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City ponders new bike lane striping design for N Interstate Ave

Posted by on November 13th, 2015 at 10:32 am

interstatetillamooklead

Looking southbound on Interstate at Tillamook, about to enter 315 feet of traffic “free for all.”
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Anyone who rides south on North Interstate Avenue between Tillamook and the Broadway Bridge/Larrabee split can understand why the Bureau of Transportation wants to re-stripe it.

South of Tillamook, the road splits and users have to decide if they want to continue on Interstate toward Memorial Coliseum or merge to the right and connect to Larrabee and the Broadway Bridge. While this swerving and merging free-for-all happens, people on bikes face 315 feet of unprotected exposure to other traffic with just a few faded hash-marks to designate the bike lane.

The effort to fix this section of Interstate started nearly two years ago by volunteer activist Blake Goud. Goud took it upon himself to improve Interstate. He got backing from nearby neighborhoods, corralled other activists for help, and got in touch with key PBOT staffers to find a solution.

At this week’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, PBOT Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller shared three different striping options currently under consideration. Geller said the existing configuration is “troubling” because, as a bicycle rider “you’re basically in between large and fast vehicles.”

Here’s the existing layout:

interestate-existing

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And here are the three new striping designs PBOT has come up with (note that they all come with green paint and a new bike box at Interstate and Tillamook):

Option A

N Larrabee ramp option A_1

This design creates a protected buffer for bicycle traffic right up until the split happens. At that point, riders would either continue to Larrabee or — if they wanted to continue on Interstate — they’d merge left by yielding to oncoming traffic and crossing a 15-foot lane.

This option does not include a separate right turn lane for non bike lane traffic. The downside of that is if you are in the buffered bike lane you won’t know if people in cars are continuing straight on Interstate or if they’re merging right onto Larrabee. Geller lists that “con” of this design as “Lack of clarity about southbound movement.” The upside is that the lack of a turn lane means the bike lane gets a larger buffer.

Option B

N Larrabee ramp option B

This option is similar to A, but PBOT includes a right-turn only lane. That lane adds clarity of southbound traffic movement, but it reduces the size of the buffer.

Options A and B limit exposure of bicycle riders to other traffic. The downside is that when you cross over the lane you might have to stop and wait for a break in traffic.

Option C

N Larrabee ramp option C

This option gives bicycle riders the priority throughout; but it doesn’t provide the safety buffer of the other two options. Also, bicycle riders continuing on Interstate will still have 175-feet of exposure to merging traffic. (If you’re wondering why PBOT designed such a large merge opening over to Larrabee, it’s because this is a freight route and their design standards require 175-feet for large trucks to make the turn.)

Several members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee preferred option B because of the balance of protection for bicycle riders and clarity about the direction of other traffic. A few members prefferred option C because it gives bicycle riders a priority. One member suggested that PBOT install a “leading bicycle interval” at the traffic signal of Interstate and Tillamook so that riders could get a jump on traffic and establish themselves in the lanes. Another detractor of options A and B said that he wouldn’t feel comfortable stopping in the roadway while waiting for a break in traffic.

Ted Buehler, the BikeLoudPDX volunteer activist who has worked with PBOT and encouraged them to make this project a priority, said he strongly prefers Option C. Buehler said it has “obvious operational advantages” and that A and B put riders in a “very awkward position” of having to look over their shoulder to guess which way 30+ mph traffic will go.

The designs don’t currently include any physical protection like candlestick wants or curbs (like what Multnomah County installed on the eastbound Hawthorne Viaduct); but we hope that would be an option once a design is finalized.

We’ve asked PBOT about the timeline for this project and have yet to hear back. For now, please share your input and help improve the final design.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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

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Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Um, Options A and B don’t provide much more of a ‘safety buffer’ as you call it, than Option C, and the merge in Option C is a lot safer than the ‘cross’ in Options A and B.

And could someone please, please, please ask PBOT not to use their grinder to remove the old stripes if and when they do this.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Put to a ranking, I’d go C as first choice, B as second, and A as third.

I’d second the “Don’t Grind” point too… Grinding can create odd sensations when riding, and are uncomfortable in unfavorable conditions.

buildwithjoe
Guest

I live here. Ride here 5-10 times a week. I have a big plan that will cost only paint and a few meetings with the city and some signal reprogramming. The new 800 feet of bike path can easily be funded with Kickstarter. We must think big.

Zoom in on the JPG or PDF below

JPG
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-_lkfRp66-0cWY3SjVGazJqMVk/view?usp=sharing

PDF
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-_lkfRp66-0VlFZcjdMMjBIMkE/view?usp=sharing

The current paint is better than proposal A and B from the city. Please email Mark.Haines@portlandoregon.gov with your feedback. They should not spend a dime here until they can get it right. Get it right later, and cheaper. Or get it right with a big plan that includes extending the Vera Katz riverside path up as far north as possible. See my design above.

