[Update: more photos of the markings]
Multnomah County work crews restriped the bike/ped path on the popular Hawthorne Bridge this morning. The new markings were done in an effort to “reduce conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists” according to the official press release (PDF). Here’s more from the release:
“On a sloped portion of the north sidewalk on the westbound SE Madison Avenue ramp approaching the bridge, a line will be painted down the center of the sidewalk to separate bicyclists and pedestrians. The line will direct pedestrians to use the outer portion of the sidewalk and bicyclists to use the road side of the sidewalk. The potential for higher bicycle speeds on this segment of the sidewalk warrants the installation of these improvements to provide a safer environment for all users.”
Some bike advocates are less than pleased with these markings and don’t feel that sufficient input was taken from the bike community. These photos shows that the bike lane is very narrow (not wide enough for a trailer) and there is also concern that the lane marking material will be slippery when wet.
Apparently the “Bridge Advisory Committee” mentioned in the press release failed to solicit any technical input on the design of the bike lanes and only one bicyclist was present at any of the meetings.
Here’s what one prominent bike advocate had to say:
“I am all for walkers feeling safe on the bridge, but the cost shouldn’t be borne just by cyclists. We should be talking how to make more efficient use of the whole 4 lane bridge, not just the margins where we cram together all of the ‘lesser modes.'”
I’m just surprised I hadn’t heard anyone talking about this before this morning…sort of feels like it was done without much input from the community. If you have concerns or comments about these new markings email Matthew Larsen, bike and ped planner for Multnomah County. His phone number is (503) 988-5050 ext. 29637.
[photos courtesy of Janis McDonald]