Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Too many bikes for one signal cycle? Welcome to summer in Portland

Posted by on August 4th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Bike traffic in Portland-8.jpg

Waiting for the light to change
at SE Grand Ave.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Bike traffic in Portland seems to be at an all-time high this year. A few weeks back I shared a glimpse of bike traffic in N. Williams and I’ve been amazed at what I’ve seen in other areas as well. I can’t wait for the results of the City of Portland’s annual bike counts, especially if they show we’ve continued our current rate of increase (bridge bike traffic was up 28% last year).

This morning I got an email from reader Mike Wright. Mike is a 39-year old business analyst who lives in the Richmond Neighborhood near SE 42nd and Taggart. He rides over the Hawthorne Bridge everyday. Here’s how he described the scene as he rolled up to the intersection of SE 6th and Hawthorne at about 7:30 am this morning:

“I encountered a bike traffic jam this morning as I was heading west bound on Hawthorne approaching the Hawthorne Bridge. I found a line of bikes that extended the entire block of Hawthorne between SE Grand and SE 6th and more bikes were backing up behind me.

In 10+ years of commuting by bike in Portland I have never been in a line up at the foot of the Hawthorne Bridge where I had to wait for a second cycle of the light.”

How’s the bike traffic been where you ride? Have you noticed a considerable increase in people on bikes this year?

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66 Comments
  • Mike August 4, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve definitely noticed an increase and changed my routes to avoid high-traffic bicycle areas, but after a few more years there probably won’t be any such routes left!

    Congratulations to everyone who’s jumping on a bike!

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  • aljee August 4, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    VW is a little cramped during the rush hour, but it’s pretty easy to miss. i have also been mixing it up route-wise since i haven’t been taking my kid to school. mississippi and interstate are fine alternatives.

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  • Nick August 4, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Maybe we need a multi-lane bike lane…

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  • Joe August 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Bike traffic actually feels a little bit down. What with the hot weather, high unemployment, etc. it feels like there are fewer commuters out there.

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  • PDXbiker August 4, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    When do the bike counts come out? With scenes like this there has to be a definite uptick. More leverage for cycling projects.

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  • Neil
    Neil August 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I leave rather early in the morning (before 6am) and I’ve noticed an increase in the number of other cyclists I see.

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  • Paul Cone August 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Lately it’s been so busy coming in off the Broadway Bridge and up Broadway that I have encouraged other cyclists to take a lane… it makes sense on Broadway, given that there’s three lanes for cars already.

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  • patrickz August 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I have noticed a continuous increase in cycle traffic in the last 2 years and this spring and summer has to be the “cycliest” I’ve seen at any hour of day and evening. (And I still get a little pang of satisfaction when I roll into an occasional commuting peloton, although it’s getting to be time to cultivate some cycling road manners)

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  • dabby August 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    This is an area where I regularly just take the lane, and abandon the bike lane altogether for a few block. I use not the far right lane, but the middle lane eastbound.

    Both west bound, and especially east bound.

    Sadly, I look at the overly full bike lane as a hazard.

    And this fact alone allows legally for abandonment of the bike lane altogether.

    Seeing that many bikes in a row: good.

    Sitting behind them for 2 light cycles: Unnecessary.

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  • Esther August 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve noticed that now there’s consistently other riders in the same direction as me when I’m riding along the bluff along Willamette between University of Portland and Killingsworth. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I felt like a pretty lonely commuter there fora while.

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  • twistyaction August 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    This is awesome to see. I have noticed that bike traffic is at an all time high right now too.
    It’s interesting to note the similarity in the type of cyclists who are lined up at the time of day the picture above was taken: People with helmets and utilitarian bikes making good (and proper) use of the infrastructure we have. It’s funny because of who is absent really. I don’t see any of the fashionable crowd that tends to ride brakeless fixies with no helmets or lights (PBR hangovers are brutal I guess). I marvel at the breadth of sub-species we have amongst cyclists here.
    On an infrastructure note, I think that the efficacy of the double-wide lane on the other side of Grand climbing on to the Hawthorne bridge is a really good argument for bike on bike passing lanes in other high traffic areas like N Williams. I had a couple of people pass me while trying to stay in the bike lane as I was riding on N Williams on the way to last Thursday. I simply said “too close” as they passed. I hope they understood.

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  • maxadders August 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I’m waiting for someone to declare this intersection a “death trap” and find something to nitpick about bikes stopping for a red light in a designated area.

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  • Esta Nevando Aqui August 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Dabby (#9) is correct.

    You should never use the eastbound lane on Hawthorne between SE Grand and SE 11th. It is sandwiched between a traffic lane where motor vehicles regularly exceed 35mph and a lane of parallel parking where the bicyclists’ #2 greatest hazard, dooring, is possible at any time without warning.

    It is a wholly unsafe and negligently designed bike lane. No one should ever use it for their own safety. Take the lane, as the law allows.

    Westbound I regularly have to take the lane to pass cyclists so that I can make the light in one cycle. Again, that’s a completly legal use of the leftward adjacent lane.

    The more PBOT sees people taking the lane in those two locations, perhaps the more likely they will be to realize that (1) the eastbound bike lane cannot be safely used; and (2) the westbound bike lane is inadequate to support the level of traffic it receives.

    But no matter how you cut it, the issue with the westbound lane is a “good problem” to have.

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  • Meghan H August 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    This block between Grand and 6th(?) on Madison is a tricky one, made all the trickier by the high bike traffic it gets.

    Just this AM, a fellow cyclist thought I was going to roll through the stop sign from 6th onto Madison. When I stopped for an oncoming truck, she clipped my handlebars and toppled over. I felt bad that she fell, but I also saw it as a reminder to myself that I need to approach intersections like these (that see heavy bike AND car AND bus traffic) with the utmost caution. Be ready to stop for the stop sign, kids.

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  • hilsy August 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Alas, it still a pretty lonely commute outbound over the Sellwood Bridge, through the cemetery and outbound on Boones Ferry Road. It is a rare day I see someone going the same direction as me except for my brief ride on the Springwater.

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  • aljee August 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    twistyaction, #11, i too yell at the ‘in-lane’ passers. that’s just too close to sneak up and not say anything. i am going to start riding the outside of the lane.

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  • twistyaction August 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    @Meghan H, #14: I’m with you on having to worry if the cyclist behind you is going to ram you when you obey a stop sign.

    I really wish there were more police stings on stop signs randomly around the city. Not just at the predictable spots. I think they should also focus on the complete “blowers” and leave the people who slow to 2 mph alone.

    While I’m being granted wishes, why the hell aren’t there yield signs instead of stops entering Ladd’s circle? There’s tons of visibility approaching the intersection. Is it impossible to change this? Is the law or bureaucracy that ignorant of the reality of this specific situation? I know from following the news recently that the City Council is capable of voting to change street signs. What gives?

    twistyaction… back in April 2007 I reported on PBOT’s stance re: turning Ladds stop signs into yields. here’s the story.

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  • Nicky V August 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I come across that same intersection at around 7:45 each day. Sometimes I have to wait for the second light, but usually it’s because there’s a bus merging left. Most cyclists will leave a gap where the bus is and line up behind it.

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  • Esta Nevando Aqui August 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Hey twistyaction (# 17), does it bother you that the fine for “blowing” through a stop sign at 2mph is the same as it is for “rolling” through at 20mph? How about that Officer HatesBikers gets to decide which one to give a citation to based on what he thinks of their haircut? LOL.

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  • Kt August 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Meghan and Twisty: I’ve discovered that it’s best to tell the cyclists behind you what you are doing, to wit:
    Hollering over my shoulder:
    “Slowing!” (When slowing) and
    “Stopping! (When stopping at the stop sign).

