The new bike box: What do you think so far?

Posted by on March 18th, 2008 at 9:45 am

The bike box at SE Hawthorne and 7th in action.
(Photo by Jay Lawrence/Polara Studios)

Portland’s new bike box has been in action for just about 24 hours.

From my observations, the initial performance has been very promising. The vast majority of cars stop well behind the box and I’ve only seen a few folks turn right on red.

KATU-TV crews spent an hour watching the intersection yesterday and found pretty much the same thing. Check out there bike box story and video that ran on the evening news last night.

Greg Raisman, who works in community traffic safety with the City of Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT), experienced it from both sides of the windshield yesterday and says, “I’m really happy with it…it’s working.”

Raisman says he felt very comfortable with it from behind a steering wheel. “I think the markings are intuitive. When you drive over it on a green, you don’t notice the “Wait Here” marking, but it’s very visible on a red light situation.”

But it seems like, for at least one cyclist yesterday, the markings weren’t so intuitive. A reader named Laszlo drove through the intersections and shared this eyewitness account:

“…As I pulled up to the intersection, there’s no missing the green bike box and lane, or the two motorcycle cops across the street. There’s a cyclist in the bike lane, and another in the box. It looks like someone might think they could easily fit between the bike lane and the curb for a right turn [I noticed this too. That lane is actually a parking lane so I hope folks don’t get the wrong idea.]

The cyclist in the bike box is periodically signaling a left turn; there are two lanes of traffic to her left. he light turns green, the cyclist goes forward; so does the van beside her. With the van 4-5 feet behind her, the cyclist turns left across 2 lanes of traffic, almost getting hit. The cyclist pulls over on 7th, to be met by one of the cops. I’m guessing that she thought the bike box gave her special immunity.”

Laszlo went on to write that he fears, at least initially, “people (both drivers and cyclists) will fail to understand how these things are supposed to work” and that she’s more concerned about bike boxes when traffic is moving.

I’d love to hear more from you. Whether you ride a bike through it or drive a car through it…what are your thoughts so far?

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DJ Hurricane
Guest
DJ Hurricane

I rode through it yesterday around 6pm with a green light, i.e., I didn\’t stop.

I did as I always do at that intersection and countless others like it where a right-hook is possible, I looked over my left shoulder to see if a motor vehicle was close to me in the adjacent lane.

I thought that the green added a level of salience for motor vehicle operators who otherwise might not check for a cyclist on their right prior to turning right. At least I hope so.

Paul
Guest
Paul

shouldn\’t the box extend across all 3 lanes?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

To answer Paul, at that intersection YES. Its a one-way crossed by a two-way and many cyclists are in the left lane turning left there. The green on the right may distract drivers from looking for bikes on the left (but did you see the moonwalking bear…).

Resident
Guest
Resident

To answer Paul, at that intersection YES. Its a one-way crossed by a two-way and many cyclists are in the left lane turning left there. The green on the right may distract drivers from looking for bikes on the left (but did you see the moonwalking bear…).

nibo
Guest
nibo

I thought it was going to as well, Paul (2). It would be nice for those of us who do make that 3-lane switch. Would definitely help when you\’re stopped at that red.

I pedaled through it last night as well along with a green light (didn\’t stop). I really like the green paint – very visible – and hope that the same will be used at other important intersections (i.e. The lane at the top of Hawthorne bridge before heading down).

It would be nice to have the East-Bound bike lane onto the Hawthorne bridge painted through. I see that almost no cars notice that there\’s a different \”STOP\” line that isn\’t the line outlining the edge of the bike lane. Cars never stop at the first – they roll forward (probably not noticing the aging and fading line) and nose into the bike lane, making coming onto the bridge heading East dangerous and sometimes scary.

Max
Guest

I rode it yesterday and felt like I was a bit safer.
Of course, that\’s up to me and my neighboring automobiles, more than anything.

