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Bicycle traffic detours in place on Broadway Bridge for two weeks

Posted by on July 31st, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Riders headed westbound cross N Broadway
at Larrabee this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A project by Portland Streetcar Inc. will detour bicycle traffic on the Broadway Bridge. The work to replace the non-slip coating on the sidewalks of the bridge began on Monday and will go through August 13th.

The north sidewalk is closed now and all traffic is being routed onto the south sidewalk. Next week, the project will flip sides and all bike traffic will use the north sidewalk. The Broadway Bridge is a very busy bikeway, and this project means that the relatively narrow path must accomodate people walking and biking in both directions.

During past Broadway Bridge bikeway closures, I’ve seen people simply take the lane on the main deck of the bridge. I wouldn’t recommend that move unless you’re a very experienced rider. I checked out the detour during this morning’s commuter rush and snapped a few photos. It was a bit chaotic as people saw the closure and queued up to cross Larrabee, but overall, things worked pretty smoothly. Below are a few more photos of from this morning to give you and idea of what to expect…

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  • todd boulanger July 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Would someone give an update as to how well this work zone detour was integrated into the adjoining bike network? [I have not had a chance to visit it yet.]

    Question: How platinum was this planned work zone detour?

    – Were there wider temporary ramps added to facilitate the new crossing locations?
    – Was the signal timing plans of any of the adjoining intersections updated to allow for the cyclists traffic to successfully detour to the work zone ends?
    – How was the advance public outreach or driver notification of the detoured bike traffic?

    How about adding detour orange sharrows on the outside (#2 lane) for the side currently closed?

    Better yet – would be a work zone closure of the #2 lane and rerouting the affected bike traffic to it. Yes this might affect some car capacity or access to the Lovejoy ramp…but it might be safer than adding intersection exposure time for cyclists entering the work zone and all the messy [some high speed] traffic mixing on one shared bridge path.

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  • todd boulanger July 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I rode through this intersection on Sunday and did not see any advance signs warning of the planned closure or detour work.

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    • John Lascurettes July 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      There was an advance sign up as of Monday; first time I’ve seen one for any of the closures. It gave me enough time to transition to the left turn lane at Larrabee and get to the south sidewalk on the green (instead of doing the two cross signal maneuver using the crosswalks). I don’t recommend it for everyone as you have to mix it with traffic (changing three lanes) and hop the streetcar tracks at a very low angle of approach to make it work.

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  • Dan July 31, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I rode Eastbound on the bridge this morning, and it was a little akward rolling into the green painted bikelane on the SE side of the bridge as some riders were coming right at me in the opposite direction in the bike lane. Probably better if Westbound riders use the sidewalk, as they are doing in the last picture above, though it could be a little akward as riders coming down the bridge cross from right to left to get to that bike lane.

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  • Craig Harlow July 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I will skip it and use the Steel Bridge for trips downtown. Glad it’s not a part of my commute 🙂

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  • daisy July 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I can’t figure out if some cyclists are supposed to be on the sidewalk between the end of the bridge and Larrabee. And who would it be, those going east or those going west? There are no signs indicating how bike traffic is supposed to flow, so folks going east usually go where they usually go, and folks going west are … confused.

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    • John Lascurettes July 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      In the past, they’ve added a temporary second “ramp” with asphalt to make the transition wide enough for opposing bike traffic to enter, exit the sidewalk at the same time. Not so this time.

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  • Spiffy July 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I hope they closed the eastbound ramp off the bridge into the bike lane because otherwise the westbound detour traffic on the sidewalk is crossing over the eastbound traffic into the bike lane…

    looks like a cluster and I would encourage everybody, not just the very experienced, to take the lane over the bridge… motor vehicles still have another lane they can use so there’s no pressure to go fast simply because motor vehicles are in a hurry…

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  • John Lascurettes July 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    BTW, Thanks Jonathan for reporting on this. It’s been closed for two days and I have yet to see any work being done. It’s frustrating to have the time wasted when it adds the inconvenience.

    PS: I predicted that they’d need to do this routinely (add the texture to the plates) from the first time I laid eyes on them. Seems like it would have been better to have manufactured the plates with the texture already built in as part of the process rather than apply easily-weathered coating.

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    • Alan 1.0 July 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Aha! Should be “non-slip coating.” Still, it’s a good giggle the way it’s written:

      “The work to replace the non-stick coating on the sidewalks…”

      Good ol’ PTFE sidewalks! So much easier to scrape off those bikes and peds. 🙂

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  • Fred Lifton August 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve done the detour westbound 4 times now and it is a big PITA. I think I’m going to start just taking the lane. I don’t entirely agree with JM that that option is just for the “very experienced.” If you take the lane early so you’re visible from the outset, it shouldn’t be difficult or dangerous. I do fully expect to encounter hostility, but just requires a thick skin (which may or may not be a by-product of being “experienced.”)

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  • s August 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I just ran into this and the detour took me by complete surprise. Instead of trying to navigate over to the other side and then deal with the congested bike/ped path I decided to ride accross in the vehichle lane. I didn’t have any isseus with cars. I bet durning rush hour there are enough bikes that drivers would be more aware of riders. The city could also put up a warning sign a la “bikes on the roadway” to help.

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    • John Lascurettes August 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      During rush hour, you’ll be sucking exhaust. Bikes get across faster than cars on the side paths during commute hours (especially in the afternoon, eastbound commute).

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  • Steven Hess August 2, 2012 at 8:28 am

    At first the detour was smooth, until I crossed the bridge and had to navigate to the northern side. The detour doesn’t do a great job of directing traffic once you’ve crossed the bridge.

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  • Dan August 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Wow, I was nearly hit there twice this morning by cyclists coming the other direction and had to stop to avoid going head-on into them. Both were trying to make a pass without having looked ahead to see if I might be coming directly at them in the opposite direction. Come on, people. If you’re going to make a pass, it’s on you to do it safely.

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