    Then they can’t say that you didn’t warn them, and maybe they wouldn’t crash into you. Maybe. 🙂

    Anywho, out here in the Dreaded Burbs I’ve noticed an uptick in cycling commuters, too. Awesome!

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  • Memo August 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Dear 19, I think it is entirely appropriate to support professional officers ticketing anyone who runs a stop sign for safety reasons. As number 14 points out it, not stopping can be dangerous even for bikers.

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  • eric August 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    and while we’re asking for enforcement, I’d like some enforcement on SW broadway between burnside and PSU, because of the vicious right hooks.

    Now that I’m riding to school later in the day, I don’t usually take the lane over the top of the steel bridge since there’s much less traffic clogging up the works on the broadway bridge at 10am.

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  • Esta Nevando Aqui August 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Dear 21, what about amateur or unprofessional officers? Did you notice that the original question wasn’t addressed to you?

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  • Q`ztal August 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Critical mass reached.
    Proceed with plan to invade other lanes 🙂

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  • Lazlo August 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    @#20
    Hand signals work pretty well, too. My biggest peeve on Williams is getting passed on the right. If you can’t take the lane to pass, then there isn’t room to pass.

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  • commuter August 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Yes, cycling numbers have gone up on my commute over the Hawthorne in the mornings. But a lot of these fair weather riders will be gone when it starts raining and gets cold. I’m not sure if a multi-lane bike lane would be necessary but it would be nice during the summer.

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  • dan August 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    [sniffs disdainfully]

    Fair weather cyclists…the rain will solve our bike congestion problem soon enough. I admit I’d love to see more bike infrastructure, but I think our chances of getting a whole lane for bikes on that stretch of Madison are slim to none.

    I’m lucky enough to commute at off-hours – I usually hit the Hawthorne around 8:15 a.m., and come home around 6 or 6:30 p.m. Though I’m occasionally in a peleton (which I relish), I haven’t really encountered the congestion shown in this photo.

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  • Memo August 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Esta,

    In any instance I have complaints about unprofessional cops, however I find them to be the exception rather than the rule. Additionally, I mostly agree with 14 and 17 so I wrote in support of their comments. Since this is a public form I do not see any reason that even if a comment is not directed specifically at me, in no way does that limit my ability to comment on it…it is a blog.

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  • E August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    @24

    right on.

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  • Matt August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Dear 13, 19 and 23,

    Please learn spanish grammar or learn how to use the characters on your keyboard.

    The law allows taking the lane, but increases rider risk, will piss off motorist and will never sort itself in the court of law if something horrible happened. Yes, it is an option and I do it frequently, but I am not telling others to do it. I also realize me and my bike weigh 200 pounds and cars and buses weigh much much more.

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  • Esta Nevando Aqui August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Dear Matt, how about you choose your handle and I choose mine, OK?

    If you don’t want to tell others to take the lane, then don’t. Nobody is making you. How about I say what I want and you say what you want, K?

    Personal insult deleted. Please keep things civil on here, folks. — Elly

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  • jered August 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    #17, yield signs. I’m coming up the Lovejoy ramp, through the signal with a green light, thus I have the right of way because my signal is green. The bikes on the sidewalk heading east don’t have to stop at the Broadway light because they are on the sidewalk, but as a bike trying to get onto the sidewalk while my signal is green I get all sorts of attitude from folks that SHOULD be at least yielding! anybody else have this issue with the eastbound Broadway/Lovejoy intersection?

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  • bahueh August 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Esta…its actually only legal to take the lane if you’re traveling the same speed of traffic…if not, you’re legally obligated to be as far to the right as “reasonably” possible…..I.e…unless you’re doing 30mph east of the hawthorne bridge, get yer butt over into the bike lane…

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  • dabby August 4, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    It is really funny how people sit up on their high horse, and have somehow decided that 2 mph is stopping and 20 mph is not.

    Stopping happens to be 0 mph.