I\’m a little worried for the cyclist with bright green jackets though….they may be camouflaged in the box. haha. 😛

snapper
Guest
snapper

i guess i\’m confused how this box works for people turning left. if it doesn\’t go all the way across, you still have 2 more lanes of traffic to cross during the next blocks or so, right?

so getting in the bike box will make you more visible to cars so that you can make this transition easier?

in the picture jonathan has for this story, you can see a cyclist at the far left of the intersection. how does the bike box benefit that person?

i\’m not dissing the box, i\’m just trying to understand it.

ps. i like the color!

mike_khad1
Guest
mike_khad1

I haven\’t pedaled through it yet but my question is whether or not the paint, when wet, becomes slippery.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

\”i\’m confused how this box works for people turning left\”

Folks, please understand that the bike box is not some magical thing that solves every bike safety problem at an intersection. Like I mentioned previously, the bike box at Hawthorne and 7th is not meant to facilitate a left turn in any way, shape or form. I do know that PDOT considered making it go across all three lanes at one point, but they (for a reason I can\’t recall right now) decided against that treatment. I\’m sure Roger Geller has a good explanation.

Also, I know PDOT is currently thinking about the left-turn situation on intersections like this and I\’m sure someday we\’ll see additional markings and a solution.

Lazlo
Guest
Lazlo

Thanks, Jonathan. BTW, I\’m a he. I do like the increased visibility of the green paint, and I think bike boxes can improve safety in appropriate locations. One spot I would like to see one, and I think it may be planned is northbound on SE 21st at Division. I always take the lane when turning left there, and it would be nice to be up front. I see a lot of cyclists turn left from the bike lane on to Division, only to be crossed by right turning cars as the bike continues on to Ladd. Very unsafe.

Greg Raisman
Guest

Jonathan is right. When the light is green, operations do not change for any vehicles — bikes or motor vehicles. For a left turn, either make a vehicular left or an \”l-turn\” style left. Basic message, on green do not change the way you use the street. The real benefit on green is that it heightens the awareness of motorists to look for bicyclists.

There are basically four different ways that bike boxes can be used.

1) Highlighting presence of bicyclists and reducing the risk of right or left hook crashes. This is the purpose of the box at 7th/Hawthorne and almost all of the other boxes that will be installed. With this type of facility, all vehicles should use the street just as they always have when the light is green. The facility has primary effect when the signal is red. When the signal is green, it\’s main effect is to heighten the awareness of motorists to the presence of bicyclists. When the signal is red, it heightens the visibility of cyclists and reduced the risk of right hook crashes.

2) Turn to opposite side of street. There are a couple of approaches to this. New York City has more than 60 bike boxes installed, many that assist cyclists in making a right turn from left-side bike lanes. Vancouver, BC uses a series of 2 bike boxes to assist with an \”L-turn\” style left turn. There is nothing that precludes the current bike boxes from assisting with left turns in the future with some design updates. However, we are currently evaluating and operating them based on effect #1 listed above.

3) On bicycle boulevards, like at 39th and Clinton, they are used to provide priority to bicycles at signals.

4) They can also be used to smooth operations between high volumes of cyclists and other modes. Basically, in this type of case, multiple cyclists would congregate in the box on a red signal. When the signal turned green, they would go through the intersection first to clear the intersection much faster and more visibly than if the bike box were not present.

Thanks.
Greg Raisman
Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
Portland Office of Transportation

Lazlo
Guest
Lazlo

I forgot to add that I think the No Turn on Red sign may be hard to notice. I think there should be another one up by the light.

Brian
Guest
Brian

\”… Like I mentioned previously, the bike box at Hawthorne and 7th is not meant to facilitate a left turn in any way, shape or form.\” So its primary purpose to protect cyclists going straight from a right hook? Should a lone cyclist going straight move over into the box or stay in the bike lane? I assumed the latter, but now I\’m not sure.

rocko
Guest
rocko

For left turns–I would think if you came to the box using the bike lane, by the time you moved yourself all the way to the far left lane the light could turn green before you made it. Cars in the left lane would have no idea you\’re coming over there. You\’ve got to treat left turns as always, get over there sooner like regular traffic.

