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Bikeway in name only? Clinton Street’s heavy traffic prompts calls for diverters

Posted by on July 30th, 2014 at 10:49 am

clinton traffic

Traffic on SE Clinton Tuesday evening.
(Photos: M.Andersen and J.Maus/BikePortland)

It was this March that Brian Sysfail, a regular user of Clinton Street, decided that if nothing else was going to get in the way of through-traffic on the Clinton Street neighborhood greenway, he was.

“Don’t like the increase in traffic on Clinton during rush hour and especially drivers cutting through neighborhoods?” he asked in a Facebook invitation to 278 people. “Neither do a lot of cyclists and pedestrians. So how about we all ride bikes together as a group after work on Friday.”

“This is a peaceful action to raise awareness that Clinton is not a short cut for drivers in rush hour,” he added.

Occasional activism like Sysfail’s is just part of a rising tide of complaints about Clinton Street, which has become a spillover for car traffic avoiding construction on Division or heading to its new apartment buildings and restaurant row.

“I’m terrified of SE Clinton anywhere west of 39th but especially between 12th & 21st where it’s a total speedway,” wrote Kari Schlosshauer, Pacific Northwest Regional Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in an essay on BikePortland last month. “We ought to implement more of those creative and interesting diverters that let bikes and people through, but make cars go back to the arterials — this helps make our neighborhoods places for people.”

The talk of traffic problems on Clinton puts an important question to Portland’s street designers: how much traffic can a neighborhood greenway handle?

Greg Raisman, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s traffic safety specialist and a co-creator of the neighborhood greenway concept, said in an interview that there is no question that Clinton’s auto traffic levels are at or above the traditional maximum for neighborhood greenways: 3,000 motor vehicles per day.

“Above 3,000, we put in bike lanes, generally,” Raisman said.

On March 31, two weeks after Sysfail’s ride, the city measured auto traffic at 25th and Clinton. The count was 3,028.

When are diverters necessary?

A family ride from NoPo to Sellwood-18

A traffic diverter allowing biking and walking traffic but preventing through auto traffic.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials’ street design guide, a document developed from the work of innovators like Raisman, says this about “bicycle boulevards,” a class that includes Portland’s more multimodal neighborhood greenways:

“Bicycle boulevards should be designed for motor vehicle volumes under 1,500 vehicles per day (vpd), with up to 3,000 vpd allowed in limited sections of a bicycle boulevard corridor.”

To keep motor traffic volumes at or below that target, NACTO says cities should install occasional traffic diverters to block through auto traffic while allowing bike traffic to cross.

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Raisman agrees that streets like Clinton (and Lincoln, a few blocks north of Division, where he said traffic counts are now around 2,500) would be better for biking and walking with another traffic diverter or two.

But he doesn’t think the diverters, which typically cost $20,000 to $100,000 to install including planning and outreach to the neighborhood, are a huge benefit to safety on greenways.

“Our safety performance over time has been excellent,” he said. “70 percent of our streets are residential. Less than 20 percent of bike and pedestrian crash activity happens there. … There’s comfort factors that are important in how many cars are on the road. But from a pure safety perspective, the big threat is where you’re crossing the busy streets.”

An academic study of injury rates in Vancouver BC, and Toronto, published last year, seems to differ slightly with Raisman’s take. Here’s its chart of the risk associated with different types of infrastructure, with the less dangerous marked to the left and the more dangerous marked to the right:

bike injury rates

“Traffic diversion from local streets has the lowest odds ratio, whereas traffic slowing devices (small traffic circles and speed humps) show one of the higher odds ratios,” study co-author Kay Teschke, of the University of British Columbia, wrote in an email.

In a related study, local streets marked as bike routes in Vancouver and Toronto actually showed more injuries per user than local streets not marked as bike routes.

Teschke theorizes that without diverters, the same things that make greenways attractive for biking — direct connections and few stop signs — make it attractive for driving, even with traffic calming.

