Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 9th, 2006 at 9:16 am
As a follow-up to my report last month, PDOT activated the new bicycle/pedestrian signal on 41st and East Burnside this morning. The official press release includes more details about the signal:
“The signal will stay dark unless activated by a cyclist or pedestrian. When the call button is pressed, the signal will stop all automotive movements along Burnside and allow cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross Burnside. No signal protection will be provided for drivers on 41st Avenue. A special bicycle traffic signal will control cyclist movement across Burnside, while pedestrians will have a traditional pedestrian signal.
In 1998 the Office of Transportation identified this intersection as the most difficult for cyclists to navigate over the entire 8-mile 40’s Bikeway corridor. Because of the roadway conditions and width, providing a signal was the only option to allow for a safe crossing.
A similar bicycle signal is used near the Steel Bridge in the Rose Quarter, but the automobile signal on Burnside will be the first of its kind in Portland, featuring one yellow light below two red lights in a “Mickey Mouse” configuration with no green light. After the bicycle/pedestrian cycle is complete, the system will be switched off, allowing traffic to flow normally again.
This installation, modeled after similar signals in Tucson, Arizona, is part of a national experimental study to determine the effectiveness of this type of special signal. The signal is designed to create a safe crossing for cyclists and pedestrians without making it a more attractive route for automobiles.”
I’ll snap some photos next time I’m in that neighborhood. In the meantime, if anyone goes through that intersection, feel free to chime in and let us know how it goes.