Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 15th, 2014 at 12:06 pm
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed new signs on N Interstate Avenue in order to raise awareness of the dangers posed by a narrow bike lane.
As we shared last month, the new signs are the result of concerns from the community about the extremely narrow bike lane on a section of Interstate between Tillamook and the Broadway Bridge. At two locations where an overpass goes over the road (Larrabee and the bridge), the bike lane narrows, while the standard lane remains a constant width. At Larrabee, the bike lane goes down to just 2 feet and 7 inches wide — well below the City’s own safety standards.
This configuration is a major bicycle access problem because Interstate is a key north-south corridor and people often drive too fast and too close to bicycle riders in this area.
The new signs have been installed just to the right of the guardrail about 150 feet before the overpasses. (Note: This is different location than we reported last month.) The signs are of the yellow diamond advisory variety and they say, “Road Narrows: Bikes in Lane.”
Blake Goud, a north Portland resident and citizen activist who has been pressuring PBOT to make this and other changes to bicycle access on Interstate, now says he would like to see some police enforcement to go along with the new sign. On Tuesday, he sent the following email to PBOT’s Traffic Safety and Livability hotline and to Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick’s office:
“I would like to request enforcement action from Portland Police’s Traffic Division specifically for SB Interstate between the Larrabee offramp and the Broadway Bridge for speed (posted limit is 30mph which many vehicles exceed) and compliance with the sign directing cars to respect bicycles that are traveling outside of the bike lane in this section. I have experienced and others have shared with me experience with cars honking, drivers yelling and other aggressive behavior by drivers to intimidate cyclists from riding outside of the bike lane.”
We’ll keep you posted if/when the requested enforcement takes place.
Do you ride past this location frequently? Have you noticed the new signs? Do you think they will help?