How to make things better

clinton speed

Raisman said he’s familiar with Teschke’s work but doesn’t think it holds up in Portland because the same data shows that small traffic circles, common in Vancouver, are a particularly risky way to slow traffic.

“When they’re improving traffic calming, they’re using traffic circles,” Raisman said. “We don’t really do that — we use speed bumps.”

Even so, Raisman didn’t question that traffic diversion on Clinton could improve the street. The bigger obstacle is finding the $20,000 to $100,000 that it costs to install a diverter.

“Right now, while we’ve had advocacy to improve a place like Clinton, we don’t have the funding,” Raisman said. “Even if we had the political will to do something, we don’t have the resources to do something right now. And I think Clinton will be a difficult conversation. … It’s a very dense section of the city where a lot of people live, where you have businesses right on the route.”

Asked for advice to people like Sysfail, Schlosshauer and others who want to make the case for diverters on Clinton or other streets, Raisman said they should “get involved in a neighborhood” to start building local support for the change.

“The life of a city is a long, complex thing,” he said. “Eventually, once we have funding available, I’m sure we’ll have the conversation.”

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Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

In Vancouver BC I have seen intersections that needed diverters. Initially the intersection had jersey barriers placed in such a way to allow bicycles through but preventing cars from continuing straight. Later when I returned a much nicer permanent barrier had been built. It doesn’t have to cost 100k to divert cars.

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Guest
Kiel Johnson

We need to install diverters! And cycle tracks! More neighborhood greenways!

Street fee to actually pay for it? No way!

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Why are traffic circles risky?

Jacob Mason
Guest
Jacob Mason

1) Why on earth would it cost $100,000 to install a small piece of concrete? 2) It seems that Raisman does not value perceived safety. People frequently use neighborhood greenways in Portland because they feel safe and comfortable to bike on. Most humans don’t make decisions on mode choice and route based on studies; they ride based on how safe it feels. When you start to erode that feeling, you’re going to get fewer people using bike facilities and fewer people biking in general. In addition, without improving rider comfort (through additional neighborhood greenways and protected lanes), you’re not going to see much increase in cycling.
3) Given Raisman’s neglect of cyclist comfort, it seems unsurprising that Portland has been so slow to implement protected bike lanes, which do wonders to improve comfort and increase bicycle mode share. By failing to add new low-street facilities, and letting existing facilities deteriorate, Portland has seen it’s bike mode share stagnate.
4) Mr. Raisman’s views reflect an entire movement in stagnation in Portland, one where people make excuses for decline and inaction instead of pushing to actually improve things.

JV
Guest
JV

As a resident in the neighborhood, I also have been guilty of using Clinton bikeway as a shortcut (on motorcycle), and definitely see drivers speeding regularly.

There is a simple way to use the existing small roundabouts as diverters. Just add a couple concrete jersey barriers and signage, (from overhead the intersection would look like ) so that each roundabout is a right turn-only diverter for all vehicles except bikes. This would be cheaper than a fully developed diverter, and could even be temporary to test the effectiveness. It would likely work, as there are enough existing roundabouts on Clinton that they would break up the street (for cars) into 10 block max sections.

Reza
Guest
Reza

Raisman misses the point. It’s not about safety, as drivers generally travel slow on Clinton; it’s about comfort. And Clinton west of 39th is simply not a comfortable route to bike on due to the high volumes. Particularly between 21st and 26th. I constantly see riders hug the door zone or curb instead of taking the lane (using the sharrow pavement marking placement as a guide). At least one driver has had the gall to gesture to me to get out of his way.

The great thing is that it’s easy to figure out when a bike boulevard isn’t working: anywhere it can’t qualify for 20 mph speed limit.

Erinne
Guest
Erinne

YES YES YES! More diverters along ALL neighborhood greenways. Visit Vancouver, BC, to see how well they work. And it doesn’t shut the city down! People still drive successfully! But you can also trust to have less cut through traffic on neighborhood streets. I find it disappointing and frustrating that PBOT once again lacks the will to implement what should be simple projects that will undoubtedly improve bicycling conditions in this city because it “will be a difficult conversation.”

