Support BikePortland

‘Cross-bikes’: Crosswalks for bikes coming soon to Portland?

Posted by on January 19th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

PBOT is considering new bicycle crosswalks,
like this one in concept stage for
SE 53rd and Stark.

Crosswalks are standard engineering treatments designed to help people get across streets with a bit more safety; now the City of Portland is looking to do something similar for bike traffic with bicycle crosswalk markings, a.k.a. the “cross-bike”.

The concept itself has been floating around PBOT since about 2007, but the idea has yet to gain real traction. The other night, while looking over plans for an upcoming road project, I was surprised to see them as prominent features. Turns out that PBOT hasn’t forgotten about them.

PBOT bicycle coordinator Roger Geller shared a bit more about bicycle crosswalks via email today. Check out the Q & A below for more…

What are “cross-bikes”?

Think about them as a crosswalk for people riding bicycles. We identified the “cross-bike” as a possible simple crossing treatment for neighborhood greenways at relatively low-volume collector streets [larger than residential streets but smaller than major arterials]. It would consist of a distinctive marking on the roadway (yet to be determined), either as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with some other crossing treatment, like a median refuge or curb extensions. Crosswalk markings would also be a standard design element.

Could also be used at off-set intersections.

Another example

Q. How did the concept come about?

A. The idea for the cross-bike emerged from observations that one unintended consequence of building curb extensions as crossing treatments on neighborhood greenways was that motorists on the collector street would occasionally stop and yield the right of way to a cyclist waiting to cross [even when the motor vehicle operator had no legal obligation to do so]. Though that was not the intent of the curb extensions (which were intended mostly to shorten the crossing distance and thus allow cyclists to take advantage of shorter gaps in cross traffic, while improving sight distances and visibiity), we considered it a positive benefit and began to consider ways to reinforce these locations as crossings for cyclists. We landed on the idea of providing a prominent marking to further alert motorists to the presence of crossing cyclists.

Q. Where does Portland stand in actually putting these out on the street?

A. We are in the process of developing such a marking. Cross bikes are being seriously considered for the 50s bikeway project as an initial full-scale test of the concept.

Q. Since the markings aren’t compliant with federal standards, how will you proceed?

A. That’s right, these markings are not MUTCD [Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the federal guidebook for all traffic markings and signs] compliant so we would not be able to use them on a federally funded project (such as the 50s) unless we requested and were granted experimental approval by FHWA, so we’re currently discussing how to proceed. One way to proceed might be to use a design that makes extensive use of the shared lane marking as that may stand a better chance of gaining quick acceptance at the national level, though ultimately we want to use a design that we feel will best accomplish the operational goals.

In implementing this treatment we intend to work with PSU and the IBPI [Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation] to evaluate their effectiveness. If it seems a worthy concept, we would then consider future legislative action to codify that motorists are to treat the cross bike for cyclists in the same manner they must treat cross walks for pedestrians.

Q. Are any other U.S. cities using this type of marking?

A. No, we are not aware of any other U.S. city using them for this purpose. However, there are decorative trail crossing treatments that are used in some communities that likely have a similar effect. We are aware of at least one intersection in The Netherlands that uses such a treatment. At that location the entire intersection is painted completely yellow. [See photo below provided by Geller]

A bicycle crosswalk marking as seen in The Netherlands.
(Photo: Denver Igarta)

I hope PBOT finds a location to test out these markings. As they did with blue bike lanes and bike boxes, this is another example where PBOT is showing a willingness to experiment with new concepts that make bicycling safer and more attractive to people of all skill levels. It will be interesting to see how they work out in the wild.

UPDATE: For a more detailed look at these and other markings, see this PBOT PDF from back in 2007 titled, Enhanced Bicycle Boulevard Markings Demonstration Project.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you โ€” Jonathan

117
Leave a Reply

avatar
63 Comment threads
54 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
57 Comment authors
resopmokWaynePaul JohnsonEl Biciclerospare_wheel Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jason
Guest
Jason

This is cool, but bicycles are already allowed in cross-walks. I wish more motorists would recognize this.

suburban
Guest
suburban

Are you implying that motorized traffic should stop for a mounted cyclist who is waiting to cross at a (marked or unmarked) cross-walk? Please cite ORS.

Greg
Guest
Greg

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.410 (2)
“Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.”

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Which includes operating at pedestrian speeds…pavement markings as described in TFA would not automatically declare cyclists pedestrians (thankfully)

pixie
Guest
pixie

A bicyclist does not have to operate at pedestrian speeds while in a crosswalk. See ORS 814.410(1)(d) at the link Greg provided.

Ed
Guest

So cool! I hope they test them out. It will definitely slow the traffic down.

3-speeder
Guest
3-speeder

I presume there is more to explain about “cross-bikes”. On the surface, I have concerns.

Crosswalks (whether marked or not) carry a legal obligation for traffic to stop for pedestrians using them (with certain caveats I don’t want to bring up here).

But these cross-bikes seem to be in situations where the cross traffic might not actually have the same legal obligation. For example, a bicycle approaching an intersection with a cross-bike at the same time that a crossing vehicle on its right reaches the intersection – the “right-of-way” law would give preference to the crossing vehicle to the right. The name cross-bike suggests the bicycle has the right-of-way.

Maybe it is just the name that bothers me. It sounds like this is a plan to enhance safety by creating a more obvious alert for traffic to expect bicycle cross-traffic, and I’m all for that. But it might be best not to create any association with crosswalks if the legal requirements differ. Motor vehicles already demonstrate major ignorance of crosswalk laws – more confusion on this would not be a good thing.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

This is great creativity on PBOT’s part! Yayyy PBOT!

I have to say, I’m skeptical of whether any cross-bike law would pass the Oregon legislature anytime soon without severe limits on bikers’ speed in the cross-bike. Severe as in, you have to walk your bike to have any rights. However, I think even such a limited law would be quite useful for some.

As a pretty impatient yet risk-averse biker, I find myself walking my bike through crosswalks to make traffic stop for me at unsignalized neighborhood greenway crossings of high-traffic streets (e.g. SE Clay crossing 11th or 12th at rush hour). I worry about the transition period from walking to biking though. It would be awesome to have a cross-bike at those locations where I could walk my bike straight through the intersection and have traffic be legally obligated to stop.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Alex, if you’re walking your bike at an intersection, from corner to corner, you are a pedestrian and the motorized traffic is legally obligated to stop (whether the cross walk is marked or not).

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Thank you, that was his point.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Paul is right, but perhaps I wasn’t very clear. Vehicles are obligated to stop for me if I walk my bike through the crosswalk. As far as I know, they are not obligated to stop for me if I walk my bike in the vehicle lane through the intersection. If there were a theoretical crossride supported by my theoretical law, then they would be. And I would enjoy that.

From Los Angeles
Guest
From Los Angeles

Berkeley has one cross-bike, I do believe. I can snap a photo of it if you’d like. It’s probably not ideal design, but it is there, connecting a bike path to an elementary school and crosses University Avenue.

From Los Angeles
Guest
From Los Angeles

Right, okay read that last Q and A a little closer, so the comment wasn’t that others aren’t using cross-bikes altogether or anything like that. Anyway, good job Portland!

Steve B
Guest

I’d love to see it if you do ever snap a photo!

Nick
Guest
Nick

In theory I love this idea, but it’s hard for me to be optimistic about compliance. From my personal experience, the majority of people driving already don’t understand our current road crossing laws.

Brian E.
Guest
Brian E.

I believe “most” Drivers do understand “most” of the cross walk law. Not all Drivers practice it. Some Drivers are going to push the limits of not yielding to a Pedestrian. Some Drivers take more risks than others.

joe adamski
Guest
joe adamski

Drivers take few risks, perhaps an inconvenient ticket. the pedestrian, or cyclist is the one that takes what could easily be the ‘ulitmate risk’.
Recognizing how little respect pedestrians get, even with the ‘law on their side’ regarding crosswalks, I expect little from these special treatments for cyclists. Most likely the biggest result will the an amplified outcry, citing them as the reason du jour that cyclists are getting special treatment. For whatever good they might do, they will serve the interests of those who oppose cycling on streets better than those who embrace transportation cycling.

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

I would prefer to see some sort of “Bike Xing” designation. Something motorists can more easily embrace as it is existing terminology. Tantamount to anything new like this is public awareness, education and outreach. Making sure motorists buy in rather than feel more alienated.

dan
Guest
dan

Nick
In theory I love this idea, but it’s hard for me to be optimistic about compliance. From my personal experience, the majority of people driving already don’t understand our current road crossing laws.

Agreed. Heck, I don’t know what they are myself. I had thought that when a cyclist is mounted, they cross as a motor vehicle, and cars are only required to stop for them if they dismount and walk their bike in the crosswalk. Is that not the case?

