The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed several components of their 12th Avenue Overcrossing project. The project was finalized back in September when PBOT earned unanimous support from stakeholders. The project is intended to improve bike access on 12th Avenue (as it crosses over I-84) as well as on NE Lloyd and NE 11th in the Lloyd District.
(As you take the visual tour below, keep in mind that prior to these changes, PBOT signal timing engineers have done major upgrades, analysis, and tweaks to the lights to help move traffic along as efficiently as possible.)
The major piece of the puzzle is a new bike lane that runs the length of the overpass and then provides dedicated space for bike traffic to make the left turn onto NE Lloyd. Below are a few photos of how that turned out.
Here’s the view just past NE Irving as you head north…
Mid-span on the overpass…
This guy seems to like the new lane (looking south)…
And here’s how PBOT did the transition as you approach NE Lloyd (notice the signage)…
This section of road was previously a bit sketchy for some people because there was no clearly defined place for bikes. The new markings change all that…
There is a very high volume of right-turning traffic at this location and cars still pass through the bike lane, so keep your wits about you…
I also noticed that some people think the new bike lane is a right turn lane…
Once you head north after the overpass, you’ll notice that PBOT has added buffered bike lanes to both sides of NE 11th Ave…
From another angle…
Here’s the southbound lane of NE 11th at intersection with Lloyd…
Headed eastbound on NE Lloyd toward NE 12th, PBOT has installed one of their now familiar colored bike lane/bike box combinations at the “T” intersection of NE 11th…
Here it is looking east…
And looking west…
Other changes you’ll notice are new sharrows that have been installed on the NE 12th overpass. There are about eight new sharrows in all. One of them is on NE Lloyd just as you transition onto the overpass and then there are new sharrows in both lanes on the overpass…
Still to come with this project are pavement markings that will clarify and encourage the presence of bicycles on the 10-foot wide sidewalk on the west side of the overpass. This will give people the option of taking the lane and using the sharrows on NE 12th, or riding up on the sidewalk with people on foot.
Have you ridden through this area since the changes? What do you think?
For more on this project, visit PBOT’s website.
I’ve been riding through this area since before the changes began. This is a well-documented piece on the improvements as well as the issues that remain.
I ride through here almost every day, and there are two big benefits to this for me – one, coming down Irving from the East and turning right on 12th, I can now turn even if there is automobile traffic coming down 12th, which means I very rarely have to wait for the light, and I don’t feel like I have to pound it out to the light on Lloyd, as automobiles coming North on 12th often speed to get through the light if it’s green, and having to ride in with them was sometimes nerve-wracking. It also helps starting out on the outside of the curve, so to speak, on the left turn, since you’re turning into a bike lane on Lloyd as well.
I don’t usually come back up Lloyd from the waterfront, but I imagine having that bike box there will be a big help, as will the easier entry onto the sidewalk there that I believe they said was coming. Right-turning traffic on Lloyd there gets really backed up sometimes, and it’s often faster to take the sidewalk, and then just get back on the road at Irving.
Without the December dry spell, workers wouldn’t have gotten this done until may probably. Thank the weather gods
works great, so far. One person confused by the markings, but no biggie. I am a little nervous heading south on 12th right next to the BPA. thats a right hook ready to happen.
“I also noticed that some people think the new bike lane is a right turn lane…”
Yeah I don’t think cars will ever respect that the way it looks now. I think that needs a redesign.
or at least a bike stencil with “ONLY” written under it…
based on 10 yrs of commuting in this city, i’m pretty sure they’re aware it’s a bike lane…they just don’t care
unfortunately, there are always a few
good improvement in a busy area for commutes, pbot!
Tickets would help.
Lots of luck getting them issued.
It looks like they need a longer right turn lane. This will allways be a problem here until it gets changed
probably not. There are rarely more than one or two cars going right at that point.
I’m not sure that it needs a re-design either – just a big stencil of a bike – maybe even two of them.
But a section of the bike lane IS a right turn lane for about 20 feet from what it looks like in the photo. While I agree that drivers generally shouldn’t drive in the bike lane, there are some places where I would rather them do that than to cut sharply across the lane (like in the photo before). It is safer to have the cars IN the bike lane to turn right (they do this in NYC with good success) than to have the paths of traffic cross to opposite sides of each other. Where else would it be acceptable to have vehicles cross to opposite sides of the roadway? Instead, basically have the two merge, then split after the turn rather than forcing a cross traffic maneuver before the turn. This works well elsewhere, but for some reason we are averse to trying it in Portland, even though it is safer.