    I am no saint, in fact I don’t always stop fully, but I am not trying to fool myself about what I am doing either.

    By the way, if you are going to sit all the way up there (on your high horse) it and you better have a leg to stand on.

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  • mac August 4, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    @ bahueh: as I recall you are supposed to be as far right as “practicable” (feasible), not as far right as “reasonably” possible. Hence if the bike lane is unsafe, impassable or if you can come up with another defensible reason, you can take the lane even if you are not going the same speed as traffic.

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  • Esta Nevando Aqui August 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    As usual Bahueh (#33), you’re wrong. Also as usual, you don’t let that stop you from displaying your arrogance. I’ve reproduced the relevant statutory provisions below. I don’t have time right now to walk you through it, but readers of normal intelligence can probably figure it out on their own.

    814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path; exceptions; penalty. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle lane or path if the person operates a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that is not a bicycle lane or bicycle path when a bicycle lane or bicycle path is adjacent to or near the roadway.
    (2) A person is not required to comply with this section unless the state or local authority with jurisdiction over the roadway finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.
    (3) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:
    (a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle, a vehicle or a pedestrian that is in the bicycle lane or path and passage cannot safely be made in the lane or path.
    (b) Preparing to execute a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    (c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions.
    (d) Preparing to execute a right turn where a right turn is authorized.
    (e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.
    (4) The offense described in this section, failure to use a bicycle lane or path, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §700; 1985 c.16 §338; 2005 c.316 §3]

    814.430 Improper use of lanes; exceptions; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic using the roadway at that time and place under the existing conditions and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
    (2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is not operating a bicycle as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway under any of the following circumstances:
    (a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.
    (b) When preparing to execute a left turn.
    (c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side. Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the requirements under ORS 811.425 or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.
    (d) When operating within a city as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of a roadway that is designated to allow traffic to move in only one direction along the roadway. A bicycle that is operated under this paragraph is subject to the same requirements and exceptions when operating along the left curb or edge as are applicable when a bicycle is operating along the right curb or edge of the roadway.
    (e) When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.
    (f) When operating on a bicycle lane or bicycle path.
    (3) The offense described in this section, improper use of lanes by a bicycle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §701; 1985 c.16 §339]

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  • Jabin August 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Wow the ride home up williams today was the busiest i’ve ever seen!

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  • are August 4, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    comment 22, do not use the striped lane on Broadway, especially south of Burnside.

    comment 32, you are exactly right, cyclists who are already on the sidewalk heading onto Broadway bridge should yield to cyclists coming onto the sidewalk from Lovejoy. not that I like being relegated to a sidepath in the first instance, but if PBOT is so very interested in making infrastructure for cyclists, they really ought to put a yield sign there.

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  • matt August 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    @31,

    Unfortunately, I did not get to see your repsonse before it was moderated, but I am not surprised your tone drifted towards the intolerant. At least “somebody” has mastered the control C & V in your post @35. Your contradictions are a riot – say what you want, but Bahueh is not the arrogant one here. Did you used to use the handle Forsetti? Same type of tone and “reproduction” of OR law. Saludos, pendejo!

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  • matt August 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    and bahueh is correct @33

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  • Dabby August 4, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    The bike lane is legally abandonable if you forsee a hazard.

    Also if you are overtaking other cyclists, moving out and back in of the bike lane is legal, no matter your speed.

    As long as you are doing the above the lowest allowed (car) speed limit, you can take the lane.

    You can also, if you have taken the lane and are traveling faster than traffic, pass cars in your lane on the right hand side, no matter which lane you are in.

    You cannot however pass on the left, except in the bicycle lane.

    I think Baehuh has confused the maximum speed limit there(30) with the minimum speed limit. Then again he appears to be confused about many bike legalities, if these comments here on this site are any
    indication.

    There is absolutely no requirement, referring to how he presents it,(in comment 33) that requires a bike in a lane of travel to do the maximum allowed speed limit. (30mph).

