Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

New cycletrack on SW Broadway set to open Monday

Posted by on August 28th, 2009 at 10:53 am

PBOT’s initial drawing for proposed cycletrack on SW Broadway.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Mayor Sam Adams’ office has just announced that the new cycletrack on SW Broadway will open this Monday, August 31st, in a 2:00pm ceremony on the Portland State University campus.

The opening press conference will be held with Mayor Adams, PSU president (and transportational bicycling enthusiast) Wim Wiewel, and BTA executive director Scott Bricker, in the carfree breezeway beside the intersection of SW Broadway & SW Harrison, between the Smith Center and Neuberger Hall.

This cycletrack project has come to fruition rapidly, and has its origins in the mayor’s First 100 Days Action Plan. Adams first announced the project in April after plans fell through for a similar facility in the North Park Blocks. In May, we reported on the city’s process of designing the facility to prevent conflicts with turning vehicles and to address legal issues.

A cycletrack is a physically separated bike path. It will run from SW Jackson to SW Clay, through the heart of the PSU campus.

For more on what a cycletrack entails, the city has a detailed FAQ with photos.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Pedalworks August 28, 2009 at 11:21 am

    The Bike Business League will be serving treats at 1pm on Saturday to the paving crew that is creating the Cycle Track.

    We want to show our appreciation to these valuable crews for creating safer facilities for all users.

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  • aljee August 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

    not to sounds like a prick, but i hope they didn’t skip on the paint on this one.

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  • AdamG August 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    “A cycletrack is a physically separated bike path”
    Is this for certain? I’ve been hoping that they will be ruled to something more like a sidewalk that is legal to ride on, so that cycletrack use use will not be mandatory under ORS 814.420

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  • Michelle (BTA) August 28, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    It is actually not intended to reduce conflicts with turning vehicles – there is still potential for that, so drivers will still need to look right before turning – but to make the uphill climb on SW Broadway much easier and more comfortable.

    Heading uphill in a narrow bike lane, with other cyclists passing you, and car traffic just to your left…not most people’s idea of a good time! But in a nice wide track, away from moving cars, with room for passing, that we expect to be a major improvement.

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  • BURR August 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    it’s an experimental design, which is not officially approved at either the state or federal level, so ORS 814.420 shouldn’t apply. I just wish the city would make a clear public statement to this effect, and properly train PPB officers in this regard.

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  • ScottG August 28, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Can’t wait to try it next week!

    Anyone know when the Springwater Corridor re-paving project is going to start?

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  • Blair August 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I’m so excited to run the stop sign at NE Broadway and Flint on my way to the new cycletrack downtown!

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  • jeff August 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Maybe it’s the early hour I ride this way, but rarely do more than two cars pass me on this stretch anyways.

    Do something about the stretch from Burnside south to PSU, and I’d be a lot happier.

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  • Blair August 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I agree with Jeff, and I ride that section all the time going to PSU.

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  • eric August 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    that whole section from the broadway bridge to psu is sketchy, and I’m frankly astonished every day I make it through there without getting hit.

    Between the occasionally rude hotel valets standing in the lane to the tour buses offloading to the cretins turning right without looking we would be better off without a bike lane, because then there’s not illusion of safety.

    Maybe the PPB can do some “failure to yield” stings on Broadway to make up for their monthly ticket quota cycle harassment strategy. That will be the day.

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  • tbird August 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    #3 why the resistance to this?
    If you had the chance to use a cycle track system( in a broader, city wide application) I think you might change your tune. Yes, it will require a slight change in our behavior as cyclists, but it’s a change for the good. A pleasant, protected space that is just for bikes, not sure why it’s cyclists who are the folks primarily resisting this idea… It’s awesome!

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  • old&slow August 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    A solution in search of a problem.

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  • PSU student #143 August 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    How do you turn left?

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  • Vance Longwell August 29, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Segregation from motorist traffic can result in bans. I’ve seen it before. This treatment diminishes access, is totally unnecessary, and is a waste even as an experiment.

    Repeal 811.420 before the city starts to, “love”, bikes. Or wait around for the first anti-bike mayor to come down the ‘pike and restrict bikes to your beloved euro-trip-bike-bards, or WTF-ever you guys call ’em.

    Man I hate tourists.