DanF
Guest
DanF

This happens to be part of my morning commute and I know this intersection well. Because I continue south on interstate instead of going up the ramp to broadway, only option C would be much of an improvement for my commute. Options A and B would actually make staying on Interstate just a little bit trickier, and they remind me of the other tricky crossing I have to do on Greeley (at the southbound I-5 ramp).

If they went with either option A or B, I’d probably just take the lane to stay on Interstate, and not bother with the suggested crossing.

For what it’s worth, the biggest hazard for me is the driver who decides at the last minute to merge right onto the broadway ramp. I’m paying close attention to what cars on my left are doing here for sure.

So I don’t see any huge improvements here, but thanks to the good folks at PBOT for giving this intersection some attention!

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

What if option B had some bollards and a “right turn yield to bikes” sign on each one? It is slightly more perpendicular than the ramp to MLK off Hawthorne, but is longer. That seems helpful to have clarity that the traffic in the lane next to you is turning rather than have to judge by signals.

What’s this talk about waiting for a gap in traffic? Why would we not give bikes the right-of-way across this turn?

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

Agree that option C is really the only one that works here. I bike this stretch daily, continuing north on Interstate as well. As Dan and others have mentioned, Options A and B create another awkward situation like on the I-5 ramp from Greeley. Bikes, many of them starting from a standstill, need to dart across a lane of traffic that comes from behind them. Please don’t repeat this on Interstate.

Option C makes a bad intersection a little bit better. Implement the change, then work like hell to get the NP Greenway built and remove all bikes from Greeley and Interstate.

Champs
Guest
Champs

Options A & B resemble southbound Greeley from Going to Interstate—I can’t imagine anybody who actually rides this would ask for more of that.

Option C with an advance light is ideal. Oh boy, those 315 feet aren’t buffered, but neither is any stretch of Interstate or the quarter mile of ramp beyond that point.

Blake
Guest

I had the same thought since I ride both in the morning.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Option D:
Convert southbound vehicle lane into a 2-way protected cycle track, supporting the future off-street north Portland greenway. Route through vehicle traffic up and over the viaduct, and across Broadway, rejoining Interstate south of the pinch point.

buildwithjoe
Guest

I like the proposal to route all motor vehicles up and over the viaduct. I’m told that would need weight capacity enhancements. Id like to know the cost of that FYI.

RH
Guest
RH

C!! I ride this route everyday and C makes the most sense. A and B would actually make it more dangerous.

Nate
Guest
Nate

I ride this every single day and I agree that A & B don’t feel like much of an improvement to me. Traffic is aggressive enough in this area and having to cross it in those designs doesn’t look great to me.

I would definitely prefer Option C based on the drawings presented. Combine it with a leading bicycle interval and this would actually make this an improvement on my day to day excursions.

lop
Guest
lop

>leading bicycle interval

It would have to be pretty long. In C the end of the merge zone is nearly 400 feet from the stop bar at the intersection. A car can quickly accelerate to 30 mph and cover that distance in 10 seconds. A slower cyclist might take 30 seconds. That’s ~9 mph average counting time to accelerate, a significant fraction of Portland cyclists (and potential future cyclists) don’t want to have to sprint, accommodating slower travel is important. Even a fast cyclist averaging 18 mph – seems pretty fast for 400 feet starting from a stop – would need ~15 seconds starting from a dead stop. If you have a ten second leading bike interval it’ll probably be enough to discourage drivers from trying to jump in front of a cyclist that sprints out. But a slower cyclist will still have to deal with overtaking cars at the merge, it won’t be a comfortable place to bike slowly. Would PBOT/ODOT or whoever is running that signal even be willing to give cyclists ten seconds of dedicated time? If you only get 5 seconds drivers won’t have to really floor it to merge in front of a fast cyclist.

soren
Guest

PBOT have, thus far, refused to use cycling leading intervals.

Christopher Jones
Guest
Christopher Jones

Both my wife and I ride this section daily, and we both continue south on Interstate. Like others have mentioned, option C is the safest. The other two (A and B) make it more difficult for riders to continue south. Continuing south on Interstate is the best way to get to (car-free) esplanade.

Adam
Subscriber

All of these options are terrible and force people riding bikes to merge with high-speed car and truck traffic at sharp angles without physical protection. A better choice would be to remove that highway-style off ramp altogether, or at least make it bike-only.

TonyT
Guest
Tony T

There is no sharp angle at all with C.

longgone
Guest
longgone

Make the ramp on the west bike only? is that what you mean? Diverting auto traffic where, if Broadway is desired?
I have ridden this route for 15 years, I cannot recall ever having any out of the ordinary issues merging with cars here. I do understand why some would fear this ramp, however I prefer option “c”.

Steve B.
Guest
Steve B.

Kudos to Blake for working tirelessly on this issue for years. He’s also been working on the entire stretch of Interstate there. Portland is better thanks to his volunteer work.

Of the options, C looks best to me. Not a big fan of preserving the bike lane between two vehicle lanes like that, though given the constraints it seems like an improvement.

