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PBOT has installed rumble strips in the Marine Drive bike lanes – UPDATED

Posted by on June 13th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Rumble strips on Marine Drive intended to prevent “lane departure crashes”.
(Photos sent in by reader Dachines.)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed rumble strips in the bike lanes on Marine Drive near the intersection with NE 122nd Avenue.

According to reports from readers, the new rumble strips were installed yesterday in both directions prior to the intersection. They’re approximately six inches long, 14 inches wide and are placed about four inches away from each other. The depressions in the pavement are set four inches to the right of the fog line, meaning that they take up just less than half of the total width of the bike lane. That means there’s only about 24 inches of smooth space to bike on — even less when vegetation or other encroachments are present.

About 42 inches total.

Two years ago we reported that PBOT was considering rumble strips on Marine Drive as part of their ongoing efforts to improve safety on the city’s most (statistically) dangerous roads.

But after receiving a lot of concern from road users that the rumble strips would have a negative impact on bicycling conditions, PBOT said they wouldn’t do it.

“Thanks to all of you for your insightful comments,” wrote PBOT’s Jeff Smith in 2012, “we’re going to examine other treatments that are more benign to cyclists.”

According to PBOT’s NE Marine Drive High Crash Corridor Safety Plan (PDF, published March 2013), rumble strips were recommended to help prevent “lane departure crashes”. Those type of crashes are three times more likely on Marine Drive than on average city streets. PBOT traffic analysis shows that 50% of people operate their cars in excess of the speed limit on Marine Drive and 10% of them drive 55 mph or more in the 45 mph zone east of 33rd Avenue.

“To address run-off road crashes,” reads the plan, “shoulder delineation should be employed – this treatment should accommodate bicycle traffic on the shoulder of Marine Drive.”

Advertise with BikePortland.

Almost as soon as they went in, we heard complaints from readers. One reader shared some detailed feedback that I’ve pasted below:

“… If the intent of these rumble strips was to discourage and slow down motor traffic from using the shoulder (bike lane) to pass left turning vehicles [at 122nd, which T’s into Marine Drive], then the rumble strips will most likely turn out to be a wasted effort. As stated above, motor traffic already has to slow way down in order to pass stopped left turning traffic…if they aren’t actually starting from a stop themselves. While one of my biggest concerns while biking west bound on Marine Drive are these spots where motor traffic may attempt to pass left turning vehicles on the shoulder, I am skeptical that the rumble strips will do anything to improve the situation for me or others on bikes.

The next disadvantage with these rumble strips for bike traffic is that they effectively cut the useable lane space of the shoulder/bike lane for in half! In some spots that means a bike has maybe 24 inches of usable space, if that! Add some debris, vegetation, heck even windy conditions, and 24 inches diminishes fast!

Another disadvantage of the rumble strips is that bike traffic’s ability to safely overtake and pass other bike traffic or pedestrians has been greatly reduced. Trying to cross rumble strips on a bike is difficult and potentially dangerous. Prior to today, if I was traveling west bound and was overtaking another bike, I could check behind me and if traffic permitted, I could then swing out into the road and safely pass the other bike. Rumble strips just about eliminate that option! While I can readily bunny hop the rumble strips, many others cannot, and riding across rumble strips on a bike is no fun! Riding a bike across rumble strips will at a minimum be jarring and slow your speed dramatically…they are after-all meant to be felt in a motor vehicle so on a bike the effect is just about exponential! A worse scenario of trying to ride a bike across rumble strips would be a loss of control or a pinch flat, both of which I have witnessed first hand. Similarly, any vegetation jutting into the bike lane or debris in the lane may now require some bike riders to stop, since not being able to cross the rumble strips may preclude them from be able to avoid such potential obstacles otherwise.

The last negative that I see with these newly added rumble strips is that they appeared without warning! The were truly not there one day and then there the next! There was no advanced warning that they were going to be added, and there certainly was no signage or warning that they HAD been added! Due to a recent rain shower this afternoon, I didn’t see them or realize what they were until I was almost on them. I’m glad that I was able to avoid them.”