I ride through there daily and love the changes so far with one exception.
Usually I ride West down NE Llyod and turn right to go North on 7th. I decided to try out the new buffered lane on 11th today but it doesn’t go anywhere! You ride the bike lane for a block then it randomly ends and you are forced to cross a bunch of turning streetcar tracks while the road narrows.
Hopefully they get this connected to the new bike way on NE Holladay soon (ha!).
Agreed — the way those tracks are located and aligned makes them extremely tricky to navigate for a novice cyclist. Going straight forward from the bike lane would put you in a prime position for a track-induced crash, and merging left to approach them at a safer angle puts you directly in front of some anxious and sometimes unfriendly car traffic.
The project overall is a wonderful step in the right direction, but that one block of NE 11th is totally unacceptable.
I am out of town now, but excited to ride here when I return. I ride here several times per week. This is why I like Portland.
A taste of the new sellwood bridge.
Oh boy, more “magic green boxes.” Those always protect us.
Pretty “World Class” if you ask me. Right? I mean, if you look at that first photograph, you’d thing you were in a bicycle heaven, no? Whatever crumbs we can get.
They should put a “Yield” sign in the roadway at the west edge of the northbound bike lane. With a bollard.
My office location provided me with a ringside seat as I watched the PBOT workers create the new bikeway markings on NE 11th and NE Lloyd Blvd. I was impressed with the speed and efficiency of the crew. And although the weather was dry, it was also cold and windy. Kudos to PBOT.
The whole thing worked beautifully for several days, barring some signal timing issues on Lloyd @ 11th. Today I yelled at two cars (not the ones you caught) who decided the bike lane would serve nicely as the right turn lane they have been denied for so many months. I sent a note to Ellen (Vanderslice, the project manager) begging her to get someone to put very large, teeth-rattling bumps along the line designating the bike lane.
I’m sure you’re right, ac, drivers know what they’re doing. Used to be, people would get stuck in the right lane from which they’d make a left onto Lloyd, because they couldn’t move left in time. Now it’s well marked and everyone is able to make the moves they need to make. Plus some they don’t need and shouldn’t make.
A little strutting here: Anyone who appreciates the new Lloyd/11th box can thank me, for requesting it in the first place and arguing successfully for it against traffic engineers’ reservations at the last minute.
See my comment below regarding the 11th/Lloyd intersection. Why not just have the east-bound bike lane by-pass the traffic light?
I think they are still planning this. The plan I saw showed a curb ramp from the new green box on Lloyd onto the sidewalk, which would be made a little wider, allowing bikes to bypass the signal and get directly onto the bridge. But, this requires concrete work, so I assume it will come in spring or summer.
Sweet!!! I look forward to riding this on my bike commute next week.
This looks awesome – thanks to all who worked so hard to get this pushed through! This portion of roadways has long been the scariest portion of my bike commute for many years, and I count myself among the “confident” grouping of cyclists. Dedicated roadway space gives some much-needed legitimacy among a sea of stressed-out, impatient car commuters.
One question – now that a new bike lane has been installed northbound on 12th Ave, does it contain a loop detector for bikes? It doesn’t look like it from photos, but I can’t tell. What happens if you are in the bike lane, and a car doesn’t come along nearby to trigger the lights to change?
those lights are timed
So the loop detectors in the roadway at this intersection – including the stencil line with the bike for cyclists to line their bikes up on top of the loop detectors – are redundant now??? Since when? This week?
(You can see what I’m talking about in the first photo of this article. The loop detector is under the blue car in the front left of the photo. The bike loop detector is shown in white paint directly next to the woman in the brand new bikelane).
i apologize for my uninformed comment
“are,” I’m not so sure about that. I don’t know which of the SAC meetings you caught and which you missed, but a lot of the timing through these connected intersections is conditional. I think Liz is right to be concerned about the loop. I noticed a problem at the new box the other day, and they sent someone to relocate the big-chunk-o’-steel detector, because it is (was?) probably located where the bike box is now. I know that the light at 12th & Lloyd needs to be triggered. I’ve ridden it on weekend days with no help from cars, and if I was not positioned properly on that loop, the light never changed for me.
Exactly. The first photo Jonathan took that accompanies this article shows the newly striped bikelane going *inbetween* two loop detectors. But it doesn’t look as if the bikelane itself contains a loop detector.
My concern is, cyclists waiting at this intersection at off-peak hours when there is little motor traffic about will not be able trigger the light (as there’s no loop detector for them) and will then run the red light in frustration at the lights not changing for them over several light cycles.
