Parks Bureau considering changes to tricky Springwater path intersection

Posted by on January 8th, 2015 at 11:37 am

Springwater path at Oaks Bottom-2

Temporary stop sign at exit of Oaks Bottom path where it joins Springwater.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

An intersection on the Springwater Corridor path where a serious injury collision happened last spring could be updated with new safety measures in the coming months.

The path’s intersection with Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (about 3.5 miles south of downtown Portland) is in a valley where path users often have high speeds and sight lines are very poor. The Oaks Bottom path — which is on a slight downhill itself — goes under a railroad track tunnel just before it pops out onto the Springwater at a “T” intersection. Last year that perfect storm led to a very serious collision.

Springwater path at Oaks Bottom-1

T-intersection where Springwater
and Oaks Bottom paths meet.

On the morning of May 30th a woman was riding northbound on the Springwater path. According to witnesses, as she came to the Oaks Bottom intersection, another rider suddenly appeared in front of the underpass. The woman on the Springwater grabbed her brakes and flew over the bars, suffering major lacerations in her face. From reader tips and witness accounts we received at the time, it was a very scary situation (more than one person mentioned “lots of blood”) and the woman had to be escorted off the path via ambulance.

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.

Southeast Portland resident Harth Huffman spends a lot of time cycling in the area as well as working on service projects in the Oaks Bottom refuge. He rolled up on the collision last May and helped the wounded rider and feels something should be done to improve the intersection. “I regularly witness uncertain behavior from riders coming out of the tunnel as well as riders coming down that hill. Nobody seems certain of how to be safe there… My experiences continue to convince me that something should be done in that spot to improve cycling safety.”

When we scouted the location this week we noticed a temporary stop sign and orange traffic cones had been placed at the intersection. We then asked the Portland Parks Bureau if they were aware of the safety issues and whether or not there were plans to address it. To our relief, they are considering some improvements

Here’s what Parks spokesman Mark Ross shared with us via email yesterday:

“We have been made aware of some challenges at the intersection… Cyclists have the responsibility for adhering to the stop sign, and to look both ways before entering Springwater Corridor traffic. Portland Parks & Recreation is reviewing whether it may be possible to add some further safety improvements at and/or around this intersection; possibly including signage and striping. We will continue to evaluate possible measures and funding…”

Another idea Huffman has shared with Parks is to place a large convex mirror on the path(s) to improve visibility.

If funding is the only remaining issue, now would a great time to tell Parks to make this project a priority in their 2015-2016 budget. They had a public budget hearing last night, but you can still leave feedback via this online survey/feedback tool (until January 13th).

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

70 Comments
  • Avatar
    Paul January 8, 2015 at 11:49 am

    The photo seems to indicate an even greater danger of someone turning right off The Springwater into the tunnel colliding with someone exiting the tunnel. I don’t see a major problem transitioning from the Oaks Bottom path onto The Springwater if the Stop sign is obeyed.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 8, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Paul,

      The fact is that there are dangers in many of the movements that happen here. Better visibility and/or traffic calming is needed.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        matt picio January 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        The convex mirror idea would help GREATLY. There will always be people who don’t obey the rules/laws – enhancing visibility around the corner for those entering the Springwater would at least partially address the issue.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          paikiala January 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

          Mirrors are a maintenance nightmare, so much so that PBOT does not install them anymore -only maintains the ones they did install. New ones are installed by private persons and not maintained by the City.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rachel b January 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      This happened to me a couple years ago, only a rider going south on the Springwater turned and seriously cut the corner and ran me into the wall. I was keeping far right and dinging my bell like mad (I hadn’t seen them; I just do it as a rule there, just in case) and they obliviously proceeded with an “oops!” and a giggle. Kept going, too–right past the pile of me under their nose. Tra la! I’m always amazed at people just popping out of that tunnel without looking right or left and I always yell and ring my bell there as a precaution when I’m passing through in any direction.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Dave J. January 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

    The solution here seems pretty dang simple. Just put a gate with an unlocked door on it near the exit to the tunnel, that way cyclists would have to dismount, open the door (no latch, but it would always close after being opened), then get back on the bike. Put “gate ahead” signage coming down the path towards the tunnel, perhaps even a flashing light on the gate. Wouldn’t bother pedestrians, and would slow down cyclists.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      dan January 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Some approach like this sounds perfect. 2 inches of gravel in the tunnel with warning signs before could be a quick / cheap stopgap too. Whoever went full-speed through this tunnel and then popped out onto the Springwater Corridor without checking for cross-traffic does not have the sense of a 12 year old. (Maybe it was a 11 year old?)