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Just to clarify…. Yes, as the law currently stands, motor vehicles would not legally have to stop for a bicycle at one of the bike crosswalks. I say, why not test these out and then if the work, simply amend the current crosswalk law to include “non-motorized vehicles” instead of just “pedestrians”.

And yes, bikes are allowed in standard crosswalks, but the law is so poorly written that it’s far from ideal or encouraged for people on bikes to actually use them.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

Jonathan brings up a good point. I just found out last week (here at BP, as a matter of fact) that bikes are even allowed to be rode in crosswalks.

david...no the other one!
Guest
david...no the other one!

I think this is a wonderful idea, and that all of us could suggest a place in our own neighborhoods where one would be of good use.
Also I have noticed that the crossing for the bike path @ Division is so poorly lit, at least in the morning that it is very hard to notice bicyclists with all the lights that are further down the street making the vision of a sillouette near impossible, so how about some more/brighter lights focused on the “crossing”

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

This sounds like a great idea, i.e., make drivers more aware of bike cross-traffic. However, I would be concerned about anything that makes cyclists act or be perceived as pedestrians. Just this morning I had to wave two drivers on as I was waiting to make a left turn into a driveway; they wanted to stop and let me turn in front of them. I know they were just being “nice” but they were confused about how bicycles on the road should be treated.

I hope any new markings for high-bike-traffic intersections serve to reduce–not induce–confusion about how to treat bicycles on the street. I further hope that any such new markings do not attempt (or inadvertently serve) to turn cyclists into pedestrians involuntarily.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I’m with you on this one El B. In my experience drivers are either petrified or confused by the presence of a bicyclist, and more markings leads to more confusion. That being said, there are situations where markings like this might help signal an unexpected cyclist behavior to a driver (or pedestrian), like the offset scenario above.

Looking at the Netherlands picture above, my personal opinion is if the speed limit is reasonable at that intersection than the extra colorations are probably more expense than they’re worth (do they have unions in the Netherlands?). I suspect the multi-colored paint indeed enhances safety (I’ve argued for similar treatments in certain dangerous Beaverton intersections), but I think the crosswalks themselves are sufficient if traffic is calmed to proper speeds for the density.

Also, if thermoplastic paint is used it lasts longer but becomes a “slippery when wet” hazard, and if safer paint like the blue stuff on SW Hall in Bvtn is used then it wears pretty quickly.

Also also, I think Dude makes a valid point. I’ve seen some pretty naive cyclist behavior up there in Portland… just sayin.

Clarence
Guest

Any idea when? Since I have an option to drop in at the end of April, might make for a good Streetfilm shortie.

Simon
Guest
Simon

i’m sorry PDOT but the term “cross -bike” is already being used to describe something completely different.

BicycleDave
Guest
BicycleDave

Crossride?

Pete
Guest
Pete

Cross dress? Oh sorry, wrong forum… ๐Ÿ™‚

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

The optimal deployment of this idea to me is at SE 82nd ave at the Springwater trail.
Paint it in and install a HAWK signal triggered by very sensitive loop detectors about 50-150ft in either direction on the trail.

When I’ve crossed (YMMV) here the legal method seems to actively encourage crossing illegally to avoid the wait. 9 times out of 10 a cyclist can dart through if the autos have enough advanced warning to slow down and stop if needed.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Compliance with the MUTCD is not just for federally funded projects. It’s for all roads. A waiver would be needed. And, a change in state law that defines them and the motorists’ behavior would likely be needed, too.

Given the fact that many motorists don’t comply with the law requiring them to yield to pedestrians (who have a better chance of jumping out of the way), I’d be reluctant to trust that the crossbikes would be obeyed by motorists if I tried using it.

It looks like a really good way of getting even more motorists pissed off at “special interest bicyclists.”

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Good concept, unfortunate name. Also, I don’t like the version from the Netherlands. It looks too much like decoration.

Gregg B
Guest

Great ideas, I just hope they’re not slippery.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

I don’t know why this keeps coming up since they got the friction coefficient problem solved around the second or third time the blue bike lanes had new markings applied to replace worn out markings. The early ones were truly slippery when wet or breathed on wrong, but the ones used in the last decade seem to be slippery when operator is stupid.

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

i really like stuff like this but what i’d like more is if people drove their cars like lives were at stake. i’d really like it if people would open their goddamn eyes and put the phone away.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Yeah, they ought to have a law against that!

chelsea
Guest
chelsea

yes!!

