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A preview of Portland? Vancouver BC’s new downtown bike network (photos)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
bikers crossing
Vancouver’s three-year-old downtown bike lane network.
(Photos © M. Andersen.)

Lots of people know you can go to Copenhagen or Manhattan to see grids of protected bike lanes in action. But there’s another set of them 300 miles north of Portland — and they run right through a city so similar to Portland that they could be siblings.
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Photos, impressions after first ride on new SW Moody cycle track

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
It’s open! A major renovation of SW Moody includes a two-way cycle track.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Yesterday, the SW Moody Project opened for business and I took my first ride on its cycle track.

SW Moody cycle track-2-1

This major project constructed a new, 0.6 mile elevated roadway from SW River Pkwy (under I-5/405 interchange) to SW Gibbs near the Aerial Tram. In addition to Portland’s first ever two-way cycle track, this segment of SW Moody also includes sidewalks on both sides and three standard vehicle lanes.

My overall impression after riding it in both directions yesterdays is that it’s pretty exciting — this is the closest thing Portland has to a European-style bikeway. The cycle track is separated and on a different grade than the roadway, the access is relatively direct (although it could be better in the southern section, more on that later), and there’s plenty of elbow room for both directions of bike traffic and people walking.

Check the photos and notes below for more…

On the north side, the access from the existing bike lane on SW Moody is straightforward and direct…

Once up and onto the deck you’ve got lots of room to ride….

Then, under the Ross Island Bridge you come to yield triangles and crosswalk markings. What’s happening here (I think) is that the bike traffic lanes are supposed to criss-cross. Southbound bikes begin on right side and after this cross they are on the left side…

Nearing the end of the new segment is this bikeway sign. Pretty neat to see directions to the upcoming, carfree Gibbs Street bridge…

At the end of the new cycle track, southbound traffic is directed onto the standard bike lane and westbound (toward the tram) traffic is funneled into a crosswalk that leads to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing (CHH)…

Now, let’s head northbound.

The existing bike lane turns into a ramp leading up to the sidewalk near the CHH. This doesn’t seem like the smoothest, most direct way to approach the new cycle track…

After heading up the ramp bike traffic must re-orient to cross via the crosswalk…

Once up and onto the cycle track, it’s smooth sailing all the way back to SW River Parkway…

At the intersection of Moody and SW River Parkway, they’ve installed a new, bike-only signal to get you across the road…

It’s important to note that there are still some bike symbols and other signage yet to be installed. Hopefully they address my main concern with this new facility — that there won’t be enough visual cues to separate people on foot from people riding bikes.

I’m also curious how foot traffic will be once the construction is fully completed. Seems to me it would have been wise to try and direct all foot traffic onto the east side of the street, since that’s where most of the destinations are and it would avoid conflicts with bike traffic. We’ll see how it all plays out.

As soon as it opened yesterday there was instantly a good amount of bike traffic. Have you ridden it yet? If so, please share your thoughts.

For another view, check out the short video below that I shot while biking northbound…

Portland’s first two-way cycle track to open Thursday

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Artist rendering of SW Moody taken from project website.

Tomorrow, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will lift the lid on their SW Moody Project that includes what will be downtown’s first-ever cycle track. (more…)

PSU report: Cycle track, buffered bike lanes working well, but could be improved

Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Cycletrack on SW Broadway-7
“Working well” says PSU evaluation.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Researchers at Portland State University have completed an evaluation of Portland’s cycle track on SW Broadway and buffered bike lanes on SW Stark and Oak. The analysis, prepared for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), shows that both of the bikeway types are “working well,” but PSU also laid out some recommendations on how to make them work even better. (more…)

Harvard study: Cycling on streets not as safe as cycle tracks

Thursday, February 10th, 2011
Riding on SE 28th.
Two-way cycle track on Going at 33rd-83
Two-way cycle track on NE 33rd.
(Photos © J. Maus)

A new study from Dr. Anne Lusk at the Harvard School of Public Health published in the British Medical Journal yesterday came to the conclusion that bicycling in a cycle track — physically separated from motor vehicle traffic — is safer than riding in the street. (more…)

First look at cycle track in-progress on NE Cully Blvd

Monday, November 22nd, 2010
View of the cycle track (L) and the sidewalk (R) on the new NE Cully Blvd. Please note that the striping and signage is not complete.
(Photos © J. Maus)

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One year later: A look at the Broadway cycle track

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Happy Birthday cycle track!
(Photos © J. Maus)

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City releases new video to explain cycle tracks, buffered bike lanes

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Cycle Tracks & Buffered Bike Lanes from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

(more…)

New “buffered bike lane” coming to SW Stark, Oak

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
This drawing shows design of new buffered bike lanes. Notice how a lane of motor-vehicle traffic has been re-purposed and will now be used for bike traffic.

(more…)

PBOT works on cycle track design, legal issues

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
City Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield
presented the new cycle track to
the bike advisory committee
at City Hall last night.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last month, when Mayor Adams and the Bureau of Transportation announced the new, cycle track pilot project on SW Broadway, many people in the community were excited. The removal of an entire lane of auto traffic on a marquee downtown street just to create more space for bike traffic was cause for celebration in bike circles.

However, it wasn’t all smiles in Bikeville and some people raised concerns about the new facility.

The concerns seemed to be primarily about how folks would negotiate a left turn out of the cycle track (bikes are separated from motor vehicle traffic by parked cars), and how the cycle track (a new facility type not specifically defined in Oregon statutes) would jibe with existing traffic laws that govern bikeways. (more…)

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