Back in June, I was biking my normal route to the office (southbound on N. Interstate near the Rose Quarter), when I came across something appalling.
It was right out of a horror movie.
Note: The arrow points bikes up onto
the sidewalk, but no one actually takes
that route (not to mention it
too is littered with signs).
A huge traffic sign mounted on a tripod had been placed smack dab in the middle of the bike lane, forcing bike traffic out into the adjacent lane. The sign was not only blocking the safe flow of bike traffic, it was accompanied by a confusing array of other signs scattered about due to two construction projects. (TriMet’s closure of the Steel Bridge and the East Side Big Pipe Project).
I rode by it for a few days before I thought, “enough is enough!” and decided to call the city and tell them about it.
The number I called was 823 – SAFE (7233), the City of Portland’s Trasnportation Safety and Neighborhood Livability Hot Line”. If you’ve never heard of it (it’s been nearly three years since I last mentioned it), put it in your cell phone and don’t be afraid to dial.
After I left a message describing the situation, I received several phone calls and emails within a day or so asking for more information about the sign. A few days later the sign was moved up onto the sidewalk. Problem solved (see below)…
This problem (traffic and construction signs in bikeways) is fairly common throughout the country. Check out this awesome example from Southern California.
Have you ever called 823-SAFE (or 823-CYCL)? If so, how was the response?
If you’re not in Portland, does your city have something like this?