Brad
Guest
Brad

Just another dumbing down of us poor vulnerable bike riders! We can’t be expected to exercise our rights and responsibilities as traffic under existing rules or use common sense when crossing an intersection. Put some more color splotches on the streets as that will instantly make us safer. No need for mass education as this is sooooo intuitive.

Here’s a novel idea – how about PBOT lobbies for a law that basically states, “Hit a LEGALLY operating cyclist or pedestrian with your car – go to jail!”. That would change driver behavior towards cyclists and pedestrians overnight! Too bad our army of “advocrats” can’t think beyond ever more creative uses of paint.

I agree with J_R, this is just going to be seen as another waste of resources on us “damned cyclists” in the eyes of the public.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

Well said, sir. I just had to re-take my driver’s test (the written part) because my license expired (haven’t had a car since 2007) and not a single question was asked about inattentive driving, crosswalks, pedestrians, or bicycle traffic.

It is absolutely up to PBoT and the DMV to be pushing these laws and educating the drivers. Anyone else pushing this stuff will be looked at as having a special interest agenda (BTA, for instance).

VTRC
Guest
VTRC

To be fair I just spent some time in the 92ndish and Powell DMV and they had a flatpanel display looped with how to help pedestrians cross at crosswalks safely.
Someone IS trying.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

That’s good to hear. I took my DMV testing just before the holidays in early December so maybe they’re making a push as a 2011 initiative.

That being said, I’d rather see them pushing driver education (i.e what is a crosswalk and rights-of-way rules) over helping little old ladies cross the street.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Mandatory re-testing for all drivers at renewal, and shorter licensing terms to match the revisions of the driver’s manuals, should be seriously considered.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“…a law that basically states, ‘Hit a LEGALLY operating cyclist or pedestrian with your car – go to jail!'” would likely open up the floodgates for tons of laws to define what “legally operating” means–see proposed HB 2602 for an example. Helmet laws, further picking apart of what “bike lane” means–and when cyclists MUST be in one, equipment specifications, all kinds of micro-laws could find their way onto the table to make sure that only a small percentage of cyclists were ever “legally operating”.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

I like the style of markings used for the diagonal crossing most of all, and think that if this is adopted, that style should be used even when not diagonal. This would help with familiarity issues, since that style of marking is already in use in Vancouver. Note that these markings are used exclusively with cycleways, though the same markings may be applied to MUP crossings, such as this one on a mixed-use path crossing Willingdon Avenue.

Then again, streets like Powell could be made a lot more hospitable for the car-free with lanes like this bus/carpool/taxi/bicycle combo lane. The limited hours, in this case, correspond with the hours that parking isn’t allowed in the curb lane (though there are 24-hour versions of these elsewhere in the city).

Dude
Guest
Dude

I think Portland is on crack. This will give a false sense of security to some poor cyclist who is going to get run over and killed by someone from out of town that obviously never heard of a cross bike. A better idea would be to go accross when there is a break in traffic or if you are timid get off your bike and walk it across the crosswalk

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Maybe if we experiment and try new things we’ll get something better than the status quo.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

We can all agree the current system doesn’t work.
If the complete and total solution was obvious it have already be implemented.
We are left expirementing to see if something works.

But by all means : keep insulting Portland for the brave act of trying to do better.
We all know that demagoguery helps more than anything.

suburban
Guest
suburban

When did yield and stop signs become inadequate to address such intersections in Portland?

Please, PSU and IBPI,do us all a favor and study something else. Answer #1 is horrifying to those who just want to have good road design, follow traffic laws and teach their kids to do the same.

Joe
Guest
Joe

This would help out the NW side of town forsure, like 20th-23rd we need to get burnide under control. man what a a armpit of traffic, the PGE park side, auto traffic tries to sprawl itself and just hog up roads.
coming out every opening like hot cakes.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Dude
I think Portland is on crack. This will give a false sense of security to some poor cyclist who is going to get run over and killed by someone from out of town that obviously never heard of a cross bike. A better idea would be to go accross when there is a break in traffic or if you are timid get off your bike and walk it across the crosswalk

dude you need to have some traffic bike sence. just saying, can’t get on a bike and say hey Im safe. it takes time in the saddle bro.. be safe ๐Ÿ™‚ be savy I say

Dude
Guest
Dude

Yo Joe-
If you need help getting across the street I will come hold up a sign for you, Savy say

Johnnie Olivan
Guest

Looks awesome!! Green color is cool. Maybe a different color could be suggested, but green works for the bike boxes right?

