A tricky crossing of the Springwater Corridor path in Clackamas County just got a bit easier. This morning, county engineers turned on a new, bike-only signal where the path crosses the intersection of SE Johnson Creek Blvd and Bell Ave (in unincorporated Clackamas County, just south of Portland city limits).
The new signal allows bike traffic to cross diagonally from the northeast corner of the intersection to the southwest corner (and vice versa), instead of having to use two separate crosswalks — a situation that was far from ideal, both from a connectivity and safety standpoint.The $70,000 project began one year ago.
In addition to the signal, a large portion of the price was for rebuilding the curb ramps, installing new push-button posts for people to use while walking (bikes simply hover over a sensor to trigger the light), and countdown timers (a bike signal alone would have been much less expensive).
Here’s an overhead shot of the intersection to give you a better idea of how the Springwater patch crosses Johnson and Bell…
And here’s the view with the new signal looking northeast…
Clackamas County traffic engineer Rick Nys told us this morning that they are still putting finishing touches on the project; but the signal is up and running and he says, “It’d be great to get some folks out there trying it out.” Right now, Nys says they’ve noticed some confusion about how to use the new signal. “We have some education to do,” he added. He’s encouraging those who have used bike signals before to show others out on the path how it works.
The signal is almost identical to the one Portland has near Peace Park above the Eastbank Esplanade at the intersection of NE Oregon and NE Lloyd. In addition to the bike signal, Clackamas County has also installed a “No Right Turn” sign that will be illuminated while the bike signal is green.
Reader Joe Hamilton says he was the first person to ride through the new signal this morning.
“It will alleviate my concern about getting hit by cars turning right off of Johnson Creek onto Bell Rd (south) when I cross Bell (going east),” Hamilton shared via email. He used to avoid this intersection because of the “double crosswalk light change” it took to get across. Instead he’d take the “narrow and gutter lined” Johnson Creek to Linwood and then hop back onto the Springwater. “That was a quicker option than waiting for the lights,” he said, “but not now.”
Did you ride through this intersection today? We’d love to hear your feedback.
UPDATE: Reader Bryan Dorr sent in this great video of the signal in action: