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‘Fast Bikes Use Water Ave’ and other signs coming to Esplanade near OMSI

Posted by on September 8th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

omsi-Lead

Drawing of new signs coming to the Esplanade near OMSI.
(Image from Bureau of Development Services application)

Turns out that managers of Waterfront Park aren’t the only ones who want to keep fast-moving bicycle riders away from their paths.

omsipathlead

OMSI currently places caution signs at
the most congested sections.
(Google Streetview)

Owners of the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) have gotten approval from the City of Portland to install a total of 30 new signs and five pavement markings. The new signs are aimed at helping museum visitors find their way around the campaigns.

Another goal of the new signs is to encourage “fast bikes” to use an alternate route.

The Eastbank Esplanade path where it travels through OMSI’s property under the Marquam Bridge (just before the submarine exhibit) has long been a problem spot. Like Waterfront Park it’s a place where many people mix. There are museum visitors, tourists, joggers, walkers, families, and people riding bikes.

According to OMSI’s application (PDF) with the Bureau of Development Services, the new signage will, “provide increased clarity and coherency better directing and informing all users and modes: vehicle, cyclists and pedestrian, using the site.”

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While congested paths and concerns about user interactions is certainly part of the issue here, OMSI is also motivated to create the new signage plan because of the opening of the Tilikum Crossing Bridge. The bridge and the new Orange Line open next week and will surely increase the amount of path users.

Here’s more from the application:

1) The proposed wayfinding and signage will be located throughout the OMSI site addressing and accommodating the opening of the Tilikum Crossing which will carry light rail trains, buses, streetcars, bicyclists and pedestrians to the site. The proposed signs and wayfinding are designed and placed in locations where each of the intended user groups: vehicle, bicyclist and pedestrian, will be most active. Proposed vehicle directional and freestanding signs will be located in areas on the site adjacent to SE Water Avenue and SE 2nd Place and both existing parking lots on the site. Bicycle signage is proposed along the Greenway Trail providing both directional and regulatory information to cyclists heading towards the OMSI campus and increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Pedestrian wayfinding and signage is proposed at the perimeter of the site in the form of kinetic wind sculptures which help to orient users to the OMSI campus as well as surrounding adjacent amenities such as the Portland Opera, Portland Light Rail and Streetcar.

Many of the new signs won’t impact the bicycling experience, but the seven signs that will be placed directly on the Esplanade are sure to get your attention. OMSI plans to use the exact same signs that Portland Parks & Recreation used in Waterfront. One sign at each entrance to the OMSI property will read: “Fast Bikes Use Water Ave”, as in Water Avenue, an alternate road just east of OMSI that has a striped bike lane. Another sign will read “Ride Slow.”

omsi_enteringproperty

Drawing from permit application showing view of northern entrance onto OMSI property from Esplanade.

The pavement markings will be similar to ones currently found on the Hawthorne Bridge, SW Moody, and other locations around town…

omsi-pavementmarking

These signs shouldn’t stoke as much concern as the ones on the Waterfront. We recently reported how those signs have had some unintended consequences, with some path users thinking it means bicycling is prohibited on the path. It’s also worth noting that the Water Avenue alternate is much lower-stress than Naito (although it is definitely a bit more awkward to connect to/from).

Someone on the BikeLoudPDX email list (where we first heard about the signs) said he understands why OMSI would do this:

“In much the same way we want diverters for Clinton, I wouldn’t blame OMSI if they wanted something similar around their property. A lot of cyclists are jamming through there, meanwhile the OMSI customers are wandering around on foot, often with kids. I get a little pissed at the inconsiderate behavior of people wandering on the Esplanade, but it’s really hard to feel that way at OMSI, where people are just trying to explore the place a bit or have a field trip. I don’t think that path is a sustainable commute segment.”

Barring any appeals, OMSI will be permitted to erect the new signs as of September 18th. We’ll take a closer look once they go in. Stay tuned.

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

102 Comments
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    ethan September 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Can we get signs like these on all of the neighborhood streets? Fast Vehicles use XXXX highway, interstate or collector.

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      Chris I September 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Well, since we have to use Water Ave. now, it only seems fitting to put up “Fast cars use 99E” every 20ft on Water.

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm

        I couldn’t agree more! We need signs like this on n’hood greenways and many other streets all over town.

        😉

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          John Lascurettes September 8, 2015 at 5:14 pm

          Problem is all the freeways are filled with capacity with suburbanites headed back home (particularly to the Couve and places beyond). So they end out using our surface streets for “fast” travel (I’m looking at you Interstate, N. Williams, MLK, et al).

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            Tomas LaPallela September 8, 2015 at 11:26 pm

            I use the freeways on a regular basis and I don’t live OR work in the suburbs. I also bike commute 100% of the time. Enough with the tired old lines about being morally superior to whomever you’re demonizing this week. Everyone uses our public roads. The “us vs. them” garbage only serves to hurt the bicycling community. It’s time you grew up.

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              John Lascurettes September 9, 2015 at 12:50 am

              Oh, you’re right. There’s never any bumper to bumper traffic every afternoon on I-5 headed back over the bridge. My bad.

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                canuck September 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

                Quite happy to see all those commuters going back over the river, as they leave 9% of their income in Oregon to pay for state services that they will never use.

                And since we all work and live locally, who cares whats going happening on I-5.

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                John Lascurettes September 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm

                This is all fine, but the point to my original reply to the flippant sign of “Fast Cars Use Freeway” is that the freeway is not often fast at commute time – which is when the overflow goes on to the surface streets between inner Portland and Vancouver, with people driving fast and unsafe on those roads because of commute stress. So where are the fast cars supposed to go then? They shouldn’t be speeding on surface streets. But they’re not going to go fast on the freeway.

                We can’t add capacity because of induced demand. The real solution is to get more people out of cars altogether. Adding flippant signs about where they should go isn’t going to do that.

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                Chris I September 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm

                We care when it spills over into our neighborhoods, or when we need to drive somewhere. Having huge numbers of people commute long distances is bad for everyone.

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            Todd boulanger September 10, 2015 at 9:02 am

            John, that is in the past…if you have been on I-5 recently you would see it jammed by both WA and OR drivers…2 in 3 pot shoppers have OR plates (outside my back door) and a lot of the recent home buyers in Vancouver are Portland housing refugees (that have kept their OR jobs and OR car tabs).😂

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          was carless September 9, 2015 at 12:16 am

          As a slow car, I dig this.

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          Pete September 9, 2015 at 8:11 am

          Waze often tells me otherwise…

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    Kyle September 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    This “solution” is a band-aid that won’t fix the underlying problem: SE Water Ave is dangerous to cyclists. Every single time I’ve biked on Water Ave – in either direction – I’ve had several near-right-hooks and found cars parked in the bike lane. Drivers also frequently speed down the street and the section north of OMSI is a potholed mess.

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      was carless September 9, 2015 at 12:17 am

      Really? I bike on Water Ave almost every day, and have never had any sort of incident. I guess that means what they say about anecdotes must be true, eh?

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        invisiblebikes September 9, 2015 at 10:23 am

        I agree with Kyle, cars illegally parked in bike lanes, unsafe rights, unsafe blind crossings i.e. Salmon, Taylor and Main, speeding cars doing 10 mph over as I’m usually riding at or near the speed limit.

        I ride it every day at about 5pm and see something happen to myself or other cyclists almost every day.

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      Dave Thomson September 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      “Every single time I’ve biked on Water Ave – in either direction – I’ve had several near-right-hooks”. Either you don’t know what a right hook is, or you are just making this up. I ride the same streets you do, and I maybe have to touch the brakes once in a month when someone turns tight a little to close. So tired of the constant sky is falling comments.

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    chris September 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I’m cool with this. If only Water Ave went further north of Stark, or if one could use 7th to cross I84..

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      davemess September 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Isn’t the idea for most people to get back on the Esplanade after OMSI if they’re going north?

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        chris September 9, 2015 at 8:28 am

        I generally avoid it entirely because you can’t ride fast on any part of it without posing a threat to pedestrians — except during the part of the year when the cold and rain chase them away.

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          davemess September 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm

          Good thing that part of the year is usually over 6 months! 🙂

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      Ted Buehler September 9, 2015 at 1:56 am

      You know they can extend Water Ave up to the Steel Bridge, right? It’s a gravel road the whole way, owned by ODOT. Could be paved as a multiuse path/ODOT access road.

      FWIW, Ted Buehler

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        Dan! September 9, 2015 at 9:15 am

        The ODOT road would have to run into the Esplanade anyways; UP turf blocks access to the Rose Quarter.

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        Psyfalcon September 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

        This just makes me mad. This area has several major inconveniences (remember the high water closures from a few years ago?) and its such an easy fix.

        Just remove the no trespassing sign, and cut a hole in the fence on the north end, and that whole cluster is fixed? Is it fenced off from the tracks the whole way? If not, fence it (UPRR will require that) and then pave it at a later time.

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      Dan! September 9, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Continue onto Stark, turn left onto 3rd Ave headed North and go East on NE Davis. Turn left onto the sidewalk at MLK and take that across 84 to NE Lloyd Blvd.

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        invisiblebikes September 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

        yup ats what I do almost daily heading south and it’s a much more hassle free ride than having to deal with the 3 wide “runners” or 2 wide 6 deep walkers and of course the impatient oncoming riders that can’t wait for a safe time to pass those groups of path users.
        I think they should put those signs all the way up the Esplanade if people can’t ride with respect to pedestrians, families enjoying a public space or others recreating then go play in traffic!
        I respect other people using that path by not riding fast or just go ride water if I’m feeling hurried… it’s that easy.

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    Eric Leifsdad September 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    “fast cars use I5”? Seems fair.

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    PaulaF September 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I guess we need to partner with some biggy org to fast track getting signs for greenways or even lowered speed limits.

    Yes, a bit snarky but pretty sad that a street like Clinton takes years to fix . . .

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    Bjorn September 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Just one more symptom of the fact that the esplanade is far too narrow for the variety and volume of traffic it sees.

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      Ed September 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Better yet- move away from multiuse paths in such important and high volume bicycling corridors. Put in separate paths instead. This would benefit both pedestrians and people on bicycles.

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      wsbob September 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      Not so great for commuter traffic perhaps, but the esplanades both on the east and on the west side of the river, are great for leisurely walking and looking out over the river. I don’t think the city anticipated that great numbers of people bike commuting would come to use the eastside esplanade, if that’s what’s happening.

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        Ed September 8, 2015 at 10:38 pm

        The river bank is the most ideal corridor for commuter (and recreational) bicycling. It is central, straight, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly avoids all conflicts with automobiles because there are no intersecting streets. It is predictably popular and it has always surprised me that the infrastructure is a patchwork of low quality multiuse paths.

        Also, the need for numerous signs and instructions usually means the infrastructure is poor.

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          wsbob September 8, 2015 at 11:41 pm

          The esplanades weren’t particularly conceived, designed or built for bike commuting on other than a small scale, especially the East Side Esplanade.

          At the time of the latter’s conception, I don’t think the city had enough reason to be confident that construction of river bank located bike commute infrastructure, such as a cycle track/protected bike lane capable of handling bike traffic volumes of for example, the Hawthorne Bridge MUP or Williams Ave, could be justified.

          And, there was a group of ‘very vocal, fiscally conscientious,’ citizens group that tried to persuade the city and the public that the East Side Esplanade was an overly extravagant and irresponsible use of the people’s money. To counter that ruckus, in part, the city’s best position was to pitch the esplanade as a potentially great tourist amenity: so those big hotels on the west bank of the Willamette in Downtown…offer your thanks to them. When their guests look down on the river from their hotel rooms, feeling like they could use a little exercise, and seeing the esplanade, no surprise if taking the loop walk comes to their mind.

          Portland has moved very slow and cautiously towards building bike commuter specific infrastructure. What I’ve seen of it, the Moody Ave protected bike lane, short as it is, seems to be a fairly sure step towards building more of that type infrastructure.

          The east and west side esplanades aren’t that type infrastructure though, and given their dimensions and the type use they’re positioned to invite, they never will be high volume bike commute infrastructure.

          Is the city increasingly thinking about river bank corridor bike commute protected bike lanes separate to the already existing esplanades? I don’t know, but that is a question more people ought to be giving thought to.

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            Nick Skaggs September 9, 2015 at 10:35 am

            Thanks, wsbob, for your well thought out comment. I genuinely enjoyed reading it.

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              wsbob September 10, 2015 at 6:48 pm

              Nick…thanks!

              It can be frustrating to encounter so many street and road situations, in addition to those on the esplanades, that just don’t or can’t meet up to the range of riding needs of people biking today.

              It should help though, I think, to have knowledge of long existing reasons for the current state of bike infrastructure in Portland and surrounding cities. Being so equipped, able to point out a growth in bike commuting significantly arising from the creation of early bike infrastructure such as the esplanades and the Springwater, could turn out to be very helpful towards building various route infrastructure across town, primarily for the purpose of travel by large numbers of people commuting by bike.

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            soren September 9, 2015 at 1:26 pm

            The Springwater trail has been a pedestrian-unfriendly bike commuter highway for decades so I do not buy the excuse that “the esplanades weren’t particularly conceived, designed or built for bike commuting”. Moreover, the city has a habit of building sub-par facilities and then blaming conflict on “fast cyclists”. Portland’s congested multi-use paths are hell for pedestrians by design. Moreover, the multi-decade track record of people riding too fast on the Springwater shows that signs will not solve what is mostly a design issue.

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              wsbob September 9, 2015 at 6:19 pm

              Soren…you’ve misquoted what I’ve written, which was:

              “The esplanades weren’t particularly conceived, designed or built for bike commuting on other than a small scale, especially the East Side Esplanade. …”

              No road, street or bike path can work well if the people traveling them don’t use a little common sense. The Springwater Corridor Trail wasn’t built to be a ‘bike commuter highway’.

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                soren September 10, 2015 at 9:28 am

                There was no quote in my comment.

                The fact that Springwater was not “particularly conceived, designed or built for bike commuters” is actually part of my point. The springwater corridor and waterfront park provide decades of experience showing that narrow MUPs will be heavily used by bike commuters. The fact the Portland continued (and continues) to design crowded shared mups is a design failure.

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                soren September 10, 2015 at 9:31 am

                retract the statement about the quote.

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                wsbob September 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

                “…The springwater corridor and waterfront park provide decades of experience showing that narrow MUPs will be heavily used by bike commuters. …” soren

                Now, sure, after Portland having had decades of experience with certain of its MUP’s, maybe the city does have stronger indication that it did in past that routes for high numbers of people commuting by bike are needed.

                Back in the day, so to speak, when these paths were conceived and proposed, indication that a big increase in bike commuting would increase, was not there. The public isn’t hot to invest in infrastructure for which there’s little indication the need is strong or justified.

                If Ted Wheeler, state treasurer now running for Mayor of Portland, wants to really ‘test the waters’, he can consider proposing the design and construction of a basic cross town cycle track system. See how the public reacts to what he explains such a system is, what it will do, and a ball park figure of what it may cost to build.

                Say for dimensions: 16′ wide total width, two lanes one direction, the left lane a passing lane. My guess is the public outside of bikeportland’s readers, would largely be astounded and mystified at the idea of such a proposal. Would not be inclined to pay additional monies in the millions it would take to build such a system for a user group it likely would have doubt exists in sufficient numbers to provide for.

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    Adam H. September 8, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    When can we expect the “Drivers, watch for bikes” signs to go up around the OMSI parking lot?

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    Granpa September 8, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    The quote from the BikeLoud advocate pretty much sums up my opinion. OMSI peds get Right-of-Way and cyclists should be slow and careful. What I would not like to see is bunch of signs sprouting up like weeds. The signs are no more traffic control than paint on the pavement. They end up just being visual clutter that is ignored.

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    oliver September 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Turns out that the bums managers of Waterfront Park aren’t the only ones who want to keep fast-moving bicycle riders away from their doss paths.

    😉

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      canuck September 9, 2015 at 7:33 am

      If cyclists treated pedestrians as the vulnerable users they are, and rode on mups in the way they want cars to driver on the roads when bicycles are present, would there be any need for the signs?

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        oliver September 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

        Nope. A little courtesy goes a long way.

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    Ben September 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I prefer Water Avenue because I find the traffic on the Esplanade too slow, but I can’t justify directing fast riders to take Water so long as the southbound lane still has the worst pavement in Portland.

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    maccoinnich September 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    At least this is in an area that actually has decent parallel bike infrastructure. The section of SE Water just south of OMSI was rebuilt on a new alignment a few years ago, with nice comfortable bike lanes. (Here is what it used to look like – https://goo.gl/maps/cn70C). These connect bike lanes pretty well into the surrounding bike network.

    The difference with Naito is that the bike lanes there are a) beside very fast moving traffic, and b) disappear right when you need them most, north of Davis and south of Jefferson.

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    Bald One September 8, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Agreed this issue needs attention. Not sure these signs are the answer. A better, bigger path and a way for cyclists to get through this area more easily is what’s needed.

    Of growing concern is the intersection at SE Caruthers and Water Ave. Might make sense to flip these stop signs and put the stop on Water and the go through on Caruthers. Or, perhaps allowing a right on water N-bound from W-bound Caruthers without stopping.

    After the trains and buses start running on the Orange transit mall crossing Water at the new engineered cluster there, the traffic signal on Water will be RED, frequently. This will be a disincentive for folks to take Water over OMSI MUP.

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    Chris I September 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I have a few questions for the sign:

    What do I do if I’m riding a fast bike slowly? Do I tell my bike to use Water Ave. while I ride slowly on the esplanade?

    What if I’m riding a slow bike fast?

    What if I’m fasting while slowly riding a slow bike?

    What if I’m slowly passing a fasting fast bike rider on my fast bike, while fasting?

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      Charley September 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      You really got me thinking. 🙂

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    Psyfalcon September 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Water isn’t bad, but I would have voted for wider lanes when they redid it. The connections are pretty bad though. North of OMSI, you have a bike box at Clay. Then those ramps to the Hawthorne aren’t great. South of OMSI you’re crossing the new tracks, instead of going under.

    Honestly though, I’ve never seen the kind of conflict or traffic jams that you see in Waterfront Park, even during some busier times. If you catch a train, it will be faster to ride slowly than to wait, so I don’t think people are going to be swayed much.

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    Spiffy September 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    looks like a “share the road” fiasco all over again…

    now we have another MUP we’ll be assaulted on by people misinterpreting the signs…

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    Spiffy September 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    why is there a sign telling people with dogs and kids to “ride slow”?

    also, there’s usually more people with kids on leashes in that area than with dogs on leashes…

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    Spiffy September 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    if they want people to ride slow then lower the speed limit

    putting up vague confusing signs encouraging people to go out of their way to ride next to motor vehicles will not work…

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      Adam Herstein September 8, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Speed limits for bikes are ridiculous. Bicycles don’t come with speedometers and we shouldn’t expect everyone to go out and buy a cycling computer just to ride on the waterfront.

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        Eric Leifsdad September 8, 2015 at 11:07 pm

        Are people without speedometers the ones riding “too fast”? You can figure out how fast your bike is moving using math, but math can’t tell you what these signs mean. I would rather have a number posted or no sign (besides, you get 11mph over before it’s “really illegal”, right?.)

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          canuck September 9, 2015 at 7:35 am

          Much like the basic rule for cars, just because the sign says 10mph, the conditions, (icy, wet, congested) will dictate the true safe speed for the MUP. Common sense just isn’t common enough. Ride around pedestrians the way you want cars to drive around cyclists, with due care for the vulnerable user.

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            Dan September 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

            Sounds good. How do we get this message to the 10% of cyclists who make everyone else look bad?

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            wsbob September 10, 2015 at 10:52 am

            “…Common sense just isn’t common enough. …” canuck

            Development and use of common sense has to be actively encouraged, rather than passively awaiting for it to appear. Parents, at least some of them, seem to know a little about this.

            Even with road use laws and informational signs to help out, the degree to which road use can be safe and comfortable, is heavily reliant on people traveling the road, actively using their common sense about what to do for the wide range of situations encountered in travel that laws can’t in a practical way, spell out in exacting detail, steps to follow.

            Unbelievable that some people seem to actually believe the signs worded ‘Fast Bikes On Naito’ has led to the pack of people hanging out and blocking the north end of the waterfront path, harassing and attacking people on bikes.

            Somewhat surprising also, that some people biking don’t seem familiar with the very unpleasant feeling of walking and having someone on a bike, whoosh by them, at say 2′ away at 15 mph or faster. Try it…you’ll hate it.

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        Spiffy September 9, 2015 at 7:14 am

        bicycles don’t come with lights either but they’re required at night…

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          Psyfalcon September 9, 2015 at 9:33 am

          Night happens on a regular schedule and we still find people riding without lights.

          Speed limits on 2 small path sections in the whole state?

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            KristenT September 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

            Actually, I believe the Fanno Creek Trail has a speed limit for bikes, as does the Cook Park trail. I think it’s something like 10mph. I’m not sure it’s an official thing or just a recommended thing, though– I usually go cautiously anyway because there are some blind corners in Cook Park and on Fanno Creek through Tigard.

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        wsbob September 10, 2015 at 12:01 am

        Ask people that walk on sidewalks and MUP’s whether they feel that the rate of speed at which someone passes them on a bike, should be limited…and what they roughly think that rate of speed should be. Be prepared to hear them not agree with your feeling that speed limits for bikes are “…ridiculous…”.

        Relative to the speed people walk, numbered speed limits aren’t what people biking really need to think about when setting the speed at which they pass people walking…or people walking.

        People biking need to think of confining the speed of their bike to a pace not beyond that which respects the safety and comfort of people traveling slower, and near to them in approaching and passing.

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    jered September 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    As a guy that spends lots of time riding around on a bike and a VERY comfortable rider the Esplanade is like Sunday Parkways or Bridge Pedal – pure terror. I’d rather ride on Grand/MLK than the Esplanade – I feel much safer around the cars then with wandering bikes/kids/rollerbladers/walkers and who knows what else.

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      Anne Hawley September 8, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      As a woman who spends a lot of time finding safe, comfortable routes for my slow Dutch bike, even I preferred Naito, both directions, during the five years I bike-commuted from NE to downtown. Waterfront Park, when it wasn’t just plain frustrating, was often downright terrifying. Naito felt like a breeze.

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    spencer September 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    The fast connection funnels fast riders onto the congested sidewalk behind the museum. If the path allowed a fast connnection to Water (w/o 90 degree turns and bollards) many people would ride the connection and avoid the museum.

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    Clark in Vancouver September 8, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    No matter how slow you bike, if a shared path is too narrow, it will be interpreted that you’re biking too fast.
    If problems are coming up between modes, then that’s a sign that there needs to be some separation of modes and it needs to be wider. (Or there be two paths.)

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    Dwaine Dibbly September 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    My mom used to tell me to go play in the street, but I don’t think she was ever serious.

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      Dan September 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      We played in the street all the time as kids. Cars would pull up and stop, and wait for us to clear out of the road before proceeding. I miss those days.

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    Brian Davis September 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I would like to ride a bike from Salmon Street Springs to just south of OMSI, and I would like to go fast. I am comfortable using any separated path or dedicated on-street bike facility, but I will not take a lane.

    What’s my best route?

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    PNP September 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Fast from what perspective? Any bike could be seen by a pedestrian as fast. If I’m going along at 10-12 mph, to me that’s slow, but the pedestrian I pass might not agree. As someone else said, this is another of those vague “share the road” kinds of signs, open to way too much interpretation.

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    Ed Birnbaum September 8, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve been doing that for a while since I could ride a bit faster with fewer obstacles. BUT, just last Friday I had to wait for a Max train to cross for the first time. I read that they’re going to be running as often as every 7 minutes. I think that’s in each direction. So, it could end up taking more, rather than less time, to use Water Ave. On the other hand, I think I’ll be using the Tillicum to cross the river most of the time, even if that takes longer. It felt really nice to [crawl] over it during the Bridge Pedal. Maybe I’ll see some of you there for it’s GRAND OPENING, next Saturday.

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    Scott Kocher September 9, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Putting up uninviting signs won’t solve the problem. Making the “alternative” route the more attractive one will. Same: Better Naito makes Naito better.

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    was carless September 9, 2015 at 12:20 am

    This is a classic “its so crowded, nobody goes there anymore” type of situation.

    Ironically, they are asking for fewer people to cycle because of conflicts. Well… lets just think about that for a second.

    Note: I normally take Water ave.

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    JeffS September 9, 2015 at 1:45 am

    I don’t have a problem with multi-use paths in general. I do have a problem though with attempts to restrict bicycles, yet still counting the mileage in the total count of bicycle facilities, and more importantly, using them as a justification for not improving the quality of surrounding facilities.

    These paths should appear on a map as parks, the trail the same as one that circles a pond.

    Personally, I would rather just see a speed limit sign. I definitely fall into the fast bike category, but I have no idea how much I would need to slow down in order to become acceptable. Riding well within control and not endangering others is usually not enough to avoid raising the ire of a pedestrian.

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      lop September 9, 2015 at 8:29 am

      You know what you’re being asked here without a number on the sign. Pass slow enough and far enough from pedestrians that you don’t raise their ‘ire’.

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        Ted G September 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

        So are you suggesting that there is a distance and speed that is acceptable to all pedestrians? The bike path on the west side, just north of Willamette Park has a speed limit sign.

        I agree with JeffS though, despite being in control and giving sufficient space peds will after feel threatened.

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          lop September 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm

          If you truly don’t understand what pedestrians would ask of you then head to the south waterfront, lock up your bike if you brought it, and walk north along the waterfront until you get to the broadway bridge. Head to Naito and take the stairs up to the top, and cross the river on the sidewalk. Try crossing the steel and Hawthorne bridges, and walk along the eastbank esplanade too. After the new bridge has been open for a while try walking there without your bike too. See what it’s like from the other side.

          I think a lot of problems would go away if more people would take the time to walk where they bike from time to time. If the reason isn’t obvious, just think why it was noteworthy that the Mayor biked to work, and how posters here wanted him to do it more often. This isn’t something I would just ask cyclists to do, I’d also like to see more walk/bike where they drive, and drive where they bike, and bike where they walk etc…

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        Moleskin September 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

        Agreed.

        If you can negotiate folks on paths politely with a smile it’s an opportunity to win friends for cycling and cyclists, AND come away feeling all warm and fuzzy… Win!

        I commute past OMSI both ways every day usually around 8-8:30 in the morning and some time after 6 in the evening and it’s never very busy anyway as the museum isn’t in full swing, so no real delays. For the “9-5:30 workday commuter” I don’t see these signs as a big issue.

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          Moleskin September 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

          (sorry- the “agreed” was for lop’s comment)

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    Jack September 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Since these new signs will likely be directing people on bikes to use the path connecting the esplanade and Water ave just south of Hawthorne, it seems like its time to remove the misaligned bollards and do something about the gravel that piles up at those intersections and makes for hazardous turning.

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    Jack September 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Does anyone know how many fatalities or serious injuries occurred along these stretches before the city approved this new signage?

    Better yet, does anyone know how many fatalities or serious injuries are expected to be prevented?

    Maybe the signs should read: “Beware: despite evidence to the contrary, path may be very dangerous.”

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    Chris Shaffer September 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

    >The new signs are aimed at helping museum visitors find their
    >way around the campaigns.

    That should be campus, not campaigns, right?

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    KristenT September 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Vague signs do more to confuse and create conflict than they do to solve it. Either add a speed limit number, or figure out a way to separate the modes.

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      wsbob September 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      In the Tualitan Hills Nature Park out on Millikan Way, along the park’s two asphalt paths on which bike use is permitted, there used to be signs specifying 7 mph as the speed limit. Not sure how, but apparently, management came to be persuaded that people wouldn’t be able to figure out how fast 7 mph is.

      Signs were replaced with ones that say: ‘Bikes slow’, or ‘Bikes slow for pedestrians’, or some such thing. Can’t remember right off hand. People that don’t have it, really need to be encouraged and helped to develop good common sense and a measure of self control. Without those two things, speed limit signs or even warning signs regarding bike travel, can’t be expected to produce very positive results.

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    Andy K September 9, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Not the best solution.

    I would rather see safety improvements on roads used by motor vehicles. We’re already at 290+ Oregon traffic fatalities for the year, 31% higher than 2014.

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      rick September 9, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Four people have died on TV Highway in Washington County this year.

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        Dan September 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        Make it wider! For safety! /s

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    Buzz September 9, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I never understood why they want peds to walk on the right side of the Esplanade; then you have bikes approaching from the rear and passing closely that you can’t see coming. It makes a whole lot more sense to me to have peds walking on the left, so they can see the oncoming bikes and aren’t surprised by close passes.

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      Pete September 9, 2015 at 10:54 am

      I’m with you on this one, and personally found this works best for me (to see oncoming joggers/cyclists when walking, and adjust accordingly if need be). There’s quite a debate on this in a thread on here somewhere, but I can’t seem to find the right keywords to bring it up.

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      Psyfalcon September 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Its either in state law or signage in a lot of places for all people to stay right.

      I’d rather pedestrians on the left, but it often feels odd to be on the left when everything else is stay right. Change the rules, the signage, and there is still a lot of inertia to overcome.

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        Pete September 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

        You can easily spot the Brits when walking through airports… 😉

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        Buzz September 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

        As far as I know, there is no FRAP law for pedestrians.

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          lop September 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

          FRAP law? I don’t know what that is. But this parks flyer says stay right except to pass.

          https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/161457

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            Buzz September 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

            FRAP = Far Right As Possible/Practical/Practicable

            Sorry, but a Parks flyer is not a state statute

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          Moleskin September 10, 2015 at 3:48 pm

          Interestingly on the subject of Brits and what to do when there is no sidewalk (“pavement”), you are officially encouraged to walk facing oncoming traffic (on the right, in their case: https://www.gov.uk/rules-pedestrians-1-to-35/general-guidance-1-to-6)

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            Buzz September 11, 2015 at 10:44 am

            That is the general rule when there is no sidewalk in the US too – walk facing the oncoming traffic.

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      El Biciclero September 9, 2015 at 11:55 am

      On a narrow enough MUP, there will always be overtaking cyclists that you won’t see. How far away would a cyclist be from a ped walking on the left going the same direction? How much different is that from a cyclist moving to the far left to pass a pedestrian walking on the right?

      On a narrow MUP, it makes little difference which side anyone walks or rides on; on a wide enough MUP, just separate peds from bicyclists.

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    Justin Gast September 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Simple solution if you ask me. If you want to prevent the mixing of bikes and peds at OMSI, then end the esplanade trail at the pass-through to Clay St., forcing cyclists out onto Water Ave.

    Also erect signage promoting fines for blocking bike lanes on Water Ave.

    Myself, the only issues I’ve ever had on Water Ave are with cars coming off of I-5 into the Central Eastside (at Hair of the Dog).

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    Lukas September 10, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Can we get the sign to say, “Fast moving bikes” instead of “Fast bikes”? I may be wrong, but it seems that some people are interpreting the sign to mean that anyone on a drop bar bicycle a.k.a. Fast Bike shouldn’t be allowed to ride on the waterfront path or soon the esplanade no matter what speed the bike is travelling.

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    Alex Reed September 10, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I have to say, I disagree with the general sentiment that this is No Big Deal. The eastbank path is the quickest and most comfortable route for a lot of bike trips – the clearest example is people going from North Portland to the South Waterfront. A detour to Water just to get back on the Tilikum is two blocks of out of direction travel to go 10 blocks (so not likely that many peopl are going to do it), the westside Waterfront path is even busier than the OMSI section, and Naito is not a low-stress facility.

    Overall, I think the issue is that the City wrote insufficiently strong language in requiring path easements. The fact that OMSI’s path is close up against the building and that OMSI has that submarine thingy means the normal path width is just not enough. The City should have required wider path width in this section and/or more gathering area between the OMSI building and the path.

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