This is the first we’ve heard about the rumble strips since June 2012. This is a very important issue given the road dynamics and how popular the Marine Drive bike lanes are. We’ve asked PBOT for more information and will update this post when we hear back.

UPDATE, 2:06 pm: PBOT has confirmed with us via email that the rumble strips were installed incorrectly:

The rumble strips recently installed by a PBOT contractor on Marine Drive as part of a safety improvement project appear to have been installed incorrectly. We have started looking into what happened. We expect to know more next week and we hope to have it remedied as soon as possible. Safety for everyone using our streets, by all modes of transportation, is our top priority.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Buzz June 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    dumb move. can’t be ground out, must be repaved to repair/eliminate-road just repaved less than 2 years ago. through traffic is still going to use the shoulder to pass left-turning traffic westbound at NE 122nd.

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    • Buzz June 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      oh yeah, and if they really had to do this, they should have been placed to the left of the shoulder stripe.

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      • 9watts June 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        So the expected error is on the part of the distracted driver, so who do we penalize 24/7? The people biking. Right. Buzz is right. Should have been on the other side of the fog line. Duh.

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      • Carlos B June 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

        I understand why you would want this. But there are no rumble strips on any road anywhere within the actual driving lane. That would create more of a problem.

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    • paikiala June 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      It’s a contractor error.

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      • Psyfalcon June 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        Maybe a city employee should be on hand when we’re talking about gouging pavement? Its not the contractor’s road, its the city’s road.

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        • q`Tzal June 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm

          Maybe all future contracts need to have a clause stating that if the contractor deviates from design guidelines (this incident or Pole 533+41) all costs of removal, remediation, repair and/or reinstallation are the responsibility of the contractor.

          There need to be consequences for “cowboy crews” wingin’ it and under no circumstances should these private businesses be allowed to foist the financial consequences of their screw ups upon us taxpayers.

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          • Tim June 16, 2014 at 8:32 am

            If the construction was not per plan and specification and was not accepted by the owners representative, the contractor is required to correct at their expense. However, It is hard to believe that this was installed without a city representative present. Someone is not telling the whole story (truth).

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            • q`Tzal June 16, 2014 at 9:31 am

              Are you saying that a city official would be present as a matter of first hand professional experience or are you making a “common sense” based assumption?

              Assuming don’t make it so.

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            • Psyfalcon June 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm

              If a city representative was present, it is not a contractor error. It would be a PBOT error. City says it is a contractor error…

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              • q`Tzal June 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

                Can’t rule out either possibility without verifiable facts but my suspicion is that there isn’t enough money to pay full time civil servant babysitters for every project going on in a city let alone these government babysitters needing to be educated enough to know what the contractors might be doing wrong.
                I can’t imagine ANY jurisdiction being able to justify the expense of paying market wages to any engineer to babysit contractors. Or even interns.

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  • Paul Turner June 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Based on this photo what is shown is not an official bike lane, no? Looks like 6″ striping for a fog line. A bike lane stripe is 8 inches. At this location isn’t there a MUP next to the river?

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    • Reza June 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      It’s probably officially designated as a paved shoulder. But our man on the inside (paikiala) can tell us for sure.

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      • paikiala June 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        I’d have to agree. If the stripe is only 4 inches wide and there are no bikeman symbols with arrow legends, it’s a paved shoulder, not an official bike lane, regardless of what a map might say. That said, the lack of bike facilties would imply that the rumble strips should be on the inside of the lane (toward the center of the road) if possible, particularly west of 122nd. Since there is a MUP east of 122nd, and the photo shows Marine Drive east of 122nd, it’s likely the rumble strips were put there on purpose. Putting the rumble strips in the auto lane might get them run over more often, but this is not an area of Marine Drive where generated noise is a great concern, and they don’t pose a hazard to motorists.

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          • Spiffy June 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm

            yes… but there aren’t any near 122nd…

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            • dachines June 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

              Do we have speed limit signs every 100 yards, 1 mile, 3 miles?

              Does this satisfy you? https://www.google.com/maps/@45.566806,-122.529176,3a,43.1y,316.61h,80.96t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sn2kBWdjdC0eR7e4i_CgUuQ!2e0

              The point is bikes ARE using that shoulder/bike lane.

