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Photos, impressions after first ride on new SW Moody cycle track

It’s open! A major renovation of SW Moody includes a two-way cycle track.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Yesterday, the SW Moody Project opened for business and I took my first ride on its cycle track.

This major project constructed a new, 0.6 mile elevated roadway from SW River Pkwy (under I-5/405 interchange) to SW Gibbs near the Aerial Tram. In addition to Portland’s first ever two-way cycle track, this segment of SW Moody also includes sidewalks on both sides and three standard vehicle lanes.

My overall impression after riding it in both directions yesterdays is that it’s pretty exciting — this is the closest thing Portland has to a European-style bikeway. The cycle track is separated and on a different grade than the roadway, the access is relatively direct (although it could be better in the southern section, more on that later), and there’s plenty of elbow room for both directions of bike traffic and people walking.

Check the photos and notes below for more…

On the north side, the access from the existing bike lane on SW Moody is straightforward and direct…

Once up and onto the deck you’ve got lots of room to ride….

Then, under the Ross Island Bridge you come to yield triangles and crosswalk markings. What’s happening here (I think) is that the bike traffic lanes are supposed to criss-cross. Southbound bikes begin on right side and after this cross they are on the left side…

Nearing the end of the new segment is this bikeway sign. Pretty neat to see directions to the upcoming, carfree Gibbs Street bridge…

At the end of the new cycle track, southbound traffic is directed onto the standard bike lane and westbound (toward the tram) traffic is funneled into a crosswalk that leads to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing (CHH)…

Now, let’s head northbound.

The existing bike lane turns into a ramp leading up to the sidewalk near the CHH. This doesn’t seem like the smoothest, most direct way to approach the new cycle track…

After heading up the ramp bike traffic must re-orient to cross via the crosswalk…

Once up and onto the cycle track, it’s smooth sailing all the way back to SW River Parkway…

At the intersection of Moody and SW River Parkway, they’ve installed a new, bike-only signal to get you across the road…

It’s important to note that there are still some bike symbols and other signage yet to be installed. Hopefully they address my main concern with this new facility — that there won’t be enough visual cues to separate people on foot from people riding bikes.

I’m also curious how foot traffic will be once the construction is fully completed. Seems to me it would have been wise to try and direct all foot traffic onto the east side of the street, since that’s where most of the destinations are and it would avoid conflicts with bike traffic. We’ll see how it all plays out.

As soon as it opened yesterday there was instantly a good amount of bike traffic. Have you ridden it yet? If so, please share your thoughts.

For another view, check out the short video below that I shot while biking northbound…

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