Today was the first major test of a two-month closure of the Broadway Bridge. The bridge is closed due to streetcar track construction until September 3rd, however it remains open to biking and walking traffic. This morning, I heard from streetcar crews on the scene that the south sidewalk will remain open to non-motorized traffic until July 17th. After that, the plan is for the entire bridge to be closed to all vehicles (that means bikes too) for the remainder of the summer.
This morning, crews were hard at work laying down the tracks while several of them directed traffic. At least one crew member was specifically enlisted to talk with people on bikes.
A small amount of the morning bike traffic comes south across Broadway from N. Larrabee, but the majority comes westbound down N. Broadway. They were greeted by Jason, a member of the streetcar project crew who directed them across Larrabeee and to the south sidewalk of the bridge. They have split the old bike/turn lane in the southwest corner of the intersection into a two-way bike lane. However, it’s nearly impossible to see the temporary westbound bike lane they’ve made, so nearly all bike traffic crosses all the way over to the sidewalk to head west.
The scene I observed this morning was mostly one of confusion, with people on bikes darting from travel lanes into crosswalks, people in cars turning where/when they shouldn’t be, and everyone generally looking all around for a few moments to figure out what to do.
Thankfully, it seemed as though 3-4 project crew members were actively managing the various cones and barricades to try and make it more clear to everyone.
This confusion is understandable, but hopefully things will get a bit smoother in the coming weeks. If you ride through this construction zone, please let us know how it’s going for you. We’ll forward any feedback to streetcar project and PBOT staff.