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  • tbird August 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    #13 Release pressure on the right grip, while pulling back on the left and lean slightly…

    Oh, you mean from the cycle track. You turn just as pedestrian would. Cross the intersecting street and then turn left with crossing traffic. Cycle tracks in isolation, such as this are likely to be meet with opposition in this instance since the city seems to b unable or willing to educate the public on how properly use one. If incorporated into a broader system it works fabulously.

    #14. Where have you seen this? And for the record, exclusion of certain modes in certain situations is a good thing. For example, cars can’t drive on a sidewalk.

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  • Nick Falbo August 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I rode the cycle-track today in it’s early state. I’m not sure exactly what will change before monday, so my comments may be irrelevant soon:

    I love the left turn boxes. They do a great job of keeping the left turners out of the way of the cars, and moving bikes.

    I originally imagined that ‘physically separated’ meant a physical object would be between the bike lane and the road. Bollards, curbs, or raised up completely. So far, it is just a diagonally striped section of paint.

    NO cars were parked in the correct spot, they all took the cycletrack space.

    The only real right turn on this stretch of Broadway is at Jackson St. To me, how they treat right turns is going to be a major element of making the cycletrack successful. So far, it fails. While riding up, a car merged into the cycletrack, waited at the red, and turned.

    To solve the right turn problem, I could see bike boxes on all right turns, which clearly define the space, and prevent right-on-red.

    Also, to keep cars out, they should paint the whole thing green. I’m sure it’s way more expensive, but it would send a clear message.

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  • old&slow August 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Falbo and others, what was wrong with the bike lane which was there and didn’t cost a penny? The “bike advocates” here are going to kill every worthwhile project with these stupid worthless “showcases”. The general public will see this as just another “special rights” thing for cyclists and we won’t get anything we really need. Typical Sam Adams BS, trying to suck up to cyclists without having a clue about what the real cycling community needs are. But most of you here, will be “so happy” with this bone he threw at you.

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  • Jordan August 29, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Holy crap. I came to check up on bike news as someone who’s interested by not an enthusiast, and I am SHOCKED at how bitter the people here are.

    Someone has mentioned repealing the law that prevents cross a double-yellow to pass? Another has said that this sections which is nearly twice as wide as a bike lane provides no tangible improvement? Another complains about the city not dedicating bike lanes one one of the oldest and businest streets in the CBD?

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  • Vance Longwell August 30, 2009 at 8:48 am

    T-bird #15 – Uh, there is currently a ban. As a cyclist in Oregon, thanks to our buds like the ones who write this blog, you are banned from any motorist lane in Oregon where there is a bike-lane present.

    This ban is currently not enforced because of a technicality. This technicality is not being addressed with any urgency because currently the cycling community has some support.

    The second that support is gone, or worse still, is replaced with anti-bicycle elements, don’t you think these bans will be enforced?

    When are you guys going to learn? Elly and Jonathan got money to make, and celebrity to obtain, so I don’t expect much from them; but what’s with you people who actually ride bikes? If you value your ability to do anything but walk your bike along in a herd with grandma and the other tourists, you’d better darn well put a stop to being segregated from the existing infrastructure.

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  • Elly Blue August 30, 2009 at 9:02 am


    I think you misunderstand how this blog works, not to mention how advocacy works.

    If you want someone to be on board with your cause, there are proven ways to do that. How about promoting the cause in a constructive and newsworthy way yourself. As reporters, we’d be thrilled to be able to cover a new initiative to affect how bike infrastructure is built and used — yes, whether we agreed with it or not.

    Throwing insults around doesn’t help your cause with us, and I doubt the tone of this post will encourage others to join you. If you want to build a movement, you may want to change your tone.

    Also, this is not the tone we want set in the conversation on this site. Please respect this forum even if you can’t respect us personally. That’s what civil discourse is all about.

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  • Vance Longwell August 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

    “I think you misunderstand how this blog works, not to mention how advocacy works.”

    Really? Seriously? I personally insult you? What, exactly, about statements of this sort do you find flattering Elly? You, a 20 something noob fresh off the boat. I’ve had a web-log since before there was such a thing. Who are you to tell me what a blog is, and how they work? As if they’re anything but a pop-culture reference in the first place. Ridiculous and highly insulting to my intelligence (Judging from your email, how about a lesson in contemporary email etiquette and protocol?). Who are you to come to my hometown, one in which I’ve skidded down the road on my butt more miles than you’ve likely even ridden a bike here, to dictate to me how to be an effective advocate?