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              • paikiala June 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

                What did I say about requiring driver tests again? The black symbols on a yellow diamond is a warning sign. It alerts users to a situation that is not obvious. The bike on a yellow diamond warns of cyclists on the roadway. It does not designate a bike lane.

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              • q`Tzal June 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm

                The more I look at that sign the more it is confusing. It’s like when you repeat the same word over and over and over and over and over until it sounds weird and doesn’t make sense anymore.

                Look at at that sign (W11-1) and ask yourself:
                “If I replace the bicycle silhouette with a car silhouette what is it communicating and does it do so clearly?”

                The Portland metro area’s bike mode share is so large compared to the rest of the country that this sign is meaningless.
                In the rest of the non-biking USA W11-1 means “We know you aren’t used to seeing bicycles on the road but we kinda expect them to be in this area.”
                In Portland these signs could justified every 100 yards or so on almost every road that isn’t an interstate highway or a cul-de-sac.

                In the context of Portland the sign W11-1(bike in a yellow diamond) is a waste of money due to its inability to communicate any useful information; worse yet its meaninglessness leads people to think it means “bike lane” or any of a number of other erroneous conclusions.

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              • dachines June 16, 2014 at 11:11 am

                I never said that the sign in the link indicated a bike lane. I’d be happy to provide a similar link showing what a bike lane sign looks like, but why be so nit picky? However, if we want to be picky, then maybe PBOT should be consistent in the work that it does…or maybe they already are, in their inconsistency, and therein lies the real problem.

                My point, as previously stated, is that regardless of what you call that paved strip to the right of the fog line it IS being used as a lane by people on bikes. As such, the addition of those rumble strips is a road hazard.

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    • Buzz June 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      No, the MUP comes up to 122nd from the south side of Marine Drive and if you are headed west, you have to cross Marine Drive at 122nd and ride the shoulder until NE 112th, where you can pick up the MUP again on the north side of Marine Drive. On top of that, the westbound shoulder from NE 122nd to NE 112th is one of the narrowest sections of shoulder on Marine Drive between Blue Lake and I-205, partly owing to the presence of several residential structures on the N side of the levee.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      it’s definitely an official bike lane. There is a paved, off-highway path south of Marine Drive, east of 122nd, but most people don’t use it. Also PBOT’s own maps label this section of Marine Drive as a bike lane. Image below is detail from PBOT map. 122nd is circled red (“difficult intersection), the MUP is purple and the bike lane is blue.

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    • dachines June 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      The MUP in that location is on the south side of Marine Drive.

      Personally, when headed west on Marine Drive in that area I prefer to use the shoulder of the road. I find it safer than having to cross both lanes of Marine drive 2 times, first in order access the MUP shortly after 138th, and then again when the MUP dumps you onto the corner of 122 and Marine and you have to cross Marine in order to continue westbound. (There is no MUP between 122 and 112).

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      • dachines June 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

        Slight correction to my post… I find using the shoulder/bike lane safer than having to cross both lanes of Marine drive 2 times, first in order to access the MUP shortly BEFORE 138th, then crossing both lanes of 138, and then when the MUP dumps you onto the corner of 122 and Marine where you have to cross both lanes of Marine in order to continue westbound.

        So in order to navigate that section of Marine Drive heading west using the MUP it requires you to cross SIX lanes of traffic! No thanks.

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      • Psyfalcon June 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        I’ve used the MUP before. Its not in very good condition. It narrows from overgrown grass and overhead branches.

        Its a very good example of what not to do with a MUP. Narrow with difficult crossings.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Another reader just shared a letter he’s written to Commissioner Novick”

    Commissioner Novick,

    On my bike ride into work this morning I came across newly milled rumble grooves in the bike lane on Marine Drive at Ne 122nd . These were created yesterday without any notice and there are no warning signs or road paint to warn cyclist of their presence.

    These grooves in the bike path are and real danger to the hundreds of cyclist that use that route weekly.