Justin
Guest
Justin

Clinton is a great boulevard largely because of that single diverter at Chavez. A couple bikeways with no diverters are truly bikeways in name only: the continuation of Clinton into Woodward and also Center Street. Both are wide, encouraging fast driving and making it impossible to take the lane.

TJ
Guest
TJ

I used to live in SE before Division became an experiment in posh infill and the noodle capital of the world. And “Boy, the way Glenn Miller Played”.

Moe Szyslak
Guest
Moe Szyslak

I skip Clinton westbound in the morning because, in my own personal experience, it’s the bike commuters that are biking recklessly… too much racing… I take Clinton eastbound every day and I rarely have a problem with cars. I am usually between 21st and 39th at around 6:00 PM…

grrlpup
Guest

I’d like to see a solution that preserves the #10 bus route: it serves Cleveland High School and Reed College, and uses Clinton between 26th and 21st.

TonyT
Guest
TonyT

I know that this is crazy talk, but why on the world is enforcement not on the table here? Hardcore enforcements of UNMARKED crosswalks all along Clinton would drop speeds and make it undesirable as a cut through. We’re willing to talk about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lumps of concrete, but enforcements only seem to happen if the traffic division thinks the action will be revenue positive. There are elements at work here that are not talking to one another.

It also should be 20mph at all times, not just “when children present” as the signs say. But again, without enforcement, it’s just an exercise in futility.

I ride my son to school 3 days a week and use Clinton from 40th to 18th. At times it is certainly nerve-racking, especially for peds trying to cross as drivers make poorly timed attempts at passing.

Brian Davis
Guest
Brian Davis

This is frustrating if only because everybody saw this coming from a mile away. Volumes on Clinton Street–particularly during peak periods–have long been pushing the upper limits of what’s comfortable, and without mitigation they were bound to increase during the construction on Division.

I get that diverters are expensive, and we’re way too broke right now to even consider doing anything but paving projects. But with all this lead time, we couldn’t have come up with some small, simple, inexpensive things to head this off to some degree? No signage, no temporary traffic controls, nothing?

The current discomfort of cycling along Clinton was, and remains, avoidable. That we’re doing nothing is an indication of our priorities, not our abilities.

spencer
Guest
spencer

Clinton between 21st and 39th is totally unsafe and used as a high volume cut through. its a CF of Portland traffic engineering. Its in no way safe or inviting to ride on (nor is 26th for that matter). It needs bumps, diverters, and people to mellow out.

Craig Harlow
Guest
Craig Harlow

“There’s comfort factors that are important in how many cars are on the road. But from a pure safety perspective, the big threat is where you’re crossing the busy streets.” – Greg Raisman (above)

However, I don’t think that cold hard statistics are what get more people biking, whereas “comfort factors” are key to convincing people to try bicycling for a change. I think that people are more moved to consider change (or to avoid it) by the emotional/psychological sense that they have about their probable safety and that of their families as vulnerable roadway users.

I’d love for the city to experiment with one significant section of a greenway, and just outfit that baby with diverters at every second street crossing, and then compare the bicycle stats along that stretch before and after.

Justin
Guest
Justin

Just tweeted this:

@BikePortland From what I can tell, PBOT operating expenses something like $166mil, Vancouver BC $75.2. Is that right?

…so I’m still waiting on confirmation of those numbers. But seriously – where the hell is PBOT’s money going, if they can’t afford a simple traffic diverter?!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin

Keep in mind that when PBOT talks about their “safety performance” and makes reference to crash data as a justification for inaction on a clear and present issue like this… They are looking only at PPB and DMV crash data – both of which profoundly under-represent the true conditions on a street and the experience of its users.

There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of collisions, near misses, road rage interactions, and generally dangerous and uncomfortable incidents that are never reported to the authorities.

Like another commenter above so astutely pointed out… This post — and PBOT’s stance on Clinton in general — is the perfect illustration of how we’ve completely lost our mojo in this town when it comes to doing the right things for transportation and providing basic services to all citizens.

