through the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
(Photos © J. Maus)
This morning I stopped by TriMet’s test of new bike access options through the Rose Quarter Transit Center this morning.
When I rolled up I was greeted by City of Portland bike coordinator Roger Geller and TriMet’s manager of capital projects Young Park. They offered a more detailed explanation of their concepts for safely and efficiently moving bikes through the Transit Center (bikes are currently prohibited from the area).
The plan so far is to create a new, two-way, green-colored bike lane (6 feet wide in each direction) on the west side of NE Wheeler Ave. from N. Multnomah St. to N. Interstate Ave. Their plans also call for painting a green bike box on NE Wheeler at N. Multnomah. This bike box would allow bikes to get a head start to get across the Multnomah intersection and continue northbound on NE Wheeler.
In addition, a new, flashing MAX train warning signal is expected to be installed at biker’s-eye level at the NE Holladay St. intersection.
On scene this morning there were a few people riding bikes through the coned-off bike lane test area and several TriMet and PDOT staffers standing around making notes and observations. The BTA’s liaison to TriMet, Michelle Poyourow had also showed up to test things out and offer her insights.
Young Park, with TriMet, says they’ve done pre-test evaluations and that they’re recording today’s test in order to analyze the results. TriMet is also surveying their bus operators about the possible changes.
Park says the cones will be set up all day today and he encourages bike riders to give the test configuration a try.
For the second part of their test this afternoon, Park says they’ll reroute some of the bus traffic on NE Wheeler and try out a new stop on N. Multnomah. That change would result in northbound bus traffic through the Transit Center going from 24 vehicles per hour to just 11 per hour — and would help minimize bike/bus interactions.
According to Park, the test is going well. “So far, so good,” he said, “there’s been no friction.”
As we chatted, we noticed several people on bikes come through that weren’t officially part of the test. They all used the coned-off test bike lane without incident and it seemed to work intuitively.
Park says they’ll take the next few weeks to evaluate the results of today’s test, and then decide on an option, make refinements and hope to have the new configuration up and running by late summer or early fall.