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  • Randy August 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    That’s it. One less car + one more bike = clean air

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  • are August 4, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    814.430 does say what it says, and it does not talk about lowest permitted motorized speed, it says “normal speed,” which in some cases could be above the posted limit. go figure. the key is 814.430(2)(c), which in effect allows you to make judgments as to what is safe and what lane is too narrow to share. unfortunately, the mandatory sidepath law, 814.420, can get in your way here. both of these need to be repealed, and if BTA will not get behind this agenda we need an edgier advocacy group.

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  • naomi August 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    My mom used to say there’s 2 kinds of problems you can have, good problems and bad problems. Too much bike traffic is definitely a good problem 😀

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  • rl August 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Totally agree Jared (32) Yield signs on the eastbound sidewalk of the broadway bridge would be good. It can be sketchy when you are coming up Lovejoy having to slow down in the middle of the intersection so that you can merge onto the safety of the sidewalk lane. Having been caught there on a yellow light I’ve felt like a sitting duck.

    and dang, sorry to the person who said ‘too close’ when I passed last week. Lesson learned; thanks for speaking up.

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  • AdamG August 5, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Repeal ORS 814.420!

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  • Peter W August 5, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Seems like someone left a bold tag on at #17.

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  • TTse
    TTse August 5, 2009 at 8:19 am

    A handy tip for crossing the Hawthorne bridge from the east side.

    If there is a gap in the line of bikes that corresponds to where the bus is, do NOT pass those waiting after the gap and take up space in the gap. The gap is there for a reason. It’s there to expedite the bus’ entry into traffic. If you insist on butting in line and getting into that space, you keep the bus from going, which delays those of us who are in the latter part of the line.

    In other words, just because there’s a gap in the line doesn’t mean that gap is waiting for all-important you to take it.

    If you’re in a hurry, pedal faster, don’t butt in line.

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  • Lenny Anderson August 5, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Clearly we have what PBOT calls a stacking problem. Solution? more lanes…you see it all over for motor vehicles. Time for bicyclists to start taking the adjacent motor vehicle lane to relieve the severe stacking, until PBOT strips a second or wider bike lane.

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  • Bob_M August 5, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Cars regularly wait for 2 light cycles to get through this intersection. They have a stacking problem because there are too few river crossings. Bicyclists have long wanted to be regarded as traffic. Well our dream has come true. I disagree W/ Lenny #47. The 60 second wait for the next light is a price of progress. but to make the stacking problem worse for cars so that we can have a 60 second shorter commute during the 3 peak months of summer is selfish. “Share The Road” goes both ways. IMHO

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  • Rick August 5, 2009 at 10:10 am

    No worries. Just wait till the rains return.

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  • Matt Picio August 5, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Hopefully that killed the tags.

    Folks, thanks for pointing out the tags. Sadly, there is no way to close them from subsequent user-entered comments — we need to go in and edit the html on the back end, which we do as soon as we see something’s wrong. You can also email us about this when it happens. Alright, thanks again. Now… return to discussing the enviable problem of bike traffic jams. — Elly

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  • Matt Picio August 5, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Guess not. Guess my HTML skills suck. 😉

    This is an awesome problem to have, but Esta is mostly right – the EB bike lane is problematic at best. I don’t agree that it can’t be used safely – I use it and stay well to the left while in the lane, but it’s certainly not ideal, and I’m a more confident rider than most.

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  • Matt Picio August 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Someone closed them once before that way in a prior post.

    I didn’t see that. We use em and strong rather than i and b if you want to try again. But we really do prefer to just clean them up quietly without interrupting the comment flow. -E

    Ah, the joys of CMS. WordPress, MT, Joomla – everything has its problems.

    BTW, It seems like when I ride Madison between 8th and 6th, I get passed on the right a lot more now. Is that happening to others as well? The other day when stopped at Grand, the light changed and some guy blew past me on the right while I was getting over to clear the way for everyone while going up that little rise in the dual-lane area. I’m usually a little faster, lucky for him I wasn’t that day or we would’ve collided. My mirror is on my LEFT side, not my right, and when I’m all the way on the right in the bike lane, I don’t tend to look over my shoulder.