Tbird
Guest

I was thinking this exact thing today as I rode Clinton into inner SE. I’ve been gone from Portland for a couple years, so the increase in cut-thru traffic is alarming. Traffic on Clinton is heavier than I remember it. It seems that the “circle/islands” on Clinton would benefit from the addition of diversion “arms” radiating from their four sides, with a bike pass thru for Clinton E/W bike traffic. That way auto traffic would be diverted off of Clinton at every 2nd/3rd block. Residents can still access the area, but cut thru traffic would be virtually wiped out for the cost of a few yards of concrete.

AndyC of Linnton
Guest
AndyC of Linnton

Okay…so…why not some cheap alternatives in the meantime? Like a few signs and saw-horses or something temporary until you find the funds to install the diverters?
Oh wait, we’re actually not interested in getting auto capacity down here, or anywhere in Portland anymore are we? My bad!

Mike
Guest
Mike

If you put diverters on clinton the traffic will shift to lincoln so what then?

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

Both Lincoln and Clinton need diversion. Right now the 20’s bikeway in its current form is not even trying…there is no diversion from Wasco north to Lombard. Not one Diverter…how is this PBOT proposing them and the local NA blocking them?

With all respect Greg, your argument about cost is a red herring. How much was the budget for the full diversion on the Central Greenway in north Portland made up of moveable planters?

You can not tell me that two planters with a warning sign at one of the traffic circles on Clinton, forcing cars to turn off, would cost that much. Maybe local busnesses could even sponser a planter.

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

Pelatons! Departing every 5-10 minutes at 39th and Clinton every work day. Get a group of 15-25 or so and clog up the lane. It is downhill to start so keeping at the speed limit of 20 isn’t going to be that hard anyway.

Biggest plus would it would cost nothing!!

Sho
Guest
Sho

What did they expect to happen when taking a lane of traffic from an arterial (Division)? A decent number of the added bioswells dont extend into the roadway but are simply a large concrete curb extensions causing the lane reduction at that location pointless (if they are meant to act as bus drop offs then they need to connect back to the sidewalk at the entry door however are unable to due to the new bioswell). What arterial are you thinking this traffic can switch too without adding larger traffic issues during rush hour? I guess powell could just become a parking lot hurting those that live further out.

joe adamski
Guest
joe adamski

I was, and have been pleased with the diverters PBOT installed on N Central street. The diverters made Central much less a ‘cut through’ for avoiding Lombard and Smith, and actually funneled cars on to those collectors. With 3 schools, a county library, 2 parks and a community center along Centrals greenway, re-routing traffic away has made bike/ped more common and safer. PBOT did do a traffic island at St Louis,but just put a bunch of garden containers at Tyler to divert cars.. bikes can ride between them. Not sure of the cost but seemingly less expensive and able to be moved if needed.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

clinton is out of the way, slow, and boring.
division, on the other hand, has destinations, people to look at, and traffic to calm.

if you are fed up with clinton please try taking the lane on division!

Randall S
Guest
Randall S

We could also use some STOP signs on the cross streets of Clinton, so motorists don’t drive through it at full speed.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

As more infill development occurs in these neighborhoods, the neighborhood collector streets are going to become increasingly congested, and cut-through traffic will continue to increase. Personally, I don’t have any qualms with those that cut-through, provided they do so with respect: operating your vehicle at 20mph and remaining vigilante and respectful of vulnerable road users.

To me, this is not an infrastructure problem, it is a cultural problem. The drivers that are speeding and passing unsafely need an attitude adjustment.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

It’s not just recorded crashes — it’s also generally feeling comfortable on a greenway. Clinton in particular is unique in that it has traffic circles that are no longer installed, because they create pinch points for cyclists and cars both rounding at the same time.

