Portland Bike Forums (by BikePortland.org)

Go Back   Portland Bike Forums (by BikePortland.org) > General Discussion > All About the West Side
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:15 PM
K'Tesh's Avatar
K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
Super Moderator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Subject To Change
Posts: 2,742
Lightbulb Washington County's First Buffered Bike Lane

I was riding out on 99W today, and stopped to talk to Earl at Willamette Valley Cyclery. As we were talking, he asked me if I'd been out on Tualatin/Sherwood recently. I hadn't.

Recently Washington County repaved a portion of it, and they've added a buffered bike lane.



I called W/C's Engineer, Todd Watkins, and asked about it. He told me that this is W/C's pilot buffered bike lane.



The traffic lanes have been narrowed, and the bike lanes are widened, with a 8" outer line, then a 4" wide inner line. The wider bike lanes should allow two abreast riding, as well as a safe space for faster riders to pass slower riders and still ride in the bike lane. There is also a hope that the narrower motor traffic lanes will calm traffic speeds, and prevent a cyclist from being struck by the mirror of a passing semi truck (and there is a lot of them out there).

Washington County is looking for feedback, so if you have any comments, good or bad, you can contact him at 5o3 846 765o, or Shelley Oylear (Washington County's new Bike / Ped Coordinator) at 5o3-846-78l9. (I changed the 0's to o's, and the 1 to a "l" to prevent them from being spammed)

Also talked to him about the whimsical figures I've been seeing around Washington County, and they may be made permanent.



Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

PS... It looks like the county is going to paint bike lanes from 99W to SW Borchers Drive finally. I saw evidence of one while I was out there today.
__________________
Riding my bike is MY pursuit of Happiness!!!
beam.to/UFOBike

Last edited by K'Tesh; 09-02-2011 at 07:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:44 PM
Dovestrobe's Avatar
Dovestrobe Dovestrobe is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 120
Default

Two bike lanes to the right of the car traffic would be ideal, but I'll take a buffered bike lane any day! Sweet! Nice concept!
__________________
Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-07-2011, 07:21 AM
Haven_kd7yct's Avatar
Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 486
Default

My partner and I rode out that way a couple weekends ago. LOVE the new pavement, all the way to the curb. LOVE the new bike lane design. I hope they get a lot of good comments on it, and it inspires them to use this design elsewhere!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-07-2011, 09:50 AM
Simple Nature's Avatar
Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 863
Default

(I should read before commenting, huh )

Is the 8' buffer the rule or a consideration? I really can't go for loosing any of the current width as sunken storm grates are a real problem for recumbent trikes.

Last edited by Simple Nature; 09-07-2011 at 09:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-07-2011, 10:03 AM
wsbob's Avatar
wsbob wsbob is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,755
Default

I don't see a significant need for the inner 4" white line.

If I understand correctly, that line is simply there to encourage people on their bikes to stay the 2' or whatever distance it is between the 4" and 8" lines (by the way...what is the specific width of the area between the two white lines, and also, the area of the bike lane itself, with and without the dimension represented by the white concrete that's part of the curb?) ...away from the far right side of the main lane of traffic where primarily, motor vehicles would be passing.

I think most people that are uneasy riding next to motor vehicles, aren't going to need any encouragement to stay as far away from the main lane of travel that the bike lane allows.
Eliminating the smaller 4" line would significantly widen the bike lane...not that some people on bikes wouldn't choose to ride there anyway. Also...what's the legality of riding a bike in the area between the 4" and 8" lines? I kind of doubt a police officer would cite someone on a bike for riding there, but of course, if a person riding there happened to be in a collision, it's logical to assume that riding there in the relatively less safe distance from passing motor vehicles riding there would represent, could mess with their ability to be compensated for damages and injury, assuming they were generally not at fault.
Come winter, after a few ice and snow storms when the county has dumped traction enabling gravel on the main lanes of the road for motor vehicle travel, I wonder how the double line striped bike buffer component of this new configuration will affect the tire puncturing grit that motor vehicles inevitably toss into the area of the road where the bike lanes are.

It's always a bit ironic...and incomprehensible to many people driving motor vehicles, that after the storms, the best place for people to ride their bike, if not on the main lane of the road, is right on or immediately to the right of the line designating the bike lane, rather than in the bike lane itself. So...we'll have to wait and see.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-07-2011, 12:58 PM
dmc's Avatar
dmc dmc is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 183
Default

I think we can all agree that the double white line sends a stronger awareness to the automobile operator.

Wsbob, I can totally see people riding in the mini bike lane (between 8" and 4" lines) to afford all the gravel and debris.

Instead of two white strips of paint, what about a big mega strip? One that fills in the space between the two existing white lines and includes the two lines into itself. I'm sure this has been brought up before...

