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‘Aggro’ driving on neighborhood greenways annoys Portlanders in cars too

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
clinton speed

Here’s another take on the much-discussed and increasingly well-documented problem of people who are in a big hurry to drive on some of Portland’s neighborhood greenways (sometimes known as bike boulevards).

My commute has me driving for four blocks on the Clinton bike boulevard west of 21st. For the second time this month I’ve had an aggressive drive pass me to speed down the street. This morning there was a line of bicyclists in front of me basically taking up the lane through to the next signal, as well as oncoming traffic. It would not have been safe or prudent to overtake the bicyclists as I would have to either cut one of them off or stay in the oncoming lane until the next signal. Instead I just drove at the speed of the bikes which was around 18mph. The car that passed me nearly took out a cyclist trying to get back in our lane to avoid a head on collision. It’s completely ridiculous to me that PPB has nearly zero traffic enforcement, especially on our neighborhood greenways where safe respectful driving is even more important. I’ve tried calling in requesting enforcement but have not seen any cops. Any ideas on how to make our streets better, and what the fuck is going on this summer that is making all the drivers extra aggressive?

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Speeding is common on most neighborhood greenways in Portland, study finds

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
greenway auto speeds
A city map of 85th-percentile auto speeds on neighborhood greenways, which typically have a speed limit of 20 mph and are intended to be safe for people of all ages to bike, run, walk and play.

Speeding is routine on more than half of Portland’s celebrated neighborhood greenway system, according to a yet-to-be-released city study. (more…)

New signs help raise visibility of ‘neighborhood greenways’

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
greenwaylead
Look, ma, those side streets with bike arrows, speed bumps and crossing signals have a name now.
(Photo: Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Five years after it invented the term “neighborhood greenway” and three years after getting permission to set neighborhood greenway speed limits at 20 mph, Portland is putting the phrase directly on its streets.

The city is installing almost 100 of the above signs this week on the N Michigan, N/NE Blandena/Going/Alberta, SE Salmon/Taylor, and SE Bush/100th/101st neighborhood greenways.

Cost: less than $5,000, or about $50 per sign, installation included.

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State’s anti-speeding photo radar bill flips ‘scofflaw’ narrative

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
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Just another day on SW Barbur Boulevard, one of 10 streets that could be fitted with radar cameras under a proposed state law.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

When it comes to the rules of the road, there are a few facts of life — or, as sociologists might call them, social norms.

When people are in cars, they tend to drive over the speed limit if they feel it’s safe to do so and they can get away with it.

When people are on bikes, they tend to roll through stop signs if they feel it’s safe to do so and they can get away with it.

When people are on foot, they tend to cross the street whenever they feel it’s safe to do so and they can get away with it.

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City preps to cut speed limit on four mid-sized streets

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
First look at NE Multnomah project-4
Slower.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is ordering slower traffic speeds on four streets, three of which have recently been redesigned to be more neighborhood-friendly.

The four are Southwest Vermont Street from Capitol Highway to SW 45th near Gabriel Park, which will go from 35 to 30 mph; SW Multnomah Boulevard from Interstate 5 to SW 31st, going from 45 to 35 mph; NE Glisan Street from 27th to 79th, going from 35 to 30 mph; and NE/SE 47th Avenue from NE Tillamook to SE Oak, going from 30 to 25 mph.

All four streets have bike lanes for some or all of those segments.

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On NE Glisan, new bike lane character (and lower speed limit) earn clucks of approval

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
chicken tall
Male? Female? The comb seems hiply unisex. Either way, it’ll now have a safer time crossing the road.
(Photo: Terry Dublinski-Milton)

Portland’s famous bike lane characters keep getting more colorful. As we wrote in December, this unique and wonderful tradition has been making a comeback, thanks to creative city staffers.

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Ted’s cure for hopelessness: How to slow traffic when police won’t help

Thursday, October 10th, 2013
untitled-1-4
Ted Buehler and his tools of
the citizen activist trade.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

An unsafe street that isn’t being improved can be one of the most frustrating experiences in city life. One of Portland’s most thoughtful safety activists has some smart ideas on what to do next.

This exchange in our comments section came from a story this summer about a hit-and-run that injured a nine-year-old girl at North Bryant and Borthwick, on a neighborhood greenway that’s supposed to be free of fast-moving auto traffic but which was, according to a reader who once lived there, built to invite fast speeds. Several readers expressed frustration with the difficulty of getting police to do speed enforcement in a spot like this; one, Kevin Wagoner, said he’s tried calling the city’s official 503-823-SAFE line in a similar situation to no avail.

Here’s Ted Buehler’s response, lightly edited:

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First 20 mph signs spotted on N Michigan, Williams

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
New 20 MPH Sign
Woohoo!
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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PBOT will begin installing new 20 mph signs next month

Monday, January 28th, 2013
Ginny Burdick with new speed limit sign
The wait is almost over.
(Photo: Michael Andersen/Portland Afoot)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is gearing up to install 300 new speed limit signs throughout the city. The new signs are the result of a law PBOT passed in 2011 that gives the city legal authority to lower speed limits by 5 mph on residential streets that have been specifically designed as bikeways (a.k.a. neighborhood greenways). Since these neighborhood greenway streets are already at 25 mph, the new law allows PBOT to set the new limit at 20.

The big unveiling of these new signs was in August of last year; but PBOT has yet to install any new signs. We asked PBOT spokesman Dan Anderson for an update on the project last week. Anderson says they plan to begin installing the signs early next month and installation should be complete by April or May. The 300 signs will cover about 70 miles of streets at a cost of $30,00 to $45,000. (more…)

City reveals map of streets to get new 20 mph speed limits

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Is your favorite greenway on the
map? See larger version below.

At their meeting tomorrow, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will ask City Council to adopt a map of streets where they plan to install hundreds of new 20 mph signs.

Back in July, I shared details on how PBOT plans to roll out the new signs. The signs are the final piece of PBOT’s effort to lower speed limits on low-traffic neighborhood residential streets that are part of the existing neighborhood greenway network. (PBOT helped pass a state law in 2011 that gave them the authority to reduce speeds by 5 mph in certain circumstances.)

According to the ordinance filed by the City, they’re planning to install up to 300 new signs on 70 miles of streets. Most of the installations will be on already well-known neighborhood greenways streets in north, northeast, and southeast Portland. A few streets in southwest will also get the treatment, including portions of SW Illinois, Vermont, Maplewood, 52nd, SW Cheltenham, and others. Only a few of the signs will be installed downtown, with SW Harbor Way near Riverplace the only location in the plans. PBOT plans to eventually install some in the Pearl District/Northwest Portland area, but they are still analyzing data. (more…)

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