(Photos © J. Maus)
Tracks laid down as part of the Eastside Streetcar Loop project are having a major impact to traffic flow on and around NW Lovejoy Blvd. As part of work being done by activists with Active Right of Way to mitigate some of the negative impacts, I’ll be taking a closer look at the project in the coming days and weeks.
Today, I want to share a phenomenon that seems to be an unintended consequence of the new streetcar tracks that have been installed just a few feet away from the bike lane on NW Lovejoy as it heads westbound off the Broadway Bridge.
For some reason, the vast majority of people I observed prefer to straddle the streetcar tracks when driving in this location. The result is that their cars encroach onto — and in some cases into — the bike lane. This issue has come up in recent meetings of the AROW Streetcar Safety Working Group so today I went out to observe and take photographs.
Here’s what I saw…
Thankfully, when someone was actually using the bike lane, at least in one instance I observed, the person driving the car gave them plenty of room…
Before you comment, please realize I do not think this is the most pressing transportation safety concern in our city. I am merely wanting to draw attention to something that I’ve observed so there’s a public record that it’s happening and so the community has a chance to weigh in as to whether or not it deserves more attention.
It’s also worth noting that according to ORS 811.435, it’s illegal to “operate[s] a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane or a bicycle path.”
So… Do you ride or drive in this location? If so, what do you think about this?