Matt
Guest

How about using some of those System Development Charges from all the building happening along division to add a few diverters on Clinton? I’d also second what Greg Raisman said in the comments section about building support for this kind of thing. It takes a while, but someone needs to create a loosely affiliated group of folks willing to push the City Council and Staff to make these improvements. The BTA could also step up and support it as well. The City Staff take their orders (usually) from the Council, and without anyone on the City Council pushing these kinds of thing forward, they won’t happen. These things don’t happen overnight.

turdy mcpeanut
Guest
turdy mcpeanut

clinton street has 1 fourway stop between the movie theater and 39th. thats it. call me nutty but why not just add a few more stop signs. or just go over 1 block and roll up woodward. smooth sailing the whole way.

Jack
Guest
Jack

I will volunteer some of my time and buy a few bags of concrete. Should take about 1 hour to install, plus drying time.

When is the community work party to install these traffic diverters?

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

One way to pay for diverters on Clinton would be to use the System Development Charges (SDCs) that are imposed on the developers building all of the new stuff on Division. This money is supposed to go towards mitigating the impacts on new development on the transportation (and parks) system. PBOT is not very transparent about how this money is spent. $100k is a drop from that bucket.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

I ride Clinton daily between 26th and 21st. Traffic on this road is noticeably less harsh than 26th and considerably slower than cut through traffic in the Ladd’s Edition. It is an unreasonable goat to want to restrict traffic on every road where the least confident riders feel uncomfortable.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Ive noticed this summer an uptick in car traffic, speed, and aggressive behavior from drivers on SE Clinton on my ride to work. I’ve also seen more cars violating the no thru traffic for autos sign at 39th and Clinton heading east. This is dangerous as the road narrows quite significantly there.

Adam
Guest
Adam

This is not a “new” problem revolving around new apartment builds or yuppie restaurants. I remember this being brought up at the Clinton St Bike Blvd Project years and years ago at their open houses.

The PBOT rep there told me the reason for high traffic volumes on Clinton was actually due to the antiquated traffic signal system on Division a block over.

They said, because SE Division at 39th has no facilitated/protected left turn signal in place, motorists find it quicker to head a block over onto Clinton, and THEN make the left-turn onto 39th.

I concur. Head eastbound out of town at peak commute hours in a car, and see how long it takes to turn left onto 39th. Because there is no protected signal there, about one car, maybe two, makes that left turn through the light. Everyone else waits. And waits. And waits.

I think what really needs to be looked at here is Portland’s antiquated, outdated signal system, the traffic that becomes backed up because of those inefficiencies, and the places where traffic decides to go instead, in order to beat these traffic backups.

In this case, Clinton.

We need diverters on that street TODAY.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Just re-read the post and have a question regarding the so-called traffic circles on Clinton. Are they? I see them as obstructed intersections. Clinton St traffic (bike, car) has the right of way in all cases that I can think of since the intersecting side streets are signed for stopping. Because of this, I always take the road going thru the intersection.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

As was easily predictable – and predicted – due to all the construction activity delaying traffic on Division: one of our key bike boulevards, Clinton (with cutesy sign toppers!) is now carrying more than double the bike traffic recommended for a bike boulevard. So YTF are we even debating whether to put in diverters?! Do it! Do it now!

Anyone else remember when the city decided (for very different reasons) to close off NE 14th at Alberta? They just dropped in a couple of Jersey barriers and bolted up a couple of signs. Then a few years later they came back and made it pretty.

(And BTW, the original station plan for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project shows a diverter at 12th and Clinton. What happened to that?)

Max S
Guest
Max S

Berkeley, CA does a good job of installing low-cost diverters to discourage cut-through vehicle traffic. Here is one example (of many) along Ashby Avenue. I can’t imagine this simple barrier design costing anywhere near $20k. PBOT should look into these if budget is a top concern.

Google Streetview link: http://goo.gl/maps/d1JGJ

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

yes, diverters please!