    They effectively cut the useable lane space of the shoulder/bike lane for in half! In some spots that means a bike has maybe 24 inches of usable space, if that! Add some debris, vegetation, heck even windy conditions, and 24 inches diminishes fast!
    They also affect the bike traffic’s ability to safely overtake and pass other bike traffic or pedestrians. Riding a bike across rumble strips will at a minimum be jarring and slow your speed dramatically…they are after-all meant to be felt in a motor vehicle so on a bike the effect is just about exponential! A worse scenario of trying to ride a bike across rumble strips would be a loss of control or a pinch flat, both of which have actually happened in other locations.

    This was proposed in 2012 and after many protests from the cycling community PBOT said they would not do it. Now it has actually happened. Is this a case of the right hand not talking to the left hand?

    You can see photos posted at: http://bikeportland.org/2014/06/13/pbot-installed-rumble-strips-marine-drive-bike-lanes-107279#more-107279

    Please look into this. This is not an acceptable solution to poor driving on Marine Drive. Unfortunately I believe that the only option at this point is to completely regrind and repave. A very expensive solution to someone’s goof within PBOT.


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  • oliver June 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Unbelievable. And yet, there it is, where are we, Texas?

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  • lunchrider June 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    As I watched them starting this process yesterday about noon, I thought wow somebody figured out a way to put in a left turn lane. then today I see its nasty giant rumble gouges in the pavement. poor planing and execution could have easily have put them outside the bike lane which would have had the added bonus of narrowing the roadway and slowing traffic. Marine Dr is what I like to call a young freeway. Serious speed enforcement would make it safer for everybody.

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  • Matheas Michaels June 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    wow, unbelievable

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Just FYI, PBOT has issued a statement saying that the rumble strips were “installed incorrectly” by the contractor. I’ve updated the post.

    Here’s the statement:

    The rumble strips recently installed by a PBOT contractor on Marine Drive as part of a safety improvement project appear to have been installed incorrectly. We have started looking into what happened. We expect to know more next week and we hope to have it remedied as soon as possible. Safety for everyone using our streets, by all modes of transportation, is our top priority.

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    • DSalty June 15, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I’m sure the “repair” will be bike traffic friendly (shakes head).

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  • Jolly Dodger June 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    As a ‘warning device’ for motorists already possibly impaired by intoxicants or fatigue, knowing they have this new ‘wake up’ effect may cause some to drive even faster and/or more recklessly….thereby creating MORE of a safety hazard for cyclists, having the grooves that close. Seems the little square reflectors that sit high on the pavement could have had the same effect – creating a rumbling as a car veers over the fog line – and they could have glued them to the white line itself….making them both removable and easier to circumnavigate around while passing slower users. (granted, they would have cost something more than just the fuel it took to power the groove making machine and the labor cost.) Honestly, it looks as if they were placed in just the perfect place to keep cyclists out of ‘their’ lane more than them out of ‘ours’….or am i just conspiracy hunting here?

    And am i wrong in assuming they performed this ‘upgrade’ (for lack of a more civilized word), in the wee hours of the morning when no cyclists would be around to try and contest the action in progress? If some rogue cyclist street crew went and started installing unofficial bike lanes and digging trenches in the main thoroughfares around town in the middle of the night, you know there’d be biker hell to pay…but any thing required for autos is A-OK as long as it gets done when no one is looking? This is the Hawthorne bridge segregation barrier fiasco all over. Thanks for the cycling infrastructure downgrade again, ODOT! I really hope no one gets hurt by these damn things. Especially now that the heavy riding summer season is upon us.

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  • Peejay June 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Rumble strips to the left of the white line still prevent safe bike-to-bike overtaking. As for the “mistake”, that’s just ludicrous! How were the work instructions written that such an error could happen?

    I would hope that contractors who regularly work with PBOT might be clued in enough that they would at least ask clarifying questions before beginning such work if the instructions were badly written.

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  • kittens June 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Yet one more reason I do not ride on Marine Drive

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  • kgb June 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Oh a mistake. Who payes for this mistake?

