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Eugene revamps an old bike box, but advocates aren’t satisfied

Posted by on September 25th, 2009 at 9:29 am

Eugene bike advocates say the City missed an
opportunity when they decided to not color this
bike box green.
(Photo: Shane Rhodes/GEARs)

Not many folks realize that when it comes to bike boxes, Eugene was way ahead of the game. They installed one on High Street at 7th Ave. way back in 1998. That bike box was recently re-painted by the Department of Transportation, but instead of celebrating, some advocates are disappointed.

Shane Rhodes, advocacy director of the non-profit Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARs) (and winner of the BTA’s Alice Award in 2009), reported yesterday that despite excitement over it getting re-painted, he had hoped for more.

Story continues below


more bike boxes springing up-8.jpg

Rhodes was hoping for something more
like this (as seen in Portland).

Rhodes says that both GEARs and the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee urged the City of Eugene to mimic Portland’s bold green thermoplastic design. On the GEARs blog he wrote, “…it’s not quite up to snuff with other bike boxes in Portland and New York. It lacks the green paint that other communities have already found effective.”

By not painting the box green, says Rhodes, “the city has shown a lack of forward thinking and a vision of creating a safe and comfortable environment for cyclists.”

Read the full story on the GEARs blog.

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  • are September 25, 2009 at 9:32 am

    green is so last year

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  • Paul Tay September 25, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I’m with City on this one.

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  • Nick V September 25, 2009 at 9:52 am

    What about orange? Go Beavs.

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  • Brian September 25, 2009 at 9:58 am

    #1… Especially after Labor Day, right??!!

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  • Andrew September 25, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Just go green and yellow, Eugene! All the city council needs to do is give one of the sororities permission to paint it yellow and green.

    It’ll cost nothing, look great and there will be T-shirts made to commemorate the day of painting!

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  • Paul Tay September 25, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Well, then, go git ‘er DUN.

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  • Boneshaker September 25, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I think Pink would be nice, it’d give us a little pick-me-up when the rain & gray sets in.

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  • Editz September 25, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I don’t think any color will make a difference when I can observe drivers using the bike lane as a right turn lane going from Harlow Road onto Palomino Drive.

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  • Bent Bloke September 25, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Duck colors: green and yellow, and maybe Phil Knight will pay for it!

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  • Bahueh September 25, 2009 at 11:19 am

    when are “advocates” ever satisfied?

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  • cyclist September 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Bahueh: My personal experience (and I know that’s not scientific) is that compliance is higher on boxes with the green paint in them. Assuming that’s actually the case (Portland’s doing a study now to determine whether there’s a difference in compliance) then I could see why the advocates might be unsatisfied.

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  • david September 25, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Just so everyone knows 7th and High is not a rural intersection. Its more like Hawthorne and 12th at rush hour, all day long. So I can see how color might make a difference in driver awareness, or with some NOT.

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  • coyote September 25, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I ride this intersection most everyday heading home from work. Very few cyclists use the box as intended. Most bail out and use the left hand sidewalk, or do the death merge in the following block.

    David is right, this one of the busiest intersections in Eugene and a major N-S bike route to the riverside trail system. The new markings are a vast improvement over the old worn out markings, so I am willing to see if they help. I can understand the City not wanting to do the green box thing. Because there are no other green lanes in town, and the few blue lanes we do have deteriorate very rapidly where there is high car traffic across them. On some level, elaborate paint schemes are just more plastic crap that will end up in the river.

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  • kitty September 25, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    yeah. been there for years, never used it. drivers in Eugene are often oblivious. I think it has a lot to do with college age drivers, they are very aggressive, drunk and come from the likes of suburban oregon. Then sprinkle in some Springfielders and you have a real stew of bike-danger.

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  • Matt Picio September 25, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Speaking of green bike boxes, I seem to recall the city saying that the existing bike box on SE Clinton at 39th was going to get painted green, yet as of a couple weeks ago, it’s still colorless. Does anyone know if it’s ever going to be painted to match the other bike boxes around the city?

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  • Matt Picio September 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Bahueh (#10) – what is an “advocate”? Someone who says they’re an advocate but aren’t?

    Advocates by definition never can be satisfied, because they’re advocating for something. Once you stop pushing for change, once you’re satisfied, you’re no longer an advocate.

    I hope one day to be called “former advocate”, because it will mean that bicycling is equal in the eyes of the law and society as a valid mode of transportation on the public streets.

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  • Shane September 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I’m actually very satisfied with a lot of things the City of Eugene is doing to encourage and facilitate more biking and walking in our community. I just think we can (and should) do more. I advocate for more because if we don’t then the status quo of more roads and less infrastructure for transportation options will continue.

    I want to feel comfortable allowing my daughter to ride her bike to school. I want my friends to have the choice to walk to the corner store without fear of crossing a street. Right now we aren’t creating the infrastructure that makes that the easy option. We need to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Right now walking or biking is not the easy choice, driving is.

    And I agree- Green and Yellow bike boxes for Eugene!! Let’s do it! Some good duck bike stencils and we’ll be set.

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