I hate when I’m doing 20 going down the hill and a car is riding my ass because they want to speed pass me…

this year I’ve made it a point to ride right in the middle of the lane (or road) where I’m supposed to be so that if impatient cars do pass me then they’re doing it illegally close…

traffic circle ahead? I ride closer to the middle of the road…

basically any time there’s a car on my ass for more than 2 blocks I turn around and give them a confused look…

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

An academic study of injury rates in Vancouver BC, and Toronto, published last year, seems to differ slightly with Raisman’s take. Here’s its chart of the risk associated with different types of infrastructure, with the less dangerous marked to the left and the more dangerous marked to the right:

This “academic” study reported that a fully-protected bike-only path had a about the same odds ratio as a crappy conventional bike lane.

I would hope that this would cast some doubt on study methodology…

spencer
Guest
spencer

isn’t a community resource (such as this site and comment thread) that provides commentary and 100’s of community comments re: traffic engineering substantial enough to be included w/ public commentary at community meetings?
I rarely have the opportunity to make a neighborhood meeting, yet I care greatly about these issues, and I feel that the opinions and concerns that a silent majority feel (neighborhood safety) get drowned out by outspoken retired persons or elected bureaucracy (fire engine routes) at such meetings.
We drastically need traffic calming throughout the ENTIRE city/ state/ nation. We can act locally to keep our city safe, but these comments should be included in PBOT planning.

Furthermore

yttocs
Guest
yttocs

I have lived east of 26th on SE Clinton for 25 years and can attest to the changing traffic patterns, number of automobiles (and bicycles) and driver’s attitudes. Sadly what I witness is just another cost of rapid and poorly mitigated urban expansion.

Major changes began around the time of the opening of New Seasons Market at 7 corners (19th and SE Division) when conjestion stalled impatient automobile drivers at the 7 traffic intersections at 7 corners. Cars would divert to Clinton from 12th to 39th to avoid the congestion/time delay.

My neighbors (ALL have since moved due to the changes/cost of living) and I decided to slow and impact the autocentric traffic with a bit of cordinated street theater. The most effective was the “Abby Road” crosswalk parade. We would organize 4-6 groups of 4-8 people to utilize our right to cross Clinton. And for 30-60 minutes we would cross and recross Clinton in a cordinated effort with the other groups. It engaged others to celebrate the action. And yes it frustrated and sometimes enraged the drivers (even though we had big arrows to guide them back towards Division). AND during our campaign it worked in calming our tiny section of Clinton.

Zaphod
Guest

I hope this comment is heard and understood by PBOT.

It seems to me that streets are designed with an idea of appropriate flow: Arterials, residential, etc. NE Knott is different than NE Brazee is different than MLK, etc.

So when we learn that a street is misused as compared to design, i.e. Clinton becoming Division’s overflow, logic would dictate that we might make changes to keep the design working as intended.

It should be that simple.

Leadership in this regard will, most likely, result in a solid 100 to 1 positive feedback from citizen voters. And since it’s based upon fulfullment of original design, PBOT has solid footing to simply act.

Those who use cut through streets to get to where they are going (especially those who speed) are taking away/stealing from those who live, walk and bike in the community.

This topic as it exists around the city is VERY important to me. But you won’t find me at neighborhood meetings because I simply lack the time. Those who do participate are likely semi-retired or otherwise have time to engage. Those of us really digging deep with our careers and families simply cannot dedicate the time. It’s this group that relies upon our city to do what is needed. That’s what our taxes are for right?

bjcefola
Guest
bjcefola

Diverters are a great idea, not just for cyclists but for residents too. Having your street used as a “shortcut” sucks.

Implementation has to be handled carefully, though. There’s pretty much guaranteed opposition from through-travelers, but they stand on a weak leg (neighborhoods should be for residents, not non-residents driving over them). The more potent opposition is from residents themselves. A diverter can have obvious benefit to one street, but residents on adjacent streets may fear traffic will be diverted to them.

There isn’t an easy way of handling that. One could implement diversions at multiple points simultaneously, effectively managing traffic over a whole area and not just one street. But that makes an already formidable cost problem worse. The other way is *strong* process, including explicit contingency plans for addressing traffic on adjacent streets should that become a problem, and the time and effort needed for residents to give those plans credibility. Such a process also allows better feedback from residents, who knowing local conditions may see problems that aren’t apparent from a map.