Going forward I’d like to see options that include repurposing the redundant Larrabee overpass there for bike/ped only. I’m not clear on the details that would preclude this. I suspect the freight companies like it for the direct connection to the Broadway bridge, though they could fairly easily continue on Interstate and make a left onto Multnomah.

Blake
Guest

Thanks Steve.

Gary B
Guest
Gary B

Multnomah is a one-way the wrong direction, right? Wouldn’t they just make a left on the other end of Larabee past Broadway, then another left to get onto the bridge?

Steve B.
Guest
Steve B.

Yeah, I may have the street names wrong here. Same idea. Thanks for noting this.

realworld
Guest
realworld

Every time I’ve ridden that section there has never been very many drivers so it’s always been pretty easy to gauge the merge.
But I would say option C if paint is all they are willing to do, its the safest way and there needs to be signage letting drivers know that bikes have priority.

ethan
Guest
ethan

If any of these “solutions” are implemented, someone will die here. I guarantee it.

Spiffy
Subscriber

I think that someone will die no matter what they do, including nothing… that’s the nature of cars…

ethan
Guest
ethan

That’s true. But no excuse to build terrible infrastructure.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

I think the argument is that it is terrible infrastructure already.

Allan
Guest
Allan

Another vote for option C. Not sure why the others are being considered

Adam
Subscriber

Option C has the worst crossing angle of them all. If you’re riding a bike, you’ll need to twist your entire body to see behind you. People driving are not likely to yield to people riding bikes in the crossbike, as is the case in all the other places in the city where this treatment has been implemented. Plus, this is a highway-style off-ramp designed for high speeds. People driving won’t slow down.

Spiffy
Subscriber

say what? there’s no need to ever look behind you with option C as you’ll have the right of way in your own bike lane…

Blake
Guest

Yeah, I agree that C is the best because it gives bikes the right of way as is now the case but removes significant distance where there is uncontrolled crossing by drivers across the bike lane.

The issue of speeding is really important here because people frequently accelerate to 40-45mph under the Larrabee overpass (Video shot by Ted with a speed gun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqHmI2Cp3vM) and people getting onto Larrabee are accelerating equally as much.

Adam
Subscriber

The outside lane, sure, but what about that long crossbike lane in the middle that cuts across the exit ramp?

Spiffy
Subscriber

what about it? you’re going straight with the right of way… I wouldn’t look behind me in that situation…

also, it’s the exit lane that cuts across the bike lane…

longgone
Guest
longgone

Please stop!

are
Guest

yeah, don’t look behind because your right of way will protect you

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

It’s an easy mirror check, if you use one.

Spiffy
Subscriber

you’re all welcome to live your own lives in fear… that’s not for me though…

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

Adam, this is international best practice for this kind of situation, and exactly what the Dutch would recommend if you have cars merging across a bike lane. I know this because I’ve been to the Netherlands and ventured beyond the touristy areas where they only have cycle-tracks and actually saw how they design bike lanes (yes, they do have regular bike lanes). You continue the bike lane straight, so that cars merge across it like they normally do. It allows drivers to do what they are accustomed to doing, which is to check their blind spot and merge over. Any other design (like a bike lane zigging or zagging across a lane) asks drivers to look in places they’re not used to checking, and it isn’t clear who has the right-of-way. In this case it is very clear to everyone.

longgone
Guest
longgone

Please note my response to your absurd opinion much further down the comment…. Have you ever even ridden this segment of roadway? Five bucks says more than likely not.

are
Guest

a cynic might say the others are not “being considered” so much as put out there for contrast to make option C more palatable.

are
Guest

on the other hand, option B does provide a dedicated lane for motorists merging out, which would relieve them of pressure from behind to execute the merge unsafely.

SD
Guest
SD

Definitely #C.
A and B would oblige cyclists to make a more dangerous cross and confuse or agitate drivers when cyclists merge earlier to be safe.

dachines
Guest
dachines

I have had little to no problems with navigating this area, although that could be entirely based on the times of day that I’ve passed through there. With that said, I’d prefer C.

However, the area that I think is much more difficult and much more dangerous is a short distance northwest, on Greeley before it reaches Interstate. Here…

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.545876,-122.6811971,169m/data=!3m1!1e3

I’ve found navigating this split on Greeley to be difficult at almost any time of day due to very fast motor vehicle traffic. The lane of Greeley that a bike has to cross, in order to stay on Greeley and continue on towards Interstate, is essentially an on ramp to I-5. As such, motor traffic is moving at highway speeds (55+ mph), despite the road being signed for 45 mph.

Ted Buehler
Guest

Thanks for writing on this, Jonathan.

I’m delighted that the city is working on this.

I have major concerns with Options A and B.

I’m a big fan of Option C.

Thanks to all who have co-signed letters in the past, and Blake and myself look forward to working with PBOT and the neighborhood associations to get this and other improvements moving forward on N Interstate.