At the end of the day, I do think that extra white line will make me feel safer.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-08-2011, 07:49 AM
Haven_kd7yct's Avatar
Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 486
Default

The gap between the 8" wide line and the 4" wide line is for the car and truck drivers-- a lot of them encroach on the bike lane (at least the paint) for some reason; now they have a nice line they can drive on and it's not the actual bike lane line.

Also, the gap is a nice place to ride to avoid things like gravel, glass, screws and nails, metal and plastic shards from crashes, plant debris from landscaping companies, etc etc etc. Also, it can be used as a "passing lane" for faster cyclists.

I'd like to see some diagonal lines between the 8" line and the 4" line indicating that it's a buffer and not a place for cars and trucks. But I think the reason they don't fill it in with anything is because paint can be slippery when wet, and road crews don't like to have to put down the thermoplastic because it's so much work (do NOT get me started on that).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-08-2011, 08:21 AM
Simple Nature's Avatar
Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 863
Default

Technically, the 8" line is suppose to be the Bike Lane indicator making the 4" line the "fog line" for the bike lane. Or in the extreme interpretation, the 4" line is the cars' fog line and the 8" the bike lane meaning there is again the "gray zone". I guess I would have rather seen the stripe widths reversed to remove ambiguity. Again, not taking anything from the "safe" , or undisputed part of the bike lane.

More paint is not a good thing for me. I have places where the school zone and RRxing marking are nearing an 1" thick. Really hard on my frame equivalent to an uplift in sidewalks.

Another observation that must be considered is the existing lane widths. Only recently Hillsboro decided to paint the bike lane stripes on NE53rd ave (Baseline to Elam Young). One of the considerations before approving this upgrade was the street width which already had existing curbs. Would decisions like this mean that if buffered bike lanes became the rule, some bike lanes would not be implemented due to lack of existing lane width?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-08-2011, 08:34 AM
wsbob's Avatar
wsbob wsbob is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,755
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haven_kd7yct View Post
The gap between the 8" wide line and the 4" wide line is for the car and truck drivers-- a lot of them encroach on the bike lane (at least the paint) for some reason; now they have a nice line they can drive on and it's not the actual bike lane line.

Also, the gap is a nice place to ride to avoid things like gravel, glass, screws and nails, metal and plastic shards from crashes, plant debris from landscaping companies, etc etc etc. Also, it can be used as a "passing lane" for faster cyclists.

I'd like to see some diagonal lines between the 8" line and the 4" line indicating that it's a buffer and not a place for cars and trucks. But I think the reason they don't fill it in with anything is because paint can be slippery when wet, and road crews don't like to have to put down the thermoplastic because it's so much work (do NOT get me started on that).
All good points I was thinking, that would possibly make up the perspective people that use the bike lane, would probably have about the gap between the 8 and the 4. DMC...most of yours too. I'm glad to read that both of you consider it acceptable for various reasons, to ride between those two lines.

I'm not sure what people driving cars might think about people on bikes doing this. Something I regularly hear...mostly from one person in the family, although it seems to be common elsewhere too...is the running complaint...that goes something like: 'They never use the bike lanes anyway'. Some people driving motor vehicles in the main lane, seeing people on bikes between the 4 and the 8 instead of the bike lane itself, may be concerned their position there means they're going to suddenly lurch into the main lane of travel...or simply not understand at all why some people on bikes would ride there instead of the in the bike lane itself. On a number of occasions, I've explained to my family members, the reasons for what sometimes appear to be peculiar or unappreciative use of various bike lanes, but the educational process sometimes seems to be very slow.
Simple Nature...kind of funny that you posted while I was writing something up. Interesting detailing of what you've come to understand the 4 and the 8 are supposed to represent to road users. Personally, I'm hoping people that drive motor vehicles do not come to the conclusion that it's acceptable for them to drive next to the 4" line. Their staying a distance clear of the bike lane that the 8" line establishes, is what increases the functionality of this type bike lane over bike lanes that don't have the combined lines.

I'm also not keen on any more road paint than necessary. If it's really needed, fine...but I expect the stuff is expensive to produce and apply. It wears badly and breaks up. It's another thing that adds to the unwelcome complexity of maintaining roads. An unintended upside to the white lines I've noticed on the Millikan Way bike lane: it's very smooth and fast for riding on. Get going a good clip on the asphalt, then pull over and hold a line on the white. Pedaling effort required eases up. Downside to the smoothness, is the lines can be bad for slipping too though.

Last edited by wsbob; 09-08-2011 at 09:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:17 PM.




A production of Pedaltown Media Inc. / BikePortland.org
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.