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Lack of sweeping makes for challenging conditions on “Dirty 30″

Friday, January 24th, 2014
Bike lane conditions Hwy 30-St Helens Rd-2
The bike lane on Highway 30 just north of downtown Portland is often in abysmal shape.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the official City of Portland bike map, NW St. Helens Road/Highway 30 looks like a nice solid bike lane (see below). It’s the only north-south bike lane on the west side of the Willamette River between northwest Portland and Sauvie Island (and beyond). As such, this bike lane is an important route for many people — whether they’re commuting to St. Johns or using it as a gateway to many popular riding destinations.

Unfortunately it’s usually full of dirt, gravel, and other debris. It’s so bad that I recently learned in some circles it’s known as “Dirty 30″.
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Citizen activists work to fix narrow bike lanes on Interstate Ave

Friday, January 10th, 2014
Bike lane Interstate Ave-1-1
This substandard, narrow bike lane on Interstate Avenue at Larrabee is on a major bike route. In Portland. Thankfully there’s an effort afoot to make it better.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nearly everyone has a scary story about the narrow bike lane on North Interstate Avenue where it goes under the Larrabee Street overpass (map). Riding a bike on Interstate Avenue is stressful enough in the “good” spots, but at Larrabee, the bike lane suddenly shrinks to a harrowing width of about two-and-a-half feet. That’s not much room to operate when a huge semi-truck barrels by a few inches from your shoulders as a storm drain grate gives you and your bike a jolt. (more…)

Bike lane news roundup: SE Stark, Lloyd District, Williams and more

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
New bike lanes SE Stark-16
A man rides on the brand new bike lane on SE Stark in Montavilla.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has been busy making bike-related tweaks and additions to several streets across the city. We’ve noticed a few of them lately and figured it was time for an update… (more…)

First Look: Portland’s new solar-powered LED bike lane lights

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
LED bike lane lights on NE Couch-1
They’re on!
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As promised, yesterday the City of Portland installed solar-powered lights to delineate the bike lane on NE Couch as it approaches the Burnside Bridge.

The lights, imported from Denmark by Saris Racks, are part of a test by the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to see whether they improve visibility of the bike lane and provide a safety benefit for road users. Because of the “s-curve” at this location, some people tend to veer into the bike lane while driving onto the bridge.

I went out last night to see the lights in action last night… (more…)

Portland to illuminate bike lanes with solar-powered LEDs

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
LED bike lane marker
The latest in bike lane technology.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation will install the city’s first illuminated bike lane markers next week (sorry, it’s not the glow-in-the-dark “starpath” everyone’s talking about). According to PBOT Active Transportation Division Manager Dan Bower, on Tuesday crews will install 20 solar-powered LED lights in the bike lane stripe on NE Couch as it makes the s-curve onto the Burnside Bridge (a somewhat notorious location if you recall). (more…)

First Look: Wider bike lanes on NW Broadway ramp

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
New striping on Broadway ramp-3
Wider is better. (Note the old bike lane stripe
that has been scraped off.)
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT is nearly finished with a project to improve bicycling conditions on the NW Broadway ramp south of the Broadway Bridge. The $30,000 project is expected to be finished by tonight but most of the new striping was completed early this morning before rush hour.

In order to create the additional five feet needed for the buffered bike lane, PBOT reduced the amount of vehicle lanes from five to four. Instead of a five-foot bike lane and four, 9.5-foot standard lanes, there is now a 10-foot bike lane and three, 11-foot standard vehicle lanes. The change was made because of the huge amount of people who ride bicycles down this ramp and the need to create safer and more pleasant conditions for them.

I rode it this morning and took a few photos. (more…)

A few more thoughts and photos on new Skidmore Street bike lanes

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
New bike lanes on Skidmore-4
Completed striping on Skidmore.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we reported yesterday, PBOT has just installed bike lanes on a short stretch of North Skidmore Street. They go from Michigan Ave to Maryland Ave (one block east of Interstate). When I went by yesterday morning they hadn’t finished applying all the striping into the buffer zone, so I wanted to share some updated photos. I also wanted to address a few things that came up in the comments to yesterday’s story.

First, here are a few more photos of the completed lanes… (more…)

When should streets use sharrows, painted lanes and separation? (graphics)

Friday, June 7th, 2013
Where, exactly, do sharrows belong?
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Update: See below for a few other examples of graphics that try to answer this question.

There’s an interesting, useful bit of transportation wonkery in The Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s “Blueprint for World-Class Cycling” that came out this week: a visual guide to which sort of streets should get which sort of bike infrastructure.

This is obviously a complicated question, and it’s not something that’s ever going to be summarized by a single chart. But the question arises constantly. Last week, in a moment of heat, two Swan Island transportation advocates said the city would be better off without bike lanes near a crash-prone intersection of Interstate Avenue. Up in Vancouver, Wash., there’s a lively debate right now about whether sharrows are appropriate on a 35 mph four-lane street.

Here’s what the BTA’s new document has to say about the issue:

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The power of paint part two: Stark/Oak green lanes working well so far

Friday, November 16th, 2012
Green bike lanes Stark and Oak-9
Greeeeeen.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

(more…)

First Look: PBOT’s new green paint on SW Oak

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
New green paint on SW Oak-11
The new green paint applied by PBOT on SW Oak is impossible to miss.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

(more…)

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