(Photos: Charles Powne)
Portland’s marquee bike boulevard now boasts yet another crossing treatment designed to make life on a bicycle easier. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has just completed a new median island on NE 15th Avenue where it crosses NE Going.
Going has been called the “best bike boulevard in the city” by PBOT’s top bike staffer and the new median will likely make it even better. NE 15th is one of the higher volume cross-streets on Going and unlike Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and NE 33rd, it didn’t get any improvements when the project was initially rolled out.
The design is very eye-catching. PBOT has used interesting bollard placement to raise visibility of the median. I suspect this was done to 1) help calm auto traffic on 15th and 2) warn bike traffic on Going about the median’s presence (Going has become such a bike highway, if you didn’t remember the median was there, you might run right into it!) or 3) to discourage people on foot from using the narrow curbs as refuge islands.
The new median will also cut down on auto traffic volumes (one of the main goals of bike boulevards) — as it prevents cars from going through 15th and from turning left onto Going. Unlike the median at MLK, the curbs at 15th do not allow people on bikes full refuge from cross traffic. This means you’ll have to cross both lanes at once.
Have you experienced this yet? What do you think?