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 8, 2015 at 12:03 pm

        we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about what happened. The person who popped out of the tunnel might have just nosed slightly out and the person who grabbed their brakes could have been startled/overreacting. To me the point is that there is potential for collisions here — I’d rather not get bogged down in who is to blame/at fault for that collision.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          meh January 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm

          Sorry but you jump to conclusions on a regular basis.

          Bike pinched by bus, all over Trimet for what the video showed was the cyclist’s fault.

          Detective spying on activist bike group, you pounced on that conclusion like a hipster on a PBR.

          Let’s just say in a bike on bike incident you just don’t know which way to jump.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 13, 2015 at 10:23 am

            Thanks for the reminders of my past mistakes meh.

            So, you are saying that it’s OK to make bad decisions because other people have made bad decisions in the past? Just trying to understand your logic.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              meh January 13, 2015 at 1:52 pm

              In your own words ” I’d rather not get bogged down in who is to blame/at fault for that collision.” and “we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about what happened. ”

              My comments were completely about your portraying yourself as being fair and non-judgmental, when you have been as biased and judgmental in one direction on bike issues as those in competing media have been in the other. You have an inability to lay blame when due at the feet (or wheel) of those on bikes who do wrong.

              And nowhere do I say it’s okay to do bad because others do bad, in fact I have made it quite clear in comments here, that those who justify breaking the law on a bike because drivers break the law, lose any moral high ground they had in the debate.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Cory Poole January 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

        I would strongly discourage 2″ of gravel. It would be dangerous to the many scooter, skateboard and rollerblade users of the trail. It would also impede braking for people on road bikes.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Adam H. January 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Install a bike roundabout to force people riding too fast to slow down.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala January 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Davis has several of these solutions, and other jurisdictions have also used bike roundabouts to handle intersections of SUPs. At the pictured location it would work best being offset from the tunnel exit. An 8-foot path around a 20-ft diameter center island should work well. Getting everyone approaching the intersection to slow down is the key.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Todd Boulanger January 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Yes – I concur study a bike roundabout with a paved area widened at the top of the tee…assuming the volumes supports this on all legs.

      At a minimum, if anything is done…its has got to be more than just a stop sign as the improving the sight triangle by widening the pavement and pushing the undercrossing “stop bar” outwards to make the stopped rider visible and able to see approaching bikes coming down slope.

      Too bad about the “prohibition” on convex mirrors, as they are a great visibility tool. All traffic control devices and aids need maintenace over time to some extent.

      As I always tell my clients, agency priorities are always clearly shown in the data an agency collects and the safety tools/ facilities they choose to maintain…vs policies and lip service.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Todd Boulanger January 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

        PS. If a stop sign is the chosen treatment…I hope they think the installation out and do not just put up a sign on a vertical pole in the ground…potentially another hazard. Perhaps an overhead mounted sign would work…depending on where the stop bar is laid out.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        paikiala January 9, 2015 at 9:48 am

        RE: volume threshold. How many severe injuries is too many?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Brian January 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

          What’s “severe?”

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            paikiala January 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

            K, A or B, anything suggesting transport/medical attention. The point is, if the goal is zero, and there is a good fix, why not do it?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Champs January 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    The key to safety is making access trail users stop, just like they’re supposed to, when they come to a T.

    Mirrors do nothing to slow people down. I have doubts they will even be standing a year from installation; maintenance is not this city’s strong suit.