Ted Buehler

Ted Buehler
Guest

My concerns with A and B is that cars have the right-of-way through the conflict zone, and if you’re on a bike, you need to “yield” to people who are directly behind you, and who are splitting off either 1 second (Option A) or 4 seconds (Option B) upstream. That’s not enough time to crank your head around so you’re looking forward, mount the bike, step on pedals, ride 25 feet, and situate yourself in a sketchy center bike lane on the other side of the conflict area. Meanwhile, you’re waiting out there literally in the middle of a highway with nothing but paint to indicate to cars that they shouldn’t drive right through the spot where you’re waiting.

The big advantage of C is that it’s a clearly laid out set of stripes, similar to the existing stripes, and similar to right-turn lanes all over North America. Bikes go straight, cars wait for a gap in bikes before merging across the bike lane into the right-turn lane. While the conflict zone is longer in distance, it’s not that much longer in time, and rolling through at 15 – 20 mph is much better than slowing or coming to a stop on the outside of the roadway, and waiting for a chance to dart back over to the bike lane…

I’m curious to hear everyone’s comments, and please indicate how often you ride through here — it has a different “feel” to it than many other parts of the city, with fast car traffic, fast bike traffic, which sort themselves out pretty well in the existing configuration, but definitely leave bicyclists vulnerable to getting rear-ended at 20 mph by a person in a car driving 35.

Ted Buehler

Charley
Guest
Charley

Option C is the best, by far. Regarding A and B: often when there’s some new kind of complicated merging in this city, it requires the cyclist to turn to their left, and look over their shoulder to judge if traffic is coming. That’s difficult to do really well (lots of people have trouble balancing the moving bike when they’re not looking forward). I suppose one should stop? But why have someone stop in the middle of a road to stay straight on the same road? Many of us more “strong and confident” riders do this kind of thing at speed all the time, but do a quick job of it, and probably take risks to do so. As with several other things that have been touted as safety improvements in the last few years, it really slows someone down to do correctly. We’ll never get to %25 if we’re putting up barriers (sometimes literal barriers; in this case, striping creates barriers) bike commuting like this. I don’t like it.

lop
Guest
lop

>While the conflict zone is longer in distance, it’s not that much longer in time, and rolling through at 15 – 20 mph is much better than slowing or coming to a stop on the outside of the roadway, and waiting for a chance to dart back over to the bike lane…

Who is this restriping for? What sort of cyclist?

I’ve biked through and ridden as if A/B or C were already painted. Which way I ride depends on how fast I’m going. 315 feet now (or 175 feet in C) is pretty far at 10 mph. If I’m tired and don’t feel like riding fast it’s 20 seconds now. 12 seconds is an improvement, but still a long time to be exposed. Crossing a lane in A/B won’t take 12 seconds. If I’m riding 10 mph and auto traffic is moving 12 mph then a car following a truck too close won’t see me until they try to pass the truck in the turn lane. If I’m riding slow B would be my preference, though with flex posts between the auto through and turn lanes to discourage last second lane changing. C would be my preference when I want to ride faster.

Ted Buehler
Guest

Option C could be improved by installing a curb between the two bike lanes. Like this:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/11599639@N03/22368834354/in/dateposted-public/

This would

1) Provide a spot to mount a “Begin Right Turn Lane: Yield to Bikes” sign for traffic turning right onto Larrabee.
2) Make it clear to right-turning cars which bikes need to be yielded to (those continuing south on Interstate) and which don’t (Those turning right onto Larrabee).

Ted Buehler

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Option B2: same striping but add the yield to bikes signs in advance and a yield sign for the turn lane at the bike crossing.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

I like this one Ted. The bollards with mounds might help some of the motorists realize that there might be a road hazzard they might want to avoid.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

One minor problem is the exit from the Larraby ramp. Motorists are pushing the limit making the right and tend to come all the way to the curb when heading to the Broadway bridge. The Broadway bike path when next to the Interstate path needs to have the sidewalk widened slightly then have a separating row of 6 inch domes until after the stretch straightens out from the elevated ramp

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

While I agree 100% with your embellishments in the photoshop you linked to what it does is further demonstrate why options A & B will fail.

It is a freight route and as such the width requirements to make safe turning and lane change maneuvers would flatten those bollards in days and grind those curbs to rubble in weeks.

Option A has such a tight last minute turn that big trucks and POVs alike will treat the buffered area as a defacto right turn lane. With solid barriers the corners on the inside of a long truck’s turn will constantly be clipped OR truck drivers will essentially stopp all southbound traffic as they negotiate the turn at safe walking speeds
Option B provides the turn lane but would still have the corner clipping issue to some degree.

Someone really ought to see how thw “hole-in-the-air” freight interests would respond to these options.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

I like the idea of freight slowing to walking speeds!

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Yes, it is a wonderful sounding idea like “kill all the lawyers” but both have fairly unforeseen and nasty consequences.