Jim O'Horo
Guest
Jim O'Horo

Snapper #7:

NO!!! If you get in the box & try to make a left from there across 2 lanes of traffic, you won\’t answer to traffic law, you will answer to Darwin\’s Law. To properly make a vehicular left turn at this intersection you have to start moving across motorized lanes way back BEFORE the intersection. It would be best to take the CENTER of the leftmost lane so cars can\’t attempt to pass you while you are in that lane. The bike lane and bike box should be used only by those wishing to go straight or turn right. During rush hours when heavy traffic makes it difficult to maneuver across lanes it is probably best to do a 2-corner left turn at this intersection.

I could make diagrams of the proper ways to make various turns this intersection if Jonathan wants to post them, but without assurance that they\’ll be put up, I\’m not going to waste my time.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

\”Should a lone cyclist going straight move over into the box or stay in the bike lane? I assumed the latter, but now I\’m not sure.\”

Brian,

That\’s completely up to you. Either way, your visibility increases dramatically with the bike box. Even if you stay in the bike lane (and don\’t move over into the box), the car is not stopped 14 feet behind you instead of directly to your left.

I assume that at an intersection with more stopped bike traffic, people will naturally move over into the bike box when/if someone is already in the bike lane in front of them.

Greg Raisman
Guest

As with any traffic design, there are always issues on the ground that engineers have to respond to. We have design standards, but the world is not standard.

For example, in this case, we agree that the NO RIGHT TURN ON RED would be preferred to be next to the signal.

The problem with this at 7th is that the signal is on old span wire. The condition of the signal makes it so that we can\’t put additional wind load on it.

Other challenges at this location is that there are a lot of other signs and narrow, congested sidewalks.

So, the engineers found the best place they could for the sign. I\’d expect that in the future, when the signal is replaced (approx. $150,000), that the sign would be on the new mast arm. Unfortunately, it\’s impossible to know when the signal will be replaced.

Thanks.
Greg Raisman
Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
Portland Office of Transportation

joel
Guest
joel

I feel that the bike box at that particular location does little to actually improve the safety of that intersection. It does however provide a very high car traffic area exposure to the idea of the bike box, so they might have a clue when dealing with intersections that could benefit from them (21 and division is a good one). I really can\’t see ever using the section of the bike box that puts you in front of traffic on Hawthorne at this location because if I am going straight, I will just stay in the bike lane, and if i am turning right I\’m going to take it from the bike lane.

Mark P.
Guest
Mark P.

At this location it almost seems like the box area itself is more useful as a means to keep an automobile back and the bike more visible. I\’m not sure I could see myself getting in front of traffic to go straight either.

Ian S.
Guest
Ian S.

Greg (comment #17),

What about in someway adding the same green color of the bike box to the \”No right turn on red\” sign? It might help the sign pop out in a busy environment like this one…

Okay, now I\’m going to shut up and go ride it before I say anymore.

Cheers, Ian

Adam
Guest
Adam

One of my concerns is that it says \”Wait Here.\” I\’m concerned that some drivers may stop where there are supposed to and then move forward into the bike box if there are no cyclists in it. It needs to have a sign like many other intersections that says \”stop here on red.\”

Dag
Guest
Dag

If you\’re like me, the bike box is a good place to get in front of the slow moving cyclists who arrived before you. But I agree with others that the left turn onto 7th is tough, and not addressed at all by the box. Unless there\’s not much traffic, I prefer to avoid that turn entirely by heading a couple blocks up the esplanade from the bridge. If the box extended across all the lanes, or if there was a separate bike signal for that turn, that would be ideal.

3-speeder
Guest
3-speeder

The bike box looks great – I can\’t wait to use it. Wonderful idea.

