New flashing beacon on Springwater path at SE 136th

Posted by on January 29th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

beaconspring1

New push-button beacon on Springwater path at 136th.
(Photo: Gretchin Lair)

Whenever biking/walking paths cross larger streets there can be a potential for conflict. Path users might get lulled into a false sense of security while users of the street — especially if they’re moving fast in a car — might not expect cross traffic.

We’re happy to report that one such crossing is now a bit safer thanks to the installation of a flashing crossing beacon. Reader Gretchin Lair sent us several photos of the new beacon that has been installed on the Springwater Corridor path where it crosses SE 136th (map).

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We’ve yet to confirm why this particular beacon was installed, or whether it’s part of a larger safety project.* Back in 2013, a five-year-old girl was killed by a passing auto driver when she tried to cross 136th about 1.5 miles north of this location. That tragedy led to $4.8 million in funding (state and city) to add sidewalks and crossing improvements all along the street.

*Oregon State Representative Shemia Fagan confirmed with us today that this flashing beacon was indeed part of the state funding package. This is one of two “rectangular rapid flash beacons” to be installed through that project.

If you’ve used this crossing, share a comment and tell us what you think about it.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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J_R
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J_R

It’s puzzling why the rapid flash beacon was installed so close to the utility pole. If the utility pole is not being relocated it appears the beacon will be blocked to the motorists’ view for some distances.

I’ve used this crossing many times and have found that most motorists are fairly cautious here and many will wave you through. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to see it.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I rode by this while they were installing it, there is a second beacon on the other side of the street that isn’t blocked by a utility pole, it’s just not in the photos.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Better question: It’s a ped+bike crossing, yet the new warning sign doesn’t match the old one. It’s the PBOT standard at such crossings. New guy?

Bryan Dorr
Guest

I rode the Springwater Trail last Sunday (unbelievably in short-sleeve shirt and shorts). The beacon was not functional then. It is needed with the hill on the north side of the trail. A beacon may also be needed the SE 128th Ave. crossing with the blind hill on the south side of the trail. My post is at http://www.bjdorr.com/201501251509. (Not to mention the little dog that took a nip at me while I photographed this same intersection.)

PorterStout
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PorterStout

A bit off-topic, but since when did Google Street View become available along the Springwater trail? Can you go its entire length? I must have missed this BikePortland article, but it’s way cool.

ethan
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ethan

It looks like you can do the whole thing (at least in Portland) and at least some of the 205 trail as well (and I’m sure others). Pretty damn cool, Google.

Alan 1.0
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Alan 1.0

Elly Blue reported on it back in 2009: http://bikeportland.org/2009/09/08/google-street-view-camera-trike-sighted-in-portland-this-week-23237 . The date a view was taken is displayed in the upper left. The map linked in this article says Sep 2011 but just one click down the path says Sep 2009. There’s a part of the Springwater by Boring that isn’t covered since it wasn’t finished then. Definitely cool but sometimes more current than others.

oliver
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oliver

Great, now let’s just get the stop sign on SE Lambert reversed. Having two way bicycle traffic on the path stop for a dead end street that serves 4 houses is an insult.

Jonathan Gordon
Guest
Jonathan Gordon

Agreed! Pointless stop signs are infuriating. Here’s a street view link of the intersection for those who are curious:

https://goo.gl/maps/5WVyV

Chris I
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Chris I

FWIW, I’ve never seen a trail user actually stop at that sign.

davemess
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davemess

I ride/run through this intersection at least once a week (often more) for the last 3 years, and really this one wasn’t very bad. It is rare that a car actually won’t stop for me. The signage leading up to the intersection for cars is pretty good.

I think there are a few other intersections of the path I would have spent this one rather than this one.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

92nd at Springwater comes to mind.

SW
Guest
SW

JM wrote >> Back in 2013, a five-year-old girl was killed by a passing auto driver when she tried to cross 136th about 1.5 miles north of this location

“1.5 miles north of this location” would be North of Powell , did you mean 150 FEET ?

Caesar
Guest
Caesar

A thought and a question:
1. It’s a bit disheartening that it took a tragedy (death of a five year old) to fund this beacon. Although a beacon through any means is better than no beacon all.
2. Was the five year old crossing alone and unsupervised?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The sidewalks were funded earlier than planned as a result of the crash. The child was ‘supervised’, but let go to run accross the street. Sidewalks on 136th wer long overdue, but how the new sidewalks will prevent such events in the future, no one could answer me.

SW
Guest
SW

IF the Clackamas DOT people are lurking … the green activation boxes at Springwater & Bell are almost gone. Many don’t see them anymore and get confused.

And on the East end of the orange bridge crossing McCloughlin , the gap between trail and bridge is getting bigger & bigger.

SW
Guest
SW

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
No… That’s why I didn’t think this beacon was related to that fatal collision, because it’s so far south and totally removed from that location.
Recommended 0

Well, so far as far SE goes ….I’ve been noticing the beacon crossings in stupid/un-needed locations (ie: se 141 & Powell) and then ignore locations where they are really needed (between 122nd and 136th on Powell).
The heavily used one at the library on 122nd is frequently “run” by cars in a hurry or asleep. (plus they planted trees next to the crosswalk on the east side …making peds and cars nearly invisible to each other)

onegear29
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onegear29

Big fan of flashing intersections as a rider and a driver but as pointed out by paikiala, there’s only a PED on the new sign. I’ve commented before that too many drivers think they don’t have to yield to bikes, only pedestrians (they’ve made a point of screaming this as they almost run me over). Was this just an oversight?

SW
Guest
SW

Anybody ever notice …the green light request buttons at Springwater crossing Foster has 2 buttons on both sides of the street ? Normal one plus one mounted on a pipe above many peoples reach ?

Daniel F
Guest
Daniel F

I always thought they was for horse riders, though I’ve never seen any on the trail.

SW
Guest
SW

Saw a interesting one today at the Midland Library/ SE 122nd crossing signal

Ped had activated the beacon, BUT the Fire Marshall’s red SUV is screaming towards it with lights and siren going. What’s gonna happen ???

Fire Marshall slammed on brakes, BUT ped waved him through.

IMHO …both did the correct thing.

Eric H
Guest
Eric H

FYI, this beacon hasn’t worked in several months. You can push the button all you want on either side and get nothing. Nice try though.