Patrick Sullivan
Guest
Patrick Sullivan

Option C was my intuitive first choice (with the brilliant suggestion of a leading indicator), but the more I look at it option B is growing on me with one change.

Option B would work great if a jersey barrier wall were added where the narrow buffer zone. A physically protected area to queue while waiting for car traffic to clear would help riders both feel safe and actually be safer.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

B.

The steeper crossing should be safer since visibility would be increased for the bikes and the cars.

It does need a big Yield to bikes sign though. No reason to make people think bikes should stop and wait for a break in traffic. (It does have a decent waiting area though, unlike the westside Tillicum approaches.)

C’s main advantage is that it is a continuous bike lane. Anyone paying attention should realize they have to merge across it when no one is coming. But you’re left in that “intersection” much longer due to the angle. Could late cut overs be a problem, with people trying to drive around a slow car (because its waiting on bikes)?

soren
Guest

I don’t like any of the options but “C” is the lesser of 3 evils.

JJJJ
Guest

Id like a combination of B and C. Let the fearless riders continue straight and assert their ROW, while the more timid riders can come to a stop and wait for a gap in traffic to cross.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Option C for me. Option A is just terrible, you could only get across the merge when there is no vehicle traffic at all. No way I am trusting people to put on their blinker if they taking the ramp. Option B is almost as bad, people will move over late with no turn signals.

I take this in the afternoons (I continue south on Interstate) and I normally don’t feel too unsafe here. I have just come through the gauntlet of Greeley, so anything feels better. I feel like cars expect bikes here, and are pretty good after merging safely. Note, I do almost always hit the red light here (and I bike fast through this section), so all but maybe one car can easily merge behind me without delaying them.

I do not want to have to stop on this uphill section, look over my shoulder, and then try to get going uphill. That to me is much more dangerous than a merging at speed.

Bicylist Mama Carie
Guest
Bicylist Mama Carie

I want the option that IS Vision Zero.
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/66612

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

I think the Vision Zero approach would send all motorized traffic and bike heading to Broadway up the Larrabee ramp with bikes in a physically separated lane. The southbound lane of Interstate would be used for bikes/beds only between Tillamook and the signal at Larrabee (on the south side of the Broadway Bridge)

buildwithjoe
Guest

I posted a vision zero map in several places on this thread. Connects to the vera katz bike path avoiding theoda center maze

Spiffy
Subscriber

they’d merge left by yielding to oncoming traffic and crossing a 15-foot lane.

this is the exact same configuration as the eastbound Hawthorne bridge bike lane but on the Hawthorne it’s (mistakenly?) assumed that bikes have the right of way…

if they go with that same option here then they’ll need signs to state who should yield…

Spiffy
Subscriber

and by signs I mean both on the Hawthorne and on Interstate…

Champs
Guest
Champs

It’s true that the arrangement is similar, but key differences are that Hawthorne turnoff to McLoughlin isn’t much of a launchpad like Larrabee: it’s a short, blind and downhill run into a stoplight.

Ceding right of way isn’t a mistake there, it would be like turning in front of any other bike lane. There are flashing lights and signage about it, but these are only to reinforce the law.

Spiffy
Subscriber

they took out the sign stating to yield to bikes… now the bike lane is mostly perpendicular to the road it crosses instead of being in-line with Hawthorne as a continuation…

I don’t see anything indicating bikes have the right of way there on the Hawthorne…

are
Guest

that was always a poor configuration. i always biked straight through the no-man’s land, just to the right of the travel lane. if the striping conformed to that path, the law would be clear a motorist turning right would be “supposed to” yield to bikes in the “through” bike lane. shoving bikes twenty feet to the right and then having them reappear suddenly at the top of an exit ramp is asking for trouble.

RH
Guest
RH

C is pretty much how the bike traffic currently flows, just with less markings, etc…

Spiffy
Subscriber

A and B are horrible since they force vulnerable users to navigate a sharp turn and continue to yield to bullies (drivers)…

option C gives the cyclists the right of way with no crazy turns while still allowing drivers a long space to slow if needed and merge across…

soren
Guest

This needs a concrete island and signal, not paint, IMO.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

THANK YOU BLAKE! [I have ridden this zone a lot over the years.]

Blake
Guest

Thanks go to everyone who has helped on this effort, particularly Ted Buehler!

mark
Guest
mark

Look, there is a sidewalk right there. Just widen it out for bike or *gasp* stripe it out and widen where needed for bike. You basically have a separated lane…right there. Shocking..I know.

Bikes on roads with a stripe of paint is dumb and deadly.

Come on Portland…let’s try to do something other than keep your striping crew or a contractor gainfully employed. Besides, paint fades and then needs to be restriped. Sidewalks last eons.

Blake
Guest

This doesn’t account for the needs of people who continue on Interstate down to the Rose Quarter to get to the Steel Bridge.

mark
Guest
mark

Oh, I see. You are correct. Let’s continue to sacrifice people to cars because we can’t make something perfect for everyone…all the time.

are
Guest

yeah, i guess your sidewalk proposal is the only option. let’s disparage everyone else’s efforts.

