(Photos: Marcus Griffith)
For the third time this month, an unauthorized road sign has been discovered in the greater Portland metro area; and the trend has now hopped across the Columbia River into Vancouver.
Earlier this month, someone installed an official looking, “Bikes required to stop” sign on a street in Sellwood. After being made aware of the sign, city crews removed. Then we shared news of a stenciled pavement marking that exclaimed “Vehicle’s Only!” [sic] that had been painted on streets near the Mt. Tabor neighborhood.
This time, a ‘Share the Road’ sign on a popular bike route in Vancouver was modified by adding “Need to” between the bike symbol and the sign’s original wording. The modification results in the sign reading “Bikes need to share the road.”
The modification was painted to match the original sign and could be easily mistaken as an official part of the sign. However, closer inspection revealed the letters were hand painted.
The sign is located at NW Lower River road just south of the entrance to Frenchman’s Bar Park on the edge of the Columbia River.
According to City of Vancouver spokesperson Brooke Peter, the modification was not authorized and was removed last week after I contact the city about it. It’s unknown how long it had been up.
The road adjacent to the sign lacks a shoulder, which means people on bikes have nowhere else to ride but in the lane. Despite the design issues of the road and this person’s message for bicycle operators, the City of Vancouver says there’s only been one reported bike/car collision at this location between 1999 and 2010 (and it was minor, records show).
If this summer is any indication, rogue road signs are a budding problem in the Portland area. So far, it seems the best solution is to report suspect signs for removal.
— Marcus Griffith is a veteran of the US Navy, a cycling advocate and freelance writer for The Vancouver Voice (which closed operations this month). Browse his past BikePortland articles here.