As I read these comments, it is clear that some informational meetings for bicyclists (with traffic engineers present) would be a good idea.

For example, I already thought of one tricky situation. On a red, as I ride forward to the bike box, I would want to move towards the middle directly in front of the stopped car in order to be most visible. However, if the signal changes to green just as I pull up at a moderate speed next to the stopped car (so that I am more or less in their blind spot until a split second before they move), planning to move as I state above would put me in severe danger of being hit, even if they were going straight.

I\’m not trying to knock the bike box. I just would like some advice about how to navigate most safely. For example, in the case above, is it good advice to stay right until having reached the front of the bike box (to insure being visible) and then move to the center to be even more visible?

A meeting with those who have gotten traffic info/data from other cities would be great to help us all get answers to our questions in order to better understand how to stay within our individual safety comfort zones.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

As previously mentioned, I think the bike box will be of most benefit with multiple cyclists having to stop at once, rather than having to line up single file in the bike lane and take chances with motorist awareness (or lack thereof).

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

It\’s great! Glad to see these being installed.

What\’s interesting is the *reason* they are being used as a tool. When I travelled in Europe a few years ago, one of the first things I noticed is that America is one of the few countries I know of that permits right turn on red. In many European countries, this is simply **unheard of**.

Therefore, where the bike boxes are used in Europe, it\’s not to prevent right hooks, but rather, to enable cyclists to –

a) get in front of the line & be seen by motorists
b) make a left/right hand (depending on what side of the road they drive on!) turn easily

Europe didn\’t have a lot of the kind of three-lane arterials we see here in America, so their bike boxes fuctioned really well, because they seemed to be primarily installed on roads with one lane of traffic in each direction.

It\’d be interesting to see how a bike box on a street with three lanes of traffic one direction works out.

I\’d rather see the bike box extend across all three lanes, given that their purpose traditionally has not been to prevent right hooks, as much as to facilitate left hand turns. But we\’ll see!

Donald
Guest
Donald

I\’ll join the few, proud yahoos that haven\’t actually seen it but have a question anyway.

I understand that I can turn right on red even though cars can\’t. Does the signage say (except bikes)?

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Ideally, the cyclist in the picture would have stopped two feet back to avoid blocking the crosswalk. How much room do people need? It\’s not like the bike box is full of cyclists, or he needs to be there to maintain visibility. Consideration goes both ways. Do we like it when cars block the bike lane?

Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile)
Guest

My guess is that bike boxes will be perceived as working well until the first time an impaired or otherwise inattentive driver slams into a group of cyclists gathered in one as they wait for a green light.

john
Guest
john

Good Lord, sounds like confusion to me. If it takes more than two sentences to explain, then its stupid. KISS is suppose to mean: Keep it simple, stupid. not Keep it stupid, simple.

Axe
Guest
Axe

Donald @26 – yes, the sign does say \”No Turn On Red – Except Bikes.\”

BikerinNE
Guest
BikerinNE

Comment #17,

Green? Dude in a car that means GO. A green no turn on red sign? How about drivers just be observant, and know their surroundings.

Gene
Guest
Gene

Schrauf #27
Actually, shouldn\’t the cyclist be in the box?

IceArdor
Guest

There should be an island (http://bikeportland.org/2008/03/18/a-green-street-made-safer-with-new-markings/) that stops the parking lane so it will never be confused with a lane of travel.

The other thing is that I\’ve heard that the No Turn On Right signs are difficult to see. They should be right next to the traffic signal just like they are at other intersections. Bike box doesn\’t have to be synonymous with \”No Turn On Red\”, there just needs to be clear signage that that particular intersection is a No Turn On Red intersection.

Will a bike box help a cyclist make a left hand turn? It sounds like from this story that it doesn\’t make left hand turns any easier (if the bike box is only in the rightmost lane). If a bike box were to extend all the way across to the left lane, then I suppose a cyclist could ride in the bike lane and then walk over to the left most lane. I guess this isn\’t the case, as the cyclist in this article got pulled over.