Steve B
Guest

Super cool! I think the MUTCD just imploded in my hands by just looking at that concept

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

US or Canadian? The diagonal markings above would fit the Canadian version if they were white instead of green, so there’d at least be North American precedent (and even in this region! See my links above.)

annefi
Guest
annefi

I think this is an unnecessary use of sparse financial resources and agree with several other posters that it would likely cause confusion, a false sense of security, and increased resentment of cyclists. Don’t need it. Don’t want it.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

annefi,

I disagree. I think there are “sparse” resources because we’re dumping way too much money into “pavement preservation” and other major road projects instead of balancing our system and making more intelligent transportation investments.

I also think it’s interesting how so many commenters seemed to be concerned about what “the motorists” will think. I’m a motorist and I’m all for spending our transportation dollars in the best way possible that gives us the greatest return on investment (cough, bicycling, cough) . Also, since when should we set our policies and priorities based on what we think a non-existent group of other road users will think โ€” especially when this supposed backlash is mostly created by a media that focuses on divisiveness and sensationalism to sell clicks and papers.

And again, you are an experienced rider. This type of thing is not for you… it’s for the 8 year old kid and the 80 year old grandma. Thanks for your comment.

snapbrim
Guest
snapbrim

ahem… is this thing working? I replied here a while ago and nothing has popped up…

JJJ
Guest
JJJ

I really dont understand the need for yet another type of treatment.

Either use sharrows across the intersection or just use a standard crosswalk.

If you want to be fancy, paint it like this one in Cambridge MA.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=02215&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=33.626896,69.873047&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Boston,+Massachusetts+02215&ll=42.361198,-71.092687&spn=0.000483,0.001066&t=k&z=20&layer=c&cbll=42.361198,-71.092687&panoid=wjpRwtIpgtK7ads88ocUhw&cbp=12,50.33,,0,14.94

Most people already have trouble understanding all the road rules, why throw in a new type of pattern?

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

broken link.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

that’s just a normal crosswalk, not a street intersection…

jim
Guest
jim

One thing thats certain about Portland is that every 6 months they will reinvent a new type of pavement/sign markings for bikes. You decide if this is a waste?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

It’s fine to experiment with different ideas for street markings that will provide for safer cycling. Sounds like that’s mostly what PBOT’s idea with this concept is at present. If they showed some significant benefit in actual use here in Portland, how widely might they be used?

Schools whose student bodies are demonstrating an increasing interest in participating in Safe Routes to Schools, could particularly benefit from some of these crossing treatments.

Look at the picture of the intersection in the Netherlands: almost the entire intersection is covered in paint. How much paint, thermoplastic, whatever…does it take to cover an intersection? How much labor to put it on and maintain it year after year? The bike lane near where I live is, I think…made with thermoplastic. The stuff is lousy; unlike paint, which gradually fades with use, this particular installation of thermoplastic is thick. The edges of the line it creates have been gradually chipping away, making for a bumpy ride. Looks ugly too.

Over the years, Portland’s own City Repair has very creatively painted a few street intersections.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

it’s a good idea to make people more aware of the intersection… and may work for most Portland drivers… but as Dude stated, out of town people will have no idea that they need to yield to another vehicle that has a stop sign…

so as with any crossing, make sure people are stopping before you get in front of their vehicle…

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

Pete
Yeah, they ought to have (an enforceable) law against that!

There, fixed that for you.

John Landolfe
Guest

1.) It’s hilarious and heartening that a post about an alternate crosswalk design, still in conceptual phase, would get 55 comments.

2.) On a more dour note, I honestly think this should stay just a concept for now. The City has a multitude of more pressing issues in roadway improvements to address. The wayfinding signage, for example, is a project I think should take higher priority.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

I disagree with 2.)
I think that the difficulty/stress of crossing many major or even semi-major streets on neighborhood greenways is their biggest flaw. If the City makes riding on these routes pleasant, more people will find biking to be a good way to get around. If the crossbike turns out to be an economical and effective Wayfinding is also a serious problem, but the sharrow treatment did a lot to fix that, in my opinion.

snapbrim
Guest
snapbrim

I disagree with 1.)
I don’t see what’s particularly hilarious about it. The presence or lack of a particular stop sign, speed bump or crosswalk can be a mortal risk, not to mention the cumulative effect that changes like this have on public perception.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

I disagree with 2.)
I think that the difficulty/stress of crossing many major or even semi-major streets on neighborhood greenways is their biggest flaw. If the City makes riding on these routes pleasant, more people will find biking to be a good way to get around. If the crossbike turns out to be an economical and effective way of making these crossings easier, maybe it’ll get applied to even existing greenways!
I agree that wayfinding is also a serious problem, but the sharrow treatment did a lot to fix that, in my opinion.

