Update: Burnside gets new bike/ped crossing signal

[Update: According to a PDOT press release, this new signal is operational as of 9:00AM today, 10/10/06]

[As of August 30th]
Photo: flickrplease

The intersection at E. Burnside and 41st streets will soon be much safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. PDOT is installing a new, high-tech crossing signal that is slated for completion by the end of September.

Here’s more from an official PDOT statement:

“The signal eliminates a major barrier in one of only three continuous north-south bikeways on Portland’s eastside (the I-205 path and the Eastbank Esplanade and the Vancouver/Williams bikeway being the others) and one of the only bicycle-friendly crossings of the I-84 freeway.”

[Burnside and 41st]
Photo: flickrplease

And here’s the inside scoop from PDOT’s Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller:

“The need for a signal at this location was identified in the “North-South Forties Bikeway Project Staff Recommendation” Report in August, 1998.

This project is funded by a $140,000 ODOT bike/ped grant. This signal is unique to Portland—copied more or less from a H.A.W.K. (High intensity Actuated WalK signal) used by Tuscon Arizona’s Department of Transportation. It will have a ped/bike indication for crossing Burnside (motorists will still have to abide by the stop signs). This eliminates the threat of motor-vehicle cut-through traffic.”

For more information on this project contact Roger Geller at (503) 823-7671 or roger[dot]geller[at]pdxtrans[dot]org.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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ben
ben
17 years ago

oh man, this makes me so happy. one less sketchy intersection during my commute.

Joe Planner
Joe Planner
17 years ago

This is good, but the 42nd Avenue ped/bike bridge is described in the PDOT statement as “one of the only bicycle-friendly crossings of the I-84 freeway.” It’s so not bike-friendly. I use this bridge every day and prefer to part my bike south of the bridge if my destination is Hollywood and I prefer to use ANY of the road crossings over I-84 if I’m going anywhere much further north of I-84. The 42nd Ave. bridge is slow, sometimes crowded, and inconvenient. Specificially, the switchback ramp on the north side of the bridge is designed as a wheelchair ramp as opposed to a bike ramp. I notice bicyclists try to use it, but basically, you have to get off your bike if there are people walking up it, which there usually are. Otherwise, you can carry your bike down the stairs. I noticed bicyclist with an attached trailer on the switchback ramp yesterday and they had a helluva time maneuvering at the end of each ramp. In fact, the whole Hollywood town center is not bike friendly, despite the showy bike racks designed as stars, glasses, and stethoscopes. The Burnside crossing is probably a bigger issue, so I’m glad that’s being taken care of now though. Next, let’s fix the bridge, or provide better alternate crossings at 33rd or 39th Avenues.

Chris
Chris
17 years ago

Great! I can’t wait to try it out.

Re: Joe Planners comment:
Wasn’t there some sort of a trough installed on the North side of the crossing that you can use to wheel your bike up or down the stairs?
Obviously I have not checked it out, but thought I read something to that effect recently.

Also, NE 53rd is a pretty good route to get across I-84 if it is not too far East for you.

Tasha
Tasha
17 years ago

I am SO happy to hear about this and I now have to take this 42nd/41st route from Skidmore to Division at 5:30 am almost every day and it scares me in the dark. Only a few more days of being scared to death, even with mt flashy front light and bright yellow jacket. It’s surprising how much car traffic there is at 5:45 am, but there really is a lot of dedicated early risers out there.

ben
ben
17 years ago

yeah the 42nd bridge isn’t so efficient at times. the main time i hit is at about 7am, so it isn’t very crowded. but it being a transit center and all, it can fluctuate (i.e. – when buses and the max arrive at teh same time during rush hour). i only really use the southern ramp and then hop on the max. i hear ya about the north side though. normally i don’t mind slinging my bike over my shoulder, but that isn’t always an option for other folks. heck, i usually have a loaded up touring bike for when i head out to work these days, so its a lot easier for me to take the elevator. but if other people and/or bikes are waiting for it, its not always very efficient. it is quite small.
ugh, i would just rather not deal with these MAX “islands.”

anyways, i’m completely veering off the topic.
i was excited to see the construction of the signals down on burnside. theres so many nice E to W bikeways in pdx (SE especially), i’ve always wanted a solid N to S one that was near me. as stated previously, you have a couple down by the river, and then the 205 bike path. but don’t even get me started on that one (205).
anyways, this signal doesn’t make everything perfect, but its a very welcomed addition.