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    • 9watts June 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      I hope we learn the answer here. It seems that when ODOT contractors screwed up the repaving on various state highways including 101, when they skimped on the width and left a sharp drop off down the middle of the shoulder, the answer was, you guessed it, the tax payer. I hope that isn’t the case here but I’m not holding my breath.

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  • Nick June 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Rumble strips. A bad idea anywhere on the road w/ both bicycle and car traffic.

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    • paikiala June 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      ‘anywhere on the road’? Edge rumble strips and centerline rumble strips have demonstrated their ability to reduce run-off-the-road and head on collisions.

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      • q`Tzal June 13, 2014 at 11:29 pm

        MUTCD says where to put them here: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part3/fig3j_01_longdesc.htm
        citly says bikes need at least 4′, don’t install rumble strips in this situation and if you do you better have a damn good reason to do so.

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        • was carless June 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

          Geez, you think the city actually follows the advice of any of their bike planning documents?!

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          • q`Tzal June 14, 2014 at 11:53 am

            I think the city was in full compliance in this situation unless they failed to review te contractor’s planning documents which might have clearly shown they were going to do it wrong.

            I expect that this is another example of what happened at Pole 533+41: the work crew decided to make a change obliviously or outright antagonisticly to bicycle traffic.

            What’s most disgusting is going to be listening to the intellectual and ethical back flips these contractors do to explain why their usual anti-government/personal responsibility politics don’t apply in this case and the government should pay to fix a commercial business’s mistakes.

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  • Chris I June 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    They should use the raised fog line approach, similar to what they installed on Powell and Sandy Blvd. Anything else reduces the already pathetic bike lane to basically nothing. While I welcome the idea that we can keep drunks and distracted, selfish drivers from careening onto the shoulder and off the road, part of me wonders if we aren’t better off as a society if we just let them crash into the river.

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    • paikiala June 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Powell and Sandy, ODOT roads.

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    • aaronf June 14, 2014 at 9:50 am

      This is similar to the mindset that some car drivers have about cyclists that are too stupid to stay outta their way. We are better off without cyclists too stupid to ride over rail-car tracks. We are better off without cyclists who are too impatient to avoid getting right hooked. It’s a mindset with basically no compassion for those outside of the in-group.

      If the rumble strip can save multiple lives every year, I’m all for it. I don’t think anyone expects it to cost the lives of any cyclists.

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      • 9watts June 14, 2014 at 10:09 am

        I don’t know, aaronf.
        Hypothetical lives of drunk drivers vs. very real and round-the-clock (admittedly probably sub-lethal) hazard for people biking on this stretch is a comparison worth thinking a little more deeply about. But what I think this* illustrates is the deeply problematic but very predictable asymmetry when it comes to accommodating people biking vs (in this case, protecting) people driving, or protecting everyone from their distracted behavior. The onus is not being placed on the perpetrator, the one expected to screw up but rather on those innocent by-pedalers. When is this going to stop? When are we going to develop procedures that avoid this, avoid the waste of money, the annoyance? Who benefits when actions like this undermine the credibility of the public agencies ostensibly responsible for this sort of thing?

        *the fact that the contractor was apparently able to do this incorrectly; the fact that something probably very much like this was considered in years past by PBOT; the fact that screwups like this are part of a larger pattern helpfully flagged by folks who read and write this blog, etc.

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  • m June 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    “There is a paved, off-highway path south of Marine Drive, east of 122nd, but most people don’t use it.”

    Are there stats for that statement? I pleasure ride along that stretch and always feel much more comfortable taking the paved off highway path rather than riding inches from multi-ton trucks barreling on by. For all the clamoring of folks including myself wanting more separated bike lanes (e.g. sullivan’s gulch trail), it seems somewhat counterproductive to not use those very lanes when they are made available. That road is regularly used by semi-trucks at high sppeds. The path is straight, flat, and smooth.

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  • Kevin Wagoner June 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    So cars are the problem we are trying to solve here right? Ok, so solve that problem by installing speed bumps, lowering the speed limit, automating the enforcement, doubling the fines, etc. Why punish cyclist when they are trying to solve a car problem.

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    • paikiala June 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Marine drive is a Major Emergency Response route and unlikely to qualify for traffic calming. Lower speed would be safer, if users obeyed the signs.