ac
Guest
ac

i don’t believe cross bikes are necessary. we already have two options: act as a pedestrian and cross with the rights of a pedestrian; or act as a vehicle and cross with the rights of a vehicle.

if we believe bikes are to be considered vehicles, this is not a feature that we should be requesting. it just muddies our status on the roads

i can understand specific installations around schools with specific signage to yield to bike traffic, but not for general roadways

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

if we believe bikes are to be considered vehicles, this is not a feature that we should be requesting. it just muddies our status on the roads

I believe bikes are vehicles, but they are not motor vehicles and they should not — in my opinion simply adhere to whatever set of laws is convenient at any given time.

Fact is, bicycles are a hybrid and that needs to change. When it’s convenient for lawmakers, advocates, etc.. for bikes to be lumped in with walking laws than that’s what happens… when it’s convenient to be lumped in with motor vehicles, than the “same roads/same rights/sames rules” mantra pipes up.

I think we need to completely rewrite existing vehicle laws and write new ones specifically for bicycles… and I think having crosswalks that help them operate more safely and efficiently โ€” similar to what they do for walking traffic โ€” is a good idea.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“… but not for general roadways ” ac

I think that sums it up fairly well. On certain designated bike routes, for especially vulnerable cyclists…the slower, younger (or older), possibly handicapped people that ride bikes, special surface street crossing demarcations such as this ‘cross bike’…(which is one of the weirder new and confusing phrases I’ve heard lately…maybe instead, ‘cross-pedal’?)…idea, could be good.

For riders generally cycling at average speeds of 15mph and above on most streets, feeder streets and thoroughfares, this ‘cross bike/cross pedal’ street treatment is probably superfluous.

DK
Guest
DK

To PDOT, ODOT, etc:

STOP using GREEN for these bicycle “safety zones”!!! Green is already used as a traffic control color and, to motorists, it means GO! Of the existing traffic control colors, yellow seems most appropriate. …Or use a new color like the blue you initially tested with.

Scenario: Person visiting Portland in out of state car, comes to GREEN box at intersection. What can we assume they’re going to do at this intersection?
My answer: unpredictable…and that scares me a little.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Someone from out of state seeing standard traffic markings emphasized by green are likely to do what the familiar traffic markings tell them to do; the green simply reinforces that message without distracting from it, given that at this time there are no other green pavement markings (save for in states that have green state highway trailblazers, since USDOT is now encouraging states to reinforce turn lanes with route trailblazer symbols, such as found on this segment of I 244/US 75 on the Martin Luther King, Junior Expressway.

Yellow is a bad option, since that color is already reserved for divisions in traffic direction and, when used on curbs, no parking zones.

Red would match safety zones in other areas, including Vancouver, which makes extensive use of red lanes, and also works nicely since red is used to indicate no stopping zones on curbs, so the two messages would compliment each other psychologically. I believe green was picked because it’s highly visible and it draws the eye to that location, which is what you want.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph

pixie
A bicyclist does not have to operate at pedestrian speeds while in a crosswalk. See ORS 814.410(1)(d) at the link Greg provided.

Ummm… You might want to reread that ORS again and pay attention to the “commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle” portion.

pixie
Guest
pixie

Ummm… You might want to reread it and pay attention to the rest of the text that comes after your quote, which is this: “on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:”

Subsection (1)(d) is listed as one of the following, and it does not say a bicyclist must operate at pedestrian speeds while in a crosswalk.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Dude
Yo Joe-If you need help getting across the street I will come hold up a sign for you, Savy say

haha thx for the offer Im a big boy ๐Ÿ™‚

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Here is a case of confusion from my commute this morning:

Me: traveling along a MUP approaching a street crossing. I am facing a miniature STOP sign where the trail meets the street. There are also crosswalk bars striped across the street in front of me.

Motorist: approaching from my left, traveling along the street, sees a striped crosswalk with a yellow diamond sign that has icons of a cyclist and a pedestrian, with an arrow pointing down to the crosswalk.

Question(s): Is my stop sign a “real” stop sign? Should I treat this intersection as any other two-way stop? Does the crosswalk give me some kind of right-of-way, which would negate the two-way nature of my stop sign? Should the motorist stop to wait for me, or me for him?

