First look inside Portland’s new bike box

My five year-old daughter tests out Portland’s new bike box. By Monday it will be painted green just like the colored bike lane next to it.
Slideshow below
(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland’s ambitious campaign to improve bike safety at 14 intersections has finally begun.

Today, I watched City of Portland crews put down the first bit of green paint to mark a new colored bike lane and bike box on SE Hawthorne Blvd. and SE 7th. This intersection isn’t complete yet but the crew member I spoke with said they plan to finish it (and paint in the bike box) on Monday.

I watched several light cycles along with PDOT traffic safety guy Greg Raisman (who just happened to be there). Raisman and I were both pleased to see that even without the green paint in the bike box, most cars obeyed the “WAIT HERE” markings and stopped well before the stop bar.

As for the green color — it seems much brighter than our existing blue bike lanes (which will all be converted to this green color soon). The surface is also a nice, non-slip material. In a comment below, PDOT bicycle coordinator Roger Geller writes the green surface is a, “non-slick thermoplastic (and different than the thermoplastic used for lane striping, crosswalks, etc). It’s embedded with corundum, a mineral that gives it a non-skid characteristic.”

I have to admit, it’s exciting to stand there and realize what these new markings might mean for our city. Stay tuned for more analysis on Monday.

View more photos in the gallery or watch the slideshow below:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

For more information on bike boxes, visit PDOT’s Bike Box Page or watch this Streetfilms video: How to use a bike box. You can also browse and read the bike box coverage archives.

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