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      • Buzz June 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        again, since you obviously work for PBOT, why don’t you use your real name?

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        • John Liu
          John Liu June 13, 2014 at 6:33 pm

          There is no requirement to use real names here. He provides information and a viewpoint different than some others; that’s good.

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        • JAT in Seattle June 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm

          That’s kind of funny, Mr Aldrin.

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        • paikiala June 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm


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      • q`Tzal June 14, 2014 at 1:28 am

        Red light cameras & speed cameras: put them at every feasible intersection in this zone and let the public paranoia rip.

        As a professional truck driver I can say that the motoring public is much more cautious when they fear enforcement by police than when actually see someone pulled over. A cop pulled over is a known hazard; invisible enforcement is like the boogeyman behind everything everywhere.

        It’s so funny to spook California drivers by going 1mph under the speed limit. They just assume something is up until the aggressive bunghole shoves through and roars off at 90mph.

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  • lccnw June 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    The install was going great until Corey and Trevor f-ed up.

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  • wsbob June 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    “The rumble strips recently installed by a PBOT contractor on Marine Drive as part of a safety improvement project appear to have been installed incorrectly. …” update, PBOT

    Curious that PBOT in its update, offered no information about what a correct installation of rumble strips for this road would be. It should be interesting to learn what ‘correct’ means, with respect to the rumble strips.

    I expect many people using the road are familiar with other road infrastructure techniques, such as various forms of the raised, reflective tiles used as a safeguard against lane departures. For biking, they’re manageable. Some are prominent enough that driving over them can be quite a wake-up. Water drains off of them. Debris doesn’t collect in them.

    In comparison, this idea of gouging out the pavement as a means of producing a sort of rumble strip, has got to be one of the dumber road infrastructure safety ideas that’s come along in quite a while. As if road shoulders and bike lanes don’t collect enough crap from the main lane traffic as it is. These concave depressions in the road are going to be a catch basin for water, dirt, glass, weeds, etc. During winter freezes, they’ll become a string of little ponds, hazardous for both motor vehicles and bikes to travel over.

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  • Sho June 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Sounds like the same response you received with the speed bumps at hawthorne bridge, seems like they were likely installed correctly but that is a good way to make others hush for a bit.

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    • davemess June 16, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Which means they will be “fixed” in 2017!

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  • rolinon June 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I “encountered” these nasty strips this morning just after 4:00AM, in the dark and rain, on my commute. I have a fairly strong headlight but didn’t realize what I was looking at until I hit them dead center. It was a violent and totally shocking experience. Even at that hour there is motor vehicle traffic in both directions and at the time when I got sucked into the washboard, I was being passed by two cars. I thought I was going to get run over. It took a bit to get slowed down enough to be able to safely exit the strip and then, just after the intersection, I tried to avoid some debris and got sucked into it again. Looking at them in the daylight, they look rather benign, but try it in the dark and rain – not fun.

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  • Charley June 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Just like I said about the rumble strips on the Hawthorne Bridge- there’s no way we’ll get to 20% mode-share if we literally put obstacles in cyclist’s way. Same with the crazy fence at the entrance of the new Waud Bluff trail. The fence literally makes it impossible to enter the trail on your bike! There’s an article here, but it was written and photographed before they put the new barrier fence in: http://bikeportland.org/2013/03/15/first-look-new-waud-bluff-trail-connects-north-portland-to-swan-island-84300

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    • Sho June 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      There’s no way we will get to 20% if they don’t have a reason to help. For instance there is a very good reason the rumble strips were put in at Hawthorne just how speed bumps are put in along residential streets, sure some people yield to peds there but the majority don’t (and still dont even with the existing signage). So without a significant change in infrastructure and at great financial cost speed bumps result. You can’t act entitled or above the law and expect anyone to respect you.

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      • Peejay June 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

        Not buying it, whatever you’re selling. If there were proportional measures placed on car infrastructure proportional to the damage they do, quite a few streets in town would be impassable for motorized traffic.

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  • jim June 13, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    What they really need is a stop light there, also at 33rd.

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  • q`Tzal June 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Strangely, while searching for official guidance on where bicycle compliant rumble strips would go, I found FHWA guidelines saying basically “this shoulder is too narrow for you to install rumble strips”.

    So the FHWA page SHOULDER AND EDGE LINE RUMBLE STRIPS: T 5040.39, Revision 1 section 7, subsection b (Figure 1) shows the placement of both shoulder and edgeline rumble strips.
    What’s funny is that section 9, subsection A “ACCOMMODATION OF ALL ROAD USERS – Wide Shoulders” says:
    … it is preferred to allow at least four feet beyond the rumble strips to the edge of the paved shoulder. Designers should be familiar with the FHWA design guidance found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/design.htm, which recommends states not install rumbles on new construction and reconstruction projects where shoulders are used by bicyclists unless this condition is met. Where guardrail, curb, or other continuous obstructions exist, additional width may be needed to provide adequate clearance for bicyclists (refer to current AASHTO bicycle guidance for additional information).

    If we follow the link FWHA just provided (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/guidance/design_guidance/design.cfm) in the Policy Statement in item #2 we get this verbiage “Rumble strips are not recommended where shoulders are used by bicyclists unless there is a minimum clear path of four feet in which a bicycle may safely operate.
    Further up it says “The decision not to accommodate [bicyclists and pedestrians] should be the exception rather than the rule. There must be exceptional circumstances for denying bicycle and pedestrian access either by prohibition or by designing highways that are incompatible with safe, convenient walking and bicycling.

    Offical guidance explicitly says bikes need at least 4′, don’t install rumble strips in this situation and if you do you better have a damn good reason to do so.

    This cowboy road crew needs to have their licenses to do public road work suspended until their entire crew can repeat the state required book work to get their licenses and are re-tested.

    I found all of the above information in under 2 minutes on a smartphone camped out in the sleeper cab of my truck. I’m not a professional, I have only my experience at finding information but as professionals this road crew should have have known to at least check.

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    • Pete June 14, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Nice job! Isn’t this pretty much the reason we deduced that woman in Tennessee (?) was taking the lane where she received three citations for impeding traffic? Even that shoulder looked wider than Marine Drive, though it did appear to have rumble strips in about the same place (man that “cowboy crew” sure gets around! ;).

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    • 9watts June 14, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Q’Tzal’s comment above would be my nomination for quote of the week, this week. Very nicely done.

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    • q`Tzal June 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      All in service of my favorite daily read.

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  • Chris June 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    You can forget about pulling a trailer on shoulders with rumble strips. This sucks…

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  • pekay June 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I was stopped by the flagger at that spot on my commute Thursday afternoon. If I’d only known what they were up to I’d have thrown myself in front of the crew in protest. Instead I sat there patiently and passively for 5 minutes.
    My first (knock on wood) flat in months occurred a couple of weeks ago when I tried to take that short path south of Marine Drive for a few moments of quiet off the busy shoulder. It involved fording a tree with a heavily laden bike….that path is not well maintained. I worked adjacent to it for years.

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  • q`Tzal June 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Want traffic calming on this section of Marine Dr?
    Follow this line of reasoning:
    According to paikiala (1) above this is not a bike lane officially. The yellow signs with the bike inside them item W11-1 are supposed to indicate “alerts the road user to unexpected entries into the roadway by bicyclists, and other crossing activities that might cause conflicts. These conflicts might be relatively confined, or might occur randomly over a segment of roadway.
    Unfortunately in a heavy bike use area like Portland it communicates very little: there are cyclists Everywhere in town. This sign should be 20′ wide and posted at all the roads coming in to Portland as a warning to everyone else.

    What we have is a defacto bike lane. A sub 4′ paved shoulder which even the automobile worshipping FHWA says is the bare minimum for user safety.

    And that is the lynch pin I’m pointing out here. This erroneous installation of rumble strips has made an already subpar bicycle facility blatantly dangerous. Essentially this action removed /i> a usable bicycle facility.

    Because the installation was in error this is effectively still an active construction zone. The shoulder is simply waiting for repairs.