Here is what happened: As I was approaching my stop sign and slowing to stop, the apparently attentive motorist was also slowing and actually came to a stop at the crosswalk bars. I stopped at my stop sign and waved the motorist on. The motorist drove on and I crossed (this was a very low-traffic area, he and I were the only two travelers in sight for the duration of this encounter.

Granted, this is a slightly different situation than the one under discussion here, since it was an intersection of a street with a MUP, but it serves to illustrate the confusion created when markings and signage are thrown down willy-nilly and even appear to contradict each other.

Think twice, paint once.

If you want to know what I think would be the best traffic-calmer for these intersections–especially the offset ones, I have three words: Round. A. Bout. A so-called “mini-roundabout”, such as are found all over English towns (their overuse borders on annoying) can be created with just paint, although it would probably require a reversal of the “curb extension” line of thought (and perhaps the removal or relocation of some curb extensions).

jim
Guest
jim

Kudo’s to you for stopping before you rode out into the street. It would be my guess that the car would then wait for you to cross, this is a bit of a grey area for bikes

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

Experiments and tests need to be done in closed environments, vetted and reviewed thoroughly before being introduced to our streets. I am sick of hearing about PBOT spending public money so their traffic engineers can learn how to do their jobs instead of hiring professionals who know how to design and implement real solutions for real problems on our streets. Problems like riding next to a line of parked cars, getting right-hooked on the green signal phase or at intersections without bike boxes, or drivers that pass too close or talk on their cell phones while driving. Solving these problems will make our streets _actually_ safer, and actual safe streets will attract those timid 8 and 80 year olds that people keep talking about.

Legally there’s already a cross-walk at every intersection whether it’s in paint or not. These new markings have no legal standing and no precedent. I’ll admit it’s a creative solution, but for what? I find it incredulous people who would argue against the headphone and six-year-old laws would be for this sort of thing. The danger to cyclists on streets is from cars, so let’s focus on making them and their drivers safer instead of trying to add another useless traffic control device.

Lastly, it doesn’t matter whether the money comes from the federal government or not. We all pay those taxes, so it is still coming out of our pockets. How much will it cost to get this sort of marking anywhere near MUTCD standards? Hundreds of thousands of dollars? Far too much to be worth it, for sure.

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

Oddly enough…I agree.

Mike Fish
Guest
Mike Fish

It shouldn’t go forward unless their are clear rules that the cars need to follow. Most people still don’t know crosswalk laws. For example, did you know you don’t technically need to yield to a pedestrian unless they have a foot in the street? That’s right! If you see a pedestrian standing right on the curb by a crosswalk expectantly looking at cars/bikes and waiting for them to stop they don’t have to stop unless that person steps into the road. If you look 30 seconds into this clip you see that it’s true: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbHnvoFc6FA .

I see the logic – I personally hate it when there are crosswalks right next to bus stops because I can never tell if people are waiting for the bus or waiting to cross.

Anyway, despite this lovely clip that the City has been publishing, few cars stop for me when I try to cross at an unmarked crosswalk, even when I’m waiting off of the curb.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

Paint is cheap. The more you use to mark out bike space the better. It makes motorists more aware that they are entering or crossing “bike territory,” and it brings more bicyclists onto the route. But regardless the First Law of Biking still applies: Don’t Get Hit! So bravo to PBOT.
The real challenge are streets like NE 28th where there is no alternative so bicyclists and motorists must share the lane. We need Sharrows on streets like that. NE Knott is another.

Mike Fish
Guest
Mike Fish

Yeah, 28th is the worst. At least Knott is pretty wide in most places.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Fact is, bicycles are a hybrid and that needs to change. When it’s convenient for lawmakers, advocates, etc.. for bikes to be lumped in with walking laws than that’s what happens… when it’s convenient to be lumped in with motor vehicles, than the “same roads/same rights/sames rules” mantra pipes up.

Fact is the main problem rational auto drivers have with cyclists is the unpredictability of any generic cyclist that they, the driver, cannot interpret what the cyclist is going to do because the cyclist may choose to transition from vehicle to pedestrian laws, perfectly legally, and vise versa while the auto driver has no idea why.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Aww shucks
we don’t need no education,
we don’t need no signs or paint …

We just need draconian fines, on a sliding scale to

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

q`Tzal
Aww shucks
we don’t need no education,
we don’t need no signs or paint …
We just need draconian fines, on a sliding scale to

… for income, so as to make constant infractions unmaintable for any economic tax bracket.
Make the fines based on an amount of monthly income after housing and food costs.
Then make an everyday infraction 25%-50% of that.
TADA! Everyone drives with due dilligence and fear.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Don’t forget a multiplier for vehicle weight…

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

My initial reaction to the idea is positive (there is a need for this treatment type) though the I am negative on the ‘look and feel’ of the tool proposed. I have rarely see similar treatments used in Europe with streets operating at 25 mph (and higher) which is the likely case here. On lower speed streets sure.