Spiffy
Subscriber

you mean the 150 ft of sidewalk that ends abruptly 200 ft before the ramp?

if that were converted to a raised bike lane it would trap faster cyclists and create a lot of vulnerable user conflict…

mark
Guest
mark

It’s simple..where there is sidewalk, extend the width of the sidewalk to the where the cycle lane would be. Where there isn’t, then don’t.

It’s quite straight forward.

What are they getting trapped by? Aliens?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Traffic lane looks like 18ft?, until the split then 15ft. Opt B more like 24ft wide before the turn lane. Are they trying to encourage speeding as much as possible. Make it 10.5 to calm agreassive driving. Use the extra for low shrubbery landscape to further calm traffic.

joel
Guest
joel

honestly i like williams and vancouver. i like the turn lane and bicycle though lane to be the same. wish this would occur elsewhere. it seems to draw more understanding and consideration. when a car or bike must change traffic lanes they need to re assess the situation. a turn lane or changing lanes seems to make people think a little more.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I’ve never had a lot of issues cycling here.

All the problems I’ve had riding on Interstate have been at the choke points where to road narrows considerably, just south of the area we’re discussing now.

Is there anything that can be done to improve bicycle passage through those areas?

The recently installed “Bicycles In Roadway” or signs there haven’t seemed to help much.

Blake
Guest

I’m not crazy about the signs either and Ted and I have asked for the “[bike] may use full lane” sign and speeding enforcement/lowering the speed limit to 25mph in this section.

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

Under the Larrabee bridge at the super narrow pinchpoint, it seems they should just remove the painted bike lane and paint the entire road surface green, from curb to curb, with a big super sharrow, and add several more signs that say: “CARS SLOW DOWN, DO NOT PASS, YIELD TO BIKES IN THE LANE”.

The existing sign is nice (Thanks Blake!), but not nearly enough to affect more than 1 in 10 cars/trucks. It’s amazing how people drive down here with their right tire on the bike lane and 4 feet to curb on the left.

Some of the worst offenders, IMO, are the TriMet bus drivers that pass cyclists under the bridge at 35 mph. Unbelievable and aggressive.

PS> This area of topic at the intersection is basically a non-issue. Option C if they have to do something. But, they should prioritize the pinchpoint under the Larrabee bridge as the first place to spend money for safety. And, fix the Greeley @ I-5 ramp business before they fix the Tillamook intersection.

Blake
Guest

Now that the city has installed its first “Bikes May Use Full Lane” sign: bikeportland.org/2015/11/05/se-clinton-gets-portlands-first-bikes-may-use-full-lane-sign-167616

…maybe they could install the second under Larrabee

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

I wish PBOT could/would use Sharrows on southbound Interstate between Tillamook and Larrabee (and also between Oregon and MLK where the bike lane drops). People do not see/ignore the small road signs, but they do seem to notice and respect something large and painted on the road. I have had horrible experiences here weekly, and the signs do not help. As far as I can tell, people do not even see them!

Conor Fitzgerald
Guest
Conor Fitzgerald

I ride this everyday at rush hour, and have never had a problem either. All of these options looks more dangerous. A and B look horrible and much more dangerous.

Option C is not better either. It gives drivers less time to merge to the right. With the current situation, there is a HUGE area with which bikes and drivers can merge. While I agree that it looks sketchy from above, in practice there is usually plenty of space for cars and bikes to be aware of eachother. If option C is implemented, drivers heading for the ramp have half as much space to merge, and potentially doing so a little more frantically than the leisurely amount of space there is today.

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

Option C would be my choice as well.

I don’t suppose there is any hope of bypassing the mess altogether by going under the Broadway overpass and connecting back up with Interstate after the bike lane constriction that the overpass creates…? Sigh… more money, property rights of way, etc. and politics probably get in the way.

Blake
Guest

I believe that could be a good alternative but in any case, it would have to get approval as a capital project which has a long lead time. Here’s what I presented in the PBOT Transportation class at PSU last December on potential longer-term ideas for improving this section: http://interstateavenue.weebly.com/home/presentation-on-n-interstate

redtech116
Guest
redtech116

I like the idea of bypassing the whole thing..go under next to the rail road tracks then back up the interstate. Go down N. Albina then next to the rail tracks…

Patrick Barber
Guest

None of this is any good, though I admit it’s all incrementally better than what’s there. But even if they paint the whole street with green paint, there is still the rest of Greeley to consider. As for me, I am still going to go well out of my way to take the Williams/Vancouver corridor downtown, even though I live essentially at Killingsworth and Greeley.

Greeley is such a missed opportunity– there should be a beautiful, leafy protected bikeway all the way north and south. It’s like a shortcut from downtown to North Portland (actually, it IS a shortcut to North Portland, and on a bus or in a car, it works wonderfully).