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  • Carter Kennedy August 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Maybe the Hawthorne congestion will ease when the Morrison Bridge bike lane is open. But the Hawthorne connects directly to the east-side grid and the downtown grid. The Morrison won’t. Commuters may find that it doesn’t meet their needs very well.

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  • rrandom rider August 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    N Williams between Broadway and Skidmore has been totally stacked up this summer. This is workable, but I have had a couple of bad encounters. First, as someone pointed out earlier, are other bikes who pass on the right, especially when approaching curb parked cars. I had a guy start passing me, see that there was a parked car up ahead, and start yelling at me to slow down and let him in. I did so since I didn’t want him to rear end the car, but the whole situation was of his making and he didn’t have the courtesy to thank me or apologize.

    Yesterday I took the lane to pass a line of slow moving bikes after making sure it was safe to do so. Another bicyclist was passing bikes on the right, then cut through them to move into the “car lane” directly in front of me without looking. I yelled “on your left” at him and he barely avoided clipping me on the right. I made the comment that he should look back before switching lanes and he got pretty ticked off.

    I am able to understand that these were just two individuals who represented rude and unsafe riding. It’s too bad that so many car drivers would have seen that and conflated it to ALL bike riders.

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  • Shoemaker August 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I’m sure this has been raised before… I think the green phase on Madison at Grand is timed too short. Maybe that’s to prioritize the traffic on Grand? (likewise on 7th) I think the green phase on Grand should allow more time to get from 7th to Grand by bike.

    This may not solve the root of the problem here (like it really needs solving), but if you’re waiting at the red at 7th and Madison, when the light changes you will not make the light at 6th unless you hustle. (hustle here is at least 12mph up the grade and being close to first in line)

    If you are several bikes back in line, you’re not likely to make it the green at Grand. If you’re taking your time, carrying heavy load you won’t make the green at Grand and it’s only two blocks away!

    The green phase at 7th is 22 seconds, and at Grand 24 seconds. The green phase for Northbound Grand is 40 seconds. Anyone know how to submit a timing change request? I’d like to see Madison at 7th and Grand last a little longer.

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  • bicycletothesun August 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Sadly so many of these riders just don’t have the guts to continue the traffic during rain/snow/etc.

    Bike traffic will be cut 50% by the time October hits 🙁

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  • Anonymous August 5, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Madison and Hawthorne are definitely getting more traffic. In fact, the eastbound traffic on Hawthorne is starting to get very dangerous during the evening commute. Too many buses, brake-riding bikers, and right-turning cars are causing clogs and swerving maneuvers. Yikes. They should have put the bike lane on the left-hand side of the road.

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  • Dan August 5, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    @ Matt P, #54.

    I must confess to being one of those people who passes on the right (i.e., in the bus lane) on Madison between 8th and Grand. I check the bus lane for traffic first, and swing _way_ out – at least 5 feet to the right of whoever I’m passing.

    Passing on the left here, of course, is usually not an option during the morning commute.

    Are there any circumstances under which passing on the right in this spot and in this fashion is acceptable, or is it a categorical no-no?

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  • alison August 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Very heavy traffic heading downtown on the Broadway. I guess it’s nice to see more cyclists in the summer, but a little courtesy would be nice – passing without warning, passing on the right, and the race to pass when there’s a pedestrian coming up and it’s clear we will all have to go around. Felt so sorry for a group of new bike commuters (mostly seniors) on the Broadway bridge the other day, with a guide. They didn’t realize that people would be passing them so fast on the right, and were nervous as it was. I doubt they will become regulars. Thanks to all of you who are conscientious and polite.

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  • Randy August 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Problem solved: East/west bike boulevard and a floating bike bridge.

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