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

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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