Mercury plays PDOT with bike safety suggestions

Detail from
Portland Mercury cover.

Not to be outdone by the Oregonian or the Willamette Week, the Portland Mercury has published their contributions to what has clearly become a citywide conversation about how to improve bike safety in Portland.

In their issue that hit streets today, news editor Scott Moore (a daily bike rider himself) offers up a feature article titled, Failure to Yield: Portland’s Most Dangerous Intersections for Bikes—And What Can Be Done About Them

In the article, Moore points out their effort to solicit feedback from cyclists on Portland’s “scariest” intersections. They’ve started a Google Spreadsheet that anyone can add to (as long as you’ve got a Google account) and suggestions have come pouring in.

Moore critiques Commissioner Adams’ bike safety improvements proposal as running the “risk of applying a one-size-fits-all solution to intersections that have different needs.”

Moore then puts his pen where his mouth is and offers up suggestions for improving some of what he deems as the most dangerous intersections for bikes. Here they are:

  • NE Broadway and N Williams
  • NW Broadway and Hoyt
  • NW Lovejoy and NW 9th
  • SW 14th and Burnside
  • NW 16th and Everett
  • The Clusterhump at SE 12th and Sandy/Burnside
  • N Interstate and Greeley

Whether you (or PDOT) agrees with the Mercury’s suggestions, I hope/think we can all agree with this one:

“Two things are clear: Something needs to be done, before another cyclist dies, and bikers, no matter how confident or experienced, need to treat these intersections with the highest caution.”

Read the full article on PortlandMercury.com.

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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Patrick
Patrick
16 years ago

I was almost killed on # 2 last night, literaly…. Post office truck driver dude proceeds to turn right on red from left lane (after stopping).

I was waiting at the light with my foot resting on the sidewalk. I had to jump up on to the curb to avoid being crushed by the rear wheels of the trailer.

Stripes
Stripes
16 years ago

Those post office trucks are totally notorious. I\’ve had several close scary calls.

Luckily, as their depot is really, really close to the bridgehead, I usually follow their truck right into their yard, where I am able to stop and photograph the license plate and driver.

David Dean
David Dean
16 years ago

I tried to edit the Google Spreadsheet but it wasn\’t working so I\’ll post my comments here.

One of the most dangerous intersections I am familiar with is near the Rose Quarter on NE Broadway where the bike lane crosses the I-5 NB freeway off-ramp. Traffic coming off the freeway doesn\’t have to stop when turning onto Broadway EXCEPT to yield to cyclists in the bike lane. What this means is that most drivers are trained to casually glance left before turning right onto Broadway. There needs to be an extension of the bike lane running parallel with merging traffic. There should be a curb to force merging traffic to stay right and take their time merging onto Broadway. The bike lane needs to not move right until after the curb, halfway down the block. This will allow motorists to safely merge and give cyclists opportunity to make themselves visible and gauge the intentions of the motorists.

Also parking needs to be removed from around intersections and tinted windows need to be banned.

Zach
Zach
16 years ago

No intersections on that list are more than a mile or two from the middle of the city….. wonder what sort of methodology Moore used to determine that they are the \’most dangerous\’ intersections in the city.

These intersections are certainly dangerous, and it\’s been nice hearing everyone\’s (media, people, politicians, etc.) opinions about bike safety lately, but after reading Roger Geller\’s piece today, I think I\’d like to hear even more from professionals.

Me 2
Me 2
16 years ago

To David Dean:

Are you talking about riding eastbound? From your descrition it sounds like you are talking about NE Weidler. There is a strip of blue paint, but I\’ve had a few issues crossing there as well. Just yesterday some woman casually rode into the bike lane there while I was coming home.

To Zach: The list is based on feedback of cyclists. The Mercury had a link where you could submit what you thought. My vote was N Broadway and Williams.

David Dean
David Dean
16 years ago

Indeed, NE Weidler eastbound is the intersection I was trying to describe.

Tasha
Tasha
16 years ago

This was a good article, but it seemd most of the solutions had to do with bike signals and \”sensors\”, which I imagine are pretty expensive? I do have to say that ever since they put that bike signal in at East Burnside and 42nd, I feel so much happier about riding that route South to North than I used to. So, bike signals are great, if the money is there to put them in.

nerf
nerf
16 years ago

so the media is finally reporting what people have been dealing with for years only after two deaths in two weeks?
this makes me sick

good luck finding the \”solution\”

Anonymous
Anonymous
16 years ago

I\’m amazed every day that there are no accidents at the eastbound entrance to the Hawthorne Bridge. There is just too much going on there, too many reasons to cut across the bike lane, In addition, it\’s still a place with low traction lane-paint.

An underrated but very dangerous intersection is SE 34th and Belmont. Sip coffee in Stumptown and watch many close calls for pedestrians and cyclists each morning, particulary when Zupan\’s is taking morning deliveries from large trucks and Sunnyside Environmental School is about to start a block away.

Given the large number of bike trailers and kids on bikes — and pedestrian kids crossing in front of left-turning traffic as well as poor driving visibility due to sun glare — it\’s a very dangerous situation. I can\’t believe there\’s not even a school zone sign at that intersection.