Blake
Guest

The npGreenway group is working to raise the priority for a project to put a separated path alongside Greeley as part of the North Portland Greenway: http://bikeportland.org/2015/10/12/profile-n-greeley-avenue-165361#comment-6578745

Patrick Barber
Guest

Thanks for the link, I missed this story!

TonyT
Guest
Tony T

C

A&B were designed by someone who doesn’t ride.

buildwithjoe
Guest
paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Right angle crossings provide the best ability of those crossing the paths to observe conflicting users. The closer to 90-degrees the safer the crossing.

are
Guest

if motorists are permitted to turn right at tillamook, you should either get rid of the green box or put in an advance signal for bikes.

as others have mentioned, you would want to put in signage specifically telling motorists who are merging out that they must yield to bikes. for that purpose, actually option B would be better, as it gives those motorists a dedicated right turn lane, so they will not be under as much pressure from behind to execute the merge unsafely.

mark
Guest
mark

Well, I threw this together in 2 minutes flat using ideas from the dutch. 90 degree crossing (because necks don’t turn that far and cars don’t give a crap).

One could even add the little flashy signals when you cross.

So…needs:
1)Cement to beef up existing separated path
2)Flashy signal thing
3)Paint

Here ya go PBOT..for free! (I release all rights and claims)
comment image

Greg Haun
Guest
Greg Haun

Some people commenting on the advantages of C are saying that cyclists have “right-of-way” in C that they don’t have in A and B. This is not correct. A & B have no yield triangles nor other signage that would be required to make the “broken green” crossing there any legally different from the much longer “broken green” in option C. Options A & B increase the likelihood that a cyclists will slow or otherwise adapt their merge with motor traffic, but I don’t see how they change the legal situation.

In any case, I imagine option A or B would be better choices for slower riders who would prefer to opt-out of any right-of-way assertions and simply wait for a break in traffic, a friendly motorist, or the upstream light to change.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

That is incorrect. The difference is that in C, the driver would be merging across a parallel bike lane, and in that situation the merger must yield to the through lane. In A and B, it’s like an intersection, with bikes crossing a motor vehicle lane. In that situation the dashed green conflict paint (sometimes called a crossbike) does not have any legal meaning. Drivers may yield if they want, but they don’t legally have to yield to bicyclists trying to cross. A crossbike is not legally the same as a crosswalk, unfortunately. State law would have to be changed to make crossbikes equivalent to pedestrian crosswalks.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

True for a markings only solution, but a yield sign for turning autos in option B solves this issue.

mark
Guest
mark

Right of ways are great, until you are hit..maimed or killed at 43 mph.

Corey Burger
Guest

I don’t live in Portland, but I don’t see a single stick of protection anywhere in that design so I rather suspect that cars will drive the straighest path (right over where the bike lane would be in the designs). Any design in my mind needs physical protection to ensure that right-turning vehicles don’t use the bike lane as a turning/merge lane.

buildwithjoe
Guest
B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

It seems to me that a lot of how well option C would work/feel (forget A and B, those are tossers) would depend on the width of the bike lane. A measly five footer in between two lanes isn’t going to work well if we ever get moderately high numbers of people riding, imo.

maxD
Guest
maxD

I ride through this intersection daily and continue down Interstate 95% of my trips. I am strongly opposed to options A and B. Option C is a slight improvement of the current configuration and seems OK. Of course, these do nothing to address the terrifying pinch point beneath Larrabee Viaduct.

My solution: close the southbound lane of Interstate to motorized vehicles and route them all up the Viaduct. This stretch of road becomes the bike path and sidewalk. South of the Broadway Bridge, the path could veer to the top of bank, then go under the Steel Bridge (an over the RR access road) to join with the Esplanade! At Tillamook, a 2-way bike/ped MUP could travel down the south side of the bridge. One day, it may be able to continue along the Cement Road to Swan Island. IN the more near term, it could travel along River, then cut back to toward Greeley beneath the 405. The path could travel between Greeley and the RR tracks all the way under Going, eventually climbing up the “dog Bowl and joining Willamette around Curtis.

Mark
Guest
Mark

That’s not going to happen. Ever.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I should.be clear…closing anythibg down there isn’t going to happen. This is because…if there were a driving lobby, they would be named the “freight” lobby. They are pretty hard core and they do pay a lot of road taxes.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Sure, freight pays a lot of road taxes. However, they do more damage than their taxes pay for and are the most subsidized of all road user categories. There are valid arguments to facilitate freight movement, but their tax payments aren’t one of them.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Your point, while it may be correct in a narrow sense, is more academic than practical in nature. Freight companies pay a lot if money regardless and they vote with their dollars. My bicycle employs few while freight employs many. The point is, you will need to overcome that reality if you want to see massive change on roads that are universally seen a freight roads.