    If you want a cheap fix, add speed bumps in the tunnel. If you want a good fix, pave a chicane just east of the tunnel and enforce it with a ditch or barriers.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Champs January 8, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      One further enhancement: eliminate the flared area at the intersection for wide turn-offs from the Springwater. Install benches facing away from access trail.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Carrie January 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    The gate and gravel ideas are terrible. That’s a hard turn — any direction you take it (I take it twice a day, once going to work and once going home). I’d hate to have to deal with gravel there (or turn left OFF the Springwater into a gate and have to stop, slowing me down even more on the ‘main road’). I also extremely dislike the stopsign (it’s been there for at least the 18 months I’ve been riding this route). It takes up nearly half the path, so there is no room for two bikes (or a bike and a pedestrian) in that entry space under the trestle at the same time — it actually makes me want to go faster through that narrow pinch point, with the sign there, than slow down and stop because I feel really vulnerable to a head-on collision.

    I dunno what you can actually do there other than have a permanent STOP sign (that doesn’t take up half the path!). And enforce it, just like you do other STOP signs. It’s aweful that the woman was hit and hurt so bad, but my colleague was hit and hurt badly by a vehicle that didn’t stop at a stop sign two months ago. We can’t keep all people from being stupid.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Wondering January 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    What’s good for the railroad is good for cyclists heading N or S: an overpass.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      pixelgate January 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Exactly. I always hated riding this dip, especially at night. Always a hair raising experience. Can’t we build a wooden bridge to bridge the dip, and the dip would serve Oaks Bottom exit traffic as a (slow, since its quite an incline either N or S) merge with the faster flowing traffic who took the bridge?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    davemess January 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Is this a major issue? How much use does the trail and tunnel actually get from bikes? I’ve only ridden it once or twice, but if I remember it dumps you out into a small parking lot on 99 (and 99 is pretty tough to cross here). I don’t usually see many people turning onto it or coming out of it when I’m on the Springwater.

    It’s sad there was an incident last summer, but is this kind of issue all that common?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      VTRC January 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      I ride the trail every day and have had and seen several really close calls. Anecdotally speaking, it’s a problem.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      matt picio January 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      When I commuted that route daily, I noticed several near misses. If it’s not a “problem” yet, then it will be. But seriously, given how safe biking in the city is in general, isn’t any intersection which has at least one collision sending someone to the hospital already a problem?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      pixelgate January 8, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      During the spring/summer it’s not uncommon to see a fair bit of traffic at this dip, usually a mix of cyclists and pedestrians who seem to use the area to rest/congregate.

      The reason I see it as a problem is both the Springwater dip as well as the Oaks Bottom trail there are both steep downward paths so everyone is riding at a high speed.. it’s just a bad recipe. I think a little wooden bridge/overpass (like you’ll find not much further south on the corridor near Oaks Park) is a great solution

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Otis January 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

      This intersection sees major use daily. It’s a primary conduit between the Springwater and SE Milwaukie Ave (and its tributary areas). I live right by the entry on Milwaukie and while I can’t give a hard number, there is steady/heavy bike use by commuters in the standard AM/PM times and TONS of recreational use all year–though much heavier in the spring and summer. There is no question about use.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      GlowBoy January 11, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      The trail is very heavily used at times, especially on summer weekends, but also at commute times. The tunnel is also the only trail access point for people in Brooklyn, the north end of Sellwood and points east. Not as heavily used as the main trail, but quite a bit of use. This is a dangerous spot, and I’ve seen a few close calls.

      I think some sort of barrier or chicane forcing people to stop before exiting the tunnel onto the trail would help.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SilkySlim January 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Second the vote for riders to exhibit some common sense when coming out from under the trestle. On both a good and bad note, that access point is pretty rarely used (besides me and Carrie above!!). Kind of an oddball spot to connect, and even less used now that folks are transitioning to SE 17th. Last thought: some lights down in that dip would be pretty nice during the winter months.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rainbike January 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      While it may not be high traffic by city-wide standards, it is an important connector for the northern Sellwood/Westmoreland neighborhoods. I also see many who use it to get from the SWT up to Milwaukee Ave or 17th or 19th then south to Bybee and east to Eastmoreland and presumably Woodstock. I use it every day on my homeward commute and see other riders every day. Love cranking up that big hill.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        SilkySlim January 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        Yeah, I agree – low-traffic spots can still be of high importance. The side benefit here is that the regular folks who use tend to so responsibly. Agree on that hill being a commute highlight!!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Cory Poole January 8, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Simply jog the trail to the west a few yards. The jog will have a traffic calming effect and the distance to the west will increase sight lines.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      matt picio January 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      There’s no right of way to do so – That’s within the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, and the path needs to stay within the Oregon Pacific Railroad ROW. Moving it a few yards would likely require an Environmental Impact Statement and a land use review. Any Parks experts want to chime in on the specific difficulties of moving the trail a few yards?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ted Buehler January 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    A general comment on this —

    Greater Portland is chock full of dangerous intersections for bikes.

