The purpose of the events is to spread the word about how bikes are expected to navigate safely along with buses, MAX trains, and cars on SW 5th and 6th Avenues along the new Portland Mall. TriMet says they’ll be handing out free breakfast snacks, hot coffee, and “information about the new Portland Mall cycling environment.”
Colin Maher, TriMet’s bike specialist, also passed along a new graphic (below) that shows how bikes are expected to turn right from their left-side travel lane (the right lane is reserved for trains and buses).
And here’s how TriMet explains it (remember, right turns are prohibited unless otherwise posted):
- Stay on the curb side of the left lane as you approach the intersection
- Stop at the intersection and move over to the curb
- When the “Walk” signal is activated, use the crosswalk to cross
- Ride at walking speed and yield to pedestrians
- Merge carefully with traffic
Basically, become a pedestrian and you’ll be O.K. (both legally and for safety).
As for the “cycling environment” on the new transit mall, here’s more from TriMet:
“Cyclists and motorists on 5th and 6th avenues downtown now share the left-hand traffic lane, while buses and MAX trains will travel in the right-hand transit lanes. When necessary, buses can move into the traffic lane.”
TriMet has also passed along these general safety rules:
- Ride only in the left-hand traffic lane only—don’t cross the bumpy, white lane divider.
- Be alert of buses on the Portland Mall—stay out of the transit lanes and off the light rail tracks.
- Do not stop on 5th and 6th avenues except as required by traffic signals.
- Do not make right-hand turns off 5th and 6th avenues unless otherwise posted.
Buses have been training on the mall for several weeks now and regular bus service is expected to being on May 24th. Light rail operators will begin their training on May 3rd.
TriMet bus operators will continue training in the new transit lanes and with the new traffic signals on several Mall blocks until bus service begins on the Mall May 24. Light rail vehicles will be making intermittent test runs on the Mall. Light rail operator training begins May 3 and MAX will begin running on August 30th.
TriMet adds that enforcement of these new operating procedures begins March 2, 2009.
Here are the dates and locations of the three Breakfast on the Bridges events (all are 7-9:00 AM):
- Hawthorne Bridge
Monday, February 23
Wednesday, February 25
Friday, February 27
For more Portland Mall bike safety tips, see PortlandMall.org.