Hawthorne rider
Hawthorne rider
17 years ago

At a meeting I was at, Roger Geller mentioned this N/S route. I believe he said there will be some renovations done to the Hollywood Transit Center. He said it would be pretty costly to replace the ramp unfortunately, so that won’t happen anytime soon, but I think he said (and as Chris mentioned above) there will be a place on the stairs to wheel your bike up (rather than carry).

I too am psyched about the burnside signal – that’s a pretty sketchy corner any time of day – especially with the speeds that cars get up to on Burnside.

Joe Planner
Joe Planner
17 years ago

Re: Hawthorne rider’s comments

Roger Geller is right, there are supposed to be some Hollywood town center pedestrian improvements that should coincide with the completion of the current sewer replacement project over the next year or two. I only hope that Roger Geller’s office has been able to influence the design of those improvements throughout the district to advance bike infrastructure improvements also.

Ian
Ian
17 years ago

Great idea on the Burnside signal! This is quite a congested area with short visibility and fast traffic.

(Next on my wishlist for the 42nd street corridor would be road improvement between Belmont and Taylor. That stretch is knobbly concrete.)

I also avoid the 42nd I-84 bridge if possible, since it forces you to dismount to get through the transit center. I either detour to 47th via the walkway connecting to Senate along I-84, or brave the northbound traffic on 39th.

ben
ben
17 years ago

on the subject of knobbly concrete:

does anyone else ride up/down NE Davis (between 60th and 66th)….ya know, that one big hill with the handful of 2 or 4 way stop signs?

i always dread that stretch, its horribly rough compared to the rest of that NE Davis route.

does anyone know why only that hill has the horrible pavement?

Val A Lindsay II
Val A Lindsay II
17 years ago

This light is one of the reasons I want to move to Portland.

Darrell
Darrell
17 years ago

Ben,

I live on 67th between Davis and Flanders – I ride that that stretch everyday – both ways. On the way up the hill, I try to ride in the “newer” section of pavement where sewer work was done – it is less rough. I have no idea why that section of road has been ignored.

Kevin
Kevin
17 years ago

Ben,

What don’t you like about the 205 path?

Granted it’s not all that scenic, but I think it’s an admirable example of far-sighted civic planning in terms of mandating bicycle access along the right of way. Like the killing of the proposed Mt. Hood Freeway through SE it’s something Portlanders can be proud of.

ben
ben
17 years ago

i guess one of my main gripes is the Glisan intersection (heading north on the east side). i desperately wish there was a better way around/over/under/through that intersection.

even with a cross-signal, the majority of the traffic (especially coming off 205) could give a rip about it. they take that right on red without ever heeding to ANY bicyclist or pedestrian in the crosswalk. the general feeling i get there is: “let see how fast i can peel through this turn before the biker gets through the crosswalk.” i say a conservative estimate is 30% of the time someone either cuts me off (within 15 feet) or has to slam on their brakes because i’m crossing with the signal.

ugh. it never feels safe. too many people on cell phones. too many people stressed out from road rage. for some reason, i don’t feel as safe as i do in inner pdx. when i’m out near 82nd and 122nd, biking just doesn’t feel like it is a respected way of traveling (and still foreign).

though when it comes down to it: i love portland to death. and i’m soooo very thankful for what we have. i’ve lived in too many non-pdx places not to. i just don’t ever want to get content with where we’re at….and NOT strive for something more. i’m grateful for the progression we’ve made, but as we all know theres so much room for improvement. and if any city had the clout to do it, it’s us.

ben
ben
17 years ago

darrell – i too use those small sections of pavement over the sewer work. its a brief lil oasis in that stretch.

though i’m sure i look pretty silly weaving a loaded up touring bike around those man holes.
ha.

Cecil
Cecil
17 years ago

Love the new Burnside signal – I usually have no problem with that intersection at the times I ride but I can see how it could be pretty sketchy during high-traffic periods given the sort-of blind curve there . . . yay!