    Most of the infrastructure like this was designed and built in the 1990s and early 2000s, when bike traffic was only a fraction of what it was today.

    Other infrastructure with similar hazards was designed after 2009, when Portland had already achieved its “Platinum Ranking” and no longer had aspirations to be superlatively fabulous for bicycling. (& Bicycle Backlash post 2011, and slashed budgets, post 2010). And with the loss of superlative aspirations comes safety compromises as bike facilities are cut to the bare minimum through mid-project budget cuts, called “Value Engineering.”

    This results in many dangerous spots for bicyclists in today’s riding environment. More bicyclists than older facilities were designed for, and safety compromises in more recent facilities.

    This is something that’s actually pretty easy to get moving on. Not get everything fixed, not right away, but to call attention and get improvements made to the dangerous spots *before* a bicyclist ends up with sever facial lacerations and a lot of blood on the ground.

    The way to do it is to COMPLAIN.

    Call 823-SAFE
    email SAFE@portlandoregon.gov

    Tell them what locations in your regular riding routes are dangerous.

    * One location per call/email.
    * Keep the complaints as location-specific as possible. With plenty of location detail.
    * Tell them its a safety problem for you personally, and explain exactly why.
    * Try to avoid cluttering the report with “and City Hall is a bunch of slackers that are slave to the auto interests” type of comments.

    I’ve done this with lots of spots around town. I’ve encouraged other people to do the same. I and others have dog-piled on a few. And it brings results. Potholes get filled, branches get trimmed, low-hanging obstacles get marked, signage gets clarified.

    It doesn’t work every time, but it works pretty often. The “Single Email, Single Problem” technique often results in PBOT, ODOT, or MultCo workers coming out and making that minor fix required to make a dramatic improvement in safety.

    I encourage ya’all to try it out. Wherever you have a close call, see a close call, or see a pattern that will result in close calls/crashes, spend a couple minutes a week on your favorite communication mode/device to make a simple request that a repair be made.

    Otherwise, it’s “death by 1000 cuts.” For every person that switches to bicycling as their primary transportation mode, another bicyclist will be taken out of the mode pool through injury or fear of injury, because the infrastructure design can’t safely handle as many bicycles as it has now, and routes are deteriorating in quality because of the city’s complaint-based repair priority system.

    Do it before you and your friends become victims of inadequate infrastructure.

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ted Buehler January 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      &, For the record, I recommend using email rather than phone.

      1) You can edit it before you send it in.
      2) City staff have the problem in your words, not the transcription of someone who might abbreviate our part of your description.
      3) If there is no action in a month or two, you can can re-submit the complaint stating the date of the initial complaint, which will usually ensure at least a written response from the agency in question.
      4) A safety complaint with a paper trail makes them more vulnerable in a lawsuit if they fail to respond, and someone’s blood ends up on the ground because of the hazard.

      FWIW,
      Ted Buehler

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        paikiala January 8, 2015 at 4:40 pm

        E-mail is preferred. Tillamook at 21st was ‘adjusted’ this way. Missing turn sharrows, and other low-cost missing links or small tweaks, even have a funding source, so could be done quickly.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bloodcircus77 January 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    So the rider jammed on her brakes and lost control? Sounds like user error to me. Put some signs up warning of cross traffic and call it done. You can only do so much to protect people from themselves.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John January 8, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    The solution is simple: just build a Hovenring.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    matt January 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Also on my wish list for this intersection would be to fix that rectangular pot hole in the middle of the path. Also, fix the drainage. Huge puddle form down there during heavy rains and I almost wiped out going through one a little too fast in the dark a few months ago

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala January 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      So maybe BES funding could be tapped.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    pdx2wheeler January 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    This whole stretch is made treacherous by people biking way too fast to react properly to unexpected events. Lots of Fred’s treat this area as there personal training course, drag strip. I learned my lesson once, and I won’t take my young daughter near it in fear that she might get destroyed by one of those idiots.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Eric January 9, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Lots of Fred’s what?

