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Bridge closure = more bike traffic (slideshow)

Posted by on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Traffic through the Rose Quarter has been especially heavy due to the Broadway Bridge closure.
(Photos © J. Maus)

It’s a been a very busy and hectic week here on BikePortland.org, so I thought I’d share some lighter fare. There are some things about my job that will never get old and always make me feel great. One of them is seeing lots of bike traffic.

With the complete closure of the Broadway Bridge starting this past Monday, the traffic on the Steel Bridge, the Eastbank Esplanade, and through the Rose Quarter Transit Center has been quite a sight to see. I’ve rolled over there a few times to try and capture it with my camera. The photos don’t really do it justice, but they give you some sense of what’s happening out there.

Check out the slideshow:

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Nick V
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Nick V

That’s a lot of bikes! Hopefully the mood out there amongst the crowd is light while the Broadway gets fixed. Be safe all!

thefuture
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thefuture

I rode downtown through the rose quarter and the steel bridge during evening rush hour. It was INSANE with bikes and pedestrians.

I have to say there were a lot of people on bikes going way too fast and trying to weave in and out of pedestrians in a pretty dangerous and non-courteous way.

People…its summer right? Leave a little early, ride slow, take in some views, and CHILL. You’ll get wherever you’re going in due time.

Chris
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Chris

I believe the term is Cluster F*#@.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing so many people out on bikes. However, some of this area has been a mess even before Broadway closed. In the evening I have started going up NE Lloyd to 16th, 21st, or 27th to avoid the mess that is N Williams between the Steel Bridge and Knott.

Remember to slow down, be patient, and look over your shoulder before swinging wide around other cyclists! I’ve seen way to many people go to pass a slower rider just to pull out into traffic in front of a car or bus coming up from behind. If there isn’t room, wait. You’ll get your chance to pass. Gets pretty scary at times…

Steve Hoyt-McBeth
Guest

Great photos, Jonathan.

Here here on the exhortation to CHILL.

efglez
Guest
efglez

Portsterdam? Got to love it people!

Bob
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Bob

I don’t know about anyone else but I LOVE bicycle traffic jams. What you find out though, is that just like with car traffic, there are jerks who insist on weaving and cutting and speeding only to get caught at the next light with everyone else.

Hey! Just relax, ride nicely and we’ll all get there.

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

I look forward to the day when the dominate cycling concern is speedsters and cruisers learning to “Share the Road”.

Imagine, a world wear spandex wearing racers have stickers that say “One Less Fixie” and tandem cyclists demand respect for their tonnage induced stopping distance.

KJ
Guest
KJ

Ditto what Chris posted.

I already felt more stressed on that route anyways. I love there is sooo much bike traffic!! I just don’t like being in that much of it.

I wind through SE and NE, my route is 16th to 21st east off to 26th and up Regents. (AM is a little different, I stay on 21st downhill to Salmon) It’s super chill, I am less stressed, there are more trees (so cooler on those hot days) and since it’s diagonal, even though I am riding slower, and have a longer wait sometimes on Broadway and Burnside, I shave 10 mins off my commute time. Bonus. I may never go back, except I don’t get off work till 7 right now and 5:30 may be a different experience.

Frances
Guest
Frances

It’s always that crowded at 5:30pm on a weekday

Rob
Guest
Rob

stay frosty out there, everyone.

patrickz
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patrickz

Thanks for the pictures, Jonathan. It’s always a pleasure to see that many bikes and riding in a bunch, albeit with the occasional hubris and fury. Relax, everyone.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Dozens of bikers lined up this morning waiting for a barge to pass under the steel bridge = inspiration

Hundreds of single passenger vehicles, primarily SUVs lined up this afternoon heading over the 205 bridge to Washington = despair

Hart
Guest

Anyone remember when Sho Dozono made the absurd claim that nobody bikes across the Broadway bridge? I sure do.

eric
Guest
eric

just rode through there, and was reminded why I ride over the bway bridge instead of the steel bridge. What a C-F with commuters and joggers and hoboes all trying to get where they’re going using the least direct route.

Next time, can they just detour everyone over the top deck and make the cars use burnside?

