use the SB exclusively, since the connectivity from the NB is funky.

I was indoctrinated by another to use SB exclusively, but will get out my cycling map and try NB when heading north.

Signs will probably not steer people to the other side, but may make wrong-way riders (like me) feel sheepish enough that we will yield to the law-abiding riders.

Thanks!

Schrauf 07-29-2008 06:03 PM

Definitely try using the NB side. Even though it is about 20% narrower, it does not feel any more scary to me. You get used to it quick. When the path is definitely clear, and the wind is right, I hit almost 30 mph on the downhill. Well, that is probably stupid, and asking for a girder in my face, but a solid 15 mph should be perfectly safe.

jr98664 07-29-2008 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by heatherg (Post 13461)
However, it seems like 80% of people use the SB exclusively, since the connectivity from the NB is funky.

Maybe I'm just the crazy one, but while the NB path is narrower, I find the connections to be better. I don't mind going under the bridge on Columbia Way in Vancouver, and I would say that I prefer it to the tunnel on Hayden Island. Either way, I just go with traffic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schrauf (Post 13464)
Definitely try using the NB side. Even though it is about 20% narrower, it does not feel any more scary to me. You get used to it quick. When the path is definitely clear, and the wind is right, I hit almost 30 mph on the downhill. Well, that is probably stupid, and asking for a girder in my face, but a solid 15 mph should be perfectly safe.

I would have to agree with you on this. Despite being 40" at the narrowest, I find the railing to be more pleasant to ride by. I think it's the lack of visual obstruction that just makes it seem bigger, as opposed to riding next to the foot-wide concrete posts on the SB side.

On a side note, while riding NB on the bridge today, I encountered the first person headed SB on the NB side that I've seen so far. Usually it is the other way around.


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