My thoughts and experience with similar facilities in Europe would be (similar to JJJ): for a generation 1 implementation use:
– a freq repeated sharrow (Paris style)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/livestreets/5226129823/, and
– stick to white

This would likely be easier and cheaper to implement while being possibly more effective (more drivers and cyclists would understand the message). I assume such would also avoid seeking Federal approval.

ED
Guest
ED

I don’t know if cross-bikes are the answer, but I agree that it can be difficult and confusing to cross some arterials when traveling on a bike route. I’m thinking specifically of SE 41st and Division. There are crosswalks at the intersection and stop signs for the traffic on 41st, but it can be very hard to get across Division because the road bends at 42nd and thus you can’t see traffic coming until it’s almost on top of you. It would be nice to get a little recognition from drivers to slow down and let bicycles get across, especially since it’s just a block away from an elementary school (Richmond). I hear all the comments about just waiting for a break in traffic like other vehicles and can do that myself, but biking with kids changes the whole equation.

(Speaking of, Jonathan, I’d love to have some articles on challenges and recommendations for biking with kids. We got my 10-year-old stepson a bike for Christmas and it’s been fun, crazy and frightening teaching him the rules of the road.)

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

If the ‘Cross-Bike; tool as proposed by PBoT moves forward to implementation on this type of bikeway, my suggestions:

– consider using a thin white thermo outline of each green key to make it standout (more constrast – like how white lane dashes are sometimes outlined with black when installed on concrete roadways)

– increase the maintenance budget for the annual refreshing of these ‘Cross Bike’ stripes for roads with higher turning movements. There will be much more wear on these bikeway stripes than the pedestrian stripes due to their location in the intersection. The issue of rapid wear of the green bike box may be a materials installation or specification issue to evaluate…I just saw the bike box on SE Madison and Grand yesterday and it’s green pigment material has degraded a lot …if it is not just paint (I was not able to get out into traffic to touch it to see what it was).

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Ideally the need for ‘Cross Bike’ type facilities really are on the mayor arterials with bike lanes and complex turning movements/ high volumes.

I would rather see this level of staff effort work on adopting this type bike crosswalks that the Dutch sometimes call ‘Elephant Tracks’ – it is an extension of the ped crosswalk for bike access through intersections
http://www.flickr.com/photos/18378305@N00/5162200582/

Elliot
Guest
Elliot

The 50’s bikeway is close to my heart, since I lived on 53rd Avenue for 20 years and have walked and biked along the route literally thousands of times. I have mixed feelings about the concept of cross-bikes in general, but I definitely don’t understand why PBOT feels they are needed at the intersections shown in the story.

In addition to 53rd and Stark, the marked up aerials are at the intersections of 52nd and Lincoln on the left, and 53rd and Belmont on the right. I’ve never had a problem crossing at any of these locations, on bike or on foot. These are neighborhood collector streets, and Lincoln is even a bike boulevard, er, neighborhood greenway unto itself. Vehicle traffic on Belmont routinely goes under the 30 mph speed limit; there is a 20 mph school zone sign and just half a block west of 53rd on Stark; and Lincoln doesn’t even have a striped centerline, so most cars treat it as a residential street rather than a through street. Yes, there can be a bit of traffic on Stark or Belmont during rush hour when you might have to wait 30 seconds, but that’s life. What’s the problem?

It’s a noble cause and all, but I’d rather see energy spent on solving the big problems rather than the little inconveniences.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Has a route been nailed down for 50S yet? I’ve seen several conflicting routes so far.

Jason
Guest
Jason

This is absolutely absurd! Why waste tax dollars on such an idea when we constantly hear how the government is short on funding and cutting back on important services. Want to give bike riders all this cool stuff, charge them for it in the form of bike licensing and registration. Go a step further, force them to obtain liability insurance. That way when they do something stupid, as we have all seen them do, and cause damage to someone’s property (like the car they scratch when trying to squeeze in somewhere they don’t fit) that the victim is compensated as they would be if a motor vehicle was involved.

Just a big waste of valuable tax dollars. Perhaps the money would be better spent on educating our children or enforcing the law. Maybe even keeping criminals in jail rather than giving them a slap on the hand then returning them to the streets.