I see this all the time where loop detectors in bikelanes are absent. It’s really scary, and I’ve seen some very close calls.
I’ve been updating/bugging Ellen on this stuff. I guess I own it, so I’ll copy your post to her. Wouldn’t surprise me if she’ll have already read it here.
For those commenting on the cars that use the bike lane for a right turn lane, this is no different than what they’ve been doing on northbound N. Williams at Fremont when there’s traffic or at southbound Vancouver at the Fremont Bridge onramp.
As Jonathan says, despite the lane markings, you still need to keep your wits about you. And when you’re in a car at these locations, do your best to cross the bike lane as intended: only at the transition spot, only after yielding to bikes, and (for the love of god) please get all the way into the turn lane when you do so you’re not straddling the bike lane during your turn.
The using the bike lane thing looks like a congestion effect to me — cars are backed up in the single traffic lane past the transition point, so they’re trying to transition early. This is very common all across the city at similar transition points (Madison & 2nd, Vancouver & Fremont Bridge as John mentioned, and I’m sure there are others) and is annoying and dangerous, but generally manageable. It also sometimes gets better after people get used to the new situation. Give it six months, as the engineers like to say. 🙂
Jonathan should have waited a few more minutes to get a picture of the green semi trying to make a right at the right turn lane, I’m sure he took up the whole bike lane. I’m not sold on the middle bike lane yet. I do like the idea of the bike lane on the bridge because of its close proximity to Benson school, it’s too bad they couldn’t do it both directions or maybe make a 2 way bike lane, that would have been safer than just the sharrows which don’t really mean much of anything at all.
I will happily take the occasional truck using the bike lane to make its turn…
I don’t understand why the east-bound bike lane at the intersection of 11th & Lloyd doesn’t just by-pass the intersection without a stop. Whenever I come to the intersection, I often find that it’s safe to roll through the light.
I have this same issue with the north-bound bike lane on Naito Parkway. And while I’m complaining about Naito Parkway, I might as well mention that I think it’s stupid that the south-bound bike lane doesn’t have an easy exit onto the old clover leaf onto the Hawthorne bridge.
Because there may be cars turning left from Lloyd on to 12th when you have a red light. I usually turn right on to 12th, then get into the left lane to turn on to Irving. I don’t recall if this is a No Turn on Red intersection.
Oh, I see. You said 11th. I’ve wondered the same thing; the only reason to stop would be for a pedestrian.
I ride across that bridge every morning – I actually liked it better with the “temporary” bollards that were placed there only because it gave more protection for the cyclists. Didn’t have to worry about cars trying to squeeze through. Sure it’s a “bike lane” but a bike lane is a space for a car. . .
Right, why not maintain [reinstall] a string of bollards up to the transition point? I would NOT expect the motorist intrusions to abate in 6 months.
This same issue exists for many left-turn lanes around the city, as drivers cross the double yellow well before the appropriate entrance to the turn lane due to congestion back-up. Here, they are even entering opposing traffic lanes – very dangerous.
The West-East route is safest if you cycle on the sidewalk (Sidewalk track) on the south side of on Lloyd Blvd. One eliminates fears of right hooks traveling westbound, and one gets on the wider sidewalk headed to the Esplanade just west of MLK. So as much as I like the new bike boxes, I will not typically use them.
You should feel free to ride on the sidewalk among randomly-moving pedestrians, at pedestrian speed. I’m staying on the roadway if I can.
The changes make it a lot easier to ride through what was the most stressful part of my commute. Nice work PBOT!
I ride that overpass most days, often twice and LOVE these changes. Perfect? Perhaps not. Better? Duh.
Nice work PBOT!
I sure like the queue-jumping lane going northbound over the bridge. Very nicely done, with the green stripe in the scissors zone (where the right-turn lane starts).
And the dual sharrows southbound. Is that a first?
In general, I don’t like zig-zag lanes that make cyclists suddenly cut across one lane to position themselves in line with another. The transition is usually too short, drivers will ignore green paint and “yield” signs all day long, stop in the transition zone and block the whole thing. One small additional (and probably useless, yet symbolic) step that it seems could be taken when designing this kind of zig-zag lane would be to paint the dashed lines on the left side as yield triangles rather than plain rectangular dashes. Probably a non-standard use of the painted yield triangle and too many issues with the direction of orientation that suggests who yields, but it might serve as a tiny reinforcement of the yielding rules at transitions like this one.