    Furthermore, you are the one editing a news-site, who when challenged about bias and other amateur-hour B.S., are all of a sudden a blog. You are the one who finds insult in the opinion that you are not dedicated, and are in fact not qualified as a result. Besides which, I live under a dog-pile here, and I’ve seen you two censor precisely two of these often intensely personal attacks against me. And it’s not just me. There are other regulars who are in fairly cogent, albeit often highly irritated, dissent; and they get the same treatment.

    My mode of speech, as both your senior, and likely as a much more dedicated advocate, are absolutely none of your business. I was raised to view unsolicited criticism of this sort as an insult, and I find your insensitivity infuriating. You and Jonathan dictate to me what I may say, and how I may say it, and then turn around and write me snide little comments like this, when I do what you say. I mean seriously, why do you guys even allow comments? Right. Hence the finger pointing. Figure it out girl.

    It’s just beyond you isn’t it? I went to your little soy-coccoa hug-a-thons. I listen to you all disclaim every word out of your mouths before you say anything, which by that time is less than nothing. I watched all of this while conservative economically driven interests in this state have laughed all the way to the bank. While you are chastising my mode of speech a transportation stake-holders’ staff is pouring over legal precedent in hopes of finding a way to make the state enforce 811.420. When you are not censoring my every word, you are tirelessly advocating for the rope these people are going to hang us both with.

    You may sense bitterness. How would you feel if 2 million kids moved to your hometown and set about undoing two decades of advocacy you’d just participated in?

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  • RonC August 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Noob fresh off the boat? That’s a low blow Lance. As someone who’s been around long enough to remember the days of riding across the wooden planks of the Hawthorn bridge, even I find that language offensive. Not everyone thinks and rides like you, and you need to find ways to express your opinion without putting others down. I do appreciate reading your underlying insights and perspective, but please consider toning down the sarcasm. Thanks.

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  • JH August 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Cool cycle track, can’t wait to ride on it!

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  • Falbo August 30, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Cycletrack vs. Bikelane

    cycletrack provides more space for slower, less stable riding on uphill stretches.

    Cycletrack is not in the ‘Door Zone’

    cycletrack provides a method for turning left when crossing two lanes of traffic is not possible or safe. Current alternative is to cycle in the pedestrian crosswalk areas, which is also not safe.

    Nothing currently prevents a cyclist from taking the left lane to do a vehicular left turn. While I personally like the cycletrack, I’d hate to see bikes banned from vehicle roads. Portland’s roads are not close to supporting fully segregated infrastructure.

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  • BURR August 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    good luck with that web etiquette thing, I know this is warm and fuzzy Portland, and everyone hates rude people; but at some point the netiquette police are not simply enforcing civility, but rather, silencing dissent.

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  • Elly Blue August 31, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks, Burr. We still don’t delete very many comments, and never because they contain ideas that disagree with our views on the topics being discussed. This isn’t censorship, it’s editing, and rules of ethics apply.

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  • Peter Noone August 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm


    Please explain how Jonathan or Elly have *anything* to do with the creation or promotion of the law that dictates that “…[cyclists] are banned from any motorist lane in Oregon where there is a bike-lane present.”

    Also, I know for a fact that both Jonathan and Elly “actually ride bikes.” I’ve seen both of them in the act, on multiple occasions. I’m pretty sure it’s not just a fad for them, and they’re not just in it for the fame and money.

    That said, I do agree with the concern you raise with regard to bike lanes and access to the public right-of-way (please forgive me if this isn’t a perfectly accurate interpretation). I’ll even go out on a limb and guess that J & E share this concern as well, although they may have different opinions about solutions.

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  • Peter Noone August 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm


    Isn’t that just typical *political* BS? That is, most politicians are out of touch with their so-called constituents and their needs. Likewise, they all engage in political maneuvering and publicity stunts, etc. What’s special about Sam?

    Also, I would like to know who you think “most of you” is. (Aside: thanks for the juicy bone, Sam!) We’re not a mindless herd, you know, regardless of any biased generalizations that may be inferred from the content and comments of this or any other Web site.

    Personally, I think your concern is valid (even if I can’t see a reason for your invective). On the other hand, it seems to me that this cycle track or similar projects may serve a useful purpose–I’m not sure yet, but I definitely don’t see the attempt as “worthless.”

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  • sick of it September 1, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Soy cocoa hug a thons? Elly – you’ve been holding out on us. I’m so hurt.

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