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-   -   What to do @ Weidler & Williams? (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4347)

boneshaker 03-14-2013 12:58 PM

What to do @ Weidler & Williams?
Ok folks, looking for some advice on etiquette and/or the legal way to turn left from Weidler onto N. Williams. We've all had this happen, I'm sure. What I'm talking about is you come up Weidler and go onto that newish sidewalk/bike path thing that puts you onto Williams. Problem is, this time of year N Williams is getting busy so if the light has been red for a while chances are good you can't make a left and get into the bike lane because it's full.

Instead you have a couple options:
1) ride the wrong way (south) down N. Willaims to get to the back of the line or
2) stay in the bike box thing that keeps cars in the left two lanes back, but by doing so you basically cut in front of all the bikes piled up in the bike lane.

What's the protocol here? I almost always go with option #2 because salmon'ing down N. Williams into oncoming traffic seems like a bad idea (remember, the 17 bus stays in the lane next to the bike lane).

Zymurgy 03-14-2013 01:18 PM

During busy times the traffic is usually slower and with some pre-planning you could just take the lane (probably the center one) and make your turn. I travel through that intersection daily (all on Williams) and have seen some pull the salmon trick and come very close to kissing the front of a bus. You could also just use the cross walk and line up in the northbound track during your cross.

Alan 03-14-2013 07:35 PM

I don't ride there but I've driven it occasionally so I know it's busy and drivers are quite aggressive. Also, I'm not familiar with the "newish sidewalk/bike path thing," so this is pretty general but here goes.

Why not take the lane? There are three of them there, unless they've restriped to two. In either case, the right-most car lane feeds Williams so no problem being in it to keep on your route. With the bike lane full, it seems dangerous to me to stay in the middle of Weidler with traffic flying by, and I'd personally just as soon move onto Williams. I get that some in the bike lane might feel "shoaled" (shades of "fairweather floodgates" thread on the front page) but heck, they can duck out of the bike lane and join you for a bit more mass if they're all that critical about it. ;)

Zymurgy 03-14-2013 09:36 PM

You could always go around the building to the south (former hotel) and come back around on Williams. I'm not sure the far right lane would be the best as there are three lanes. Yes you would be in the right legally as you are turning onto a 3 lane roadway (all lanes "could" turn left) but you would be better off taking the center and then turning to guard against cross traffic.

Champs 03-19-2013 06:04 PM

I'm very much a "wait your turn" person, but safety takes precedence over courtesy. As always, you should not use a bike lane when it is dangerous to do so.

If Williams is stacked up, fill the box and take the lane. The traffic behind will have to deal with it, and deal they shall; riding at a typical pace will get you to Broadway just as the light turns green. Bike lane gaps will open, and nobody is slowed down.

maxadders 04-08-2013 11:47 AM

I commute up Williams most afternoons and I'm always a little cranky when half a dozen people show up and crowd the box rather than get in line. When the light finally changes, it's a real mess, people riding 3 or 4 abreast until it thins out at Broadway. I know riding the wrong way down Williams for a few feet is awkward, but there's rarely any traffic to contend with. Even during peak hours, the bus presence seems sparse.

Anyhow, it would be nice if the city addressed this. I haven't commuted up Weidler from the west side since they added that separated lane thingy, but letting it just terminate as-is seems incomplete.

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