BikePortland

PBOT to install new sign at notorious NE Couch/Grand intersection


Mock-up of new sign coming to
NE Couch at Grand.
(Image: PBOT)

Back in August, Portlander Owen Spencer was right-hooked while traveling westbound on NE Couch at the intersection of NE Grand. Unfortunately, Spencer’s experience was far too common. That intersection is well-known by riders and by the Portland Bureau of Transportation as a hot-spot for bike/car collisions.

PBOT had already installed green pavement markings and a bike box at the intersection, but after Spencer’s collision — and the community outcry that followed — they realized more needed to be done.

In the months since, PBOT has analyzed the intersection and today they released a solution: A new, illuminated traffic sign will be installed on the northwest corner of the intersection that will implore people operating cars in the right turn lane to yield to westbound bicycle traffic. (According to PBOT counts, in the AM peak there are 120 bikes per hour that travel straight through the Couch/Grand intersection and 127 cars that turn right.)

Here’s a close-up of the sign:

And here’s how it looks in context of the street:

PBOT spokesperson Dan Anderson shared this statement today via email:

“The Bureau of Transportation has been working to make West [sic] Burnside and Couch as safe as possible since the couplet was completed. We’re pleased to introduce a new sign that will make it clear that drivers must yield to those biking to their lane when turning right. This sign will be in addition to the green bike box already installed at NE Couch and Grand.”

Anderson says they expect to install the new sign in late November.

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