A month ago, I shared the Portland Water Bureau’s proactive plan to reduce the risk of collisions between their vehicles and bikes around their Interstate Avenue facility.
The policy was made official on Tuesday when Water Bureau administrator David Shaff sent the following email to all employees:
As a result of several recent vehicle/bicycle collisions throughout the City, and near-misses at one of the area’s most dangerous intersections at Broadway and Wheeler, the Interstate Safety Committee has worked with the neighboring business, members of the bicycle community, PDOT, and Portland Police to identify potential solutions.
The committee recognizes there is no single solution. However, given the seriousness of the situation, the potential severity of a collision, and the necessity to prevent future accidents, the Portland Water Bureau is permanently implementing the following policy:All Water Bureau vehicles are prohibited on Wheeler between the lower Rock Yard and Broadway St. Water Bureau vehicles may not access Wheeler via Ross, Benton, or Dixon streets.
The primary route to/from the Interstate facility will be via Larrabee and Interstate, via Hancock, Tillamook, or Wheeler at the Green shed and rock yard gate.
Drivers on these routes will still be required to be watchful for bicycles and pedestrians; however the committee feels that the line of sight and travel distances are better, allowing the driver better interaction space and time with the other road users.
While there may be an occasional need to access the streets listed for business purposes, a short cut to the Interstate facility is not a valid reason.
Failure to follow these instructions may result in disciplinary action.
The Safety Committee and the Water Bureau will continue to work with PDOT, the neighborhood association and other road users for additional safety improvements.
All employees are encouraged to follow these same routes in their personal vehicles.
installed on the City of Portland’s truck fleet.
This proactive move by the Water Bureau to improve bike safety comes on the heels of news that the entire City of Portland truck fleet will spend $50,000 to install improved mirrors and side underrun guards (which prevent bikes from getting caught under the wheels when a collision occurs).