      So somebody rides faster than you and looks different than you. Does that make it okay to call them names?

      Can you provide me with multiple links that show me what a Fred looks like?

      Are Freds just another male dominated area that we should all be owning or can women be Freds too?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam H. January 9, 2015 at 10:08 am

        Look up the Tour de France and you’ll see lot’s of Freds. Also, female Freds are called Freidas.

        The term Fred is usually used in a derogatory way to refer to people that wear all Lycra and ride fast, expensive bikes. They typically think that they own the roads and multi-use paths and won’t slow down for other trail users. Bells weigh too much for their crabon-fibre bikes, so they won’t alert you when they are approaching at 30-40 MPH.

        Basically, the bike version of a BMW driver.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          mran1984 January 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

          So, your knowledge of road cycling is right up there with your mountain biking expertise. Professional cyclists are “Fred’s” in your world, but navigating the city with helmet askew and a dry chain is the right way to do it. On your left…

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Adam H. January 9, 2015 at 12:56 pm

            You made a straw man, as I never said any of that. The only right way to ride a bike is to do so without hurting other people, and some “professional cyclists” as you call them don’t practice this.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Eric January 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

          Gotcha, so anyone dressed like someone in the Tour de France is a Fred. Does that include all current and past teams or just active teams? I want to make sure that I edit my kit to make sure I don’t fit into your derogatory description of someone riding their bike at a pace faster than you.

          Also, there is no such term as Freidas but thanks for trying. I’ll go take the bell off of my carbon fiber bike now and try to keep it to the appropriate 12-15 mph that is the designated lawful speed limit on that section of the Springwater.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Spiffy January 8, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    if most people that bike also drive then they already know to yield their right of way when approaching from the side of a T intersection…

    however, a lot of cyclists don’t drive, so a stop sign would be in order… maybe mounted overhead and painted…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      davemess January 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      But the vast majority have driver’s licenses.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Spiffy January 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Cyclists have the responsibility for adhering to the stop sign

    what’s the law you’re breaking when you run a stop sign on a MUP?

    as a side note, I hate when they put a stop sign on a MUP before a street crossing… I stop, then the cross-traffic stops to let me cross, but I’m the one with a stop sign… quagmire!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Paul H January 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    It’s certainly a substandard intersection.

    One thing I’ve noticed that no one has yet mentioned is that visibility is worse in the summer—when there are more people using both paths—than in the winter because the foliage thins out in the winter, making it somewhat easier to see other riders approaching the “T”. Also, winter riders are more likely to be using a headlight during their commutes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      VTRC January 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      In the summer I’ve seen riders hammer their bells as they dip down towards the T. It might help? I hope…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam H. January 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        I always ring my bell as I approach this intersection.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    William Henderson January 8, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I use this tunnel every single day and the real issue isn’t so much that people don’t stop as it is that they don’t keep right. When heading west under the tunnel, in order to see to merge safely, you need to pull up pretty far – all the way under the tunnel and out into the Springwater path. However, if someone is turning off the path to go east under the tunnel, they are going to wham right into you – even if you stop – if you are not fully over to the right. Frequently, people who are turning left (i.e. to go south on Springwater) will start pulling left to make their turn and are out in the middle of left of the path by the time they merge. I’ve almost hit someone doing this a few times, and have learned to ring my bell and slow way way down when turning off of Springwater to go under the tunnel.

    Hence, I think the best solution here would be some sort of paint or physical barrier to indicate to westbound (merging) riders that they should keep to the right, stop, and then merge. This would also indicate to eastbound (turning) riders that they should execute a wide turn, so that they end up on the right side of the narrow path under the tunnel. Here’s a crudely drawn picture what I mean:

    http://i.imgur.com/vY2smJs.png?1

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      SilkySlim January 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I think this would work well!! And is about as simple as can be (well, besides doing nothing).

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Harth Huffman January 8, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      You’ve done a good job explaining the problem, William, and presented a practical, inexpensive solution. Nice work!