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Now if there were some good connections to the Tualatin Valley that don’t involve the subway or the Sunset Highway (or the steeper, more dangerous Burnside) climb…

MIndful Cyclist
Guest
MIndful Cyclist

@Paul Johnson: Cut through the zoo and Washington Park. I take the MAX up the hill in the morning (no shower facilities at work :-/) and ride all the way home. I think it’s a nice ride and they finally covered up some of those potholes on Kingston.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

@16: That qualifies as “steeper and more dangerous” still; arguably worse than Burnside given how few people pay attention, and the police based at the Zoo Station tend to not enforce the bicycle lane.

Patti
Guest
Patti

I have to agree w/this being a C-F. I’ve had near misses every day and a complete lack of consideration/display of impatience by a lot of people. I’ve started stay late at work to miss the worst of it, which is fine but I will be so happy to have the Broadway back.

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

ha…people being jerks on bikes? Never!

Anne Hawley
Guest

It’s been very daunting for me the last few days as a slower rider on a Dutch bike. I use the Steel as both the most direct and the most slow-bike friendly commute route, and the sense of inconveniencing not one or two but dozens of riders itching to get past me on the span has been pretty uncomfortable.

Add the beer festival in Waterfront Park, which makes it necessary for me to choose Naito over the park MUP for safety’s sake, and my summer commute has lost a bunch of its charm.

I hope the Broadway Bridge closure helps the PTB see how very close Portland is to actual bike traffic problems.

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

Anne: I hear ya…between all the Lance wanna-be’s and the fixie loving hipster jerks riding with no regard to other’s safety, it’s rough out there.

Borgbike
Guest

Using the Steel Bridge lately has reinforced for me how there are few clear and easy bike routes to and from the west-side Waterfront Part and downtown. Either that or I haven’t found them yet.

The best I’ve come up with so far is getting onto the lower Steel Bridge via Naito Parkway going north. There is a curb cut just under the bridge. It’s a little counter intuitive since you have to ride past the car onramp/bridge approach. Using this, I can do most of my riding on Naito and avoid mixing with the colorful life on Waterfront park.

Still I haven’t found a clear way to feed from the Waterfront into downtown. Suggestions?

alex
Guest
alex

are many people riding in lane of the top deck?

eric
Guest
eric

I’d love to ride in the lane on the top deck, but some PDX drivers seem to have the impression that if there’s a bike lane within 1/2 a mile, then bikes should use that lane and not ride in the traffic lane. After one too many runs with jerks in vehicles, I’d rather go slow and play dodgem on the lower bridge, or frogger on the new, improved morrison death-path.

Also, with the traffic detour for vehicles to the top of the steel, I’m not really willing to risk it with tired, frustrated drivers across the top deck, even though it is the more direct route.

DEAR PBOT: The top deck of the steel bridge is an excellent place for sharrows.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

“or frogger on the new, improved morrison death-path”

awww…the morrison is not that bad. i’ve hit 25 mph on the descent. fun, fun, fun!

eric
Guest
eric

I admit, I exaggerate a little, but the path is good in the middle and weird at the ends.

chelsea
Guest
chelsea

I am already tired of the Broadway being closed. Ugh. I am a lot more comfortable riding in the street than multi-use paths, particularly in a busy area like the waterfront park. There is a lack of predictability. People coming from every direction, sometimes oblivious, sometimes negligent. It is starting to make me dread my morning commute. I wish this could have happened any other time of the year so there would be fewer people out and about.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

No doubt…Willamette Greenway definitely needs marked lanes and pedestrian zones. The existing traffic model for that commuter corridor as it currently stands is fundamentally broken, and the city’s negligence towards that route is going to get someone killed.

peejay
Guest
peejay

What would be awesome is that there is a bike facility crossing the river that is at least as good as the crappiest car facility. No MUP, no crossing of paths, no stopping to cross traffic, just one wide lane for each direction, flowing nicely into traffic on each end.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@chelsea I too am a Broadway-Bridge-person, and am finding that, for inbound to downtown, shooting down Interstate to ride the upper deck of the Steel Bridge to be one half of the ticket, and for outbound to North Portland, shooting down Everett (from 4th Ave.) – follow STP signs the first time at the end of Everett – to the lower deck of the Steel Bridge to be the 2nd half ticket to glory-land!