For some odd reason…pbot wants to double down on mixing bikes with cars in a high speed and heavy vehicle traffic area. Why?

buildwithjoe
Guest

Well said. See my notes below and email direct to Mark.Haines@portlandoregon.gov

buildwithjoe
Guest

Amen. There are many other big picture designs for the long germ that would create a bike only path and get cars and trucks from a to b faster or with a minute delay. Email Mark.Haines@portlandoregon.gov

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Max,
PBOT already has a sketch of this.

Mark
Guest
Mark

C, with very clear signage indicating that motorists must yield to bike traffic. I would not want to stop in the road with high-speed traffic and wait for a gap, as required in A and B.

are
Guest

my initial reaction was option C as well, but i am increasingly concerned that telling motorists who are trying to merge out to larrabee they must yield to bikes will not be sufficient unless you provide a dedicated merge out lane, as in option B.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

Adding overhead signs with bike logos reading “Steel Br./ Rose Qtr. – Bikes Only” and “B’way Br. – Bikes Only” to tell auto traffic where the bike lane split is would help.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I fail to see why anyone here wants to inject themselves more into traffic with confusing lane striping that will fade over time.

buildwithjoe
Guest

Everyone email Mark.Haines@portlandoregon.gov

See if u get a reply and share it. That’s our contact person

I take this y split every morning. My feelings match others who prefer C BUT this all choices suck game enrages me!!! This setup is bad but can wait for a true long term fix. If we accept C we get stuck w it. Sucky.

If we fix more deadly and more sucky spots we get to vision zero sooner and boost bike commute #s.

I’d send PBOT first to fix the extremely sucky West end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

PBOT has been stonewalling me on this. They talk to Ted and J Maus who don’t use this much. But PBOT has yet to reply to my first simple email. City workers treat us with contempt. Do as they see fit with fake and narrow contact to their select members of the “community”

Nick Falbo
Guest
Nick Falbo

I suspect the west end of the Hawthorne bridge will be dealt with under the upcoming Central City Multimodal Safety Project. This isn’t necessarily an excuse for not making it better in the short term, but that project will explore how to make high quality connections from Hawthorne to existing and new bikeways.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

I believe the flyover is weight restricted, so freight goes to the light just south of the Bway Bridge and makes a left. Works fine unless there is a big event with a direct path to I-5. The flyover, a relic, of the old 99W and trolley bus days should be narrowed to a single lane with the extra space converted into a two way bike/ped facility. Larabee at the top is a couple of lanes too wide, so the grassy area there could be expanded into a lovely park/greenspace, etc. Maybe a landing for a new bike/ped bridge?!?
This does nothing for folks who continue south on Interstate; Blake has done the deep thinking on this, and short of a separate bike/ped viaduct, it looks like a place for slower speeds and a shared lane.
re TriMet operators, I remember many rides of the 85 where the Op slowed down and waited until they had more room to pass once under the Bridge.
npGreenway (Friends of the N. Portland Greenway Trail) is in talks with the City about options for a trail alignment along the UPRR Albina Yard between N. Going and N. Russell, in lieu of the Ash Grove Cement Road. Even the best outcome there would still leave Lower Albina, the Flyover, and a tricky connection with Greeley somewhere up around Going.

buildwithjoe
Guest

Lenny. Good points. Is there any way you can draw this? Google map with a paint program. Or just draw on a paper map and snap a cell phone picture that you put on google drive or any photo sharing tool. I’d love to have PBOT halt this paint mess and look into smarter plans.

John Liu
Subscriber

I defer to the regular Interstate riders on the choice between A B and C.

I wonder, however, if there shouldn’t be some flexible plastic wands to delineate the buffer. Similar to the Hawthorne Bridge.

johnny
Guest
johnny

Never knew him, but every time I ride on Interstate or think about improving riding on Interstate I think of Brett Jarolimek.

Blake
Guest

I am with you. He was killed on Interstate within the first year of my starting to ride down Interstate and my work to improve safety on Interstate is based on the urgency that we must get something done without having it spurred on by another fatality.

longgone
Guest
longgone

You my friend, are confused and inflammatory. If you cannot employ a mirror, or learn to manage riding forward while looking behind you, perhaps bicycle riding is something you should cease.
Option C or nothing.
I say nothing, because some misguided PBOT exec will listen to your numerous misguided opinions and give us another royal botch such N.Williams.

Portland will never be Amsterdam or car free. Ride her friggin’ bicycle.

longgone
Guest
longgone

My comment above was intended as a reply to ” Adam H.’s” comment much towards the top of the list.. Sorry.

soren
Guest

Do you think bike mode share is too high in this city?

longgone
Guest
longgone

Like I posted before,… No. Why was my response removed ? It wasn’t insulting in any regard.

buildwithjoe
Guest

Zoom in on the JPG or PDF below

JPG
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-_lkfRp66-0cWY3SjVGazJqMVk/view?usp=sharing

PDF
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-_lkfRp66-0VlFZcjdMMjBIMkE/view?usp=sharing

The current paint is better than proposal A and B from the city. Please email Mark.Haines@portlandoregon.gov with your feedback. They should not spend a dime here until they can get it right.