      In the accident I came upon, the woman coming out of the tunnel did stop – did everything right, in fact – but her wheel was sticking out as she was craning to see oncoming traffic. The wheel pulling out from under the tunnel was enough to startle the accident victim. She was an experienced, daily commuter but none of that mattered in the moment. I spoke with her in July and she was still recovering, not yet back to work.

      A couple commenters pointed out the problems with a mirror, which were immediately understandable, but Michael’s solution has merit. It will be interesting to see what happens. I’m just glad Portland Parks took the feedback so quickly and seriously. And something will be better than nothing. Maybe it will be just the beginning.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Rob January 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    The original design of the Springwater trail called for a bridge here. It was pulled from the project due to a shortfall in funding.
    I’ve ridded this route just about every workday since it was built and curse the engineer who designed it. As someone mentioned above, the Sprinwater really should be several feet to the West at this point to provide better lines of visibility. It might take a permit or two, but it can and should be done.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    kittens January 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I also don’t see why this has to be so complicated. Why are we continuously trying to reinvent the wheel? We have a solution. its called a STOP SIGN and stop line. Jeez…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala January 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

      And if someone runs the stop sign?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Opus the Poet January 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      It’s sightlines, the rides coming out of the tunnel can’t see oncoming traffic until they are halfway into the path.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    caesar January 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I am astounded by the over-anaylsis here and by what appears to be the pervasive opinion that somehow every intersection should and can be made nearly hazard-free. There’s been one documented crash (not a death, mind you, but there was “lots of blood” ) and a few “close calls” and suddenly the intersection is a death trap that must be modified using mirrors, speed bumps, gravel (really? gravel?!), complex asphalt striping, rigid obstacles, sirens, razor wire, armed guards, volunteers handing out free coupons to rider safety classes at the local REI, lasers, USB charging stations, free WiFi, hidden cameras, and pictures of our mom’s wagging their finger at us with a recriminating expression.

    It’s a T intersection, folks, with limited visibility of approaching traffic. That’s it. Just like thousands of T intersections in any European city, where streets are narrow and buildings encroach closely upon the edge of the street / road /lane, making it difficult if not impossible to see who is approaching from the opposing direction.

    If we really want to fix this problem, let’s just call Copenhagen and ask them what they do. I’m sure whatever it is will be a sensible solution.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Brian January 8, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Awesome.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Eric January 9, 2015 at 7:11 am

      Welcome to bikeportland. You must be new here.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Lester Burnham January 9, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Yeah people could slow down and pay attention too, but that solution would be free and simple. Not acceptable in Portlandia.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala January 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Road users will always make mistakes. This is rule one of the Vision Zero/Safe Systems paradigm. Those mistakes do not need to end in severe injury or death. Road design can mitigate for such mistakes. The results of mistakes by road users often accrue to others, so expenditures to reduce the severity of those outcomes is appropriate for government agencies to pursue.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ryan Carlson January 10, 2015 at 4:45 am

      I’ve been commuting through oaks bottom for 9 years and I believe the stop sign consuming space in the narrow blind tunnel poses the greatest daily risk to cyclists. PPR: east of the tunnel post a sign that says blind intersection and paint yield at the intersection itself. We don’t need more at the intersection to navigate or distract us from cross traffic we need less. Inform us of possible danger and give us the ability to avoid it in context the cycling conditions.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Terry January 9, 2015 at 10:20 am

    A double-door gate (left and right side) that pushes forward to open, with a yellow caution reflective sign affixed to the gate door surface. When the gate is opened outward, the yellow caution sign will be visible from the Springwater path. The gate would be placed such that the open gate door would not protrude onto the Springwater path.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Please note that Parks has released a new online budget survey/feedback tool so you can tell them which projects you’d like them to fund https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PPRbudget

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Patty January 21, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Gang, the original just-opened trail had a “Caution – Cross-traffic does not stop” sign coming from Oaks Bottom toward Springwater. I wonder if this is still in place? I think striping and a stop sign are good ideas. But I must say after 14 years in trail construction and watching the user behavior after – cyclists on trails don’t pay much attention to designers’ best efforts.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar