Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 25th, 2008 at 2:57 pm
Two stop signs at the intersection of SE Water Ave and SE Caruthers St. in Southeast Portland (map) will be removed by PDOT.
The news comes from an employee of the nearby Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). The employee sent BikePortland a letter received from City Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield outlining the changes (download PDF of letter here). In the letter (dated today, 11/25), Burchfield writes that since the stop signs were installed in 2002 (under transportation commissioner Jim Francesconi), “PDOT has received numerous complaints from the public about this intersection.” He goes on to write:
“Some citizens complain that there is poor compliance with the stop signs from bicyclists and motorists. Others complain that the stop signs seem unnecessary due to adequate visibility at the intersection for the other streets.”
Here’s an aerial view of the intersection (stop signs that will be removed are colored red):
“The non-compliance of the stop signs has not translated into any crash activity.”
— City Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield
Buchfield also notes in the letter that PDOT investigated conditions at the location and found the concerns to be valid. Their investigation — which included video monitoring — found there to be a “high level of non-compliance” at the stop signs but that the non-compliance “has not translated into any crash activity”.
According to the letter, PDOT has not recorded any crash activity at the location for the last 15 years.
This is welcome news. These stop signs have caused frustration for many people in the community. Back in July, we reported that a construction crew working on a project at the intersection was so fed up with people on bikes not stopping that they installed their own sign to deal with the problem (it was later removed by PDOT).
In addition to removing the stop signs on SE Caruthers, PDOT plans to install new bike lane striping through the intersection to increase awareness of westbound bike traffic, a new warning sign on Water that points out that cross traffic does not stop, and a new warning sign for right-turning vehicles to yield to bicycles traveling in the bike lane.