    Under normal circumstances you’d put up orange cones and signs routing bicycle traffic directly in to the road around the unusable section. It would by law require construction zone signs telling auto drivers this is what’s happening and a speed reduction would apply in that zone along with the mandatory doubling of ticket fine amounts. We could get real creative and make up big orange sharrows, sort of a temporary construction zone sharrow, to alert drivers that bicycles will be using the road in front of them legally.

    My usual rant about unmanned speed cameras applies here as well.

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    • q`Tzal June 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      How about we get a 5 minute window in which comment posters are able to edit our comments?
      That way I can fix my own html fubars.

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      • 9watts June 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

        Hear, hear!

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  • Keith June 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Platinum bicycle city. Ha!

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    • Mossby Pomegranate June 15, 2014 at 8:14 am

      No kidding. We keep voting the same people in over and over why?

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  • Q June 15, 2014 at 9:46 am

    All this tells us is that DOT thinks people who are either so inattentive or impaired that they can’t correctly operate their vehicle are more important on the road than someone on a bike.

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  • BIKELEPTIC June 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    honestly at this point PBOT should just make it their official voice mail message: “The road use issue you’re calling about was completed in error due to ineptness and miscommunication. Press 1 if you are calling about Marine Drive. Press 2 if you are calling about Hawthorne Bridge. Press 3 if you are calling . . . ” I mean that “We did it on accident” excuse is getting kind of old. It’s like their old fallback. Ever hear of ‘measure twice cut once.’ Who’s signing off on projects? Might be time to see a new name on that office door.

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  • Suburban June 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    This will really suck for the automobiles (and trucks) stuck behind cyclists riding as far to the right as practicable, taking the lane to avoid these new hazardous conditions.

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  • Dan Forester June 15, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Looking forward to seeing this fixed as soon as possible.

    For clarification, how far on each side of 122nd do these rumble strips extend? A couple hundred feet, a mile? Apologies if I missed that in the article.

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    • Tom-el June 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      It’s a few hundred feet around both intersections at 122nd AND at 33rd. I’m not sure if the grooves at 33rd are new or not (as I usually don’t bike through that area).

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  • 007 June 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Way to go, Portland!

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  • Opus the Poet June 16, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I suggest a K-rail where the shoulder stripe is located (the back side of the K-rail against the front of where the stripe is now) and re-paving the shoulder. That will keep drivers on the road and restore smooth cycling for those who need it.

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  • davemess June 16, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I have to say, it’s things like this that make me very weary of giving PBOT a lot more money via a street “fee”.

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  • Brad June 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Outstanding oversight work, PBOT!

    On the brightside, we can now have a Gresham-Roubaix race.

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  • joanthan June 17, 2014 at 12:12 am

    the bike lane shows on the road is out near blue lake park that is on the road but when you go west it will show it going off the road which is safer and is better because your alot safer from getting hit , sure you hate to cross the road to get to the other side off road bike lane . but looking at the map it show from blue lake park to the golf course shows no bike lane but shows the off road bike lane which is better to use , i love bike and ride them but i do think its a good idea they put the rumbles there because one your driving near water too . i almost hit someone before in my car because they was on the main road which is not marked as a bike lane and came in my lane . so im sorry to say is good job PDOT for doing that to keep drivers safe and i still think other bikers should use the off road bike lanes which should be used more so you dont get hit if something happened .

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    • Psyfalcon June 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      People are allowed to ride not in the bike lane for any number of reasons. People often move out of the bike lane to avoid debris or other hazards. (like this bad pavement…)

      Meanwhile, both Google and the Portland Bike Map show the entire stretch of Marine Dr as a bike lane east of I5. So which map are you looking at?

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  • John Liu
    John Liu June 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I assume repair of the error will require resurfacing of the shoulder, as appears to have been done immediately before the rumble strips were created – correct?

    Would this be a more appropriate spot for raised pavement markers glued down on the fog line? Those don’t interfere with bikes, hardly at all anyway, and do warn drivers that they are drifting over the line.

    I would prefer those raised markers on the fog line, to rumble strips installed anywhere including on the left side of the fog line.

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