Paul
Guest
Paul

\”I would think if you came to the box using the bike lane, by the time you moved yourself all the way to the far left lane the light could turn green before you made it\”

Good point.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Looks nice, Great Job!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Will there be some sort of formal process for the city to field comments regarding the bike boxes? Or just pen a letter to Roger Geller??

IanO
Guest
IanO

I turn left on 7th from Hawthorne regularly. If traffic is low, I drift left between MLK and 7th before turning. If traffic is heavy, I bike into the crosswalk and into the bike lane on 7th, manually turn left 90 degrees, and continue on 7th when the light changes.

I otherwise wouldn\’t be stopping at 7th. The lights are timed so that bike traffic stops at MLK and continues on through 7th before the next light change. The *actual* hazard which a bike box could fix is protection from the buses stopped at MLK. They wants to squish the bikes while trying to make the bus stop at 6th.

Bikebillboards dot blogspot dot com
Guest

Useless. But, at least it\’s fairly harmless, unless you try to make a left turn, from the RIGHT lane. 😛

Bob Shanteau
Guest

I just want all of you to know that the bike boxes and colored bike lanes that Portland is installing are UNAPPROVED TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.

As it turns out, the reason that Portland thinks it needs bike boxes in the first place is to prevent right-hook accidents, but did you know that the right-hook accidents are happening because Oregon has chosen not to follow national guidelines for bike lane laws and for marking bike lanes in the first place?

Now, people who work in the Portland Office of Transportation disagree with that statement. Apparently, they want to re-open the debate on the national guidelines. In fact, there are procedures in place to do that. Instead, Portland has chosen not to follow those procedures and instead simply barge ahead and install the bike boxes and colored bike lanes. So, Portland bicyclists, the City of Portland is playing with your lives.

If one of you gets hurt at an intersection with a bike box, it will be interesting to see how the City tries to defend itself against knowingly installing unapproved traffic control devices.

If you want some background on this, here is Portland\’s application (dated Jan. 14) to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for permission to experiment with bike boxes:

Here is a letter (dated Feb. 19) I sent commenting on Portland\’s application:

Here is an email that FHWA sent me (Mar. 17)saying that they had returned the application back to Portland on Feb. 21 for additional information:

And here is a letter (dated Mar. 14) I sent to Portland Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield:

Just so you know, I live and work in California and helped develop the guidelines for the way bike lanes work back in the 1970\’s. I care about what is happening in Portland because, if the City of Portland is successful at changing national guidelines on bike lanes, it will hurt bicyclists everywhere in the country, including me.

Bob Shanteau
Guest

I see that the links did not make it into my post #40. Let me try again:

Here is Portland\’s application (dated Jan. 14) to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for permission to experiment with bike boxes: http://rmshant.googlepages.com/FHWARequesttoExperiment011408-1.pdf

Here is a letter (dated Feb. 19) I sent commenting on Portland\’s application: http://rmshant.googlepages.com/Letterrequestingrejectionofbikeboxex.pdf

Here is an email that FHWA sent me (Mar. 17) saying that they had returned the application back to Portland on Feb. 21 for additional information: http://rmshant.googlepages.com/LettertoPortlandobjectingtobikeboxes.eml

And here is a letter (dated Mar. 14) I sent to Portland Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield: http://rmshant.googlepages.com/Burchfieldletter.pdf

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Hi Bob,

I\’ve been wondering when/if you would post on this topic.

PDOT is not afraid to admit that they willingly innovate beyond what the Federal standards are for traffic engineering. As a result of their commitment to design streets for the behavior they would like to see, rather than by what the Feds \”allow\” them to do, Portland has the highest rate of bike use for any American city, a decreasing bike crash rate, and we\’re the only major metropolitan area that has reduced VMT year over year.

In my opinion, it\’s the FHWA and their outdated standards that are \”playing with our lives\” by continuing to favor motor vehicle traffic over bikes, peds, and mass transit.

I have read Portland\’s bike box application and I have read your letter in opposition to it. I have also talked to the author of Portland\’s letter, Roger Geller. According to Roger, \”requesting permission to experiment\” is more of an engineering formality and it is not a requisite thing city\’s must do. Portland is not running afoul of any laws, or putting people\’s lives in danger by doing this bike box pilot project.

The bike box relies on a traffic control device that is already approved and will be enforced by the Police — it\’s called a stop bar… the same thing already used in pedestrian crosswalks.

Also, I would love to know why you feel that, \”if the City of Portland is successful at changing national guidelines on bike lanes, it will hurt bicyclists everywhere in the country, including me.\”

Thanks.

Bob Shanteau
Guest

Jonathan Maus wrote: \”Portland is not running afoul of any laws, or putting people\’s lives in danger by doing this bike box pilot project.\”

To answer the first part of your statement, let me direct your attention to the traffic law in Oregon relating to uniform standards for traffic control devices:
______________

810.200 Uniform standards for traffic control devices; uniform system of marking and signing highways.
(1) The Oregon Transportation Commission may exercise the following authority with respect to the marking, signing and use of traffic control devices in this state:
(a) The commission shall adopt a manual and specifications of uniform standards for traffic control devices consistent with the provisions of the vehicle code for use upon highways in this state.
(b) The commission is authorized to provide a uniform system of marking and signing highways within the boundaries of this state.
(c) The commission is authorized to determine the character or type of traffic control devices to be used in this state.
(2) The authority granted under this section is subject to all of the following:
(a) The system of marking and signing established under this section shall correlate with and, as far as possible, conform to the system adopted in other states. The commission may include in the system signs and signals that show internationally recognized and approved symbols.
(b) So far as practicable, all traffic control devices in this state shall be uniform as to type and location.
(c) All traffic control devices placed or operated in this state shall conform to specifications approved by the commission.
(d) Stop signs and yield signs shall be illuminated at night or so placed as to be illuminated by the headlights of approaching vehicles or by street lights. [1983 c.338 §164; 1985 c.16 §53; 1993 c.522 §2]
_____________

Are you saying that Portland is not subject to this law?

When Portland applied to FHWA for permission to experiment, it stated that bike boxes were not in the national Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Now they\’re saying that the advanced stop line is already approved. They can\’t have it both ways.

To answer your the second part of your question, my answer is what I learned on one of my first organized rides: \”Never pass a right turning car on the right.\” Any bicyclist who places him/herself on the right side of a right turning car is setting him/herself up for a right-hook. To avoid being right-hooked, bicyclists must ALWAYS pass cars that may turn right on the LEFT side. And motorists must ALWAYS turn right from as far to the right as practicable, even if it means merging into the bike lane.

That is what is written into the national guidelines. Is that favoring motor vehicle traffic over bikes, peds and mass transit? I think not.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Bob,

First, please understand that my thoughts are my own and that I have absolutely no affiliation with PDOT whatsoever.

Again, I have little respect for national guidelines that have produced a bike mode split of less than 1% nationwide.

I have trouble understanding why Portland should conform to standards that are clearly not helping encourage more people to ride bikes.

Some cities design their bikeways according to what federal guidelines tell them.

Portland (thankfully) seems to take Fed. guidelines as a starting point, but then adapts them to what would be the treatment that would create the most comfortable and safe conditions for the widest range (and largest number) of cyclists (including people that don\’t currently ride but would do so if they felt safer/more comfortable.)

Two different philosophies at work here… and my main point is still that the proof is in the pudding. Portland bike mode split is skyrocketing and the rate of bike crashes is falling. So please tell me why PDOT should stop what they\’re doing?

I\’m proud to live in a city that is not afraid to innovate in the name of getting more people (safely and comfortably) on bikes.

What are the big plans on the table in California these days?… (there were recently two very high profile fatalities.)

D.M.I.
Guest
D.M.I.

I think it\’s about time that they added something to help protect the bikers of our city, but I also feel it is way over due to tax bikers and make them pay for the extra cost to the tax payers. We tax cars so we can fix roads and help improve saftey, I think bikes need to be taxed in the same fashion…

BURR
Guest
BURR

Interesting that Bob S points out that these bike boxes are UNAPPROVED TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES, yet the city is installing them anyway. Because the Rob Burchfield, the city Traffic Engineer, has been claiming for over ten years now that the city cannot install Sharrows markings because they are UNAPPROVED TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES. IMO, sharrows would do a lot more for making motorists recognize and understand where cyclists are allowed to operate in a shared lane situation than these bike boxes ever will. The bike boxes are confusing and marginally useful at best.

woogie
Guest
woogie

Bob,

I have always questioned the way in which Portland implemented bike lanes at intersections forcing vehicles to turn across a through lane. I always felt it was an unsafe way to engineer traffic.

Thanks for pointing out what should be an obvious lack of safety in the current design implement by the City of Protland.

BURR
Guest
BURR

BTW, thank you, Mr. Shanteau, for speaking out against this idiocy.

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

\”Portland bike mode split is skyrocketing and the rate of bike crashes is falling. So please tell me why PDOT should stop what they\’re doing?\”

I think that sums up my feelings on the matter.

Other than bike lanes on the right side of the road, what are the options?

Sharrow? sure if you are a fit biker who likes to play in traffic. (I do, but that is not everyone)?

Bike lane in the middle of the road? That works as long as no MV ever tries to change lanes, and would not increase bike usage.

Banning Right turns by MVs? That works for me when I bike, not so much when I drive.

How about drivers using their turn signals, being aware, bikers slowing down and being aware when they pass through intersections and bike lanes?

Now there is an idea.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

pointing fingers, claims of \”idiocy\”, the sky is falling because PDOT is doing something innovative… geez…

I love sharrows. I love bike boxes. I love taking the lane. I love defensive, \”vehicular cycling\”. I love cycling and I want as many Americans as possible to do it more often.

Right now, about 1% (if that) of Americans ride bikes on a regular basis for transportation.

There are many possible roads we can take to improve that number.

Getting bogged down in defending our personal beliefs about bikeway design and trying to drag down people who have their hearts and minds in the right place, and are not afraid to do something about it, is not the best way forward.

Debate and dialogue is great… but turning it into negativity hurts us more than it helps us.

The real victory in this \”battle\” should be measured in how many people ride bikes, not in whose bike facility design philosophy wins out.

PDOT has chosen one particular philosophy based on what I think is very sound judgment. They\’ve looked outside of America for examples that have proven to work, they have engineers that really \”get\” how to create a safe and comfortable bikeway network, and most importantly they have a host of stats that prove they are on the right track.

I am still waiting to be convinced by the vehicular cycling, \”take the lane and we\’d be better off…\”we don\’t need no stinkin\’ bike boxes\” crowd, that their vision of a world-class bike city would actually be a place where the 60% of Portlanders that are currently \”interested but concerned\” in riding would join us.

Trying to integrate bikes and cars is simply never going to result in significant (30%+) bike mode share.

Why? because my 60 year-old mom and my wife with my 2 and 5 year-old daughters in tow will never \”take the lane.\”

BURR
Guest
BURR

Jonathan – PDOT engineers don\’t get how to create a safe and comfortable bikeway network if they are still building bike lanes in the door zone or to the right of lanes with high volumes of right turning traffic, with or without the addition of bike boxes. It is also a fallacy to state that the only other option is vehicular cycling without any bike lanes at all. It is very simple to build a properly destination-positioned bike lane to the left of a right-turn only lane, and PDOT has done it many times in the past. Trying to completely separate bike and motor vehicle traffic on the narrow streets of the inner Portland grid system is never going to happen because the space just isn\’t available to do it.