Diverters are a great idea, but a lot of work.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

ummm you all know that you are traffic calming on the greenways. Just take the lane, it’s not only legal but encouraged.

Technically those arrows in the middle of the street are your implied spot on the road. And there in the middle of the lane almost always. Some on Clintons eastern sister (Woodward) were even slightly miss printed in the middle of the street in essence covering both lanes.

And even PBoT agrees. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/348902

The very first line is:
“Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets with low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds WHERE BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS ARE GIVEN PRIORITY. ” (caps were my addition)

Tired of drivers using your route to avoid the busy streets, ride your bike in the middle of the lanes and wave nicely (you’re choice in the number of fingers you wave) should they honk and yell.

I’m constantly amazed at how many bike riders cling to the side of the road in the door zone on the greenways. It’s your street and you’re giving it away.

By doing so, you are doing nothing but decreasing you safety, since there is limited passing space, and all your doing is inviting them to pass you too closely, and likely they are accelerating past the speed limit to do so.

By clinging to the side you are actually encouraging the cut through traffic.
Bike lanes are built to keep the cars running without interference of the bicycles, greenways are/were ordained to keep the bikes pedaling without interference of cars.

This isn’t an engeneering problem. It’s an education problem. Very few bike riders or drivers really know what a greenway is or what it’s purpose is.

Laura
Guest
Laura

the “bridge and tunnel crowd” is half the problem! Tonite, there were cars parked adjacent to the bulb outs (City has not yet painted them yellow…). Made it tough for eastbound traffic and nearly impossible for buses. Of course, parking enforcement doesnt work on Division St after 7pm…

abbie
Guest
abbie

I am a resident of the Clinton area who bike-commutes when possible and car commutes when necessary. As someone mentioned above, anybody who bikes through this area saw this problem coming from a mile away when just about every block on lower-mid Division began a near-simultaneous building boom. I don’t believe that this problem will simply disappear when the construction stops. At that point we will just have many more people living in the neighborhood, many with cars and many with bikes.

Many above have called for just taking the lane as a safety measure and as a gentle reminder that bikes not only have that right, but also (along with pedestrians) have the priority on Clinton.

Here is my idea. Taking the lane is more fun in a group. Email me at bikeclinton@gmail.com

I will organize a mailing group. If there is strong interest, on a given evening next week we just might coincidentally meet in the after-work hours for an inaugural group tour up and down Clinton Street.

Traffic will be calmed and likely diverted for less than $20,000.

With the money we save we can stop at Apex after the ride for an adult beverage.

write to bikeclinton@gmail.com

I’m strongly for getting involved in your neighborhood associations too. The thing about greenways is that the commuters on the greenway do not necessarily live in the neighborhood. Think of this as an auxillary rolling neighborhood association.

(Tell your friends to email me too)

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

NIce try.

From the Wiki:

“A large study undertaken by S.U. Jensen et al.[12][13] into the safety of Copenhagen cycle tracks before and after they were constructed concludes “The construction of cycle tracks in Copenhagen has resulted in an increase in cycle traffic of 18–20% and a decline in car traffic of 9–10%. The cycle tracks constructed have resulted in increases in accidents and injuries of 9–10% on the reconstructed roads.” The number of accidents and injuries increased at intersections while decreased mid-block. These changes in road safety have been estimated taking both general trends in safety and changes in car and cycle traffic into account.”

You’ll a large increase in bikes, a reduction in auto traffic and an increase in accidents and injuries of 9-10% in Copenhagen.

Also don’t forget bike riders in the European bike capitals also have slow speed limits on a whole. Slower speed being the one other thing that makes bicycling safe.

hat
Guest
hat

Strip the city of professed greenways that serve as throughways for autos. We should not recognize these streets that often fail at basic safety needs, and regularly do not reflect the city’s own definition.

PBOT’s definition: “Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets with low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds where bicycle and pedestrians are given priority.”

Change the definition of a greenway:
1. 20 mph limit
2. speed bumps
3. diverters every 10 blocks minimum